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Bike Selection Advice

Old 06-30-16, 09:52 AM
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FarmPond
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Bike Selection Advice

New to the site and so far love this place.

I was looking for a little advice on a new bike. I'm 6'7" and weigh roughly 295. In my younger years I rode all the time. Like a lot of people kids came along and the riding slowed down substantially. I got rid of a road bike and an old touring bike due to lack of use and kept my original hybrid just for pulling kids around etc. The original hybrid is too small of a bike and I'm to the point I hate riding it. My kids are now old enough that they enjoy riding. My 10 year old has a Trek FX and a Trek road bike (forgot the model as it was a gift from grandpa) and he does a lot of riding including a century last year with my dad. My 7 year old just got a "custom made" hybrid (brothers old hybrid with a new powder coat and new pedals, grips, etc.) and she wants to go on rides all the time now too. Wife also has an FX which she loves. We also have a trail a bike for our 4 year old.

So back to the main question. I'm to the point I can't stomach riding the old bike because of how small it is for me. I've got myself caught in bike research paralysis and can't pull the trigger on anything. I'm really looking for a "do it all" bike to get myself back to riding frequently. I don't ever see myself owning a true road bike ever again. We live on gravel but are 1/2 mile from pavement and are a mile from an access to hundreds of miles of paved and crushed limestone rail trails. So I'd like a bike that can ride both surfaces of trails as well as do an occasional gravel route. We'd also like to start doing some 1-2 day credit card touring with the kids.

I'm torn on dropping a lot of money right now and going all in with a true touring bike like an AWOL, LHT, Ogre, etc. Or do I save some money and get a very customizable hybrid just to get me going and add to it or get another bike as my riding preferences sort out over time. Due to my weight I know I will be spending money on new wheels whichever direction I go (unless I go custom build). If I go the hybrid route I'm looking at a Kona Dew. It looks like it has the size for me and can handle a wide size of tires, etc as I would build it up.

Just looking for some feedback and some advice. Thanks and sorry for the long post.
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Old 06-30-16, 10:06 AM
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At 6'7", you will need a very large frame. Not many that will fit the bill. Soma makes a few very large frames. The ES and Smoothie are available in 66 cm, and the Grand Randonneur in 65 cm. The Surly Long Haul Trucker and Cross Check are available in 64 cm. IMO, the largest sizes in a lot of hybrids of 22.5 or 23" is too small for someone 6'7".
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Old 06-30-16, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
At 6'7", you will need a very large frame. Not many that will fit the bill. Soma makes a few very large frames. The ES and Smoothie are available in 66 cm, and the Grand Randonneur in 65 cm. The Surly Long Haul Trucker and Cross Check are available in 64 cm. IMO, the largest sizes in a lot of hybrids of 22.5 or 23" is too small for someone 6'7".
Thanks for the info, I knew frame size would be an issue. That is why the AWOL looks good to me, it's stack and reach is one of the biggest out there. That is the same reason the Kona Dew looked interesting to me. I haven't ridden one yet but it's measurements are on par with the largest road frames. I've looked at the Soma's but I'm not too interested in having a true road bike again. I'm really wanting something I can ride multiple surfaces.

I've got a friend that's my height riding the Jumbo Cannondale Quick just fine. Doing my research I've found quite a number of bikes that "should" fit. Just need to pull the trigger on what style I want.
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Old 06-30-16, 11:21 AM
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AWOL Comp looks pretty sweet. Sram Rival is worth the extra $.
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Old 06-30-16, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by FarmPond View Post
Thanks for the info, I knew frame size would be an issue. That is why the AWOL looks good to me, it's stack and reach is one of the biggest out there. That is the same reason the Kona Dew looked interesting to me. I haven't ridden one yet but it's measurements are on par with the largest road frames. I've looked at the Soma's but I'm not too interested in having a true road bike again. I'm really wanting something I can ride multiple surfaces.

I've got a friend that's my height riding the Jumbo Cannondale Quick just fine. Doing my research I've found quite a number of bikes that "should" fit. Just need to pull the trigger on what style I want.
You can build up the bike any way you want.
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Old 06-30-16, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
You can build up the bike any way you want.
I fully understand that. My main point about not wanting a true road bike is mainly due to max tire width. I'm looking to run 38-40 tires and potentially bigger for certain situations and road frames just don't have that flexibility. For instance the Smoothie lists max tire width as 28.

Edit. I appreciate the input on this. I rode a road bike for years back when I did a lot of group rides, full week of Ragbrai, etc. I just don't think a road bike fits my lifestyle with family right now.

Last edited by FarmPond; 06-30-16 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 06-30-16, 03:58 PM
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See if you can talk to DarthMonkey. He just got a Soma DoubleCross last year, and has an older Trek hybrid as well as a HUGE older road frame. He's 6'5", and his dad is 6'8", so he has some experience with larger frames. I know he looked at several bikes in the size and style you are talking about.
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Old 06-30-16, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bgraham111 View Post
See if you can talk to DarthMonkey. He just got a Soma DoubleCross last year, and has an older Trek hybrid as well as a HUGE older road frame. He's 6'5", and his dad is 6'8", so he has some experience with larger frames. I know he looked at several bikes in the size and style you are talking about.
sounds like a Gravel or cyclocross bike might be a good fit. As bgraham111 said I got soma doublecross disc and love it. Can take up to 42mm tires

Soma doublecross disc or rimbrake models only go up to 60cm frame as complete bike kits (that is the size I got) or up to 62cm as just a frame. They do offer (only as frame) a jumbo size 66cm Double cross disc, no 64cm size.

Surly stragler goes up to 64cm and cross check up to 62cm. All four bikes are a slightly relaxed geomtry but proportions vary quite bit. I carry a lot of my height in my torso, so the soma fit best.

If you are trying for more stack height the 66cm soma frame has 678mm of stack height.
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Old 07-01-16, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DarthMonkey View Post
sounds like a Gravel or cyclocross bike might be a good fit. As bgraham111 said I got soma doublecross disc and love it. Can take up to 42mm tires

Soma doublecross disc or rimbrake models only go up to 60cm frame as complete bike kits (that is the size I got) or up to 62cm as just a frame. They do offer (only as frame) a jumbo size 66cm Double cross disc, no 64cm size.

Surly stragler goes up to 64cm and cross check up to 62cm. All four bikes are a slightly relaxed geomtry but proportions vary quite bit. I carry a lot of my height in my torso, so the soma fit best.

If you are trying for more stack height the 66cm soma frame has 678mm of stack height.
Thanks for the info. After diving more into the frames I'm thinking that the Straggler or Double Cross would be a good fit. I've got a great bike shop that would build anything for me even if I don't source the frame from them (which I can Surly).

Two questions for you.

Based on my weight which will always be heavy (I look sickly skinny at 245) do you feel a bike like the Straggler or Double Cross would be stable enough for me. Some have said the LHT or a custom Ogre would be better for me but I like the idea of of a bike like the Straggler.

Secondly would you focus more on stack or reach? I'm 6'7" with the upper and lower proportionate to each other. I have a 36" inseam and a 37-38 shirt. One of the reasons I like the Straggler or Ogre is based on the reach. Most bikes feel cramped to me. I know that can be adjusted with stems, etc but wasn't sure if reach on the bike would feel more natural versus trying to build reach into the bike.
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Old 07-01-16, 10:18 AM
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is 36" your pant inseam or bike inseam? Probably pant. Measure you bike inseam (use google to see how). For now lets concentrate on surly since they come in sizes that should be close and your LBS carries it. Do they have any 60cm or larger frames built up that you can test ride. Brand doesn't matter much here, just keep notes on what model and size and what was and wasn't comfortable. The shop I used had 1 60cm frame surly and several 58cm in other brands that I rode and used my notes and frame geometry specs to get a ballpark of what worked.

also used several online bike fit caclulators

Also keep in mind a 60cm straggler is almost as big in stack and effective top tube as 62CM crosscheck because of the differences in geometry.

as for your weight - don't sweat it. the bikes we are talking about can more than handle it. Just don't make a habit of jumping curbs, slamming potholes, or other bike torture. You're lighter than me. Just keep to decent quality wheels and no less than 32 spokes per wheel. As for stability of the bikes, that is more a function of your balance and comfort, but there are a few things you can do if your are worried about it. a wider tire, longer wheel base length for a given standover height and effective top tube length (longer chainstay is a factor in this), bottom bracket drop (bigger is more stable) and stems (longer = better, lower = better).

there is a lot more i could say, but lets start with this
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Old 07-01-16, 10:57 AM
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Just to throw some background noise in: IMO a Cross Check isn't know for great stack height. (It's my most ridden steed.) and this is an interesting concept 650B (584 mm) Conversions for Road Bikes
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Old 07-01-16, 06:55 PM
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Just screwing around I easily put 35c tires on my Fuji Sportif disk brake model, they make a size 61 in that too. I tried the 35c to see if my carbide studded tires would fit.
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Old 07-23-16, 01:41 PM
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I forgot to get back in here and give an update. After talking with some friends of similar size, etc I was steered towards a Marin Four Corners. I got it about 10 days ago. Haven't gotten to do a ton of riding yet but so far I love it. It handles the gravel great and is more than fast enough for me.

My 10 year old is riding 5 days of RAGBRAI with his grandpa so I hope to get to join on the new bike for a day or two.
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