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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 01-07-07, 04:47 PM   #1
joe_cdn
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Purchase advice needed

Hello,

i have not biked seriously in almost almost 10 years and recently decided to take it up again. Normally, i would know where to go if i were in my hometown, but i have been living in Paris for 5 years now and don't know much about the new bikes or about bike shops in France.

I am moving to the Cote d'Azur for a new job in a week and have decided that I will commute to work by bike. The ride is about 15 km uphill on smooth pavement and gravel side roads. Downhill on the way back - obviously. Weekends, I intend to explore the coast by bike by going on half-day and full-day trips.

I have a tall and hefty build of 265 lbs (120 kilos), so I would need the bike to be able to withstand the abuse.

As a general idea, I know that I would want slicks, slightly leaning seating position, shox not too necessary... I have looked around by internet and 2 series seem appropriate:
1. Cannondale Bad Boy
2. Specialized Crosstrail


Any suggestions? Other bikes perhaps? I have not tried out the above 2 bikes. Can someone provide me their input please? Do you know if it is possible to try them somewhere in Paris or southern France? Perhaps in Montreal otherwise?

I'm also very well aware that I'd be paying a massive premium for US bikes in France. Would it be worth picking up the bike in Montreal on my next visit there? Would you know of US bike shops that ship to France?

I appreciate all the advice I can get.... I am really looking forward to hitting the road with my new bike!!

Cheers!
Canada Joe
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Old 01-08-07, 08:43 AM   #2
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Hi, Joe --

I used to live in Montreal, and have done bike tours in France...

As for bikes, I'm similar to you and ended up with a Kona Jake the Snake.

My uncle has shipped bikes to France, and it's pretty straightforward, though you would want an LBS there to assemble it unless you're a good mechanic. A relationship with an LBS is always a good idea.

Uoy will be able to find most US brands in Montreal, and Kona should not be an issue (they are US / Canadian).

Your other option is to hook up with a good LBS in France, and talk to them about your needs. I rented while there (on the Luberon in Provence, near Avignon) and was VERY well taken care of. They had many brands I'd never heard of before, but clearly good bikes. I rented one for a week, and though I hadn't heard of it, it had compnents that were very familiar to me (I think they were 105s).

If you're interested, I'll dig for the contact info and would be happy to share it.
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Old 01-08-07, 08:49 AM   #3
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ok, found it...

http://www.lesrouesduluberon.com/

if you decide to contact them, let them know that you were sent by Mr. Cooper.

Cheers
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Old 01-08-07, 11:15 AM   #4
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Joe, why don't you get a few French bike mags and see what they sell there. There are some great bike companies in Europe. Also - http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/pj.cgi?lang=en

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Old 01-08-07, 05:32 PM   #5
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Les Roues Du Luberon!! This is a great find - they seem to rent out bikes and high-end bikes as well... Will be perfect for someone like me who is getting back into biking. I'll be able to test out different bike types at first.

As much as I don't like reading french, I think I'll pick up a french bike mag for my next hectic commute in Paris

Thanks for all the pointers!
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Old 01-08-07, 05:53 PM   #6
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The owner's English is pretty good, and it's a great area for biking.

I'd suggest calling him and planning a weekend there. Find a nice Gite (he can help) and get him to line up stuff for you to try.

Can't say anough good about them -- great LBS.
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Old 01-08-07, 06:09 PM   #7
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Thanks Adrien!
I'll send you a message as soon as I get out there to follow-up with you... And I'll make sure to send regards from you as well
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Old 01-09-07, 06:52 AM   #8
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No Problem. He knows me as Marc, Simon's nephew.

Cheers
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