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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 09-20-14, 09:57 AM   #1
MRT2
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Test rode a Giant Defy and I liked it

Giant Defy 3, to be exact, in size M. On sale at a LBS. I am firmly in the steel is real camp, but threw a leg over the Aluminum Defy 3 with Carbon fork and was pleasantly surprised. Was curious how the compact geometry would fit me, but the answer is, reasonably well. The bike feels very light to me, around 20 lbs for the Medium. Ride was not as smooth as my steel Salsa Casseroll, but the frame was stiff while not being over harsh as I remember aluminum frames from just a few years ago, and it felt subjectively fast. Don't know how fast I was actually going. Stock Sora 9 speed shifters and derailleurs felt nice as it is mostly likely identical to my 2 year old Tiagra. Even the stock saddle wasn't bad, at least for the half hour or so I was on it.

Thinking it would be a nice alternative to my Salsa for faster club rides, and a bike my son could ride when I can coax him off his mountain bike to do a road ride but I just don't know. (and if I asked my son, I am quite sure he would ask me to just buy him a new mountain bike) Is the prospect of a good deal clouding my judgment? I often advise others not to buy a new bike just to have something different just because it is a good deal, and to resist the siren call of N + 1. And there is, of course, the spousal factor in all this.

Don't know if I will pull the trigger, as I may eventually want to go full Carbon/Ultegra some day, but I will say that if anyone in this forum is thinking about going with a road bike, today's sub $1,000 aluminum bikes aren't bad at all.
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Old 09-20-14, 11:07 AM   #2
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If I were spending money on a new bike today, I would prefer it to be at least 10 speed. Having said that, my wife's bike is sora 3500 equipped, and everything works nice and crisp.
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Old 09-20-14, 02:21 PM   #3
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If I were spending money on a new bike today, I would prefer it to be at least 10 speed. Having said that, my wife's bike is sora 3500 equipped, and everything works nice and crisp.
That gets you into the $1,400 to $1,500 range for Tiagra, or maybe 105.

Edit. I see Giant makes the Defy 2 with 10 speed Tiagra for just over $1,000, so if anyone is interested, that does look like a worthy upgrade for not that much money.
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Old 09-20-14, 03:23 PM   #4
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I love Giant's products...tough to beat at their price points.
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Old 09-20-14, 04:39 PM   #5
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10 speed is the way to go for road groups. 9 is still going to be available for a long time because there's a lot of it out there and it's reliable... But it's slowly losing ground for parts availability at many shops, outside of chains and cassettes. If you don't mind having to order parts, then 9spd is still a strong option.
In the 9 vs. 10 argument, consider the crankset: is it a triple with the 9? Is it still a triple with the 10, or backed off to a double?
The Defy is a really sweet ride, so if you can get a deal on one, go for it.
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Old 09-21-14, 02:16 PM   #6
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10 speed is the way to go for road groups. 9 is still going to be available for a long time because there's a lot of it out there and it's reliable... But it's slowly losing ground for parts availability at many shops, outside of chains and cassettes. If you don't mind having to order parts, then 9spd is still a strong option.
In the 9 vs. 10 argument, consider the crankset: is it a triple with the 9? Is it still a triple with the 10, or backed off to a double?
The Defy is a really sweet ride, so if you can get a deal on one, go for it.
The Defy line are all compact doubles, I believe. As for parts availability, I can't imagine 9 speed parts not being available for the forseeable future.
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Old 09-21-14, 03:01 PM   #7
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That gets you into the $1,400 to $1,500 range for Tiagra, or maybe 105.

Edit. I see Giant makes the Defy 2 with 10 speed Tiagra for just over $1,000, so if anyone is interested, that does look like a worthy upgrade for not that much money.
actually a 2104 Felt z85 which is ten speed 105 is $1100 now.....and a Giant defy with 105 was 1200.

I ended up with a Sora Fuji Sportiff 1.5 for a mere 800 bucks and about 8 miles from home :-).

I also rode a 105 equipped Defy and it was a nice bike too :-).
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Old 09-21-14, 07:11 PM   #8
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I rode a Carbon Defy with 105's last year and that was my second fave bike to my Roubaix. Something about the Roubiax geometry just rubs me the right way.
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Old 09-21-14, 07:20 PM   #9
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I've been riding a Defy 1 (aluminum frame with 105) for two seasons and its been good. I'm seeing leftovers going for up to 30% off right now. If you can find a 2014, or even better a 2013 in your size you'll get a good deal right now.
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Old 09-22-14, 06:05 AM   #10
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The Defy line are all compact doubles, I believe. As for parts availability, I can't imagine 9 speed parts not being available for the forseeable future.
It's not that they won't be available. It's that a lot of shops are stocking fewer and fewer 9spd parts for immediate availability. At our shop, we have plenty of 9spd cassettes in a variety of ranges (and 8spd, and even 7spd freewheels). We've got chains-a-plenty, and quick-links up to our ears. But you'd have to do it as a special order if you needed a 9spd STI lever. Not sure about other shops, but we tend to stock what's on most of the bikes we carry, so we have mostly 10 and 11 spd stuff in stock now.
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Old 09-22-14, 06:10 AM   #11
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It's not that they won't be available. It's that a lot of shops are stocking fewer and fewer 9spd parts for immediate availability. At our shop, we have plenty of 9spd cassettes in a variety of ranges (and 8spd, and even 7spd freewheels). We've got chains-a-plenty, and quick-links up to our ears. But you'd have to do it as a special order if you needed a 9spd STI lever. Not sure about other shops, but we tend to stock what's on most of the bikes we carry, so we have mostly 10 and 11 spd stuff in stock now.
Well these days, "special order" for me is Amazon.com, and it shows up 2 days later :-).

"We can order that for you"......well heck I can order it for me too :-).

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Old 09-22-14, 06:23 AM   #12
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......... I will say that if anyone in this forum is thinking about going with a road bike, today's sub $1,000 aluminum bikes aren't bad at all.
I think the "entry level" bikes (as they are often called) have a lot to offer. Particularly for many of us in the "Clydesdales" or "over fifty" (or BOTH) community's. The lower price point models often have a less aggressive geometry to them that is easier on old bones with extra weight. I recently (July) test rode a Trek 1.1 and had to have it. I've logged 870 miles on the Trek so far... and I love it. It is... by design... the most comfortable fast bicycle I've ever owned.

I am not going to get into comparing materials of bicycles. There are LOTS of great bicycles! I love my Cro-Mo vintage bicycles too. And I also have visions of riding a CF go-faster someday (even at my advanced age). But the OP makes a great point about the sub $1000 new road bikes being a worth while investment... IMHO.
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Old 09-22-14, 07:35 AM   #13
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Well these days, "special order" for me is Amazon.com, and it shows up 2 days later :-).

"We can order that for you"......well heck I can order it for me too :-).

Bill
And if you're OK with installing it yourself, that's a great option. I'm sure that you also understand that if you're ordering new levers, you'll probably want new brake and shift cables to go with them, and bar tape unless you plan on re-wrapping with what you have, and while you're at it you might think about refreshing your housing since you've got everything unwrapped, and don't forget ferrules, and knowing well enough to file/grind your brake housing ends before installation... I've seen a whole lot of "I tried to fix it myself" jobs roll into the shop which end up costing more than if they'd have brought it in to us first.
Before I worked in a shop, I used to order all my stuff from JensonUSA, Wiggle, Amazon, Harris, AE Bike, and various others. It was just as fast as LBS special order, no markup, and I knew how to do my own labour.
There are plenty of people who are really good at riding bikes but don't know which end of a screwdriver to hold, or they just can't be arsed to spend the time working on their bike when they can toss a few bucks at their LBS to do it for them. There are even more people who just enjoy riding their bike and don't really care how it works or how to fix it. They just want to ride, and if something breaks they bring it to their LBS to get it fixed.
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Old 09-22-14, 08:35 AM   #14
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And if you're OK with installing it yourself, that's a great option. I'm sure that you also understand that if you're ordering new levers, you'll probably want new brake and shift cables to go with them, and bar tape unless you plan on re-wrapping with what you have, and while you're at it you might think about refreshing your housing since you've got everything unwrapped, and don't forget ferrules, and knowing well enough to file/grind your brake housing ends before installation... I've seen a whole lot of "I tried to fix it myself" jobs roll into the shop which end up costing more than if they'd have brought it in to us first.
Before I worked in a shop, I used to order all my stuff from JensonUSA, Wiggle, Amazon, Harris, AE Bike, and various others. It was just as fast as LBS special order, no markup, and I knew how to do my own labour.
There are plenty of people who are really good at riding bikes but don't know which end of a screwdriver to hold, or they just can't be arsed to spend the time working on their bike when they can toss a few bucks at their LBS to do it for them. There are even more people who just enjoy riding their bike and don't really care how it works or how to fix it. They just want to ride, and if something breaks they bring it to their LBS to get it fixed.
I guess as I see it :-)......if they are still selling bikes with Sora group (and most makers still offer bikes using 9 speed Sora) they are bound to be able to support repairs on them :-).

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Old 09-22-14, 09:18 AM   #15
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Did you try any of the composite models? I got a great deal on a 2014 defy composite 2 @ a LBS. Full 105 group.
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Old 09-22-14, 09:39 AM   #16
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Did you try any of the composite models? I got a great deal on a 2014 defy composite 2 @ a LBS. Full 105 group.
LBS is closing, so offering bikes at going out of business prices. No composites left, unfortunately.

thinking about just throwing out a number and seeing if they take it.

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Old 09-22-14, 11:42 AM   #17
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LBS is closing, so offering bikes at going out of business prices. No composites left, unfortunately.

thinking about just throwing out a number and seeing if they take it.

Which one?

MRT on an AL bike ... never thought I'd see it!
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Old 09-22-14, 11:46 AM   #18
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Which one?

MRT on an AL bike ... never thought I'd see it!
North Shore Wheels in Shorewood.

I admit it when experience changes my mind. The Defy was nowhere near as smooth a ride as my Casseroll, but felt subjectively faster. Might be a nice change of pace, especially for faster club rides.
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Old 09-22-14, 11:50 AM   #19
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Hmm ... hadn't ever heard of it ... wish I had some disposable income

Do they have any apparel there? I need some knee/leg warmers. The zipper on one of the legs of my descente's broke.
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Old 09-22-14, 11:57 AM   #20
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Hmm ... hadn't ever heard of it ... wish I had some disposable income

Do they have any apparel there? I need some knee/leg warmers. The zipper on one of the legs of my descente's broke.
They have some larger sizes in loose fitting cycling shorts and pants. The pants Actually look like they would be really good for a fall or winter commuter, with the chamois sewn in. And some gloves. Not much else, but worth a look as even at this late date, new gear keeps showing up. (Thinking the owner is finding stuff he forgot about?). They still have lots of tools, pumps, CO2 cartridges, tubes, and tires, and a few bikes.
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Old 09-22-14, 12:08 PM   #21
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North Shore Wheels is a fairly small shop, over on East Capitol in Shorewood. The owner wanted to sell things like fat bikes and high end mountain bikes but according to the guy I spoke to, they didn't sell too many of those.
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Old 09-22-14, 12:34 PM   #22
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North Shore Wheels is a fairly small shop, over on East Capitol in Shorewood. The owner wanted to sell things like fat bikes and high end mountain bikes but according to the guy I spoke to, they didn't sell too many of those.
It's not too far off my commute route ... if I wasn't broke I'd swing by there one night

Not exactly the best location for selling that stuff. I mean, yeah, Shorewood could support such a shop economically, but how many Shorewood residents are buying fat bikes?

I see a LOT of roadies near there when I take the road rather than the MUP.
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Old 09-22-14, 05:28 PM   #23
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It's not too far off my commute route ... if I wasn't broke I'd swing by there one night

Not exactly the best location for selling that stuff. I mean, yeah, Shorewood could support such a shop economically, but how many Shorewood residents are buying fat bikes?

I see a LOT of roadies near there when I take the road rather than the MUP.
They did a decent business as more of a family oriented bike shop. Hybrids, trail bikes, repairs and tune ups, etc... Most of the serious roadies in Shorewood shop down the road at Rainbow Jersey, if they shop in Shorewood.

They sold me my kid's used mountain bike, which has worked out well as a starter bike. I was considering Going with Giant when my son was ready for a new mountain bike, but with them closing, that probably won't happen.
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