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.

Defyant Clyde

Old 01-02-15, 05:12 PM
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Podagrower
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Defyant Clyde

Time to write up some of my concerns and the realities about being a clyde on a road bike. I recently picked up a new to me 2012 Giant Defy Composite 1. I've ridden it long enough to almost have it dialed in, and make some observations about it, YMMV.
Concern number 1. I'll never be able to ride in the drops, drop bars won't be as comfortable with my carpal tunnel as flat bars. My other bike has a set of Jones loop bars, which have about as much real estate as you can imagine handle bars having. I have Ergon grips on the ends, and Lizard skin bar tape for a variety of "feel". Moving to road drop bars had me concerned, that with a more forward leaning position, I would put more weight on my hands, and get my wrists more pissed off.
Reality number 1. I can't ride in the drops for a long time, yet. I can ride there, but the excess cake retention makes it hard to pedal comfortably. Moving from the hoods to the tops keeps my hands and wrists reasonably entertained.
Concern number 2. 23 mm tires will be suicide in our unpaved drive, and clydes don't belong on 23mm tires.
Reality number 2. 23 mm tires are suicide in our driveway, and this clyde doesn't belong on 23mm tires. I switched out the factory 23mm tires to GP4000SII 700x25. The ride difference is astounding.

My wife's Specialized Ruby will be in next week, and I'm looking forward to comparing the 2.
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Old 01-02-15, 06:18 PM
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Hi @Podagrower -

I agree with you that 23mm tires are not adequate for "riders of substance." I like the "excess cake retention," by the way...

I'm fond of my 26 x 1.9 tires on my bike, and although they aren't low in rolling resistance, why should I care? They make for a VERY comfortable ride! I also have the luxury of not having to worry about potholes, branches, or cracks. I can just roll right over them. In many years of riding, I've not had a single flat. So I'm a real fan of big tires for big guys.

As to the drops, try moving the seat fore and aft. You may find a position that allows you to use the drops more comfortably. Alternately, consider moving the bars up some with a riser stem. The improvement can be startling.

Happy New Year to you & yours! FH
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Old 01-03-15, 10:03 AM
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I started on a defy advanced 1, and I was a 260lb clyde.

You can absolutely ride in the drops over time. Yes it hurts, yes your hands get numb, no its not all carpal tunnel (as my hands hurt a lot when I started and I dont have carpal tunnel). It takes core strengthening and time to get use to riding in the drops. It does get better and stop hurting. For the record I also rode 23 tires and never died

I do 10 minutes of core work after ever ride or run these days. I just sit in the floor, stretch out my legs really well, and then do planks, supermans, crunches, or sit ups. usually a few sets of two of those.
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Old 01-03-15, 02:13 PM
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Riding in the drops... I don't really do it unless I'm duking it out with a stiff headwind or REALLY trying to hammer. So, not that often, because I'll convince myself riding on the hoods in a head wind is a better workout. . I see some people with their drops up high enough to make the bike look like a hybrid, so part of it depends on what kind of saddle to bar drop (or rise) you have set up. I've even seen people in aero bars that are practically upright, which has me wondering what the point is.

I like 25mm tires because I can inflate them about 10 psi lower than 23mm, so they're easier to ride for me.

Congrats on your wife's incoming bike - I hope you guys have lots of fun riding together!
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Old 01-03-15, 02:22 PM
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I have a 2010 Giant Defy Advanced 3. I replaced the 700x23s with 700x25s as soon as they were worn out. I also replaced the original reduced spoke wheels with some 32-spoke Mavic Open Pros. I had a shimmy/wobble problem and the more solid wheels helped.

I seldom ride in the drops. However I do have aerobars on the bike and they are great for longer rides. My hands tend to go numb and I've tried all the various cures over the last 40 years. Aerobars relieve the problem the best.
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Old 01-03-15, 02:52 PM
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Totally agree with the rubberbands-for-tires that some of the road bikes come with! I really love the 700x28 Gatorskins I put on my cross bike.
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Old 01-03-15, 04:58 PM
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I almost forgot my biggest concern, moving from a triple to a compact double. I lost probably the bottom 4 or 5 gears on the small chainring, but so far it has not been an issue. The lightness of the bike has made up for a lot of it, and the drivetrain spins up fast enough to make up the rest.
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Old 01-03-15, 06:55 PM
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excess cake retention is an awesome description.

Originally Posted by Podagrower View Post
I almost forgot my biggest concern, moving from a triple to a compact double. I lost probably the bottom 4 or 5 gears on the small chainring, but so far it has not been an issue. The lightness of the bike has made up for a lot of it, and the drivetrain spins up fast enough to make up the rest.
Did you actually use those gears?

I also have carpal tunnel, and I use the drops a fair amount. No reason they have to be super low. Put them a bit higher I find the variety helps me a lot.

I like the wrist rotation that being on hoods&drops promotes a lot. The tops are okay, so is the curve from the tops to the hoods-but not for long term(I would love flat bar ergo grip type things on drop bars...)

There are special bike gloves marketed for carpal tunnel. I don't have them, but I believe the pattern of padding was different than most bike gloves. I do notice I'm more comfortable with gloves.

http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...ailing-me.html might be good reading

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Old 01-03-15, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by gjhsu View Post
Totally agree with the rubberbands-for-tires that some of the road bikes come with! I really love the 700x28 Gatorskins I put on my cross bike.
I don't know if you were riding in the 90s, but 19mm tires were not uncommon. I know I had a set because they were "faster". Frankly, with the Thursday night group that I was trying to keep up with, anything I could buy to make me faster was going in the shopping cart!

Yeah... 130 psi in 19mm tires. Nothing pneumatic about that.
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Old 01-04-15, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
excess cake retention is an awesome description.

Did you actually use those gears?
I did steal the excess cake retention from somebody here on the forum, don't remember who.
I actually did use those gears, usually for goofing off uphill doing 100+ rpm cadence at 3 mph, but occasionally (like today, with a 10 mph headwind gusting to 20) there is a real desire for a gear lower than what is available.

But OMG (as the kids say), this bike is fast. I did a horrible job of riding last year, didn't really pick the bike up till November (I was sick almost all of August and September). Made a real effort to ride again in December, my average speed was back up to 10 mph for my 12 mile loop, but it was more effort. The first couple of rides on this bike were in the 10 and 11 mph range, but I was working on fit tweaks as well. The new GP4000s went on Friday, and I've done 50 miles in 3 days. Friday solo ride, same 12 mile loop, 13.5 average , there was a tailwind on the way home I suspect, but I wasn't trying to push it. Today's solo ride, I was trying to push it, and got a brutal headwind for the return trip, with an average speed of 13.85 . I know I'm a little better, but this bike makes me feel like a pro.
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Old 01-07-15, 09:36 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Podagrower View Post
I did steal the excess cake retention from somebody here on the forum, don't remember who.
I actually did use those gears, usually for goofing off uphill doing 100+ rpm cadence at 3 mph, but occasionally (like today, with a 10 mph headwind gusting to 20) there is a real desire for a gear lower than what is available.

But OMG (as the kids say), this bike is fast. I did a horrible job of riding last year, didn't really pick the bike up till November (I was sick almost all of August and September). Made a real effort to ride again in December, my average speed was back up to 10 mph for my 12 mile loop, but it was more effort. The first couple of rides on this bike were in the 10 and 11 mph range, but I was working on fit tweaks as well. The new GP4000s went on Friday, and I've done 50 miles in 3 days. Friday solo ride, same 12 mile loop, 13.5 average , there was a tailwind on the way home I suspect, but I wasn't trying to push it. Today's solo ride, I was trying to push it, and got a brutal headwind for the return trip, with an average speed of 13.85 . I know I'm a little better, but this bike makes me feel like a pro.

Gotta love this post!
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Old 01-07-15, 10:25 AM
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speed is addictive, be careful
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Old 01-07-15, 01:45 PM
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I like skinny tires, but 23mm just gave me too much road buzz on rougher textured pavement, numbing my hands.
My 25's are far better in this regard although i still have to pump them up 100/110 because of my 250 lbs.
It's the balance i can live with.
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Old 01-07-15, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
I like skinny tires, but 23mm just gave me too much road buzz on rougher textured pavement, numbing my hands.
I found the 23's to be a great experiment for mathematicians. I could tell you the height of every pebble in the asphalt relative to the median height of the road surface.
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Old 01-07-15, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I don't know if you were riding in the 90s, but 19mm tires were not uncommon. I know I had a set because they were "faster". Frankly, with the Thursday night group that I was trying to keep up with, anything I could buy to make me faster was going in the shopping cart!

Yeah... 130 psi in 19mm tires. Nothing pneumatic about that.
WOW! Yeah, i remember those days of 19s!!! UGH!!! LOL!

That being said, my 2010 Giant Defy Advanced 3 actually came with 25s
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Old 01-10-15, 02:21 PM
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This bike is just wicked fast. I went out today, and left the speed display where I couldn't see it. Just made my 12 loop into a 20 mile ride, not in a hurry. But when I got home, I still had averaged over 13 mph. This is addiction.
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Old 01-10-15, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Podagrower View Post
This bike is just wicked fast. I went out today, and left the speed display where I couldn't see it. Just made my 12 loop into a 20 mile ride, not in a hurry. But when I got home, I still had averaged over 13 mph. This is addiction.
Fast....
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Old 01-10-15, 03:58 PM
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Many mechanics gloves have padded palms and are much cheaper than a cycling glove.I only use the drops to look cool and cut the wind at 300lbs.
I run a set Panaracers T-serv PT 700 35c tires and they roll fast enough for me!
[h=2][/h]
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Old 01-10-15, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Podagrower View Post
This bike is just wicked fast. I went out today, and left the speed display where I couldn't see it. Just made my 12 loop into a 20 mile ride, not in a hurry. But when I got home, I still had averaged over 13 mph. This is addiction.
Love my Defy!

It's safely tucked away for the winter though.... but yeah, can't wait to go FAST again! LOL

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Old 01-10-15, 10:17 PM
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Love compact, been riding it since 2007ish. I also rode 23's when I was well over 300 lbs and did not have a problem with them what so ever. However, they were on a narrow 17/19mm rim, not the wide 23/24mm rims that are standard today. Both my bike have the Michelin Pro4 tires in 25's, Service Course on the Synapse, Endurance on the CrossRip. Great tires, smooth ride, grippy, and they both come closer to 28's with the wide rims which gives me a lot of tire on the road without having to worry if the 28's will fit in my frame and I can run lower pressures in them.

Something you might try during the winter if you have a trainer, not sure what angle your stem is, figure it is a 6/7 degree, that seem fairly standard, but get a set of aero bars as an alternative to the drops. I did this at first on my Supersix running a 17 deg stem, and reduced it over time to a 12 and then a 6 as I lost weight and my stomach. I tend to ride in the drops\aero bars more than on the hoods as I feel much more comfortable in that position and it should not cause you issues in your wrist as you will put the pressure on your forearms.
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Old 01-17-15, 03:04 PM
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The Ruby's inaugural ride was today. My wife had bought it on eBay, and I was a bit scared to buy a carbon fiber bike, unseen, and have it shipped. The seller is a bike shop, so the bike arrived in a bike box, shrink wrapped, spacers installed, quite well done-except the seat post clamp was missing. The seller sent another clamp that arrived Monday, and today we finally had time (and weather) to check things out.

I think its a keeper, my wife said I should sell her other bike because the Ruby is so much more comfortable after just 10 miles. On a downhill run coasting, the Defy is faster, but I can't say yet if that is due to better tires, better hubs, or the extra 100 pounds of ballast on the Defy. I intend to swap the stock tires on the Ruby to GP4000s when she's not looking to find out if they are better than stock.

94 miles further and 8 pounds lighter than I started this year.
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Old 01-17-15, 05:38 PM
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I'm going to be the devil's advocate here: Now that I'm under 195#, I put 23s on my bike for the first time last night. 23mm tires are a goal you should all aspire to: Today, I knocked over 4% off of my best lap times for the local circuit I do (1.5 miles of well paved road with about 3 tenths of moderate climb and the same down hill). I couldn't believe I was that much faster on the skinny tires, going from 7:15 to 7:20 laps down to consistent times in the 6:50s.

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Old 01-19-15, 08:54 AM
  #23  
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I managed to squeeze in 21 miles yesterday, and finally got a real workout. About an hour after I got home, my legs let me know their opinion when I tried to get off the sofa. For the first time on this bike, I hit the hilly neighborhood across the street. I know it's nothing to many of you, but instead of 300 feet climbing over 12 miles (my usual ride), there is a 1 mile stretch in this neighborhood with 300 feet of climbing. I finally decided it was time to find out if I could do it on the compact double (and into a headwind). It wasn't terrible, but I will probably look for a 11x32 cassette to replace the 11x28 for a certain event this fall. It was one of those days where you just can't hide from the wind, and it's never blowing the direction you need, so it was headwind or crosswind for the entire ride. I pushed myself too hard, into the asthma range, into the legs would have cramped range, but I found that threshold again, and just need to move it up a little at a time.
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Old 01-19-15, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
I started on a defy advanced 1, and I was a 260lb clyde.

You can absolutely ride in the drops over time. Yes it hurts, yes your hands get numb, no its not all carpal tunnel (as my hands hurt a lot when I started and I dont have carpal tunnel). It takes core strengthening and time to get use to riding in the drops. It does get better and stop hurting. For the record I also rode 23 tires and never died

I do 10 minutes of core work after ever ride or run these days. I just sit in the floor, stretch out my legs really well, and then do planks, supermans, crunches, or sit ups. usually a few sets of two of those.
Core work and stretching reccomendation +1


Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
Riding in the drops... I don't really do it unless I'm duking it out with a stiff headwind or REALLY trying to hammer. So, not that often, because I'll convince myself riding on the hoods in a head wind is a better workout. .
Absolutely! Sit up as high as you can.


Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I see some people with their drops up high enough to make the bike look like a hybrid, so part of it depends on what kind of saddle to bar drop (or rise) you have set up. I've even seen people in aero bars that are practically upright, which has me wondering what the point is.
Violates rule 44 and more than likely rule 45. 100mm drop is the norm.

Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I don't know if you were riding in the 90s, but 19mm tires were not uncommon. I know I had a set because they were "faster". Frankly, with the Thursday night group that I was trying to keep up with, anything I could buy to make me faster was going in the shopping cart!

Yeah... 130 psi in 19mm tires. Nothing pneumatic about that.
Didn't start riding until 2012. My GP4000's in 20mm are sweet. Training tyres are all 23's @ 110 psi.

Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
speed is addictive, be careful
Two wheel crack son, two wheel crack.

Yee quest is 20 miles in 60 minutes of moving time
Then it goes to a metric in 3 hours
Then a century in 5 hours
Then a double century in 6:15


Go forth and getcha some.
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Old 01-29-15, 02:58 PM
  #25  
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I'd recommend you gain at least a minimal amount of comfort in the drops for purposes of descending properly and safely (descending in the drops vs. the hoods is like riding two different bikes, with the former being vastly superior). But beyond that, do what's comfortable and keeps you on the bike. Push yourself to gain flexibility and core strength as you see fit, but there isn't a thing wrong with propping yourself up on the hoods and cranking out the miles.

You seem to be doing well, though, and improving with every ride. I remember what that felt like when I got my first road bike last year. It's fantastic--like there's nothing in the world you'd rather be doing.
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