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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.

Clyde Touring

Old 01-24-20, 01:37 PM
  #1  
Piperflyer
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Clyde Touring

Ok so I know there is a tour thread, but Im also a Clyde. So i want to hear from my people . Im currently around 235LBS (down from 275 woo-hoo!).

Anyways i want to do some touring, this bike will probably also fill the role of doing some commuting as well. My history and current ride is a 2017 Giant anyroad comax, fun bike but no front rack capability, and i would like some better gearing for loaded tours. I could convert this, but Im going to leave this as my commuter going to work light, endurance road rides. I also have a Cannondale adventure front suspension very upright for cruising around with the kiddos.

My wants:
Disc brakes, min 160mm would prefer 180mm.
Tires, up to 40mm, would like to use fenders, i think i would settle for a 35 with fenders.
Drop Bar, or one of those surly bars that has a bunch of hand positions.
Would like to have option for 3 bottle mounts for extended riding
front rack capability, even a randeur type rack would be nice. (Would like to shift weight bias forwards instead of everything on the rear).

Frame Material: Dont particularly matter to me, i hear Ti feels better than Carbon, also hear steel has a nice feel to it? So Im kinda open here i only have rode Alum, and Carbon bikes so Ti or steel i would be open too.

Gearing : currently have a. 50/34 crank and a 11/32 cassette on the anyroad, does great some REALLY steep hills i wish i could drop down one more gear, I believe this goes to about a 30inch gearing? Since this will be a loaded set up bike i would like gearing to accommodate that and get the gear ratios more in line. 46T crank? Idk.

I plan on this bike to do a lot of gravel type tours, i have a lot of chunky dry gravel roads in my area, ( i ride the anyroad on them using GP5000 700x28 in front and 700x32 in rear but loaded i might want more of a contact patch). It may ride 50/50 road gravel or 75/25 gravel / road.

I would like to haul some basics, tent, bag, some food. I do have a Topeak Journey Trailer I originally bought to haul things around so i could use this already since its in my stable to keep some weight off needed off the frame.

Let me know your thoughts, maybe let know what everyone is using. My budget i could probably go between $4,000 - $6,000? but of course something cheaper i wont shy away from if it fits the bill of the mission.

Ive eyeballed Trek 920
Salsa Marrekesh
Surly LHT Disc
CO-motion Americano 2x11, would love the Pinion model but price gets kinda steep. If i could find one used maybe to save?
Giant Revolt (i like Giants)
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Old 01-24-20, 02:27 PM
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Wilfred Laurier
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Since you already have a trailer, you don't need to worry about putting racks on the bike. Maybe a handlebar bag and fenders and you are ready to go!
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Old 01-29-20, 09:39 AM
  #3  
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First, don't be afraid to go over to the Touring forum. There are many people who post there as well as here. I think you'd be astounded by the number of Clydes and Athenas over there.

Originally Posted by Piperflyer View Post
My wants:
Disc brakes, min 160mm would prefer 180mm.
I'm only going to address the rotor size. That's fairly easy to change. You just need a different adapter on the caliper/fork or caliper/frame mount. The rear might be limited due to interferences with the frame, however. All of my disc brake capable bikes have 203mm rotors in the front. Some have 180mm in the rear while others have 160mm due to those interferences.

Originally Posted by Piperflyer View Post
Frame Material: Dont particularly matter to me, i hear Ti feels better than Carbon, also hear steel has a nice feel to it? So Im kinda open here i only have rode Alum, and Carbon bikes so Ti or steel i would be open too.
​​​​​​​
Meh. Too much noise is made about frame material. The tires and the way the rider rides have a larger influence on the ride than the frame does. I have aluminum and Ti bikes, the ride is similar on all of them. Titanium is cool because of the strength and lightness but I doubt you'd find a fully built titanium bike in your price range. The frame alone is going to be close to $4000.

Originally Posted by Piperflyer View Post
Gearing : currently have a. 50/34 crank and a 11/32 cassette on the anyroad, does great some REALLY steep hills i wish i could drop down one more gear, I believe this goes to about a 30inch gearing? Since this will be a loaded set up bike i would like gearing to accommodate that and get the gear ratios more in line. 46T crank? Idk.
Your low gear is actually 29" but 30" is close enough. That's a tall gear for a loaded bike. You could lower it some by going to an 11-36 cassette but that is just a minor change in gearing and you'd need a Wolftooth Road Link to make it work. A 46/28 crank and an 11-36 cassette and a Road Link would give you a 21" low gear but that's starting to get into a chunk of change to spend on a bike that is still not quite adequate (lack of rack mounts)

Your other bike might work with some modifications. A longer, flatter stem would get rid of the upright position and you might be able to swap out the fork for a rigid one with mounts. Gearing might be better depending on the model but, honestly, neither bike would ever be optimal.
​​​​​​​

Originally Posted by Piperflyer View Post
I would like to haul some basics, tent, bag, some food. I do have a Topeak Journey Trailer I originally bought to haul things around so i could use this already since its in my stable to keep some weight off needed off the frame.
A trailer is a good way to get your feet wet and see if you want to go further into touring. I don't like trailers...been down that route...but it's a place to start. Do a few rides and see if you like the experience before sinking money into the endeavor.

Originally Posted by Piperflyer View Post
Let me know your thoughts, maybe let know what everyone is using. My budget i could probably go between $4,000 - $6,000? but of course something cheaper i wont shy away from if it fits the bill of the mission.

Ive eyeballed Trek 920
Salsa Marrekesh
Surly LHT Disc
CO-motion Americano 2x11, would love the Pinion model but price gets kinda steep. If i could find one used maybe to save?
Giant Revolt (i like Giants)
Each one has it's strength and weaknesses. All of them, with the exception of the LHT have limited gearing. The triple on the LHT offers the lowest gear but it is heavier than the others. The Trek 920 would be a great bike except for the low spoke count wheels and double crank. I'll skip the other two and look at the Revolt.

The Revolt has an issue that you might want to consider. The chain stays are 16.9". That's pretty short for carrying panniers. Even with average sized feet, you are likely to be kicking the panniers on each pedal stroke or you'll have to move the panniers way back to keep from hitting them. Moving the back puts weight to the rear of the axle and can end up making the bike ride a bit squirrelly. You can get into a "tail wagging the dog" situation. Add in loose surfaces and the bike could become a handful.

A better (although still a bit short) solution would be the Giant ToughRoad. It has longer stays and a little more relaxed geometry. I...and probably many other tourists...would be dubious of the carbon fork but cycling tourist tend to be a curmudgeonly lot. They don't like aluminum for the most part. I have some experience with long mileage on a carbon fork...25,000 miles but it isn't carrying a load...so my dubiousness is probably unwarranted.

Overall, I'd rank the LHT first with the 920 a close second and the ToughRoad coming up on the outside. Any one of them would do the job and probably do it well without too much modification.
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Old 02-01-20, 08:20 PM
  #4  
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One of the touring bikes on my list is a Kona Sutra, you might want to look at that one too.
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Old 02-01-20, 08:36 PM
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If you live near an REI store I'd put their Co-op (REI house brand) touring bikes on your list:

https://www.rei.com/b/co-op-cycles/c/touring-bikes
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Old 02-04-20, 02:22 PM
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I would definitely agree that a steel or titanium frame is ideal for a heavier guy. We've seen too many big and heavy guys breaking aluminum frames, which is especially lame when you are out on a long tour. Titanium doesn't fatigue like aluminum so things like rack mounts and load points won't fail from the weight and vibration of the gear. A steel fork is a good idea, but we've had good luck using the CoLab cross fork which is a cool carbon fiber fork with 50mm clearance and rack and fender mounts. We built a few really cool titanium touring bikes for guys who were 6'7" and well over 250lbs and the forks have held up well so far. That fork is compatible with a 203mm rotor as well, which is not common for carbon fiber cross forks. We tried a titanium fork for one tall guy, and it ended up being a little too flexy when he put gear on the front rack. If he was only loaded on the rear, the fork was fine, so we ended up building a steel one for him instead. It was worth the try, but titanium forks are tough because it's hard to bend larger diameter tubes well enough for a fork. Black Sheep Bicycles in Fort Collins Colorado does a nice job with that, but the ti forks are pricey.

Beyond the frame and fork, I think wheels are the most important thing for a heavy guy. Higher spoke count (36h should be plenty, but maybe even 40h), and hubs with robust freehub systems will keep you out of trouble.

I hope that is helpful from a frame building point of view.

Thanks,
Nick Wigston
Zinn Cycles Inc.
Clydesdale Bicycles
303-499-4349
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Old 02-04-20, 02:26 PM
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I have a LHT and a Salsa Fargo. For comfort and speed on gravel I use the Fargo with 2.35 big apples. Good on gravel and fast enough on blacktop. Especially good for consecutive long days in the saddle. The frame can be packed up in many different configurations.
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Old 02-06-20, 10:29 AM
  #8  
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A chap I tour with is close to 300 lbs, 6'4" muscular with a healthy layer of insulation
He tours on a Masi Giromondo that he loads to the gills with camping equipment and tools and anything you might need to use or someone else might want to borrow. I would guess his rider+bike+luggage weight is around 370 lbs. AFAIK the bike has been 100% reliable for him over the past few years.

He uses 700x38c Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires. He had narrower and lighter tires for recreational road riding but realized that the advantage of the light weight and slightly faster rolling was negated by a single flat tire and the need to slow down more over rough surfaces.
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Old 02-13-20, 08:46 AM
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Salsa Fargo is my favorite. The Surly would work also, but I like the smooth ride of the big Maxxis Hookworms.
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Old 02-13-20, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
If you live near an REI store I'd put their Co-op (REI house brand) touring bikes on your list:

https://www.rei.com/b/co-op-cycles/c/touring-bikes
I normally ride a touring bike, because they're built to carry a load -- and I AM a load! But with the change in the REI warranty a few years back, make sure you're going to tour within 3 years of buying a bike.

My story: I started a cross country tour in Yorktown, VA, and the 3.15 year old Novara Randonee (precursor to the Coop ADV 1.1, I think) frame cracked 8 miles down the road. Lost a day's riding, but the REI swapped my components (with lower gearing) over onto a new frame, gave me new wheels, and sent me off on my merry way. I had zero problems with the replacement for the remaining 4,400 odd miles, and I'm still riding it 11 years and 24,000 miles later.

However, that was under their old lifetime warranty. I'd have to either shell out some bucks or do some fast talking to get the frame replaced under the current warranty. FWIW, the lead mechanic at Bailey's Crossroads told me, "It's kind of unusual for us to see a frame this old" (it only had about 8,000 miles on it) "but it's an obvious welding problem because it was in the middle of the heavy dropout, so they overheated it pretty badly."
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Old 02-13-20, 12:11 PM
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pack lighter? whats the distance or remoteness of your ride. Can you get supplies every day, 2 days ect.

Pack lighter, travel farther.

From scratch? I'd get a gravel/cyclocross bike and add couple hundred dollars in bags, ditching the trailer.

Niner Steel RLT comes with fork mounts for bottles or bags
https://www.bikebling.com/Niner-RLT-...t9s-5-star.htm

https://bikepacking.com/gear/bikepacking-bags/

I have set of rapha/apidura bags that was awesome for when I toured Cali from San Fran to LA. Bags work well for commuting and winter rides where I can throw layers of clothing when the sun gets higher. https://www.apidura.com/shop/ I shopped for tent and bags by volume size when stored, not the lightest stuff but ended up pretty light weight touring setup


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Old 02-13-20, 06:34 PM
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I'm currently fitting a triple to my Miyata six ten to do some light instate touring this summer. I have a set of 32 spoke alex rims on it build on some shimano hubs. Just pick up some IRD Blackbird Aero bars to try out. I'm looking forward to doing a couple of 200 mile trial runs this summer my goal is to tour from Albuquerque to Boulder Colorado eventually.
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Old 02-14-20, 08:08 AM
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Weight wise any frame designated as a touring bike and most gravel should be more then strong enough to hold you and your stuff. Most parts won't be an issue either. At 275lb I don't consider my gravel tour bike to be a worry even loaded down. I did consider the 28h generic hubs and what seem to be fairly decent o/c rims to be an issue. Replacements were simple; 8000 series XT hubs, Velocity Dyad rims, 13/14 single butted spokes in the back and standard double butted spokes in the front built 32h 3x. Also swapped out the narrow tires for a 700x35 clement xplor ush tire that is pretty fast on pavement and does well on dirt and gravel roads. Been over a year with some really rough rides and haven't had to put a spoke wrench to them yet. I also just have 160mm discs front and rear and have never felt stopping was an issue, most gravel and tour bikes that are disc equipped will come with this size and it should be adequate.
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