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Bike recommendations please

Old 02-04-10, 12:32 PM
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Bike recommendations please

Hi Folks

I'm interested in getting a road bike. I've only had one before, it was an old 10-speed Bianchi with Campy friction shift that I saved from the dumpster of the shop I was working at. It was a bit small. I've test ridden a few 62cm bikes and they seem to fit the best.

I'm a big guy, 6'4". Currently about 225, in the summer I'll be back to around 215. I'm pretty strong from riding a singlespeed 29er mountain bike for the last 3 years. I'm still riding on the roads this winter, and I put 3 cogs on my bike so I have a bit more top-end.

My budget is pretty small, about $1000 MSRP, and it needs to be from a brand that is carried at the shop my fiancee works at - Giant, Kona, Specialized, Surly, Salsa (or other QBP brands) - so I can get it wholesale.

I'd like to go with steel, but I don't want something too flexy with my weight and power. I've broken a few aluminum frames over the years. If I go with steel I'll treat it thoroughly with framesaver to protect against all the road salt that's used here in the winter.

I'd like to be able to put racks and fenders on it.

I'm used to disc brakes on my mt bikes, but I guess I could make do with rim brakes.

I'll be using it to crank out some miles in the Vermont countryside. It'll need to be able to handle dirt roads, so I think 35mm tires are in order.

Any suggestions? Thanks a bunch for any help.

Last edited by BIG-E; 02-04-10 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 02-04-10, 01:03 PM
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Here's my candidate list so far -

Surly Cross Check
Surly LHT
Surly Pacer
Salsa Vaya (at $1500msrp it's pushing the budget)
Giant TCX 2
Kona Sutra
Kona Dew Drop
Specialized Tricross Triple
Specialized Tricross Sport Triple

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Old 02-04-10, 02:53 PM
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The Pacer won't handle 35mm tires, so knock that one off the list.

Don't worry about steel frames feeling flexy underneath you. At 215 target weight, you just squeak by in the Clydesdale forum. At 235 pounds, even I'm one of the little guys over there. You might want to cross post your question in the Clyde/Athena forum for the perspective from some big riders who are currently riding many of the bikes you've got on that list.
I ride a Cross Check, and I love it. There are a couple others in my rando club riding Cross Checks on everything from 200k - 1200k events, so it's a capable long distance bike with a few easy modifications from the stock setup; like getting rid of the CX tires and slapping a wider range cassette on it.
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Old 02-04-10, 03:21 PM
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I like the Surly CC and LHT. I've ridden the LHT on some brevets, but find it pretty heavy for the long rides in mountainous terrain. I would add the Salsa Casserole (triple) to you list. The Soma Smoothie ES is also a good one, if that's a QBP bike.
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Old 02-04-10, 03:33 PM
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I have a Surly Long Haul Trucker and it is a joy to ride. Highly recommended.
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Old 02-04-10, 05:17 PM
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Dreamng of a Cross-check or LHT. Just ask Clifton lol. Join the Surly fanclub! Cant wait to get mine, but may hafta. Saw a 56 cm LHT on e-bay yesterday, current bid $600
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Old 02-21-10, 11:57 PM
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Sorry for bumping this up, but I figure I should find a similar thread instead of starting my own.

I am also interested in a new bike, specifically for doing longer distance cycling. I already have a Surly Long Haul Trucker (yep go me ), but the more I ride it, the more I realize that I like a bicycle that is fast and agile. At the same time, I am not a fan of full-on road racing bikes, because I like my comfort and some utility.

I'd like something in-between, more comfortable and tough than a road racing bike, but also more agile and zippy than a full-on tourer like my Surly LHT.

I still like the Long Haul Trucker and I am making a lot of use out of it as a commuter and occasional trail rider. I bought it because I plan on doing fully loaded tours with it, but I thought I might get some ideas here on the Long Distance forum for something more lively, yet still comfortable. Any recommendations?
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Old 03-17-10, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by fat_bike_nut
Sorry for bumping this up, but I figure I should find a similar thread instead of starting my own.

I am also interested in a new bike, specifically for doing longer distance cycling. I already have a Surly Long Haul Trucker (yep go me ), but the more I ride it, the more I realize that I like a bicycle that is fast and agile. At the same time, I am not a fan of full-on road racing bikes, because I like my comfort and some utility.

I'd like something in-between, more comfortable and tough than a road racing bike, but also more agile and zippy than a full-on tourer like my Surly LHT.

I still like the Long Haul Trucker and I am making a lot of use out of it as a commuter and occasional trail rider. I bought it because I plan on doing fully loaded tours with it, but I thought I might get some ideas here on the Long Distance forum for something more lively, yet still comfortable. Any recommendations?
How would something like the Cannondale Synapse or the Specialized Roubaix meet your needs? I own the cannondale synapse. I love to ride this bike. It is agile and zippy (my carbon synapse weighs in at about 17 lbs.) The frame geometry is optimized for comfort (I'm 225 lbs "clyde" and my flexibility is limited to looking down at my toes - I spend 90 percent of the time on the tops or hoods of my drop bars.) I think this is a pretty tough bike. It has been ridden in the Paris-Roubaix road race which includes some fairly tough road conditions which include some long stretches of cobblestone.

I'm not in good shape... not even average shape, but I was able to ride the 203 mile Seattle-to-Portland (STP) in one day. I tried it the year before on my touring bike. I couldn't do it. The bike was just too heavy and it took much more effort to climb hills than it should. So... my recommendation is Cannondale Synapse, Specialized Roubaix, and I know Felt makes a line of bicycles in this category (I think they call it "performance road.") I'm pretty sure that other manufacturers have something similar.
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Old 03-22-10, 09:28 AM
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Thanks. I'll check those things out. I know what ya mean about the touring bike being too heavy. My LHT seems to be slower than the 1970's ten-speed that it replaced
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