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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 02-04-11, 04:30 PM   #1
side_FX
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Is the Trek FX series a good ride for a clyde?

I think I want to buy a Trek FX. I am torn between the 7.3 or stepping up to the 7.5. I am approx. 250 pds. and those wheels on both seem so flimsy looking. I know the 7.5 would feel quicker, but is the alloy fork on the 7.3 reallt the smarter move for a heavier rider? I am looking for comfort up to 20-30 miles, not so much on speed. I also saw a GF Marlin mountain bike right next to them in the showroom and I wondered if putting slicks on something like that would be better? i looked pretty sturdy but I guess would be a tank on the road?
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Old 02-04-11, 04:41 PM   #2
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I think the FX series are great bikes. I don't know much about different models in the lineup, so I can't advise you on that, but I can share some personal experience. I started my cycling transformation in early 2009 on a Trek 7.2 FX at about 345 lbs., and I still have it and ride it regularly. It's my commuter bike now, and it sees a lot of rough miles during cycling season. It has held up great, and the only minor issue I've had with it is a creaking crank, so I have to tighten the crank bolts and service the bottom bracket occasionally, but it's a very minor issue.

I'd recommend the FX and not the mountain bike if you're going to be riding mostly on paved paths, roads, trails, etc. I wouldn't opt for the mountain bike unless you're planning to off-road the majority of the time. I still ride my mountain bike, and I find its inefficiency on hard surfaces to be a little discouraging. But, I love it on the trails.
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Old 02-04-11, 04:46 PM   #3
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At your weight you are going to pop spokes and have trouble with the wheels on any model. My LBS says the wheels with fewer spokes are actually stronger because of better materials and tension. But I have doubt about that and would recommend you get a bike with regular 14ga spokes so you can change them out yourself, plus they are cheap. I doubt if the FX bikes would feel that much difference in quickness. Since the 7.3 has isolation built into the handlebars it should not be that much difference between the alloy and carbon fork. Most LBS sales people will tell you to buy higher end components due to their longevity. That has not been my exeprience, I find the low to mid grade components work just fine.
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Old 02-04-11, 04:53 PM   #4
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I wouldn't worry too much about the wheels. Buy what you like, ride it, and deal with issues as they arise. I've not experienced any of the wheel issues that many are concerned with, and I have a 100 pound advantage (?) on you. I'm still riding the factory wheels on the FX and have yet to pop a spoke in many miles ridden. I do have it serviced regularly including a basic wheel truing. Also, I top off my tire inflation before every ride, no exceptions.
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Old 02-04-11, 05:16 PM   #5
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I wouldn't worry too much about the wheels. Buy what you like, ride it, and deal with issues as they arise. I've not experienced any of the wheel issues that many are concerned with, and I have a 100 pound advantage (?) on you. I'm still riding the factory wheels on the FX and have yet to pop a spoke in many miles ridden. I do have it serviced regularly including a basic wheel truing. Also, I top off my tire inflation before every ride, no exceptions.

+1
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Old 02-04-11, 05:44 PM   #6
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I think a hybrid bike like the Trek FX 7.# series is a great pick for someone getting back into riding. The 7.3 and the 7.5 each have features I like. The 7.3 has the steel fork, 32 spoke wheels and 11-32 cassette.
The 7.5 has a higher quality drivetrain but as a clyde, I don't like the carbon fork or lower spoke wheels and radial spokes. The 11-28 cassette does not give you as low gears as the 7.3.

I'd suggest get the 7.3, and use the money you saved to get a rear rack and perhaps fenders, some biking shorts a floor pump and a helmet. You also need a bell. All serious clydes have a bell on their bike.

Happy riding.
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Old 02-04-11, 07:58 PM   #7
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I have a 7.2 and have popped the back spoke 4 times. The wheels have been warrantied twice and I just had the back wheel rebuilt by my LBS and they promised it was now bombproof.

I started riding at about 300 pounds, and did 6 metric centuries with the Trek 7.2. It is a solid bike and have had no issues except for the back tire spokes.

I did put bar ends on the handlebars as to give my hands a second position and they work great. Matter of fact, a user from this site sold them to me very cheap.
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Old 02-05-11, 08:43 AM   #8
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When I started my biking journey I was 291 lbs and dusted off an old Trek 720 (older hybrid, similar style to 7.2) It had been sitting in my garage unused for ten years. I had my local LBS give it a tune up and off I went. No problems at all with spokes or anything else. Rode it all the way down to 230 lbs and then bought my Trek 2.1. Still occasionally ride the 720, it works like a charm. I agree 100% with the poster who said to check tire pressures before every ride and to have wheel trued/re-tensioned on a regualr basis. Your weight should be absolutely no problem.
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Old 02-06-11, 05:04 PM   #9
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Do you think it makes more sense for someone at 250+ pounds to get a steel bike? I was all set to go for the 7.3 when I wandered around the LBS and saw a Jamis Coda Sport. Bike looked nice and I hear that steel is a much more forgiving ride. Would that be a better fit for a clyde? Is there more problems with up keep (rusting) vs. an aluminum bike?
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Old 02-06-11, 05:27 PM   #10
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I don't think there is a problem with steel frames rusting unless you live near some heavy industry with high SO2 output. (Some Pulp mills, Steel mills, etc.) But then, your health problems are bigger than your rust problem anyway.
Back when all bikes were all steel I use to have to clean the rust off my rims, chrome fenders, handlebars and and chain guard. I don't remember rust ever being a problem on the frame.
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Old 02-06-11, 05:41 PM   #11
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The 2011 Jamis Coda Sport looks like a really nice all round bike.
The features I like are the 32 spoke wheels, the low gears (11/32 cassette and 48/36/26 crank) and that it has eyelets, ready to mount racks and fenders. The quick release on the seat post is a gimmick, just inviting someone to steal your seat. Have it replaced with a bolt-on clamp.

Talk to the sales staff about bike "fit". With my saddle the right height, I want my handlebars at the same height or higher. Not too long a top-tube so that you are not carrying your torso weight on your arms.
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Old 02-06-11, 10:40 PM   #12
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Go with the Jamis Coda. Way better bikes for the money!

I love my Sirrus, but the Coda is a nice bike and the Steel frame will soak up vibration much better. Jamis also tends to spec their bikes a little better than anyone else for the money.

As for wheels, my Sirrus has 32 spoke wheels and with proper truing and tensioning hold up fine to my 230lbs.
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Old 02-07-11, 11:00 AM   #13
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I have a 7.2FX and would totally recommend the FX line. I'm currently at about 241lbs. (Up from 220 when I started riding (I gained weight when I quit smoking)). I've had no problems at all. It's my commuter with rack and panniers, and a weekend fitness rider. Given the choice, I would buy it all over again.
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Old 02-07-11, 08:45 PM   #14
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I was looking for a road bike to buy for when I get to 260. Hopefully in two months. I ran into a bike shop that had a rider on a Areo Cat and he was 254. He said I should not have any problem with Carbon at that size. Has anyone had problems with carbon at that weight?
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Old 02-08-11, 09:14 AM   #15
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I was looking for a road bike to buy for when I get to 260. Hopefully in two months. I ran into a bike shop that had a rider on a Areo Cat and he was 254. He said I should not have any problem with Carbon at that size. Has anyone had problems with carbon at that weight?
I bought a Specialized Roubaix when I was in the 240 range, full carbon. I have had no problems at all.

As for the OP, at 250 I would not worry about carbon, steel, aluminum or spokes. Find the bike you love to ride and does what you need it to. Buy it, ride it and have fun.
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Old 02-08-11, 06:32 PM   #16
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I had a 7.3 and you know, I really liked that bike. I popped endless spokes on the rear rim, and even went through a frame - but I wish I would have kept it. The blue color was just.. cool.. and it was a fast comfortable bike. I've even entertained thoughts of getting another one for a winter commuter..
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Old 02-09-11, 06:54 AM   #17
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Ride it like you stole it, and if you have rear wheel problems at some point, upgrade to a 36 spoke wheel.

Me and my 7.5:

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Old 02-09-11, 11:02 PM   #18
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the bike that got me started at 315 was the FX7.3 DO IT and ride the hell out of it!!!! best thing i ever did.
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Old 02-10-11, 05:46 PM   #19
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Now here's another monkey wrench thrown in to confuse me more. A friend of a friend has an 2009 Trek XO-1 Cross bike in primo condition that I can pick up for a sweet price, thanks to a relationship that has gone sour. For the price of a 7.3, I can get 105 gearing and all the goodies associated with that bike. All I would have to do is put street tires on it and I'd be golden. I almost wish I hadn't heard of this.
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Old 02-10-11, 05:56 PM   #20
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Now here's another monkey wrench thrown in to confuse me more. A friend of a friend has an 2009 Trek XO-1 Cross bike in primo condition that I can pick up for a sweet price, thanks to a relationship that has gone sour. For the price of a 7.3, I can get 105 gearing and all the goodies associated with that bike. All I would have to do is put street tires on it and I'd be golden. I almost wish I hadn't heard of this.
It couldn't hurt to test ride the cross bike. Just make sure you get the one you like to ride the best. Just because it has 105 components doesn't mean you will ride it more. If you don't like it more than the FX then don't buy it. If it is a toss up then worry about the components.
I have a bike that has the 105 and the other is much lower on the component scale. I like riding both bikes regardless of the components they have on them.
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Old 02-11-11, 09:52 AM   #21
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when i started i opted for the higher position of the fx, better on the back.
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Old 02-15-11, 09:32 AM   #22
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The fx is a great bike. And even the low spoke count, with the 28c tires, you should not have any problems. Most spokes break because of uneven tension and shock.
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