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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 05-23-12, 07:38 AM   #1
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Thinking about a road bike

My initial "goal" was to be able to do 5 miles without stopping (that was a little over a month ago), Sunday I did 10 and I did a "casual" midnight madness ride of just over 13 miles 2 weeks ago. I've only logged about 100 miles so far so maybe I'm jumping the gun here...

I now find myself wanting to go further and faster, I really enjoy the ride. I'd also like to get more involved with some local ride groups but I think my 8.3 DS just isn't suited for longer, faster rides. I don't want to say I regret the decision to buy the DS but I'm just not sure that I shouldn't have just bought a road bike to begin with.

I won't be doing this tomorrow but it should be within a month or so, it will be my reward for getting down to 250lbs (which may factor in my choices, need guidance on that too).

Anyway, I have 2 LBS's in town. One carries Trek, the other carries Specialized and Raleigh. I could drive to Houston but that's a little over an hour away but would give access to several other brands.

I have been looking online and have some choices kinda narrowed down, I'm thinking my budget will be under $1500 but I need to buy shows and pedals so keep that in mind

Trek 2.1 Apex and the Specialized Secteur Elite Compact - these 2 are top of the budget and may require me to sell my 8.3 DS, not sure if I want to do that.

Trek 1.5 and Secteur Sport Compact - these 2 fall into my budget without having to sell the 8.3 DS

I know I need to go ride each and see which fits me best but I like to go into things with some knowledge.

or like I said, I can travel to Houston but that leaves the LBS out of the loop (I liked both shops btw, I just thought the 8.3 DS was what I wanted the most out of my choices).

Thoughts and comments appreciated.
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Old 05-23-12, 07:52 AM   #2
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I think you're on the right track with your thinking. Both the Trek and Specialized are good bicycles. Personally, I'd get one of those rather than driving to another town. Go test ride both of them and one will just 'feel right' to you afterwards. That's the one to get.

Also, I'd get the best you can afford at this time. You'll be happier in the long run that you did.
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Old 05-23-12, 07:57 AM   #3
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Putting your rear in the saddle may be all the answer you need. You may find one that "speaks" to you.

The Secteur is a nice looking bike. That Trek is nice, too, but it uses SRAM instead of Shimano, if you care about that kind of thing. Some people do. Ride both, and use the shift and brake levers a lot, and see if the ergonomics of one is better-suited to you.
I'd bet that you won't be disappointed in either one of them, at any rate.

As far as other things to think about: You can travel (or mail-order) other brands, but that could turn into a hassle if you need maintenance or warranty help down the road. It's convenient to have a place local to you. If you are capable of maintaining your own bike, then that is less important, I suppose.
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Old 05-23-12, 07:59 AM   #4
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Two thoughts. First, I'd definitely go with the local LBS rather than deal with the drag of an hour ride to have your bike worked on as long as the local shops are reasonable. Second, if I were looking for a road bike given the three lines you mentioned, I'd take a long hard look at the Raleigh Clubman: It's a really sensible bike and will work well for you regardless of what kind of riding you do.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:04 AM   #5
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The Elite and Sport Compact are 9 speeds with a 12-25 cassette according to the Specialized website.
I'd think that the Elite Apex at $1450 or so with a 10 speed 11-32 cassette might be a better choice if you're a big guy that has any hills around. Now if the Specialized LBS has a Sport triple ($1050 or so) you might want to spin that up a hill to see if that would suit you as well.

That said, I think you should ride not only those bikes you listed but any others you can get your butt on to see which best suits YOU.
If none really do put a couple thousand miles on the DS. That will take you on group rides in the 15-17 mph avg easily.
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Old 05-23-12, 08:12 AM   #6
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I am about a year past where you are now.

I bought a Neuvation online and it came last May 24th. I bought their cyclocross bike, which they no longer carry, because I wanted tires larger than 25mm. I'm happy with the choice. There are many factors and many long threads on tire size but I ride 32mm and I'm glad I do. Skinny tires won't work for me.

One idea for you is to stick with your current bike and get more of a road tire, lock out the front shocks, find a seat that works for you and focus on getting some miles under your butt.

If you are committed to a new bike, I'd look at the Specialized Tricross. Some models come with cross tires that may not suite you but your LBS should be able to trade tires for you. The Tricross takes larger tires, and has a geometry that is BM friendly. Make sure you look at the wheels that come with your bike. Wheels are critical to your ride particularly for us BM. Also, fit can make or break you biking experience.

For the record I'm over 3500 miles since May 24, 2011. I've purchased a new set of custom wheels from Peter White and I'm close to upgrading my frame to a Marinoni. For me it's not a one time purchase but a process.

Good luck.
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Old 05-23-12, 09:03 AM   #7
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Bikes in a given price range are, in terms of components and general quality, pretty equal from brand to brand. A lot of the differences that do exist simply come down to personal preference. A $1,500 Specialized bike won't be significantly "better" than a $1,500 Trek, for instance. Unless the Specialized just feels and works better for you. I'm a Trek rider (Madone 5.2) but I also love Cannondales. I agree with the advice above that you should go and ride as many as you can until you find the one that "works" for you. That, in itself, is reason enough to not buy online. It's also part of the fun of shopping bikes, you get to ride so many!
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Old 05-23-12, 10:20 AM   #8
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Take a look at the Raleigh Revenio model that's 105-equipped. It's a little better-spec'd than most of of the 105 bikes (it includes - or did last year- 105 brakes, which most companies change out to Tektro to save $.
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Old 05-23-12, 11:05 AM   #9
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Pick the dealer first.. local is good!

the bikes are all coming off the same shipping dock.
only the stipulations on the contract makes them look different.

the dealer can change components to suit your needs .
like put on a stronger set of wheels for a heavy rider.
take off's have trade in value..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-23-12 at 11:08 AM.
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Old 05-23-12, 04:34 PM   #10
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Too bad there are no Cannondale dealers. The Caad 10 5 fits all your needs and is likely the best massed produced Aluminum frames ever built, I'd wager better than most entry level carbon bikes.
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Old 05-24-12, 09:06 PM   #11
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I would not buy a cheaper road bike, but a higher quality hybrid. Possibly a nice trek fx fitness bike, or cannondale quick series bike. I believe specialized carries a flat bar hybrid as well. I would think that these bikes would be much more comfortable and safe for you. A nice quality hybrid will should also be able to accompany you on some long rides when your ready. I ride 2,500-3,000 miles per year on my hybrids. Love them!!!! Take your time and think of what type of riding you really want to do and then buy the correct bike for that. Best of luck to you with whatever your choice is..
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Old 05-24-12, 10:18 PM   #12
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Take your time, you have no need to rush. Do some test rides (and I mean 1-2 hour test rides, none of this around the parking lot stuff). FInd a demo days event near you, all the big US brands do them.

Also look for deals on last year's bikes and keep your eyes on Craigs list.
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Old 05-25-12, 06:04 AM   #13
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I'm just a little lighter than you.
I went from a Trek 7300 to a 4.5 Madone and a month ago started riding a Surly Cross Check I put together. I don't ride the 7300 anymore as the riding position of roadbike is just more comfortable for me. I rode the 7300 2500 miles before I got the Madone. I've put 2500 miles on it. I have about 350 miles on the Cross Check. So I'd say if I want to go fast on smooth roads I'd take the Madone but on long rides the larger tires of the Cross Check makes for a much more comfortable ride. If I could do it again I'd go 7300 to Cross Check to Madone. You may still want a pure road bike but I'd give a Cyclocross bike a test ride before you buy.
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