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  1. #1
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    Too many choices!

    Mountains, and Roadies, and Dualies, OH My!

    Well one thing is for certain. There is no shortage of bike options out there. Kind of like the toothpaste isle at Walgreens.

    I thought I had a pretty good idea what I wanted. But the short amount of time I have been researching shows me there may be better options. Then there is the Time/Money conundrum.

    When I have a lot of money, I don't have a lot of time. And vice versa.
    Right now I have a lot of time.

    I will be going to some bike shops tomorrow. And while I am chomping at the bit to get started.
    I know it will be wiser to take my time.

    On the other hand, there is a used but in new condition Wahoo 29er about a half hour from me at a reasonable price. I may just grab that and see if the biking plan sticks.

    For myself, I am mid fifties, 5'7" 250lbs, been pretty active my whole life, and still walk a fair bit. Have state trails/roads right out the end of my driveway. Wobbling back and forth between 29ers, dualsports, and cyclocross bikes. The cyclo has a slight advantave in my mind right now as it opens up the road side a bit more. But the ability to travel and carry gear is appealing as well. Really like the looks of that Ogre! Riding from campsite to campsite up here would be a blast.

    But tomorrow should help steer me a bit.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to BF, DackRider!

    I'd say you're close to the right track, thinking about the Surly Ogre. That's one of the most versatile bikes around, in terms of tire clearance, brake options, fenders, rack, and such.

    The Surly Cross-Check is a viable candidate as well.

    Whatever the case may be, you won't be disappointed either way.

    Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    I went on a week long bike trip with a girl once. We rode from campsite to campsite and then would swim to cool off.
    It was a real blast.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  4. #4
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    The new Surly Straggler looks nice for a light touring/cross bike. But if you want to travel heavier (not that a fully self-contained load has to be heavy), it's probably not the right choice.

    Don't expect to find a "do everything well" bike, especially if you get something that can handle a full load. My LHT does that extremely well, and it's a decent commuter and short (e.g. 25-30 miles), moderately paced road ride bike, but for fast rides, forget it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Great position to be in!

    Look forward to see what and how you decide.

  6. #6
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    Learning a lot of new acronyms here,

    LHT = Long Haul Tourer?

  7. #7
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DackRider View Post
    Learning a lot of new acronyms here,

    LHT = Long Haul Tourer?
    Close. Surly Long Haul Trucker
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  8. #8
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Northern Adirondacks, trails nearby. Sounds like a cross bike to me. Or perhaps a mountain bike and a roadie

    Welcome to BF! When I started I was almost exactly your size. At 250 lbs I bought a roadie, no trails where I live, and have never looked back. No trouble at all with components and weight.

    Enjoy your ride!

  9. #9
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    Ah, LHT, looked at that one as well.

    Another bike hat has my attention is the Norco Threshold A3. It's a cyclocross bike. I have a dealer about 45 minutes away. Which is as good as it gets up here.

    Depending on what I can bolt to it rack wise it may go down in flames.

    I am actually going to sit down today and build myself a list of questions to ask. So I don't get caught up in the glitz and glamour and end up with something I don't want. Too much to remember while staring at all those pretty bikes.

    But again the price of the used Wahoo is.attractive as a starter bike.

    Funny, these bikes seem expensive to me. But in reality, I paid $106.00 for my Schwinn Continental back in 1972. I was 13 at the time. Man that was a lot of money back then.

    I loved that bike. Rode it for five years straight. Until I discovered road going motorcycles. Sold it to a friend's sister for $30.00 in 1979. Pretty good value proposition.

    Back then we had basically three choices. A Stingray(banana bike), your basic three speed bike. And what we called "English Racers" with the turn down bars.

    My father got tired of what I did to his three speed. Stripping off the fenders, chain guard, and replacing the bars with turn downs. so he paid for part of the Conti as my Christmas present. That bike had a lot of lawn mowing and paper route money in it. But I had never wanted anything so bad in my life. It was a good call. That bike was rock solid for me and the second owner. Tires, brakes and chain.

    I hope my next choice serves me half as well

  10. #10
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    From what I gather, the Threshold doesn't have rack or fender mounts. I still think the Ogre is your best Option. Actually, since you're 5' 7", the Troll just might be better.Of course, these Surly bikes are all over $1000.

    Perhaps something less costly would be better appreciated. If you can locate a Marin bicycle dealership, you might wanna take a look at the Marin Muirwoods. Marin makes both a Muirwoods 29er and a 26er. It's got wide tires (1.6in), fender, and rack mounts. It really kinda resembles a rigid ht mtb. The Muirwoods 29er sells at REI for $700. The Muirwoods 26er, generally sells for just about $100 less than its 29er sibling. You'd most probably profit more from the Muirwoods 26er. Muirwoods are labeled as "Urban" bikes. However, they'd take to the trails just as easily. Their frames are made of quality chromoly steel and they have hydraulic disc brakes.

  11. #11
    Still learning oddjob2's Avatar
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    Unless that Chazy Trek has a lockout on the suspension fork, I would pass. At your size, I'd stick with a rigid frame bike. I have a Marin Muirwoods, love it, but the handlebar setup is very wide. Stable, but not efficient for aerodynamics on ADK downhills.

    If you want used, try the Old Spokes home in Burlington. In fact the Vermont CL carries a lot more listings than the Plattsburgh CL.

    Also, this shop opened recently, but I don't know what his inventory is like, so call ahead.
    http://www.humanpowerplanetearth.com

    This deal looks decent too if you canget the seller down 10-15 percent.

    http://burlington.craigslist.org/bik/4465053258.html

    Also, if conserving cash is important, check out the drop bar mountain bike conversion thread under C+V. I built the equivalent of an LHT from a Miyata TerraRunner for a total oulay of $150.00.
    Last edited by oddjob2; 05-15-14 at 01:14 AM.
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    2014 Additions: 1985 Trek 560, 1992 Trek Multitrack 700 (my 2nd), 1994 Trek Carbon 2200, Peugeot PX-10, 1981 Schwinn Voyager, 1989 Bridgestone RB-1

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by oddjob2 View Post
    Unless that Chazy has a lockout on the suspension fork, I would pass. At your size, I'd stick with a rigid frame bike. I have a Marin Muirwoods, love it, but the handlebar setup is very wide. Stable, but not efficient for breaking wind on ADK downhills.
    +1

    Nice post!

    However, I just have one question for you:

    What bike IS efficient about breaking those ADK downhill winds?

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for the great responses! I am liking this place already,


    The Chazy bike is out of the equation. I called yesterday and got the "Wow dude, like really sorry, I sold that, like a while ago" speech.

    As much as I like the Ogre, I think it is in my future, not my present. I have heard about the Muir Woods and will do some looking. It looks like it might fit my latest line of thinking

    Another bike that popped up is the Jamis Coda, since there is a dealer right in Plattsburgh, i will try and get a look at them also. Both the Muir and the Coda appear similar.

    After my post about the Schwinn, i got to thinking about where bikes have come from, where they are, and where they are going. I rode that bike twelve miles a day to school and back everyday, rain, snow, heat, except for big snow and monsoons and all summer long. Granted that was long ago.

    No discs brakes, no indexed shifting, no gear indicators, no carbon, no alimnum, you get the idea.

    I have been asking questions, but I have been reading a ton here too. It seems the consensus is that if you are going to ride on the road lock-out suspension is a good idea. Also, bikes in my price range don't come with great suspension.

    What I see is many manufacturers trying to incorporate their whiz bang high tech features into their lower priced bikes. At the cost of other componentry. I am not immune to marketing, and coming form the motorcycle side. The disc brakes seemed a logical evolution. But I found myself asking, do I really need them? And at what cost.

    I survived quite well with 1972 brakes and only almost got killed once when a car decellerated quickly on a fairly steep downhill and made a hard right hand turn just after passing me in a downpour without signaling. That was forty years ago and I can still see it vividly in my minds eye. I clamped on the brakes, and nothing. The guy turned, and I managed to not wad myself up under his back right wheel/bumper. But it was more god luck than good management.

    My point is, at fifty-four years of age, and scaling in at two hundred and fifty pounds. Do I really need all this high tech mojo? If I hit the trails, my fitness level will limit my speed on the uphill sections. And my skill level will limit my speed on the downhills. And things like suspension will just weigh me down even more on the pavement.

    I find I have a better success rate if I wade in slowly and acclimateto the waters, than when I just dive in and realize I am in the wrong pool.

    I must have read twenty-five reviews about the Coda Sport and Coda Comp last night. And everyone was glowing. Basically stating, that the Coda is nothing fancy, just an all around nice bike to ride. Not too many cool gizmos, just a nice bike. I figure if I find the experience pleasurable, I am much more likely to stick with it, and get over that beginner's hump. If I get really into it, I hope to have a solid platform to build from. And not have to upgrade every year when the manufacturers release their next newest must have gizmo.

    I don't see myself as being much of a group rider. I am not on the motorcycle, so I imagine that will follow suit on a bicycle. I tend to be sort of a loner in that respect. I like to go where I want, and do what I want to do. If I see a road that looks cool, I want to be able to turn onto it. Without having to explain my reasoning to ten other people.

    I am not in this for other people. I am in it for myself. I need the exercise badly. At this age, I figure it's now or never.

  14. #14
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    Nice to see that you're doing your research, DackRider!

    Both the Muirwoods and the Codas appear to be excellent candidates for your cycling needs. The only real difference that can see, would be tire width. The Muirwoods have a tire width of 1.6in (40mm), where as the Codas have a tire width of 32mm. Tire width becomes a factor when it comes to both speed and surface impact.

    The Codas, having 32mm wide tires will perform better on paved surfaces, in terms of speed, that's why they're considered as "Performance" hybrids. Essentially, the Codas are flatbar road bikes. Of course, they can handle the lightly wooded trails too. OTOH, the Muirwoods would be better appreciated not only on pothole riddled streets, but on root riddled trails, as well. What the Muirwoods lacks in speed, it compensates for in road tenacity. The Muirwoods are more like rigid forked hard tail mtbikes.

    Simply put, one is more speedy than hardy. While the other is more hardy than speedy!

    I say, test ride them both on typical terrain, and go with your gut feelings, before you pull the trigger!
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-15-14 at 06:52 AM.

  15. #15
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    Update,

    As of yesterday, I have been to seven shops. One was closed and moved to Florida, with a still functioning website. Three don't even carry the bikes they have listed on their websites.

    One was iffy and two were very good.

    No bike yet and more questions than answers. To date I have test rode flat bar road bikes, dual sports, 29ers and a cyclocross bike.

    I tried a Raleigh Talus 29, and a few of their hybrid bikes, a Cannondale CX4, an older but new KHS CX-200, a Trek Stache 7 and a few others.

    Out of all of them I think I liked the cyclocross bike the best. The Stache 7 was sweet, but I'm not sure I want to go that far to the dirt side or spend that much.

    Nobody seems to have Surly bikes within two hours of me. The Jamis line is the same way. A lot of websites list them, but no bikes on the ground. Not surprising, I live in the sticks. Lesson learned = call ahead to verify prior to driving and hour.

    Trying to find a bike that ticks all the boxes while still coming in around budget is proving to be a juggling act with some give and take. Like on a cyclocross bike. I like the fit, but many don't have braze-ons for racks. I see there are work arounds for that. But also some of the gearing might not work for me.

    What I have learned is, a full blown didicated road bike is probably out for me. I may try a bike like the Trek 7.4 FX just to see how it feels.

    But I am liking the thought of the C-Cross bikes with their turn down bars, beefier tires, and more relaxed frame geometry, and multiple hand position options. On the flats, I am up high, on the hoods I am in the middle, and on the drops, I am as aerodynamic as a 250 pound fat guy can be on a bicycle. The one I rode also had interupter brakes. This may be blasphemy, but I liked them.

    I was sure I would own a bike by now. But the research has proven valuable. My original target bikes have moved further down the line in favor of ones I didn't think I would even consider.

    One thing I have noticed is if I go the Cyclocross route, I will most likely have to increase my budget.

    One other thing I noticed. I am in piss poor shape. Back to back bike trials of bikes in hilly terrain have alerted my legs of things to come. I guess it is a good sign that my legs fail before my lungs and heart though.


    Thanks again to everyone for the comments and advice so far, I will keep you informed as things progress

    Dack,

  16. #16
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    copy n pasted from a post I made in December about the same subject

    CX bike sounds like the ticket. Biggest factor other then material is do you WANT fender mounts or don't care? If you don't care then more things open up. I looked at disc brakes only options and 135mm rear spacing and this was the list that had the N. American Cross Geo, aka lower bottom bracket like a roadie for better high speed handling vs say that of a Ridley or Redline.

    Kona Jake the Snake - nice budget bike at 1600 with 105's or frameset for $600 from Bikeman

    Specialized Crux - Mid range, hard to find in stock, alum is $2k and carbon is $3k

    Fuji Altamira - I ended up w/ this, full SRAM Force, BB7s and tapered fork and complete carbon for $2100 (new model is $2800) Geo is close to my super6 on paper and under me

    Felt FX5/65 - FX5 is $2400 w/ rival, full carbon and just came into stock couple weeks ago, FX65 is alum frame same front carbon fork and Apex group

    Ibis Hakkalugi - Would blow the budget here, $1800 for frameset but comes with a $550 Enve fork. Wanted this one BAD!!! But couldn't justify the build up cost.

    Kona Rove Steel - complete steel w/ APEX for $1600 or frameset from bikeman.com for $550 (i'd ditch the steel fork cuz it's ugly as hell)

    Kona Rove Ti Frame - another budget blower, Ti frame is $2k + headset and fork. Looks awesome and can hold fat tires. Drooled over this frameset and looks but outta budget

    Salsa Warbird Alum - Complete at $1700-2200 w/ Tiagra. Frameset are $900-1200 w/ that $550 enve fork. Hear good things about this, more for a gravel racer not really a CX racer. So in between a road bike and CX bike.

    Salsa Warbird Ti - Complete is about $4k or frameset w/ enve fork for $2500

    Focus Mares AX1 - 2014 models will be here in Jan/Feb where they are moving to disc brakes. Alum frame, tapered carbon fork will be new for them, comes w/ Hyrdro rival for $2200 in rapha colors looks awesome

    NINER RLT- Alum w/ carbon fork, best transformer of them all. Fender mounts, PF30 bb can be run in singlespeed mode, niner carbon forks are strong and hell and RLT is built to those standards. Frameset @ $1100, Complete 105 bike with crap wheel and bb5 brakes cost $2000, Hydro Rival version w/ Ironcross wheels will set you back $3k, wheels are $650 of that price. The bad, rumors from my buddy that is buyer for a bike shop says ALL the prepaid/preordered sales are larger then the shipment coming in Feb. Second orders might be in March or wait for fall outs. Falls into the same class in my mind as the warbird. Not a CX racer, more gravel racer but not road bike fast.

    Opinion of all these bikes:
    It's bad enough that CX bikes are between road bikes and hard tail 29er XC bike but to be in between of between this range is too much for me to swing the warbird or RLT though I'm sure they would be nice. Touring bike falls into the between of between. Unless you plan to tour, I'd hate to pedal that geo everyday.

  17. #17
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    so many new riders 9myself included) buy bikes and realize they don't like what they got and should have gotten something else.

    my 2 cents: ride some bikes, rent some bikes, test some bikes from craigslist. don't rush. don't get emotionally attached to any one bike.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  18. #18
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    Well, the trigger has been pulled,

    I am the new owner of a leftover, but new KHS CX-200. Of all the bikes I tried this is the one that seemed to fit me best. Both physically and with how I plan to use it. I didn't hurt that is pretty to look at either.


    KHS Bicycles :: CX200



    Thanks to everyone for their advice and support.
    Dack,

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