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I need help buying the right bike!(21 posts)

I need help buying the right bike!FNG
Feb 18, 2002 12:28 PM
I am returning to road bikes after 10+ years and a lot seems to have changed, including me! I am 6'1' and fairly evenly split (legs to torso), but I am currently a heavy rider, 210 pounds. However, I do plan to be down to 190-185 by spring so my buying decisions are based around the future weight. My overall intentions are to just enjoy riding again. I will probably not do many races, but I am a very competitive person and I train as though I was going to race. So that, I need help deciding, due to my size, what should I avoid when buying my first bike in 10 years. Such as: what is going to flex to much for me, or what wheel sets are to lightweight for me? Should I buy a frame/fork and then a component set, or should I just buy a complete bike? I have looked at the Lemond - Zurich and I was fitted into a 57cm with almost no adjustments. I have also been looking at the Scattante Zonal frame and fork from Supergo along with the Campagnolo Chorus build kit. I do not have an unlimited budget, but I would like to keep it around $2000 even if I need to assemble the bike. Thanks for any help you can offer the FNG!
re: I need help buying the right bike!xxl
Feb 18, 2002 3:09 PM
If you're 6'1", the 57 cm. size seems a little small, but as long as you have confidence in the's almost always cheaper to pick up a whole new bike with parts on it, unless you are able to troll the online retailers, and have the mechanical skills to combine odd groups, closeouts, etc., and enjoy that sort of thing. I do, but it's not everybody's cup of tea.

Two large really outta buy a non-racer, even an athletic one, all the bike they'd ever need. In fact, you honestly might want to consider cheaping out with a used ride. Your size isn't uncommon, so you'd have a fair number of options, and you'd have a little time to get reacquainted with the sport while you decide what you really want. Plus, you'd have a beater bike after you scored your dream ride. You noted that things have changed, including you; you might well find your riding style/preference has changed as well in ten years.

At 210, I'd personally be a bit afraid of the current crop of sub-24 spoke wheels, esp. if I were only training. The very best in the world still use good old 32-spoke stock on their training wheelsets, and they go plenty fast; you will too. As to frame flex, even at your size, the variability across modern frames, even of different materials, just isn't really much; we're talking fractions of millimeters here. Unless you were having a problem with it ten years ago, I wouldn't be too concerned with it. I'd be more focused on test riding what I could, because there are indescribable nuances between bikes that defy explanation; one will just "feel" right, be it steel, ti, or what have you. And do try to keep the wheelsets reasonably consistent on your test rides. Too many guys come back from riding an aluminum bike with 20 mm. tires and wonder about the "harsh ride of aluminum" compared to the steel bike they tried earlier (that had 25 mm. tires).

For the money, the mid-group Cannondales aren't bad; I understand a lot of taller riders like them, and they're available everywhere. For less than your budget, you could score a 105 bike, and have plenty left over for really cool shoes, a second wheelset, or much of a touring vacation.
Skip the ZurichCrankist
Feb 18, 2002 3:51 PM
and go stright to the Seven steel Axiom, save that awkward step.
Or yes, get the Zurich, it's a darn good bike that does a lot well. If it fits and
the approx. 20.5 lbs. weight is OK with you (and it should be OK) then it's
a sure bet that you'll enjoy it. I still love climbing onto mine (Freudian alert) for long rides.
As far as your weight and flex in the frame, you'll be fine. A way-recommended out of the box bike.
See review section; a lot of heavy people ride 'em. I can't testify to the 2002 Bontrager wheelset though.
(Good strong replacement wheelsets can be had for ~$250 if nec.).
Skip the ZurichSnowBlind
Feb 18, 2002 5:04 PM
Yeah, but who would believe the diff unless you owned a mass produced bike first?
My fave bike shop sells 2 custom bikes, Seven and a local builder Curtis Inglis.
Told the owner he should sell his stock bikes with a 50% credit back when the cyclist got tired/outgrew it twords a custom bike. That way, he sells the new and used production bikes, and then upgrades them to a custom after a years time. Any used bike's waiting to be sold can go into the rental pool.
He is considering it, mainly because he likes to see happy customers like myself on their custom bikes.
I would have never understood just how sweet the custom is, or how I wanted it built, unless I rode that Bianchi for a coupla years.
best value - $1600 w/ Dura Acebikejack
Feb 18, 2002 4:03 PM
if you want the best value and Ride I think it would be hard to beat the Motobecane le Champion Team for about $1600. The frame is light but still stiff enough for a tall rider - and who can argue with DuraAce?
You again ??spamPolice
Feb 18, 2002 9:04 PM
There are one or more people hawking the trashy "Motobecane" line coming out of asia somewhere. They jump on every opportunity to cite the great value offered by the bikes, the frames of which will prove inferior to quality bikes that you could have spent your money on. This "marketing" ploy alone should leave anyone cold about this attempt to capitalize on a venerable name with cookie cutter junk.
You again ?? -- you are against other people having a saybikejack
Feb 19, 2002 1:33 AM
some people like Specialized - do you flame them? Some people like FELT - are they spamers? Some people feel giants are a great bike - what you say they are poor quality since they are made in Taiwan -- try to understand not everyone likes the same stuff you do! Plus you have no objective data indictaing that a Motobecane has a poor frame - why dont you go read their Warranty?
It's the mailorder thingjtolleson
Feb 19, 2002 9:16 AM
Do you really want to keep pushing an off-brand bike that is available only from an online retailer?

It is one thing to buy via the 'net and then know that I can walk into my LBS for warranty questions or general advice. Not ONLY is the jury still out on the frame quality of the Moto-be-knockoff, a new rider should have access to more than an email address for vendor/manufacturer contact.

Want a mail order Motobecane? Fine. Buy one. But pushing it as a solution to every shopper DOES smack of advertising.
It's the mailorder thingLooks my man looks
Feb 19, 2002 12:28 PM
Just because he didn't go and blow his money senselessly like you on a ridiculously overpriced IF Crown Jewel Ti frame is no reason to chew the guy out. That frame that you just bought is overpriced by about $1000, no different in ride quality from a custom Anvil or even a Litespeed at all. just a bunch of marketing hype and overpricing. Almost 3K just for frame? ROTFLMAO Sounds like you bought into the advertising scheme yourself honey.
Sorry if my post appeared to chew anyone outjtolleson
Feb 19, 2002 1:30 PM
My main objections to the Motobecane marketing remain the mailorder only nature of the sales, and the fact that although the name still exists, the construction is elsewhere, and the jury is still out on whether quality compares to the Motobecane of old.

As for my purchase... overpriced? Oh definitely. I haven't ridden a bargain in a while. Some folks make their frivolous feel-good purchases on the car lot, I make 'em in the bike shop. To each his or her own.
Classy response, JT.hoolie
Feb 19, 2002 1:35 PM
You didn't engage in the name calling flaming. I wonder if this is the same poster who has had you in his sights for the last couple of weeks about your bike purchase. This personalized flaming is getting old.

I'd agree that your IF is too steep for my blood, though I guess it compares to both Serotta and Seven price wise. I'll stick with my Litespeed. But as for why he came out with guns blazing here, I'll never know.

You didn't say it but I will. What a jacka$$!

PS -- saw a thread on Motobecane on the components board, I think with some criticisms there on not being able to reach bikesdirect by phone. True?
Actually it was the HOT DEALS boardjtolleson
Feb 19, 2002 1:42 PM
where there's a discussion about Motobecane, which for whatever reason is an issue that seems to provoke emotion on both sides!

Can't speak to the criticisms of Bikesdirect, with whom I've never dealt.

Thanks for the nice words. Hey, PS, my overpriced frame does include the Ouzo Pro fork! : ) (and it is $2899 not $3000! I must defend the honor of my checkbook!)
Actually it was the HOT DEALS boardT Ortiz
Feb 19, 2002 7:42 PM
$2,899 for a Ti frame and an OPC fork? Wow, I'll bet if you rode that frame blindfolded versus a Litespeed you couldn't tell the difference.
So true, so true.jtolleson
Feb 20, 2002 10:28 AM
best value - $1600 w/ Dura AceHarry Hall
Feb 19, 2002 8:40 AM
Another suggestion for a big guy--Serotta steel. The "Colorado" tubing design stiffens the bb, you have a big choice of forks. Try the STEEL fork as it will have clearance for the 25c or 28c tires that you should be riding on. Try NOT caring what the bike will weigh. You will get a better bike for your money, a longer lasting better riding machine if you don't make bike weight a priority.
re: I need help buying the right bike!mja
Feb 18, 2002 6:17 PM
I too am 6 ft. 1 in., and I have the 2002 Zurich, 57 cm. I have proportionately longer legs/shorter torso, but the fit is good with a 100 mm stem. After replacing just the stem, saddle, and seatpost with lightweight substitutes; the bike comes in at 19 lbs. max. As I am only 170 lbs. and not a powerful rider, I can't comment on the flex you might experience.

It's a good looking ride, good quality workmanship, and reasonably priced with Ultegra group. If, after a year or two, you desire another bike, it shouldn't be difficult to move it in the used market.
re: I need help buying the right bike!dealy663
Feb 18, 2002 7:45 PM
You shaved a pound and a half off of your bike with a new stem, seatpost and seat? I know the 2002 Zurich comes with a 200gm selle san marco saddle. What are these 3 new components that are that much lighter than the stock forgie stem, and unknown seat post? The zurich is built with pretty decent stuff for the price. I'm really interested in how you did this and at what cost.

I stand corrected! Today at LBS bike weighed in at 19.9 lbs. (nm)mja
Feb 19, 2002 1:26 PM
Zurich vs my Giant frame.tempeteKerouak
Feb 18, 2002 7:05 PM
replacable rear derailleur hanger
riveted (replacable) front derailleur plate
ovalized and oversized downtube
Nice and neat dropouts
Shaped seat tube to accomodate short wheelbase
Bent stays
nice small pieces (that don't make a difference really, but nice still): seat tube collar (team Once), carbon fork spacer, headtube cable gussets...

Inexpensive, light and versatile.

Not to bash the Zurich, which is a nice steel frame (I ride my friend's 2000 one here and there) with good components and racier wheels (Rolf or Bontrager -Trek for short). In fact it's an excellent comfortable ride to get back to road riding. It's a steady steering and classic ride. But esthetically IMO, an ordinary frame for the money.

I had to make the same choice, 200+ pounds, going back to road and sports in general. I got a Giant 105 equiped TCR2.
Now I weight 170 (7 months) and have the money for a second set of those racier wheels. Budget was a heavy restriction.

You have the choice, and it's a tougher one. But get good wheels before light wheels.
re: I need help buying the right bike!Bacco
Feb 18, 2002 7:24 PM
I am 6'0" and found the 59 cm Zurich was a great fit. My last bike was a Trek 2120 in a 58 cm frame - it was really a bit too small for me, so I had to put on a longer stem. I really like the Zurich that I got two months ago. It's a sweet riding bike that is great for long distance rides and hill climbing. It too soon to say anything about the Bontrager wheels' durability, but they sure look cool! The entire bike looks cool! If you plan to ride a lot, go for a bike with Ultegra components and a good frame for the type riding you will doing, then you won't be having to upgrade in a year. There are many good bike choices out there, so go ride as many as you can and read up on proper bike fit.
Feb 19, 2002 4:04 PM
Thanks for all the help! And it sounds like I should buy a complete bike versus a frame and build kit to start out. Does anybody know what a comparable Bianchi or Obrea bike to the Zurich? Opinions either way? The reason I ask is because I have a great LBS that handles both, but not the Lemond.