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A bit of guidance if you don't mind...

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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.

A bit of guidance if you don't mind...

Old 06-13-07, 06:10 PM
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A bit of guidance if you don't mind...

First off, Clyde... 5'8, 290 lbs... need to lose some weight due to health reasons... Please bear with me here, I will get to the point near the end.

OK, went to a couple LBS's in the last 2 days.

Test road Hybrids and then tried some road bikes for comparison.

Tried:
Trek 7.5 FX - handlebars too close.
Spcialized Sirrus - not the right size.
Giant FCR1 - Not so bad, but handlebars even closer
Cannondale 800 - This one felt the best of them all, but still my shoulders were not super comfy.

... of these, the Cannondale was the most comfortable, but priced at $1100, I thought I would try out a road bike or two. The Hybrids seemed a little too upright, and the handlebars too close to my body.

So, looking at road bikes, I tried
Felt Z80
Giant OCR1
- The had no Cannondale in my price range in stock
- Lightspeed was way over my budget.

Between the two road bikes, they were significantly more comfortable than the hybrids. Neither seemed better than the other... In the end, I think I liked the Giant better since they had a 06 model for 10% off, and it had better components.

My question...

Everyone on my earlier posts said to go to the bike shop that I like the best. These two have given no pressure to buy, and have been nothing but helpful.
None of the bikes I have ridden make me get on and go WOW. Being that I am significantly overweight, and not able to exercise for a while... I am not sure if I am going to find something that is the perfect bike.

I intend to try a trek pilot 2.1 if I can find one in my size... however I am beginning to wonder if my expectations are too high?

The hybrids are out... too uncomfortable.
The road bikes I need to get used to mount/dismount to not harm the kibbles and bits... The pedals seem to close in (not seat height)on both, but that may just be due to oversized knees. I need to get used to the Road bike brake locations compared to my mountain bike.

I guess I need some advice... Do things settle in and my body start to get used to the new position etc, or do I walk on by and keep looking?
I think that once I get my behind moving and shed a few lbs's, the handlebars will be more comforable, and the pedals will not feel so close. Both road bikes felt the same, so that is pushing me toward that decision.

Do I sound nuts, or are my expectations realistic?

Thanks
don04...
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Old 06-13-07, 06:27 PM
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First, congrats on taking matters into your own hands and finding helpful LBS'. Finding a bike that fits is very important. I think your flexibility will improve allowing you to reach farther and to bend to the drops, but the fit will remain the fit. Make sure that the bike you get has 32 spokes or more. A steel bike will be more comfortable than a aluminum due to flex. I don't know the specific bikes you are talking about, but they sound solid.
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Old 06-13-07, 07:06 PM
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Remember that the lower back will need to be stretch for your road bike. Do lots of stretching exercises or the first post ride will be a sore one. The Pilots are nice bikes by the way.
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Old 06-13-07, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by JumboRider
but the fit will remain the fit.
I don't actually agree with that as I've personally found my fit has changed over the last 9 months

However, that is irrelevant. Your bike has to fit NOW.

Just keep looking. It may be your expectations are too high, but don't rely on that - anything that annoys you about a new bike will drive you crazy when it's YOUR new bike.

If you are struggling to find something though, I'd reccomend either buy bottom end or second hand, just to get you out there and riding. The easiest and best way of finding out what you need and what you like and what annoys the living daylights out of you is to experience it. Besides, it's useful to have an old bashed up bike you don't worry about lying about the house - every so often you'll want to ride somewhere but don't want to do it on your good bike

Richard
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Old 06-13-07, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by europa
If you are struggling to find something though, I'd reccomend either buy bottom end or second hand, just to get you out there and riding. The easiest and best way of finding out what you need and what you like and what annoys the living daylights out of you is to experience it. Besides, it's useful to have an old bashed up bike you don't worry about lying about the house - every so often you'll want to ride somewhere but don't want to do it on your good bike

Richard

+1 Check out Craigslist or Ebay. Ride it for a while and then you will have a better feel for what you like and then you can spend $$ on a new bike. Then if needed you can probably sell the old one for what you paid for it.
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Old 06-13-07, 07:55 PM
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It is really hard to tell if a bike fits on the short test rides you usually take on city streets around your lbs. Remember, you are buying a road bike, not a street bike. You might want to rent a road bike for a day and take it on a long ride. At least that will give you a baseline to work from.
The wow factor comes when you are riding along in the big ring, flying down the road almost effortlessly, or when you realize you just made it up a hill you used to struggle with, without even breaking a sweat.
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Old 06-13-07, 08:07 PM
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By fit being fit I am referring to stand over and arm length.
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Old 06-14-07, 04:43 PM
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So I went out this afternoon, wanted to try a few more. Stopped at my other favorite LBS, and test road a Specialized Allez 2. WOWEE. I think I found a winner. IT was comfortable, my shoulders did not hurt. My knees were not pushed in.

Plus, as an added bonus, this shop offers return policy if I don't LOVE my bike in the first 30 days, I can bring it back. They also include a pro fitting so I can be sure I am getting the right bike.

Thanks for the tips above everyone. The MRS. and I are schedule to get fitted on Saturday, then order some new bikes, an Allez for me and a Dolce Elite for her.
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Old 06-14-07, 07:37 PM
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good choice on the bikes...make sure you heed the warning about spoke count...32 is probably the minimum for us really big guys
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Old 06-14-07, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by europa
I don't actually agree with that as I've personally found my fit has changed over the last 9 months

However, that is irrelevant. Your bike has to fit NOW.

Just keep looking. It may be your expectations are too high, but don't rely on that - anything that annoys you about a new bike will drive you crazy when it's YOUR new bike.

If you are struggling to find something though, I'd reccomend either buy bottom end or second hand, just to get you out there and riding. The easiest and best way of finding out what you need and what you like and what annoys the living daylights out of you is to experience it. Besides, it's useful to have an old bashed up bike you don't worry about lying about the house - every so often you'll want to ride somewhere but don't want to do it on your good bike

Richard
Richard, I agree with you completely here....as my butt got slimmer, the height of my saddle increased. Smaller butt = longer legs!
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Old 06-14-07, 09:59 PM
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If you are willing to spend $1000 on a hybrid for the C'dale (I actually used to own the Road Warrior 800) and you don't find it comfortable, I'd definitely recommend the roadie. If you stck with it you'll be unhappy with the hybrid later on.

As for fit, things definitely change as you slim down. I started at 300lbs lost some belly and gained some flexibility and I'd prefer my head tube to be a twinge lower and my handling to be quicker now that my riding skills have improved, but right these things are meaningless to you now. Try and bunch of bikes, as you're doing and don't rush into one. Nothing wrong with walking away some pounds until you find the one you really like. Ride as many as you can back to back to back. One will jump out. My $.02 usd.
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Old 06-14-07, 11:06 PM
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I started my obsession with riding to purely loose weight. I wanted the WOW bike too. In the end I went with a second hand MTB and started on tracks/paths - didn't have to worry 'bout traffic etc.
Once I knew I was hooked I wanted to ride farther, so had to start incorporating roads to get to other bike paths. Once I got my confidence most of my rides were on the road, so I changed a few things on the MTB (clipless, tires etc) to suit more road style riding. I then decided to invest some cash into a road bike and my obsession grew and found a bike that suited me.
I found that the weight steadily dropped and this made me want to ride more - thus wanting to then upgrade.

Anyway that was my 2c and experiences, not sure if it helps your situation but it worked for me!
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