Bike shopping advice: big folks only please

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Bike shopping advice: big folks only please

Postby Leedo » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:26 pm

I'm a big guy: 6'3", 275 lbs.

My primary commuter/touring bike just bit the dust after 18 years and nearly 10,000 miles. Sad to see a good/reliable friend go down.

..but on the bright side: I get to go bike shopping!

Looking for advice for touring/cyclocross bikes for larger riders. Because I live in the Seattle area bikes with disc brakes are high on my list.

Current list (in no particular order):

Kona Honky Inc.
Kona Sutra
Salsa Casseroll
Salsa Vaya
Specialized Tricross Elite Disc (new for 2012)
Surly LHT
Surly Cross Check
Trek Portland
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A.K.A. Supergrover
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Re: Bike shopping advice: big folks only please

Postby Brettha » Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:53 pm

Check out R&E Cycles. They're the home of Rodriguez bicycles. (http://www.rodcycle.com) They're in Seattle!

5627 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Sales - 206.527.4822
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Re: Bike shopping advice: big folks only please

Postby boldaddy » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:25 pm

I'm just 210 lbs, but I'm bigger than most cyclists it seems.

I'm not sure about each model that you mention, but here's my take.

I've loved the feel of steel bikes, but at 210-215 I've found that most stock ones, while comfortables, are pretty flexy on hills. Now, if you are just going to spin a triple chainring, that's ok, but if you want to stand to climb, you'll feel it.

That said, I do have a steel bike. My commuter/rain bike is a Salsa La Cruz (much like the cassaroll or vaya but with disc brakes and no touring rack mounts). It's a good bike, very comfortable. I won't hesitate riding a fifty mile ride with it.

However, I prefer my recent titanium purchase. For real climbing, carbon is the way to go.

Try the Cervelo RS, or Scott RC1 (or CR1).

The disc brakes of the Trek Portland are going to be nice. They make the bike heavier, but when it's wet, you can still stop when nobody else can. Plus you won't wear out your rims.

I hear good things about Kona. I've seen many surly bikes that I thought were just a little too heavy and slow feeling. I haven't seen the tricross, but I bet it rocks.
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Re: Bike shopping advice: big folks only please

Postby boldaddy » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:25 pm

I'm just 210 lbs, but I'm bigger than most cyclists it seems.

I'm not sure about each model that you mention, but here's my take.

I've loved the feel of steel bikes, but at 210-215 I've found that most stock ones, while comfortables, are pretty flexy on hills. Now, if you are just going to spin a triple chainring, that's ok, but if you want to stand to climb, you'll feel it.

That said, I do have a steel bike. My commuter/rain bike is a Salsa La Cruz (much like the cassaroll or vaya but with disc brakes and no touring rack mounts). It's a good bike, very comfortable. I won't hesitate riding a fifty mile ride with it.

However, I prefer my recent titanium purchase. For real climbing, carbon is the way to go.

Try the Cervelo RS, or Scott RC1 (or CR1).

The disc brakes of the Trek Portland are going to be nice. They make the bike heavier, but when it's wet, you can still stop when nobody else can. Plus you won't wear out your rims.

I hear good things about Kona. I've seen many surly bikes that I thought were just a little too heavy and slow feeling. I haven't seen the tricross, but I bet it rocks.
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Re: Bike shopping advice: big folks only please

Postby cheneyt119 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:39 pm

I've been up to 225, but I was 185 yesterday, hey I'm riding Cycle Oregon. :)

I like your surly choices, steel is real and more forgiving. Consider a touring bike. They are designed to carry more weight. They have longer chain stays and that even makes my stiff aluminum touring frame very comfortable.

I saw a giant guy doing the Seattle to Portland ride. He was a minimum of 6'8" and big, like Seahawk defensive line big. He was riding a Trek 5500 very much like my 5200 and narrow tires stock wheels. The point is ride anything you wish if this fellow could ride the same bike as Lance 200 miles in two days.
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Re: Bike shopping advice: big folks only please

Postby IbisRider » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:10 pm

I am 6' and weigh between 205 to 225 lbs, depending on the season. The best piece of advice I can give anyone, large or small, is to get fitted professionally, then choose a frame based on that fitting. You may find that a particular bike is perfect for your needs. Alternatively, you may learn that you need to have a custom built frame. I happen to be in the "needs a custom frame" category--put another way, I am not comfortable on a standard, off-the-rack bike. So, I had a custom frame built and could not be happier. Large guys tend to need a longer head tube, particularly if they ride in a more upright position, as I do. You should see the size of my head tube! So find a pro fitter and do it right. You will be happy that you did.
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Re: Bike shopping advice: big folks only please

Postby Brettha » Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:29 pm

Great advice about getting a fit first. I have to once again recommend R+E Cycles in the University District. They have a one-of-a-kind fit bike that allows you to remain seated while all the variables (seat height), top tube length, Seat fore/aft, are dialed in. They can do a fitting for you and you can use the measurements to find another bike OR you can let them fit you on one of their 19 size frames. If you don't fit on one of them, a frame can be customized for a small fee. In addition, you can have them build you a stiff steel frame or a titanium frame or whatever frame you decide.

I flew up from Los Angeles for a fitting. Since you already live in Seattle, check it out.
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