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Heavy Rider needs a road bike

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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.

Heavy Rider needs a road bike

Old 05-08-14, 07:47 AM
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Heavy Rider needs a road bike

Thanks in advance for any comments!

I've been riding for a few years and I'm pushing 300#. I started with a yard sale Trek 820 Hybrid I picked up for $60 and equipped it for city traffic/commuting. It's a tank and I love it, but it's not the best road bike option. I've taken it on 20-30 mile rides but of course I wear out by that time on this bike. A couple years ago I picked up a Quintana Roo Tequilo Tri bike. It's super light, holds me well and I get the speed rush I like from time to time. I've done 6 hour rides on it, but the problem is the seat position that isn't friendly to those of us carrying extra weight up front. I figure the obvious answer is for me to pick up a good road bike with a friendlier seat position. My lbs recommended the Surly Long Haul Trucker. I rode one and I do like it but I'm looking for more recommendations. I put my Tri bike up on craigslist for sale or trade and I'm preparing for my road bike purchase. I possibly have the opportunity to trade for a Raleigh Sport but I read that it's more entry level. I'm not wanting to break the bank but I also don't want junk. This is strictly a road bike and I want something that's on the lighter side, strong, and comfy and can go the distance. I'm a strong rider and I do like do get up speed from time to time. I'm also considering the other Surly bikes like the Cross Check, and some of the Giant and Trek offerings. Also, am I better off with rim or disc brakes or does it matter?

Pros/cons?
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Old 05-08-14, 09:44 AM
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1) Your tri bike has very steep seat tube geometry, which puts your weight way forward. Tri riders think that's the bees knees, but it's a very aggressive riding position for the rest of us. I agree you should sell the Tri bike and get a roadie.

2) What do you want in a road bike? I recommend wider tires (28mm or bigger) for a big guy. High quality wider tires can be just as fast as skinnies, and way more comfortable.
Do you want a more comfortable bike or a more aggressive one? If you want comfort (recommended), the mainstream manufacturers have "endurance" drop bar, cyclocross, and flat bar road bikes that are a bit less aggressive than their racing product lines.
I like steel frames for longevity and the sweet ride, so I always recommend Surly, Soma, Gunnar, Velo Orange, and All-City.
Specifically for Surly:
The Trucker is a touring bike, and it's built to handle heavy loads. That's why the LBS suggested it for a big guy. The pacer is Surly's most road-oriented bike. The cross-check is a cyclocross bike, but its big tire clearance makes it a popular, versatile bike for road and gravel riding. All surly frames are pretty strong; you should be fine on any well-made steel frame (so long as it isn't a super thin gauge racing frame).

3) Disc brakes are an advantage if you ride a lot in wet or muddy conditions. Other than that, rim brakes continue to be just fine. Discs can be harder to set up properly and still make noise. Disc brakes are nice and all, but if you demand disc brakes you limit your choices a lot. Surly now has the Straggler as a disc Cross Check, and of course the Trucker Disc.

Sounds like you're getting more into the sport and figuring out how you want to ride. Keep wearing those bikes out!
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Old 05-08-14, 10:18 AM
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The Pacer will act more like a genuine road bike. Unless you're really gonna tour, the LHT is most probably just a waste of time...

As you continue to cycle and lose weight, the Pacer will better suit you.

Also checkout the Jamis Quest Series...

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Old 05-08-14, 11:21 AM
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You might want to look at the Jamis line of Road bikes, specially the steel ones with 25mm tires, they are excellent with very strong wheels
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Old 05-08-14, 11:33 AM
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the surly trucker is a great bike... i'm right around 310... and took mine out for a nice 25 mile spin yesterday complete with a 32ish lb load in perpetration for the 475 mile tour i'm heading out for on Sunday. it's a great bike for touring, around town, and fairly slow comfortable rides... but for quicker long rides my road bike comes out... every time I ride it I'm amazed at how much more efficient it is even though the frame is over 30 years old... it has modern geometry, fits 32c tires so this fat boy doesn't need to run tires at 150+psi

I am considering upgrading my frame to something a bit newer and more relaxed and the Soma ES tops my list but that has a lot to do with my long legs, shortish torso and inflexibility Tim_Iowaposted a few other brands to consider and look at

for discs... IMHO not a huge advantage unless you'll be riding in the wet frequently... my trucker is a Disc model and the only reason I went with that was because I built it with parts I had kicking around... if I was building from the ground up with new parts (or just buying a stock bike) I'd go with the cantis and upgrade pads if needed
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Old 05-08-14, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim_Iowa
2) What do you want in a road bike? I recommend wider tires (28mm or bigger) for a big guy. High quality wider tires can be just as fast as skinnies, and way more comfortable.
Do you want a more comfortable bike or a more aggressive one? If you want comfort (recommended), the mainstream manufacturers have "endurance" drop bar, cyclocross, and flat bar road bikes that are a bit less aggressive than their racing product lines.
I like steel frames for longevity and the sweet ride, so I always recommend Surly, Soma, Gunnar, Velo Orange, and All-City.
Specifically for Surly:
The Trucker is a touring bike, and it's built to handle heavy loads. That's why the LBS suggested it for a big guy. The pacer is Surly's most road-oriented bike. The cross-check is a cyclocross bike, but its big tire clearance makes it a popular, versatile bike for road and gravel riding. All surly frames are pretty strong; you should be fine on any well-made steel frame (so long as it isn't a super thin gauge racing frame).



Sounds like you're getting more into the sport and figuring out how you want to ride. Keep wearing those bikes out!
Thanks for the replies.

As far as what I'm looking for...I'd like something in between comfort and aggression. I don't want something too leisurely. When I ride, I like to get a workout but at the same time travel far enough to put lots of miles on. I would also say that I'm not very hard on my bikes, and despite my size I don't have problems with spokes or skinny tires. I'll definitely take a closer look at the Pacer.
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Old 05-08-14, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RyanML
Thanks for the replies.

As far as what I'm looking for...I'd like something in between comfort and aggression. I don't want something too leisurely.
Sounds like an "endurance" road bike, a touring road bike, or a cyclocross bike would be good for you. They're still road bikes and therefore speed-oriented. But unlike a race bike, they value other factors in addition to speed. The majority of mainstream road bikes are race-oriented, which make sacrifices to lose weight and gain top speed, and probably would be too aggressive for you.

Look for road bikes with compact double cranks or triple cranks; race bikes will have a full sized double crank (53/39). The Surly pacer is a good choice, but there are many options. Ride them and see which you like best.
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Old 05-08-14, 01:05 PM
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the nicest endurance road bikes
meaning slightly more upright position
and the ability to fit tires wider than narrow racing models
are the jamis xenith endura bikes

in my opinion
a lightweight steel bike is not ideal for a bigger rider
as the smooth ride people talk about is a product of skinny frame tubes with thin walls
that tend to allow more flex than most aluminum and carbon bikes

although every bike is different
for instance
surly bikes tend to be more robust steel
and are likely a better choice than a super lightweight steel bike
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Old 05-08-14, 01:17 PM
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i should add
that i speak only of the niceness of jamis bikes
not necessarily their suitability for you

for instance
i am sure your tt bike is very nice
but since it has a poor fit for you
it is not ideal

the most important aspect of selecting a bike is how it fits your body
and if a bike has a slightly more or less stiff frame depending on what you want
or nicer derailleurs
or is made from a higher grade of carbon fibre
but the fit is not good
then keep shopping

a bike that is inferior on paper in one way or another
but is more comfortable to ride
is the better bike
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Old 05-09-14, 11:37 AM
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I'm 6 265...
I built up an Disc trucker.
Stable, reliable, mile eater.

But it's not slow, I am...
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Old 05-10-14, 11:02 AM
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As someone who purchased my first road bike with Disc brakes, I will definitely consider non Disc on my next purchase. They are great, but do limit the choices when upgrading wheels. Like others have said, they can be noisy at times and disc brake pads aren't cheap! I do notice that its easier for me to "pull" the brake lever vs other rim brake bikes I have ridden.
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Old 05-30-14, 10:52 PM
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I started out at 6'5" & 300, but have dropped 45 pounds in the last year from regular cycling. I have a Disc Trucker with 700 x 37 tires for touring and long rides, a Cross Check with all 105 and 700 x 28 tires for going fast (which isn't fast at all, really), and a Straggler with 700 x 40 tires for gravel roads and trails. The truth is, any of the Surly frames is versatile enough to do full duty, with a few extra tires on hand, although I need the Trucker's long chain stays for touring on account of my size 14 feet. I have read that the Pacer can feel a little flexy to a Clyde. The Trucker is the stiffest of the bunch, followed by the Straggler. I have Avid Bb7 discs on two of the bikes but run Shimano CX-70 cantis on the Cross Check. They are very good, even down hill at 40 mph.
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Old 06-01-14, 04:13 PM
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Greetings. You didn't mention a price/budget (Or I missed it). I'm 6' 1" and 295. I just bought a Cannondale CAADX Disc 5 105 Cyclo-cross for road use. Very nice! I was riding the heck out my Giant Sedona DX. Was up to 50 mile rides and had nearly 2500 miles on that bike but alas, it got destroyed 3 weeks ago. Sad. I loved that bike. It to help me lose nearly 60 pounds (Bought it and started riding it at 352 pounds 1 1/2 years ago).

Ready to ride home from the bike shop:



Cheers,

Mark
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Old 06-01-14, 04:49 PM
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All City has some bikes that look pretty good.

Space Horse
All-City Cycles Space Horse

Mr. Pink
All-City Cycles Mr Pink
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