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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 06-16-13, 07:23 AM   #1
Tel0004
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Shopping for road bikes when stores have limited inventory really sucks.

Yesterday I went out shopping for road bikes. I think the choices I've narrowed it down to are the Trek Domane 2.0, Cannondale Synapse 5/6.

I started off the day at the Trek Store, and in the Domane all they had in stock was a 4.5 58 cm. So I took it for a test ride, and I think the sizing is pretty good, but how it rode is irrelevant (FYI, great, but with full carbon and ultegra, I would expect it to). They didn't have any 60cm domane in stock to test ride, but my though was that 60cm might be too big

I then went to the cannondale dealer and they had a 61 cm in stock ready to ride. I was happy I could at least test ride a bike I might buy (although I found the silver ugly, so I would have had them order me one in white). I didn't mind the bike, but I found the reach about 2 inches too long. I think this is partally because I have a bit of a gut, and want to have a more upright riding position. The top tube on the 61 was also a bit too tall. I could stand flat footed but barely. The dealer said he could flip the stem, to bring the height up a small bit, but he thought a 58 would be a better choice, but of course they didn't have one ready to go, it was in the box. They are going to build it, and give me a call, so I'm hoping I can ride in this week. I also called another trek dealer, and they have a domane 2.3 in stock in 58, so I think I can try to see how a aluminum frame trek feels, but I'll still be using 105, and not tiegra.

It just feels like there are so many choices, and its tough when I really can not compare the exact 2 bikes due to limited inventory. When I bought my trek 7.2, I think I got it one size to small, and its a bit apparent once I hit about 30 miles. It will still make a fine winter/short trips bike, but I am just a bit afraid of getting the wrong size on a road bike.
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Old 06-16-13, 08:18 AM   #2
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Even in the best economic conditions it is nearly impossible for a shop to keep one size of every available model built and on the floor. If nothing else there is a space consideration. What I have found many shops will do is to carry many sizes, but across a variety of builds. It's good in that the frame set on many of the models is the same. The bad is that you may or may not get to ride that frame with the group or components you are looking at. This can be particularly misleading when you ride a better spec bike and order lesser.
This problem is worse when you are looking for a bike over 58, as many dealers won't even carry them. We had a 61 sit on the floor for years before it sold for a loss.
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Old 06-16-13, 08:22 AM   #3
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Limited inventory at low volume dealers is frustrating, but something we will have to live with. One thing to remember about Trek, and I'm not sure it relates to the Domane line, but certainly does with the Madone line; is that the "size" that Trek lists has nothing to do with top tube length. My Madone is size 61, but all my other bikes are size 57.5 to 59. Those bikes actually have a high coorelation between top tube length and the model size. I have no idea why Trek does this. It's almost as worse as manufactures who only lists their bikes as S, M, L, and XL.

By the way, I took a Domane on an extended test ride and came oh so close to handing over my money. It is a sweet riding bicycle.
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Old 06-16-13, 09:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
Limited inventory at low volume dealers is frustrating, but something we will have to live with. One thing to remember about Trek, and I'm not sure it relates to the Domane line, but certainly does with the Madone line; is that the "size" that Trek lists has nothing to do with top tube length. My Madone is size 61, but all my other bikes are size 57.5 to 59. Those bikes actually have a high coorelation between top tube length and the model size. I have no idea why Trek does this. It's almost as worse as manufactures who only lists their bikes as S, M, L, and XL.

By the way, I took a Domane on an extended test ride and came oh so close to handing over my money. It is a sweet riding bicycle.
Well of course, citing ST length, e.g. 60cm, as a shorthand for sizing only ever worked because of the relative uniformity of traditional road bike geometry. Today, with such a wide range of geometries available, that old cheat doesn't work anymore, and I would argue, really hasn't in 20 years or so, only now it's glaringly obvious.

So what to do when, like Trek, you've got a frame that's not classic geometry? I think they decided to go the route of trying to make it easier for everyone to comprehend by saying this 60cm Domane frame, with its 56.7cm ST and 57.9 TT, "fits those who ride traditional 60cm frames."

Breezer, whose Venturi I ride, also have non-tradtional geometry, mine with a 54 ST with a 57 TT, which they call a Medum/Large.

Which is better? The basic problem is that there is no accurate shorthand for geometry, so any path represents it's own shortcomings, and we're saddled with a traditional reference system that is simply outmoded.
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Old 06-16-13, 10:29 AM   #5
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I shop by effective top tube and siz of head tube. Personally I don't like anything taller then 190mm as I feel I can't get low enough when the hammer drops. Remember a stem only cost $50 or so, its allot cheaper to get a frame size down then get the one you think you need if you don't know what works for you yet.
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Old 06-16-13, 12:47 PM   #6
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So you've test-ridden a couple bikes, and it sounds like you've found your size in one of them; look it up online and see what the geometry is -- then shop around and try to match it in whatever 'trips your trigger', whether online or in a shop. Yes, it's a sad reality that shops can only carry limited selection, but does that mean you should settle for less? I've NEVER bought a complete bike from a shop; a few parts/accessories, but that's all. Call me a d!ck if you want, but I know what I like, and when it's crunch time, I'll PAY for it, even if it means paying more than the comparable complete bike would be.
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Old 06-16-13, 10:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Even in the best economic conditions it is nearly impossible for a shop to keep one size of every available model built and on the floor. If nothing else there is a space consideration. What I have found many shops will do is to carry many sizes, but across a variety of builds. It's good in that the frame set on many of the models is the same. The bad is that you may or may not get to ride that frame with the group or components you are looking at. This can be particularly misleading when you ride a better spec bike and order lesser.
This problem is worse when you are looking for a bike over 58, as many dealers won't even carry them. We had a 61 sit on the floor for years before it sold for a loss.
Very true what youve said. However, LBS's have to realize that not every rider is the same size as everyone else. So, they have to be creative IMO. I'm tall, I'd need a tall bike, I get they most likely won't have it in my size, but they should be willing to do some work and look around town for you, or at the very least, try to help you locate one possibly close by.


Just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-17-13, 05:57 AM   #8
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Inventories were larger before etailing. Think about that the next time you are browsing Amazon.
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