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First post: 350lb, steadily losing weight, and looking for road bike suggestions

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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

First post: 350lb, steadily losing weight, and looking for road bike suggestions

Old 03-20-16, 07:58 PM
  #1  
SuperClydesdale
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First post: 350lb, steadily losing weight, and looking for road bike suggestions

A BIG hello, from a BIG rider! I haven't biked in over a year and a half due to a bad accident (had to learn to walk again)... But now I am back to my somewhat normal self and was just given the clearance to bike again! In the past week I got 3 rides in: 6, 10, and 16 miles.

I currently have a Trek 730 cro-moly hybrid bike I have added Volocity Dyad 48h wheels, some good rubber, spd pedals mated to Giro shoes (only shoe company I could find who made a 16-size 50 from them), and a new beefier rear cassette.. HOWEVER, it's slow, and not a bike you can really put miles in on, and if you have a headwind in that upright position better pray you are close to home....

I want a road bike, last week I rode a friends Scott carbon fiber (he assured me it wouldn't brake, I was actually hoping it would just so I could say "told you so" haha). But seriously, it was a bit small but I really enjoyed riding it and literally did not want to get off. I want a bike I can be more comfy on in a more EDDY position and crank for hours. I am very close to the entrance of one of the best trails on the east coast (Schuylkill River Trail), I used to ride it fairly often when I was younger and loved it, I still do.

Anyway, enough back story, here's my quirks, and desires:
Under $1,000 (i'm okay with a used bike)
I am 31, I am pretty athletic despite being very overweight, former semi-pro hockey player, apparently I have "some" muscle memory haha.
I have a very long torso, so my bike inseam is only 33.5 even though I am 6'6"
I am 350lbs right now, and steadily loosing weight, but I want something that I can sprint on and not feel like jello between my legs.

Looking forward to hearing back from you awesome people!
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Old 03-20-16, 11:14 PM
  #2  
OnyxTiger
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Welcome back to the sport, and solid work getting from not walking to where you are now. The rest is just consistency and ... you know the rest it shouldn't be a secret to a guy with your past.

At the $1000 price range, I'd go right down to Performance Bike and see what kind of options they have. PB just always has sales and points and great return policy. Definitely a shop to consider.
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Old 03-20-16, 11:16 PM
  #3  
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Your still somewhat young -- and have a long enough frame to distribute 350 on ---

You have a decent budget set aside --

I can't believe i'm recommending a Bikes Direct bike, but-- they have some big sizes available and it sounds like you've put in enough time on a hybrid that your not a pure beginner

It may be tough to find a bike big enough for you on the used market unless you get lucky

Save Up to 60% Off Shimano 22 Speed 105 equipped Carbon Road Bikes - NEW Kestrel Evoke Road Bicycles with Shimano 105 group | Save up to 60% off List prices

Save Up to 60% Off Disc Brake Road Bikes - Motobecane Omni Strada Expert

Save up to 60% off new Shimano Ultegra Road Bikes - Gravity PRO22 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
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Old 03-21-16, 06:31 AM
  #4  
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I started riding around 380 lbs and and I'm in the 270's now, so I know the struggle of a big guy wanting to go fast on a bike. Just to give you some background, I've ridden and owned way too many bikes in the last few years. Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, Steel and Titanium. I've tried them all. And what I've found is for a big guy that wants to go fast, steel is a good option. Aluminum can be harsh on long miles. Most carbon fiber bikes have a weight limit around 240 lbs even though they were really built with a 175 lb rider in mind. Titanium is also nice, but expensive.

Steel is strong, durable, comfortable, can hold a bunch of weight and works really well with big riders. That couple of pounds steel gives away in bike weight compared to carbon fiber is meaningless to guys that are 250+, but the other attributes that steel brings to the table for big riders is well worth those extra pounds.

At your current weight, I would recommend starting with something like the XL model of this:

2016 Weekender Drop | Fairdale Bikes

It lists for $1249, but you might be able to negotiate them down to near $1000. I'm 6'1" and the large model is a fuzz big for me. I bet based on the sizing you mentioned that the XL would be a good fit for you.

It's a strong, steel bike that literally will do everything. It can do the road thing. I put 65 miles on mine this weekend. It can be fast, I had mine peaking at 37 mph yesterday and sustained 27 mph on it to get a couple new PR's on Strava.

On top of that, it can do the gravel thing, the dirt thing, the touring thing. Whatever you want to do with it.

You can buy it and ride it like it is. Then as you lose weight, you can opt for skinnier tires if you want to go faster and faster. Then down the road if you want to switch to a true, light weight road bike, this bike can be your everything else bike. I say that, but I find myself riding it much more than my light road bike these days.

Last edited by Jarrett2; 03-21-16 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 03-21-16, 10:33 AM
  #5  
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I'm 6'5" and started at 366lbs. I'm at 315 now and hoping to start dropping some more now that I can get out to bike. I have a long torso too.

I had a mountain bike when I started and went with getting a cross bike to get a semi aggressive compromise fit for something "faster" that would also be comfortable on distance and light off road. Bonus that they are little beefier to help handle my still heavy load. With a swap of tires (or in my case wheels too) they go from almost a road bike to almost a mountain bike in terms of capability.

The advice you already have gotten here is great, just want to throw out a Sulry and Soma as options.

I got a Soma doublecross disc and love it, but one of those new would be outside your price range. A new Surly cross check (regular price), surly straggler (on sale), or Soma double cross non-disc (on sale) would be right around $1000. Used or clearance/previous year model should be under that.

Also here is the link the the thread I started when i was looking for my new bike. There are some good suggestion there as well.

https://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdale...ons-cylde.html
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Old 03-21-16, 11:04 AM
  #6  
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Hey man, glad to meet ya .. I would say welcome but I am new here as of today myself. Just started cycling last week, I picked up a Trek X-Caliber 6 for under $700 last week. I feel like we have similar body types - I'm 34 y/o and I'm 6'5" at 363 lbs. I was running but decided that cycling would be more effective for me & my joints. I actually started my journey at 388 lbs in January and lost 25lbs from just eating right and going to the local gym. I wanted something fun I could do with my family and cycling seem to be an interest to my boys but as you know, us big guys just can't go out and buy a cheap Walmart bike ... we just plain don't fit on them. I had one 10 yrs ago and never rode it because of how uncomfortable it was and now I know that it was never made for me. Anyways, good luck on your future cycling and glad to know I am not the only one out there!! :-)
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Old 03-21-16, 11:08 AM
  #7  
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I have this frame that I tried to sell but everything fell through. I also have 9 speed bar cons, Utegra triple crank, front derailuer, and more parts. I will let all of it go pretty cheap.
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Old 03-21-16, 02:03 PM
  #8  
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Would you consider gravel bikes?

Nice GT for $899:
GT Grade Alloy Sora Gravel Bike - 2016

Nice Specialized Diverge that I've seen at my LBS on sale for $950.
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bi...erge-a1/106656

This Tread 2.0 is real nice also. I test rode this and am still wondering about getting it myself at $850:

Fuji Tread 2.0 LE Disc Road Bike - 2016 Performance Exclusive

Last edited by travbikeman; 03-21-16 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 03-21-16, 03:09 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by OnyxTiger View Post
Welcome back to the sport, and solid work getting from not walking to where you are now. The rest is just consistency and ... you know the rest it shouldn't be a secret to a guy with your past.

At the $1000 price range, I'd go right down to Performance Bike and see what kind of options they have. PB just always has sales and points and great return policy. Definitely a shop to consider.
So there is a Performance Bike shop pretty close by so I stopped over there on my way home today. I spoke to a sales guy who was pushing a Charge Plug and calling it a cycle-cross bike, with sora components I think not.... After looking online I realized it was a special build, and they took the lowest frameset, and built it up with cheap components. BLEH

Now the bike tech who I get talking to and he's an old school guy, who rides steel, and rides tandem (if you ride tandem, I automatically have respect for you!). Anyway, he shows me the bike he likes, and again it's a special build, BUT it looks like it's built fairly decent. I told them my weight and they still said the frame has a lifetime warranty, so that gave me A LOT of relief with getting aluminum with a carbon fork.

What do you think?
Fuji Sportif 2.0 LE Road Bike - 2016 Performance Exclusive

Also saw this on CL not too far away.
Jamis Aurora Touring Bike
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Old 03-21-16, 03:15 PM
  #10  
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Jamis looks good to me.
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Old 03-21-16, 05:04 PM
  #11  
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I can vouch personally for the Sportif. I have an older model, but not much changed over the couple years, except they have better component lineup now. Tiagra is mid-grade, but it definitely won't hold you back. Good range of tire clearance. I started at 295... only had one spoke pop over 900 miles but that came from hitting a curb at speed.

That said, you have options. A lot. Personally, I'd let the due dilligence phase run its course and see which ones stand at the top of your list. Get the one that rides the best for you ( whether that's speed, comfort, or both) and know your features for what kind of rider you WANT to become in the future. If that bike ticks all or most of those boxes, then there's your one. I still take time to look at my Sportif everyday... liking what you ride is a really sweet part of the experience.

Also, if you have a Sport Chalet by you, look them up. I ended up getting my Sportif from them because PB didn't price match online ads. Nashbar.com had a 20% off deal and SC honored it plus military 10%. Walked away at $586 all in. Deals to be had, my friend.
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Old 03-21-16, 05:24 PM
  #12  
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As you're a big guy, it's a good idea to buy a road bike that is designed to take some punishment and weight. Therefore a touring bike (designed to carry heavy bags) or cross bike (designed to be ridden in punishing conditions) is a good idea, over a regular road bike. Halfway between these two are "gravel grinders". Even if you want to only ride on road, these bikes are just a quick tire swap towards being a "road bike".

The nice thing about cross bikes and gravel bikes is that they take big tires, which helps with comfort for someone of your weight. Also I would recommend for now you stick to metal bikes i.e. steel or aluminum frames.

Individual recommendations are fine, but instead I suggest that you see what's available online, and talk to a few local bike shops. I guess you already went to performance bike, and many people like that Fuji (it's a decent bike I'm sure), but I'd check out a few more shops and speak to them before splashing out.
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Old 03-21-16, 05:54 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by SuperClydesdale View Post
A BIG hello, from a BIG rider! I haven't biked in over a year and a half due to a bad accident (had to learn to walk again)... But now I am back to my somewhat normal self and was just given the clearance to bike again! In the past week I got 3 rides in: 6, 10, and 16 miles.

I currently have a Trek 730 cro-moly hybrid bike I have added Volocity Dyad 48h wheels, some good rubber, spd pedals mated to Giro shoes (only shoe company I could find who made a 16-size 50 from them), and a new beefier rear cassette.. HOWEVER, it's slow, and not a bike you can really put miles in on, and if you have a headwind in that upright position better pray you are close to home....

I want a road bike, last week I rode a friends Scott carbon fiber (he assured me it wouldn't brake, I was actually hoping it would just so I could say "told you so" haha). But seriously, it was a bit small but I really enjoyed riding it and literally did not want to get off. I want a bike I can be more comfy on in a more EDDY position and crank for hours. I am very close to the entrance of one of the best trails on the east coast (Schuylkill River Trail), I used to ride it fairly often when I was younger and loved it, I still do.

Anyway, enough back story, here's my quirks, and desires:
Under $1,000 (i'm okay with a used bike)
I am 31, I am pretty athletic despite being very overweight, former semi-pro hockey player, apparently I have "some" muscle memory haha.
I have a very long torso, so my bike inseam is only 33.5 even though I am 6'6"
I am 350lbs right now, and steadily loosing weight, but I want something that I can sprint on and not feel like jello between my legs.

Looking forward to hearing back from you awesome people!
I am a little bigger than you - 6'7" and a few pounds heavier and bought a Scott CR1-10 in September of '15. I bought it mostly because it was the best value for the dollar (I wanted Ultegra groupset) and when I rode it, it was spectacular.

I have 1000 +- miles on it since then and no failures. Getting an 11 speed wheel built was a tick tricky as Velocity had just released the 40 hole hub but it wasn't in the catalog, but this was not a huge deal.

The biggest downside on my model is the lack of space for tires. A Gatorskin 25c is the biggest that will fit. We tried a 28 and it would not go. I have been running these with no problems, but I am fairly anal about keeping them aired to max pressure in the back and 100-110 in the front.

I have limited experience with other bikes. This replaced a stolen aluminum Sectuer. Compared to the aluminum, it is stiffer, transmits power better (less noodly) and rides amazingly better.

DaveW
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Old 03-21-16, 07:07 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by SuperClydesdale View Post
So there is a Performance Bike shop pretty close by so I stopped over there on my way home today. I spoke to a sales guy who was pushing a Charge Plug and calling it a cycle-cross bike, with sora components I think not.... After looking online I realized it was a special build, and they took the lowest frameset, and built it up with cheap components. BLEH

Now the bike tech who I get talking to and he's an old school guy, who rides steel, and rides tandem (if you ride tandem, I automatically have respect for you!). Anyway, he shows me the bike he likes, and again it's a special build, BUT it looks like it's built fairly decent. I told them my weight and they still said the frame has a lifetime warranty, so that gave me A LOT of relief with getting aluminum with a carbon fork.

What do you think?
Fuji Sportif 2.0 LE Road Bike - 2016 Performance Exclusive

Also saw this on CL not too far away.
Jamis Aurora Touring Bike
I looked at that Fuji this past weekend when I was at the store. It's a nice bike. It isn't too heavy of a bike, but it's not the lightest out there. Which for us Clyde's that's not a big deal. But as we become less and less of a Clyde, it's a bike you would still want to ride. It's got the newer Tiagra set where the shifter cables are fully hidden on the handlebars. I tested this setup on the Tread and it works very well in my opinion. This Sportif I'm sure would ride faster than the Tread.

If you decide to go with the Fuji's at Performance Bikes, get the membership. It might cost you $30, but you would get enough points to equal around $80 worth of free stuff for buying this bike. I bought my Wife's, son's and daughters GT bikes at Performance. Along with other equipment. I think I got close to $200 worth of freebies because of it.

It's kind of getting sad. This Performance Bike shop and the Specialized LBS I go to now know me by my first name without asking. I think I've been visiting too often.
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Old 03-21-16, 09:11 PM
  #15  
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SuperClydsdale:

I recommend you consider a full-suspension mountain bike with street tires (Schwalbe "Kojacks" are wonderful). Mountain bikes are designed to get the crap beat out of them, whether it be from jumping off the side of a hill or just carrying one of us (you know-- Big Guys).

I ride my 2008 Gary Fisher "Hi-Fi Deluxe" every day. I'm never gonna treat it the way its previous owner did (a frequent podium finisher). At the same time: it is comfortable, smooth, stable and a lot of fun to ride.

There is no really good reason for us to ride bikes based on what TDF pros use to make money. Be comfortable on a bike that will take your weight and intentions.

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Old 03-21-16, 09:33 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Joe Minton View Post
I recommend you consider a full-suspension mountain bike
In opposite land maybe.
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Old 03-22-16, 06:35 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Joe Minton View Post
I recommend you consider a full-suspension mountain bike
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
In opposite land maybe.
Yeah, don't do this, imo. When I started riding all the skinny guys told me I had to get mountain bikes as well. So glad I didn't listen. A nice steel touring or gravel grinder bike is the way to go, imo. If you are dealing with Performance Bike, I think Fuji makes a nice steel touring bike as well.

That Jamis you posted isn't too bad either.

Looking at your CL, this would be a great bike to get:
60cm Gunnar Roadie - I own one as well and love it, little on the high side though in price.
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Old 03-22-16, 07:19 PM
  #18  
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At 360 pounds and having a good bike shop that once they knew that I knew I was overweight and to not try and sell me something that would break in a few months (wheels especially) I went with a Raleigh Revenio 2.0 (aluminum frame), and six months later the bike shop had me test ride a 2013 Orbea Orca in 60cm (all carbon fiber) and I was hooked. The Raleigh is now what my oldest son rides the most.

You can ride any style of bike you want. buy the style of bike you want to ride and will want to ride. Steel, Aluminum, and Carbon Fiber are all good choices of materials, but be careful as biking can become addicting (with you buying more bikes, bike parts, cycling clothing).... I lovingly refer to the bike shop as my crack dealer.
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Old 03-22-16, 08:58 PM
  #19  
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Thanks for the help everyone, I made went to 7 bike shops in the past two weeks and finally made a decision and kudo's to a few of you who said something about this specific bike. I ended up buying from Performance Bike, I know it's not the BEST bike out there, but with the exchange/warranty/return policy I felt like it was a smart decision. Just knowing if something breaks I can bring it back is much better than my local Specialized, Cannondale, and Trek dealers offered (mostly because of my size, knowing I was overweight). PB knew I was overweight, and said it did not matter. I also really enjoyed speaking to the service tech at the shop who really knew his stuff and was a million times more helpful than the sales guys.

So long story short I got this in a size 61. I am very happy with my purchase, and last week I put in 30 miles on my hybrid, so hopefully I will have this next week and can up it to 50 miles a quarter of the way to my goal of 200 weekly.
Fuji Sportif 2.0 LE Road Bike - 2016 Performance Exclusive
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Old 03-22-16, 09:09 PM
  #20  
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Congrats! Now get out and ride it!!
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Old 03-22-16, 09:21 PM
  #21  
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The best part, is not only did I get a bike, but my dad asked if he could have my 730 and wants to get back into the sport. He hasn't bikes since he had me, and my mom is getting back into biking too. Between the 3 of us we could stand to loose a couple hundred LBS.
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Old 03-22-16, 10:03 PM
  #22  
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Congratulations on your new ride. I was going to mention Surly, since I have one and love it. How do you like your disc brakes so far? Make sure you "bed" them in for best performance.

Good start to making headway on your weight loss. I've lost 116 lbs via healthier food choices and consistent exercise. Feel great. You can do this.
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Old 03-23-16, 07:26 AM
  #23  
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Pictures!!!!! please........
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Old 03-23-16, 08:17 AM
  #24  
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Bikes: 2015 Cannondale Quick CX 4, 2014 Fuji Sportif 1.3C Disc, 2012 Fuji SST 2.0 Ultegra Di2

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Originally Posted by SuperClydesdale View Post
Thanks for the help everyone, I made went to 7 bike shops in the past two weeks and finally made a decision and kudo's to a few of you who said something about this specific bike. I ended up buying from Performance Bike, I know it's not the BEST bike out there, but with the exchange/warranty/return policy I felt like it was a smart decision. Just knowing if something breaks I can bring it back is much better than my local Specialized, Cannondale, and Trek dealers offered (mostly because of my size, knowing I was overweight). PB knew I was overweight, and said it did not matter. I also really enjoyed speaking to the service tech at the shop who really knew his stuff and was a million times more helpful than the sales guys.

So long story short I got this in a size 61. I am very happy with my purchase, and last week I put in 30 miles on my hybrid, so hopefully I will have this next week and can up it to 50 miles a quarter of the way to my goal of 200 weekly.
Fuji Sportif 2.0 LE Road Bike - 2016 Performance Exclusive
Nice ride! The geometry range in that thing is actually pretty wide... it can be a really comfortable upright cruiser if you want it to, and can actually get low enough to get you good aero if you slam the stem eventually. Should serve you well over the miles. It certainly won't hold you back from hitting 200 miles/week because of being uncomfortable.

The guys at my local PB has really good group rides for all experience levels... great way to get some miles in and get to know some folks. Perhaps your parents would like to join also. The local Beginner ride averages about 12-13mph, so not too crazy.

More miles, more smiles. Congrats SC. If you ever get on Strava, look some of us up, we're on there.
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Old 03-23-16, 08:39 AM
  #25  
bmthom.gis
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Columbia, SC
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Bikes: 2014 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 4 Rival; 2014 Cannondale Trail 7 29; 1972 Schwinn Suburban, 1996 Proflex 756, 1987(?) Peugeot, Dahon Speed P8; 1979 Raleigh Competition GS; 1995 Stumpjumper M2 FS, 1978 Raleigh Sports, Schwinn Prologue

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Originally Posted by wvridgerider View Post
I have this frame that I tried to sell but everything fell through. I also have 9 speed bar cons, Utegra triple crank, front derailuer, and more parts. I will let all of it go pretty cheap.
That's an awesome bike! Looks like a 58 cm? Right about my size lol. I had a 52 cm one I used for commuting (made into an upright) but got frustrated with it's size. The rest of the bike I absolutely loved. What are you letting it go for?
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