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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 06-17-12, 04:48 PM   #1
marq96
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Hello, I'm new - from Wisconsin

Hi folks!

I joined this forum about a week ago. I guess I'm a Clyde.. 5'9, 325. I bought a Trek 3500 last summer with intentions of riding a local state trail that's crushed limestone. Within two rides I found that to be really boring, so now I'm mostly riding city and country roads. I didn't really ride much last year because of butt pain, but I committed myself to riding this year and the pain has been mostly fixed with a Serfas gel seat and iZumi riding shorts. I might have to check on the utter butter type products.

I've been averaging about 25 miles per week, and last Saturday I decided to do a 50 mile benefit ride (www.ridefornature.com). From what I've read in posts prior to the ride, I gather that people would not have recommended that I do the ride, but I was pretty confident I could pull it off. Obviously with my size, lack of build up, and the type of bike I'm riding it, was going to be a slow effort. I completed in 4:31:03. Here's some info for anyone interested: http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/139517779

I'm already thinking about ditching the 3500 for a road bike. From what I've read, people don't really have many good things to say about the 3500, and since I'm looking to road ride it's not the right bike for that application. How much of a difference will I see if I were to switch to a road tire? Obviously replacing the bike is the best option, but will making the switch be worth the price? What sort of tires would you recommend? Bontrager's website tells me I should go with the H2 26. Is that a decent tire? I'd be riding paved roads that ranged anywhere from excellent to ok. The country roads tend to have some pea gravel at the intersections.

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 06-17-12, 04:56 PM   #2
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Mark:

First, welcome! Its nice to get new members that come around! I agree with you... trails, for the most part, can bore me too, especially if it is an out and back sorta thing. I love being on the road and in the cities.

I commute to work a lot and I use a mountain bike with panniers, lights, etc. I did switch to a city slick no nobby tire which makes thing easier. I love that bike. But on the weekends, I pull out the road bike. The mtn bike is very heavy versus the road bike but to be frank, it makes you stronger when riding the road bike. For longer rides, I like the feel of the road bike because I have more hand positions and can use the drops to cut the wind. When commuting, I like the upright position that the mtn bike offers because I need to be more aware of whats going on.

I hope that helps. I know others will chime in

Great job on your riding!
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Old 06-17-12, 05:55 PM   #3
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Thanks Chefisaac!

The trail is an old railroad grade so yeah, it's mostly a down and back sort of thing. There are enough road crossings that you could make it part of a loop, but seeing the same trees mile after mile gets old.

When I first started out this year I did everything I could do avoid hills, but then I started adding in a few small hills and now a couple of big ones. On the 50 miler I did this weekend there were several big hills that brought me to a stop and had others pushing their bikes up the hill, but I never gave in. Took a 20-30 second breather and then kept pedaling until I got to the top.

What you said about the mtn bike making you better on the road bike makes sense. Unless I hear something totally different on here, I'll probably get some road tires and ride it though the rest of the summer while trying to figure out what sort of road bike to get.
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Old 06-17-12, 08:09 PM   #4
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Road bikes and hybrids with 700cc tires are much easier to push around than a MTB with wide 26 inch tires. I used to commute on a MTB that was converted to a commuter, which also rode on slicks and not knobby tires, and when I switched over to a 700cc hybrid I realized I had been punishing myself for sticking with the MTB, even with the tire change.

One thing you'll want to investigate before possibly making a switch to any other style of bike is the change in frame geometry and how that affects the rider's body position. A hybrid is usually more upright and a road bike will have you angled forward more. Either one could change how the seat feels or the weight you place on your hands and the handlebars. I've had seats that made my bum go numb and handlebars that made my hands go numb on both types of bikes. Because I'm mostly a city rider I went with a hybrid and upgraded the seat and handlebars to solve the numbness problem, you may have to do the same with a road bike.

If you take any bikes for a test ride, be sure to take it for a longer ride that you seem to be making now, in order to check for a potential numbness or pain issue.
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Old 06-17-12, 08:19 PM   #5
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Hi Mark!

Welcome and congrats on the 50.27 Miles! I took a look at your MapMyRide post and one of the interesting things I saw was that toward the end of the ride, it looked like you were still going pretty strong.

I agree with what chef said.. I just came from a mtb and pushing the extra weight, bigger tires and let's not forget my large mass, has helped me a lot.

Well Done!
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Old 06-17-12, 11:25 PM   #6
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Well done on your big ride.
You can go to bike shops and test ride bikes for free.
We're clydes!!!

A bike built for a 150 - 160 lb wiener won't stand up under our punishment.
My choice has been a touring bike.
700x38 tires, 36 spoke wheels, 3x9=27 gears. dropped handlebars.
And geometry that is built to be ridden all day.

Test rides are free. See if you can ride a Surley Long Haul Trucker. or a Trek 520. If it means saving your money to be able to afford it, do it.
Enjoy biking. You have a lifetime of riding ahead of you.
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Old 06-18-12, 04:38 AM   #7
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Marq96,

Great job on your 50 miler! I'd not complain about the scenery in Door County! How about we trade? I'm in the Dallas Fort Worth area... Just sayin!

Semper Fi
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Old 06-18-12, 09:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
Road bikes and hybrids with 700cc tires are much easier to push around than a MTB with wide 26 inch tires. I used to commute on a MTB that was converted to a commuter, which also rode on slicks and not knobby tires, and when I switched over to a 700cc hybrid I realized I had been punishing myself for sticking with the MTB, even with the tire change.

One thing you'll want to investigate before possibly making a switch to any other style of bike is the change in frame geometry and how that affects the rider's body position. A hybrid is usually more upright and a road bike will have you angled forward more. Either one could change how the seat feels or the weight you place on your hands and the handlebars. I've had seats that made my bum go numb and handlebars that made my hands go numb on both types of bikes. Because I'm mostly a city rider I went with a hybrid and upgraded the seat and handlebars to solve the numbness problem, you may have to do the same with a road bike.

If you take any bikes for a test ride, be sure to take it for a longer ride that you seem to be making now, in order to check for a potential numbness or pain issue.
Thanks for the input. I'll certainly be looking at both road and hybrid bikes. I *think* I'd be more suited to the road bike, but I obviously wouldn't know until I check both of them out and take them for test rides. I did experience some numbness in my hands, but I think I've solved that with Ergon grips and handlebar ends. I'm not under any illusions that putting slicks on my 3500 would transform it into a hybrid or road bike, but I figure it can't hurt. If I go that route it'll mostly be a budget issue. I don't think I can afford another bike until next spring, so my options right now are to ride it as it is - or put different tires on.
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Old 06-18-12, 10:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just_Nigel View Post
Hi Mark!

Welcome and congrats on the 50.27 Miles! I took a look at your MapMyRide post and one of the interesting things I saw was that toward the end of the ride, it looked like you were still going pretty strong.

I agree with what chef said.. I just came from a mtb and pushing the extra weight, bigger tires and let's not forget my large mass, has helped me a lot.

Well Done!
Thanks Nigel,

Pretty early on this spring I discovered a pace that I can pretty much ride at all day. I'm not sure what it comes out to for rpm's or heart rate. I didn't really know the course so I maintained that pace as best as I could. Having done the course I think I could probably have completed in about 4 hours even. It gives me a goal for next year, although hopefully I'm doing it on a different bike!
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Old 06-18-12, 10:38 AM   #10
marq96
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Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
Well done on your big ride.
You can go to bike shops and test ride bikes for free.
We're clydes!!!

A bike built for a 150 - 160 lb wiener won't stand up under our punishment.
My choice has been a touring bike.
700x38 tires, 36 spoke wheels, 3x9=27 gears. dropped handlebars.
And geometry that is built to be ridden all day.

Test rides are free. See if you can ride a Surley Long Haul Trucker. or a Trek 520. If it means saving your money to be able to afford it, do it.
Enjoy biking. You have a lifetime of riding ahead of you.
Thanks Skilsaw. I'll keep those bikes under advisement. I read on a different thread a question someone had about steel frame bikes vs aluminum frame, and people responded that they didn't mind steel frame since they weren't racing. I wonder what most people here are riding?
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Old 06-18-12, 10:40 AM   #11
marq96
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Originally Posted by dave5339 View Post
Marq96,

Great job on your 50 miler! I'd not complain about the scenery in Door County! How about we trade? I'm in the Dallas Fort Worth area... Just sayin!

Semper Fi
Thanks Dave! I know what the Metroplex is like. I used to be stationed at Ft. Hood.. I definitely don't take Door County for granted, it's beautiful up here
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Old 06-18-12, 11:08 AM   #12
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Welcome Mark. Looked like a good ride.

Before changing to any type of bike you'd need to determine where you'd ride it besides "on the road'.
Is it hilly where you might ride? I ask because gearing is a huge consideration.
I don't know the specifics of the 3500 but I'd guess it's a triple (28-38-48 or so) with a xx-34 cassette which can go up about anything even if it probably weighs in at 30+ lbs.

When jumping to a road bike you'd most likely find it to have a compact 34/50 front crank set and an xx-25, xx-28 or even a xx-32 cassette in the back. I'd suggest that if you can take a ride on each bike you can get out the LBS's door and take it to the steepest hills you'd ride and give it a shot.

From your ride data it has only 958' of elevation gain so it's relatively flat (by the way I think mapmyride elevation numbers are off by quite a bit, I rust ridewithgps more) but that may not be the only place you will ever ride so give the gearing along with fit a lot of thought before pulling the trigger on a bike.
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Old 06-18-12, 11:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
Welcome Mark. Looked like a good ride.

Before changing to any type of bike you'd need to determine where you'd ride it besides "on the road'.
Is it hilly where you might ride? I ask because gearing is a huge consideration.
I don't know the specifics of the 3500 but I'd guess it's a triple (28-38-48 or so) with a xx-34 cassette which can go up about anything even if it probably weighs in at 30+ lbs.

When jumping to a road bike you'd most likely find it to have a compact 34/50 front crank set and an xx-25, xx-28 or even a xx-32 cassette in the back. I'd suggest that if you can take a ride on each bike you can get out the LBS's door and take it to the steepest hills you'd ride and give it a shot.

From your ride data it has only 958' of elevation gain so it's relatively flat (by the way I think mapmyride elevation numbers are off by quite a bit, I rust ridewithgps more) but that may not be the only place you will ever ride so give the gearing along with fit a lot of thought before pulling the trigger on a bike.
The terrain and elevation mapped out in that ride is pretty typical of the entire area. Most of the hills aren't that big. The worst ones are usually not very tall, but occasionally they are mildly steep. Definitely not mountains.

The 3500 has a Shimano TX M131, 42/34/24 crank and Shimano TZ31 14-34, 7 speed cassette. You're right, it'll climb just about anything as long as I have the desire and strength left to do it.
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