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A Bit of a Dilemma

Old 04-17-11, 02:16 AM
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A Bit of a Dilemma

Hey all,

I just wanted to start by saying how motivating it is to see all you "larger than stick thin" guys and gals getting out and cycling for yourselves. I thought I was motivated before I found this forum!

I am 22, 6'1" and hover around the 255-260 lb range. I have been riding my junkie 2008 Giant boulder since Aug '08. I bought it as a "best way to get to class" mode of transportation when I was still in school. Since then I have fallen in love with cycling and really used the heck out of this thing. Single track, fire roads, mtb trails, tons of around town use, long road rides, curb hopping; you name it, I've done it. Needless to say, she has seen better days. I actually snapped the rear axle this past summer and it was quite the intrepid mess (haha). Anyway, I need a new bike but being a recent college grad with no real employment I cannot afford much. I do know that I want to go past the <$300 mtb. I need a bike than can handle me without my size destroying it. I value quality and things that will last me a long while. That is where I need some help.

I am in the market for a new bike but don't really know what to get. I cannot afford anything above $800 and even that is pushing it. My dilemma is whether to purchase a road bike or get another (better) mtb.

I want to get a road bike because I have been riding a lot on roads lately and a big part of that has been me to lose weight. I feel that a road bike would allow me a much easier time riding and riding for longer periods of time. Doing 20+ mile rides with a heavy mtb is really difficult and has been deterring me lately. I feel with the road bike I will have a much easier time keeping my flow and just really enjoying a long and taxing ride more.

On the other hand, I love taking the mtb out to the state park and hitting the trails. Granted I am bigger with sub par equipment so I don't thrash, but I still really enjoy being out in the middle of the woods and riding.

I really need help figuring this out. Should I get a road bike or get another mountain bike? I don't even know if posting this will help, but it is worth a shot.

If it helps, I have been looking at the Trek 1.1 road bike and Trek 4500 Disc mtb. Any thoughts on either bike will be greatly appreciated. As will recommendations for other bikes.

Thanks everyone for your help!

My current bike for reference (pic summer '10)

Last edited by Big_Bird; 04-17-11 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 04-17-11, 04:54 AM
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Welcome to the world of N+1. Is your Giant still broke?
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Old 04-17-11, 05:42 AM
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If your Giant is still operable, I would get the road bike and then replace parts on the MTB as the funds become available. Then you'll have two bikes and two is always better than one. If it's completely broken down, I would say look for a 29er MTB and get a spare set of wheels that you can mount road slicks on for road riding.
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Old 04-17-11, 08:47 AM
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cyclocross bike?
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Old 04-17-11, 09:36 AM
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Seems like a cyclocross bike would be best for you...
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Old 04-17-11, 10:29 AM
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Thanks for your replies.

The giant is still operable (I fixed it to the best of by ability) but the rear wheel is making the same ungodly sound it did right before the axle snapped over the summer. I hate throwing money into this thing. I really enjoy the two bike thing!

Do you guys have any recommendations for a cyclocross bike?
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Old 04-17-11, 02:31 PM
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Since your Giant is still working then lean towards a road bike. Although the cyclocross bike is an excellent all around bike, your $800 price range might put a few out of reach.

The cyclocross bikes I can think of off the top of my head are the Surly Cross Check, Specialized TriCross, Kona Jake, and Trek XO.

Look for used roadbikes. Craigslist, auctions, coops, LBS that sell used, and garage sales are places where you might find something you like.
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Old 04-17-11, 05:08 PM
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I think since you have a less than perfect budget, I would have someone rebuild the rear wheel on the Giant and get a used
road bike. Hopefully, you could find a good quality, older, road bike within your budget and keep your Giant for trail / dirt path riding.

Then start saving for the next bike.

A cyclocross bike is another option but I thought it might be out of your budget range.
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Old 04-17-11, 05:40 PM
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I have definitely been leaning toward the road bike the more I think about it.

I know my price range is pretty terrible for buying a good bicycle but being an unemployed grad has it's drawbacks.
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Old 04-17-11, 06:06 PM
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www.bikesdirect.com your short on money but need a lot of bike, this is the answer. for $800 you can get a really nice bike. I agree that a cx bike is a good option but you can even go with a decent road bike and then fix up the mtb. I'm not sure what your describing with your rear wheel but it seems like just buying a new rear wheel can be done for under $100 and problem solved.
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Old 04-17-11, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for the help everyone. I am going to hit a few LBS to see what my options are and how a few bikes feel.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:30 PM
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Sooooo, I went and picked up a Giant Defy 3 for $750. I think I did well. If I didn't, then don't tell me because I don't want to know. Haha.

Did a quick 4 miles with one hard climb and oh boy, I love this bike. Riding is almost effortless when compared to a mountain bike. Love it!

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Old 04-26-11, 06:52 PM
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As far as I can see, the only thing you did wrong was break the rule about which side of the bike to photograph. It's always supposed to be the drive side. I see you have the requisite white garage door to shoot it against, so you got that part right.

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Old 04-26-11, 06:54 PM
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Ah geez. I knew I did something wrong. Tomorrow I shall re-shoot my new hog.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:56 PM
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And I made a mistake by not congratulating you on the new bike. Seriously, it looks great.
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Old 04-26-11, 06:58 PM
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Great looking bike! Did you have them throw in the tail light and straps?
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Old 04-27-11, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by CraigB
And I made a mistake by not congratulating you on the new bike. Seriously, it looks great.
Thank you kindly.

Originally Posted by Basz
Great looking bike! Did you have them throw in the tail light and straps?
The straps yes, but I splurged $10 and got the light. I spoil myself, I know.
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Old 04-28-11, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Big_Bird
Sooooo, I went and picked up a Giant Defy 3 for $750. I think I did well. If I didn't, then don't tell me because I don't want to know. Haha.

Did a quick 4 miles with one hard climb and oh boy, I love this bike. Riding is almost effortless when compared to a mountain bike. Love it!

I used to have the rapid, it was almost an identical bike except i had steel fork you have carbon fork and my rapid was a flat bar. A couple of bits of advice. After 8 months, I had cracking on my rear rim at the eyelets. I go between 230-250 lbs. Keep an eye out for that. I never had any problems with the wheels being true or anything like that but once i noticed it, I brought it to my lbs and giant sent out a new wheel.

Do yourself a favor, get yourself a seat bag so you can put a patch kit, tube, tire levers and a multitool in there. Also, get yourself a decent pump. you don't want to be ass out when your 20 miles from home! enjoy the bike!
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Old 04-28-11, 02:21 PM
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Sweet ride! Now go mile it up!
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Old 04-28-11, 08:52 PM
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Very nice bike.
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Old 04-30-11, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by motobecane69
I used to have the rapid, it was almost an identical bike except i had steel fork you have carbon fork and my rapid was a flat bar. A couple of bits of advice. After 8 months, I had cracking on my rear rim at the eyelets. I go between 230-250 lbs. Keep an eye out for that. I never had any problems with the wheels being true or anything like that but once i noticed it, I brought it to my lbs and giant sent out a new wheel.

Do yourself a favor, get yourself a seat bag so you can put a patch kit, tube, tire levers and a multitool in there. Also, get yourself a decent pump. you don't want to be ass out when your 20 miles from home! enjoy the bike!
Thanks for the tip, I will keep an eye out for any issues back there. I am ~250 lbs so I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open.

Thanks guys! I have only done 33 miles since getting the bike, but it makes my rides much more enjoyable. I definitely need a new saddle because my rump isn't too happy with me, but other than that everything is going well (knock on wood).
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Old 05-01-11, 07:46 AM
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Congrats - nice choice!
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Old 05-01-11, 10:22 AM
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Thank you kindly wiredfox.
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Old 05-01-11, 02:04 PM
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Nice bike. I picked up a used '05 Giant OCR1 (which IIRC, turned into the Defy a couple years later) a few weeks ago and have been loving it. I'm a chronic tinkerer and really want to change/upgrade something, but so far haven't been able to justify swapping anything (other than the stem, since the previous owner was too short for the frame and had the bike set up strangely).

I don't know how well the stock brake pads work when new, but on the first ride after installing Kool Stop pads I got a huge increase in stopping power. Knowing I can slow/stop gives me a lot more confidence to go faster.

Stock saddles aren't great, but until you pick out a new one, it might be worth a try to tilt the nose up/down a couple degrees. Could also be that your butt just needs a few more miles to adjust to a saddle that isn't as squishy & bouncy as the one on your MTB appears to be.
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