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Asking the BIG question...again?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am enjoying a cycling rebirth. At 64, big (6'3" and 260), and bad knees that have stopped me from running,  cycling has become my exercise of choice.  I am now riding 20-30 miles on the wekends and have done as much as 50 mi. Next steps,  join a club, do more, and of course...Now I would like to get a decent road bike. 

 

I have looked at several bikes so far. I want something in the "endurance" or (as I have seen the word ) "plush" catagory, perhaps more comfortable than a racing bike, with a longer wheel base. 

 

I have read several reviews of the Jamis Ventura 2. At $2100.00 this is about the top of what I would want to pay.    I have also looked at the 2010 Scattante Elite by Performance. Both of these are CF.  They are light, with good components. The sales people say CF is a smoother ride than metal. On the other hand I have seen lots written on different forums about why someone my size should not ride CF.  The most dramatic image:  one pot hole and the thing will explode sending  shards of graphite  through various parts of my body.   Other  comments include that  a cf bike won't last a long time ie several years because it doesn't tolerate long term wear and tear. 

 

Another issue I have read about is the need to have very good wheels to avoid flexing for someone my size

 

So is there some straight advice out there. Happy to have someone direct me to a sight or prior thread to sort through this.  Question is: CF or not for a big guy like me.

thanks

BJ

post #2 of 6

Your weight is not going to be a stopper for using a CF frame. I will suggest that you test ride a CF frame and compare it to a good steel frame to see if it is something that you would really want. Your weight is not going to break a CF frame. Your biggest worry will be maintanance. Unless extreme care and a good torque wrench is used for tightening fasteners, there is a good chance that they could be over-torqued and crack the frame. As for wear and tear, I have seen CF frames that have been ridden hard that are still holding up 10 years after manufacture.

 

Wheels are a little different, but only slightly. A big guy like you will want to have wheels that have a little higher spoke count. A wheelset that has cross 3 spokes with a count like 32 rear, 28 front would be good for you. Just don't try a wheel with 20 or less, or a radial spoke pattern as they would probably not be strong enough for your current weight and would be going out of true often, if not breaking spokes altogether.

 

So, to sum it up, you can ride a CF frame but make sure that you are getting strong wheels.

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdelong View Post

Your weight is not going to be a stopper for using a CF frame. I will suggest that you test ride a CF frame and compare it to a good steel frame to see if it is something that you would really want. Your weight is not going to break a CF frame. Your biggest worry will be maintanance. Unless extreme care and a good torque wrench is used for tightening fasteners, there is a good chance that they could be over-torqued and crack the frame. As for wear and tear, I have seen CF frames that have been ridden hard that are still holding up 10 years after manufacture.

 

Wheels are a little different, but only slightly. A big guy like you will want to have wheels that have a little higher spoke count. A wheelset that has cross 3 spokes with a count like 32 rear, 28 front would be good for you. Just don't try a wheel with 20 or less, or a radial spoke pattern as they would probably not be strong enough for your current weight and would be going out of true often, if not breaking spokes altogether.

 

So, to sum it up, you can ride a CF frame but make sure that you are getting strong wheels.





Quote:
Originally Posted by bjclark3 View Post

I am enjoying a cycling rebirth. At 64, big (6'3" and 260), and bad knees that have stopped me from running,  cycling has become my exercise of choice.  I am now riding 20-30 miles on the wekends and have done as much as 50 mi. Next steps,  join a club, do more, and of course...Now I would like to get a decent road bike. 

 

I have looked at several bikes so far. I want something in the "endurance" or (as I have seen the word ) "plush" catagory, perhaps more comfortable than a racing bike, with a longer wheel base. 

 

I have read several reviews of the Jamis Ventura 2. At $2100.00 this is about the top of what I would want to pay.    I have also looked at the 2010 Scattante Elite by Performance. Both of these are CF.  They are light, with good components. The sales people say CF is a smoother ride than metal. On the other hand I have seen lots written on different forums about why someone my size should not ride CF.  The most dramatic image:  one pot hole and the thing will explode sending  shards of graphite  through various parts of my body.   Other  comments include that  a cf bike won't last a long time ie several years because it doesn't tolerate long term wear and tear. 

 

Another issue I have read about is the need to have very good wheels to avoid flexing for someone my size

 

So is there some straight advice out there. Happy to have someone direct me to a sight or prior thread to sort through this.  Question is: CF or not for a big guy like me.

thanks

BJ


You can ride a CF bike with no problem. The bigger question is why would you? In my opinion I think you would be better off buying a high end Aluminum bike instead of a entry level carbon bike. You can purchase a Specialized Secteur or a Cannondale Synapse these road bikes have a more upright ride feeling so it feels more comfortable on long rides. You can use the money you save to buy gear and better wheels if you choose. Don't buy a bike without test riding everything in your price range. Don't Buy a Bike online. 

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your comments, very helpful.  The Secteur looks pretty good. Although MRSP is a little above where I want to go.  Will check it out at the lBS.  Any other suggestions for aluminum or steel frames with cf forks and top flight components. Most of the lines I have looked at seem to have lower rated components on their metal fram bikes.  How easy is it for a dealer to change up and would they. 

Thanks again

BJ

post #5 of 6

It is not difficult to upgrade components, but it is time consuming and your LBS will probably want to charge you for the time that it takes as well as the upgrade components themselves. You should be able to deal a little with your LBS right now. They are trying to get rid of their 2010 stock prior to tax time and the arrival of the 2011 bikes. If you really like a particular bike, see if they will do the upgrade for the price of the upgraded components only. You might get lucky.

post #6 of 6

You've already read some about CF and other materials, so good for you.  Please do some reading on the Rivendell site about various issues and bikes.  The bike that you say you want is available from them, but at a price (of course).  People here will think I'm a fanboy for Rivendell.  Well, it makes sense to me.  I fully realize that it won't make sense to others.  But judge for yourself.  A bike built from a Rivendell Sam Hillborne frameset could come in close to your price target.  Take a look and if you're at all intrigued, why not give them a call?  Even if you're not interested in buying their wares, there's a wealth of information (and opinion) on the website.  Oh, and check out Velo Orange.  They have steel frames that are considerably less pricy than Rivendell, and they make (import) some very nice components.  You could have a bike built around one of their frames within your desired price.  Good luck!

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