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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.

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Old 03-26-08, 08:26 PM   #1
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Bike selection choice assistance please

I realy need to get a bike separate bike for long rides. Here is my background:

Ofcouse I am a clide at 6' 2.5" and around 215 Lbs. My daily ride for the last year has been an '07 Garry Fisher Nirvanna. Previous to that I was riding a nearly 30 year old lower end Raleigh bike. I do like my Nirvanna and it is setup perfectly to get me to and from work year round. The bike is fully setup with fenders, rack, generator hub, B&W headlight, handlebar bag, saddle bags, Nokia Winter tires... the works. This is great for my 10 mile commute, but quite frankly the bike is HEAVY. I put is on the scale the other day and it came in at around 43 Lbs. Add lunch, water, and a chance of cloths for an additional 25 Lbs. It gives me a good workout, but I realy want a nice light bike for some fun long rides.

I went around to a few bike stores. The biggest store in town is also where I got my Nirvanna a year ago, and has a few good deals on some previous model year bikes. The staff has been very nice and helpful in the past and currently as well. IT is funny that they knew who I was just by the bike I pulled up in. I donn't think they have seen an other customer ride almost 100% through a Buffalo Winter. I'll pop in over lunch every so often to get some parts. hey have also ben very good in servicesing my bike when I've had some spoke issues. My goal is to continue to use the Nirvanna as my main commuter bike and certainly it will be my go to bike for going to the shops or riding when the weather is bad. I would like the new bike to be good for starting to add some significant mileage. I want to start riding it to work at least once per week maybe more and then add a nice 15 to 20 mile additionl section to my ride home. I also want to start participting in some club rides and definitely get my Metric centruy in before July and maybe complete a century by the end of this Summer.
Here is what has made it to my short list:

1. '07 Trek (I am pretty sure it was a 1500, but can't rember for sure) 1500 - Double, All 105 components. Aluminum frame.
2. '07 LeMonde Alpe d'Heuz Double, All 105 Components. Carbon Aluminum frame
3. 06' LeMonde Buenos Aires, Triple, All Ultegra Components Carbon Steel frame

The Trek was the cheapest by far going for around $850. This bike just didn't feel as stable to me. Since I've found that my Nirvanna has worked better for me with the saddle farther back, this nicely matches the way LeMonde bikes are setup (apparently that is how Greg liked his bikes when he was winning, so that is how you get his bikes). So the Trek is pretty much off the list.

Both LeMonde bikes cost the same so money is not a factor. I LOVE the way the Alpe d-Heuz looks, the blue is very nice. The Orange on the Buenos Aires is definitely a bit wilder, and will take some getting used to. From a component perspective the Buenos Aires clearly comes with better components. The question is weather I should go with a double or triple. The area around here is pertty flat, but if I do take my biek to some hilly aras I would imagine that having some extra lower gears could be very helpful. I have heard that triples are a bit more sensative with the shifting, but Ultegra should shift pretty well right?

So is a triple with the slightly more snesative shifting or is a double clearly the way to go? I know looks should be secondary. That is one reason my parents ended up with an Orange car back in the 1970's (it was the best car for the money on the lot, and I gues the color grew on us as well back then).

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Happy riding,
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Old 03-26-08, 08:46 PM   #2
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Steel gives a better ride, as steel will absorb more road buzz then aluminum. If the shop has good mechanics, don't worry about the triple crankset.

To me, you're deciding between a hot blond and a gorgeous redhead. Either way, you're going to get some.
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Old 03-26-08, 09:03 PM   #3
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I have 83 Nishiki Sport all steel @ 34 lbs. 1500 miles this year.
Just picked up a 2006 New Felt F-80 aluminum w/carbon forks/ seat post @ 19 lbs.
Triple with brifter shifting.
The Felt is responsive Bevon belief. Shifting is fun.
The Felt has a much better ride.
I am 66 y/o, 212 lbs , 6 ft 2 in.
Fred "The Real Fred"
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Old 03-26-08, 09:11 PM   #4
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1. I am a hair larger than you and I have a 59cm '06 Buenos Aires. Although the pics are now missing, you can read my review here:

Here's what I have to add: I really really love the frame on this bicycle, but the Bontrager stuff is garbage. Specifically, all of the eyelets cracked on my rear wheel around 4,000 miles. This is the drawback of buying a road bike from Trek and Lemond at this price point.

2. You'll have to gauge the differences between carbon/steel and carbon/aluminum for yourself. A test ride should help you decide. The carbon/steel provides a very plush ride coupled with a more aggressive position on the bike which i really like. My Cannondale used to beat me up on any rides over 20 miles. The same rides on my Lemond are silky smooth. I find that on longer rides I'm actually faster on the Lemond because I stay fresher. The steel is also more durable.

3. If you go with the '06, ask them to swap out the triple with a double. That's what I did anyway. If I had to do it over again, I'd offer to pay a bit more to upgrade to a Shimano crank and bottom bracket. The Bontrager crankset is garbage too.

4. I like the orange!
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