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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 04-05-12, 05:42 PM   #1
Rifford
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Help Clyde purchase first bike

Alright guys,

I've done my homework, have visited many LBS and now face the tough decision - which one? It should be noted that I intend to use my future purchase for fitness and recreational use and have pretty much narrowed my search down to a hybrid bike. The problem being, that after seeing all the fabulous hardware, I wish I could just take them all home. Another problem I'm facing is that I'm having a tremendously hard time deciding which bike I thought really stuck out as a great fit for me. All the bikes I tested seemed to fit me well and were a joy to pedal on. However, since I visited so many LBS, I didn't really get to test any bikes side-by-side to make a strong comparison. So I'm turning to you guys for a bit of input. Perhaps with some of your experiences or knowledge, you can help steer me in the right direction (see what I did there?).

Anyways, I have hardly any bike related knowledge and am mostly going off of what "felt right." But it was difficult for me to pick a clear winner.

The bikes I tested (again, all hybrids) were the Trek FX (7.2 I believe), GT Traffic (3.0), Cannondale Quick 5, Giant Escape 2 and the Fuji Absolute 3.0.

Now I'm sure that most of the advice I'll receive is that it all depends on the rider and how I feel on each ride. However, I wanted to see if you might be able to provide some knowledge based on experience, because I certainly don't have much, if any.
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Old 04-05-12, 05:47 PM   #2
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I have not rode any of them but I believe the Trek FX is a very popular bike around these parts

Good luck on your search and post pictures when you buy!
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Old 04-05-12, 06:40 PM   #3
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Providing links to the Mfg's web sites will get you more responses.
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Old 04-05-12, 06:50 PM   #4
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Trek - http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ss/fx/7_2_fx/#
GT - http://www.gtbicycles.com/2012/bikes...12-traffic-3-0
Cannondale - http://www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes...-quick-5-21008
Giant - http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/....2/8910/48614/
Fuji - http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/absolute-30-usa3
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Old 04-05-12, 06:51 PM   #5
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Alright guys,

I've done my homework, have visited many LBS and now face the tough decision - which one? It should be noted that I intend to use my future purchase for fitness and recreational use and have pretty much narrowed my search down to a hybrid bike. The problem being, that after seeing all the fabulous hardware, I wish I could just take them all home. Another problem I'm facing is that I'm having a tremendously hard time deciding which bike I thought really stuck out as a great fit for me. All the bikes I tested seemed to fit me well and were a joy to pedal on. However, since I visited so many LBS, I didn't really get to test any bikes side-by-side to make a strong comparison. So I'm turning to you guys for a bit of input. Perhaps with some of your experiences or knowledge, you can help steer me in the right direction (see what I did there?).

Anyways, I have hardly any bike related knowledge and am mostly going off of what "felt right." But it was difficult for me to pick a clear winner.

The bikes I tested (again, all hybrids) were the Trek FX (7.2 I believe), GT Traffic (3.0), Cannondale Quick 5, Giant Escape 2 and the Fuji Absolute 3.0.

Now I'm sure that most of the advice I'll receive is that it all depends on the rider and how I feel on each ride. However, I wanted to see if you might be able to provide some knowledge based on experience, because I certainly don't have much, if any.
Did you notice any big discerning differences in comfort due to tire width? Between the bikes listed, don't they vary from 35mm to 40mm on a couple bikes and the Fuji is like a 28mm tire? I'd think that Fuji probably rode the fastest and lightest of the bunch. Looks, I like the Giant in black best. It has the compromise 700x32 tires which I find useful for both on-road and some light trails without the rolling resistance of 35/40 mm tires.

Was there a shop you liked best? If you will depend on them for service, that might make a difference on how well you bike stays in good riding shape. Any reviews on that shop that you can search and find out?
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Old 04-05-12, 07:17 PM   #6
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The main differences I noticed were based on customer service. Some shops made me feel more comfortable and answered all my questions.

The Fuji definitely seemed to fly compared to others and handled well. Also, the guy who helped with the Fuji was named Jedi. Jedi. I feel like that's got to give him a leg up in the race.

One concern I had: in a previous thread I started, I was advised by a few to look for a 36 spoke rim on the rear wheel. Not one of the bike shops told me I needed that and said I would be fine with the standard 32. I weigh 355 lbs.
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Old 04-05-12, 07:38 PM   #7
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I looked at several of these same bikes recently when I was buying a bike for my teenage son. We thought the Cannondale was light on components. After looking at the Trek and the Giant we went with the Giant. He loves it and I must say it looks great. I am thinking of buying one for myself now. He says that it is very responsive and he loves the 32 tires, compared to the mountain bike that he was riding before.
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Old 04-05-12, 07:45 PM   #8
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I wish there was a way I could compare all the bikes side-by-side. If I had to pick a favorite, I would say the Fuji definitely had great agility. I'm thinking the best thing I can do is to spend another day visiting the LBS and pay special attention to each bike.
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Old 04-05-12, 08:17 PM   #9
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One concern I had: in a previous thread I started, I was advised by a few to look for a 36 spoke rim on the rear wheel. Not one of the bike shops told me I needed that and said I would be fine with the standard 32. I weigh 355 lbs.
Of course they will tell you that the 32 is fine, they are trying to make a sale. You'll need a custom wheel at your weight. I'll says none of those stock wheels will hold you for too long. If you think I am wrong, please feel free to post an update after 1000 miles.
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Old 04-05-12, 08:23 PM   #10
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Fuji...I love the way it looks. My Newest 1.0 has been very good for me even with the stock wheels and tires.
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Old 04-05-12, 08:32 PM   #11
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I don't understand the process of putting on a different rim, in this case a 36 spoke. Does it have to be ordered? Does the bike shop make it? What's the big deal? None of them seem to want to put it on for me. I don't understand what the trouble is.
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Old 04-05-12, 08:54 PM   #12
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I don't understand the process of putting on a different rim, in this case a 36 spoke. Does it have to be ordered? Does the bike shop make it? What's the big deal? None of them seem to want to put it on for me. I don't understand what the trouble is.
Most stuff sold in shops are pre built wheels ordered through their suppliers. You will want it hand built.

Finding a real builder in the shop is hard, Most guys don't know how to build a good wheel. Some shops have a good guy but I've met too many that aren't but try to be. My guess is they can't build a good wheel so they are avoiding it, they would rather lie adn telly the stock wheel wil be fine. If the shop was a good shop wth a good builder, they would be more than happy to build the wheel for you. But it costs good money, most times money new riders aren't willing to spend.

A good wheel for you would be 36, but maybe a 40 tandem hub with a 30 mm profile rim ( I like Velocity but there are others). Then the cost of spokes and labor. I'd say this wheel could cost you $300. Seems like a lot but spending $700 for a bike that you can't and won't want to ride after continuous wheel problems is more of a waste. That is the rear wheel alone. Later down the road you may need the front, but it will be less expensive, $200'ish.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:34 PM   #13
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Of course they will tell you that the 32 is fine, they are trying to make a sale. You'll need a custom wheel at your weight. I'll says none of those stock wheels will hold you for too long. If you think I am wrong, please feel free to post an update after 1000 miles.
How long do you suppose a newbie will take to reach 1K miles? He should be fine on the stock wheels for a while.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:40 PM   #14
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How long do you suppose a newbie will take to reach 1K miles? He should be fine on the stock wheels for a while.
355 lbs, Mmmkay! I'll be waiting patiently for the follow up thread.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:48 PM   #15
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If I were to stick with the stock real wheel, what can I expect to happen?
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Old 04-05-12, 09:50 PM   #16
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I think the Trek has the better components on it but really it's how they fit and feel that matters more. The Fuji dealers tend to dicker more off the list as Fuji will sell online to get ride of excess inventory. The combination of wheels available and how to get them is truely staggering. I've had pretty good luck with the stock wheels on my bike. However I bought a spoke tension meter,a trueing attachment for my workstand, a couple books on wheel building and spend time keeping them in shape. I've broken 1 spoke in 4000 miles and it was my fault as I didn't know what I was doing.If you're interested buy Jobst Brandt's book "The Bicycle Wheel" . It takes some time for it to sink in. I've probably reread the first 75 pages 10 times. (Lots of pictures) so it's a fast read.

So why don't bike shops do custom wheels? I have an opinion but it may not be valid but this is the Internet so here goes. Right now they're busy. They probably think you'll buy the bike, ride it a few times and give up. They already have the wheels on the bike so they want to sell them. If you have problems they'll try to blame you. They'll be happy to sell you more wheels later and even happier to sell you "The right bike this time." I've become rather disillusioned with LBS's if you haven't guessed yet. The alternatives are few for a first time buyer though and in their defense it's probably a tough business to make money.The Walley Worlds sell 75% of the USA's bicycles. (I'm not suggesting you buy one of those.)

What do I think you should do? First buy Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. Choose one of the bikes you like best. Start riding 20 minutes/day three days a week. Demand support from the LBS but be prepared to be disappointed. Start studying how bicycles work and spend some time checking the bike for problems. Post here often when you have questions.

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Old 04-05-12, 09:52 PM   #17
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355 lbs, Mmmkay! I'll be waiting patiently for the follow up thread.
This would be the thread where he posts about his one mile first ride? What other upgrades does a person who is going to be doing one mile rides need before he puts his foot on the pedal? SPD? Brooks B-17 with cover and Proofide? Full lighting system? Complete Park tool set and workstand?
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Old 04-05-12, 09:57 PM   #18
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They probably think you'll buy the bike, ride it a few times and give up. They already have the wheels on the bike so they want to sell them. If you have problems they'll try to blame you. They'll be happy to sell you more wheels later and even happier to sell you "The right bike this time." I've become rather disillusioned with LBS's if you haven't guessed yet.
Zactly!

My rec's and 1000 mile estimates were based on a rider actually riding a bike. Yes, if you ride the bike 2 or 3 times then hang it in the garage, the wheels will last forever but I assumed you wanted to ride it.

Rec's- Recommendations....I can never spell that word correctly the first time.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:58 PM   #19
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This would be the thread where he posts about his one mile first ride? What other upgrades does a person who is going to be doing one mile rides need before he puts his foot on the pedal? SPD? Brooks B-17 with cover and Proofide? Full lighting system? Complete Park tool set and workstand?
Unlike You, I assume a ride wants to ride his bike rather than hang it in the garage after the first ride. It's called encouragement.

You'd make an excellent LBS bike salesman.
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Old 04-05-12, 09:59 PM   #20
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If I were to stick with the stock real wheel, what can I expect to happen?
Eventually you MAY develop problems in the form of the wheel going out of true or spokes breaking. However, I think it's overkill to order a custom wheelset when you will be doing short rides for a while.

Mr. Beanz reminds me of a comment I made about a children's book author friend of mine. Her book was panned by some female reviewer for containing too much emphasis on body noises and body smells. I said that the woman book reviewer forgot what its like to be a nine year old boy. Mr. Beanz forgot what its like to be a novice rider purchasing his first bike.
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Old 04-05-12, 10:06 PM   #21
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Unlike You, I assume a ride wants to ride his bike rather than hang it in the garage after the first ride. It's called encouragement.

You'd make an excellent LBS bike salesman.
No, I think I have a better understanding of newbies than you do. Yes, he MAY need to replace the wheels in the future. But why anticipate what may never happen? If he has wheel problems at some point, he can deal with it then.
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Old 04-05-12, 10:23 PM   #22
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No, I think I have a better understanding of newbies than you.
Follow Neil's advice OP, everything is good, you'll see, just!

But you may want to follow this 280 lb rider's paper trail. Posters told him the wheels on his new Trek FX would be fine. Search his several previous threads on the same broken spokes issue

Then follow his recent threads, see if you can figure out where the bike is now and decide for yourself if I was correct or not.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...air?highlight=

Dont forget to read the part about the bike being rated for a 300 lb limit. And as usual, the wheels are the weak point for heavy riders, meaning the wheels will go before the bike (that is rated for 300 lbs).

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Old 04-05-12, 10:37 PM   #23
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What's the best way to convince a LBS that I really do want a strong rear wheel?
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Old 04-05-12, 10:39 PM   #24
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Follow Neil's advice OP, everything is good, you'll see, just!

But you may want to follow this 280 lb rider's paper trail. Posters told him the wheels on his new Trek FX would be fine. Search his several previous threads on the same broken spokes issue

Then follow his recent threads, see if you can figure out where the bike is now and decide for yourself if I was correct or not.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...air?highlight=

Dont forget to read the part about the bike being rated for a 300 lb limit. And as usual, the wheels are the weak point for heavy riders, meaning the wheels will go before the bike (that is rated for 300 lbs).
That would be the same bike I rode for 1K before having wheel problems? Really, if you are reduced to digging up threads about manufacturers defects..... I suppose we should tell people to stay away from LeMond bikes because your frame cracked.

OP, just get a bike and ride it. Fix problems as they arise. Or IF they arise. Good night and good luck, signing off this thread....
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Old 04-05-12, 10:54 PM   #25
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What's the best way to convince a LBS that I really do want a strong rear wheel?
Pleae don't listen to Neil, his advice stinks just as it does in the Uber Clyde new bike thread. He is suggests addressing wheel issues as they arise. As does the LBS worker telling the OP in that thread that keeping the wheels true will prevent issues. That is far from the truth. It is the tension that prevents wheel failure issues as mentioned in Bill k's post in that thread. Bill knows what is going on,he suggests having the wheels tensioned asap.

As for cracking frames yes I do and have suggested that other big riders avoid the Lemond Tourmalet/Trek 1.5 design as it is wimpy and flexy which only leads to failure. I have several times posted this when other clydes asked about the frame (both made by trek and same design tube dia etc.).

If Neil thinks any different , then that goes to show he does not pay attention to my postings and more than likely others that actually post good advice as well.

Some of us pass on valuable info, others pretend to know.


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What's the best way to convince a LBS that I really do want a strong rear wheel?
You might tell them you want a strong wheel built, maybe get credit for a trade in. If not, go to another LBS or find one that is known for having a good wheel builder in house.
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