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  1. #1
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    Need help choosing a bike size, new member.

    Hello everyone i'm joining this forum in pursuit of finding a bike to fit my frame. I'm 6'5" 235 lbs. Yeah, pretty big. Recently i had gotten into biking. I live in San Antonio, Texas and we have many bicycle friendly areas. I started riding often, and my first week i had rode 70+ miles on my old Schwinn mountain bike, which is probably over 8+ years old, and needless to say didn't fit me well. Well it ended up breaking. Don't know how and i don't care anymore. I was riding and i switched gears and the rear derailleur broke.

    Long story short, i am looking for a new bike. I would like a bike with gears, and i'm leaning towards a road bike. I never ride on trails, and i don't like the idea of having a fixed gear. Plus the terrain i ride is VERY hilly, so gears are a must. I like to ride the San Antonio Mission Trail, about 20 miles. It's all paved. I don't know much, if anything about bikes, so that's why i'm here. I've been looking at this Elektra bike. Tell me what you guys think. Perfect size, or too small?


    http://www.electrabike.com/Bikes/ver...24d-bikes-mens


    Is this a good bike for me? It's just a shy under $700 from what i've read. Is this too much, or am I paying for the Elektra name? If so could anyone recommend a better bike for a cheaper price?

    Thank you and i hope you guys can help out

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    We can't help out, not much anyway.

    Obviously, at 6'5" you're going to want the biggest frame size most manufacturers offer. After that you need to sit on it and look at what needs adjusting to make it fit. Whether that bike is right for you depends entirely on the sort of riding you want to do, how much you like it, whether you feel comfortable on it and so on. None of those are things we can tell you.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
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    Could you recommend any road bikes with large frames that are good and low cost?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    There's an REI on the NW side of San Antonio that would be a good place to get some advice, and potentially try out a few bikes. There are surely a variety of good bike shops in the area that would be worth visiting. When you have some options to consider, come back here for more specific advice and opinions.

    The Elektra bike you linked is definitely in the upright/hybrid range of road bikes. Have you considered a bike with drop bars? It may seem less comfortable on the first ride or two, but if you are routinely going to be riding over 20 miles, the variations in position possible with drop bars will be a real advantage, not to mention the benefit when riding into wind.

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    Thank you for the advice. What is an REI? I actually have two LBS within waking distance so I think I'll go and check them out. And yesi wouldn't mind a bike with drop bars. If you could recommend some good ones to check out that would be great

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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops_SA View Post
    Could you recommend any road bikes with large frames that are good and low cost?
    Honestly, the brand isn't an issue. All the mainstream brands - Trek, Giant and so on - offer similar quality and specifications at similar price points. So it comes down to what is available and what suits you best.

    I suggest you google for bike shops in San Antonio - there'll be plenty. Then go along to a couple and ask their advice, look at what they have, maybe test ride a few. A decent shop will talk to you about the options and advise you about fit, etc.; if they don't, go elsewhere.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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    You already have answers; now you must inquire, Grasshopper.

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    Found out a local bike shop has both the Elektra 21D and 24D in stock, and in the large frame. Will check them out tomorrow. But... another question. I've heard people call this model of bike a hybrid and not a road bike. What is the reason for this? Are there any advantages and disadvantages?

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    Hybrids are more about comfort than speed. Tires will be a bit wider, bars different, your riding position more upright. They'll also be heavier.

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    Hmm, thank you very much. I personally like the handle bars on hybrids. To be hunched over at my height on a true road bike would be hard to get used to.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops_SA View Post
    Thank you for the advice. What is an REI? ...
    REI = Recreation Equipment Incorporated

    Here's the link to the bikes they sell, all available online (shipped for free to a store), many available in their retail outlets.

    http://www.rei.com/category/4500003_Bicycles

    They started in the late 40's as coop for outdoor equipment in Seattle and still are, basically, now located in lots of cities across the US. $15 for a lifetime membership, which is not required, but members receive a 10% dividend on purchases every year, and if the dividend is used when they say for a purchase, will result in a 20% savings on any one item. I just bought a new suitcase with my dividend + discount and got it for about $170 off the list price. Their return policy is amazing and the employees tend to be more knowledgable. My membership was the best $15 I ever spent, about 30 years ago.

  12. #12
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops_SA View Post
    Hmm, thank you very much. I personally like the handle bars on hybrids. To be hunched over at my height on a true road bike would be hard to get used to.
    Handlebars have nothing to do with riding position. It is rather geometry. As others have said, beware the bike with too much of an upright riding position. Those bikes seem comfortable, but they are slow, heavy, and if you ride more than 5 miles or do hills, you will wish you bought a different bike, either a more performance oriented hybrid, or a road bike. I would say at your height, it is even more of an issue, as your 6'5" frame will be like a giant sail when riding into a headwind on that Electra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Handlebars have nothing to do with riding position. It is rather geometry. As others have said, beware the bike with too much of an upright riding position. Those bikes seem comfortable, but they are slow, heavy, and if you ride more than 5 miles or do hills, you will wish you bought a different bike, either a more performance oriented hybrid, or a road bike. I would say at your height, it is even more of an issue, as your 6'5" frame will be like a giant sail when riding into a headwind on that Electra.
    Really? Who told you that? (HINT: they lied.)

    ANOTHER HINT: Don't assume that everyone wants to ride the way you do. I do ALL my riding on a full-suss MTB...because I want to. Slower than a roadie? Sure. Do I have more fun? I think so. YMMV.

    If pedaling hard and going fast on the lightest, most aero bike you can get is what trips your trigger, go for it; I personally feel like I cheat myself if my rides are shortened (as my commutes would be by riding faster). I don't use Strava, I don't record my miles, I don't try for PR's anymore; I ride FOR joy, and I ride at the SPEED of joy.

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    Let's put it this way. I'm comfortable riding my Schwinn mtb with the seat a few inches above the handlebars and leaning over. Is this about the same position as on a road bike? And would a hybrid likely weigh more than my old MTB? I certainly wouldn't want something heavy when going up steep hills.

  15. #15
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops_SA View Post
    Let's put it this way. I'm comfortable riding my Schwinn mtb with the seat a few inches above the handlebars and leaning over. Is this about the same position as on a road bike? And would a hybrid likely weigh more than my old MTB? I certainly wouldn't want something heavy when going up steep hills.
    If you can handle a riding position with the seat above the handlebars, you can handle the riding position of a relaxed geometry road bike or a roade oriented hybrid. My bike has drop bars, and the handlebars are about the same height as the saddle. Not aero like the pros, but not sitting bolt upright either.
    Last edited by MRT2; 06-28-13 at 05:57 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Really? Who told you that? (HINT: they lied.)

    ANOTHER HINT: Don't assume that everyone wants to ride the way you do. I do ALL my riding on a full-suss MTB...because I want to. Slower than a roadie? Sure. Do I have more fun? I think so. YMMV.

    If pedaling hard and going fast on the lightest, most aero bike you can get is what trips your trigger, go for it; I personally feel like I cheat myself if my rides are shortened (as my commutes would be by riding faster). I don't use Strava, I don't record my miles, I don't try for PR's anymore; I ride FOR joy, and I ride at the SPEED of joy.
    Take it easy there. First of all, if you knew me, you would know I am hardly a speed demon. I am not making assumptions about what what others want. Rather, OP said he rode 70 miles in a week, which suggests OP is up for putting on some miles. "Comfort" style bikes aren't well suited for that style of riding, especially for someone 6'5".

    Finally, I stand behind my comment about handlebars. Flat bars can be found on everything from a cruiser to a hybrid to a mountain bike, to flat bar road bike, and drop bars can be found on everything from a racing bike to a touring bike and everything in between.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    The other great advantage of drop bars is the variety of hand positions that are available compared to a straight (or similar) bar. Being able to move your hands to different pressure points is a wonderful relief, even on shorter rides.

    Yes, most hybrids would probably weigh as much or more than your mountain bike.

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    What do you guys think of the 700c Schwinn Varsity road bike? From the reviews I've seen on Walmart, people seem to like it. plus it's priced in the $250 range. Half the price of the Elektra. Any advice? It has drop bars too.

  19. #19
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    What do you guys think of the 700c Schwinn Varsity road bike? From the reviews I've seen on Walmart, people seem to like it. plus it's priced in the $250 range. Half the price of the Elektra. Any advice? It has drop bars too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Take it easy there. First of all, if you knew me, you would know I am hardly a speed demon. I am not making assumptions about what what others want. Rather, OP said he rode 70 miles in a week, which suggests OP is up for putting on some miles. "Comfort" style bikes aren't well suited for that style of riding, especially for someone 6'5".

    Finally, I stand behind my comment about handlebars. Flat bars can be found on everything from a cruiser to a hybrid to a mountain bike, to flat bar road bike, and drop bars can be found on everything from a racing bike to a touring bike and everything in between.
    Why do I need to "take it easy"? I wasn't "rough" to start with. And you can stand by your comment all you want, it's still wrong.

    Handlebars have nothing to do with riding position.

    Drop bars will put you in a different position from flat bars, since they have an average of 80mm extra reach; risers will lift you up, PULLBACK (cruiser-style) bars will sit you almost upright -- all from the same stem position.

    And a "comfort" bike could WELL be used for 70+ miles/week, as can a full-suspension mountain bike -- THIS I know, since I DO IT. (MTB, that is....) And I really wish that a lot of folks would get past this idea that you NEED a certain type of bike 'for efficiency' for different types of riding. Aside from the demands of MTB, which most road bikes wouldn't survive, it's really the wonderful thing about bikes, you can make almost anything work, and enjoy it while you do so. The 'efficiency' train of thought smacks of motorist thinking, like some bike commuters who always take the shortest, straightest route to/from.

    The CORE lesson we should ALL get is the very same one I will employ to tell you why your 'efficiency' point of view is flawed:

    THE FIRST AND BEST PURPOSE TO RIDING A BIKE IS FOR JOY AND ENHANCEMENT OF LIFE.

  21. #21
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Why do I need to "take it easy"? I wasn't "rough" to start with. And you can stand by your comment all you want, it's still wrong.

    Handlebars have nothing to do with riding position.

    Drop bars will put you in a different position from flat bars, since they have an average of 80mm extra reach; risers will lift you up, PULLBACK (cruiser-style) bars will sit you almost upright -- all from the same stem position.

    And a "comfort" bike could WELL be used for 70+ miles/week, as can a full-suspension mountain bike -- THIS I know, since I DO IT. (MTB, that is....) And I really wish that a lot of folks would get past this idea that you NEED a certain type of bike 'for efficiency' for different types of riding. Aside from the demands of MTB, which most road bikes wouldn't survive, it's really the wonderful thing about bikes, you can make almost anything work, and enjoy it while you do so. The 'efficiency' train of thought smacks of motorist thinking, like some bike commuters who always take the shortest, straightest route to/from.

    The CORE lesson we should ALL get is the very same one I will employ to tell you why your 'efficiency' point of view is flawed:

    THE FIRST AND BEST PURPOSE TO RIDING A BIKE IS FOR JOY AND ENHANCEMENT OF LIFE.
    You can get by on almost anything. My son rides an old mountain bike on the road. It isn't optimal for the sort of riding we do as a family, but he likes it, and frankly, he could grow 6 inches in another year or two, so he gets by with what he has. But OP is looking to buy a new bike, and, he said, he is leaning towards a road bike.

    Look, I am sure there are people who run marathons in hiking boots, but no sane person on a running forum wold suggest hiking boots for a person looking to start running, and by analogy, I wouldn't recommend a comfort hybrid for someone looking to buy a road bike.

  22. #22
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lambchops_SA View Post
    What do you guys think of the 700c Schwinn Varsity road bike? From the reviews I've seen on Walmart, people seem to like it. plus it's priced in the $250 range. Half the price of the Elektra. Any advice? It has drop bars too.
    No. Stay away from department store junk. Heavy, and more important, poor quality. Wal Mart is as bad as it gets when it comes to bikes. Probably doesn't even fit you as they usually sell only 1 or 2 sizes, and bikes are not one size fits all, especially at your height. If you are strapped for cash, you are better off trying to find something used, rather than spend it on a Wal Mart bike.

    Search these forums and you will find plenty of "what bike to get" types of discussions.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    In both sizing and fitting, it's important to start with your cycling inseam. I wrote the following to help another member measure his and so far, decent results:

    "I'd like to still suggest you measure your inseam, but we haven't told you how to do it. Generally the method is as follows:

    1. Collect the stuff you will need: an assistant, a tape measure or yardstick that reads in millimeters or in sixteenths of an inch (yes, it needs to be precise!), and a large book 1" thick or a small stack of vinyl record albums.

    2. stand barefoot on a hard floor with your back against a wall.
    3. take a large book about 1" thick and pull it up into your crotch as hard as you can. It needs to stay square against the wall.
    4. While you are pulling the book up hard, have your assistant measure the vertical distance from the top of the book to the floor.
    5. Read the ruler carefully and write down the number.
    6. Repeat two more times. The correct number is the largest of the three.

    This is your cycling inseam, or pubic bone height. It's the actual length of your leg from where your pelvis puts weight on the saddle to the bottom of your heel bone. You can see this number is different from trouser inseam and from the hip bone height. You can use this to find a starting point for saddle height. We've been talking a lot about frame sizing, but this is the start of bicycle fitting.

    Multiply your cycling inseam by 0.883 to "Greg LeMond" height. Write it down. That number should be the distance from the center of the bottom bracket, or crank spindle, to the top of the saddle measuring along the seat tube. For a lot of people this is the correct saddle height, and it's a good starting point for just about anyone, since it's reproducible. There's a minor variation due to crank length, but let's just handle that later.

    This saddle setting should be safe for your knees, give you decent power and spin capability, and let you start fine-tunign your lean from a solid basis. The saddle height is the most important thing, since it affects your knee health."

    See if you can do this, then we can start giving you some really solid assistance. At your height, a "big frame" might not do the trick.

  24. #24
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    Now, Go forth boldly to actual Bike Shops and Test ride Bikes.

    want Electra Brand ? you have to find the Dealer with an Account with the Electra Distributing importer .

    Here that is a shop in another town..

    But seeing it is a Hybrid, most brands will have something like that bike Type, in their lineup..

    dealer can swap parts at point-of-sale.. if you feel a need for something else.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-29-13 at 10:52 AM.

  25. #25
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    Alright so I did this and my inseam is 36". Does this help in choosing a frame size?

    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    In both sizing and fitting, it's important to start with your cycling inseam. I wrote the following to help another member measure his and so far, decent results:

    "I'd like to still suggest you measure your inseam, but we haven't told you how to do it. Generally the method is as follows:

    1. Collect the stuff you will need: an assistant, a tape measure or yardstick that reads in millimeters or in sixteenths of an inch (yes, it needs to be precise!), and a large book 1" thick or a small stack of vinyl record albums.

    2. stand barefoot on a hard floor with your back against a wall.
    3. take a large book about 1" thick and pull it up into your crotch as hard as you can. It needs to stay square against the wall.
    4. While you are pulling the book up hard, have your assistant measure the vertical distance from the top of the book to the floor.
    5. Read the ruler carefully and write down the number.
    6. Repeat two more times. The correct number is the largest of the three.

    This is your cycling inseam, or pubic bone height. It's the actual length of your leg from where your pelvis puts weight on the saddle to the bottom of your heel bone. You can see this number is different from trouser inseam and from the hip bone height. You can use this to find a starting point for saddle height. We've been talking a lot about frame sizing, but this is the start of bicycle fitting.

    Multiply your cycling inseam by 0.883 to "Greg LeMond" height. Write it down. That number should be the distance from the center of the bottom bracket, or crank spindle, to the top of the saddle measuring along the seat tube. For a lot of people this is the correct saddle height, and it's a good starting point for just about anyone, since it's reproducible. There's a minor variation due to crank length, but let's just handle that later.

    This saddle setting should be safe for your knees, give you decent power and spin capability, and let you start fine-tunign your lean from a solid basis. The saddle height is the most important thing, since it affects your knee health."

    See if you can do this, then we can start giving you some really solid assistance. At your height, a "big frame" might not do the trick.

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