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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 05-23-10, 12:25 PM   #1
aevans01
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Help a clyde decide

So this is my first post, and I'd appreciate some help. I used to mountain bike heavily in my teens, but went to university, stopped riding and plumped up to a juicy 235 @ 6'. After having my first child I'm getting back into it to try and get healthy so I can live to see my kid get old. I want to get rid of my mountain bike and get a fitness bike to commute to work, and for longer rides on the weekends. my budget is max about $600 (canadian) and I've broken it down to 3 bikes, hopefully some fellow clydes will be able to help me figure out which will work best for me with my girth and expected milage (100-125 KM or 60-80 Miles per week)

here are the three I've widled it down too...

Giant rapid 3...
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-CA/...ow/5400/39715/

this would be the sportiest, and fastest of the bikes I'm looking at. however it's 28's and my inability to find if it's wheels are double walled have me thinking it might not be the best suited for my situation.

Louis Garneau Urbania 2.0...

http://www.louisgarneau.com/ca-en/pr.../_/URBANIA_2.0

this bike might be the best for my situation, it's got 28's but the wheels are double walled, I don't mind at all that it has the suspension seat post, and it has a carbon reinforced fork which may help with comfort and weight. The only problem with this bike is that there is no local dealer so I haven't been able to test drive one and I can't find the weight of it on-line anywhere

Norco VFR three...

http://www.norco.com/bikes/urban/vfr/vfr-three/

this bike is $100 cheaper then the other two, seems to have decent materials but lacks the more sporty nature of the Giant or the extra features of the LG. However it is the only of the 3 with 35's which should improve comfort and be better with my weight. it's definitly more of a comfort cruiser then the others.


any input would help me out a bunch, I'd like to buy this week, the weather is beautiful and I'm aching to get at it!
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Old 05-23-10, 12:28 PM   #2
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Giant. I bought the Defy 2 Compact at the in April and love it.
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Old 05-23-10, 06:17 PM   #3
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i woudl say giant, but I cant really tell you why.....235 is not that heavy, however, would you bottom out the suspension seat on the LG? At your weight (light for a clyde) and considering you are not offroading this thing I would not be hugely concerned with a single walled if that is what the Giant is. Just make sure that you have the LBS retension your wheels after a few hundred miles.
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Old 05-24-10, 09:30 AM   #4
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I have and love my Giant Suede DX - so I vote for Giant! Just make sure the LBS you go to has been around awhile, and will take good care of you.
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Old 05-24-10, 09:56 AM   #5
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Giant all the way, I bought the Rapid 3 in February and I'm 6'3 235lbs was closer to 250lbs when I bought it, I'm a personal trainer so I'm pretty fit at my weight and push the pedals hard and I live in nyc and ride it on some very rough, potholed roads. It's a very fast bike and all around great performer for me. I use it to commute around the city to my clients but I love it so much I've also been taking it on longer rides between 20-40 miles at least once a week. It's a great bike and it only cost $549 american dollars

BTW, I put kevlar laced specialized armadillos on my bike for flat protection because of my added weight and the nature of NYC streets, i've only had one flat tire from glass since I put them on, I had numerous flats with the stockers in the first 2 weeks. The armadillos are spec'd as 700 x 28 but in reality they measure out to be much larger. A lot of people on here like the gatorskins for flat protection. If your riding on regular streets that are free from debris, the stock ones will probably be fine.

One last thing, the Rapid 3 does have double walled rims. If you go to Giant USA's website and look at the complete specs they are listed as Giant Sport Road double wall

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Old 05-24-10, 10:15 AM   #6
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If you have a specialized dealer near you, check out the Sirrus line. The base model is around $500 and its a fast fun bike.

Of your selections, the giant looks to be pretty nice, but that norco actually looks decent.

Test ride all 3 and see what you like best...that is what I would do!
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Old 05-24-10, 10:19 AM   #7
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sounds like the giant is the run away winner so far. thanks CPfitness, your the first person in a similar situation as me that I've spoken too who actually owns one of the bikes so your info is very helpful. I'm going to test out the norco and giant tomorrow morning, but I would still really like to try the LG. it has some really nice features at the same price as the Giant. For anyone interested the Giant is 599, the norco 499 and the LG 619 (all canadian). keep the opinions coming!
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Old 05-24-10, 10:55 AM   #8
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looking at the specs on the norco, it's components are low end Mtn bike components the giant has low end sora road bike components. If it were me, I'd go with the giant because of the gearing up front. you've got 30/42/52 vs 28/38/48 I'd much rather have the large big gear up front to max out my top end because the 30 tooth small ring up front is going to be plenty easy to get up the biggest of hills. but I agree the Norco looks to be solid overall and if money is a big issue it may fit the bill but I can tell you the rapid is a fast bike and it weighs in at 25lbs stock (weighed it on my scale at home) so it's far from being super duper light but for it's class I think it's pretty light.
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Old 05-24-10, 11:27 AM   #9
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The LG doesn't use shimano components and I'm not really well versed is the SRAM stuff, does anyone know how it's bits stack up to the giants?

Frame- Performance geometry, Hydro-Nerv technology tubing, Twin Flex seat stays, butted 6061-T6 alloy
Fork- Garneau Pulse Symbiosis, carbon reinforced, 28.6 mm threadless alloy steerer
Rims- Maddux DT21, 700c, alloy, CNC double wall
hubs- JY, alloy, sealed, 28H, Q/R front, JY, cassette, alloy, sealed, 28H, Q/Rrear
crank- Suntour XCT-V2, alloy, 28/38/48T
chain- KMC Z72, 1/2'' x 3/32''
rear cogs- Sram PG820, 11-28T, 8 speeds
bottom bracket- VP, sealed cartridge, square taper, 68x110 mm
front derailer- Sram 3.0, 31.8 mm
rear derailer- Sram VIA, 8 speeds
shifters- Sram VIA, trigger, 8 speeds
brake set- Tektro 837, alloy V-brake with linear spring
brake levers- Tektro RS360, 2-finger lever, alloy
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Old 05-24-10, 11:51 AM   #10
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none of the above. get a drop bar road bike. I'm 6' and my MAX weight was 235. I'm now 219 and while that isn't much loss I've transformed that weight so I'm not so pudgy, etc. I say get the drop bars cuz the flat bars just don't let you get adequate leverage on the pedals to get from point A to point B as well as drop bars. I started with a MTB, then got a hybrid, then put drop bars on it, then finally got a proper road bike with drop bars. most of my riding was 34 miles round trip but I've gravitated toward longer joy rides on the weekends. so far since November I'm up to 1,178 miles so I should beat my 2,000 miles before September when my schedule goes haywire and I have to stop riding until November again.

... so ... none of the above. get a drop bar road bike. (in my humble opinion)
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Old 05-24-10, 10:02 PM   #11
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none of the above. get a drop bar road bike. I'm 6' and my MAX weight was 235. I'm now 219 and while that isn't much loss I've transformed that weight so I'm not so pudgy, etc. I say get the drop bars cuz the flat bars just don't let you get adequate leverage on the pedals to get from point A to point B as well as drop bars. I started with a MTB, then got a hybrid, then put drop bars on it, then finally got a proper road bike with drop bars. most of my riding was 34 miles round trip but I've gravitated toward longer joy rides on the weekends. so far since November I'm up to 1,178 miles so I should beat my 2,000 miles before September when my schedule goes haywire and I have to stop riding until November again.

... so ... none of the above. get a drop bar road bike. (in my humble opinion)
its too bad, I see your just west of boston, I was in Worcester and if this thread came up last week I would have brought my flat bar rapid and raced you. there isn't that much difference in the geometry and positioning, the flat bar rapid is practically a clone of the drop bar Defy. The OP is also looking to possibly commute and the Rapid can easily be equipped with racks. I will agree for my long rides, i want a 2nd bike with drop bars but for someone with money issues that needs versatility the flat bar rapid is a trememdous value.
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Old 05-25-10, 09:49 AM   #12
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I test drove the Norco the giant and the specialized sirius this morning and went with the rapid three. It's the exact same bike as the Defy 4 road bike except for the handle bar and the others definitly felt more like comfort cruisers by comparison. The giant was definitly more the style I was looking for, I can't wait to get riding it.

In clyde-like fashion I blew a tube while trying the specialized. I walked back into the shop and did my best chris farley "I HAVE A WEIGHT PROBLEM!"
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Old 05-25-10, 03:23 PM   #13
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When I was doing my 'test rides' I always asked them to check the tire pessure before I even got on it - course, compared to me, you're tiny...
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Old 05-26-10, 06:41 AM   #14
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Sorry to chime in late on this, but good call on the Giant. I don't know about the other two, but I have a Giant FCR 2. I believe the FCR's are pretty similar to this year's Rapid line, and I've had great experiences with Giant so far. The LBS I go to has two locations and sells Giant, Trek, and can get Masi bikes too. With that being said, the owner of the business runs the new location here in town and he sells Giant bikes exclusively there. He just really believes in them, so that's a huge influence in my decision for my next bike, which I'm thinking might be a Defy. I love my FCR, but I'm getting the itch for something slightly more road-ish.

Anyway...good call!
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Old 05-26-10, 07:09 AM   #15
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i passed an FCR in central park a couple days ago, the paint scheme is exactly the same as the rapid, I thought it was a rapid with drops!
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Old 06-03-10, 10:57 PM   #16
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An update for anyone interested. I've only put 70 KM on the bike in the 10 days I've had it due to rain but I LOVE IT. very fast bike compared to all the mountain bikes I've had in the past, and i'm actually quite happy with the gear set, it's shifted quite well so far. I don't love the seat, it's a little firm on the bum so I might change it out with something with just a bit more padding. that's the only negative I have and that's nitpicking pretty bad. I've also come to find out that you can't take a corner on 700C's in the rain like you can in a mountain bike. I got caught in the rain on the way home today and didn't even think about letting off for a corner, cause I never would in a mountain bike, and out she went. a little road rash on me and a tiny scratch on the rear derailleur but nothing serious, just a lesson learned. I was glad it happened when I was going 25KM/h instead of one of the spots where I'm going 45 km/h or so. that would have hurt more.
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Old 06-03-10, 11:22 PM   #17
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ACK! OUCH!

Least you got the first scratch over with!!

Glad you love the bike - IMO - the weak points are seats and tires with new bikes it seems... Don't know for sure, but I bet with better tires, that wouldn't have happened... just a thought.
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Old 06-03-10, 11:42 PM   #18
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its too bad, I see your just west of boston, I was in Worcester and if this thread came up last week I would have brought my flat bar rapid and raced you. .
I agree with Rumrunndude! Well heck, if you're ever in California, I'll race my drops against your flatbars. I'll even put $5 on it!


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but for someone with money issues that needs versatility the flat bar rapid is a trememdous value.
That makes no sense at all! OP said he wanted a bike to commute AND longer rides on the weekend. Drop bars are far more comfy on long rides. So why not go with drops for both styles (OP's needs)?...NO, flat bars are not a tremendous value for long rides!

A seatpost clamp rack can be had for $20'ish

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Old 06-04-10, 06:18 AM   #19
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her budget was 600 Canadian dollars max. The rapid is just as fast as any entry level drop bar bike and is 200-300 bucks less which is the biggest part of the value quotient. Op give the stock seat a few weeks. I do 50 miles on mine with no cycling shorts without issue now that my rear is broken in.

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Old 06-05-10, 04:30 AM   #20
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ya the seat seems to be getting a bit more comfortable with time so maybe I just need to get used to it. my budget was $600 and the cheapest drop bar I could find was either a TCR 2 on sale for 900 ( which is a great bike for that price) but it's a Xroad, besides that everything else was over a grand at all the shops i went to. I think that for my price/needs this bike is a great bit of give and take. I'm used to the straight bar from mountain bikes as well so it eases the transition. if in a couple years i feel the need to, ill upgrade to drop bars, but as of now I think I'd lean slightly more towards a bike like the TCR then a road bike because I still do feel the need to do some trails. only time will tell.
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Old 06-06-10, 05:26 PM   #21
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honestly, you made a great choice with this bike. I just got back from a weekend back home to see my nephew graduate college. My older brother bought the drop bar defy 3 which is practically a copy of the rapid's geometry but with the drop bars.

The shifting on the DEFY 3 is TERRIBLE. I was contemplating converting my rapid to drop bars using the shifters from someone here with the defy 3 who is swapping his out but after riding my brothers, I won't bother. I will definately just save my money and prob buy a 2nd bike when I'm really ready to make the investment.
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Old 06-06-10, 07:03 PM   #22
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i passed an FCR in central park a couple days ago, the paint scheme is exactly the same as the rapid, I thought it was a rapid with drops!
rapid is just the new name for fcr
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