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  1. #1
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    Special Considerations?

    HI all..anyway I used to pull 125 mile weeks a year and a half ago and dropped weight like melting butter, but in short my mom got sick, and it ended up with us moving across country to be with her, and she just passed away a week ago. All the stress and worry left me not biking at all...and just eating, so now I'm the fattest I've ever been in my life.

    I'm 5'10" and 275. Now when I biked before I used a used road bike that I found that fit my estimated needs as closely as possible, but everything else was already ready to go for the most part. I delt with flats and would just fix them and move on, since I just thought that was part of being a heavier cyclist.

    Now I'm on the verge of buying my first NEW road bike, and don't know if there are special considerations I need to consider. Do I need a stronger frame? Should I get wider tires, to prevent flats, or are flats and I just bedmates forever? Would skinny tires be fine? Do I need to find a higher spoke count for my wheels? Also another thing I was noticing when I used to bike in a rural part of the country, where there were a lot of hills, I used to dream of the day that I'd have a granny gear, or third front gear...and used to promise myself that when I bought a bike it would have one...but almost every bike I see only have two front gears....Do pros just deal with going up those crazy hills with this, or are there specific models with the extra gear?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Wheels 36 spokes with 700 X 28 tires.
    Gearing, triple with chain rings of 50-39-24 for me.
    Cassette 11-34.
    Flats are part of riding. Had one today.
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  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    are triples standard on some models, or will they always be an add on?

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Most new bikes seem to be double.
    My Felt F-80 came with a triple.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  5. #5
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZenRen View Post
    are triples standard on some models, or will they always be an add on?
    Many of the new bikes have double but they are "compact doubles". Which means they have smaller gears than the standard double which gives them gearing that is near if not equal to that of a triple but with two rings up front instead of 3. Reason you don't see too many triples on the shelf.

    Plus, you can switch out the gearing in the rear (cassette) to give you even lower gears on the compact double.

    If you buy a new bike, amuke sure the shop shows you the difference between teh standard and compact double.

  6. #6
    Senior Member dbikingman's Avatar
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    OP spend sometime reading some of the threads here much of what you ask have many threads. And my standard advice is if you currently have a bike ride that for awhile before buying a new bike. You have experience riding and that should help you. But, I feel the bike you get today may not be the bike you want in a few months. Not to counter myself but some say get the bike you need now, not what you want later. But, what I'm trying to caution you on is if you haven't been riding for awhile as you mentioned you are out of shape. I feel there are many more options for a 240 rider than a 275 rider. my .02 cents

  7. #7
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    There are lots of touring, or sport-touring bikes on the market.
    I would look at them because they have strong wheels and 3 rings on the front,
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Don't worry about what the pros do. I would also recommend a touring bike. Maybe a cross bike. Touring bike tend to be a bit heavier but are designed to carry a load. Test ride a lot of them since there are a lot of differences in gearing, frame geometery and equipment.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  9. #9
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    I'm 5'10" and 275. (snip)

    Do I need a stronger frame? Probably not, unless you go looking at some ultra-race frames.
    Should I get wider tires, to prevent flats, or are flats and I just bedmates forever? Would skinny tires be fine? You probably do need something wider than a typical 23mm racing tire. A 25 or maybe slightly wider tire can be used at a lower pressure rating which would be more comfortable and have fewer flats.
    Do I need to find a higher spoke count for my wheels? Probably so, but a high quality, well tensioned wheel is most important. You probably don't want to lightest thing out there, but any good LBS should be able to point you to a variety of wheels/tires that would work. A good thorn-proof tire should be able t prevent most flats.
    Do pros just deal with going up those crazy hills with this, or are there specific models with the extra gear? Yes pros can climb serious stuff that you can't even begin to do even with a tiny granny gear. You can buy great wide geared bikes with the new Apex gearing and triples can still be had (my preference) that will give you low gears and close spacing. As you lose weight you'll be able to climb better and better but for now you're going to need mountain bike gearing on your race bike. Very doable and reasonably common. My buddy just had a 11-36 (!) put on his new Roubaix and he's not even a clyde. Some makers (Specialized) still make triples, some have abandoned triples for Compacts that give you wide gears but at the cost of wide ranges in the rear which I loathe. I prefer a triple with a compact rear to a double with a wide ranging "Compact" on the front.

  10. #10
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I run 700X26 on my road bike, and 700X28 on my Fixed Gear. Don't sweat the frame, unless it's one of the superlightweight "Unobtanium Alloy" frames for racing.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  11. #11
    Commuter & cyclotourist brianogilvie's Avatar
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    I'm 5' 10" and weighed 222 lbs. when I bought my first drop handlebar bike since high school (back in the early '80s). I decided on a Surly Long Haul Trucker: strong 36h wheels, stock 37-622 tires (really 35 mm wide), built to handle lots of weight. It's probably overkill for day rides, but I occasionally find myself on pretty bad roads and I like having a bike that's strong. The LHT is one of the few touring bikes out there that has a reasonably sized triple crank; at least when I was on the market, the others I considered--the Jamis Aurora and the Bianchi Volpe--had much less sensible gearing. The Aurora still has a fairly high low gear for a touring bike.

    A lot of dealers don't keep touring bikes in stock, since there's less demand for them than for skinny tired aluminum or carbon fiber road bikes. But if you look around you can find them.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gunner65's Avatar
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    Not to be endorsing Trek but all of the 1 and 2 series bikes are available in double and triple. I love my triple on KY hills.

  13. #13
    Mystery Meat gitarzan's Avatar
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    All that the previous posters just said, and I am very sorry to hear about your mother. I send you my sincere condolences.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    Is a ukulele player in a mandolin town and banned from all bars by the chief of police unless he leaves his strings and gravy at the front door.

  14. #14
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    Reason you don't see too many triples on the shelf.
    You don't see as many triples because the bike manufacturing and distribution chain does not want more bike, crankset, front derailleur, and left shifter SKUs to make, stock, and sell at a discount when next year's models become available.

    Plus, you can switch out the gearing in the rear (cassette) to give you even lower gears on the compact double.
    A 33 tooth ring is the smallest which will physically fit on a 110mm BCD "compact double" crank.

    A 24 tooth ring is the smallest which fits on a 74mm BCD "road triple" inner position.

    With the same rear cog the triple can produce a gear 38% lower.

    With the same range, until a 34x21 (at which point you'd be better off with 39x23) is enough to get you up anything a triple will also get you an extra cog or two in your cruising range that make it easier to push yourself to go just a hair faster

    For instance,

    50-34 x 11-12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-26

    and

    53-39-30 x 12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23

    have the same over-all range; but the triple gives you more gearing options.

    The triple will also mean less front shifting due to the increased overlap between rings.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 10-31-10 at 07:39 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member MVclyde's Avatar
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    Welcome back!

    +1 on the advice above.

    I don't think you need any special considerations for a road bike except good wheels and a good fitting (so buy whatever bike motivates you to get out there). Probably need to buy the wheels separately (the stock wheels will be ok for a while). Some bike shops will charge you for a fitting, but it's money well spent. The other thing to think about is a good saddle. The stock saddle will probably be an instrument of torture. Search on the forum here for great advice. There are a handful of saddles that stand out for Clydes.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MVclyde View Post
    Probably need to buy the wheels separately (the stock wheels will be ok for a while).
    The biggest problems with the stock wheels will be that they were never stress relieved, that tension may be non-uniform, and tension may be too low.

    These factors combine to produce premature (< 500 miles) failures, especially when ridden by a Clydestale.

    They can all be pre-emptively fixed by a competent wheel builder before you ride the bike.

  17. #17
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    I agree with Drew above. Strong wheels are probably the most important part of the bike for a clyde. I've got an ultra-light alum-carbon racing frame and it's not been a problem and I don't expect it to be. Do know that some models have a weight limit. But when I had it built, I insisted on a good wheelset. When I got the bike, I was 277. I have Mavic Open Pros with 36 spokes in the rear and 32 in the front. They've been good. I also have 700x23 tires. Also, no problem. I've lost 30lbs and hope to lose more and my climbing, although will never be fast, is improving. I have a compact 50x34 crank and it took a few weeks to really get used to it, but I now think it's fine, especially with an 11-28 ten speed cassette-and it's pretty hilly where I live. I might prefer a triple crank, it's hard to say. I've got one on my tourer and have used the granny gear when necessary, but I haven't really needed it on the road bike.

  18. #18
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    I'm 270-260, down from 295; I ride hand built 32 spoke wheels.

    Properly built 32 spoke wheels should be fine. Also 23 tires will be ok.
    There are many threads on good tires. Just make sure they are pumped up to the max.
    Compact gearing instead of a triple. IMO, for reasons given above.

    Just ride, and watch what you eat, the weight will come off.
    Sorry about your mother. Riding my bike helped me find some peace after both of my parents passed away as well.
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr59 View Post
    I'm 270-260, down from 295; I ride hand built 32 spoke wheels.

    Properly built 32 spoke wheels should be fine. Also 23 tires will be ok.

    There are many threads on good tires. Just make sure they are pumped up to the max.
    Skip the 23mm tires.

    You'll be more comfortable on wider tires at lower pressures and faster too (within reason - you loose less energy when the tire deforms instead of the rider and bike bouncing over road texture but once that's happening you get slower).

    At 145-160 pounds I could run 23mm tires at any reasonable pressure without pinch flats; with 95 front and 100 rear feeling good.

    At 205 pounds I had to increase pressures and was running more like 105/110.

    After breaking cords in my last set of tires I figured I'd try bigger next time and bought 25s. They work well for me without pinch flats at the same 95/100 pounds I used to ride.

    Some wider tires aren't so good, but that's because they're not so good tires and not the width. You need to be comparing the same tire model, like a Continental Gatorskin in 23/25/28mm.
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 11-01-10 at 03:05 PM.

  20. #20
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    So sorry for your loss.

    Another vote here for a touring-type of bike; tough, comfy, and versatile. Many cyclocross bikes share features of touring bikes, but are more performance-oriented. Lastly, most of the big manufacturers offer "fitness", "endurance", or "recreational" road bikes which often offer triples up front and have a less aggressive riding position then all-out race bikes.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

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