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  1. #1
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    Call for Help - Decisions!!

    Ok, first off this forum is AWESOME!! I have been lurking around learning, laughing, and generally getting all amped up to ride. Here is my situation and my questions

    243 lb-er - 6’2” just measured waist at 45.25” (but I wear a 38-40 waist pants WTF?!?!)
    Will be 39yo May 6th
    Casual rider with the kids easily can pull a 5 mile leisure ride through neighborhoods with the Wally World special with general ease - but I WANT MORE!! I want to ride with the goal of losing weight, general fitness, and challenging myself with a fun and rewarding hobby. Mental release is an added plus. Love to enter races or charity rides to be part of the culture; winning races / breaking records is not a goal.

    Stopped at the LBS and they recommended a Trek FX 7.1. With this I dropped a serious hint to the wife that I wanted the 22.5” for my birthday – fingers crossed.
    1)Given my 2 line info above, is the 7.1 an acceptable bike? Can I work my way up to double digit mile rides with good results?
    2)If I ‘grow out’ of this bike too soon, what are my options to change components to make it more of a Road style bike (drop bars, more aggro stance ready to ride the earth)? I forgot to ask my lbs, so I wanted to hear you guys’ opinions
    3)Ebay Chinese shorts – So I see padded undergarment type shorts for anywhere from 15 to 25 bucks. Two part question here
    a)Does anyone have ACTUAL experience with these? (would like to hear only from those who have purchased these and tried them)
    b)For those who actually had them, I need help with sizing, do they run small? If I wear a size 40 waist in pants size, am I a 2X, 3X, 4X?

  2. #2
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    First - welcome!

    my thoughts on your questions:

    1. An FX is an excellent starter bike. If you can I'd recommend going one level up if you can to 7.2. The 7.1 has an ultra-granny gear that I doubt you need. instead of getting FX get a ROAD bike to start out. You won't likely regret that choice!

    2. An FX most likely can be converted to drop bar but cost involved might not be worth the effort. Save $ and get a road bike to go with the FX in your bike stable. Better idea would be to put skinnier tires on the FX (I put 28's on my 7.2 to give it a bit more speed and less rolling resistance)or...instead of getting FX get a ROAD bike to start out. You won't likely regret that choice!

    3. I don't know quality of shorts you mention. Shorts with quality chamois can be pricey but they will last longer I would say. Performance Bikes, REI and Sport Chalet might be good options for shorts. Go to said stores and try on various manufacturers...some run "true" to size and some run smaller.
    Last edited by Beachgrad05; 04-26-13 at 09:16 AM.
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

  3. #3
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Pants sizes are almost always smaller than true waist sizes, because almost nobody wears their belt around their waist.

    Sizes for cycling clothing are difficult to advise on. Some brands (Santini, for example) seem to think that large means taller than 5'8" and weighing more than 150lbs. Others (including Assos, the most expensive) give good information on which of their sizes will fit you based on your measurements. The only answer for cheaper stuff is to try it on, I wouldn't buy on-line unless I had experience of the product.

    The bike will be fine. Don't think about converting it to a drop-handlebar road bike, though. The conversion would be complicated and expensive, and you'd likely find that the geometry wasn't really ideal once you'd finished. Much better to ride this one, then reflect on what else you might like when you have more experience. You might decide that it's fine, you don't want to change.

    Yes, of course you could work up to double digit (or even triple-digit) rides on this bike.
    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.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kappadon3 View Post

    is the 7.1 an acceptable bike? Can I work my way up to double digit mile rides with good results?

    If I ‘grow out’ of this bike too soon, what are my options to change components to make it more of a Road style bike
    Yes

    You will not "grow out of it". If you want a road bike, get a road bike (n+1). Even with a "nicer" bike you may occasional want a more utility ride. I'm sorry I sold my 7.2Fx.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  5. #5
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Welcome to the american pants industry... specializing in baggy incorrectly marked clothing to make the american male feel better about his largeness. I started at 6'2" and about 245 and unless you want a hybrid for some reason you don't need to feel like you have to limit yourself.

    It's also great that your kids are riding - you don't mention how old they are but once they hit 9 or 10 they can handle some pretty long rides so work them into your agenda. I get my 10 yr old out on a 20 mile ride as often as I can.

    Last, you can't outride a bad diet. If you want to lose weight it will have to come from eating better foods (and probably less of it!)

    Good luck and welcome to the forum!

  6. #6
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    It's also great that your kids are riding - you don't mention how old they are but once they hit 9 or 10 they can handle some pretty long rides so work them into your agenda. I get my 10 yr old out on a 20 mile ride as often as I can.
    my wife got a an electra townie a few weeks back... we took the kids out and ended up doing 4 miles on a fairly rough/bumpy path... I was impressed at how well they rode it.

    so that being said... what kind of trails or whatnot are you taking your kids out on?... we had a great rails to trails where I used to live but still haven't found anything near as well groomed or the distance around here :-/... also what kind of bikes are they on?... 20 miles at 10 y/o is impressive IMHO lol... but I like the thinking
    mtbr clyd moderator

  7. #7
    Senior Member ZManT's Avatar
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    I own, and love, my 7.2 FX. I have been commuting to work (20m round trip) since March of 2010 on the bike. You and i are the same height, and the 22.5 is a good fit for me.

    it's an entry level, but properly spec'd bike. Solid frame construction, with mounting bosses for racks and fenders. don't think you could go wrong with the FX line - but i'd buy the highest model you can afford just based on the longevity of the components you will get.

    probably the first thing you'll want to do after you get the bike is to get a proper saddle for it. the OEM saddles are poor because, well, saddles are a personal preference and bike wholesalers know this so they put the cheapest saddle they can on these bikes. i'm a big Brooks fan (B17) but there are dozens of good options out there and hundreds of threads on the topic. Bottom line (pun intended) - you'll appreciate your rides, and ride more if your backside isn't in constant pain, and your junk isn't numb.

    the key is to get out and ride. that line of bikes (FX) can handle any road/pavement you can throw at it, and some light duty off-road use. go for it!

  8. #8
    That guy from the Chi Chitown_Mike's Avatar
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    Welcome! And congrats on taking the first step to want to improve your health and well-being. Your kid's kids (and potentially kid's kid's kids) will thank you!

    The Trek is a great choice for a starter bike. I test rode one a week ago, very smooth and with some smooth road tires it glided very nicely. As for double digits, that all depends on how fast you want to do it. I ride around the streets and forest preserve trails of Chicago on a 91 Trek MTB with some loud, knobby tires on it. I also do interval training on the bike and can get up to 25-28 MPH and (like yesterday) do 20+ miles on it. So that bike should more than get you there with little to nothing more needed.

    However if you know you want something more aggressive, look at the Trek Crossrip. It is something I am looking at getting next spring, or getting a Domane (we will see) but it is a hybrid of sorts. The frame is more of a cyclo-cross style, but with an urban flair to it. It's designed to be a commuter all year, go on a century ride, and tow the kids. And it has the more aggressive side as a road bike. Might be something else to consider since it can grow with you a lot longer, but still be functional as a new biker.

    As for the shorts, I have no comment specifically. I was looking at them when I bought a pair at least 6 years ago, but I ended up getting a pair of Canari cycling briefs. They are padded and worn under shorts as sort of boxer brief. I use them constantly last year, and use them very often this year when I ride the MTB. They were like $30 or $35 and I believe are an XL (I wear a 40" waist currently). Might be worth taking a look at a brand name, since these have lasted me a good while.

    But more importantly: get out, ride, and enjoy!
    Looking forward to my winter commuting adventure.....

  9. #9
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I'd say the 7.2 is well worth the extra money. What you run into as you move up the FX line is "maintainability" Can a component be greased, adjusted or repaired versus replaced. For someone riding 100 miles a year this isn't a big concern. If you ride 5000 miles a year this is a big question. I have a Trek 7300 which is somewhat similar to the 7.2 FX after 2500 miles the rear derailleur was tired. The Alivio derailleurs are riveted together and there isn't anyway to fix them. I upgraded to a Deore LX which can be disassembled, greased and some replacement parts can be acquired.

    It can be really tough to decide where to stop in the upgrade process especially when it's that second bike.

    P.S. providing a link to a bike you have a question about makes it easier for others to comment.

  10. #10
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    get a road bike and don't look back!!

  11. #11
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
    The 7.1 has an ultra-granny gear that I doubt you need.
    That's just a silly thing to say.

    I don't see why to suggest to anybody not to get a granny gear. If you don't have one and don't want one, great. But particularly for us heavier folk, climbing is (a) harder and (b) less efficient standing and (c) more likely to hurt our knees without lower gears.

    Edit: I now realize she's referring to 34T cog on cassette instead of 32T cog instead of cassette and not double versus triple. The difference between 34 and 32 is fairly minimal.
    Last edited by cplager; 04-26-13 at 07:24 PM.
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  12. #12
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    I'll also comment that the Trek 7.* would be a great starter bike that you will never really outgrow. However, as Beachgrad mentions, if you do plan on racing or going on longer and longer trips (that seems to the addictive path once you croos that magic 10-mile distance line... ), you should think about starting off on a proper road bike.

    One more thing--I know that they're just starting to catch on, but I'm really diggin the newer-gen disc-braked road offerings like Specialized's Sectuer, etc. My .02...
    "I had this baby hand made in Tuscany, from titanium blessed by the pope. It weighs less than a fart, and costs more than a divorce..."

  13. #13
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson View Post
    what kind of trails or whatnot are you taking your kids out on?... we had a great rails to trails where I used to live but still haven't found anything near as well groomed or the distance around here :-/... also what kind of bikes are they on?... 20 miles at 10 y/o is impressive IMHO lol... but I like the thinking
    One of the clydes on this forum has taken his kids on centuries! I think the younger child is 12 years old. Obviously that's pretty dang impressive.

    Anyway, we ride normal roads near our house or I'll take him down to the river trail - we have some awesome river trails in LA that go for 40+ miles. Obviously I wouldn't take my kids on 100% of the roads I feel comfortable riding but most of them are fair game.

    Oh, and he has two bikes - a trek "mountain" bike... more of a hybrid really, and a small fuji road bike.

  14. #14
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    All great input. Gotta love forums, you get all kinds of views!!

    If I were to go for a true road bike, from what Ive read, my size and height would warrent a 58cm? I ask because my budget would probably have me looking in the used sector and local craigslist has a couple of good ones, but mainly 56cm... is that too small?
    see this link - if a 56 can fit my frame, I might just call this guy!!!
    http://eastnc.craigslist.org/bik/3718736985.html

  15. #15
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kappadon3 View Post
    All great input. Gotta love forums, you get all kinds of views!!

    If I were to go for a true road bike, from what Ive read, my size and height would warrent a 58cm? I ask because my budget would probably have me looking in the used sector and local craigslist has a couple of good ones, but mainly 56cm... is that too small?
    see this link - if a 56 can fit my frame, I might just call this guy!!!
    http://eastnc.craigslist.org/bik/3718736985.html
    Almost certainly too small. I'm 6'3". My smallest bike is a 58cm frame, and that has me in a very aggressive position that a beginner to road bikes probably wouldn't tolerate. In general I ride a 60 or 61.

    Proportions differ, of course, but I'd be very surprised indeed if at your height you were well suited by a 56cm frame.

    I understand the enthusiasm some posters are displaying for road bikes, I'm a roadie myself. But think about what you want. Are you happy that you would be comfortable? Bear in mind that ypu can get just as much exercise on a hybrid as on a road bike, and that the more upright position is likely to feel more natural to you.

    Not wanting to influence you either way. Just consider how you are likely to be using the bike, what your priorities are at the moment, and then go and test ride a few bikes at LBSs.
    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.

  16. #16
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    Hi, and welcome. THis site, as you have already seen, rocks.

    A few things:

    - at your age, size, and enthusiasm, I wouldn't hesitate to go straight to a road bike. Especially if you go used, you won't lose much money.
    - make sure the budget has room for good bibs (not shorts, bibs. Figure 80-100)
    - as you probably found here, wheels will be an issue. You want solid, hand-built wheels. Ideally, buy a road bike that fits off another clyde trading up. I will be selling one of mine soon, and will start by advertising to clydes here.
    - fit of the bike is critical. It's an imperfect guess, but I would say 58-60 top tube length for you sounds right. There are a number of fit calculators out there -- try the one on competitive cyclist and see what it yields. FWIW, I'm 6'3.5 and a 58 is on the small side; my custom is a true 59.
    - look at geometry tables for the bikes you're interested in. Very few 58s are really 58s, and geometry varies. It's like pants that way...
    - test ride. Bikes feel different, in terms of frame material and handling. Personally I love how steel feels, having had carbon, ti, aluminum, I don't see myself riding anything different. But we are all different.
    - assuming you are truly bitten by the bug, buy the most road-like bike that you are comfortable with. Fitness and ability will come quickly as you ride.

    and, let us know how it works out!
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

  17. #17
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    I am going to be in the buy a road bike camp and skip the hybrid. I don't see the benefit of a hybrid for you, but do see the limitations.

    your not that heavy and in 6 months you could easily be down around the 200 mark and riding 100 milers. Your going to want that road bike then.

    on the shorts, you get what you pay for. I am positive of that. I have tried everything from 25.00 shorts to ones that retail for 150.00 (I find them end of season for half off) and I won't buy any more that aren't a name brand quality short.

    i don't see upgrading Lowe level bikes. Until you get to the place where you want to ride the higher level frames, I can't see upgrades of components. A new bike is a better deal than upgrading.

  18. #18
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Here's an online fit calculator you can try out. http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO

    It's easier to make a small bike fit than a large bike though - stems are pretty cheap if you want a longer one and that looks like a pretty well priced bike. Go give it a test ride and see what you think. I think you could probably resell it in a year for about the same price anyway if you were so inclined.

  19. #19
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    6' 2" and ~243. Get a road bike and go rip some asphalt!

    I started at 5'7" and 252. My LBS wanted me on a hybrid in the worst way. I forced them to sell me a roadie, ~6000 miles later it was the best early decision I made about cycling. A roadie opens the door for spirited group rides/Triathlons/Centuries/Bike races/Speed.

    Whew, I'm opinionated. If you're into pictures, have fun and it doesn't matter what kind of bike you get. If you're into speed the choice is obvious.

  20. #20
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I like hybrids but I might be in the minority. I put as many miles on my hybrids as on my road bike. It does depend a lot on where you are riding. If you spend a fair amount of time just riding around town or riding with kids the hybrid will be better. The road bike will be better for churning out the miles on the open road.

  21. #21
    Senior Member ClydesMoose's Avatar
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    I'm 6'1" or so, 260ish. I ride a 58cm CAAD8, and it fits me perfectly. A 58 should be about right for you.

  22. #22
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I like hybrids but I might be in the minority. I put as many miles on my hybrids as on my road bike. It does depend a lot on where you are riding. If you spend a fair amount of time just riding around town or riding with kids the hybrid will be better. The road bike will be better for churning out the miles on the open road.
    The OP should go and try out different bikes. If he likes a road bike, get a road bike. If he likes the hybrid better, get a hybrid. If he gets a hybrid now and wants a road bike later, he gets a road bike later. And if he wants to actually be really comfortable and go fast, he can talk to me about a recumbent.

    N+1, people. Come on. N + 1.

    Cheers,
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  23. #23
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    The OP should go and try out different bikes. If he likes a road bike, get a road bike. If he likes the hybrid better, get a hybrid. If he gets a hybrid now and wants a road bike later, he gets a road bike later. And if he wants to actually be really comfortable and go fast, he can talk to me about a recumbent.

    N+1, people. Come on. N + 1.

    Cheers,
    Charles
    Yup.

  24. #24
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    That's just a silly thing to say.

    I don't see why to suggest to anybody not to get a granny gear. If you don't have one and don't want one, great. But particularly for us heavier folk, climbing is (a) harder and (b) less efficient standing and (c) more likely to hurt our knees without lower gears.
    I stated "doubt you need" not "you DON'T need".... commented from experience. I am 5' 7" and started at 257 lbs and the big cog on the 7.1 is something crazy like a 36. This gentleman is taller and slimmer than I was and I chose not to get the one with the crazy granny gear as even at my heaviest I didn't need so much of a granny gear. YES...his experience may not be that but I still feel the 7.2 is a better investment overall than the 7.1
    Last edited by Beachgrad05; 04-26-13 at 04:02 PM.
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

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    I am the 6.0 foot tall and just hit 250 pounds. I was in the same boat as you about 6 weeks ago and I ended up buying a Trek Fitness 7.4 (wanted the carbon fork). Since my purchase I have been riding a lot and my fitness level has increased and I really enjoy the 7.4. That being said I am yearning for a road bike so that I can go on some group rides and not get dropped. Today I was at the LBS and talked to them about a road bike salesperson said both the 7.4 and road have their uses and that I will ride both. The 7.4 would be used for more casual rides and just cruising about town while the road bike is more aggressive.

    For me having the fitness 7.4 works perfectly for riding with my wife (she has Townie) and going for rail/trail rides and just kicking around town (you can ride a 7.4 in places a road can't go). If I were to ride a road bike while my wife road the Townie I am sure it would be no fun for either of us because she couldn't keep up and it would be hard for me to slow down.

    can everyone say n+1

    FYI - I got Pearl Izumi shorts Quest Short in XL and they fit fine.

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