A little bit about me. I live in Castle Rock Colorado. I am 35 years old 6'3 and just under 300 pounds. I am an ex football and baseball player. I have very flat feet and started biking 2 summers ago because running etc caused too much hip and feet pain.
I bought a Specialized Secteur Sport Disc - Fun!: http://youtu.be/CejJjcxjkrQ for my first bike, and to be honest I did not do much research. At the time I bought the bike I had no idea if I would even like road biking. All I knew was I wanted to try road biking because I heard it was awesome for those who wanted to lose weight with a non impact sport, which is what I needed. I also had been watching this gentleman's videos on YouTube and watched videos like this CYCLING FOR WEIGHT LOSS OR RUNNING FOR WEIGHT LOSS? Which one is better?: http://youtu.be/QWY63gcW7NQ and this CYCLING TIPS : DURIANRIDER'S TOP 10 CYCLING TIPS! #159 : http://youtu.be/BlbveG2Qrhg.
So after watching these videos I decided to give road biking a try. I went to the closest large bike shop to my house and with little research and talking to the sales guy bought the Specialized Secture sport disc. I thought it was a good idea because the sales guy told me I could ride the bike on dirt / gravel roads as well as paved roads. He also said I could put wide tires on the bike if I wanted to because of the disc brakes. Not knowing a thing about bikes, the flexibility of being able to ride pavement and gravel sold me, so I bought the bike. The price seemed right as well at $1,200.
I started riding that bike everyday. I wore gym shorts and tennis shoes. I did not know any better. When my back side started to get raw etc as the miles increased I began doing research and soon learned why the bikers I always saw riding around Colorado wore the tight shorts. I found a performance bike near my house and bought the cheapest pair of bike shorts they had. Even though I felt like a fool being almost 300 pounds wearing these tight shorts. I soon got over the public embarrassment because my backside felt so much better. A bike jersey with zipper and back pockets followed. The miles increased from 5 to 10 to 15 to 20 to 30. The weight started falling off. From about June 10th 2013 to October 1st 2013 I had gotten down to 220 and felt amazing. I changed my diet but nothing too crazy. I found a cycling club in my town and rode with them once a week that summer. First time I rode with them I showed up in tennis shoes bike shorts and a cotton tee shirt. Everyone else had matching kits clipless shoes and pedals and were riding Tarmacs, venges, madones, TCR's, propels, etc, one guy asked me why I had a cyclocross bike? I told him that the guy at the bike store told me the Secture was not a cyclocross bike, but was a road bike with disc brakes. Luckily there were some nice guys who made me feel comfortable and over the next few weeks taught me how to ride in a group and stayed back with me when the guys on the Venge's left me in the dust. I was grateful that they took the time to teach me.
I became hooked and looked forward to riding my bike everyday. I knew my next step was to get clipless pedals so I started saving. The snow came before I could get the clipless pedals. I decided to hold off on the clipless pedals and get a bike trainer from performance bike. I road the trainer for about a week and absolutely hated it. I stopped riding it and the snow kept coming. I started eating poorly again and without the daily exercise I started to put back on the pounds, especially over the holidays. I know find my self here on February 17th 2015 weighing just under 300 pounds and very unhappy. I took my trainer back to performance bike and traded it in for rollers. I am in the process of building these. Brian Stoner's Freeform Rollers: http://youtu.be/MY5UAuqPlss . Diy free motion rollers. I enjoy the rollers much more and am committed to ridding them everyday until the snow melts. I also bought my first pair of clipless shoes and pedals. I am committed to ride everyday when the weather is nice. My long term goal is to complete a century ride here in the Colorado mountains before the snow falls again in November 2015, and also get down to 200 pounds and stay at that weight.
Now that I have shared my background. I come to you with a question and advice?
I know I want to upgrade my Specialized Secture sport disc that has Sora 9 speed to a much better bike. I come to you with some honest questions and want you to know I will continue to ride my Secture Sport disc until I have done all my research and am then ready to purchase my next bike. My budget will be $3,000 to $4,000 and am willing to take my time and listen to all of you and to whoever else will counsel me. I am a high school dean so $3 to $4,000 is a lot of money especially because I have 4 kids under 11 years of age. So, I have to make sure I do my research and get the best next bike for me at that price range.
Here are a few things I know, or think I know that I want in my next bike.
1. I want my next bike to have hydraulic disc brakes.
2. I want my next bike to have through axles. My research tells me through axles are superior on disc brake bikes. "Specialized’s Mark Cote said recently, “There’s the technology there to start building thru axle road and ‘cross bikes. We believe in discs and thru axles go hand in hand. It’s all part of tuning the ride and thru axles give us even more ability to do so.”
Read more at Thru the looking glass of Whisky: Thru axles are coming to road, ?cross forks - VeloNews.com
My research tells me that Trek, Colongo, Focus and foundry have 2015 disc brake bikes with thru axles but Specialized, Giant and Cannondale do not? This confuses me completely!
3. I recently read that Shamano has developed a flat mount system for how disc brakes will mount to road bike frames Shimano Unveils Flat Mount Standard for Road Disc Brakes - Cyclocross Magazine - Cyclocross News, Races, Bikes, Photos, Videos . From what I understand road bikes that have disc brakes that were designed before 2016 connect the disc brake to the frame using a post mount system. From my understanding post mount two bolt mounts that jut out from the frame as commonly used on mountain bikes. This the way mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes mount their disc brakes to their bike frames. I don't understand why bike companies would sell a road disc brake bike with a frame using a two bolt mount that juts out from the frame that was developed for mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes. If shamano has developed this flat mount standard for road bikes and the advantages are cleaner, integrated construction with the frame (with no visible mounting bolts). and a more direct connection to the frame and better alignment as it eliminates the need for stacking adapters, and better tool access. Why would I spend $3 to $4 grand on a bike now that does not have flat mounts, especially if Shimano worked with several large bike companies to develop the flat mount standard? Seems to me they are saying the flat mount standard is superior to a two bolt post mount system that was designed for mountain bikes not road bikes. I would hate to buy a disc brake road bike in 2015 that does not have the flat mount standard only to learn the 2016 models have the flat mount standard. Again, $3 to $4 grand is a lot to spend on a bike now if the standard is being developed now by the largest companies in the industry which will set the standard for road bikes in the very near future. There are already bikes coming out in 2015 that have the flat mount standard. I have to say right now Giant defy is at the top of my list, however their 2015 offerings do not have through axles or the flat mount standard. Is there any way to know if Giant will offer a 2016 defy with flat mounts and through axels?
4. I would like my next bike to be carbon.
Thank you so much for reading this and I would appreciate any feedback you could give me in helping me choose my next bike and helping me reach my goals.