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Old 03-24-14, 12:13 PM   #1
BigGuy100
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What Bike to Get. Traditional Road or Will Cycle-Cross/Commuter Work

Hi All, I am new to cycling and I am currently training for a 100 mile ride in August of this year. I am a large guy 6'2 220-230 and I am having a very hard time finding a bike that fits right and that I am comfortable with. I am not an avid Biker so I was hoping to not spend a ton of money on a bike maybe $500-$800. I have been looking all over Craigslists and other cheaper Bike options and can't not find any good Roadbike options for someone my size. This forum has been a big help in weeding out some not so great options.

A recent search has lead me to a couple bikes available that are not traditional road Bikes but Cycle-Cross / Commuter Bikes. I hope to ride somewhat frequently to work when the weather gets nice and I can use some short cuts on gravel/dirt roads to do so. The Cycle cross Bike with wider tires and traction seem to be perfect for this along with having the Salsa type drop bars for longer rides. The stability of a tire, the hybrid functionality, and the overall size and feel are big sellers for me.

The major concerns I have is the longer rides. I hope to complete the 100-110 miles in around 8 hours when that time comes. Is this reasonable on this type of bike? Will I be at a huge disadvantage keeping up with my group on this type of bike? The current setup has 700x35 tires that are "path tires" and 10 speed drivetrain which is also a major concern I have for longer rides with shallow gear options.

Any input you have would be a big help. Would I be able to do the long ride on this type of Bike or should I just buck up and get a traditional road Bike.

Thanks.
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Old 03-24-14, 12:55 PM   #2
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I chose a CX bike after a lot go agonizing, whining, and hunting the Internet for advice. With your gravel riding, it seems a decent choice (though there's a lot of folks who take a regular bike on gravel). I'm a bit taller, a bit lighter than you. (6'7, 190)

As to speed? It's about the engine. You'll be able to swap out the tyres for smaller ones (28mm is what I chose, at my weight) and get a bit less rolling resistance and a bit more comfort. I do have 2 x 10, though, so I've a full range of gear options.
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Old 03-24-14, 01:23 PM   #3
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Welcome the Forums .

The poster above pretty much nailed it- a CX should be up to the task at hand and you may (or may not) want to change tires for the longer ride(s). Only you can determine your comfort level and speed.

Out of curiosity, what bike(s) have you got on your 'short list'?

BTW, I noticed you cross posted this in Hybrids as well as General- I've consolidated them into General.
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Old 03-24-14, 02:15 PM   #4
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The right bike for you is the one on which you are comfortable and you like riding. From your description either a CX or hybrid would be good options.

Now you've gotta go find an LBS (local bike store) and test ride some bikes. Buy what you like now. In a couple years, maybe you'll like something better, but you can deal with that then.

I see no reason to go with a traditional road bike. You can put slicks on the cross bike (32mm or wider) and you'll roll just fine. (Yes, you'll notice if you're running knobby tires trying to keep up with your friends on the road.)
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Old 03-24-14, 02:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help. I have been looking at a few but the top of the list is a custom build obviously used XL Mongoose Sabrosa Ocho, with Shimano 105 Dual control shifters, 10 speed drivetrain, Avid BB7 Road disc brakes.

Another option is a basically stock Cannondale Quick 3 with a Drop Bar MOD or I was still considering a used Cannondale CAAD10 road bike which is still a little more than I would like to spend but seems to be a nice bike for the price.
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Old 03-24-14, 02:49 PM   #6
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In the end, it isn't so much the marketing label as it is what suits what you want to do. $800 is the top of your budget, but it is pretty entry level for road or cyclocross.

The Jamis Quest Sport is in your price range. It is a road bike but it is steel, so perhaps more durable and forgiving of your weight. You could put 28 mm tires on for better durability and off road performance. And it should handle a century no problem, if you can.
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Old 03-24-14, 02:55 PM   #7
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I started early last year and worked my way up to a 100 miler in the fall. I used a Cannondale Quick 5, which is a hybrid. As I got more into the distances (30-50 miles) wth the occasional long outing (60-10 miles) I decided to get something in the "Endurance" class. These are road style bikes but made for people who want to do what you are talking about doing. With all that in mind I JUST picked up a 2014 Raleigh Renenio. I am currently 225lbs (down from 300) and this bike handles me well. I've got under 100 miles on it but I can tell I'm going to enjoy it.
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Old 03-24-14, 02:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cplager View Post
The right bike for you is the one on which you are comfortable and you like riding. From your description either a CX or hybrid would be good options.

Now you've gotta go find an LBS (local bike store) and test ride some bikes. Buy what you like now. In a couple years, maybe you'll like something better, but you can deal with that then.

I see no reason to go with a traditional road bike. You can put slicks on the cross bike (32mm or wider) and you'll roll just fine. (Yes, you'll notice if you're running knobby tires trying to keep up with your friends on the road.)
Agreed. I went from treaded tires on my Cannondale Quick 5 (did my 100 miler with them) and then put on some nice Gatorskins this year and WOW what a difference. I've got a bike that I can do some distance on if I choose or use it to commute.
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Old 03-24-14, 06:18 PM   #9
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this forum seems to have a lot of road bike lovers..

Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)

the wear and tear, commuting will always be an issue..

rider weight may make more frequent service intervals a good idea.

test ride bikes .. .. a backup bike is good , 1 of Each?

me, I like my latest Buy.. A Bike Friday Pocket Llama in a heavy rider option.

features rugged 406-20" wheels ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-28-14 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 03-24-14, 10:52 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the input. I am leaning towards one of the bigger bikes however the owner of the Cannondale CAAD10 came down in price to $750. Is seems almost to good a deal to pass up for a quality bike even though it is used.

Any thoughts on this bike? I believe it is a 2011 .

Gently used Cannondale CAAD10 60cm frame. Frame is in great shape, there is a small dent and missing paint on one of the rear stays.
Includes:
Fully tuned up
NEW 105 shifters
NEW Continental Ultra race tires
NEW Cables
105 rear derailleur
Sora front derailleur
New Gossimar crank
Shimano wheels
Tektro brakes.
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Old 03-25-14, 06:49 AM   #11
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Sounds like the versatility of the cx bike would be best for your needs
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Old 03-27-14, 11:04 PM   #12
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In the end, it isn't so much the marketing label as it is what suits what you want to do. $800 is the top of your budget, but it is pretty entry level for road or cyclocross.

The Jamis Quest Sport is in your price range. It is a road bike but it is steel, so perhaps more durable and forgiving of your weight. You could put 28 mm tires on for better durability and off road performance. And it should handle a century no problem, if you can.
This is what I'd do. I've had many, many cross bikes and they are just fine, but I've really enjoyed riding my Soma ES. Soma now sells complete bikes as well but I built mine up from the frame alone. Steel road bikes are just as capable and in my opinion ride better than most cross bikes. Setup for larger tires, rack and fender mounts and they are extremely durable. What I didn't like about cross bikes was the geometry and the brakes.
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Old 03-28-14, 08:51 AM   #13
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Checkout Nashbar's Cyclocross Bikes @ Bikes, Cycling Clothing, Bike Parts & Cycling Gear: Bike Discounts & Deals from Nashbar (Get interrupter brakes on this one)

If these don't satisfy you, then maybe checkout either the Trek FX4 or the Jamis Coda Comp

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Old 03-28-14, 12:05 PM   #14
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People get a particular Brand of bike and they like the brand, but not all brands are sold in all places ..

the Bike Biz in the US is competitive so all brands will try to have something similar at a given price point.

a handful of factories make dozens of brand names for various Importers , so in these discussions ,

what brands are sold in the OP's town are not all the brands on the planet

though bike shop saturated places like PDX get close ...
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Old 03-28-14, 02:30 PM   #15
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I messed around with a bunch of bikes and wound up with a regular road bike. for me i could have saved myself a lot of cash, time and effort if I just bought a road bike to begin with.
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Old 03-28-14, 02:57 PM   #16
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I was in a similar situation. I'm 6' 218 but down from 300lbs. I was going to get a road bike and really liked the Jamis Quest and the Felt z85. However my goal was to ride in many different areas. I like trail riding and gravel roads. I'm also training for a century and just completed my first 50 miler. The cross bike just made since for me and has been perfect. I got a pair of road tires and a pair of trail tires. I have no problem on the road riding with a group although I don't do that much.

It also handles trails pretty dang well. I wouldn't do serious MTB trails but I've done steep muddy logging roads and lots of rocky trails this week with no problems. The Kenda Qwickers are easy to throw on and ride well. This morning I rode 42 miles with 18 of them on a muddy road and the rest on highway.

If I were going to race or get serious about my times then a road bike would make sense. But for what you are describing I think you might enjoy the cross bike. I have a thread in the Cyclocross forum talking about my Jamis. But it's been the perfect selection for me.
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Old 03-28-14, 05:22 PM   #17
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Hey there are alot of Big guys riding a lot of small bikes ,, by small I mean road bikes and thats good ! Hey barrnett let me ask you something, how long did it take you to do the fifty miles? and how long do you think it'll take you to do the century?? just curious...
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Old 03-28-14, 05:40 PM   #18
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Hey there are alot of Big guys riding a lot of small bikes ,, by small I mean road bikes and thats good ! Hey barrnett let me ask you something, how long did it take you to do the fifty miles? and how long do you think it'll take you to do the century?? just curious...
I think it was 3hrs and 7 min for the 50. I averaged 15.9mph. I am a total rookie so I have no idea on the century. I'm still training for it. It's June 5th.
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Old 03-28-14, 05:53 PM   #19
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I think thats a good time , I take it you're riding 15-17+- mph which is good and you got room to improve till June you'll do good, I remember my first century it took me almost 8 hrs. almost killed me and I thought I was in shape for it , but the more you ride the better you'll get ,,I remember scuerming in that saddle hahah cus there was a series of hills about 3/4s of the way and at the end,,,,good luck,,,,,
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