Getting very confused

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Andy Jennings, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. Andy Jennings

    Andy Jennings Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    7
    not too long back to cycling and have started on a MTB riding off blacktop roads and trails. Now, however, find myself going more to black top and the MTB, although a nice ride, just isn't doing it for me for this type of riding so I am looking at getting a road bike as well.

    Also I should mention that I am a Clyde at 255Lbs.

    The reason I am confused is all the different geometry and materials.

    So far I am of the opinion that I should be looking at endurance road bikes for the more relaxed geometry, potential for wider tires for make my ride more comfortable on long distances (100Km plus), but still retain the better climbing etc. benefits of the road bike. (I think I have this right but not sure).

    Also the frame material is a problem for me to work out. I have read so much I need clarification.

    From what I have been able to gather Steel is flexible and strong and absorbs road vibrations well, but can be heavy.

    Alluminium is more rigid though strong so potentially more uncomfortable if the geometry is not quite right.

    Ti is good as well, like steel, but there is a need to get a higher quality frame for durability.

    Carbon, in this format, is strong and good at absorbing road vibrations, but may be too rigid subject to the manufacturer. But there may be a question about handling my weight. I am aware of the ongoing debate re failure rates of carbon and I really don't want to get in to that on this thread.

    Can someone PLEASE (LOL) try to clarify things for me here?

    Also if anyone has suggestions for a particular frame for me to look at I would be most interested.
     
    Tags:


  2. Motosonic

    Motosonic Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    5
    I think a lot really depends on your budget and what you plan to do with the bike. I ride long rides(60-120 miles per day) with other disabled veterans and we're all sizes.. and most of us ride aluminum or carbon frames. I always recommend endurance geometry because.. unless you're planning to race.. it's the best choice for most riders for comfort. Many race geometry bikes are set up for folks with strong legs that can power up hills, while endurance geometry bikes tend to be geared to help you climb.

    If it were me.. I would skip steel or titanium. Those are really for the 'old school enthusiasts' and if you're looking for a fast, modern bike for fitness or simply to get into road cycling, you'll want something lighter.. Especially if you're riding in hilly terrain.

    So, depending on what you want to do and what your budget is, I can make recommendations. Trek Domane, Specialized Roubaix and Giant Defy are three big brands/bikes... but there are others that in my opinion are a much better choice.. but can be more costly.

    I think you'll be fine on a carbon or aluminum frame. If your budget allows, go carbon. Don't worry about durability because if you pick the right bike, that frame is going to be strong enough to withstand pretty much everything and still give a very comfortable ride.
     
    kennyM and Andy Jennings like this.
  3. Andy Jennings

    Andy Jennings Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    7
    At this point I m looking for fitness, but longer distance rides. 100km and up for now with the aim of getting in to ultra distance riding in a year or two if my body can handle the stresses. So realistically I want a frame that will get me started there as well just in case. Terrain atm is not particularly hilly but I start travelling with my bike in a few months, once I am fitter and lighter, and then will get much more challenging.

    Budget for a complete bike purchase would be up to USD 3500. I can stretch that higher for a frame and then adding components, as it will take time to complete and make money more available to get the components that I would prefer as opposed to the ones already fitted on a complete bike purchase.

    Availability of a complete bike may be an issue in Thailand as well as size availability can be an issue.

    If I can find a frame with specs that will take my weight without voiding warranty, 250Lbs, I would prefer to go with a carbon frame. I may just have to suck it up and wait until I am a bit lighter to do it though.

    One good thing is that the 3 bike brands you detailed are all readily available here, subject to size, so they are a definate possibility.

    Many thanks for the reply. Much appreciated.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Messages:
    10,535
    Likes Received:
    773
    255 pounds...don't know what your build is like, but if you are carrying much of a spare tire the more upright 'endurance / gran fondo' bikes with the taller head tubes might fit you better.

    If shopping for a carbon bike the low to mid range frames in most lines throw more material in the frame which translates to a slightly heavier frame, but one that is usually stronger and more durable than the sub-800 gram racing models.

    At 255 you probably aren't going to be hauling ass up the hills for awhile, but a stiff, light bike is going to help you get there sooner.

    If you are large 'all over'...a big man...make certain the LBS works with you to get the right saddle, the correct handlebar width, drop and throw, pedals with the correct Q-factor for your build.

    Like Motosonic said, aluminum is a good choice. Ti is strong and it can be competitive in price with any other material, but do watch out for models with lots of give and flex. Your weight and your power may expose frame flex in any material and Ti is, perhaps, noted as the softest riding of the major players in frame materials (unless you look at the high zoot hydroformed stuff).

    Do test ride a few bikes before buying. Once you decide on something, go the extra mile and have the LBS work with you to tune the fit to perfection. It makes all the difference in a 'meh!' bike and one so good that it just disappears beneath you.
     
  5. Andy Jennings

    Andy Jennings Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    7
    As an indicator I am 6' and a weight of 190lbs would be a healthy body fat %. 180Lbs would be back to my weight in the military. Realistically for my age I have set an initial goal of sub 200Lbs and then see where I go from there. Basically I am a bit on the heavier side for my height but not huge. (without the fat that is)

    The rest of my weight is mainly in my spare tyre and upper torso, although cycling has trimmed the torso down noticeably.

    Spine flexibility and spare tyre are the governing factors for me here and as you rightly said the endurance/ Gran Fondo (gotta look that up) bikes are better suited for my physical restrictions.

    I have yet to find a professional fitter here but have heard rumours of a custom bike builder in bangkok I have to check out. Problem is that no one I know has actual information on his location. lol. But there must be someone in this country as there are professional riders coming out of Thailand. Have to have a proper look now I am planning on committing more to cycling.

    Although I would prefer a carbon frame, planning for the future here lol, I may stick with alluminium for price and pay the extra for components.

    I can always get hold of a carbon frame later. (n = +1?)

    Thanks Bob for the advice. The more I learn the better.
     
  6. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    77
    It's never about material alone.
    Design plays an equal big part of it.
    But different material properties - how much they flex before they become permanently deformed or break, and the format they're most easily available in - influences which characteristics are most easily achieved with a certain material.
    Most metal frames start life as tubes.
    These tubes start life with a uniform wall thickness.
    For a bike, that's not a great idea.
    Pick a thickness that makes joining the parts easy, and the tube is stronger than needed in the middle.
    Pick a thickness with just the right strength in the middle, and joining them up becomes an issue.
    Sure, you can get butted tubing with 2-3 different thicknesses, But the shape is still uniform.
    CF's claim to fame is that both shape and thickness is "easily" adjusted to fit the engineering needs. Its (still) a more labor-intensive process than metal frames - and the material is more expensive as such - which pushes the price up.
    You also need to consider the human factors.
    No one today needs to ride a bike, we do it from choice.
    This means that the regular mechanisms of cost/benefit analysis is pretty much forgotten. To a large degree people decide what they want first, and justify their choice afterwards.
    There was a test in a german magazine some years ago where bikes were disguised in bubble wrap and duct tape before handed out to a pro team for testing. Turned out that not even pro riders were particularly good at recognizing what kind of bike they were riding.
    So, to get the most bang for the buck, fight your ego.
    Suppress the spec, emphasize the test ride.
    A stiff ride can be softened by a lower tire pressure - if the frame/fork can take a slightly wider tire.
    OTOH, you can't stiffen a noodle.
     
    Andy Jennings likes this.
  7. Andy Jennings

    Andy Jennings Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    7
    All excellent points Dabac.

    Truthfully I have little idea at this point what I am looking for other than an endurance geometry road bike to assist with positioning with my weight and to fall in with what I hope to achieve at a later date if my body can handle it. So a pretty open book/mind.

    Not sure I even have enough experience since starting up again to recognise the different feel between a hard ride road bike and a softer endurance bike ride if it bit me on the ass. lol.

    Test rides are going to be problematic for me here, Thailand, as there is a very limited number of bikes available, let alone in my size (considerably larger than an average Thai male) to buy and/or test ride. One shop I asked for a test ride when I bought my existing bike, the actually had my size WOW!! refused on the grounds that if something happened on the ride then I wouldn't buy it and they would have to pay for repairs. None of the other shops had a bike my size to test so I had to order with a non-refundable deposit. Maybe I'll be luckier with a road bike.

    It may even come down to ordering a frame, from OS, and building it up once here, just to get what I am looking for. Time will tell.

    The only thing I do know for sure is that I need the higher bar position and less aggressive geometry that an endurance frame delivers.

    This is kinda my introduction bike to road riding, if you like.

    I have seen a few bikes on an online site that are apparently well set up and look the right geometry so I may be able to import a complete bike, but tax is quite high here for that.

    I need to go through the sites and whittle down the options while attempting to contact the LBS here to see if they can get me an endurance bike/frame. I would of course LOVE to say that aesthetics and brand have little influence but I would no doubt be playing it down considerably. lol.

    Thanks for the advice Dabac and I will take it in to account as I can subject to the LBS here in Thailand.

    Much appreciated as always.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    3,314
    Likes Received:
    161
    Almost all CF road bikes are rated for riders who weigh less than 225 pounds. And of course no one mentioned wheels, which again like the CF frames aren't rated for over 220 pounds.

    So you need to talk to the LBS about getting an endurance type or cross type bike with wheels that will handle your weight with a high degree of reliability. In most cases this means that the stock wheelset will not suffice, you need a strong wheelset that has 36 spokes.

    Of course a bike designed to handle a heavier person will not be as light as one for a lighter rider but you can't quibble over saving 2 to 4 pounds of weight when the actual percentage of weight difference between your body weight and a light bike or a heavy bike will be less than 1%!! You will not notice that weight reduction, but you will notice the frequent reliability issues that will cost you money.
     
  9. Andy Jennings

    Andy Jennings Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    7
    Not worried about weight at all. If I can get a heavier endurance geometry ride I will be happy. If I finally get to start doing randonee's etc. and my weight is suitable, I can change at a later date to a lighter frame. I was only leaning to CF to save a new bike purchase later. Not that important. Anyway, If I manage to get a lighter weight bike I can use the heavier one a a trainer and back up.

    So what it comes down to is this then.

    An aluminium frame should be ok for strength.
    Up graded 36 spoke wheel set, even consider using stronger than standard spokes.

    And I should be right to go.

    I am truly sorry for my lack of knowledge on this subject, but when I was riding before, many years ago now, my weight was never a factor for the bike so I learnt nothing about the problems of a Clyde.

    Many thanks for the advice, Gladly accepted.
     
  10. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,847
    Likes Received:
    133
    I read the thread a bit and:

    You are pretty much right in your initial assumptions on what is what.

    Steel frames being heavier than aluminum is not quite right... Actually without any treatment aluminum is 3 times lighter but 3 times weaker than steel.

    After treatment you can get a whole lot of strength/ weight rations.

    A steel frame can be much lighter than a basic aluminum frame.. but with the downside of very thin sidewalls on the tubes.

    I have yet to have personal experience as with livelihood and softness of steel instead of aluminum..

    You might want to check some steel frames for better fatigue strength over aluminum...

    Something also quite important that I don't remember reading in the other answers would be to be extra cautious with your brakes setup if you is heavy...

    I have finally managed to get a setup that brakes fast enough and also doesn't tire out my hands on descents... and I'm only 80kg heavy!

    But the calipers and brake levers I'm using are quite basic.
     
    Andy Jennings likes this.
  11. Andy Jennings

    Andy Jennings Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2016
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    7
    thanks for that Volnix.

    I'm planning on looking at steel and Aluminium frames now for Endurance as 10Lbs is not going to bother me one way or the other but strength is until I lose my weight that is. lol. Once the weight is gone I will reconsider this if I am enjoying the long distances involved enough to continue entering Randonee's.

    As for brakes again as I'm looking at endurance I am leaning heavily to disc brakes for the stopping power potential over caliper.

    Thanks for the advice here. Much needed on my end with my knowledge experience levels.
     
  12. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,847
    Likes Received:
    133
    Maybe also check cyclocross bikes.. they have wider clearances for wide tires and are also quite upright... Since they are designed to be driven on non paved surfaces they might be also a bit stronger built...

    They also come in both aluminum and steel.. endurance bikes are kinda new, like these semi-aero stuff and I can't say I have seen alot of those in steel (none actually).

    Disc brakes apply force in a much smaller diameter thus requiring much more force in order to get the same stopping power and hydraulic disc brakes (which are a pita to service) are very expensive on road bikes...

    You can get insane stopping power from a pair of road calipers with good brake pads..

    If you are not constantly dipping in mud etc disc brakes probably won't make much sense..

    I have once placed a v-brake pair of pads on the rear tire (they are double as long) and the stopping power was crazy.. I finally managed to get something that works fine (modulation is the magic word they use on brake stuff) with a pair or braking pads for wet weather...
     
  13. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    3,314
    Likes Received:
    161
    Yes, you now have the idea.

    There is no need to apologize, no one here is upset with your lack of knowledge, we all have to start on ground zero and work our way up, something we all will be doing for the rest of our lives, you never know it all regardless of the subject...though some may think they do. You know, I had to start at ground zero literally before I learned to walk, now after 63 years of walking you would think you would know everything there is to walking, yet there are people around that can analyze your walking after all those years of being a pro at it and finding mechanical problems with the way you walk, so you see, something as simple as walking doesn't mean you know everything there is about how to walk 100% correctly; and talking? we're supposedly pros at it, yet everyone makes mistakes talking all the time.
     
    Andy Jennings likes this.
  14. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,847
    Likes Received:
    133

    You know too much! :D

    The_Smoking_Man_(X-Files).jpg
     
    Andy Jennings likes this.
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
    3,314
    Likes Received:
    161
Loading...

Share This Page

Loading...