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Best Road Bike for a Clyde(36 posts)

Best Road Bike for a ClydeBig Boy
Jan 9, 2002 7:03 AM
So I am in the market for a top of the line road bike. Problem is that I am a mountain biker and have limited knowledge of Road bike frames/models. Knowing that I will love road biking (recreational, and long distance, ie: AIDS ride, fund raisers, etc, with little racing), I have decided to just by a high end bike (~$3000) now instead of buying a lower priced bike and then upgrading (recently built up my new custom MTB and simply want a great frame that will last a long time and feel great on the road). I want a comfortable riding bike, so aluminum is probably out and carbon fiber is to exotic in my mind (exact for fork and stays perhaps). I will probably go frame only and by an ultegra package and carbon fork and build it up myself.


Vitals= 6'5", 240 lbs, male

Some questions:

Will the larger litespeeds be to flexy for me?
I am interested in Reynolds 853 steel frame for its strength to weight ratio and ride feel (any suggestions for manufacturers)

Basically any suggestions on some great road bike manufacturers would be good. I can do some of the research my self.

Sorry for the vagueness of this question.

re: Best Road Bike for a Clydetempete
Jan 9, 2002 7:51 AM
Hey big boy!

There are killer deals on GTs right now...

Flexy blabla... At your weight and strenght, anything will move a bit. But steel, most preferably a custom ride that you can afford, is a material of choice. Contact Independent Fabrication or Ibis... They should be able to help you, plus they also have material choices.

In my humble opinion, chose carefully your wheel set and fork material. You want something sturdy there. Even if it means an extra lighter wheel set for occasionnal races. If you want a 18 pounds bike on a 62cm frame, most likely there is something on it built for a 165 pounds rider... Would you ride a Santa Cruize Superlight mountain bike and expect it to last for ever (they are not recommended for over 170...)?

Still, consider that there are heavier cyclist that ride ultra light aluminium Cannondale and Giant frames and are raving about them... A titanium (how about simple straight gauge tubing) well made by a knowledgable welder will be great. But contact a few builders to see... And why not come back and tell us about there advices?

Happy trails and roads.
be careful of TI for big framesColnagoFE
Jan 9, 2002 8:35 AM
Unless you are considering custom or a stouter brand like Serotta you will likely think most TI frames are flexy in a 60+cm frame.
Check out Sampson...Brooks
Jan 9, 2002 8:05 AM
at Eric S is a small, very reputable frame builder in Denver. As you will be unable to test ride unless you are in Colorado, he will ask a lot of questions over the phone to find out your fit and riding style. The z7 Pro bike is ovalized titanium, which is better and less flexy for bigger riders. He can put together components (Shimano or Campy) and wheels to fit your size and budget. Start with their website and give him a call, if interested.

re: Best Road Bike for a ClydeNew Clyde Roadie
Jan 9, 2002 8:17 AM
Take a look at the Lemond Zurich. 853 steel and ultegra. I got one last year and it rides great. Make sure the geometry is right.
re: Best Road Bike for a ClydeBigcat
Jan 9, 2002 8:24 AM
I am a super Clyde (6'2" 330lbs, hope to be well under 270lbs by end of year)and went through the same problem looking for a bike last year. If you are looking for a bike to last you a long time I would go with Steel or Ti. For the style of riding you state you will be doing I would go for a little bit more laid back frame geometry.

If you buy a Ti frame It will last you a life time but you being so tall and a little large it will be really hard to find a stiff enough frame. I have heard that Litespeeds are very stiff but you have to get their full on race frames (Vortex) and the handling will be very aggressive. For the price range you have in mind, steel is the way to go. Reynolds 853 is nice but I would look a custom Colunbus Foco or Zona frame. It may be a little heavier then Ti or Alumiun but it will also last you a life time of hard riding and if built correctly should come close to Ti in weight. My bike is made out of Zona and it is great.

If you live the US you can find a great deal of custom builders that could make you up a great frame. Even Serotta has a new steel frame out that is a little more laid back then the other and Serotta makes great bikes. It is called the Fierte. Other builder that I have heard of that have good reps are Strong, Anvil, IF and Seven (steel).

If you live in Canada, I would check out Marinoni, Guru, True North or even the Cervelo Prodigy (the high end bike is to light for your size). All these builders up here in the great white north build great bikes.

I wish you luck it took me about 6 weeks to decide and then another 14 weeks to get my bike because it was custom. The one thign I could say is start now and order soon to beat the spring rush, and enjoy your new ride when you get it.
is that muscle 6'2" 330 lbs? you must be HUGE!!!!!!!!!! (NM)eD lOVER
Jan 9, 2002 8:37 AM
is that muscle 6'2" 330 lbs? you must be HUGE!!!!!!!!!! (NM)BigCat
Jan 9, 2002 9:11 AM
Use to be and offensive guard for University football team. All I can say is that it use to muscle but after a year playing video games things aren't so peachy anymore.

How's it going?morrison
Jan 9, 2002 10:33 AM
When I started riding after a 10 year hiatus, I went from almost 200 [5'4" :-(] to 140, but it took me 2 yrs. For the most part, I've kept it off, but it comes back quick if I take a break from the bike.
How's it going?BigCat
Jan 9, 2002 12:51 PM
It was going well last season but then I had a string of bad luck with breaking rear hubs on my mountain bike (Titus Loco-Moto), starting a new job with much different hours and wound up in the hospital from serum sickness for 5 days. Totally throw me off for the rest of the season, even though I did some great mountain bike rides in the fall up here in the greater Toronto area, Hardwood hills, North Humberland forest and so forth but never really got back into the weight loss mode. I am really going to start the battle now with only one goal for the end of the year, to ride an imperial century by September. What every comes off my body in trying to meet my goal is a bonus.
That sounds like the right approach . . .morrison
Jan 9, 2002 1:03 PM
focus on the riding, and the weight will come with it. Good luck
Jan 9, 2002 12:49 PM
at your size, what type wheels are you using? A guy your size and strength I could just picture the lateral flex you could generate on a wheel.
Jan 9, 2002 1:33 PM
I use Ambrosio Focus Rims(36spoke of course) with 13g spokes on Campy Mirage hubs, but will most likly be changing the hubs to Centura and using a Dt Apline spoke (triple butted 13g,14g, and 15g at the bottom, made for DH and hard cross country, based on their website). The wheels I have now are very stiff, but they weigh more then my mtb wheels and they feel very sluggish.
Sound like real stiff wheels.Roger
Jan 9, 2002 2:48 PM
Good luck in your riding and building up your new wheelset.
What size frames are you tall guys riding?SCHeck
Jan 10, 2002 9:01 AM
Please give your height, and then bike size (C-C or C-T)

About steel...Velocipedio
Jan 9, 2002 2:51 PM
I think you'd have trouble finding a frame builder who'd build a Foco or Ultra Foco frame for a rider weighing more than 180 lbs. Go with Zona or 853 if you go steel. At large sizes, you'll find steel whippy unless you go to a custom frame builder who knows how to manipulate tubing to keep it stiff.

The other great thing about steel is that, if you crack the frame -- and at 24 lbs, that could very well happen in a crash -- it can be easily repaired.

Things to think about.
About steel...koala
Jan 10, 2002 4:01 AM
Tom teesdale made a foco for me and I asked him about thermacrom(foco) and he said he builds it for heavy guys all the time. Its stiff enough in the bottom bracket because the downtube is crimped as it enters the bottom bracket and the chainstays are ovalized. 853 is no stiffer than foco tube for tube.
Litespeed HandlingKerry Irons
Jan 9, 2002 6:15 PM
you state that Litespeeds are very stiff and very agressive handling. This is really only true of the Ultimate, and even then it's not that agressive. The rest of the Litespeed road line has very standard geometry. Given that someone 6'2 or 6'4 is going to be on a 60+ cm frame for sure, no bike will be really stiff, even a Cannondale. Also, someone at 240 lbs + should be riding at least 25 mm tires, and probably 28 mm, which will take a lot of the sting out of any stiff frame. Not really pushing a Cannondale, but my impression is that they are pretty good bikes for big people.
re: Best Road Bike for a ClydeEd3
Jan 9, 2002 8:28 AM
This may be a bit of a no-brainer, but does the maker of your custom MTB not make road frames? The builder should already have your measurements and knows your size and riding habits I would assume.

If this is not an option, I would suggest looking at a custom, semi-custom steel bike for someone your size as the availability of tubing in larger, stronger tubes is probably larger than other materials.

With your budget, it would be easy to find a maker.
Some suggestions off the top of my head would be:
Anvil Bikes, Steelman, Waterford...
re: Best Road Bike for a Clydejrm
Jan 9, 2002 8:32 AM
I ride mostly aluminum because i like the repsonsivness of it. And the harshness can allways be offset with a CF fork. A good Alum bike with ultegra will run about $1500. Ive had great results from the specialized allez line. I changeded out the road stem for a MTB stem due to flex.
That's not THAT big, but how about Rivendell?Retro
Jan 9, 2002 8:41 AM
You're on the edge of too big for most over-the-counter frames, which stop at 62 or 64cm. Don't let anybody sell you something too small that you can work out with a long seatpost. You'll spend $3000 to be miserable, and wind up doing it again in a few years (I'm 6'4", and the difference in comfort between a 62cm and a 64 is huge).
You might check Rivendell, At least read Grant's advice on sizing before you buy something that's ALMOST big enough.
That's not THAT big, but how about Rivendell?David Feldman
Jan 9, 2002 9:00 AM
Good advice, especially Grant's knowledge (not opinions, Grant has knowledge) re tire sizes and tire space in a frame.
re: Best Road Bike for a ClydeDavid Feldman
Jan 7, 2002 1:02 PM
Another consideration: Tire room. Most of us "clydesdales" have a better cycling experience if we stick to 25c or wider road tires. Many non-steel frames and carbon forks have skimpy tire clearance. My advice: STeel frame, steel fork, Serotta's tubing architecture is especially good for big guys. Here in the Northwest, Co-Motion which is owned by two tall guys and has an extensive inventory of oversize tubing from their tandem business is good for a big person's custom frame.
re: Best Road Bike for a ClydeNo Excuses
Jan 9, 2002 9:53 AM
6' 2" - 285
I just spent my first season on a Lemond Zurich 61 CM frame. It's been great for me, but as stated above the geometry is unique.
You may only spend $2000, but you should at least ride the bike to check the feel of steel.
Be prepared for tweaks and adjustments getting used to the different riding position of a road bike. I would think that would be the case for a custom built bike as well.
re: Best Road Bike for a ClydeTig
Jan 9, 2002 11:22 AM
Most of the big guys I ride with like their Cannondales, which are not so harsh in the larger sizes under a clydesdale.

For Ti, consider Serotta. For steel, consider a custom Landshark Don't let the name fool you. John Slawta made custom frames for Andy Hampsten before he retired from pro racing. He also has some of the most beautiful artistic paint jobs of any bike, and no two are alike. He specializes in large frames and won't break the bank. Unless you have a dealer near you, contact Gary at for a great deal and excellent service.

Here's a custom 64 cm and it's happy owner.
Something is wrong with this pictureKrill
Jan 10, 2002 8:59 AM
That frame looks too small for him. As far as the seattube is extended and all those spacers under the stem tell me that this gentleman needs a bigger frame. A stem change is obviously in order, but this is not a good advertisement for a custom fitting if this is how he rides it. Perhaps it is just a mock setup for the picture and is not actually set up for him?
May I suggest?Sintesi
Jan 9, 2002 1:54 PM
the Merckx MX Leader. Noted bad boy for the big boys. Classic steel frame reknown for stiffness but of course the forgiving ride of steel. This bike can be built up ultegra with decent wheels for less than $3,000. It's a killer, killer bike. Check it out:
Get a fitting firstO
Jan 9, 2002 2:31 PM
Although a shop will usually try to sell you a bike brand which they carry, this will eliminate a bad fit. I am 6'3" 195, but I have been as heavy as 290. I have ridden/owned many different bikes. Right now I am riding a Quantum Race with Dura Ace. I agree with some of the riders regarding some soft ti frames ( a lower level Serotta Classique comes to mind). But, some streel frames can be "whippy" as well.

With regards to comfort and stiffness with your $3000, I would not rule out a carbon frameset such as a Calfee Luna (which you should be able to find for about $1,400). My recommendation would be to go to two larger shops with many bikes to try (even if they are not exactly your size) and get 2 different types of fittings. Try a Serotta size cycle fitting vs. a shop which will have a bike on a trainer and swap stems to get the fit "right."
Jan 9, 2002 3:05 PM
1 inch galvanized, pipe cutter, various elbows and t's!

Just kiddin' big guy.

In my limited experience in this area, I'd likely give Land Shark a go. I want one more with each day.
Troyboy, check this new Landshark outTig
Jan 9, 2002 6:40 PM
Here's a new one at GVH bikes, and it's just my size. Unfortunately I already put money down for a Merckx, and only $20 less than the 'shark.
Troyboy, check this new Landshark outTroyboy
Jan 10, 2002 11:38 AM
Indeed, sweet. I just found my 2002 season crit racer, so, it'll have to wait for me as well.
re: Best Road Bike for a ClydeSnowBlind
Jan 9, 2002 4:02 PM
at 5'11" and 225, a custom frame was worth the money, or a cyclocross frame for the extra strength.
A custom will be stiff and comfortable.

I have Curtis Inglis custom frame, and it incorperates a lot of what you want in a classic steel lugged frame. (you can see mine in the bike shots, under "italia" looks like a Italian flag)
Curtis orignally learned frame building at Fat City Cycles in Santa Cruz, and then started doing road/cross bikes. I can put you in contact with him if you want.

Just one caveat, he makes a hell of a frame, but he is an artist, so you can't hurry him. Took him 12 weeks to deliver, based on a 8-12 week estimate.
re: Best Road Bike for a ClydeDrD
Jan 10, 2002 4:26 AM
I think Litespeeds will be fine for you if you stick with the right models - I would probably avoid the new Ghisallo, but the Tuscany or Ultimate would probably be fine (if you can find a Palmares or an old Liege, those would work too). I am 6'3", 210 and ride a Litespeed Ultimate - found it to be considerably stiffer in the BB than the steel frames I rode (had a Schwinn Peloton for a while, then test rode a Lemond). The new Ultimate has the carbon seat stays, though, so it might be a little different (I have a 99 which was the year before the bladed seat tube (which looks ugly, in my opinion - I like the curved seat tube as found on the pre-2000 frames)
re: Best Road Bike for a Clydebdbike
Jan 10, 2002 7:33 AM
I am 6'6" 230 pounds. I have a serotta Colorado III that is a very sweet ride. I would not rule out an aluminum bike with carbon fiber seat or chainstays though. The bigger the bike gets the less stiff they tend to be. Waterford is also an excellent choice check out there website they have a bunch of super large (7' and taller) frames displayed.
At your size (length and mass), you are probably...sprockets
Jan 10, 2002 8:39 AM
going to have to compromise a bit somewhere. If you want a stiff frame, you are going to have a relatively heavy frame, no way around it. I don't mean a porker, but it ain't gonna weigh 3 pounds, either. Unless you get lucky I think you are going to have to get a custom bike, which is really a nice thing if you can pay the price.

OTOH, it sounds like your bike is going to be used for recreational riding and long distance riding, so maximum stiffness is NOT really a top concern, is it? I would think that a frame with some comfort and performance, and reasonable stiffness, is going to be right for you. So, maybe a focus on stiffness alone isn't what you need.

I am 6'2" and 220 pounds, and I have a Litespeed Classic and have been surprised how stiff it turned out to be. Not quite aluminum-brutal, but, surprisingly, more so than my old-good quality-steel bike. A custom bike based on the Classic would be very nice.

I used to own-and regret not owning still-a Waterford steel bike. They used to make the Schwinn Paramounts. They have been around for a long time, and have both the old-time know-how and the modern technology, plus they have built LOTS of bikes. I would love to see a custom steel that they would build for you. Other posters have suggested some custom builders, many of whom probably do a fine job, but I would be surprised if they could produce as nice a custom bike-as carefully designed and appropriately engineered-as could Waterford. I base this on some experience I have had with custom builders of a road bike and a tandem I purchased. Lots of people can braze a frame, and also work with integrity, and also have a good sense for tube selection and geometry, but most of these guys just don't have the scope and experience of a larger, long established builder. Summary: I was very impressed with the Waterford, worth a demo ride if you can find one. See their website. Also, not to forget Serotta, who makes a good bike, too.
At your size (length and mass), you are probably...yeah right
Jan 11, 2002 1:01 AM
I'm 6'4" 270 and my dad is 6'9" and about 275, and we both love our Waterfords. Great bike, and if you're really concerned with stiffness, get the sprinter's downtube option.