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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 03-15-11, 08:19 PM   #1
shawnzoman
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New to cycling, seeking advice on possibly upgrading?

What's up guys? I am new to the forum and in the last couple months have taken up an interest in cycling. I am a rather large guy at 6'6" 250 lbs. I have always loved bicycles and was interested in getting a nice mountain bike but my brother in law convinced me to look into finding a road bike since he does triathlons and wanted a riding partner. Well I picked up an 86 Cannondale bike a couple months ago for 200 bucks. It was a 25 inch bike (63.5 cm). The absolute only one I could find on craigslist in 2 months that was big enough for me and I had to drive two hours to get it. The guy told me it was an early 90's bike, I did the research on the serial number to find it was 1986 instead. It has Shimano 600 brakes, 200 GS derailers(?) and shimano down tube shifters. I got a new saddle for it, brake pads, tires and tubes and other accessories. I ride 4-5 days a week. I stick around 15 miles each ride. Anyways I love riding! It is tax time and I want to upgrade if at all possible. Finding another 64cm bike seems to be a tough task and I would like to keep the budget under 1,000. I went to a Performance store that was the closest LBS to me and they had no bike that was even close to fitting me.

My question. The down tube shifters are okayy, I would really like a more convenient set up on the bars. Would it make since to just upgrade the bike I have, or just buy a totally new bike. I found a 64cm Fuji Roubaix ACR 3.0 on Performance for 899 with tiagra components that I am leaning towards. Or should I just keep riding what I have and save some more $ ? Any suggestions or advice is welcome. Thanks!
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Old 03-15-11, 08:26 PM   #2
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I would get the new one.

Fit means everything.
When a bike fits you will ride it for fun.
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Old 03-15-11, 08:32 PM   #3
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Go for the new bike.
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Old 03-15-11, 08:54 PM   #4
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Well that was easy enough. Thanks guys. Does anyone know if Fuji frames run big or small, or true to size?
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Old 03-15-11, 08:55 PM   #5
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The bike shop will adjust the bike to fit you.
Most do a second adjustment later if needed.
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Old 03-15-11, 10:34 PM   #6
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If you buy from a good bike shop, they will sell you the right size and fit you on the bike. They will (should) look at the total bike and your build, including the right size handlebars, stem, etc. Riding a bike that doesn't fit you is asking for pain and misery.
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Old 03-15-11, 11:54 PM   #7
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Everybody mentioned that fit is important,
this why I suggest just upgrading your bike.
You like how it fits, you ride 4/5 days a week.
The only thing that's bothering you are the
shifters, I recommend getting brifters. You
already know that you can get good deals on
Craigslist. Here's a sample:

http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/2256697276.html

SRAM Red Road Cranks (some scuff but good shape)
Cranks are 53/39t
Length 172.5
SRAM Ceramic Bottom Bracket - GXP
1090 SRAM Red Chain (Less than 500 miles): $200


Dura-Ace Shifters (some scuff but good shape): $200


Shimano RD-6600 Ultegra Rear Derailleur 10 Speed GS Silver: $70


SRAM Red front derailleur (Less than 500 miles): $50
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Old 03-16-11, 01:07 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by shawnzoman View Post
My question.... Would it make since to just upgrade the bike I have, or just buy a totally new bike. ... Or should I just keep riding what I have and save some more $ ? Any suggestions or advice is welcome. Thanks!
The advantage of buying a new bike is you get a complete set of compatible parts for less than you could purchase the parts individually. If you get it at a credible bike store, they will make sure the bike fits, and provide the first tune up, or adjustments in the purchase price.

The disadvantage of a new bike is the cash outlay. You have to pay for it all at once.

The advantage of upgrading an older bike is that you do it piece by piece. It doesn't cost a whole lot, all at once. The disadvantage is that you must keep everything compatible... If you switch from 6 to 8 speeds on the rear gear cluster, you go from a freewheel to a freehub and cassette. They require different wheels... You will run into nuances like that the whole way through.

My personal decision has been to buy new, but I have also bought used bikes in perfect working order at auctions. I watch weekly auctions for 2 or 3 months to get what I want. I steer away from second hand "project" bikes, because while I enjoy keeping a bike running smoothly, I find I don't save any money by the time a "project" bike is finished and ready to ride.

Good Luck on what ever you choose.
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Old 03-16-11, 06:17 AM   #9
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shawnzoman, I'd opt for the new bike and keep the Cannondale for a backup.Brad
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Old 03-16-11, 07:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by shawnzoman View Post
What's up guys? I am new to the forum and in the last couple months have taken up an interest in cycling. I am a rather large guy at 6'6" 250 lbs. I have always loved bicycles and was interested in getting a nice mountain bike but my brother in law convinced me to look into finding a road bike since he does triathlons and wanted a riding partner. Well I picked up an 86 Cannondale bike a couple months ago for 200 bucks. It was a 25 inch bike (63.5 cm). The absolute only one I could find on craigslist in 2 months that was big enough for me and I had to drive two hours to get it. The guy told me it was an early 90's bike, I did the research on the serial number to find it was 1986 instead. It has Shimano 600 brakes, 200 GS derailers(?) and shimano down tube shifters. I got a new saddle for it, brake pads, tires and tubes and other accessories. I ride 4-5 days a week. I stick around 15 miles each ride. Anyways I love riding! It is tax time and I want to upgrade if at all possible. Finding another 64cm bike seems to be a tough task and I would like to keep the budget under 1,000. I went to a Performance store that was the closest LBS to me and they had no bike that was even close to fitting me.

My question. The down tube shifters are okayy, I would really like a more convenient set up on the bars. Would it make since to just upgrade the bike I have, or just buy a totally new bike. I found a 64cm Fuji Roubaix ACR 3.0 on Performance for 899 with tiagra components that I am leaning towards. Or should I just keep riding what I have and save some more $ ? Any suggestions or advice is welcome. Thanks!
There are four directions you can go, first is you can join the world of C&V or classic and vintage bicycles, finding a Shimano 600 Arabesque group for that Candy would be just perfect, one thing to note, frames from the 1970's and 1980's tend to run larger then more modern frames. If your mechanically inclined, and can learn a little about bicycle repair, it's a good way to go. Be warned though, you often end up with a lot of members in the herd.....

You can get the new bike, and sell the Candy, nice thing about old bikes, the values tend not to change much, you will probably get back, what you put into it. Larger frames can be hard to find, so you might even get a little more.

Third, and this is the one I like, get the new bike, slap a rack and a set of fenders on the Candy, and you have a great combination of the Candy as a nasty weather/commuter/grocery getter/going to town bike, where reliable DT shifters are ideal, and the new bike for kicking your brother-in-laws .

Fourth, get the mountain bike you wanted in the first place.
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Old 03-16-11, 10:05 AM   #11
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I'd go for the Fuji. I ride an '07 Fuji Roubaix RC which is the same frame/fork with a little better components. It has been an awesome bike. I'm just over 6', weighing around 230 right now and riding a 58cm so the 64cm sounds about right for you. Haven't had any issue with it (except crankset but it was the FSA SL-K crankset that was a known problem and they swapped it for Ultegra). Even the low spoke count wheelset has not been an issue. I purchased at PBS as well and along with free shipping to store, you will get the lifetime adjustments. Plus they have a money back guarantee so you can order the bike and, if it doesn't fit, get your money back.

If you aren't used to dealing with PBS there are a couple of tricks. One is to join their Team Performance program. $25 gets you 10% back in merchandise on all purchases for a year ($900 = $90 in stuff) and they occasionally have double points deals and other discounts. Plus their prices can move around a lot. When I bought my Fuji, it was $1,800 list and I caught it on sale for $1,100, plus had a 10% off coupon and double points so got it for just under $1K with almost $200 in store credit.

Finally I'd agree with keeping your current bike. It fits and would make a great back up bike.
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Old 03-16-11, 10:12 AM   #12
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As the saying goes, the Devil's in the details.

The Cannondale probably has 126mm spacing on the rear dropouts, and an aluminum frame does not bend well to accept a modern 130 spaced wheel. So if your upgrading includes going from 6/7 speed on back up to 10 speed then your option is a new/used bike. It isn't always a simple task to just slap on brifters and have them work with your current gearing and derailleurs.

That said, if you're looking at triathlons then you'll be looking at aerobars and fore-mounted shifters, so if you can live with your current gearing then just modify/reconfigure what you currently have.

But I'll +1 the option to keep your current bike as a trainer, rainy day, grocery getter, commuter bike and start shopping for a new bike. But don't be in any hurry, as you get proficient with the downtube shifters you might decide you don't really need. $3,000+ bike.
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Old 03-21-11, 08:42 AM   #13
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Well I went to PBS and talked to them about the bike. They had another Fuji 64 cm I stood over and it felt just about like my Cannondale now. He said if I was unsatisfied I could return it, so that really makes me happy. I did join the Performance Team as I have been spending a few bucks in there each week on accessories and small things. I believe I may wait a bit longer for a decent sale and then get it. I will keep my bike now as well as it seems to be very reliable thus far. I am mechanically inclined and could do my own upgrades, but I feel in the end I'll spend as much as the new one and run into problems with proper fit etc. Thanks for all this info guys, really good stuff.
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Old 03-21-11, 09:11 AM   #14
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Was it their Touring model? My local bike shop doesn't carry this maker but I went to look on their site and spotted the Touring bike made of steel. It could be a good fit. I would think a test ride would be the next step to see how it handles.
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