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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 11-27-09, 06:03 PM   #1
Crazy88s
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Road Bike Shopping

Amazingly enough my wife has given me the green light to purchase a new road bike. This will be my first road bike. I currently have a 2003 Trek Navigator Hybrid.

Here are some of my stats:

- 5'11" tall
- Currently 293 pounds and falling

My budget is around $1500

My goal is longer rides. My limit currently is about 30 to 35 miles on the Navigator. I'm leaning towards a performance road bike rather than a touring bike.

I visited two local stores today and test rode a Jamis Satellite and a Specialized Allez. Out of the two the Allez seemed more comfortable to me and easier to ride but do the components of the Allez Comp along with carbon stays make it worth an extra $700 over the Allez Sport?

I'm going tomorrow to test ride a Giant Defy 1.

Is there a Trek road bike around $1500 I should look at as well? Are there any other brands I should consider?

Both shops didn't blink an eye when I told them my weight. Amazing enough the skinny little tires didn't explode either. I could definitely tell a different between the road bike and my Navigator.

Any other advice would be greatly appreciated including which pedal style/brand to look at as well as shoes.
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Old 11-27-09, 07:37 PM   #2
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Get one that has a Good Fit.
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Old 11-27-09, 08:38 PM   #3
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Yeah, I test rode a bunch of bikes, to make sure that I got it right. I also made sure to ride them for at least a half-hour. If the bike shop would not let me do that (leaving a credit-card and ID as collateral), then I would not buy the bike from them. That really helped me dial-in the fit for how I ride. It makes a HUGE difference.

ALSO, if they know that you are going to ride it that far, they are less likely to try to sell you a bike made with wheels that are only designed to carry 150 lbs men.

Last edited by Pinyon; 11-27-09 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 11-27-09, 08:50 PM   #4
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I bet you will be happy with any of the bikes you mentioned. They are all good. The biggest benefit I have seen with carbon is the ability to dampen road noise. So if you have rough roads I would go with the carbon forks. I have a Specialized Roubaix and am very happy with it.
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Old 11-27-09, 08:53 PM   #5
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Something like a Salsa Casseroll
http://www.salsacycles.com/casserollComp08.html

http://www.somafab.com/extrasmoothie.html
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Old 11-27-09, 09:08 PM   #6
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Performance bike has been a favorite LBS of mine here in Houston.
Looks like you have two in Atlanta. They have 20% off this weekend with
a coupon on their homepage. Bikes included. My friend was able to get a fuji
full carbon with 105 for under $1400. Plus pay for the team membership which
gets you 10% back. That will instantly pay for pedals and shoes.

Good luck and sorry for the typing format. Did it from my iPhone.
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Old 11-27-09, 09:18 PM   #7
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I've found that Felt makes a great bike, and they usually deliver a lot for the money.

Carbon fiber is cool, but I'm not sure I trust it for us Clydes. I've seen one two many pics of carbon frames snapped in half for me to feel comfortable on one. That's just my opinion.
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Old 11-27-09, 09:24 PM   #8
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I have an Allez and a Tarmac. Love them both. Had another Allez before these two as well. Zero complaints. I did replace the wheels on all of them with Mavic Aksiums and a pair of Neuvation M-28's. I have no problem riding carbon frames even at my current weight of 245.

I haven't ridden the Jamis or Giant, but I'm sure they are good bikes too.
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Old 11-27-09, 10:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CranesInTexas View Post
Performance bike has been a favorite LBS of mine here in Houston.
Looks like you have two in Atlanta. They have 20% off this weekend with
a coupon on their homepage. Bikes included. My friend was able to get a fuji
full carbon with 105 for under $1400. Plus pay for the team membership which
gets you 10% back. That will instantly pay for pedals and shoes.

Good luck and sorry for the typing format. Did it from my iPhone.
Plus 1 on considering the Fuji. It doesn't get the fan fare of some of the other manufacturers but it's fantastic bang for the buck. Felt, as mentioned earlier, tends to offer a better compnent level at price points well below the competition as well.

It's a bit cliche, but the LBS you buy from is also a part of the equation. Beyond that, the bike that makes your heart go pitter patter is the one.

Enjoy the hunt!
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Old 11-27-09, 10:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy88s View Post
Out of the two the Allez seemed more comfortable to me and easier to ride but do the components of the Allez Comp along with carbon stays make it worth an extra $700 over the Allez Sport?
Comfort, ez to ride, great fit will make you want to ride more! Longer mileage, better fitness level, that right there my boy is worth the $700! Wy would you even ask such a question?!
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Old 11-27-09, 11:10 PM   #11
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I have spent a good bit of time on an Allez with aluminum stays and one with carbon stays. Can't tell a bit of difference.
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Old 11-28-09, 02:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy88s View Post
My goal is longer rides. My limit currently is about 30 to 35 miles on the Navigator. I'm leaning towards a performance road bike rather than a touring bike.
I wouldn't buy a touring bike unless you plan to tour. The question is: do you want a road bike with aggressive geometry, or one that's a bit more comfortable? In the Specialized line, the Allez and Tarmac have more aggressive geometry while the Secteur and Roubaix models are slightly less aggressive. The Giant Defy is similar to the Secteur/Roubaix. In the Felt line, the Z series bikes (Z25, Z35, etc) are less aggressive than the F-series bikes (F3, F4, etc). I'm not as familiar with the Fuji line-up, but I think the Newest models are less aggressive than the Roubaix models. Don't know how they compare to any other brand, though.
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Old 11-28-09, 11:36 PM   #13
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I was out on my Surly Cross Check today - custom built for about 1500.00 CAD. A good Clyde choice. Now I have 87 specialized Allez as a fair weather ride and the Surly for the wet and nasty
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Old 11-28-09, 11:47 PM   #14
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Take a look at the Specialized Tricross.

I was surprised at how well it handled and it can take real skinny as well as real fat tires. Many road bikes only take real skinny tires due to frame clearances. Frame is designed for offroad use, but doesn't weigh like a mtb. Takes the edge off of potholes and crummy pavement. Price range is $950 to $5000.
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Old 11-29-09, 07:41 AM   #15
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I would suggest to buy it with a strong 36 spoke wheel on the rear at least. I had 28 spoke wheels on my Jamis and I kept breaking spokes so I had the rear wheel replaced. Kept the front 28 spoke though. This solved that problem and it didn't slow mw down (LOL).
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Old 11-29-09, 09:40 AM   #16
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I think most any road bike in your price range will be fine with your weight. +1 to the get good wheels advice.

I started at a shade over 250 and had good luck with some low spoke count wheels, and not so good luck with others (the old school Rigida rims I had in college didn't like my new found mass - they nearly Taco'd). My low spoke count wheels are 28 rear / 24 front - Cane Creek Volos XL (high tension super secret clyde wheels) and some A-Class 270s that came on my bike. The A-Class have been a pleasant surprise -- you don't hear much good said about Alex rims, but these have been holding up nicely (the "A-Class" Alex rims are supposedly "hand made") --- I'm currently "only" 212lbs though.

I think wheel build quailty is at least as important as spoke count. Lots of good wheel sources out there, you can always get the bike you want and buy wheels later.... one of the best upgrades you can make is a good wheelset.... faster, less worries, look cool, etc.
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Old 11-29-09, 12:05 PM   #17
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i'm a heavy dude and I've been riding a 'performance' bike much like the allez for a few years. It wasn't the right bike for me, or anyone my size but i made it work for along time as i wasn't in any position to buy a new bike. I recently picked up a Surly Cross Check, which is 'the bike' for me, which of course doesn't mean it would be for you.

the moral of the story: when you're spending a chunk of change like you're going to spend, assume you might not get the chance to do so again for ALONG time, especially if you're married! think really hard about how long you think some of the key stressed parts of the bike (frame, fork, wheels) will last. i saw at my LBS the other day a Allez that was an all steel frame and fork, which i thought was pretty cool!

dont think too much about whiz-bang gadgetry like derailers and whatnot. that stuff is SO much cheaper to upgrade/replace than a wheelset or frame!
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Old 11-30-09, 12:57 AM   #18
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If the Allez fits then buy the best Allez you can afford. I have learned one big rule in Clyde Cycling, when a bike fits you perfect buy it and never look back. Plus, the Allez is a great bike for the $$
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Old 11-30-09, 06:46 AM   #19
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Take a look at the Specialized Tricross.

I was surprised at how well it handled and it can take real skinny as well as real fat tires. Many road bikes only take real skinny tires due to frame clearances. Frame is designed for offroad use, but doesn't weigh like a mtb. Takes the edge off of potholes and crummy pavement. Price range is $950 to $5000.
If you get a Tricross, the first thing you should do is replace the fork. That thing chatters like crazy when braking from speed. It's the only complaint I really have with that bike, but it's a pretty big complaint.
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Old 11-30-09, 09:22 PM   #20
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I really like the allez. I looked at it and several others before settling on a specialized sequoia elite. If I had it to do over I probably would buy the allez. But I do enjoy the more upright geomentry of my sequoia.
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Old 12-01-09, 10:43 AM   #21
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So what did you decide on? I remember trying out the Specialized Allez, the Giant Defy, the Specialized Roubaix, a Trek Madone, a Kestral Talon, a Jamis Xenith, and a Surly Longhaul. The Specialized bikes were a little too harsh for me, the Trek was a little bit more than I wanted to spend (at the time, it finally changed when it came down to it), the Surly was not as lively, and the Kestral freaked me out. I ended up getting the Defy Advanced (all carbon fiber) because the ride was the liveliest and plushest for the longer rides.
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