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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 08-18-10, 08:48 PM   #1
Seve
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Hybrid to Road Bike / Opinions

Hello All:

New member here and this is my first posting. I have spent much time reading through the forums here and have learned quite a few interesting things,

A little background:

I'm 53, a HA survivor and a Clyde

Started out at the beginning of summer at 245 and have gotten down to 218 to date mostly the result of daily biking as well as diet. :-) I would very much like to get to the low 180's .
I have 1,000 + kms to date.

My current bike is an Urban / Hybrid and it's great around the city streets and for dodging cars etc. but it seems to be not that well suited for the longer road trips or maybe it's my imagination. There is a link here if anyone needs to know more details etc. http://www.adrenalinebikes.com/store...ain%20Bicycles

I have been led to believe by other cyclists friends and maybe a little due to my own eyes, that I would be doing myself a favour if I moved to a Road Bike. I have been doing more and longer road trips and would like to continue doing this.

To that end I've been looking at some road bikes and if and when I break the sub 200 I'm thinking of making the switch.
This is one of the bikes I was looking at [upper end of my budget]: http://****************/road-bikes/tr...5-1-road-bike/

Does anyone have any experience with this model of Trek or have any other opinions / suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 08-18-10, 08:58 PM   #2
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Do you have any back issues? While there are two different types of geometry for the Madone, they both have you leaning over fairly aggressively. If you don't think you need an more upright position (but not fully upright), then I suppose it is as good as any other bike in that price range. My back is meh, so I would require a bike with a taller headtube to allow me greater ease in setting the bars level with my saddle. Something to consider, at least.
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Old 08-18-10, 09:14 PM   #3
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I don't think you necessarily need a new bike, although going N+1 is always fun.

You might want to put some thought into what about your current fit on your current bike is giving you trouble over long distances. A stop by your LBS may help with that. As for doing long rides on non "road bikes"... well that's nothing new either. Everyone is different, I've done all of my recent distance riding on a mountain bike, knobbies and all. Your city bike is much better suited to it than my mountain bike, that's for sure. You can always experiment with thinner tires and altered gearing if you feel your bike is too slow. Personally, I just got a spare wheelset for my mountain bike, and will be putting some road oriented tires on it and a 11-27T cassette. That way I can keep my offroad gearing and tires separate from my road riding, for less than laying out for a whole new bike. The Madone is more synonymous with road racing and high speeds, not necessarily comfort over the long haul (although it certainly can be used for distances). You should put thought to several factors including whether or not you would like to have fenders for bad weather, and whether you are more into touring or road racing and/or the hammerfest (30-50 mile rides at 20+mph average).

I recommend riding a lot of bikes and make your decision over what feels best for you. If the Madone is the answer, then go for it!
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Old 08-18-10, 09:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply deep_sky

I never thought about that, but, I haven't had any back issues so far.
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Old 08-18-10, 09:27 PM   #5
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I don't think you necessarily need a new bike, although going N+1 is always fun.

You might want to put some thought into what about your current fit on your current bike is giving you trouble over long distances. A stop by your LBS may help with that. As for doing long rides on non "road bikes"... well that's nothing new either. Everyone is different, I've done all of my recent distance riding on a mountain bike, knobbies and all. Your city bike is much better suited to it than my mountain bike, that's for sure. You can always experiment with thinner tires and altered gearing if you feel your bike is too slow. Personally, I just got a spare wheelset for my mountain bike, and will be putting some road oriented tires on it and a 11-27T cassette. That way I can keep my offroad gearing and tires separate from my road riding, for less than laying out for a whole new bike. The Madone is more synonymous with road racing and high speeds, not necessarily comfort over the long haul (although it certainly can be used for distances). You should put thought to several factors including whether or not you would like to have fenders for bad weather, and whether you are more into touring or road racing and/or the hammerfest (30-50 mile rides at 20+mph average).

I recommend riding a lot of bikes and make your decision over what feels best for you. If the Madone is the answer, then go for it!
Good points.

I like my current bike a lot. I know that I am much more upright when riding versus a road bike and I don't think there is much I can do about that. I never thought about changing out tires etc. although I'm not sure if it's the tires or just the old fat guy [Me] that makes me slow.

I like the longer rides "crop touring" in the countryside and continuing to work on my cardio / heart health and have no interest in racing.
I have followed some of the advice I picked up here and have been practising on hill climbing, but I have to watch that I don't overdo things given the condition of my heart.
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Old 08-18-10, 09:41 PM   #6
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I recently went through a similar decision making process... I settled on a specialized allez elite because it was the least expensive of the LBS models that had the 105 grouppo and it fit me very well. If my budget was where yours is, I would have had a hard time not getting the specialized roubaix. I have never read a bad word about the bike, everyone locally that has them loves them, and they are both comfortable and fast. If you aren't going to be racing, it seems hard to beat, at least with the 'name brand' bikes.
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Old 08-18-10, 09:51 PM   #7
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I recently went through a similar decision making process... I settled on a specialized allez elite because it was the least expensive of the LBS models that had the 105 grouppo and it fit me very well. If my budget was where yours is, I would have had a hard time not getting the specialized roubaix. I have never read a bad word about the bike, everyone locally that has them loves them, and they are both comfortable and fast. If you aren't going to be racing, it seems hard to beat, at least with the 'name brand' bikes.
Thanks for the reply

I'm not brand loyal by any means and as a matter of fact I did look at the Specialized, but I'm pretty sure the Roubaix was too expensive and too good for me.
I thought the Tarmac was close to the Trek Madone but the Trek was less expensive.
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Old 08-19-10, 07:18 AM   #8
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The Giant Defy line might also be something to check out.
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Old 08-19-10, 07:26 AM   #9
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I'm comfortable with the middle of my drops at the height of my saddle, so the top of my bars is above the saddle and the bottom of the drops is below the saddle height. I'm 51 6' 217lbs with back issues.
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Old 08-19-10, 07:44 AM   #10
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Thanks for the reply

I'm not brand loyal by any means and as a matter of fact I did look at the Specialized, but I'm pretty sure the Roubaix was too expensive and too good for me.
I thought the Tarmac was close to the Trek Madone but the Trek was less expensive.
according to the specialized website, the base roubaix msrp is $1900, but they go up to $7200.... from my perspective, the jump from 105 to ultegra wasn't worth much in terms of performance, but it added cost, so I would think about the base model with the 105 grouppo. As you go upwards in price the frame changes to different carbon or something, so the $2200 models might be worth something extra, however.

The Tarmac is like the Madone, but I am not sure the roubaix has a direct replacement in the trek line. Basically the roubaix is set up for a little more comfort, and from what I read is slightly less nimble because of the longer wheelbase, but worth the tradeoff if you arent racing around tight turns. They used them in the cobblestone sections of the tour de france, I think, but not the mountains.

As you can see... I want one! But I don't work for specialized! =o)
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Old 08-19-10, 08:58 AM   #11
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It really depends on what you want to improve. I started on a hybrid in Jan of 09. After a couple months, I swapped the 32 tires for 25's. Gave up a little comfort, but it rolled easier. Over time, I lowered the handlebars and kept wishing I had the drops of a road bike. I ended up doing 4 centuries on my hybrid that year, and riding it over 3500 miles. Not huge numbers, but the most I had ever ridden in one year.

April of this year, I got a Fuji Roubiax from Performance. It doesn't really help me go longer distances, my pacing, fitness and nutrition along the ride dictate that. It is a little lighter, and a little faster. It is nimbler in the corners and more stable on high speed descents. And it is easier to maintain 20+ mph on the road bike than it is on the hybrid, but not by a huge margin.

I love my road bike. I choose it for a ride 9 times out of 10. But I don't think a road bike is going to substantially increase your distance ability. You could swap the tires on your hybrid to the type of tires you would be running on the Madone, and see if you like the change.
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Old 08-19-10, 09:37 AM   #12
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I feel almost like a broken record since I got them, but I am a huge fan of my butterfly-style trekking handlebars. I installed them on my hybrid, and I found that in addition to the variety of hand positions it offers (which is nice on longer rides), I ride less upright than I did before on my old riser bars, too. Some liken some of the hand positions on trekking bars to riding on the hoods on a drop bar bike. They would allow you to keep your current shifters and brake levers, too. And, as you might infer from the name, they are designed with distance riding in mind.

Pair those with some different gearing and/or skinner slick tires and you may have a bike that works well for you.

That being said, if you've got the money, don't let me stop you from getting a new road bike. FWIW, I have read lots of good things about the Roubaix as a road bike for distance riding, and it's designed to be a little more comfortable and upright than a pure racing bike like the Madone.

You might also consider checking out a touring bike like the Surly Long Haul Trucker, Trek 520, or Jamis Aurora just to name a few. Those bikes are also designed for comfort over long days in the saddle, but offer many of the advantages of other road bikes.

Just my 2.

Good luck and keep up the good work!
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Old 08-19-10, 06:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Seve View Post
Hello All:

New member here and this is my first posting. I have spent much time reading through the forums here and have learned quite a few interesting things,

A little background:

I'm 53, a HA survivor and a Clyde

Started out at the beginning of summer at 245 and have gotten down to 218 to date mostly the result of daily biking as well as diet. :-) I would very much like to get to the low 180's .
I have 1,000 + kms to date.

My current bike is an Urban / Hybrid and it's great around the city streets and for dodging cars etc. but it seems to be not that well suited for the longer road trips or maybe it's my imagination. There is a link here if anyone needs to know more details etc. http://www.adrenalinebikes.com/store...ain%20Bicycles

I have been led to believe by other cyclists friends and maybe a little due to my own eyes, that I would be doing myself a favour if I moved to a Road Bike. I have been doing more and longer road trips and would like to continue doing this.

To that end I've been looking at some road bikes and if and when I break the sub 200 I'm thinking of making the switch.
This is one of the bikes I was looking at [upper end of my budget]: http://****************/road-bikes/tr...5-1-road-bike/

Does anyone have any experience with this model of Trek or have any other opinions / suggestions?

Thanks
It really depends on what you want to do, and how far you want to go... Hybrids are usually good for shorter rides, road bikes are better for longer rides, however there are two kinds of road bikes, there are road racing bikes, for when you want to go faster, they are light weight, have aggressive geometries, tall gearing and are good for when you want to impress the skinnies at the Saturday morning club ride. The other kind of road bike, is the road touring bike (sometimes called just touring bike), these are heavier, often have rack and fender mounts, room for several bottle cages, much less aggressive geometries, low gearing, and don't seem to mind when bike, gear and motor are putting 300lbs on the 40mm wide tires
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Old 08-21-10, 05:50 PM   #14
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Thank you all for the replies they have been very helpful.

It's clear that I have some more homework to do. There are so many models and features available that I find it somewhat confusing when I go to the LBS and I don't want to end up with something that the store wants to sell me for their reasons and isn't really right for me.

EKW in DC
I have tried a few things with the bars and ended up with bar ends which have worked out pretty well for me with eliminating hand fatigue.
I might try some thinner tires to see how they work as well, thanks for the suggestions.

Wogsterca
Some good points, thanks.

The only way I'm going to impress anyone on Sunday morning is by parking by bike inside the church


Big Question ?

Should I bother going through a formal bike fitting process or is that only for custom built road bikes ?

Thanks
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Old 08-21-10, 07:17 PM   #15
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Thank you all for the replies they have been very helpful.

It's clear that I have some more homework to do. There are so many models and features available that I find it somewhat confusing when I go to the LBS and I don't want to end up with something that the store wants to sell me for their reasons and isn't really right for me.

EKW in DC

I have tried a few things with the bars and ended up with bar ends which have worked out pretty well for me with eliminating hand fatigue.
I might try some thinner tires to see how they work as well, thanks for the suggestions.

Wogsterca
Some good points, thanks.

The only way I'm going to impress anyone on Sunday morning is by parking by bike inside the church


Big Question ?

Should I bother going through a formal bike fitting process or is that only for custom built road bikes ?

Thanks
I parked my bike outside of church, impressed the heck out of the minister, as I live in another part of the city...... Have been debating about doing a club ride, on SATURDAY though.....
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Old 08-23-10, 05:12 PM   #16
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Seve - First of all, kudos to you for making the change to a healthier lifestyle and dropping the lbs. From your post, looks like you're off to a great start. Contrary to what Lance Armstrong says, sometimes it is about the bike. I've done a metric century and numerous 50 mile + rides on my hybrid, but it isn't a picnic, (especially trying to coax a 35 lb. beast up a hill). After 3 years of riding a hybrid, I decided that a road bike would be a lot more efficient and felt that it would be worth the investment to have something a bit lighter and easier to manuever. I test rode quite a few of the "fitness" bikes, (Specialized Sirrus, Kona Dew, Cannondale Bad Boy, etc.), and while I was impressed with the handling, I thought a road bike might be a better choice. I did ride a few high end bikes, including a Trek Madone 5.2, a Specialized Tarmac Pro, even a couple of single speeds, but the bike that I really fell in love with was a Cyclocross bike, (the Specialized Tricross Comp), since it was a good balance of light weight and durability. (By the way, I'm 52, currently about 200 lbs. and commute to work via bike, subway, bike to my office in downtown Los Angeles, so I was looking for something that could take a beating on streets that probably haven't been repaved since the Nixon administration).

So to answer your question, road or hybrid - like many of the other posters have said, it depends. Test ride lots of bikes, make notes of your impressions, and narrow those choices down to your top three or four. Many of the suggestions on bikes to check out have been spot on, (any of the Surly line, the Roubaix, and Kona are all great bikes). The other thing that sealed the deal on my purchase of the Tricross Comp was the fact that my LBS had an '09 model that was immaculate that they were trying to move out to make room for the 2011 models. You might want to check around for "last years model" of the bike you decide on, and see what kind of a deal they can make for you.

Good luck and make sure to let the forums know when you decide to pull the trigger!!
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Old 08-24-10, 01:44 AM   #17
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Should I bother going through a formal bike fitting process or is that only for custom built road bikes ?

Thanks
If you can afford it, yes you should, and no it isn't. Very few people buy custom, but there is much that can be done to make standard frames more comfortable - changing stem length and angle, saddle height and position, adjusting cleats and so on. Most of us got there by trial and error, but people often endure years of discomfort because they don't know what the problem is. And, of course, frames vary - so a 58cm frame from one model might be right, while you need a 56cm in another.

With regard to choice of bike, I agree with the suggestions about more relaxed geometry - Specialized Roubaix, Giant Defy, or light tourers. All very comfortable bikes and certainly quick enough for anything short of crit racing. And you might consider the Kona ***** tonk. Nice road bike, versatile enough to put a rack on if you wanted to tour or just carry some gear, looks pretty classy - to my eyes, at least...
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Old 08-24-10, 07:34 PM   #18
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If you can afford it, yes you should, and no it isn't. Very few people buy custom, but there is much that can be done to make standard frames more comfortable - changing stem length and angle, saddle height and position, adjusting cleats and so on. Most of us got there by trial and error, but people often endure years of discomfort because they don't know what the problem is. And, of course, frames vary - so a 58cm frame from one model might be right, while you need a 56cm in another.

With regard to choice of bike, I agree with the suggestions about more relaxed geometry - Specialized Roubaix, Giant Defy, or light tourers. All very comfortable bikes and certainly quick enough for anything short of crit racing. And you might consider the Kona ***** tonk. Nice road bike, versatile enough to put a rack on if you wanted to tour or just carry some gear, looks pretty classy - to my eyes, at least...
Thanks for the suggestions chasm54. I have decided that I will go to a shop that will do a formal fitting and either pay for it or have it as part of a bike purchase.

I'm going to keep my current hybrid as I really like it and it already has a rack, trunk and panniers etc. which I use all the time to go shopping for groceries and all manner of things. Once I get a road bike I will probably leave the panniers on my hybrid all the time.

I'd like to end up with a pure road bike that I will only be using in non-urban areas for the most part.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:59 PM   #19
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ride as many bikes as you can before you buy one. There's a whole lot of bikes out there, and htere's a huge variation in what people like. An awful lot of what makes one bike different from another is subjective, and riding a whole bunch of bikes is a good way to figure out if you like something or not.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:25 PM   #20
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ride as many bikes as you can before you buy one. There's a whole lot of bikes out there, and htere's a huge variation in what people like. An awful lot of what makes one bike different from another is subjective, and riding a whole bunch of bikes is a good way to figure out if you like something or not.
Thanks for the reply.

I have been more or less following what you have suggested. It has helped a lot with not only the likes and dislikes of certain bikes, but, in finding out a lot about different groupsets and other technical information which I was pretty hazy on or just didn't have any idea at all.
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