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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 03-04-12, 10:07 PM   #1
Dozernaut
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Need road bike advice.

I'm a clyde. I have been riding a Trek 7.2 FX for about 2 years. I just started riding more often this year (50+ miles/week). I'm looking for a road bike to do some longer rides on. I would like to spend less than $2000 and have a carbon fork and Tiagra or 105 group.
I have two LBS, one sales trek, the other specialized.
I'm 6ft and have been told I should ride a 56-58cm frame.

I have tested the Trek 1.2 (58cm), 2.1 apex (58cm), and 3.1 madone (56 cm).
The 1.2 was ok.
The 2.1 apex was smooth but I felt way too stretched out.
The 3.1 was very smooth but I still felt stretched out in the hoods.

I also test the Allez and Roubaix.
The Allez was very stiff and I felt stretch out, but was very quick.
The Roubaix rode more upright and was very smooth, my favorite so far but it was almost $2k and I didn't like the Apex shifters.
I am aware of the Sectuer but didn't get to test ride.

Is it normal to feel stretched out? Should I try a 54 cm? Should I try a shorter stem?
When I ride the road bikes I feel very stretched out and not in control of the bike. Is this normal?

Has anyone had any experience with a trek with H3 geometry? Trek has a 2.1 with H3 but it's not in stock locally.
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Old 03-04-12, 11:01 PM   #2
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Any road bike is going to feel stretched out compared to a fitness hybrid. That is why I have a hybrid now and sold my Allez. Both 54cm.

however, you do adjust to the stretched out after a while, and its a good thing for long rides. I just don't find myself going over 20 miles too often, but if that was to change, I would, once again, buy a road bike.

Try the Specialized Secteur, its roubaix inspired but aluminum frame will run you less money. Top model with 105 is $1800, so just in your budget. Lesser models save you money. The Elite Compact Secteur has Tiagra 10spd and is $1400, probably plenty of bike for you, to be honest.

The Secteur is what I would choose. I am a fan of Specialized Bikes. I do miss my Allez at times, but most of the time I love being upright and having V-brakes.
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Old 03-05-12, 12:01 AM   #3
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The Allez is the alu Tarmac so is a more stretched out geometry. The Roubaix or Secteur would be good choices. I prefer the Roubaix geometry to the Trek relaxed geometry bikes - it seems like Trek made a longer Headtube and didn't make the chain stays longer like Roubaix. Can't comment on Apex but have read good reviews from others who much prefer to Tiagra - although with newer 10 speed Tiagra maybe that's changed. If you can afford a Roubaix with drivetrain you like its Clyde heaven.

Does your trek dealer have any Gary Fisher Cronus's about?? If so nice bike to throw in mix.
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Old 03-05-12, 12:37 AM   #4
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I'm not sure you can find one locally but the Cannondale Synapse (in carbon or Alu, both with CF forks) are more comfortable frame geometries. Something to pay attention to is the height of the head tube for your given frame size - I have a Roubaix and the head tube is enormous compared to "race" bikes, but it's still plenty fast.

I'm 6'2 and after spending the last 10 years stretched out a bit on a 60 cm frame, my current frame is 58 and frankly, the bars are closer to the seat and that's just nicer for me now. You may wish to look at the smaller of the "56 or 58" frames for the same reason. You can always adjust that later with a different stem and you may wish to get fitted to your frame after you buy it too.. and I don't mean by a bike shop sales droid who tells you to stand over the frame and then says "yep, that fits"
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Old 03-05-12, 02:08 AM   #5
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you can get different length stems so it feels better, if you have long legs and short body there is nothing wrong with using a smaller frame
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Old 03-05-12, 04:51 AM   #6
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I'm 6'2" and rode a 20" Trek 7300. It always felt cramped to me. I got a 60 cm 4.5 Madone and replaced the 110 mm 7 degree stem with a 90mm 8 degree stem. I'm fairly flexible and I like the stretched out feeling especially on long rides. One thing you could do is get an adjustable stem and and slowly lower/move handlebars foward as your core strength improves.

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...3_10000_202442 is an example.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dozernaut View Post
I also test the Allez and Roubaix.
The Allez was very stiff and I felt stretch out, but was very quick.
The Roubaix rode more upright and was very smooth, my favorite so far but it was almost $2k and I didn't like the Apex shifters.
I am aware of the Sectuer but didn't get to test ride.

Is it normal to feel stretched out? Should I try a 54 cm? Should I try a shorter stem?
When I ride the road bikes I feel very stretched out and not in control of the bike. Is this normal?
If you're used to riding a hybrid, it will take some time to get used to the way a road bike handles. You will definitely feel more stretched out than you would on a hybrid bike. At 6' tall, I suspect that a 54cm bike is way too small for you. My 6' tall buddy rides 58cm frames. He says he can ride a 56cm in a pinch but he definitely doesn't fit on my 54cm bike.

I personally love the way that SRAM's road components shift, but not everyone does (and not every shop mechanic knows how to set them up properly, BTW). Again, they may take some time to get used to especially if you've been using Shimano STI. If you decide you like the Roubaix but not the Apex components, they do offer a Tiagra-equipped model: the Roubaix Compact.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:41 AM   #8
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Is it normal to feel stretched out?
That's why it's a road bike. If you want to sit up, don't get a small road bike, just stick with your current ride.
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Old 03-05-12, 01:14 PM   #9
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I started back up cycling on a MTB and could not get the handle bars high enough IMO. As time passed, the distance added up and became tired of being a sail in the wind. Enter the road bike and feeling very odd on it. I became used to it and now wouldn't have it any other way. I'm 6' and ride two different 58cm drop bar tour/relaxed geometry frames.
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Old 03-05-12, 01:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
I personally love the way that SRAM's road components shift, but not everyone does (and not every shop mechanic knows how to set them up properly, BTW). Again, they may take some time to get used to especially if you've been using Shimano STI. If you decide you like the Roubaix but not the Apex components, they do offer a Tiagra-equipped model: the Roubaix Compact.
Thanks, I didn't think about the shifters not being set up properly.

Thanks for everyone's advice.

I went back to the trek store and rode the 3.1 madone in a 56cm. I told the salesperson about my issues. They adjusted the seat forward and tilted the handle bars slightly up. It made a big difference. I can now use the hoods with out feeling stretched out. I had a little bend in my elbows and could look down the road without craning my neck. I might end up getting a shorter stem in the future if it still feels too stretched out.
I might just have relatively short arms?
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Old 03-05-12, 01:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dozernaut View Post
Thanks, I didn't think about the shifters not being set up properly.

Thanks for everyone's advice.

I went back to the trek store and rode the 3.1 madone in a 56cm. I told the salesperson about my issues. They adjusted the seat forward and tilted the handle bars slightly up. It made a big difference. I can now use the hoods with out feeling stretched out. I had a little bend in my elbows and could look down the road without craning my neck.
I might just have relatively short arms?
How are we going to know how long your arms are!

If you're curious, get somebody to measure you and see where your dimensions fall with respect to the median:

http://pedalforce.com/online/bikefit...5de6099590f8a7

The best course of action is to go get fitted by somebody who really knows what they're doing. If a simple adjustment by a sales guy in the shop can make that dramatic of a difference then you owe it to yourself to do it right.
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Old 03-05-12, 10:14 PM   #12
Dozernaut
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How are we going to know how long your arms are!

If you're curious, get somebody to measure you and see where your dimensions fall with respect to the median:

http://pedalforce.com/online/bikefit...5de6099590f8a7

The best course of action is to go get fitted by somebody who really knows what they're doing. If a simple adjustment by a sales guy in the shop can make that dramatic of a difference then you owe it to yourself to do it right.
Wow great link, thanks.

My measurements in inches
Height (A) 72
Sternal Notch Height (B) 58
Inseam Length (C) 31.5
Thigh Length (D) 14
Arm length (E) 25
Shoulder Width (F) 18
Foot Length (G) 11

Apparently I have a long torso, with relatively shorts arms and legs.
I am going to schedule a fitting when I pick up bike.
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Old 03-06-12, 01:26 PM   #13
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hey hey hey where are the steel advocets. I have to throw it out there. You should really try a steel frame. I have never heard anyone who didnt fall back in love with steel after trying everything else.
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Old 03-06-12, 08:00 PM   #14
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hey hey hey where are the steel advocets. I have to throw it out there. You should really try a steel frame. I have never heard anyone who didnt fall back in love with steel after trying everything else.
LOL! Steel advocate here! I've been doing most of my road riding on an old 1985 Bridgestone 600, which I put brifters on and rebuilt the wheels with some classic NOS Mavic MA40s. But alas, my bro-in-law borrowed it two months ago and trained for a 50 miler on it. He completed the 50 miler no sweat but loves the steel bike so much, it's not coming back. So, I just picked up an old 1988 steel Bianchi Limited from CL. Older 600 Ultegra tricolour gruppo. I put Velocity Fusion rims on, new spokes and some older 7spd ST3300 brifters. Both frames were in the 58 cm and I'm a guy with long torso, short legs. Both my bro-in-law and I are 6' 1". But he has much longer legs and arms. I have much longer torso but need the longer top tube.

In general, I'm a proponent of bigger frames, level seat/handlebar height, and comfort over aerodynamics. I don't have much opinion between Shimano or SRAM in that I think both are good when adjusted correctly. Both are fairly durable when looking at the higher grades of components, and even the lower grades last a long time if one knows how to maintain them. But rather than look at the gruppo, I start with the effective top tube length, and then work out seat height and handlebar extension required so I'm not too stretched out and not leaning too far over to reach. Saddle tilt can have a big effect during a test ride so I will try different angles myself. If in a shop, I'll ask them to adjust it a little if test-riding. But in general, I do suffer from chronic neck and shoulder pain and want a more upright style and less weight on the shoulders.

If most of the setup is comfortable and the handling is to your liking, then I would suggest the bike that "feels" most comfortable is the one you get. Once that's determined, the small stuff like a different stem or tweeks to gear ratio, sliding saddle fore/aft a small amount are all things one can do later.
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