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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 06-11-13, 07:53 AM   #1
Jason300
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290lbs on a Carbon Frame - 1,000 mile review

I have over 1,000 miles on my 2013 Trek Madone 4.5 so I figured an update was due. I bought the bike in April this year and currently ride 120+ miles per week.

Issues
1. I have had 2 flats (700x23mm stock). One in the rear tire caused by an underinflated tire (snakebite) at less than 100 miles and one in the front tire at about 900 miles for reason unknown still. Always fill tires (especially the rear) to max psi (120 for me).
2. Creaking noises from both wheels after 900 miles. Fixed by having the LBS tension all the spokes.
3. At 1,000 miles I needed to replace the tires. The rear tire had worn flat and you could see the fabric lining in 2 spots that had worn through. My LBS replaced my tires with a previous customers new take-offs at a steep discount. The new tires were the same Bontrager R2 but 25mm instead of the stock 23mm. After a 34 mile ride I can say the 25mm tires are a bit more comfortable over the cracks and bumps. There was no noticeable speed difference even at 20+ mph. After these wear I will go back to 23mm tires though - it's just how I am.


Other random tidbits....
1. The white bar tape and saddle are not so shiny white anymore.
2. I wash the bike and clean/lube the chain myself every 2 weeks ish.

Now for Pictures





More photos of my 2013 Trek Madone 4.5
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Old 06-11-13, 08:23 AM   #2
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Nice bike. How are you getting it to stand up on the grass?
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Old 06-11-13, 08:57 AM   #3
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Nice bike. How are you getting it to stand up on the grass?
There is a stainless steel 12" long ruler that is proping the bike up at the center bold of the bottom bracket. You can see it in the second pic due to the angle.
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Old 06-11-13, 09:04 AM   #4
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This is a personal preference thing, as some are willing to swap longer tire wear for better comfort, but a tire like a Gatorskin will give you much more mileage than 1,200 if you don't want to change them that often. I've got almost 2,000 on both of my tires that I installed on my bike when I purchased it and they both still have got tons of wear left. GP4000s should give you more wear than that as well.
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Old 06-11-13, 09:40 AM   #5
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Very cool. I'm in envy with your dedication. 120 miles/week is no small task. Good going man!
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Old 06-11-13, 11:03 AM   #6
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Other random tidbits....
1. The white bar tape and saddle are not so shiny white anymore.
I have no personal experience to speak of, but I've heard that Pledge works wonder for it.
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Old 06-11-13, 04:03 PM   #7
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Thanks for the thread. I'm not so worried about carbon for a clyde, mostly because I trust it, and its outside my budget, but I'm a bit worried about lower spoke wheel counts. About a week ago, I asked how 28R/24 Front spoke wheels would hold up to me at 270, and pretty much everybody, including the OP, told me it should be fine, but I still had my doubts.

Seeing your bike holding up fine with 24R/18F? gives me a lot more cofidence.

Due to my spoke phobia, I was leaning towards the CAAD 8/Synapse, but this post gives me the cofidence to buy a bike with 28R/24F spokes if it happens to fit me best. There is nothing wrong with cannondale, and if I like it the best so be it, but I need to at least check out the Domaine, 1.5, Madone, Defy, etc. with an open mind, and not let spoke phobia cause me to make the wrong choice.
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Old 06-11-13, 04:19 PM   #8
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...I'm a bit worried about lower spoke wheel counts...
I weigh a bit less than you, (but still a clyde), and have been riding 16/20 spoke count wheels for the past several years without any ill effects. One is a Dura-Ace WH-7900 wheelset on my primary bike and two sets of Ultegra WH-6700 wheelsets on the other bikes. Good wheels. Only thing needed to be done was the result of a low-speed crash when I was chugging along, head down, trying to keep up with another cyclist. Looked up at the last second to see that the light had turned red and I plowed into the cyclist I was trying to catch. Front wheel needed a five-minute true job.

Wheels have held up fine. Then again, I don't jump curbs and avoid potholes and road debris, (if I see them in time).

OP, that is one nice looking Madone. My 4.5 is a 2010 model and doesn't look half as classy as yours does. The red cages work on your bike.
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Old 06-12-13, 05:10 AM   #9
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Great looking bike!

I'm no longer in the Clyde category, but started riding a CF bike at 230ish and have had no problems at all after 2500 miles.

I changed my stock 23 rear tire out for a gatorskin 25 due to a cut and much prefer the 25. When my stock 23 on the front wears out it will be replaced by a 25 as well. I noticed a significant ride difference and no significant difference in speed or speed loss.
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Old 06-12-13, 09:43 AM   #10
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Great looking bike! I just bought a Carbon Fiber bike (Tarmac) with 24F/32R spoke, 23mm tires and I'm weighing in at 330lbs. I've only got about 100 miles on it, But I'm very impressed with the frame thus far. Wheels seem to be holding up just fine. We'll have see how things are going in a 1,000 miles.
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Old 06-12-13, 12:04 PM   #11
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Great looking bike! I just bought a Carbon Fiber bike (Tarmac) with 24F/32R spoke, 23mm tires and I'm weighing in at 330lbs. I've only got about 100 miles on it, But I'm very impressed with the frame thus far. Wheels seem to be holding up just fine. We'll have see how things are going in a 1,000 miles.
Grats on the new bike! 100 miles is a good time to get the wheels retensioned if you have not done so already. The bike shop where you purchased the bike from may even do it for free.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:35 PM   #12
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Nice looking bike, Jason300!

However, I can’t imagine why you’d want to punish yourself and your bike by going back to 23’s.

I removed the 23’s that came on my 2011 Trek 2.1 road bike after just 40 miles, as I absolutely loathed its horrid harsh ride at any tire pressure. I mounted a set of 28’s that transformed the bike’s ride quality to surprisingly pleasing for skinny high pressure tires (though I still prefer larger volume tires like those on my mountain bikes, 29” x 2.1 & 26” x 2.0).

As for me, I’ll never go any lower than 28’s (28’s are the largest that will fit on my 2011 Trek 2.1 road bike, or I’d have gone with 32’s).
You are completely correct. Most people ape TDF riders without understanding the reasons for their equipment choices, but fatter tyres are actually ***faster*** for the conditions anyone not in a peleton or time trial will be riding in:

Quote:
http://janheine.wordpress.com/2012/0...ance-of-tires/

We tested the same baseline tire three times during our test session – first, in the middle and last – to see whether conditions had changed. We were lucky: the morning was completely calm. It also was overcast, so temperatures did not change. (We later found that temperature greatly affects the rolling resistance of tires.) One morning was not enough to complete our testing, so we spent many more days on the test track. Sometimes we went out at 4:30 a.m. only to have a light wind spring up. All we could do was go home and hope for better luck next time.

At the end, we had pages and pages of measurements that we formatted for analysis. During our analysis, we found some interesting results:

The speed differences between our tires were even greater than those tested by TOUR. The fastest tire, the Deda Tre, rolled 20% faster than the slowest, the Rivendell Nifty-Swifty. A 20% difference in on-the-road speed is huge!
Wider tires roll faster. A Michelin Pro2 Race in 25 mm width was faster than the same tire’s 23 mm version, which in turn was faster than the 20 mm version.
Very high tire pressures don’t roll much faster. Above an “adequate” tire pressure, the tire’s speed increases only very slightly with higher pressures. This contradicted the tests performed on steel drums, including those by TOUR.
And even in peletons, pro-teams switch to bikes that can take 28mm tyres when they ride rougher road stages. 23s and 25s only make sense if you are competing and riding fast enough for the tiny aero advantage they give to be worth the increase in rolling resistance. Bike stores should tell clydes this - there are so many safety issues with heavy riders on narrow rubber, especially the effect of the small contact patch on braking and all-out turns - but upper end road bikes are one of their most profitable items. (I'd recommend a mid-range crosser with fast 28 or 35mm road tyres instead.)

That said, that Madone is showing some great engineering... although I also have to wonder about likely vertebrae pressure and such; positions on modern sports bikes send skinny kids to chiropractors often enough. But everyone is different, and if the OP can handle it, good for him. I mean seriously - great. I just think that in **general** 300lb-ish riders would be better with a bike with a bigger contact patch and more relaxed position,

Last edited by meanwhile; 06-12-13 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 06-12-13, 02:46 PM   #13
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I was expecting a review on the "carbon frame".
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Old 06-12-13, 07:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tel0004 View Post
Thanks for the thread. I'm not so worried about carbon for a clyde, mostly because I trust it, and its outside my budget, but I'm a bit worried about lower spoke wheel counts. About a week ago, I asked how 28R/24 Front spoke wheels would hold up to me at 270, and pretty much everybody, including the OP, told me it should be fine, but I still had my doubts.
While spoke count it meaningful, that spoke count on a super lightweight wheel could be a problem, on a double walled V rim, or an Open Pro it would be no problem. Most wheels sold with "comfort" road bikes are pretty stout wheels and are well tensioned. I did have a friend who maybe just qualified as a Clyde break three spokes on his first week-long bike ride (supported tour), on a Roubaix. The shop replaced the wheels and there were no further issues. With any new wheel, pluck the spokes and try to ensure there are no obvious, loose spokes and that the wheel is nice and true. If it's a strong rim it should then remain true for a very long time with very minor adjustments. Computerized wheel building and good rims have made wheels much more dependable than when they were all entirely hand done and the quality varied greatly.
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Old 09-19-13, 10:53 PM   #15
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Nice to hear, and very nice looking bike,

I just picked up a "New" 2011 Madone 4.5

Rode it for the first time this evening. First thing I noticed was how responsive it was. Did a 24mile loop with some rolling hills, and some good flat stretches. Seemed to respond very well. Only thing I may change out is the saddle.

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Old 10-21-13, 04:58 PM   #16
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Thanks for this review, so my 265 pounds on a 2013 2.1 madone should be no problem. You kept the original seat? I'm not sure if I am impressed or concerned for you. I would think a bit about using Pledge on the tape though, I could see that getting a bit slippery??
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Old 10-21-13, 09:01 PM   #17
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One of the advantages of wider tires is that you can run them at a lower pressure which will make the ride a little nicer

Also, you don't have to replace the tires at the same time. The front should last twice as long as the rear
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Old 10-22-13, 04:52 AM   #18
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Lovely bike; bet it's a bit quick to boot!
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Old 10-22-13, 09:43 AM   #19
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[QUOTE=Jason300;15729493]
3. At 1,000 miles I needed to replace the tires. The rear tire had worn flat and you could see the fabric lining in 2 spots that had worn through. My LBS replaced my tires with a previous customers new take-offs at a steep discount. The new tires were the same Bontrager R2 but 25mm instead of the stock 23mm. After a 34 mile ride I can say the 25mm tires are a bit more comfortable over the cracks and bumps. There was no noticeable speed difference even at 20+ mph. After these wear I will go back to 23mm tires though - it's just how I am.

Please reconsider going back to 700x23s. 25's are much more comfortable and less prone to flats. You should be able to run at least 10 psi less pressure on the 25s than the stock 23s. Get a good pair of something like Continental Gran Prix 4000S tires or Conti Gatorskins if you want a good rolling, flat resistant tire in 25s.
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Old 10-22-13, 04:21 PM   #20
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Thanks for this review, so my 265 pounds on a 2013 2.1 madone should be no problem. You kept the original seat? I'm not sure if I am impressed or concerned for you. I would think a bit about using Pledge on the tape though, I could see that getting a bit slippery??
The seat is fine ... once I realized where my site bones were and where they should be on the seat. I have complete lots of long ( 60-100 mile) rides and the saddle is fine. Bar tape is replaced with Lizard Skin (white). Slippery? No, I usually have on gloves and have not noticed any slipping.
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Old 10-22-13, 04:30 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=JerrySTL;16181357]
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3. At 1,000 miles I needed to replace the tires. The rear tire had worn flat and you could see the fabric lining in 2 spots that had worn through. My LBS replaced my tires with a previous customers new take-offs at a steep discount. The new tires were the same Bontrager R2 but 25mm instead of the stock 23mm. After a 34 mile ride I can say the 25mm tires are a bit more comfortable over the cracks and bumps. There was no noticeable speed difference even at 20+ mph. After these wear I will go back to 23mm tires though - it's just how I am.

Please reconsider going back to 700x23s. 25's are much more comfortable and less prone to flats. You should be able to run at least 10 psi less pressure on the 25s than the stock 23s. Get a good pair of something like Continental Gran Prix 4000S tires or Conti Gatorskins if you want a good rolling, flat resistant tire in 25s.
The Bontrager R2 tires did not last long. The material is a bit too soft.

I now have 2,800 miles on my madone and switched to Bontrager AW1 Hard Case 700x25 hardcase tires and I love them! This is my 3rd set of tires on this bike because I am wearing the rear tire till I can see the weaving under the rubber. Only 1 rear flat in about 1,000 miles. The 25s are more comfortable but I still run them at max pressure and will continue to do so till I lose more weight (snakebite flats). I may try the Gatorskins next as long as the rubber is a bit harder than the R2 and AW1.
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Old 10-22-13, 11:13 PM   #22
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Thanks for the update. Have you seen progress with your weight? I use Michelin Pro Endurance 25's on my carbon road bike. I'm about 240, and still run them at 110. Great ride, but not sure about their longevity...
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Old 10-24-13, 04:42 AM   #23
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I would suggest looking for something other than Bontrager tires. They're not good.

I got 4,500 miles out of my last pair of Schwalbe's.
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Old 10-24-13, 09:03 AM   #24
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I would suggest looking for something other than Bontrager tires. They're not good.

I got 4,500 miles out of my last pair of Schwalbe's.
What's wrong with Bontrager tires exactly? Anecdotal? I've got 1200 on mine and a guy I ride with who commutes on them daily is closing in on a 4000.
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Old 10-24-13, 09:08 AM   #25
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The seat is fine ...
My Domane 4.5 had the same seat you have on your Madone. I recently "test rode" the Paradigm RL saddle for a week and purchased it at the conclusion of the trial. I've logged (also) about a 1000 miles on my Domane and now about 200 more with the new saddle. It's been a huge boost in comfort.

I realize everyone's preference is difference but if you find yourself in a position to try it out, I highly recommend it.
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