Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby Scott_C » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:31 am

Sorry for starting yet another 'what bike should I buy' thread but I am looking for some advice for a heavier rider.

Firstly, my stats: 32yo, 192cm (6' 4"), 108kg hoping to drop the weight to double digits but will definitely be staying 90kg+ for the foreseeable future.

Have been riding a flatbar commuter for 18 months after a decade long absence from cycling. Started participating in Saturday group rides with a local cycling club ~6 months ago and keep up with the 'slow' group (~32kph over 50km) out of a selection of v.fast, fast, medium, slow, development & novice despite the inherent disadvantages of the flatbar, platform pedals and a commuting rack on the back.

Budget: up to $6k including accessories but do not see the need to spend the full budget if I can get what I need for less.

Issues: When I bought the commuter I had problems with stores not having frames in my size in stock so I want to try and narrow down my choices as I may need stores to get a bike in for me to test ride.

Assets: 5 cycling stores in walking distance covering: Giant, Specialized, Trek and an Avantiplus and Bikeforce.

I will be keeping the commuter for my trips to/from work so the road bike will purely be for group rides and maybe criteriums in the future so I would like to aim towards the performance side of the performance/comfort balance but recognise that my weight may be a limiting factor here.
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by BNA » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:46 am

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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby RhapsodyX » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:46 am

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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby alexander » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:23 am

Thats a nice budget. If you feel comfortable spending that much might I recommend a titanium frame. This will handle your transition from 'clydesdale' to 'quarter horse'. The Lynskey r230 would be an excellent choice and would keep pace with your bunch rides, and also be a wise long term investment. Only problem will be is they aren't readily available in WA.

EDIT: forgot to add, I'm 6'4 and 90kgs, and I ride a lynskey cooper cx as my daily commuter ride, an amazing bike, and if I was to sell my BMC SLR01 2011 roady (which is probably going to happen), I'd get a R230 as my roady, such nice bikes, such comfort and compliance, so tough and such a good long term investment. I thought carbon was good till I tried Ti.
Last edited by alexander on Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby rangersac » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:49 am

My two cents worth: Since you are just interested in group rides for the moment and looking to drop weight I'd spend way under that budget initially and look to upgrade down the track when you'll have a better idea of what works for you. At 108kg I'd wager that a performance orientated frame initially isn't going to be particularly comfortable, and after riding a flat bar roadie whatever you get is going to feel like it rocket initially. Firstly I'd look for a brand with a solid reliable frame warranty history. Personally I've had good experience with Orbea, and riding buddies I know have had smooth runs with either Giant or Trek. Secondly the weakest point at your weight is probably going to be wheels, so I'd be looking for something with a good frame and components and potentially replacing the wheelset/ negotiating with your LBS. Stock wheels on bikes under $2K tend to be average, and over $2k are often orientated more towards lightness rather than durability. Thirdly, I'd consider getting something in the middle of the drivetrain component hierarchy, as again at your weight you are going to work these components hard and replacement parts don't come cheap for the top end of the range. Sure if you want to splash your budget and get some bling, knock yourself out, but really it's generally about minor weight savings rather than outrageous performance leaps once you get past 105/ Centaur level (can't speak for SRAM as I've never been there). The latest version of Tiagra for instance uses a lot of Dura-Ace mechanicals from a few series back and shifts perfectly well.
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby clackers » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:59 am

In your budget, allow for some 32 spoke wheels and a bike fit.
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby briztoon » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:52 am

Have you spoken to your cycling club? I would imagine they would be able to offer some good advice.

Othewise a quick look on Bike Exchange offers up the following.

http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/s/road-b ... -expensive

Frames only.
http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/a/road-f ... /102424035
http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/a/road-f ... /102424034
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby macca33 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:37 am

$6k could buy you two very good bikes!

Any decent road bike will do the job easily enough; it wil come down to what you like the look of and what you wish to spend in the end.

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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby mick243 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:39 am

clackers wrote:In your budget, allow for some 32 spoke wheels and a bike fit.


This. + lots....

Bike fit for long, comfortable, fun rides, and racing if you go that way, is critical.


I'd say spend maybe up to $2k on the rest of the bike, and get a proper wheel builder to make you a set of fit to purpose wheels. If you buy an off the shelf $6k bike, it will likeley have ultra light super dooper racing spec wheels that would be fantastic for a guy half your weight..... As a Clyde myself 120kegs) I never go less than 32 spokes in a wheel, saving a few grams off me is a lot cheaper than saving a few grams off a wheel set with potential medical fees after a wheel failure....

What you want is a nice bike, with bulletproof wheels and good tyres, that fits you properly. In this day and age, 2 grand gets you a quite nice bike. Spending more on a bike won't make you a better faster rider. (Of course if you're competing at national or better, disregard and get the bestest you can, because 1000ths of a second count... :-) )
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby rjk » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:12 pm

shimano and mavic wheels have no weight limit, i am a clydes and i have the shimano rs80's they are bulet proof, straight and true after 4 years.

18 front 20 rear, dont believe the hockum about 32 spoke wheels for a clydesdale. look at the features of each wheelset you like
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby CXCommuter » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:29 pm

Plenty of good bikes around for $3K with say Ultegra/Force, allow, say $500 to $800 for wheels (RS81s are a good start) and you will have what you should need for a lot less than $6K. As stated the two issues will be finding a bike that fits and getting wheels that will survive under your weight and power. I have a tendency to kill wheels and weight 65kg (but have always been heavy on wheels).
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby rodneycc » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:38 pm

Wow $6k to play with - thats a bit more than the usual budget and refreshing after some low budget help questions in recent times. I think what Ranges said is very true about going low initially around $2-3k and then fork out the big bucks on your next bike. I had a look around recently in the $4500-$5000 price range and to be honest I didn't think they were worth the money (a few top end Giants and Cannondales). I think you get more value around the $2k mark. Maybe I'm not experienced enough to notice the difference on the higher end bikes but in the end I went for something a little different and bought a secondhand Bianche Infinito CV (here off BNA actually) and its a really nice bike. Its probably not an ideal crit/race bike but would be really good for your group rides and everything in-between for the bigger bloke if you get a chance to test one out.
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby jd73 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:22 pm

I am 190cm and was 110kg not so long ago. I have a Specialized Tarmac with Ultegra which has been great and highly recommeded. The biggest issue I have had previosuly with various bikes was wheels - busting spokes and buckling far too often. The Tarmac came with Fulcram 5's which I have now done 20,000 and yet to have any issues.
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby baabaa » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:21 pm

Give Keith a call at
http://www.kumocycles.com/
He is a tall bloke as well so could give you some good options. ( me, being about the same height as you but less than 80kg he will be first on my list for building my next bike)
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby kunama » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:10 am

I'm about your height but 99Kg and have been riding the Giant TCR Adv1 with RS80 wheels for the last 3 years, other than 2 punctures through glass cuts, no issues whatsoever.
So unless you're after a 'boutique' brand you really only need to spend about $3K to get a decent ride.
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby brawlo » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:01 pm

Like a few others here, I'm a bit taller than you and a bit heavier at 196cm/115kg. Currently I'm riding a Felt F4 and I also race track. I would suggest you look at the comfort or grand tour style of bikes in the $2.5-3k range. One of these in that price range will be more than capable if you want to race some crits later in the show, but will be a lot more comfortable while you ponder racing while on group rides. My F4 was 2012 runout with full Ultegra for $2400. Once you step upwards of that price I think it's pretty safe to say you won't get a bad bike, so you just need to find something that is nice to ride on.

Start chatting to the various LBSs and see who can accomodate you with a larger bike to try out. If there's not much love for you there, I'm not sure what your options are over in WA, but over the other side of the country there are builders and bike fitters who will offer the service of their adjustable bikes to check how you will fit on certain frames for a small fee.

From there, play with the bits on the bike you get and change what you want/need to. Things like handlebars/saddles/wheels are easily transferred to a new bike. Once you're a more dedicated road rider, then you can make the choice if your bike is enough for you, or if you want to lean towards more of a race machine.

On the topic of wheels, you're on the upper limit of what most factory wheels are rated for. Just ride what comes with the bike you end up getting, but perhaps get a LBS or good wheelbuilder to up the spoke tension a little. If you do end up losing weight, you should be fine, or spend the time saving for something that is more suitable for your wants/needs. My F4 came with Shinamo RS20s, but I swapped them out for a set of 32h Velocity A23 rimmed to Ultegra hub wheels I had recently purchased for my old bike. They were lighter than the low spoke count Shimanos!
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Re: Road Bike for a Clydesdale

Postby Scott_C » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:27 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Regarding the budget, I did 80 hours of nightshift overtime last fortnight, mostly on a weekend and public holiday (=doubletime pay) and I conned the Minister for Finance into agreeing to let me spend all my overtime pay on a new bike before she realised how much it would be.

Based on the replies here I will look at a few mid range bikes and talk to the shop about swapping the wheels out for some RS81's or similar and if they give me any issues I'll look at having a wheelbuilder make me up a custom set.
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