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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 05-01-10, 07:24 PM   #26
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So I finally carved out some time from my work schedule to get on some bikes at a LBS. Anyway I found out a bunch of things that will guide me in the quest for a new ride. First off, I don't think that I'm ready for a bike with drop bars. After riding one, it was not very confidence inspiring and the geometry felt really crammed. I tried a couple of hybrid style bikes, and found those to be more to my liking. The carbon fork makes a lot of difference around here.
What bikes did you try? I can't imagine that a properly fitting touring or cyclocross bike would feel "crammed". A bike with narrow tires will feel more nervous than a bike with wider tires, so if you're comparing "racing" bikes with drop bars to flat-bar hybrids you might not have the full picture...
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Old 05-01-10, 08:08 PM   #27
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Hi all,

So I finally carved out some time from my work schedule to get on some bikes at a LBS. Anyway I found out a bunch of things that will guide me in the quest for a new ride. First off, I don't think that I'm ready for a bike with drop bars. After riding one, it was not very confidence inspiring and the geometry felt really crammed.
It's quite likely that they were putting you on a drop bar bike that's smaller than you'd really like. To many, many people "drop bar" means "racer", which means "small frame". That means saddle much higher than the bars, which is aerodynamic, but not comfortable for most people.
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Old 05-01-10, 08:46 PM   #28
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What bikes did you try?
The only CX bike that had there that fit me was an Opus Sequence. I found that no matter where I put my hands, I felt like I was going to get vaulted off the handlebars. In other words I found that I felt canted forwards too much. Also, and I think this is from riding mountain bikes all my life, the bars felt perilously narrow. I was informed that this was a pretty wide bar.

EB
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Old 05-01-10, 10:26 PM   #29
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The only CX bike that had there that fit me was an Opus Sequence. I found that no matter where I put my hands, I felt like I was going to get vaulted off the handlebars. In other words I found that I felt canted forwards too much. Also, and I think this is from riding mountain bikes all my life, the bars felt perilously narrow. I was informed that this was a pretty wide bar.

EB
Do you suppose there is a reason "all" of the bikes you tried including the cross bikes make you lean forward and in your words feel like you are going to be "vaulted" over the bars? Do you suppose maybe the problem is not the bikes, they are built that way for a reason? Maybe you need to adjust your thinking.
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Old 05-02-10, 09:23 AM   #30
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The only CX bike that had there that fit me was an Opus Sequence. I found that no matter where I put my hands, I felt like I was going to get vaulted off the handlebars. In other words I found that I felt canted forwards too much. Also, and I think this is from riding mountain bikes all my life, the bars felt perilously narrow. I was informed that this was a pretty wide bar.
The Opus Sequence has a head tube that's only 5mm longer than Specalized's top-of-the-line Tarmac SL3 race bike! That means that the geometry is relatively aggressive and you will end up leaning forward. This isn't necessarily a bad thing: you'll get used to it after a week or so of riding and you'll reallyappreciate the aerodynamic position when the wind starts to blow... Still, the position is a bit extreme. A touring bike would probably give you a much more upright riding position. Heck, even a road bike with relaxed geometry (like my Cervelo RS) would have you canted forward less.
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Old 05-02-10, 10:07 AM   #31
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Do you suppose there is a reason "all" of the bikes you tried including the cross bikes make you lean forward and in your words feel like you are going to be "vaulted" over the bars? Do you suppose maybe the problem is not the bikes, they are built that way for a reason? Maybe you need to adjust your thinking.
Unless you suffer a delusion that you're Lance Armstrong, there's no reason to think you must ride a bike that makes you lean forward past about 50 degrees or so. If you're not a racer, there's no real reason to ride a bike that has a six or eight inch drop from saddle to the bars. (Unless you find that comfortable; some people do, but not many) find a drop bar bike that lets you get the bars level with the saddle, or even a touch higher. For a given top tube and stem, a level bar saddle pair will be less of a reach (and require less bending forward) than one with a big saddle to bar drop.
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Old 05-02-10, 05:31 PM   #32
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Hi all,

So this weekend I got to the last bike shops around here and rode a couple more performance hybrids. Basically the short list is down to a Trek 7.5- very svelte in its black and red colours and a DeVinci Amsterdam in its humanist sans serif glory. The carbon fork makes a BIG difference around here, but I will have to ride them some more to make a decision.

Any further ideas on these two would still be appreciated.

I think I may give that Opus another shot after thinking about it some more. I guess I am somewhat worried that if I buy a bike that doesn't fit right away I won't want to ride it due to comfort issues. For me historically speaking when I buy something and I get told, "Don't worry, you will get used to it," ... well... I never do. It would be nice to have the money to buy a bike that fits great right out of the showroom, and one to try and grow into, but I don't have the money... unless one of you lot wants to give me a free a bike, but I won't hold my breath.

Once again, thanks for your time and input!!

EB
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Old 05-02-10, 10:37 PM   #33
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If you're going to try another Opus, look for the Legato or Largo touring bikes. It looks like all of their cyclocross bikes use the same/similar frames. If you don't like the geometry of the Sequence, you probably won't like any of them...
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Old 05-03-10, 01:20 AM   #34
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I'm thinking the Opus you tried may have been to small or just not fitted to you. A true fitting should take close to an hour if not more! I'm thinking short legs long torso at 6' a size 58 would be in order. Do not buy a bike that does not fit or it will be a waste of money. For what you descibe it sounds like you would prefer the flatbar roadbike which hurts me to say as I'm a roadie thru and thru but you need what will make you happy. Opus makes great bikes and you usually end up with better components as they are usually spec'd pretty good for the money. I have a Opus Andante roadbike with over 14000k on it, no issues.
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Old 05-03-10, 02:12 PM   #35
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When I think about northern Canada I remember rough roads, mud, and snow. You might want to check out the Surley Pugsley + Endomorph tires for your trail & snow riding. Get it built up with disc brakes & decent components (Deore XT, etc.). This fits all of your criteria except for weight. However, it will allow you to bike comfortably in all 4 seasons over any type of surface.

I have a LHT and would recommend it except for the lack of disc brakes. Braking is improved with Koolstop Salmon pads & can be pushed further with higher end brake components (Pauls, etc.).

I would completely avoid carbon fiber, it sounds like you are going to be hitting a lot of potholes and rocks.
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Old 05-03-10, 02:59 PM   #36
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Don't think that drop bars are about being "aero." A racer being aero is a result of being strong enough in the legs and light enough in the upper body that they HAVE to lean way forward to put power to the pedals. Which is to say bike racers have an aero position because they are fast, not the other way around!

If you're a clyde, and you're not racing, putting yourself on a deep drop road bike position that works for a guy with no upper body mass is just asking for wrist trouble. No, the kid at your bike shop doesn't understand this or he'd have tried you on a frame that was two or three sizes larger.

Which is not to say that drop bars are bad, they're fabulous, I find they put your wrists in a much better position (if you have them set up high enough) -- flat bars turn my forearms downward and bend my wrists together in a way i find just painful after about ten miles -- and you get multiple hand positions so you can minimize the load on your wrists depending on how hard you are pushing the pedals.

Take a look at the Salsa Fargo, there's a bike with drop bars that are properly placed for more people. And WIDE! Meets all your criteria except for maybe the light weight bit. It's about the weight you'd expect a sturdy touring bike with disc brakes to be.

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Old 05-03-10, 04:01 PM   #37
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Globe Haul 2 or Uptown 8. Bicycle Mag commuter rides for 2010. Both around $1K. You can beef it up a bit if you get a feel to.
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Old 05-03-10, 04:55 PM   #38
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The only CX bike that had there that fit me was an Opus Sequence. I found that no matter where I put my hands, I felt like I was going to get vaulted off the handlebars. In other words I found that I felt canted forwards too much. Also, and I think this is from riding mountain bikes all my life, the bars felt perilously narrow. I was informed that this was a pretty wide bar.

EB
My partner is 6'2", with a 31" inseam. For bike purposes, a 33" standover is juuuuuust barely safe and takes some maneuvering at stops to keep all the delicate bits happy. He rides a 58cm Bianchi San Jose with a longer than stock stem (I don't think it's more than 20mm longer than stock). Not his first choice of bike, since the geometry on it is fairly square, but it's manageable. He's a clyde and a touch lighter than you, and so far the bike is coping fine. (we were working around some pretty different requirements, so for him the singlespeed makes sense) The Volpe is the multispeed version.

Redline's 925 was his first choice bike, but our local shop wasn't able to order a 56cm for us. They were sold out, which sucks since the 925 has compact geometry. That means the top tube is longer than the seat tube, so a 56cm has a more than 58cm top tube. Much more in line with my partner's build.

I'm also a short legs, long torso type. I ride a hybrid because there's not a whole lotta choice... I've got some serious issues with my leg joints, and on a bad pain day I absolutely must have a step through frame or I can't get on and off the bike safely. A good hybrid definitely can be a useful cargo bike, but it's not my first choice because I'm on the small side. It can be pretty tough to find a bike that comes small enough for me and has long enough chainstays to handle the 30-60lbs of cargo I might cram on a bike. It's very difficult for me to keep a front wheel weighted if I accidentally overload the rear, and long chainstays keep me within a safe handling range. (my bike's a 43cm Breezer Villager, and is astonishingly good on rough stuff... but it's unlikely to be available in your area)

There are a range of solutions that might work for you. The exact bikes that work for us probably won't... but you can take a look at the geometry numbers, and see how they compare to stuff you've ridden.
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Old 05-06-10, 07:43 PM   #39
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Hi all,

So as I was clicking send on the last post I remembered that there is one more bike shop to try here. Today I finally got over there.

I hopped on a real purpose built touring bike, an Opus Legato and was really impressed. The geometry was still quite "race", but not really crammed or nervously canted forward like I felt on the Opus Sequence.

Couple things though:
1) I'll have to get used to more pressure being put on my hands than on my current bike.
2) I think I might try a wider bar.
3) I think I might try a shorter stem.
4) I'll have to get used to the idea of half shifts

I also think that I may have to look at touring bikes a little more now that I have actually ridden one.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for your time!!

EB
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Old 05-06-10, 08:38 PM   #40
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Touring bikes are great, but mine is no offroad bike even with knobby tires.
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Old 05-06-10, 10:46 PM   #41
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Couple things though:
1) I'll have to get used to more pressure being put on my hands than on my current bike.
2) I think I might try a wider bar.
3) I think I might try a shorter stem.
4) I'll have to get used to the idea of half shifts
Items #1-3 can all be addressed during bike fitting. The general rule of thumb for handlebars is that they should be about as wide as your shoulders. A shorter more upright stem may allow you to sit more upright and thereby decrease pressure on your hands. It may also be possible to leave the fork's steerer tube longer and place additional spacers underneath the stem to raise the bars.
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Old 05-06-10, 10:48 PM   #42
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Touring bikes are great, but mine is no offroad bike even with knobby tires.
With 700x35 tires, mine seems to work pretty well on rough gravel roads... as long as it's unloaded.
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Old 05-06-10, 11:05 PM   #43
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With 700x35 tires, mine seems to work pretty well on rough gravel roads... as long as it's unloaded.
Mine gets better traction on gravel when it's loaded. And my Mac is better than your PC.
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Old 05-06-10, 11:07 PM   #44
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4) I'll have to get used to the idea of half shifts
What's a half shift?
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Old 05-07-10, 03:46 AM   #45
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It's a triple up front with the two larger chainrings very close together in tooth count. It gives you a half gear step up or down.

It's hard to see, but my old Schwinn Touring bike has a half step crank.



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What's a half shift?
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Old 05-07-10, 09:21 AM   #46
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Oh, that's what that's called. Okay.
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Old 05-07-10, 09:29 AM   #47
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Mine gets better traction on gravel when it's loaded. And my Mac is better than your PC.
I own both Macs and PCs. They're both annoying in their own special way Traction might be better with a load, but my loaded bike is heavy enough that I'm always worried about breaking or losing something when I'm getting bounced around on a poorly maintained road.

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What's a half shift?
I was assuming he was referring to the "trim" position offered by many indexed shifters.

Edit: the Opus Legato is spec'd for a standard 50-39-30 crank, so I don't think Tom's definition applies...
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Old 05-07-10, 12:26 PM   #48
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Hi all,

When I said half shift, I think I was referring to what sstorkel called "trim". Basically on the front dérailleur, on the middle and upper ring, there are 2 positions for the shifter to be in. I think to prevent the chain from grinding on the front dérailleur depending on the gear selected in the cassette.

Are these shifters more finicky to stay calibrated? How about in the cold?

EB
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Old 05-07-10, 01:07 PM   #49
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Hi all,

When I said half shift, I think I was referring to what sstorkel called "trim". Basically on the front dérailleur, on the middle and upper ring, there are 2 positions for the shifter to be in. I think to prevent the chain from grinding on the front dérailleur depending on the gear selected in the cassette.

Are these shifters more finicky to stay calibrated? How about in the cold?

EB
I have that on my Randonee, and the calibration isn't any more or less stable than my straight-ahead triple was on my MTB.
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Old 05-09-10, 08:08 AM   #50
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My partner is 6'2", with a 31" inseam. For bike purposes, a 33" standover is juuuuuust barely safe and takes some maneuvering at stops to keep all the delicate bits happy. He rides a 58cm Bianchi San Jose with a longer than stock stem (I don't think it's more than 20mm longer than stock). Not his first choice of bike, since the geometry on it is fairly square, but it's manageable. .
+1 I have a really short inseam, and a long torso. I compensate for it by giving up standover clearance (I have basically zero) and using a long stem. You can make a huge difference in a bike fit by just changing the stem. Remember, anything for sale at a bike shop is usually set up for an average rider: average arm length, average torso, etc. A good shop will swap stems for you to try out a bike.

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