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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 05-16-07, 05:09 PM   #1
rickyaustin
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Is cyclocross right for me? Lemond Poprad perhaps?

Long time lurker — first time poster — sorry for the long post.

*edit* 5/29/07 Surly Cross Check is on its way! woot!!

I have been looking to get back into biking for about a year and have been searching for a bike I feel good enough about to drop $1,000+ on. I have always been on some sort of crappy bike since I was 5. Two summers ago I dropped 35lbs on the crappy MTN bike I had, but it's not really road worthy anymore. I'm entering my last year of college and will be moving to a large city, and I believe it's time to make a good investment on a nice bike.

I should mention that I am 6'5" and right now grudgingly around 300lbs. I want to put a stop to the weight gain and get it way back down to where it is supposed to be.

I will be using the bike for some light gravel trails, many miles on the road for exercise/fun and some light commuting.

I wanted a road bike, but worried about my size and the fact that I cannot take it off-road at all. I considered buying two bikes, but knew there had to be a better solution. I discovered cyclo-cross bikes about a month ago and upon tons of research — it seems like the perfect type of bike for me.

As for the type of cyclo-cross bike — I want disc brakes (just a preference), a bike that will support my weight of course and looks do matter. I can't bring myself to spend $1,000+ on something I think is ugly.

The Lemond Poprad Disc is the bike I think I want.


Concern: Wheels. I've read on here the wheels on the Poprad might not be sufficient for a heavy rider. I guess I don't understand this - what happens? Do you bend the rim? Pop spokes? Catastrophic failure?? What are my options to fix the wheel situation. I imagine I'd need a second set so I can have road and off-road tires... so would it be ok if I bought a stronger set for off-road, and put road tires on the OEM wheels since I assume that road riding has less wheel-stress than off-road?

Went to the local bike store asking about ordering one... plus pedals, saddles, the wheel situation, etc., and all they wanted to do was sell me a Mountain Bike with 29" wheels and convince me to buy slicks to make it road-worthy.

Is a cyclo-cross bike right for me? Would the 29" MTN Bike be better? What other cyclo-cross bike besides the Poprad would you recommend? Will the wheels hold me? I know of the Cannondale Cyclocross Optimo Disc 2 and the other non-disc bikes. The Lemond just feels right.

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Old 05-16-07, 07:16 PM   #2
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Hi rickyaustin! I think a Cross bike would be just the ticket for you. You should not have any problems with the wheels unless you are getting radical and jumping off curbs and such. I don't know the Poprad specs precisely, but generally the cross bikes run pretty stout wheels. That's a nice bike and if I did not mount fenders and a rack for commuting, I would be riding one.

Here is a thread from the Clydesdale forum that might help:

Clydesdale. WHEEL THREAD!

I know some heavier rider ride Velocity Deep V's or Mavic Open Pros with plenty of spokes and have had good luck with them. You might be able to do a deal with your local Lemond dealer to trade out the stock wheels for those if you are nervous about the stock wheels, but like I said before, I doubt you would have a problem with those. Redline Conquests also look good and are nearly as cost competive as a Surly Cross Check the last time I looked. Good luck!

Other options? Many manufacturers are now coming out with really great looking cross bikes. I have a Cross Check, which most people here like a lot and is versatile and a good value, but not too flashy. I have also seen Kona Jake the Snakes and Jakes that look very nice as well, but might push your budget a bit.
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Old 05-16-07, 09:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyaustin

Is a cyclo-cross bike right for me? Would the 29" MTN Bike be better? What other cyclo-cross bike besides the Poprad would you recommend? Will the wheels hold me? I know of the Cannondale Cyclocross Optimo Disc 2 and the other non-disc bikes. The Lemond just feels right.
I'm not a cycloXer but I thought I'd weigh in.

I like 29ers but it sounds like you want something more road bikeish that you could ride off road. If that's the case and you aren't wanting to ride treacherous singletrack, you should stick with a cyclocross bike.

If the Lemond feels right, that's a big plus. I just bought a new Lemond road bike and I like it a lot. That poprad frame is a really nice steel frame. It will ride smoothly and last you a long time if you take care of it.

But yeah, I suppose I would be concerned about that wheelset...but I'd be more worried about the fork. I've heard that it has a tendency to fail and that Lemond has been replacing them with steel forks. Not good.

Unless you are riding in soupy off-road conditions, I wouldn't get sucked into paying more for disc brakes. They're nice but they tend to be temperamental and difficult to work on. V brakes work just fine for most conditions.

I wouldn't buy cannondale for 2 reasons. First, I had an older R1000 frame fail on me and I'm only 220 lbs. Second, Aluminum, especially overbuilt aluminum, tends to ride like a brick.

Lots of Clydes like Surly. They make a bike called the crosscheck that has stronger wheels and a steel fork. Soma makes a relatively inexpensive frame called the double cross that you could build up clyde style.

Really there are lots of choices out there as far as cyclocross bikes go. I'd stick with a decent steel frame and fork, V brakes and heavy duty wheels.
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Old 05-16-07, 10:19 PM   #4
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I have a poprad (2004) While the frame is very nice and rides well, it does have a bit of "life" in it (flex) that even at my 150 lbs is noticeable. I like it. But at 300, you might be pushing the limits of the modern ultra-steel tubing profiles used in this frame. (generally not designed for riders as heavy as yourself) Also, I have gone through two rear wheels. I commute 10 miles through suburbs to and fro work, and traintracks have taken my rear wheel out twice. not catastrophically, but dented in the rim enough where it becomes untruable and lump, lump, lump, lump as I ride.. This is with 32mm Hardcases too!! So yeah, a set of HD wheels should definitely be in your agenda especially if you want to take it into the woods.

I would go for a crosscheck build, HD wheels with 35mm tires. The bigger tires will keep enough air between your rim and tube to prevent pinch flatting everyday and give you a smoother ride. The wider tires will help you out bigtime in the woods too traction and flotation-wise. (I have a set of 41's for when I want to get real dirty!) Set up our posture a bit more upright at first to let your body get used to riding in a roadbike position and you can slowly lower it down as your back/neck/shoulders get used to the posture. Get a triple chainring crank so you can manage some hills in the woods.

have fun!
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Old 05-17-07, 03:12 AM   #5
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Remember also that he is 6'5" That is going to be a really large frame. Lemond doesn't use heavier tubing or more reinforcements on those long tubes. It will flex more than a smaller frame. I would worry about that fork myself. With a 300 lb rider a carbon fork is outright dangerous.

IMO, go with the Surly mentioned above. Same price but a much stronger ride for a big guy. Good luck

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Old 05-17-07, 03:27 AM   #6
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thanks for all the help guys — it is much appreciated.

The Surly looks like a very sweet ride. I am looking at it now as well.

I didn't even think about the fork situation on the Poprad, good call guys. What are solutions to the problem? I'm assuming Aluminum or Steel, I know next to nothing when it comes to forks.
------------
Maybe the Cannondale Optimo Disc is an entirely better option for me. Aluminum fork I imagine is way sturdier than the carbon ones (and harsher from what i've read, but thats ok). The wheels have 32/32 f/r spokes instead of the 24/24 on Lemond. My only concern is an all aluminum frame — I have read that many people prefer steel over aluminum for comfort... so it in turn got me concerned, lol. If the LBS carried either bike in store I'd just go down and test one out and ask my questions there... but they don't.

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Old 05-17-07, 05:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyaustin
Concern: Wheels. I've read on here the wheels on the Poprad might not be sufficient for a heavy rider. I guess I don't understand this - what happens? Do you bend the rim? Pop spokes? Catastrophic failure?? What are my options to fix the wheel situation.
Yes - all of the above. We are super hard on wheels. Check my siggie - there's a good discussion on what we should pay attention to and a thread completely devoted to wheels.

Quote:
I imagine I'd need a second set so I can have road and off-road tires... so would it be ok if I bought a stronger set for off-road, and put road tires on the OEM wheels since I assume that road riding has less wheel-stress than off-road?
Not necessarily. [You flip between wheels and tires - so I'm assuming you're talking about a second set of wheels here] Your weight will stress the wheels enough that anything that will hold you securely off road will be fine for onroad. Unless you are interested in racing those wheels will serve you fine. You may want to swap tires, ones for more grip and others for more speed since the pattern will slow you down more than the geometry of the wheel.

You should plan on spending a good amount on the wheels (could be upwards of $400 or more for good handbuilt ones), better to have one great set than two OK sets that have to be constantly retrued or worse winds you up in the dentists' office. Your lbs should be able to swap out the wheels with a discount on the new ones before you order one. Of course you're welcome to buy a backup set but could be almost as much as the bike
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Old 05-17-07, 12:42 PM   #8
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My 2-cents worth. i have a new Poprad and so far am using it for the same thing, commuting, etc (at least until Cross Crusade season ) BTW - full fenders mount easy on the Poprad, but no mounts for a rack.

But I'm a relatively small guy and I agree that the flex could be downright noodly for a large person. I'd look at the Kona line as well. Lots of folks around here ride Jake the Snake's and love 'em.

Regarding the Poprad fork, I was told that it's not a "true" carbon forklike many roadbikes, but is aluminum reinforced carbon. Haven't pursued this and Bontrager site not much help. I have heard complaints about the fork, but so far I'm fine with it and love the damping it gives.

If I were you I would also try to find a Trek Portland to ride - truly an all-around, do anything bike with disc brakes, aluminum frame, and Shimano 105 components.
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Old 05-17-07, 04:59 PM   #9
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mtmann-- yay Cross Crusade! Did you race at all last season? I've got an '06 Poprad.

Rickyaustin-- HOW's it goin? Just dropped you a line on that "other" forum. :^)
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Old 05-17-07, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyaustin
Maybe the Cannondale Optimo Disc is an entirely better option for me. Aluminum fork I imagine is way sturdier than the carbon ones (and harsher from what i've read, but thats ok). The wheels have 32/32 f/r spokes instead of the 24/24 on Lemond. My only concern is an all aluminum frame I have read that many people prefer steel over aluminum for comfort... so it in turn got me concerned, lol. If the LBS carried either bike in store I'd just go down and test one out and ask my questions there... but they don't.
I couldn't imagine riding off road on an aluminum frame and an aluminum fork. Durability issues aside, I loved my Cannondale on perfectly smooth roads. It was efficient and responsive. The problem is that, around here, perfectly smooth roads are hard to come by. I find that on any ride above 10 miles, I'm fresher on my noodly Lemond than I was on my lighter and more efficient Cannondale. Those vibrations really take it out of you.

I'd look for a steel ride and learn to stay in the saddle and spin until you drop some of your weight.
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Old 05-17-07, 06:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_r_beej
mtmann-- yay Cross Crusade! Did you race at all last season? I've got an '06 Poprad.

Rickyaustin-- HOW's it goin? Just dropped you a line on that "other" forum. :^)

Haha, i just saw that whats up buddy.



I took the advice of some of you and went to a shop that builds CrossChecks tonite and it's quite a bike.

After seeing this build http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=298390 I really like the black CC. I might end up with one if the price is right. I'll have an approximate quote tomorrow to see what it would take to build a strong enough CC in all black.

thanks again for all the help on this place - it's a great forum full of info.
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Old 05-17-07, 06:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyaustin
Haha, i just saw that — whats up buddy.



I took the advice of some of you and went to a shop that builds CrossChecks tonite — and it's quite a bike.

After seeing this build http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=298390 I really like the black CC. I might end up with one if the price is right. I'll have an approximate quote tomorrow to see what it would take to build a strong enough CC in all black.

thanks again for all the help on this place - it's a great forum full of info.
No problem! Glad to have you aboard. Have fun putting your Crosscheck together.

Btw, I like the black and that particular build is awesome, but it'll probably cost you and arm and a leg. That saddle, seatpost and Stem will set you back $300-$400. I do approve of the midge bars though!
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Old 05-17-07, 08:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_r_beej
mtmann-- yay Cross Crusade! Did you race at all last season? I've got an '06 Poprad.
Nope - not yet. My friend across the street rode this season and came home every Sunday bloody with a s***-eatin grin on his face saying it was the most fun he's ever had, so I'm a total CX virgin. I'll be the old, scared-looking guy with the red Poprad

I originally tried to find an '06 but all gone everywhere by spring - LOVE that color

See you out there.
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Old 05-29-07, 03:41 PM   #14
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Hey, I'll beat the dead horse a bit, just to add a little confirmation...

I'm also about 6'5", not quite 300lbs but pushing the limits of the 250's. I took the Poprad out on a test ride and it felt like a noodle under me. I was in a similar situation too I've been riding my mtn bike(s) exclusively for almost 10 years and accustomed to the feel of those stiff aluminium frames. The flex of the Poprad was too much for me which was a huge let down cause I liked everything else about it.

Just a note, the Specialized Tricross that I ended up with has felt rock solid since I got it, but there are not disc options on that frame.
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Old 05-29-07, 04:17 PM   #15
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The more i think about it, the more I believe you at least owe it to yourself to check out the Trek "Portland" Like I said, not a true cross bike (whatever that means), but aluminum frame, disc brakes, Carbon fork, drop bars, and a triple on the front (as opposed to the Poprad's double). Everthing else component-wise is very similar to the '07 Poprad.
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Old 05-29-07, 06:44 PM   #16
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disk brakes are overrated! weight/maintenance.. dont let that steer your decision too much, especially if youre a clyde.
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Old 05-29-07, 08:47 PM   #17
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Thanks for the new replies!

The LBS talked me out of the discs for now. Someday my bike may be a rain, mud or shine full-on cross/commuter bike where the disc brakes would come in handy, but for the forseeable future the canti-brakes will be more than fine. I won't be in the muck very much. I'm trying for fitness now.

I guess I should update this.

I put a deposit on a 60" all black Surly Crosscheck this past sunday built up for the specs necessary to hold me and hopefully be bombproof. Parts were ordered today and I should have the bike done by this weekend or first of the week! I'm beyond excited and have been spinning at the rec center to tide my excitement over and try to loosen up a tad before I climb on the SCC.

Thanks to all those who offered input! You were alot of help.
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Old 05-29-07, 09:05 PM   #18
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Sounds like a great bike. Congratulations! Let us know how it rides.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rickyaustin
Thanks for the new replies!

The LBS talked me out of the discs for now. Someday my bike may be a rain, mud or shine full-on cross/commuter bike where the disc brakes would come in handy, but for the forseeable future the canti-brakes will be more than fine. I won't be in the muck very much. I'm trying for fitness now.

I guess I should update this.

I put a deposit on a 60" all black Surly Crosscheck this past sunday built up for the specs necessary to hold me and hopefully be bombproof. Parts were ordered today and I should have the bike done by this weekend or first of the week! I'm beyond excited and have been spinning at the rec center to tide my excitement over and try to loosen up a tad before I climb on the SCC.

Thanks to all those who offered input! You were alot of help.
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Old 05-30-07, 03:17 PM   #19
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I've had a CC 62 in dark green with black Campy Mirage brifters and groupset for about two months.

You will be very happy. I am 6'4'' and 280 and the bike is very solid on pavement and very forgiving on the rougher stuff.

Here's mine:


http://surlylht.googlegroups.com/web...7vcQBgw9aPK_IG
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Old 05-30-07, 07:37 PM   #20
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hi
6' (barely) and 230 lb but on my way to a goal of 185 (was 253 3 months ago)
looking at spec tricross comp vs jamis or fuji steel (touring?) vs trying to find a surly somewhere in nj
not sure what to do
many say get steel
trek 520 touring has end bar shifter, not appealing to me
want toget something soon
all bikes test riden so far feel stiff and hurt my butt
but who knows, i hav not been on a bike for 25 years
what do you suggest
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Old 05-31-07, 10:19 PM   #21
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Start your own thread and give us some more info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by archermd
hi
6' (barely) and 230 lb but on my way to a goal of 185 (was 253 3 months ago)
looking at spec tricross comp vs jamis or fuji steel (touring?) vs trying to find a surly somewhere in nj
not sure what to do
many say get steel
trek 520 touring has end bar shifter, not appealing to me
want toget something soon
all bikes test riden so far feel stiff and hurt my butt
but who knows, i hav not been on a bike for 25 years
what do you suggest
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Old 06-01-07, 07:28 AM   #22
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v1k1ng1001
hi
i have other posts and threads under the name archermd
look at them
faster than me starting a new thread
that will let you knowe my concerns
feel free to respond to sjtmd@mac.com to give your feedback if that is faster
i need to buy a bike
asap
my life at the hospital is stressful and i need a healthy hobby/stress-reliever
and my son wants to ride with me
help
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Old 06-01-07, 05:52 PM   #23
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Buy the guys 55cm Poprad.. its another post in the cyclocross forum..

~Steve
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