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New to the Road Bike Scene...HELP!!!!(10 posts)

New to the Road Bike Scene...HELP!!!!Giantmcm
Dec 15, 2003 4:21 PM
Hi Guys,

Mountian biker looking at doing road bike. And so purchased a sweet setup, and now needing to update and change a few parts to make it just the right fit. So I need your insight. Here is what I picked up, and what I need to change:

Giant TCR 0 Medium, I am looking at replacing or swapping out the following, because I want lighter, if possible, and stronger if necessary.

I am approx. 6', and about 200 lb. Losing weight this winter is also happening. I am needing to swap out the handlebar (how do I measure the width I need), and I am after lighter ten fold, but strong due to my size. I am needing a 120mm stem, because I have a 90, and so wondering what you would suggest for strength and weight, seat what is most comfortable and cut out preferred, and pedals. What is the best way for clip ins?

I want to try to get the bike down to the sub 16 to 15 pounds, but trying to lighten things up without spending much more money...meaning, not looking at super high end...but looking at good, quality, and light and strong.

Can you help me out? Thanks,

Hmm.the bull
Dec 15, 2003 5:34 PM
Handlebars should be the witdth of you shoulders.
If you want a sub 15 lbs bike I would suggest starting with ITM carbon/mag stuff. But if you not racing up mountians and just geting into it I would not bother with tring to save weight.

The funny thing here is cheap, light, and strong all together.
Pick two my friend, good luck!
re: New to the Road Bike Scene...HELP!!!!torquecal
Dec 15, 2003 5:42 PM
Congrats on the roadie!

1) Handlebar width: general rule of thumb is it should be as wide as you are shoulderblade to shoulder blade. Like any rule of thumb it only works 100% of the time if you are a thumb :-) I like mine about 1cm wider than my shoulders - also beware different manufacturer's spec them differently i.e. measured center to center, outside to outside, etc.

2) For stems, I wouldn't be looking at weight at all for 2 reasons; a) fit is MUCH MUCH more important than weight, get the right stem for your fit!!!! and b) the stem is one place that light weight can, literally, kill you. If your stem breaks at the wrong time the first thing hitting the ground will be your face.

3) Seats are so incredibly personal that all I can recommend is finding a LBS or mailorder with a great return policy, and then try seats until you find the one that fits you. I could read you off a list that I like, but that would do absolutely nothing for you.

4) Clip ins - I'd suggest going with the same pedals you have on your MTB, you're probably used to them and they'd be safest for you. If you really, really want to save weight in this area you can spend some big bucks on all carbon models of looks. Personally I like the SPD-SL pedals. YMMV

Have fun shopping.
re: New to the Road Bike Scene...HELP!!!!djg21
Dec 15, 2003 8:05 PM
Don't worry so much about the weight of the bike. Saving a few grams isn't worth compromising durability, especially given your weight! Better a 20lb bike with which you can cross the finish line than a 15lb bike that suffers mechanicals at every turn! That is, unless your plan is to empty your wallet on exotic bike s#@t until you can no longer afford to eat! That's one hell of a diet!

That being said, any quality oversized bar and stem combination should be adequately strong and relatively light. I am 6'3", 215lbs and have been using the Deda Newton Oversided Stem and bars. They are fairly stiff, and they seem fairly durable. Given your size, you will need a wide bar -- 44cm if measured c-to-c (like Cinelli), or 46 if measured from outside of tube to outside of tube (like Deda, TTT). Avoid magnesium stems! They are pretty, and light, and very trick, and very expensive, but Magnesium is softer and more malleable than aluminum. You can easily strip out the screw holes by overtightening. This doesn't inspire confidence if you're a big guy, especially if, like me, you're tough on equipment.

Regarding seats, it's a personal decision, and you simply have to try some! However, stay away from ti rails at your weight! Also, there are plenty of relatively light full size saddles available that you may find more comfortable than the minimalist saddles on most new race bikes. After using various Flite saddles for a number of years, I returned to using a San Marco Regal. It's a little heavier than the minimalist saddles , but it is damn comfortable, and given my size,I don't really care about a few extra grams!

Pedals: avoid ti spindles. Steel is perfectly good for big guys! Look at the speedplay. IMO, it the easiest to engage and disengage (they're great for crits, and I even used them on the track!). It's also one of the lighter pedals on the market -- even with the steel spindle.

Now, get out and have fun on your bike!
Handlebars and stem..lyleseven
Dec 15, 2003 10:08 PM
is the place to start if you must... I recommend Ritchey WCS for durability and light weight. Not the lightest, but very strong stuff. You can use Ti rails on your saddle. I am over 200 and have several Ti rail seats which work just fine. Light weight, but expensive is the Fizik Aliante. Less money is the Fizik Areone. Both super saddles. Getting your bike down to 15 or 16 lbs. is, IMO, totally unnecessary. Stay in the 18 lbs range and don't sacrifice comfort.
To message to all replys...Giantmcm
Dec 17, 2003 10:01 AM
Thanks so much for the information guys...truly insightful stuff, and much needed for the "New Guy." :D

I appreciate the heads up, and the another question...cork tape, or not? Also, what is the smartest and EASIEST way to wrap it correctly? :D

And to let you know, I was able to get my bike into my old bike shop, and was able to redo it all...and let me just say, for the most part very cherry, very very cherry.

Are Dura Ace and Ultegra bottom brackets interchangable crank wise? Mine seems a little on the sluggish side...almost like there is a ton of stuff inside of it, and it just doesn't want to seem to spin right. If it is anything like my mountian bike BB is, then I would think it should spin almost freely with little to no drag, so I was wondering if Road bbs are much different, wand what things you can swap out, and what you can't.


Bar tapeLone Gunman
Dec 17, 2003 4:14 PM
It is as subject for debate just as seats are; I don't like cork tape, I use the cork and foam mixture tape. It's cheaper, me thinks more durable, cleanable if it is any other color than black.

Wrapping begins at the bar end, I electrical tape at the start and finish, spirals to the brake lever add the short section of tape over top of the STI clamp, then wrap over top and around the STI to the bulge in the bar about 2" from edge of stem. I put the cap in place and put the decorative tape over the electrical.
Bar tapedjg21
Dec 17, 2003 5:48 PM
I agree that opinions differ! I prefer Cork -- Cinelli Cork. I've never tried the Cinelli "Gel" Cork. I like cork because it does not get slippery when my hands sweat. However, I don't like wearing gloves unless its cold or unless I'm racing in a crit. Perhaps if I wore gloves, I would care so much!

Regarding the process by which to tape bars, have someone at your LBS do it and ask to watch. It's just one of those things that isn't easily explained in words. See it done once, and screw up a time or two on your own, and you'll be in business!
Also, regarding Bottom Brackets and Cranks.djg21
Dec 17, 2003 5:52 PM
D/A and Ultegra Cranks and BBs are interchangeable. That being said, you cannot use older cranks, designed for use with a tapered (square ends) bottom bracket with a newer BB/Ultegra "Octalink" or splined BB.

You'll find that many people replace Octalink Dura Ace BBs with Ultegra BBs despite the minor weight penalty because the Ultegra BB is cheaper, is thought to have better bearings, and is supposedly more durable.
Re: WCS RecommendationJFR
Dec 20, 2003 10:05 PM
A german mag apparently did some scientific testing of some popular bar/stem combos. The results of their testing differ from your statement that WCS is "very strong stuff"...
divve "JFR asked for handle bar test results..." 12/11/03 9:50am

I'm currently riding WCS myself, but with plans to change over. If you have anything to support your statement, I'd be intrested in it.