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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 09-25-13, 01:01 PM   #1
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Allez v. Secteur v. CAAD 10 (finally time to move up to a road bike)

Hello to all of you who have been so much help since I started riding in February, whether you realized it or not (I read much more than I post).

I've lost over 50 pounds since February, have put about 1,550 miles on my current bike (Spec. Hardrock 29er, frame size 23). In the last two weeks I've moved up to riding 20 miles per day, 5 days per week. I think I'm finally ready for a road bike.

I'm 6' 10", about 350 lbs. I've narrowed the bike list down to the Specialized Allez Elite in size 64, the Specialized Secteur Sport in size 64, and the CAAD 10 in size 63. Any of the three will have custom built wheels put on it. I can't try any of them out at any LBS because they don't stock them in that size.

I'm looking for any and all feedback on the three bikes. My most pressing questions probably involve durability, fit, max tire width for each bike, stability and strength of components--but I'm open to all thoughts on any topic. I have particular concerns regarding what's been called "aggressive geometry" on the CAAD, but I've heard that same term used regarding the Allez Elite. I (a) am not sure what that means in this context, and (b) am not sure if/when it makes much of a difference.

Thanks in advance. This forum is an invaluable resource. I'll work on contributing more in the future to pay it forward.

WEK

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Old 09-25-13, 01:08 PM   #2
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Old 09-25-13, 01:10 PM   #3
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I freely admit that I have no idea what this means. :-)
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Old 09-25-13, 01:16 PM   #4
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I freely admit that I have no idea what this means. :-)
aggressive.



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Old 09-25-13, 02:47 PM   #5
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At your size, take a look at the KHS Flite747. You may have to go custom too. They're going to have a tough time getting any off the shelf bike adjusted to your length. I'm 5" shorter than you and should be riding a 63/64. I'm slightly cramped on a 60. I can't imagine making a 64 work for somebody 6'10"...
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Old 09-25-13, 06:49 PM   #6
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As no one will pony up an answer I'll take a poke. I've ridden all 3. I'd go with the Secteur. I was very impressed with the ride on the Secteur. It's more relaxed than the CAAD or the Allez. The Secteur will be less twitchy and more of an upright ride. It should be more comfortable for a guy you're size. I think you would fit on the Secteur better than the other 2.

I did not like the CAAD at all. It was a harsh stiff beast. It would respond instantly to power or steering inputs. Great if you're racing. But for you're stated purpose I'd say nay. It's a great bike but porbably not for you.

The Allez was smoother than the CAAD. Less sensative to inputs, but quick to respond. It was very plesant to ride for a racing oriented bike. I just think you would feel cramped on one. My opinion only.

So that leaves Secteur. It will take larger tires. It also has stouter wheels stock. You may be able to ride them without spending for wheels. Ask the bike shop you get it from. There input will help. I think it's you're best bet in my opinion.

Now I'll suggest you get out there and ride all 3. Make up you're own mind. We can suggest, but ultimatly it's you're butt ya gotta please. If you can't find you're size. Try one of each in the largest size you can to get a feel for them. Then order the biggest one you can.

Good luck in you're search. And post up pictures of you're new ride when you get it.

Mark Shuman
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Old 09-25-13, 08:41 PM   #7
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As no one will pony up an answer I'll take a poke. I've ridden all 3. I'd go with the Secteur. I was very impressed with the ride on the Secteur. It's more relaxed than the CAAD or the Allez. The Secteur will be less twitchy and more of an upright ride. It should be more comfortable for a guy you're size. I think you would fit on the Secteur better than the other 2.

I did not like the CAAD at all. It was a harsh stiff beast. It would respond instantly to power or steering inputs. Great if you're racing. But for you're stated purpose I'd say nay. It's a great bike but porbably not for you.

The Allez was smoother than the CAAD. Less sensative to inputs, but quick to respond. It was very plesant to ride for a racing oriented bike. I just think you would feel cramped on one. My opinion only.

So that leaves Secteur. It will take larger tires. It also has stouter wheels stock. You may be able to ride them without spending for wheels. Ask the bike shop you get it from. There input will help. I think it's you're best bet in my opinion.

Now I'll suggest you get out there and ride all 3. Make up you're own mind. We can suggest, but ultimatly it's you're butt ya gotta please. If you can't find you're size. Try one of each in the largest size you can to get a feel for them. Then order the biggest one you can.

Good luck in you're search. And post up pictures of you're new ride when you get it.

Mark Shuman
Fantastic stuff, Mark. Thanks. That's exactly the sort of information I'm looking for. I'll be sure to post pics when I finally make the purchase.
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Old 09-25-13, 09:58 PM   #8
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I ride an Allez and I like it. It challenges me to be more aggressive, but not so much that I can't handle the push. I also rode the Secteur and, while I liked the carbon fork and all that, it was TOO relaxed for me. I felt too upright and chose to give up some of that comfort in exchange for a lower riding position and thus more speed. I can't speak to the CAAD as I haven't ridden one.

Basically the Allez is more in the "Racing" category of Specialized's lineup (The famous Tarmac is basically a carbon frame Allez), while the Secteur is in the "Comfort" road bike lineup, its big brother being the Carbon bodied Roubaix (also an outstanding bike if you have the $$$). My suggestion is not to settle. Make your LBS earn your money. Ride all the bikes you want until you find what you're looking for. I went into my LBS 3-4 times a week for several weeks and rode all kinds of bikes over and over before making a decision on what to buy.
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Old 09-26-13, 09:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by WEK View Post
I'm looking for any and all feedback on the three bikes. My most pressing questions probably involve durability, fit, max tire width for each bike, stability and strength of components--but I'm open to all thoughts on any topic. I have particular concerns regarding what's been called "aggressive geometry" on the CAAD, but I've heard that same term used regarding the Allez Elite. I (a) am not sure what that means in this context, and (b) am not sure if/when it makes much of a difference.
If you've never ridden a road bike before, you almost certainly want a bike like the Secteur. Most companies make them and they're variously described as "endurance", "plush" or sometimes "performance" (as opposed to "race"). These bikes will have a slightly more upright riding position, though they're still quite a bit more aggressive than a hybrid or mountain bike. They'll also have a slightly longer wheelbase, which leads to more stable handling.

A more race-oriented bike like the Allez or CAAD10 will have an even more aggressive riding position. If you're not terribly flexible, or have a large gut, you likely won't enjoy this riding position. These bikes will also steer and respond faster. Some call this sort of handling "telepathic" while other think it's just twitchy. If you're not used to riding a responsive bike, it will (at least initially) feel like the bike is constantly on the edge of falling over.

Aside from the Secteur, other road bikes with "endurance" geometry include: the Giant Defy line, Trek Domane (Doh-man-ee), Cannondale Synapse, Fuji Sportif, and the Felt Z-series among others. There are also many carbon frame options if you're willing to spend more money: Specialized Roubaix, Fuji Gran Fondo, Giant Defy Advanced

Before buying a road bike, it isn't a bad idea to test-ride race and endurance bikes so you can get a feel for just how they differ. Unfortunately, if the 63 and 64cm frames you need will be difficult to find on the showroom floor. You might try looking at used bikes or see if you can connect with someone via a local bike club in order to get test rides on larger frames.
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Old 09-26-13, 09:37 AM   #10
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I ride an Allez and I like it. It challenges me to be more aggressive, but not so much that I can't handle the push. I also rode the Secteur and, while I liked the carbon fork and all that, it was TOO relaxed for me. I felt too upright and chose to give up some of that comfort in exchange for a lower riding position and thus more speed. I can't speak to the CAAD as I haven't ridden one.

Basically the Allez is more in the "Racing" category of Specialized's lineup (The famous Tarmac is basically a carbon frame Allez), while the Secteur is in the "Comfort" road bike lineup, its big brother being the Carbon bodied Roubaix (also an outstanding bike if you have the $$$). My suggestion is not to settle. Make your LBS earn your money. Ride all the bikes you want until you find what you're looking for. I went into my LBS 3-4 times a week for several weeks and rode all kinds of bikes over and over before making a decision on what to buy.
Good advice, thanks. It's important to remember that the LBS is serving me as the customer, not the other way around.
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Old 09-26-13, 09:37 AM   #11
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If you've never ridden a road bike before, you almost certainly want a bike like the Secteur. Most companies make them and they're variously described as "endurance", "plush" or sometimes "performance" (as opposed to "race"). These bikes will have a slightly more upright riding position, though they're still quite a bit more aggressive than a hybrid or mountain bike. They'll also have a slightly longer wheelbase, which leads to more stable handling.

A more race-oriented bike like the Allez or CAAD10 will have an even more aggressive riding position. If you're not terribly flexible, or have a large gut, you likely won't enjoy this riding position. These bikes will also steer and respond faster. Some call this sort of handling "telepathic" while other think it's just twitchy. If you're not used to riding a responsive bike, it will (at least initially) feel like the bike is constantly on the edge of falling over.

Aside from the Secteur, other road bikes with "endurance" geometry include: the Giant Defy line, Trek Domane (Doh-man-ee), Cannondale Synapse, Fuji Sportif, and the Felt Z-series among others. There are also many carbon frame options if you're willing to spend more money: Specialized Roubaix, Fuji Gran Fondo, Giant Defy Advanced

Before buying a road bike, it isn't a bad idea to test-ride race and endurance bikes so you can get a feel for just how they differ. Unfortunately, if the 63 and 64cm frames you need will be difficult to find on the showroom floor. You might try looking at used bikes or see if you can connect with someone via a local bike club in order to get test rides on larger frames.
Much appreciated. This was very helpful.
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Old 09-26-13, 11:40 AM   #12
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first things first... awesome work on the getting active and dropping weight

over on roadbikereview and mtbr a guy who goes by gearhead_eng started a thread a long while back about tall guys on 63/64cm frames... he's 6'6 and 170lbs

here he is on his 64cm motobecane super strada




you being an extra 4 inches taller are prob going to have some issues with fit on most of the off the shelf big frames :-/ especially with the modern compact geometry you're going to have a lot of seatpost sticking out

that being said I would def at least look at the KHS 747... it's got a nice steel frame, long cranks, 36h wheels and just overall built for a big AND tall guy http://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2013-khs-models/flite-747/

the trek and specialized "64cm" are obvious for you to look at (as have been mentioned) also if you'd consider building up a frameset the Soma ES is a nice steel frame that comes in 66cm

also... if you aren't scared of used frames companies used to make some stuff much larger then they do today, I saw an '80's cannondale touring bike in "XXXL" which amounted to 65-66cm on CL not to long back for something like $250 (he was having a hard time moving it because of the huge size)

the best option would prob be custom, a company like Zinn cycles has made frames so large that you couldn't fit on, gunnarbikes has also made some very large bikes... but naturally being custom you're going to spend some serious $$$ going this route

best of luck on your search... and keep us posted on what you end up with
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Old 09-26-13, 02:56 PM   #13
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first things first... awesome work on the getting active and dropping weight

over on roadbikereview and mtbr a guy who goes by gearhead_eng started a thread a long while back about tall guys on 63/64cm frames... he's 6'6 and 170lbs

here he is on his 64cm motobecane super strada




you being an extra 4 inches taller are prob going to have some issues with fit on most of the off the shelf big frames :-/ especially with the modern compact geometry you're going to have a lot of seatpost sticking out

that being said I would def at least look at the KHS 747... it's got a nice steel frame, long cranks, 36h wheels and just overall built for a big AND tall guy http://khsbicycles.com/bikes/2013-khs-models/flite-747/

the trek and specialized "64cm" are obvious for you to look at (as have been mentioned) also if you'd consider building up a frameset the Soma ES is a nice steel frame that comes in 66cm

also... if you aren't scared of used frames companies used to make some stuff much larger then they do today, I saw an '80's cannondale touring bike in "XXXL" which amounted to 65-66cm on CL not to long back for something like $250 (he was having a hard time moving it because of the huge size)

the best option would prob be custom, a company like Zinn cycles has made frames so large that you couldn't fit on, gunnarbikes has also made some very large bikes... but naturally being custom you're going to spend some serious $$$ going this route

best of luck on your search... and keep us posted on what you end up with
Thanks very much for the input. Maybe somebody can explain to me the geometry differences between the 747 65cm and the Secteur in 64cm, because it seems on the surface that the difference is simply a centimeter (other than the longer cranks you mentioned). I'm sure that's incorrect, but I'm not sure I understand why.

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Old 09-26-13, 03:12 PM   #14
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stack and reach are the key things for figuring out frame fit
http://www.cervelo.com/en/engineerin...y-and-fit.html



the big thing with the 747 is largely about the long cranks, because they are 2.5cm longer it would fit similarly to seat tube that is that much longer (honestly i'm sure there is more to it then that)... also the head tube and steerer tube are nice and tall (but they are as well with the motobecane and specialized secture...
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Old 09-26-13, 04:12 PM   #15
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oh for reference... I found this on the 747 http://www.atwistedspoke.com/review-...is-a-big-deal/

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The KHS Flite 747 is a bike of epic proportions. First the frame is an XXL mucho grande 65cms and it’s designed by Lennard Zinn specifically for big and tall riders. That’s from 6’4″ to 6’6″ and up to 250 pounds.
I don't see the weight given with the 36h wheels, steel frame and fork etc... but either way it puts it a bit to small for you still based on average sizing
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Old 09-26-13, 05:48 PM   #16
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oh for reference... I found this on the 747 http://www.atwistedspoke.com/review-...is-a-big-deal/



I don't see the weight given with the 36h wheels, steel frame and fork etc... but either way it puts it a bit to small for you still based on average sizing
Very good to know, thanks.
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Old 09-27-13, 05:42 AM   #17
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Zinn has a non-custom series as well, which while being pricier than basic off-the-shelf bikes are less than a full on custom Zinn. Check out his website.
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Old 09-27-13, 06:04 AM   #18
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WEK, i came off a Hybrid and onto a road bike and modified it to be a more comfort stance like a Secteur or Synapse...I know now the LBS just pushed off a leftover bike on me sort of...In all honesty, i tried it on a 6 mile run and liked it but after a few times i started to modify it...The next bike i buy i will try to make sure the LBS earns my money and i have already started to put out feelers and got a lot of help from LBS that are also good fitters...I will sell my CAAD8 and got to a Secteur, Roubais, Synapse or a bike with a relaxed stance as i have Arthritis and diabetes so the relaxed stance helps me with the joints and circulation issues...
What it boils down to is make a choice that fits you best...I don't have tons of advice as far as cranks and geometry like some of the more experience members here but just that i know it's easy to make the wrong decision....Take your time spend your money wisely with somebody that can make your dollar go the complete distance for you...

Congrats on the weight loss...I started at 245 and am still at 245 but lost 1.5 inch pant size and can now easily do 25 miles...My next step is kicking it up a notch with some different added activities...Started at 275 in January...Keep it up, well keep it down in our cases...LOL...
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Old 09-27-13, 12:08 PM   #19
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WEK, i came off a Hybrid and onto a road bike and modified it to be a more comfort stance like a Secteur or Synapse...I know now the LBS just pushed off a leftover bike on me sort of...In all honesty, i tried it on a 6 mile run and liked it but after a few times i started to modify it...The next bike i buy i will try to make sure the LBS earns my money and i have already started to put out feelers and got a lot of help from LBS that are also good fitters...I will sell my CAAD8 and got to a Secteur, Roubais, Synapse or a bike with a relaxed stance as i have Arthritis and diabetes so the relaxed stance helps me with the joints and circulation issues...
What it boils down to is make a choice that fits you best...I don't have tons of advice as far as cranks and geometry like some of the more experience members here but just that i know it's easy to make the wrong decision....Take your time spend your money wisely with somebody that can make your dollar go the complete distance for you...

Congrats on the weight loss...I started at 245 and am still at 245 but lost 1.5 inch pant size and can now easily do 25 miles...My next step is kicking it up a notch with some different added activities...Started at 275 in January...Keep it up, well keep it down in our cases...LOL...
Thanks! Now that I understand it better, it sounds like the more relaxed geometry is probably more appropriate. I wish Cannondale made the Synapse in a 63. Alas, it's not to be.

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Old 09-27-13, 12:10 PM   #20
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Zinn has a non-custom series as well, which while being pricier than basic off-the-shelf bikes are less than a full on custom Zinn. Check out his website.
Good to know, thanks. Zinn's prices are generally quite a bit outside my budget for this first road bike, but I'll check out the non-custom series nonetheless. I have come to terms with the idea that since I can't spend enough to get a custom bike that fits me properly, I'm going to be on something that isn't entirely ideal. The goal is simply to get it as close to ideal as possible. And that's okay. The Hardrock I ride now certainly isn't ideally fit for me, but I make it work.
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Old 09-27-13, 03:07 PM   #21
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Yep, to find a tall bike like that will require a bit more searching and coins...Like soembody else said, you might luck up on a hard to get rid of frame on Ebay from a reputable dealer...
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Old 09-28-13, 07:57 AM   #22
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WEK I rode a Synapse as well. You're not missing anything. Sorry to sound like the evil anti Cannondale fan boy. But for an edurance bike they rode harsh and stiff. Not at all the way a plush bike should ride IMO. It handled great though. Tracked straight as a lazer. Hands off it rode fantastic. It was as stable as can be. But the ride turned me off. I did ride thier top of the line Synapse. whole 'Nother horse that one. It was as comfy as a lounge chair. Soft and responsive. Fantastic ride. But for 5500$ it should be.

I ride a Spesh Rubaix myself. I like the comfort. The frame is a tickle big for me. A 52 would have been a better choice. But the price sold me. I give up a little stability for the comfort.

That brings me to a point I want to tell you. I ride a slightly too large frame. It is better to be on a smaller frame than too large a frame. You can fit yourself to a smaller frame. But not the other way around. You can swap seat posts and stems to get you positioned correctly. So don't get cought up in the must have 66CM or so frame.

I post this just playing devil's advocate. As before I suggest riding anyting that peaks you're interest. I'd take a long hard look at the Domane. I've seen them, they look nice. I'd also suggest a long hard look at the Felt Z series. They are a great bang for the buck. Also worthy of a hard look is the Giant Deffy series. They get tons of praise. Worth a look. I still prefer Specialized, but that's just personal preference. I really like the Secteur. But the Rubaix just spoke to me. I liked the way it rode a little more than the Secteur. And I got a smokin deal on a 12 leftover.

Mark Shuman
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Old 09-30-13, 12:34 PM   #23
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Yep, to find a tall bike like that will require a bit more searching and coins...Like soembody else said, you might luck up on a hard to get rid of frame on Ebay from a reputable dealer...
I have my eye on e-bay and craiglist (along with a local online classified that gets heavy use) daily. Finding a tall frame for a great deal is a task, but I'm trying. Fortunately, I can keep riding my current bike for as long as I need to until I find the right deal.
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Old 09-30-13, 12:37 PM   #24
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WEK I rode a Synapse as well. You're not missing anything. Sorry to sound like the evil anti Cannondale fan boy. But for an edurance bike they rode harsh and stiff. Not at all the way a plush bike should ride IMO. It handled great though. Tracked straight as a lazer. Hands off it rode fantastic. It was as stable as can be. But the ride turned me off. I did ride thier top of the line Synapse. whole 'Nother horse that one. It was as comfy as a lounge chair. Soft and responsive. Fantastic ride. But for 5500$ it should be.

I ride a Spesh Rubaix myself. I like the comfort. The frame is a tickle big for me. A 52 would have been a better choice. But the price sold me. I give up a little stability for the comfort.

That brings me to a point I want to tell you. I ride a slightly too large frame. It is better to be on a smaller frame than too large a frame. You can fit yourself to a smaller frame. But not the other way around. You can swap seat posts and stems to get you positioned correctly. So don't get cought up in the must have 66CM or so frame.

I post this just playing devil's advocate. As before I suggest riding anyting that peaks you're interest. I'd take a long hard look at the Domane. I've seen them, they look nice. I'd also suggest a long hard look at the Felt Z series. They are a great bang for the buck. Also worthy of a hard look is the Giant Deffy series. They get tons of praise. Worth a look. I still prefer Specialized, but that's just personal preference. I really like the Secteur. But the Rubaix just spoke to me. I liked the way it rode a little more than the Secteur. And I got a smokin deal on a 12 leftover.

Mark Shuman
Good advice all around. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. As much as I like the way the Cannondales look, it's nice to hear that I'm not necessarily missing out on the greatest ride of my life by not getting one.

You're not the first one to tell me the Synapse can be a bit harsh, either. I get the impression that Cannondale's version of relaxed, endurance geometry is probably still a bit more demanding than others. Maybe someday the gut will be sufficiently small (and the skills sufficiently large) to justify an aggressive bike. But absent that, I want to be comfortable so that this becomes a long-term part of my lifestyle.

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Old 09-30-13, 04:39 PM   #25
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Sooo...what's the budget?

I ask because you're big enough that anything off-the-shelf will be hard to fit, and things like stem length and saddle setback do some very odd things to bike handling.

I don't subscribe to the school that says you should go for slow handling for a first road bike. Depends what kind of guy you are. I wanted my first car to handle really well even though I was a new driver.

At your size, look at Somas as well. There is a model with a double TT you can get in a 64, I believe.

But, if you have the budget, I'd go for the KHS or full custom. I have a neighbor who has a Zinn. It's very nice, and, since he's a tiny 6'5, he let me try it. Rode very nicely. Zinn makes the KHS. Stable, but plenty quick.

If you can afford custom, you could easily get a Gunnar relatively cheaply, and it would fit. Or you can go nuts and get something even more special. Off the top of my head, I've seen some very big Sevens that looked very nice.

Finally, as a first step, get a professional fit. That will give you a ball park to target in terms of length of top tube. It'll help you figure out whether a 63 or a 64 is big enough.
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