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  1. #1
    attacking the streets!
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    Looking for a second bike, a little help.

    I'm in the market for a second bike (in the next month or so). I'm 6 foot tall and currently around 250lbs (and shrinking). Right now I ride a "mountain" bike, a hardtail that's 34lbs with 2 inch semi-slicks. I have been increasing my rides and I'm doing about 70-80 miles a week now, mostly all of which is through the streets. I'm looking for something a little faster but still comfortable and can take the crappy streets of NYC. I was at my local LBS today getting my bottom bracket and brake pads changed and I looked at some giants. So far the roam, seek and rapid models are on my radar, any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Just a few things you may want to consider.

    If you would like to keep as much comfort in your ride, then I would lean towards 700 x 32 as a minimum tire size. You can swap out the tires for slicks which will be more suited to pavement riding and roll easier if you like.

    Disc brakes are nice, but they do add some weight and will limit your future wheel choices, if that is a consideration for you?

    I also would look for a triple crankset, as it is better suited for all round riding, IMO.

    Front fork suspensions add some weight, tend to absorb a lot of rider energy as well as their intended use to cushion the rough stuff. Speed and performance on the pavement will be less than a rigid fork. Again, it may not make a difference to you?

    Are you planning on riding in all types of weather and maybe taking some things with you etc. ? If so you might want to give some thought to the availability of fender and rack mounts.

    The single best thing to do is take each of them and a bunch of others as well, out for a test ride.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    attacking the streets!
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    Kevlar lined slicks will definitely be put on early in the bikes life.

    I don't think an extra pound or two of brakes bothers me as long as they stop/work better. I could always just take an extra 5 pounds off myself.

    I have a triple crank now and I couldn't remember the last time I used the smallest sprocket.

    I have fenders on my bike now, I like them and I hope to be able to install them on my next bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    So many options to consider, you just need to decide what works best for you. I noticed that all your choices were flat bar bikes. I don't know if drop bars interest, but might be worth a look. My choice for a commuter and any fowl road or weather is my cyclo-cross bike. I have a rear rack on it and provisions for fenders. Again, just something different to consider.

  5. #5
    attacking the streets!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper View Post
    So many options to consider, you just need to decide what works best for you. I noticed that all your choices were flat bar bikes. I don't know if drop bars interest, but might be worth a look. My choice for a commuter and any fowl road or weather is my cyclo-cross bike. I have a rear rack on it and provisions for fenders. Again, just something different to consider.
    i haven't rode a road bike in a while, years ago my road bike got stolen. i was thinking that a flat bar bike would be a little more comfortable/user friendly in the street. i looked at the rapid series but i don't know how the bike will hold up on the the streets in NYC (they're pretty beat up). that's why i was also looking at the seek and roam but those seam to be getting closer to a "mountain" bike.

    questions: will drop bars give me better steering control than flat bars?

    another thing that will help guide the decision is if the rapid can use a fatter tire with fenders.
    Last edited by jimnolimit; 08-31-11 at 03:24 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mgw189's Avatar
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    Trek makes a bike called the PDX as well. Aluminum frame rack and fender ready, disc brakes, 700 x 32 tires. and a price tag of under $600. I looked into when I was shopping for a new bike. I ended up with the FX 7.3 which I love.

  7. #7
    Fat guy on a bike
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    Take a look at the Specialized Sirrus. I bought one about two months ago and am loving it. It was the base model; $420 out the door. It has rim bakes, but some of the higher levels have discs. When I started riding it, I weighed 275, as of this morning, I'm 255. I've added the typical Fred-ish doo-dads to it: computer, blinkies, racks, panniers, etc. It came with 700x32 slicks and moves along pretty quickly. However, as winter approaches, I'll probably swap those out for something with a more aggressive tread. So far, the only issue I've had with the bike is that the rear wheel has needed a bit of truing - but then , that's to be expected at my weight. I'm just up the road from you in Boston, Ma. It's more hilly here than in the five buroughs, but the roads are just as crappy - the Sirrus swallows up the bumps and potholes with ease. I would highly recommend that you check out this bike!

    Good luck with whatever you decide on!

  8. #8
    not as fat as I was Biggziff's Avatar
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    I also would recommend the Sirrus, but remember that a flat bar bike gives you limited hand positions which can lead to fatigue. I ended up buying a Fuji Newest 1.0 which has relaxed geometry, an adjustable stem, drop bars, cross brake levers, carbon fork for under $700 (new)

    I went round and round on this, rode nearly every flat bar and drop bar bike out there before I fond the Fuji and just felt that a relaxed geometry road bike with drops gave me the best of both worlds. So far with 200 miles on it I really enjoy riding it and it seems to be holding up well....so well I'm considering selling my Trek carbon road bike and riding this one exclusively.
    humans can be so....rude

  9. #9
    Getting older and slower!
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    I also suggest you try a cyclocross bike like the Trek XO1 or a touring bike like the Trek 520. The handlebars offer more positions than the straight bar and you will eventually want them anyway. (My "commuter" and "rails to trails" bike is a Trek XO1, and I love it.)

  10. #10
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    To me, All those hybrid type bikes are a little to close to what you already have.
    They seem to me to me MTBs with road type wheels.

    I'm not knocking them, I had an Trek FX and loved it, wish I still had it.
    Yet still they are close to running a MTB with slicks.

    I would take my time and look at stuff like cross bikes, that are really commuters, ie Surly Cross Check, Jake the Snake, Soma Double Cross.
    The touring bike may also work, the 520 trek is a solid bike.

    I guess it would depend on how you really wanted to use it.

    Good Luck and post pics
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  11. #11
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    It really depends on what you'll feel comfortable on. I'd support the suggestion of a cyclocross bike, they are light and fast but still tough enough and have the clearances for fairly substantial tyres. Drop handlebars do improve your cornering, yes, because you can get a lower centre of gravity, but this really isn't an issue at city speeds most of the time.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  12. #12
    attacking the streets!
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    i was at my LBS this weekend and they let me take a giant defy 3 for a spin (mainly to see how i liked the frame). maybe it's because i haven't been on a road bike in a while, but i'm thinking i want something a little more comfortable. even though i like to go fast i ride for fun and exercise, not strictly speed. i'm now considering a cyclocross style bike, i figured that with bigger tires i can get a smoother ride and because i'm 250lbs and ride hard through the streets, the bike will be able to take more of a beaten. two bikes i have in mind are the fuji cross 3.0 and the kona jake (i don't think my LBS carries kona). any thoughts?

  13. #13
    not as fat as I was Biggziff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimnolimit View Post
    i was at my LBS this weekend and they let me take a giant defy 3 for a spin (mainly to see how i liked the frame). maybe it's because i haven't been on a road bike in a while, but i'm thinking i want something a little more comfortable. even though i like to go fast i ride for fun and exercise, not strictly speed. i'm now considering a cyclocross style bike, i figured that with bigger tires i can get a smoother ride and because i'm 250lbs and ride hard through the streets, the bike will be able to take more of a beaten. two bikes i have in mind are the fuji cross 3.0 and the kona jake (i don't think my LBS carries kona). any thoughts?
    Don't get tied up in the "genre" of the bike....find one that fits, many will accept larger tires, although lots of guys heavier than you I know ride carbon bikes on 23s.

    If it doesn't feel good, you're not going to ride it. Ride 100 and buy 1.
    humans can be so....rude

  14. #14
    attacking the streets!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggziff View Post
    Don't get tied up in the "genre" of the bike....find one that fits, many will accept larger tires, although lots of guys heavier than you I know ride carbon bikes on 23s.

    If it doesn't feel good, you're not going to ride it. Ride 100 and buy 1.
    this is my thinking: the streets in NYC are horrible and i felt every crack in the road with the defy 3 (but i haven't been on a road bike in a long time). heavier guy are riding 23's on nice smooth roads, i hit pot holes and have the tendency to hop a curb from time to time. i like the grip options on drop bars and having some 32's should help dampen the road. i was thinking about the fuji because it's suppose to have a more relaxed frame geometry.

  15. #15
    not as fat as I was Biggziff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimnolimit View Post
    this is my thinking: the streets in NYC are horrible and i felt every crack in the road with the defy 3 (but i haven't been on a road bike in a long time). heavier guy are riding 23's on nice smooth roads, i hit pot holes and have the tendency to hop a curb from time to time. i like the grip options on drop bars and having some 32's should help dampen the road. i was thinking about the fuji because it's suppose to have a more relaxed frame geometry.
    Most Cross bikes will have a more upright geometry and enough clearance for larger tires. I live in the sticks and ride crappy chipseal roads on 23s...in fact I rode on 14 spoke wheels for many years...no issues, but I understand and agree you'll have a nicer ride on larger tires. Specialized has the TriCross, Fuji has the Cross, Trek has several, Redline, Giant, etc....plenty to try out. It'll be harder to buy a bad one than find a good one.

    Good luck
    humans can be so....rude

  16. #16
    attacking the streets!
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    my budget is around $1000 and i'm looking to get the best bang for my buck.

    p.s. i'll be using platform pedals.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimnolimit View Post
    my budget is around $1000 and i'm looking to get the best bang for my buck.

    p.s. i'll be using platform pedals.
    May I suggest a full size folder??? Come in many styles from Street to full mountain.

    Most will fit in your budget and take less space when folded. Handy if you need to keep in small apartment.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    As for the bikes you asked about, I can recommend the Kona Jake. As I mentioned before, it is my rough conditions training bike and dedicated commuter. Whatever you get, make sure to get one that is set up for racks and fenders verses one of the competition models that is not. Here is a gratuitous picture of my Jake.


  19. #19
    attacking the streets!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ali_Pine View Post
    May I suggest a full size folder??? Come in many styles from Street to full mountain.

    Most will fit in your budget and take less space when folded. Handy if you need to keep in small apartment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ali_Pine View Post
    May I suggest a full size folder??? Come in many styles from Street to full mountain.

    Most will fit in your budget and take less space when folded. Handy if you need to keep in small apartment.
    i have no desire to buy a folding bike. i currently ride a hardtail mountain bike that i bought new in 1998. my current bike is showing it's age and i'm wearing out parts left and right with all the miles i'm riding now. instead of dumping money into an old bike, i rather put that money into a new bike. i like my mountain bike and i doubt i would ever get rid of it, so i'm looking to get another bike to use as a primary bike.

  20. #20
    attacking the streets!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hill-Pumper View Post
    As for the bikes you asked about, I can recommend the Kona Jake. As I mentioned before, it is my rough conditions training bike and dedicated commuter. Whatever you get, make sure to get one that is set up for racks and fenders verses one of the competition models that is not. Here is a gratuitous picture of my Jake.

    thanks for the recommendation and picture. fenders are a must (garbage truck juice is nasty stuff). i'm looking for bike i could use for just about everything.

    so far it looks like fuji and kona are going to give me the most for my money. i'm going to stop by my LBS and talk to them about those bikes and see what suggestions they have to offer.

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