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  1. #1
    Junior Member lauzie17's Avatar
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    HELP!!! Need to purchase a road bike ASAP for an ATHENA and completely LOST!!

    I took the plunge and registered to ride the Pan Mass Challenge in honor of my 33 year old brother who has cancer The ride is this August in Massachusetts and I need a road bike asap!! Currently, I am about 295 lbs and 5' 5''. In the last 6 weeks since I started weighing myself I have lost 15 pounds, however it could have been more since I didn't initially weigh myself before I started my new routine. I go to the gym daily, work out with a trainer, do spin etc. and am doing weight watchers. I am a former college athlete that gained "a lot" weight after going through some ups and downs, but am finally in a good career and place in my life
    So with that being said, I need a road bike and I need one fast! So here are my questions:

    1. What road bike would be best for me? If I can I would like to stay within the $400-$800 range but am open to other suggestions. This is my first road bike so I can always upgrade if I really enjoy this..but until then I want a decent bike that is good enough that it won't make my trip any harder!
    2. Does Bikes Direct have anything that meets my needs?
    3. Are there any websites that sell plus size bike clothing?
    4. Can I change out the seat on the road bike to a better seat built more for my badunkka dunk??

    ANY and ALL comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated! This race means the world to me as my entire family will be there watching me finish. I don't want to disappoint my family, especially my brother who is very sick. PLEASE HELP!!! THANK YOU XOXOX

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I'm very sorry to hear about your brother, that sucks.

    As for the saddle, your sit bones don't change size when you gain weight, so don't be distracted by saddle size.

    How far is your ride? If you're decently mechanically inclined Bikes Direct is a decent option but you'll want somebody to check out the wheels for you. I'm sure somebody out there has nice specific advice for you too but good luck!

  3. #3
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    Boy, this is a tuffy for me, as I'm neither a woman nor familiar with the common issues surrounding women's bike fitting, so my best advice is probably to suggest you start hitting your local bike shops, check out the offerings, gather tips, and try some bikes on. There's no substitute for having someone to see and understand personally what's going on with your needs.

    That said, the second best I can do is to say that Bikes Direct does have a women's specific road bike in the Terry Symmetry at $700. They're good looking bikes with frame geometry optimized to fit women, and well equipped, particularly the Tiagra triple crank drivetrain. Having 3 gears up front assures that you'll have enough gearing to tackle hills or just meet your needs as you gain fitness. Tires, wheels, hubs, brakes all look decent, and par for the price range, so again, a nicely spec'd bike.

    The downside with BikesDirect is that often the bikes need tuning-up to ride well, and out of the box they can be in poor order. If there's a local bike co-op or shop that you could take it to for help, that's highly recommended, but budget that in, as it could be $60-$100 for a full tune-up and lube. Once done, though, the Symmetry should be a fine ride.

    Other than that, do plan on futzing with bike to get it adjusted to feel right (#1 reason to buy local, IMO) and budget a couple of hundred beyond whatever you decide on to cover stuff you maybe have not thought of yet, like a computer to track your mileage, speed, and maybe even heart rate and cadence (all excellent metrics for use in training), water bottles and cages, a seat pack to carry stuff, helmet, etc.

    Do ask lots of questions both here and in shops, and try to not get preoccupied with sussing the differences between component grades, as quality is generally quite good nowadays across producers' ranges. The important thing, beyond getting a bike you think looks great, is to have a resource for setup and ongoing adjustments. Checking out bikes at a shop should be about interviewing the shop just as much, to see if they're open and willing to make sure you have the best experience.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  4. #4
    Junior Member lauzie17's Avatar
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    Sorry! I forgot to mention I am only doing the one day ride which is 80 miles. On top of stressing about a bike I need to raise $4,300 too or else I am obligated to pay it myself! This is part of the reason why I need to get a bike asap so I can commit and start raising this money!! Thanks for the info on the seat, and yes, any bike I purchased if it was online I would have a bike shop check it out!

  5. #5
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    Now is a great time of year to buy. Bikes Direct is always good bang for the buck. I just got a super deal on a bike from Nashbar for my daughter over the summer. But if you're going in totally cold you may want to hit a local bike bike shop. Buying the right size bike is probably more important than anything. And, a lot of shops have good sales this time of year, so you may be able to get a good price, and keep the business local. And, if you don't know anything about fixing/maintaining a bike, a relationship with one of your local bike shops could come in handy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zandoval's Avatar
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    At 295 pounds your bike will need to be steel or aluminium with 36 14ga spokes and 1.25 tiers - Don't fall for one of those large padded springy type seats as they don't work - The seat you can't go wrong with is the Brooks B17 S or one like it (expensive but worth it) - Your stem should be high till you get used to ridding - Gloves on your hands and padding on your bars can help - Your small gear up front should be from 28 to 34 teeth and your biggest gear in back should be about 34 teeth - That will allow you to slow down and spin when you get tired - Also keep you on the bike longer before you have to jump off and use your peadal gear (I am assuming they have hills in Mass. Ha...) - There is a bike called the GMC Denali Road bike - Look that one up and use it as a base line - They go for about 200 to 300 bucks (not the best quality but certainly not bad for the price)...

    Sorry about your brother and Welcome to the forum - This ride is going to be great for both of you...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Hey!
    Welcome.

    Wishing your brother as much good fortune as possible.

    August gives you a decent time to prepare.

    The people here will give you great advice on how best to get started. I would strongly suggest listening to them about bicycle choice, tips and tricks and such...
    My SO consults a site: http://forums.teamestrogen.com/forum.php as well. It has done well by her...

    Spinning will do well by you!
    I tried riding one, didn't realize they were fixed gear with a LOT of momentum and nearly went over the handlebars... Jammed my bum knee. Not once but twice. Not for me, but enough of a taste to really appreciate what a marvelous tool it would be for improving riding.

    I've been on the cape with my SO (whose my riding partner). We were both taken by what a great place to ride! It is on the someday list for sure.

    I like http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/ . Great quality, lower prices then I would have expect. I have 2 of their Jersey's for a couple years, treat them almost like regular clothes and they still look new. The best thing is their fabric does wonders for keeping me cool and dry even in the heat down here... I sweat buckets, but you can't tell from these jerseys! I'm about to pull the trigger on 2 long sleeve jerseys, a pair of shorts and their soft shell jacket... Their customer service was fantastic!

    Proper clothes and gear help a lot on longer rides. You'll need water bottles, and cages for them. A pack of some kind to carry things like your cell, food, wallet, spares and such...

    Congrats on the great start!

    Keep posting. I would love to read your progress... I keep a workout/ prep log here and people have been ever so helpful and supportive.

  8. #8
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    I would go to a bike shop. They can fit you to the right size frame, and most offer a free tune up or two with purchase. Bikes direct is good, if you can work on your own bikes. They do need a bit out of the box, my brother has one (great value though!)

    Spend as much as you are comfortable with, you get more the more you spend. However, budget some for bike shorts, as I feel they are necessary, and some wicking shirts or a bike jersey (wicking shirts are way cheaper). Maybe gloves, too.

    80 miles is a big ride, but if you put in the work, you can do it!
    2012 Diamondback Podium 2 - Ready for spring! :D
    1995 Specialized Rockhopper Rigid - SS converted!

  9. #9
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    I think that the best way for regular people to train is to go shopping with their bikes or better yet, commute to work. A $100 used non-suspension mountain bike with smooth tires replacing the knobbies, ridden all over the place all spring, will build up your core and help trim weight. Then you'll be in shape to try out nicer, lighter bikes at the shop a few months before the big ride. Then the last few months of riding will be about becoming aquainted with your road bike -- a bike more likely to be what you need than if you rush in to purchase with little experience...
    The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley

  10. #10
    Senior Member texbiker's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your brother. My wife is dealing with cancer.

    Lots of good advice. My suggestion is to visit the local bike shops and ask about used bikes. They are usually reasonably priced. Another place is Craigslist.org but be careful. One poster suggested getting a mountain bike and riding everywhere until a couple of months before your ride. I like that idea. By then you will know more about your body and how a bike connects with you. The 2 months will allow you time to get used to a road bike and make some adjustments.

    I wish you success in losing weight and the ride.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Hello there,
    Good for you for attempting to start a lifestyle change and all the best to your brother. I have had luck with both a local bike shop and also with Bikes Direct. I bought a mid-level mountain bike from BD last year that is still going strong. never had a moments problem with it and I saved approx. 35% off bike shop prices and got better components. However, I do like to perform my own bike maintenance. Saying that, my mountain bike was assembled in about 30 mins and I could get every gear right out of the box.

    As a conversation starter, how about this Bikes Direct bike? Solid frame and good entry-level parts for $500 (usually free shipping):

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...gigi_sport.htm

    gig-sport-trq-2100.jpg

    In my opinion, you need a road bike (as above) for an 80-mile ride though Ive ridden many 50 mile rides on a hybrid bike (more of a sit-up type bike).

    I cant guarantee you success with such a bike as I dont know your riding style or where you ride but at least its a bike to ponder over.

    Good luck to you and I look forwards to the pic of you crossing the finishing line.
    Last edited by JackoDandy; 03-05-14 at 08:53 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
    At 295 pounds your bike will need to be steel or aluminium with 36 14ga spokes and 1.25 tiers - Don't fall for one of those large padded springy type seats as they don't work - The seat you can't go wrong with is the Brooks B17 S or one like it (expensive but worth it) - Your stem should be high till you get used to ridding - Gloves on your hands and padding on your bars can help - Your small gear up front should be from 28 to 34 teeth and your biggest gear in back should be about 34 teeth - That will allow you to slow down and spin when you get tired - Also keep you on the bike longer before you have to jump off and use your peadal gear (I am assuming they have hills in Mass. Ha...) - There is a bike called the GMC Denali Road bike - Look that one up and use it as a base line - They go for about 200 to 300 bucks (not the best quality but certainly not bad for the price)...

    Sorry about your brother and Welcome to the forum - This ride is going to be great for both of you...
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  13. #13
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    I am an Athena too. I like Terry cycling clothes (http://terrybicycles.com/), but it is very pricey so I look for sales and ebay for mine. Also http://www.teamestrogen.com/?utm_sou...m_term=shopTab has plus size cothing of assorted brands as well as a women's cycling forum. As for road bikes, most of the major brands have something in the $800 to $900 range that could work for you. Buying from a local bike shop will ensure the bike fits and is set up properly. They will also be there to answer questions and resolve any problems you may have. I personally prefer the fit of Trek bikes for me, but I have had Specialized and a Giant too. You need to just go and try some.

    good luck
    P2
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  14. #14
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    If you know nothing about bikes stop in a few local bike shops. Speak with them and see if they have something that meets you need. Know that you will pay more, but as a newbie, the accompanying service may be worth it to you. Keep in mind that there are good and bad bike shops and I wouldn't buy one until I visited several. you will be tempted to buy one. Now is a good time they still have left overs that they want to dump.

    My wife rides one to two 50 mile charity rides per year. She also rides with me 1-2x per week for a 15- 25 mile ride. Since we live in the North East and she only rides in warm weather...she only ride for 1/3 of the year. This is what I purchased for her http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_535083_-1___202613

    After two years the bike still looks and rides like it is new.


    It is an excellent quality entry level bike, that may meet you needs. The wheels are 32 spoke and should be ok. Have the tension checked to ensure they stay true (straight). The triple crank is a plus if you are a new rider and have hills. It is also a 9 speed bike and gives a lot of options for gears. Sora components are more than most newbies need. If you are or know someone that was handy, they could put it together for you. You will most likely still need a tune up. I do most of my own work, so for me it was a great deal. this is very much like a bikes direct bike - unbranded. I have dealt with Nashbar for over 25 years and like their quality and guarantee. I have never purchase from bikes direct and for the most part I hear positive things.

    If you get the road bike bug....you will upgrade. This would be and easy Craigslist sell for a few hundred or make a great second bad weather bike.

    Good Luck and welcome to the forums.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauzie17 View Post

    1. What road bike would be best for me? If I can I would like to stay within the $400-$800 range but am open to other suggestions. This is my first road bike so I can always upgrade if I really enjoy this..but until then I want a decent bike that is good enough that it won't make my trip any harder!
    2. Does Bikes Direct have anything that meets my needs?
    3. Are there any websites that sell plus size bike clothing?
    4. Can I change out the seat on the road bike to a better seat built more for my badunkka dunk??
    1. One that fits, and in your price range there are lots of options. I started with this. http://www.masibikes.com/bikes/perfo...-premiare-2013 (I linked to the womens frame-Ignore MSRP, most bike shops will let you talk them down, and many will match internet prices-Those ones see you as a possible long term customer for parts and service.)

    2. Bikes direct will have something, but if you are a bike newb, I would recommend a good LBS for proper fit and service.

    3. I get my stuff here. http://www.kucharik.com/ And its American made.

    4. I just got a Brooks Chrysium from the LBS that sold me my Gran Criterium bike (Matching Performance bikes price ) A wide, cushy seat is not the best. This is counter intuitive, but true.

    I lost a brother several years ago to Pancreatic Cancer, have way too many friends and family fighting, and a few who have lost. Good for you.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  16. #16
    Junior Member lauzie17's Avatar
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    Thank You!!

    Thank you EVERYONE for the great responses, words of encouragement and advice you all gave me. I did end up going to two different LBS and I was happy I did. Both bike shops are recommending the Specialized Dolce bike. One of the shops did not like the entry level Dolce Compact bike ($750) Specialized Bicycle Components and recommended the next bike up, the Sport Compact ($920) Specialized Bicycle Components. This shop also recommended that I stay away from a triple as she did not like them. The owner of this shop Cycle Lodge CycleLodge.com: Fittings | Instruction is one of only 7 female Certified Masters BG Fit Technicians in the United States. That is something that appealed to me as I want the bike to first best.

    She also recommended for my boyfriend (who is 220 lbs and 6' 3') the Specialized Secteur line. She did not like the entry level bike in this as she doesn't like the gears on it, but said if we wanted that bike she would sell it if that is what we preferred ($750) Specialized Bicycle Components. She liked the Secteur Sport ($920) Specialized Bicycle Components.

    I have been looking on Craiglist and Ebay as well, and no matter where I end up getting a bike I do plan on having one of these shops completely go through it and size it properly to me and tune it up etc. Upon these suggestions I received at the LBS, do any of you have any comments or input? This obviously is a huge investment and if I had to spend $920 on a bike I guess I would...however I am really nervous to do so!

    I also want to get pedals and shoes I think as I have heard great things about them...so that would be another investment on top of some clothing, helmet, water bottles, and a tracker for my mileage. As I mentioned before, I am open to ANY and ALL suggestions as this is COMPLETELY new to me! Thanks again!

    Also, here is the link to my registration for the Pan Mass Challenge! It is official and there is a little story in there as to why I am doing this, in case some of you wanted to see! Thanks again for all of your help
    PMC Paceline

  17. #17
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauzie17 View Post
    Thank you EVERYONE for the great responses, words of encouragement and advice you all gave me. I did end up going to two different LBS and I was happy I did. Both bike shops are recommending the Specialized Dolce bike. One of the shops did not like the entry level Dolce Compact bike ($750) Specialized Bicycle Components and recommended the next bike up, the Sport Compact ($920) Specialized Bicycle Components. This shop also recommended that I stay away from a triple as she did not like them. The owner of this shop Cycle Lodge CycleLodge.com: Fittings | Instruction is one of only 7 female Certified Masters BG Fit Technicians in the United States. That is something that appealed to me as I want the bike to first best.

    She also recommended for my boyfriend (who is 220 lbs and 6' 3') the Specialized Secteur line. She did not like the entry level bike in this as she doesn't like the gears on it, but said if we wanted that bike she would sell it if that is what we preferred ($750) Specialized Bicycle Components. She liked the Secteur Sport ($920) Specialized Bicycle Components.

    I have been looking on Craiglist and Ebay as well, and no matter where I end up getting a bike I do plan on having one of these shops completely go through it and size it properly to me and tune it up etc. Upon these suggestions I received at the LBS, do any of you have any comments or input? This obviously is a huge investment and if I had to spend $920 on a bike I guess I would...however I am really nervous to do so!

    I also want to get pedals and shoes I think as I have heard great things about them...so that would be another investment on top of some clothing, helmet, water bottles, and a tracker for my mileage. As I mentioned before, I am open to ANY and ALL suggestions as this is COMPLETELY new to me! Thanks again!

    Also, here is the link to my registration for the Pan Mass Challenge! It is official and there is a little story in there as to why I am doing this, in case some of you wanted to see! Thanks again for all of your help
    PMC Paceline
    Weeelllll...My wife and I did a similar thing in 2010. She bought the Spec Ruby and I bought a Spec. Roubaix. She bought a triple and I bought a double. I was told the difference in gearing between the two was minor. We have now rode together for a long time and if I were to do it all over again, Id go for the triple; especially if your locale is 'hilly' as ours is. She has more choices on hills and as a beginner, and even now, those choices are welcome. When buying a bike the cost of a triple vs the cost of a double is negligible. To convert from a double to a triple at a later time is big $.

    If your totally at 'beginner' level for biking, Id go for the triple. Specialized make quality, reliable bikes at any price-point. The triple has given my wife 4 yrs of trouble-free shifting. She leaves me in the dust on mile long hills. Id rather have gears that I dont use accessible than not have the choice at all.

  18. #18
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauzie17 View Post
    Thank you EVERYONE for the great responses, words of encouragement and advice you all gave me. I did end up going to two different LBS and I was happy I did. Both bike shops are recommending the Specialized Dolce bike. One of the shops did not like the entry level Dolce Compact bike ($750) Specialized Bicycle Components and recommended the next bike up, the Sport Compact ($920) Specialized Bicycle Components. This shop also recommended that I stay away from a triple as she did not like them. The owner of this shop Cycle Lodge CycleLodge.com: Fittings | Instruction is one of only 7 female Certified Masters BG Fit Technicians in the United States. That is something that appealed to me as I want the bike to first best.

    She also recommended for my boyfriend (who is 220 lbs and 6' 3') the Specialized Secteur line. She did not like the entry level bike in this as she doesn't like the gears on it, but said if we wanted that bike she would sell it if that is what we preferred ($750) Specialized Bicycle Components. She liked the Secteur Sport ($920) Specialized Bicycle Components.

    I have been looking on Craiglist and Ebay as well, and no matter where I end up getting a bike I do plan on having one of these shops completely go through it and size it properly to me and tune it up etc. Upon these suggestions I received at the LBS, do any of you have any comments or input? This obviously is a huge investment and if I had to spend $920 on a bike I guess I would...however I am really nervous to do so!

    I also want to get pedals and shoes I think as I have heard great things about them...so that would be another investment on top of some clothing, helmet, water bottles, and a tracker for my mileage. As I mentioned before, I am open to ANY and ALL suggestions as this is COMPLETELY new to me! Thanks again!

    Also, here is the link to my registration for the Pan Mass Challenge! It is official and there is a little story in there as to why I am doing this, in case some of you wanted to see! Thanks again for all of your help
    PMC Paceline

    First props on many levels, I lost my mom to cancer over 10 years ago, she was in her early/mid 40’s, and I lost my grandma and grandpa (her rents) to cancer as well, it’s an ugly thing… so good on you for supporting something like that while working to better your own health which is only going to help you along the way. A second read though your first post is what I would have recommended in the first place, hit a gym with a trainer that covers both cardio and weights, it will make cycling easier if your body is already getting a workout of some sort.

    Now onto the bikes… you mentioned this and it was the next thing I was going to point to… being that you are in somewhat of a time crunch going to a shop that has a good fit system is a great idea, the fewer things you have to battle the more likely and easier it will be for you. I’m your weight… and nearly a foot taller than you… I live in a pretty flat part of TX and I still can’t see giving up my triple crankset, while I don’t use the granny gear (smallest up front) very often it’s good to have around and can mean the difference between walking up a hill or riding up it (albeit possibly very slowly)… I personally would spend the little extra for the extra gear, if you find that you don’t need it then no harm done, as you get stronger you’ll find you use it less and less anyway… one thing I’m not fond of on that bike based on your weight though is the tire size… at higher weights the smaller the tire the more pressure you need, I know people have managed to get by on too small of a tire for years, but I’m partial to running a larger tire which allows lower pressure and therefore more comfort, the hit in speed is negligible, and based on an average calculator the ideal pressure with a 25c tire would be over 170psi, I have yet to find a 25c tire that is rated for that, at minimum I would run a 28c tire, I personally prefer running 32c but few modern frames can run that size of tire, even a 28c is getting pretty tight on most of them…

    Clipless… clipless is great, but I’d spend at least a little while riding in some normal shoes first, get used to what it feels like, the fewer things you have to worry about when you first get back into riding the better IMHO… once you get fairly comfortable adding clipless can help tremendously, but if you haven’t ridden in a number of years getting used to drop bars with a bunch of gears and doing it all with traffic is plenty enough to deal with..

    For your boyfriends bike… the secteur is a good bike, I’ve looked at them myself a few times, if it fits well and the price is right it would be a good match, but the same could be said for a dozen other bikes out there lol.
    mtbr clyd moderator

  19. #19
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    In the $800 range, BD has the Gran Premio which is a relaxed geometry comfortable road bike with decent mid-level components. Double-butted chrome moly frame (good quality steel frame) with a carbon fiber fork. The seat that comes with it left a lot to be desired for me but I was swapping a favorite seat from a previous bike anyway.

    The wheelset is 32-spoke and decent entry level, so properly trued and tensioned should hold up OK. I'm building some stronger wheels with higher level components, but after a full season of riding last year (I'm 230 pounds and logged about 2,000 miles on this bike) the original wheels are still true and problem free. They required very little truing and tensioning when new.

    Fit is a very individual thing, BD has the geometry specs online so you can compare them to other bikes you have ridden. There is a bit of risk when ordering online in that you don't get to try the bike out first, so know what you want.

    Assembly is pretty basic so if you or a friend are familiar with bike maintenance and adjustment, you shouldn't have any problems, the instructions are pretty good and any other information you might need can be found on the Park Tools or Sheldon Brown websites.

    Good Luck
    Last edited by Myosmith; 03-17-14 at 03:39 PM.
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  20. #20
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    My first road bike was a Specialized Dolce Sport Compact. The only thing negative I can say about it is that it started my very expensive road bike habit! It served me well with absolutely no problems for three years. It made me a believer in how comfortable a road bike can be. I sold it after I upgraded to a Specialized Amira Sport compact. Good luck with your decision.

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  21. #21
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I will add a vote for clothing at Aerotech Designs... I have a set of bib shorts from them that work well for me, I assume their female lines would be just as suitable to a comfortable ride.

    For bikes, I always lean toward touring bikes. First, because they are designed to ride all day, and also they should do well to hold extra weight. It might be overkill, but that is what I do. I don't care about speed or snappy handling, I prefer comfort and stability when I ride.

    I am holding off on riding my touring bike until I lose a little more gut, since my hybrid does much better for me now... but even with the touring bike, most time would be spent on the hoods, it should be fine. Even if you aren't comfortable in the drops yet, a touring bike would be a good option for single bike stable for any non-performance rider.
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  22. #22
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I bought my wife a triple and my son and frankly, I'd get one if I could but as mentioned above, it's EXPENSIVE to convert after the fact.

    I think local shop support can be a very good thing for new cyclists, so don't discount that. I'm not sure what your sales person meant by "i don't like the gears" but I presume it was one of the lower end shimano groups, and it might be worth getting her to explain why she doesn't like them. In this day and age, even the low end shimano stuff is pretty reliable and useful.

  23. #23
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    I bought my wife a triple and my son and frankly, I'd get one if I could but as mentioned above, it's EXPENSIVE to convert after the fact.

    I think local shop support can be a very good thing for new cyclists, so don't discount that. I'm not sure what your sales person meant by "i don't like the gears" but I presume it was one of the lower end shimano groups, and it might be worth getting her to explain why she doesn't like them. In this day and age, even the low end shimano stuff is pretty reliable and useful.
    yup it's expensive to move to a triple after the fact... moving to a double is as simple as removing the inner chainring and adjusting a set screw... although if you want a compact crank you'd need to swap cranks... but that is still much cheaper than going from a double to a triple setup (requires a front shifter, front derailleur, different crankset, a new chain and possibly a rear derailleur)

    i'm going to assume the shop person was talking about the component level... the bikes the OP spoke about have 8spd claris... certainly nothing flashy but essentially last years sora stuff
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  24. #24
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    For bikes, I always lean toward touring bikes. First, because they are designed to ride all day, and also they should do well to hold extra weight. It might be overkill, but that is what I do. I don't care about speed or snappy handling, I prefer comfort and stability when I ride.

    my first road bike was a "sport" bike... at least that's what trek called them back in the 80s and early 90's... somewhere between a full on road racing bike but not as heavy as the touring bike, and it had traditional brake calipers.

    right now I have a loaded touring bike (surly trucker) and an old trek racing frame (happens to fit 32c tires)... i've got my eyes open for an old trek "sport" frame to replace the racing frame... I'd say either would be great for longer rides... you can still find a few sport type frames, I also think that many CX frames meet those types of specs, more relaxed geo, fit larger tires etc
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  25. #25
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson View Post
    my first road bike was a "sport" bike... at least that's what trek called them back in the 80s and early 90's... somewhere between a full on road racing bike but not as heavy as the touring bike, and it had traditional brake calipers.

    right now I have a loaded touring bike (surly trucker) and an old trek racing frame (happens to fit 32c tires)... i've got my eyes open for an old trek "sport" frame to replace the racing frame... I'd say either would be great for longer rides... you can still find a few sport type frames, I also think that many CX frames meet those types of specs, more relaxed geo, fit larger tires etc
    I agree, a sport or what I liked from an earlier age listed as sport-tourer would be good, but it seems that even bikes that label themselves with the word sport now are too close to race oriented than not...

    I had thought of mentioning CX, and agree that some of the CX framed bikes would be a good compromise as well, definitely for the frames, and possibly full bikes depending on the gearing available.
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