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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 07-17-11, 12:20 PM   #1
BadKarma62
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Wanting to add to the stable....need advice.

First off, i'm a clyde. 6'4" 275, but I've lost 52# in the last 9 months. I have a Univega mtb that is serving well as the fitness and walking trail mount. Now I'm getting the idea of riding half centurys metrics and centuries. I'm thinking a proper road bike would be a benefit. I love the 80-90's vintage bikes and was wondering what brands to look for? Did anyone make a 26" road bike?
Right now I'm watching out for steel frames like Bianchi, Raliegh, and older Treks. What were the other Japanese bikes?

Thanks
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Old 07-17-11, 01:21 PM   #2
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I know the Sheldon Brown website had a listing of quality vintage bikes like the Panasonic, Miyata, Schwinns which was a very interesting read. You might also want to visit the Classic and Vintage forum and ask your question there.
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Old 07-17-11, 01:24 PM   #3
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Some other brands to consider: Bridgestone, Centurion, Fuji, Miyata, Panasonic, Shogun, Specialized, Univega, and I wouldn't overlook some of the higher end Schwinn's (Peloton or Paramount).

At least Panasonic and Miyata made 67cm frames, but it will probably be signifcantly more difficult to locate one than something around 25"(or smaller).
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Old 07-17-11, 02:01 PM   #4
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26" frame? Or with 26 inch wheels?
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Old 07-17-11, 03:45 PM   #5
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I should have been clear. I meant 26" wheels.
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Old 07-17-11, 03:52 PM   #6
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Road bikes usually come with 700C wheels, or 27" wheels if they're older. A bike with 26" wheels would be a mountain bike.
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Old 07-17-11, 04:53 PM   #7
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For some reason I seem to recall seeing a road bike with 26" wheels. Maybe it was years ago and it was a hybrid before it was called a hybrid.
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Old 07-17-11, 05:28 PM   #8
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The Surly Long Haul Trucker is available with 26" wheels.
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Old 07-17-11, 05:32 PM   #9
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Road bikes usually come with 700C wheels, or 27" wheels if they're older. A bike with 26" wheels would be a mountain bike.
MY LHT begs to differ .

I think schwinn made something with 26" wheels but I don't think it was a road bike. It was more along the lines of a upright shopping bike. I think it was the schwinn traveler or collegiate.

Last edited by exile; 07-17-11 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 07-17-11, 05:42 PM   #10
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For some reason I seem to recall seeing a road bike with 26" wheels. Maybe it was years ago and it was a hybrid before it was called a hybrid.
There are some current touring bikes (like the aforementioned Surly Long Haul Trucker) that are available with 26" wheels. There also have been time trial bikes and road racing bikes in years past with 26" wheels, mainly due to aerodynamic benefits over 700c wheels(although the benefit only begins somewhere around 32 mph), but are pretty rare.
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Old 07-17-11, 07:06 PM   #11
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I knew I wasn't going off the deep end.
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Old 07-17-11, 07:44 PM   #12
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If your are dead set on 26 inch wheels, I would try to find an older steel frame Mt. bike with out the suspension fork. I know they made them, because I have rode an old Trek 830 with slicks as a commuter for a few years. My son is ridding it now. I personaly think the large and xlarge frames with 26 inch wheels look goofy!
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Old 07-17-11, 07:47 PM   #13
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And only to muddy the waters up even more, there's also 650B (French touring/rando, experiencing a bit of a resurgence) and 650C wheels (typically time trial, triathlon, and small frame race) that are essentially 26".
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Old 07-17-11, 10:18 PM   #14
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Older 3 speed and single speed bikes with skinny tires also had 26x1 3/8ths. 26"MTB tires are not interchangable at all.
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Old 07-17-11, 11:35 PM   #15
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26" means many different sizes; so here the ISO size that have been called 26":

597, 590, 584, 571 and 559 - these are the bead set diameters in millimeters

http://sheldonbrown.com/26/index.html

You might like something like my SR Sierra Sport; which I believe was originally equipped with 590, and now has 571 with 28-571 tires. Mine is the same as uciflylow suggested. It is a very early "Mountain Bike" with no suspension and with a chrome moly frame and forks. I have a 130mm OLD hub in the frame, but a 126mm would work well; a 135mm would not work at all. It is around 2/3's the weight of my World Tourist.

I would build it up from scratch. My SR frame came from eBay, my GT came frame CL.
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Old 07-18-11, 03:19 AM   #16
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Personally, I'd ignore the brand name and look for the type of steel. For centuries, I'd go for 531 Reynolds tubing or similar quality. make sure it has eyelets for fenders. Read a lot of "Bicycle Quarterly" http://www.bikequarterly.com/vbqindex.html and the BQ blog: http://janheine.wordpress.com/ I also enjoy "the Lazy Randonneur" for ideas too: http://www.thelazyrandonneur.com/

I use a Gazelle Champion Mondial semirace I picked up for 75 bucks for long distance trips. She has original plastic fenders & flimsy aluminum rack, very light. I had always thought Gazelle was mostly city bikes but was very pleasantly surprised by this one. Glad I gave it a try.
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Old 07-18-11, 05:26 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone for the great input. I mentioned the 26" wheels because I thought they might be a bit tougher for those of us Clydes.
Thanks for the links Rona, I'll put those in my favs.
It seems, at least in my area, that everyone is head over heels in love with their older bikes, at least the prices reflect that. I may have to bite the bullet and have one shipped to get a decent price.
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Old 07-18-11, 09:10 AM   #18
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Either wheel size will be ok. If you were touring around the world, I would say go with the 26" type.
If you are staying stateside, the 700 or even 27", built properly will work great for you.

I'm about your size and ride 700c 32spoke 3x handbuilt wheels with no problems what-so-ever!
These are NOT some box set of wheels, but hand built by a master wheelbuilder.

The 700 size will give you many more tires and sizes to pick from, but all will work.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:27 AM   #19
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Can I consider an aluminum frame like a Cannondale? I know at my weight it might be a stretch, but I'm leaning towards this being a Metric/Century ride only bike. No touring/heavy loads. I'm looking at getting the frame and build from the ground up.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:33 AM   #20
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I'm 6'3", 270ish, and I ride an AL framed Trek ... you'll be fine
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Old 07-18-11, 11:35 AM   #21
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Thanks bro, I just found the old stickies thread and answered my own question. I may have my sights on a Cannondale frame!
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Old 07-18-11, 11:42 AM   #22
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awesome
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Old 07-18-11, 01:16 PM   #23
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Can I consider an aluminum frame like a Cannondale? I know at my weight it might be a stretch, but I'm leaning towards this being a Metric/Century ride only bike. No touring/heavy loads. I'm looking at getting the frame and build from the ground up.
Why not? Aluminum isn't all that delicate and it is lighter. I've owned 15 steel and 14 aluminum bikes. I've broken 2 steel frames and 2 aluminum frames...all hard ridden mountain bike frames. The steel frames were broken at various places because of use...and, maybe, abuse. One of the aluminum frames was broken because of a manufacturing default and one because I put a very laid back seatpost on the bike. I have several current aluminum bikes that I ride off-road -not bike path off-road but technical trails - and I don't worry about the frames at all.

I've never broken a road bike frame of any kind. Including two touring bikes (one steel and one aluminum) that were used as touring bikes are meant to be used, i.e. carrying me and 50 to 60 lb of my stuff. That puts my weight way over yours.
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Old 07-18-11, 08:00 PM   #24
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Thanks all. I've got a Cannondale and a Raleigh targeted.
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Old 07-18-11, 10:40 PM   #25
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I put 24,000 miles on a Trek aluminum frame and retired it because I wanted a new bike! I weighed between 240-265lb over the years! I'm not scared of Al failing, but mine rode like a log wagon!
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