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  1. #1
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    Road bike for a clyde that focuses on comfort, for $1100?

    So I'm a 6'2" 240ish guy looking for my next road bike. I got upper back ( posture, and a couple as in two, car accidents ) problems, and now apparently knee problems ( cho-pat, loose cartilage, patellar tendonitis ). But all this aside I'm not giving up on road biking.

    Can you guys recommend a new road bike that focuses on ergonomics, has an upright relaxed geometry, can handle my frame, and is around $1100. Oh, and it'd be really cool if it doesn't have Sora components. At least Tiagra....

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    At 240lbs most frames, other than the ultralight, should be up to the challenge. At 6'2", unless you have an unusually long inseam, saddle height shouldn't represent too much of a challenge.

    "Next" road bike implies that you already have one. What is your current saddle height? Bar reach and drop? How do these work for you and what adjustments do you think you would like to make?

    Then it's simply a matter of selecting a frame that allows that geometry with the use of stand stem and post.

    If you're unsure about the dimensions you need, this is a case where the use of a "fit cycle" could pay large dividends, even though you may not require a custom frame. Find a cooperative lbs and spend an hour or two working through the likely range of adjustments. Once you know where you "want" or "need" your saddle and bars realative to the bottom bracket it's easy to transfer those measurements to most frames of an appropriate base size.

    If all that sounds like too much work. Go for one of the many frames that use a longer head tube, like a Trek H3, for example and experiment from there.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    I have similar issues (neck & shoulders), but I was able to modify my old road bike so that it's comfortable now. And it has a VERY short head tube. The fix involved:

    - New stem (I went with an adjustable one temporarily, until I figure out what I want more permanently) that put the bars closer and higher. The tops are now set to be about 2" higher than the seat. I can now ride comfortably on the hoods, where it had gotten to be torture to stretch out that much and have to look up to see the road.

    - New bars, wider with shallower drops than the old ones. This puts the drops just a little below seat height. I can now use the drops in the double digit percentages of the time.

    - Messing with the pedal adjustment (now set for maximum float) to get rid of the knee pain.

    - New saddle after a sit-bone measurement on the butt-o-meter.

    Total cost, including the fit: about $400. And the bike is REALLY comfortable now.

    Bottom line is your old bike might be fixable for a lot less than the $1100 you're ready to spend.
    L'asino di Buridano...

  4. #4
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    Look for any of the "endurance" category frames. They will have some combination of higher head tubes, lower bottom brackets, longer chain stays and relaxed geometry. some popular examples are:
    Specialized Secteur/Roubaix
    Giant Defy
    Cannondale Synapse
    Trek doesn't have an endurance "model" but they use H1/h2/h3 geometry for each model. One of those is the equivalent of the endurance type geometry.

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    For what it's worth, I too have had issues. Compression fracture of L1, L1/L2 micro-discectomy, arthroscopic repair to left knee including the removal of both loose and abraided cartilage and repair to the back of my patella.

    I've ridden off and on for a very long time and have suffered back issues sufficient to warrant surgery ten years after my back injury. I continue to address my back on a daily basis. Weight loss, core strengthening and stretching have all contributed to me actually starting to consider the most aggresive bicycle position I've had in 20 years. I'm riding a pretty stock standard Cannondale Caad geometry with little more than the stem flipped up.

    You may need to give special attention to the position that will keep you on the bike. But, don't discout the possibility of recovering fitness.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    For what it's worth, I too have had issues. Compression fracture of L1, L1/L2 micro-discectomy, arthroscopic repair to left knee including the removal of both loose and abraided cartilage and repair to the back of my patella.

    I've ridden off and on for a very long time and have suffered back issues sufficient to warrant surgery ten years after my back injury. I continue to address my back on a daily basis. Weight loss, core strengthening and stretching have all contributed to me actually starting to consider the most aggresive bicycle position I've had in 20 years. I'm riding a pretty stock standard Cannondale Caad geometry with little more than the stem flipped up.

    You may need to give special attention to the position that will keep you on the bike. But, don't discout the possibility of recovering fitness.
    Right on. Thanks for the inspiration. Since I'm only spending 1k, I don't count on keeping this bike for a super long time. I want to ride it for the couple of years it will take me to get things all happy again, then I can look back at the more aggressive looking bikes, after I can confidently wear full racing gear

    But for now, I need a good 'rehab and building fitness' bike...

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    Quote Originally Posted by enroper View Post
    So I'm a 6'2" 240ish guy looking for my next road bike. I got upper back ( posture, and a couple as in two, car accidents ) problems, and now apparently knee problems ( cho-pat, loose cartilage, patellar tendonitis ). But all this aside I'm not giving up on road biking.

    Can you guys recommend a new road bike that focuses on ergonomics, has an upright relaxed geometry, can handle my frame, and is around $1100. Oh, and it'd be really cool if it doesn't have Sora components. At least Tiagra....

    Thoughts?
    Do you know about what size you are looking at? I know you were asking about getting fitted in a previous thread but knowing some of that might be helpful. When I was looking for a bike I used the competitive cyclist fit calculator and it ended up being pretty close to what I am riding now so it might be a good place to start short of getting an actual fitting (which given some of your medical history). That being said I think the only way your going to find something with tiagra level or higher for <$1100 is to find someone who has last years model in stock on clearance in the right size, go the online route or get lucky on craigslist. It'd be worth looking at local places to see what they have, I know the performance in Paoli had some good deals on clearance bikes last time I was in there as well as the new EMS in Collegeville.

    I think these bikes from Nashbar are real good deals but they are not exactly relaxed in their geometry (maybe a little less aggressive than some).

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...84_-1___202613
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...98_-1___202613

  8. #8
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    I would look at a Cannondale Synapse. If you can find a NOS/leftover, you may even be able to get into the 105 version for that.

  9. #9
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I hesitated to post earlier as you said you wanted a roadbike but as you've brought up the N+1 senerio, let me say a Cylcocross bike is great bike to have in the stable. My Surly Crosscheck with 60 mm of headtube spacers is fairly relaxed and running 35 mm tires allows for a smooth ride.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    I also hesitated to post earlier and along the same lines I am quite happy with my Windsor Tourist being a touring bike I use as a sturdy more relaxed road bike. The larger tires ride fairly free and take a lot of the pounding out of the ride along with the frame geometry. I also changed stems and set drop height about identical to what Tony suggested. I have slowly lowered the stem height and angle to suit how I’m currently feeling. If your goal is to work back to an aggressive aero position over time such a stem could help you there.

    I like the sturdy 36 spoke wheels and without all the touring gear on the bike it’s only a few pounds heavier than a road bike. My way of looking at it is if I want to take 10 pounds off the bike the best place to start is the seat post.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  11. #11
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Specialized Secteur-i test road an apex version that on sale was ~$1100. very very comfortable and soaked up the bumps. down side to me it was but ugly and the ride was uninspiring. but the most comfortable i have ever been on a road bike

    Giant Defy- a smooth ride and somewhat nimble. it was the bike i wanted to get but just couldn't catch one on sale.

    if your looking for comfort and being upright Trust me take a test ride on the Specialized Sectuer, if you do buy it IIRC it can fit 28 tires then you will have a buttery smooth ride.

    good luck

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    Specialized Secteur-i test road an apex version that on sale was ~$1100. very very comfortable and soaked up the bumps. down side to me it was but ugly and the ride was uninspiring. but the most comfortable i have ever been on a road bike

    Giant Defy- a smooth ride and somewhat nimble. it was the bike i wanted to get but just couldn't catch one on sale.

    if your looking for comfort and being upright Trust me take a test ride on the Specialized Sectuer, if you do buy it IIRC it can fit 28 tires then you will have a buttery smooth ride.

    good luck
    Secteur is actually on my radar! Can't fully test ride one as I'm still nursing my knee but I will. I was hoping to find some other options that may be a little less money. All of them are priced 1250 here w/ the Apex, I wish I could find one for 1100 I'd get on it!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    I would recommend a touring bike. They have what is known as a "relaxed" geometry which makes the bike more comfortable and more stable.

    I ride a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which is around $1000, but I paid a lot more for mine because I had it customized with a lot of higher end components. Likewise you'll probably have to spend a bit more to get Tiagra stuff on there instead of the default configuration.

    But I must stress how comfortable I've found tourers to be.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by enroper View Post
    All of them are priced 1250 here w/ the Apex, I wish I could find one for 1100 I'd get on it!
    Just because the MSRP is $1250 doesn't mean that's the price you have to pay for the bike. Just like cars, bike prices are frequently negotiable... A shop in my area currently has the 2011 Secteur Sport marked down from $949 to 749. If there's $200 of "wiggle room" in that model, it wouldn't surprise me if there's a similar amount in the one you're considering.

  15. #15
    recumbent bike advocate Tractortom's Avatar
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    I would look for a used Bacchetta Giro recumbent...has a great seat, and a relaxed riding position, no pressures on the hands or arms, no numbness in the shoulders. Good vision with a heads up position, and a LOT of them go for around $1000 used. I bought mine from a fellow in Wisconsin for $850.00 shipped to South Florida.

    Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL

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    http://bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/pro30_gray.htm

    Something along the lines of this. I think Giant has similar frames?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
    I hesitated to post earlier as you said you wanted a roadbike but as you've brought up the N+1 senerio, let me say a Cylcocross bike is great bike to have in the stable. My Surly Crosscheck with 60 mm of headtube spacers is fairly relaxed and running 35 mm tires allows for a smooth ride.
    I was thinking along the same lines - my Salsa Vaya, with its super long headtube, is quite comfy. It might also provide some variety (and open up some other options) from a normal road bike. http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya_3/

  18. #18
    internettubes engineer st3venb's Avatar
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    Felt's Z series sounds like it might be up your alley.

    Is that all you've got?
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  19. #19
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    We can recommend bikes all day long, and they'll follow our own tastes. I would go to every bike shop you can find, and ride every bike that fits your needs until you find the one the speaks to you. I did that one day. I rode a Tarmac, Roubaix, Synapse, Z4, Defy Advanced 2(now I think it's called a Defy Composite), Defy Advanced 3 and an Orbea Onyx. The Defy Advanced 2 was the bike that I enjoyed the most. It just felt "right" to me. And, had I not gotten sick, that's what I would have bought.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  20. #20
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    I would comment that you may find yourself in a situation where you can choose between something like a 58cm or 60cm frame...or 60 and 62. If you find yourself considering a slightly smaller or slightly larger size that you can make work well with an appropriate stem change, keep in mind the larger frame size with a shorter stem will provide a somewhat more upright riding configuration. I ride that configuration due to my need for a similar, slightly more upright style.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digibud View Post
    I would comment that you may find yourself in a situation where you can choose between something like a 58cm or 60cm frame...or 60 and 62. If you find yourself considering a slightly smaller or slightly larger size that you can make work well with an appropriate stem change, keep in mind the larger frame size with a shorter stem will provide a somewhat more upright riding configuration. I ride that configuration due to my need for a similar, slightly more upright style.
    The Cannondale guys said that about their bikes, in reference to a CAAD something or another. I didn't know if it was just BS to try to get me to buy a bike I didn't really consider..

  22. #22
    Senior Member bud16415's Avatar
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    A “French Fit” is pretty common to get a more upright fitting by slamming the saddle down and thus making the bars higher. There is down sides though one being a longer than needed top tube that needs to be fixed with a short stem and also the stand over height. I would really want to make sure that type fit was right for me before buying it in a new bike. I have bought several garage sale road bikes in larger than perfect size for me to experiment with a French Fit.

    For me it’s a very comfortable way to go. It won’t leave you any way to lower the bars much though if you desire that later.
    What's not in your legs needs to be in your gears.

  23. #23
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    it's true

    Quote Originally Posted by enroper View Post
    The Cannondale guys said that about their bikes, in reference to a CAAD something or another. I didn't know if it was just BS to try to get me to buy a bike I didn't really consider..
    You can take it too far, as in cases where the bike has such a long top tube that even a very short stem on a large frame makes for too long a reach, or when a too-small frame leaves you bending down way too far or too cramped up, but my ideal fit is probably between a 56 and 58cm bike given the geometry of my Roubaix so both sizes were reasonable. If I were a skinny 20 something and wanted a Roubaix I would have bought the 56cm, but I'm 60 with bad shoulders etc etc so I somewhat more upright-but-reasonable fitting bike was my choice. The key is simply buying a shorter stem.
    Given the fact that your pedal to seat distance is fixed, you can envision a very small frame will have handlebars down low and a very large frame will have your handlebars much higher. It's as simple as that. Obviously you need to be able to stand over the top tube...

  24. #24
    Senior Member longhaultrucker's Avatar
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    You could take your bike you have now and start turning the bars up untill you find the right height and then start looking at bikes with the right head tube or just buy a new fork for yours with the right head tube leanght it's just my .02c
    Training status: still old, fat, and slow. I'm not as fat and not as slow as last time, but I am even older. I can't do much about the last one.
    I'll keep my guns, money, and FREEDOM you can keep the change.

  25. #25
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    It's a little above your price range, but the Look 566 is a very comfortable bike, designed more for sportive riding than racing. - but still quick off the mark when you want it to be. I love mine.

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