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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 10-03-13, 07:40 PM   #1
codyhmrck
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Advice on bikes

Ok so in the next couple weeks I am going to be buying myself my first roadbike. I found several bikes that I am considering from REI. I'm not really sure which would be the best for me though. I am currently about 261 lbs and I have an in-seam of 29 inches. I have three bikes that I am debating over and I could use some advice on if they are reliable bikes with good components. I'm pretty sure they are all "buy online" only too. so here they are, please let me know which would be better. I'd prefer the cheaper one but if it's crap then I can spend a little more.

http://www.rei.com/product/850634/gt...es-4-bike-2013

http://www.rei.com/product/850633/gt...es-3-bike-2013

http://www.rei.com/product/848612/raleigh-rx-bike-2013

Thanks for your help!
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Old 10-03-13, 07:42 PM   #2
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What kind of riding do you expect to be doing?
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Old 10-03-13, 08:26 PM   #3
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Well, the Raleigh is a cyclocross bike, which in and of itself isn't a bad thing, especially at your size. However, personally, I'd have little use for a 46t big ring, for road riding. YMMV.

My pick out of the three would be the GTR 3 with the Tiagra group. Not that I think that Microshift is all that bad, but for the relatively small difference in price, I'd go with 10 speed Tiagra. The GTR 3, 4, and 5 are all built on the same frame, and come with the same crappy Jalco wheels, and same Vittoria tires. The only difference is the drive train. But any sub-$1000 bike is going to have wheels that are mediocre, at best. Tektro brakes are also pretty standard on entry level bikes.

If I were you, I'd go to GT's website and do a dealer search for one in your area. There's no substitute for someone who knows what they're doing helping you find the correct frame size doing a basic fit. Depending on what 2013 models he still has on hand, and what's left at GT's distributor, you might match or beat REI's price there. And almost every LBS will do the first "tune up" or adjustment for free.

Last edited by mprelaw; 10-03-13 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 10-03-13, 11:07 PM   #4
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REI has a pretty good reputation for customer service though... I do agree that the GT series 3 looks best, spec wise.

Hopefully the shop will have one in YOUR size that you can try out.
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Old 10-04-13, 01:00 AM   #5
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I absolutely suggest that you go to an actual bike shop instead of REI. Getting a proper fit is absolutely crucial in riding a road bike. REI is a great place and all, but most of their bike "specialists" aren't, at least in my area. Find an LBS that actually takes time to fit you on a bike on a bike trainer and is willing to swap out parts to make it fit you perfectly. It's extremely rare for someone to fit a bike "out of the box."
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Old 10-04-13, 04:04 AM   #6
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What kind of riding do you expect to be doing?
I plan to be riding on the road riding 10 miles a day but moving up and doing more as I gain fitness and lose weight. I threw in the CX bike because of my weight.
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Old 10-04-13, 05:06 AM   #7
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While I do agree that the GTR 3 is a great choice, that Raleigh RX bike will prove to be a more versatile commuter for you. It should also be more comfortable when riding.

Last edited by WestPablo; 10-04-13 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 10-04-13, 08:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by floatsinwater View Post
I absolutely suggest that you go to an actual bike shop instead of REI. Getting a proper fit is absolutely crucial in riding a road bike. REI is a great place and all, but most of their bike "specialists" aren't, at least in my area. Find an LBS that actually takes time to fit you on a bike on a bike trainer and is willing to swap out parts to make it fit you perfectly. It's extremely rare for someone to fit a bike "out of the box."
Ever been to an REI?

To the OP ... of the three I'd pick the GTR 3 based on components if you're ONLY riding roads/MUPs.

If you ever planned to dabble in CX, I'd pick the Raleigh.

If that's not ever in your plans, or is years down the road, go with the GT

Last edited by ill.clyde; 10-04-13 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 10-04-13, 08:57 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by codyhmrck View Post
I plan to be riding on the road riding 10 miles a day but moving up and doing more as I gain fitness and lose weight. I threw in the CX bike because of my weight.
you should be fine on either a roadie or CX bike at your weight. Roadies will have a slightly diff geo and better controlling brake modulation then a CX. The GT3 shifters are worth the price bump.
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Old 10-04-13, 10:38 AM   #10
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A few thoughts:

1) My local REI is a real bike shop. Full stop. They're very good.
2) I bought my new bike (end of 2012) from REI and got great service, setup, etc.
3) Are you SURE you wanna start with a brand new bike?

On that last point, whatever you choose, you'll ride for a while (a year, say), and there will be points you love, and points you don't like so much, especially if you're a bit new to road biking.

I'd look for a used bike on CraigsList, plan to ride it for six months or a year, learn what I can learn, then sell if for about what I paid and THEN buy a new bike. Just a thought.

Either way, congrats on your plan - it will work, cycling is great for weight control and fitness, as you obviously already know.
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Old 10-04-13, 06:23 PM   #11
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I too suggest the 3 as well. I would suggest looking at a 52 to start. No bigger than 54 for sure. You are about my height I'd guess. I'm 5'7" and a 30" inseam. A 52 is slightly small and a 54 is a tickle large on me. So a 52 should be the right place to start for you.

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