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  1. #1
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    Looking for fitness/commuter/cross/road type bike

    yeah, I really narrowed it down, eh?

    I'm 250 lbs, fairly newbish, and yesterday did another 'long' ride, 51.01 miles on a Trek 820. I had fun, but I really found myself wanting something a little more....aero, for the road miles. Out of the 51, about 1/3 was 'off-road', i.e. fire roads, gravel, mostly hard packed (Although it started to get a bit mucky as it rained). It held up well off road as a 'gravel grinder' I suppose, but on the road, it obviously lacked.

    No single track requirements, but I don't want a pure road bike. I'd like it to have the capability to at least mount fenders or possibly even a rear rack. I'm not looking to set any land speed records or win any races. I want to be able to ride my 15 miles to work with some good speed, and then on the weekends, drop a half century on fire roads, gravel, maybe some hard-pack dirt, and standard hardball/asphalt, and not feel like my body is beat to hell.

    From what I've read, steel is a lot more compliant and gives a much less punishing ride than aluminum which is 'faster' (lighter?) but tends to beat a fella up. I don't want a pure road bike as I'd like to be able to go on some dirt and gravel, but I'd like a little more aero and 'distance' capability than my entry-level MTB.

    so steel all around, or is aluminum frame/carbon fork ok? What about a composite/carbon bike?

    for example:

    steel:
    Specialized AWOL - Cr-Mo
    Surly Straggler 4130 CroMoly
    Salsa Vaya 3 Cro-Moly

    combo Alloy frame + composite/carbon fork:
    Giant Anyroad
    Trek Crossrip
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Specialized Crux E5


    vs. straight Carbon:
    Anyroad CoMax
    Trek 7.7 FX



    I guess my questions:

    1. Is carbon a good buy for a clyde at this low of a price?
    2. Does the "compliant" carbon fork make up for the "stiff" aluminum or does it still end up being a rough ride?
    3. If 1 above is true, does that mean the Anyroad CoMax and Trek 7.7 are crazy deals, since Carbon sure seems to be a lot more expensive than steel or aluminum?
    4. If, for whatever reason, carbon frame is a bad idea, then does the aluminum frame/carbon fork provide for a good bike or do I just need to stop all this silly nonsense and go for steel?
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  2. #2
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    I've been riding a Cannondale CAADX for the past year and have been very happy with it. I use it for the same thing you plan. I chose a CX style bike because of the beefier fork and also because of the riding position. You'll get lots of opinions about the "best" configuration, but a lot of riders seem to agree that the size of the tires (I am running Clement USH 35s) has more to do with the ride than the material of the frame. Personally (here's my opinion), I would either go with an aluminum frame/carbon fork setup or a steel bike (knowing that the steel bike will likely be a tad heavier). I would take the $$ saved from not getting carbon to get a better component group or second set of wheels (while the 35x700c wheels are great all arounders for general use and gravel grinding, I would like a set of lightweight wheels with 28s on them for commuting).

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth. Have a great time deciding, and enjoy whichever bike you get!

  3. #3
    Senior Member 1242Vintage's Avatar
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    I use my Crux CX bike for commuting, gravel/dirt roads, and racing. Commute and race in all weather conditions and the bike just keeps on rolling. Just knock the dirt off, replaced a few parts that wore out, and lube. It's an alloy model w/ carbon fork. Earlier this year I picked up a set of Stan's wheels and converted to tubeless. Tubeless made the ride much smoother and those thorns last fall and debris on the shoulder from road construction on my commute route were no problem. Find myself these days riding the CX bike more than the road or mtn bike in the fleet.

    Good luck with your choice. Lots of great bikes out there.
    Last edited by 1242Vintage; 11-28-14 at 03:26 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
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    I've had my Fuji Cross (aluminum) cross bike for a couple months now and love it. It's not too harsh, has a carbon fork and a Rival groupset. Reasonably priced, too. It's definitely my do everything bike. I put 28mm Gatorskins on it since I ride mostly on the road.

  5. #5
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    so aluminum + carbon gets a thumbs-up from the clyde community, that is good to know! It seems there are a lot of options out there for that combo of bike. Seems like a good cross between a solid, compliant ride without having to drag along a bunch of excess weight.
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  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Hit the shops for test rides .. the thing that will help the heavier rider's bike last longer Is service after the sale , so Pick the shop first .

    then buy a bike from them..

  7. #7
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    As much as I like my Crux it does not have rack mounts. I think the Specialized Diverge does, check with your dealer. I know lots of folks race on Kona bikes CX that is. My advice is ride as many from your list as you can and choose the one that feels "right". If mounting a rack wasn't so high on your list I'd suggest you look at endurance geometry road bikes, even carbon ones. For the money you can get a higher level of components on an aluminum bike than carbon for the same amount. I ride my Roubiax on dirt and gravel, sometimes for 10 miles in a stretch. My LBS's manager rides an E5 Allez and he has ridden that on a dirt road on 23mm tires for about 10 miles without problem, and that is about as far from an endurance geometry as you can get. My point is your preconceived notions about pure road bikes might not fit with what they are capable of. Good luck on your purchase decision. Yo do know the correct answer is more than one bike, right?


    Mark

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Hit the shops for test rides .. the thing that will help the heavier rider's bike last longer Is service after the sale , so Pick the shop first .
    then buy a bike from them..
    yeah, I've kinda already done that part. I get really outstanding service at one place, buying a Specialized Stumpjumper from them for my singletrack requirements. Thankfully, they sell Cannondale, Surly, Salsa, and Specialized, but there is a bike shop nearby that sells Kona as well, have to check them up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    If mounting a rack wasn't so high on your list I'd suggest you look at endurance geometry road bikes, even carbon ones.
    what is 'endurance geometry'? I recently learned that "downhill/trail" geometry means a slack headtube angle. I assume 'endurance geometry' is something like that, having to do with headtube angle, or headtube length or...something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    For the money you can get a higher level of components on an aluminum bike than carbon for the same amount.
    right, but I worry about getting too beat up from a long ride on a stiff aluminum bike. I'm not saying it will happen, just that I've read about it, and as a bigger dude, I'd prefer not to annihilate the bike and annihilate myself in the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    My point is your preconceived notions about pure road bikes might not fit with what they are capable of.
    please, by all means, enlighten me then, I darn sure don't know what I"m doing.

    I always looked at a road bike as a super stiff bike that you could bend the wheels if you whack a pothole or jump a curb. It's fast, it's super duper lightweight, it leans you way too far forward so that if you go down a hill with dirt bumps and rocks you get tossed over the front bar (Because i'm not a skilled rider, that is a concern) and it's a bike you ride on pavement, not on dirt and gravel.

    for dirt and gravel, you get a touring bike with thicker wheels or a cyclocross type bike.

    if I was forced into a choice now, based on what I "think" I know, and what I think I need, it'd end up being a Salsa Vaya or Fargo, or a Specialized AWOL, simply because I know they are supposed to be good on all-terrain while still being good on the road, and you can fit racks and such. I would be using this as a commuter in addition to my long distance rides, hence my desire to at least be able to put fenders on it

    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    Good luck on your purchase decision. Yo do know the correct answer is more than one bike, right?
    yes. I know the answer is more than one bike. In fact, the answer is more than 3 or 4 bikes, possibly even 5 (or more!)

    You got your full suspension mountain bike (a la Specy Stumpjumper)
    You got your fat bike (for the snow and the sand and the silliness) (a la Surly Pugsley or Salsa Beargrease)
    You got your long road endurance workout bike (such as the Roubaix you mention)
    You got your touring bike (a la Salsa Fargo or Surly Ogre)
    You got your Cyclocross racing bike (Cannondale Super-X and such)
    You got your commuter bike (i.e. whatever you have that isn't super expensive but gets the job done)

    yes, I know "more than one bike" is the answer. Convincing my wife of that answer is another story entirely.
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  9. #9
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    Maybe look at gravel/adventure bikes? I have a case of lust after the Raleigh Tamland, personally.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I've been riding a Trek CrossRip for my commuter for the last 7 months. It's a great bike, but I did make a few upgrades. It's an aluminum frame, but I put a carbon seat post on it and really makes for a very nice comfortable ride now. In fact, I took it on a 75 mile charity ride due to bad weather and never felt the normal jarring of the aluminum like I was expecting. The carbon post made all the difference.

    I had some parts from another bike so I opted to buy the lowest end bike with Disc brakes and swap out parts. If you go this route and have the budget, upgrade the wheels, the stock wheels are very flexy and the brakes rubbed a lot, drove me nuts. I got a set of Boyd Altamont's for disc brakes and no longer have the disc rub. I also would upgrading brakes if the model you pick is running the BB5's. I changed out the BB5's to the TRP Spyres, but I understand the new version of the HY\RD are suppose to be really sweet, I almost wished I had waited for those to come out.

    I really love the ride and feel and at this point in time, it may be my favorite bike.

    Here is my bike.

    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
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    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    I have a case of lust after the Raleigh Tamland, personally.
    ooh, that does look like a fine bike

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
    I've been riding a Trek CrossRip for my commuter for the last 7 months.....I had some parts from another bike so I opted to buy the lowest end bike with Disc brakes and swap out parts. If you go this route and have the budget, upgrade the wheels, the stock wheels are very flexy and the brakes rubbed a lot, drove me nuts.
    ok, so if I understand things, the Trek CrossRips all come with the Bontrager TLR rims, which is no bueno for a bigger guy, correct? That some good information
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  12. #12
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtrobo View Post
    ok, so if I understand things, the Trek CrossRips all come with the Bontrager TLR rims, which is no bueno for a bigger guy, correct? That some good information
    Mine came with some really low end Bontrager Nebulas, NOT the TLR version that the 2015 bikes are coming with. The 2015 version are probably close to the Race TLR rim which I rode for about a year on another bike when I was between 220-260 and outside of being a bit heavy, I never had an issue with them. I still have them on my SuperSix.

    The Boyd's are fairly light, about 1690 g and are very stiff. I'm running Michelin Pro4 Endurance (25s) tires now, which are not shown in that picture. I was using the Bontrager AW2, awesome tire, but much more harsh ride compared to the Michelin. I have the CrossRip weight down to 21.75 lbs as shown above. It was just under 27 lbs before I started swapping components. Wheels and tires removed almost 4 lbs on their own when had Nebula's\Bontrager H5's (32s) that came on the bike. Fully loaded for my commute, I am still under 30 lbs, so it's been worth the extra expense to me. My total commute is 15 miles and can generally do that in 50-52 mins.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
    Mine came with some really low end Bontrager Nebulas, NOT the TLR version that the 2015 bikes are coming with. The 2015 version are probably close to the Race TLR rim which I rode for about a year on another bike when I was between 220-260 and outside of being a bit heavy, I never had an issue with them. I still have them on my SuperSix.
    so that is some EXCELLENT information, thanks! So the TLR's are ok for my tubby butt then, since I'm ~250. I'm cool with the wheels being a bit heavier as long as they're solid as a result.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
    The Boyd's are fairly light, about 1690 g and are very stiff. I'm running Michelin Pro4 Endurance (25s) tires now, which are not shown in that picture. I was using the Bontrager AW2, awesome tire, but much more harsh ride compared to the Michelin. I have the CrossRip weight down to 21.75 lbs as shown above. It was just under 27 lbs before I started swapping components. Wheels and tires removed almost 4 lbs on their own when had Nebula's\Bontrager H5's (32s) that came on the bike. Fully loaded for my commute, I am still under 30 lbs, so it's been worth the extra expense to me. My total commute is 15 miles and can generally do that in 50-52 mins.
    ok so wow, you really dropped some serious weight off the bike, ok then. I'm not too worried about that right now, I'd rather drop weight off my belly since...I need to drop weight off my belly. The TLRs are probably good as a base wheelset then, but the Boyd's that you switched too are a nice weight/stiffness upgrade once I get some extra $$$?

    hey, seriously, thanks a ton for the responses, I do appreciate it immensely.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Yea I would just check with the Trek dealers to ensure the level of the rim, if they are in the Race TLR level, you should be good to go. I have about 1500 on my Race TLR's and I only had to have the rear trued up a bit around 900 miles in. I moved over to the Altamont's rim brake version on my road bike back in Jan 14 as a gift to myself for hitting a weight goal, liked them so much, I decided to get them for my commuter.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
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    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  15. #15
    Senior Member chrism32205's Avatar
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    I think I'd rule out full carbon if you are going to be commuting or using a rack.

    The Straggler is a nice ride that could probably do what you're asking.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrism32205 View Post
    I think I'd rule out full carbon if you are going to be commuting or using a rack.

    The Straggler is a nice ride that could probably do what you're asking.
    I'd not be so quick to do so.

    My advice is based on my experience. This year I've logged over 7,000 miles, last year over 5,000 miles. Most of these miles was on rough chip seal and I'm a Clyde. In my current stable I have a Schwinn Broadway Hybrid, it almost never gets ridden, racks and fenders, flat(ish) bars. A Specialized Roubiax sporting 23/25 Aramadillo tires that gets 95%+ of my miles and a Specialized Crux Elite that has a main purpose of being my CX race and training bike. My first road bike was a Specialized Secteur which was my main ride for 5000+ miles until totaled in a collision with a VW. I was hovering around 250 pounds, 5'8" when I bought it. Due to my LBS being a Specialized dealer and due to me not needing to go outside of town to buy a bike I am only real familiar with Specialized bikes. As fietsbob wrote pick the shopfirst! Part of the cost of a new bike is the up front payment for service of a new bike. Pick a shop that treats you fairly or better and buy what they sell. Every major and many minor brands all make good bikes.

    Endurance geometry is generally longer head tubes allowing less saddle to bar drop, like Roubiax or Sectuer in the Specialized line. However it really does not matter too much as a good bike fitter can make a race bike fit a rider that needs an upright riding posture with a big stack and high rise stem. When you combine an endurance bike with wider tires, sometimes only as wide as 25mm, you get a bike that can absorb rough roads and keep you going. Move up or actually laterally to a CX bike with the ability to run 32mm or wider tires and the tires themselves will improve the ride on the rough stuff.

    Like I say I'm rocking a Crux in the fall trainiong for CX and racing CX but not really putting many miles on. Longer road rides are usually on my Roubiax due to the much more comfortable ride, or maybe it is the speed of narrower tires. Whatever the reason I would rather ride my Roubaix on chip-seal roads than my crux. For the best feeling ride possible, at least out of my stable I would choose my Crux with my race tubular tires but at $100 per tire and real limited road miles per tire I try to only use them for racing..........

    The sticky point for what you are after is the rack mounts....... To narrow it down if you need racks and panniers to commute buy a bike for that purpose. if you are loooking for a weekend long distance bike but are not touring with it find a dedicated road bike. To convince the wife........ two options, first give her a cost/benefit analysis riding a bike vs suffering a heart attack or other expensive illness caused by inactivity, or secondly be bold and tell her you are doing it. FWIW My SO listens to the former and does not object to the latter. Cycling has saved my life health wise so I get lots of latitude and I use it for all it is worth. After all that there are options for racks on carbon bike or other bikes without eyelets for mounting. Also there are bikes in most categories that have eyelets. Picke a LBS first and buy what they have. Make sure to choose one that will meet your needs as a customer by accessorizing whatever bike you choose so that it fits your needs.


    Mark

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    check out a Kona Rove. I have the ti version and the frame is still over 4 lbs, even in that material. Amazingly strong and set up with HY-RD brakes and Whiskey fork, it stops with little effort on steep downhills. Clearance for 50 mm tires, but I usually ride 28s. Awesome bike for the bigger guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    My advice is based on my experience. This year I've logged over 7,000 miles, last year over 5,000 miles.
    holy crap...that's a lot of miles!

    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    Endurance geometry is generally longer head tubes allowing less saddle to bar drop, like Roubiax or Sectuer in the Specialized line. However it really does not matter too much as a good bike fitter can make a race bike fit a rider that needs an upright riding posture with a big stack and high rise stem. When you combine an endurance bike with wider tires, sometimes only as wide as 25mm, you get a bike that can absorb rough roads and keep you going. Move up or actually laterally to a CX bike with the ability to run 32mm or wider tires and the tires themselves will improve the ride on the rough stuff.
    that's some good info. I was looking at what I would assume would be more...eh..."rugged"(?) bikes such as the Crossrip, AWOL, Vaya, etc...with wider tires to help more in the gravel and the dirt without killing my ability to go on the road. Plus I can't have the bike be too low to the ground, I do need some ground clearance to deal with obstacles which are inevitable in the paths that I ride (I think this is called "BB Drop?") If I understand things, the wider tires will also help reduce some of the road chatter as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    The sticky point for what you are after is the rack mounts....... To narrow it down if you need racks and panniers to commute buy a bike for that purpose. if you are loooking for a weekend long distance bike but are not touring with it find a dedicated road bike.
    well I live in the PNW, and I want to commute during the week but then do weekend longer distance rides, which will include a good bit of gravel, hard pack, some looser dirt, etc. Basically, I ride about a dozen or 15 miles to get to some humvee trails in the military base's training areas, then spend an hour or three galloping through the trails (covered with gravel, some tore up a bit from the humvee tires and such, so some hard pack, some loose dirt, some pretty heavy gravel at times) then I'll ride another half dozen or so miles to get to some more humvee trails, etc etc.

    that's the thing, I'm after a bike that is rugged enough to handle some gravel and torn up dirt roads but still comfortable enough that I can put 50+ miles on a weekend long ride, then have the ability to at least have some racks or fenders or whatever to keep me from being covered in dirt and slop after my 16-mile morning commute to work

    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    To convince the wife........ two options, first give her a cost/benefit analysis riding a bike vs suffering a heart attack or other expensive illness caused by inactivity, or secondly be bold and tell her you are doing it. FWIW My SO listens to the former and does not object to the latter. Cycling has saved my life health wise so I get lots of latitude and I use it for all it is worth. After all that there are options for racks on carbon bike or other bikes without eyelets for mounting. Also there are bikes in most categories that have eyelets. Picke a LBS first and buy what they have. Make sure to choose one that will meet your needs as a customer by accessorizing whatever bike you choose so that it fits your needs.
    yep, i'm already using the health thing now. Convinced her that me getting a really nice full suspension (Spec Stumpjumper FSR Comp) is a proper Christmas/tax return gift. I'll be pounding that thing like mad, so it'll definitely be worth its' $$$. I think I can sell her on the next bike by telling her that I want to do the Seattle-to-Portland ride, which I do. I'd honestly just stick it out with my Trek 820, but the frame is a full size too small (hence why I switched LBS to the one that will actually fit me properly) and for obvious reasons, a Trek 820 isn't really designed to do a 200+ mile ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by qualia8 View Post
    check out a Kona Rove. I have the ti version and the frame is still over 4 lbs, even in that material. Amazingly strong and set up with HY-RD brakes and Whiskey fork, it stops with little effort on steep downhills. Clearance for 50 mm tires, but I usually ride 28s. Awesome bike for the bigger guy.
    oh yeah? Interesting. Kona has a few bikes I'm interested in (Sutra and Jake the Snake as well) and i have a Kona dealer right down the street from me. I"ll have to give that a go, thanks!
    Last edited by sgtrobo; 11-29-14 at 01:33 PM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    You really need to test ride some bikes under conditions you actually plan to ride. If I were you and really planned to ride a fair amount of gravel and dirt regularly, then something like the Vaya, or Awol might be on my short list.

    I have been helping out a friend who thought he wanted a racing geometry road bike; until he actually got on a modern one and realized that though those bikes are light and sleek, he just wasn't comfortable. What he thought was racing geometry on his old school bike was actually closer to a modern touring bike. Now he is looking for either a performance hybrid, or possibly a light touring bike not unlike some of the models that have been recommended here.

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    ok, so for example, Wallnut, you mentioned you like your Specialized bikes, well my LBS (the one that spends 30 minutes fitting a bike to me for a 30 minute test ride) is a Spec dealer (along with Surly, Cannondale, Salsa, and Santa Cruz)

    Here are 3 of them, increasing (slightly) in price, and what I *believe* also increase in how 'rugged' they are:

    Roubaix SL4 Sora
    Secteur Sport Disc
    Diverge Sport A1

    I admit outright that I know squat about what makes a road bike 'rugged'. I look at the tires. If they're wider, I figure it's probably more rugged. *hangs head in ignorant shame*

    I look at these bikes and think "if I took it offroad, I'd break it in half". Not even talking about getting air, just having to deal with some of the roads being tore up from the humvees, I can't always ride around the big dirt potholes, sometimes i have to hop them, sometimes I have to ride them as they're a bit too big to hop over but too small to just ignore.

    Obviously these bikes are going to help me do work on the road to get me to the humvee trails, but once I get there, are they rugged enough to deal with the heavy gravel and the tore up dirt road, or do I need an 'upgrade' in beefiness to something like an
    AWOL
    or Salsa Vaya or even a Salsa Fargo?

    EDIT - hmmm...seems MRT2 gave me some data here while i was doing my numerous edits...
    Last edited by sgtrobo; 11-29-14 at 01:21 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    You really need to test ride some bikes under conditions you actually plan to ride. If I were you and really planned to ride a fair amount of gravel and dirt regularly, then something like the Vaya, or Awol might be on my short list.

    I have been helping out a friend who thought he wanted a racing geometry road bike; until he actually got on a modern one and realized that though those bikes are light and sleek, he just wasn't comfortable. What he thought was racing geometry on his old school bike was actually closer to a modern touring bike. Now he is looking for either a performance hybrid, or possibly a light touring bike not unlike some of the models that have been recommended here.

    ok, see that is also a concern of mine (i have a lot of concerns, ha...). I know I won't be setting any speed records. I'm riding for fun and for fitness. I notice that when I ride to work, no matter how tired I get on the road, once I get to the big stretch of gravel/dirt/fire roads, I get energized. I don't know squat about bicycle geometry, but I value fun and comfort far moreso than on-road pure speed, which is what I guess a 'racing geometry road bike' has.

    I guess I'm trying to find that middle ground between what a rigid mountain bike like a Surly Ogre would provide, and what a road bike would provide. I'm just not sure where that middle ground rests nor what to really look for.
    Last edited by sgtrobo; 11-29-14 at 01:23 PM.
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    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtrobo View Post
    ok, see that is also a concern of mine (i have a lot of concerns, ha...). I know I won't be setting any speed records. I'm riding for fun and for fitness. I notice that when I ride to work, no matter how tired I get on the road, once I get to the big stretch of gravel/dirt/fire roads, I get energized. I don't know squat about bicycle geometry, but I value fun and comfort far moreso than on-road pure speed, which is what I guess a 'racing geometry road bike' has.

    I guess I'm trying to find that middle ground between what a rigid mountain bike like a Surly Ogre would provide, and what a road bike would provide. I'm just not sure where that middle ground rests nor what to really look for.
    Some of what you are describing sounds pretty rugged (almost mountain bike terrain frankly) and not at all the sort of terrain you would enjoy tackling on a true road bike with 23 or 25 mm tires. So at the ver least, if you go with a drop bar bike, get one with clearance for at least 28, and preferable 35 mm tires. You have a bunch of options, from cyclocross/gravel grinders, to adventure touring, to dual sport hybrids. You just have to decide what works best for you.
    Last edited by MRT2; 11-29-14 at 01:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Some of what you are describing sounds pretty rugged (almost mountain bike terrain frankly) and not at all the sort of terrain you would enjoy tackling on a true road bike with 23 or 25 mm tires. So at the ver least, if you go with a drop bar bike, get one with clearance for at least 28, and preferable 35 mm tires. You have a bunch of options, from cyclocross/gravel grinders, to adventure touring, to dual sport hybrids. You just have to decide what works best for you.

    yeah, that makes sense. so i'm not totally off base in my "wider tires equates to more rugged bike construction", at least as far as within the same maker, i.e. a Specialized bike designed for 25c tires is probably not intended to be as 'rugged' as a Specialized bike designed for 32c tires.
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    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    OTB has a good reputation. I've a buddy that races for them, road anyway. Of the three you posted I'd choose the diverge. I think they make that bike as a gravel grinder. It comes with 30mm tires. However ride some of the other brands if you can. It sounds like you will be off road more than on road so you might want to be more on the end of CX bike.


    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black wallnut View Post
    OTB has a good reputation. I've a buddy that races for them, road anyway. Of the three you posted I'd choose the diverge. I think they make that bike as a gravel grinder. It comes with 30mm tires. However ride some of the other brands if you can. It sounds like you will be off road more than on road so you might want to be more on the end of CX bike.

    well, all i can say is that my dealings with OTB have been fantastic. I do think you're right regarding which side to lean toward. I'd rather "ere" on the side of 'too burly' rather than 'too lean', as I don't want to limit my opportunities to explore cruddy off-road areas on post.
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