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Apa kabar?
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all, just wanted to get a little bit of advice from the people who know far more than i...

i have finally gotten my entire family hooked on bicycling. well, i guess i actually got my pops wanting to become a roadie, and the rest of the family is on board. little background first (sorry if this is long, but i'm really excited that my family is getting interested in cycling). pops has decided, after hearing many a story from me about how competitive/fun/exhilirating/peaceful cycling is, that he wants his 50th b-day present to be him, the rest of my family, and myself, to complete a very tough road race next summer. we are a fairly large group of people, and i am excited that my family will find something that will allow them to not only lose weight, but also have a great time doing it.

now on to my question before i bore too many potential posters: my pops is 6'7" and 260 (a clyde among clydes so to speak). after doing a bit of research, i have come to the conclusion that he is probably too large of a human to be riding a production frame. i know that it all comes down to his specific measurements and proportions, but am i thinking along the right lines here? he is in the market for a frame geometry that would allow him, as a newbie, to be able to put in some good miles with some comfort, but also be able to race on it in the future. if there are any production frames that you feel would fit a person like this, or if you have any input on who a good custom frame builder might be, i would love to hear it. also, what kind of components/wheels/frame materials would you recommend? thanks a bunch!

on a side note, also have a brother, sister, brother in law, and mom that are also wanting bikes...probably best for them to look at the lbs. (do they do package deals???) they run 6'3", 5;10", 6'2", and 5'5" respectively...probably don't need a custom fit for any of them.
cheers!
 

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Apa kabar?
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269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
not on the phone, but on the website

thanks for the website, just got done checking it out. it looks like he is just the person to talk to about building a bike for a large human, especially considering that he, himself, is a large human. thanks for the website, probably would have taken me a much longer time to find on my own (gotta love this forum). after looking at the site it looks like the prices are pretty expensive, which is to be expected for a custom frame, but do you think that it is worth it for someone who is just starting out in the road bike scene. i guess i'm asking if he should compromise a good fit for price. get a custom bike for 4,000, or a bike that is too small for 1,000. i think i'll try to talk him into the 4,000 bike the fits him. it will most likely make for a much more enjoyable, and longer lasting experience. thanks again!
 

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wheel to wheel
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Where are you located?

Zinn is definitely the voice of larger-persons-bikes, but that's also because he is very tall himself. With all due respect to Zinn, though, I'm sure your local qualified frame-builder would be more than happy to take on a 5-bike order (or even 1). It would be an interesting project. I can post some builders in your area perhaps, and there are many good builders around. A custom steel frame can be had for $1100-$1300.

Better be sure, though, that this is for real: it will be very hard to recoup any investment on a custom frame built for a 6'-7" guy if the interest wears off!
 

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Apa kabar?
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
location = new mexico

we are located in new mexico...me southern, him and the rest of my family are in northwest nm. i have a feeling this is something that he will likely get interested in, but it might be hard to sell him on the idea of a 4,000 dollar bike without knowing that he is going to really enjoy the sport. especially considering there are not too many people of that size that are wanting a used bike. he has the money to pay for it, but he is kinda cheap, so he would probably rather struggle through a smaller frame size for less money. do you think that say a 63 cm bike would be so small that it would give him a poor taste for the sport and that custom would be the initial way to go? i've never ridden a bike that was too small for me, so i'm curious to know what impact a poor fit would/could have. cheers!
 

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wheel to wheel
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New Mexico.
Maybe terryb (I think he's from NM) knows a local builder; I don't.
Most of the builders on this list are very good, you might check them out. I personally recommend Jim Kish, but most of these guys are highly qualified.

This list is more exhaustive, and most aren't custom.

As regards the 63cm, the only answer to that is that your father should test ride as many bikes as he can. Go to the best bike shop you can find in your area and have him try some frames. 63 will probably be tight.

My brother is 6'-7" and wanted to spend very little on a bike (mtb). The largest he found, which does fit with stem and seatpost adjustments, was a Specialized (Hardrock I think).
But mtb fit is more forgiving than road, and if your father really wants to do long rides, race, etc. fit is paramount. Don't waste the money on an ill-fitting frame, it's not worth it.

Maybe check ebay also, under cycling/road bikes/complete bikes and frames/xxl (or the biggest size you see listed).

Download a fit form from any number of bike sites (Colorado Cyclist, etc.; just google "bicycle frame fitting") and have your father do the measurements; that will serve as a good start.

HTH.
 

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I am 6'5", and a 63cm can work with some adjustment

And not all 63cm are the same. I still have a 63cm Bianchi, but have to ride a long seatpost and a riser stem. Works, but I only kept it for a rain bike. The best fitting 63cm I rode was a Cannondale. Rock solid and the overall geometry was good. The only issue I had with the C'dale is their 63cm has a top tube of 61cm, which was about 1cm too long. I rode a shorter stem and it worked. The problem for you is most shops won't stock a 63cm as they have very little demand. (BTW, from my shopping around the only other stock bike that was close in geometry to the C'dale was Klein. Trek, Lemond, etc. are all smaller geometry. I rode a 62cm Trek 5200 for 2 years. Worked, but too small).

My main ride now is a custom Seven, which I bought after a custom fitting and is really a 65cm frame (with a shorter top tube). Zinn is definitely the leader in the big bike world (being a larger human himself). However, my Seven is world class (I love it). Serotta, Waterford, Independent Fabrications, etc. all make customs for larger riders.

You hit the nail on the head, however, with the question of price/value. I would not have dropped the $ for the custom had I not been hooked on riding and knew I would be getting my money's worth out of the bike. Remember, a custom frame is exactly that...custom. It will fit your father, but may not "fit" anyone else. My Seven frame and fork cost me $2,700, but if I had to sell it on eBay I would be lucky to get $700 to $1,000.

The 63cm would be close enough to allow for adjustments to the stem, seatpost, etc. and would be a workable frame. Then decide later to drop the $ on custom. Great deals on C'dales on eBay.
 

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eminence grease
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Even if you don't end up going with him, it might be worth a conversation to better understand the nuances of the larger build. I'm sure most custom guys get calls from people all the time who are not ready to commit.

You should also consider Carl Strong. I know he'd be willing to chat, he's just a very helpful guy. His steel frames are less expensive than Leonard's but with no sacrifice in quality.

Gunnar is another excellent recommendation (below). They get some upcharge for custom ($300 I think?) which puts them in the $1200 or so range for a frame. You should be able to do a complete bike for ~$2700 with a lower priced frame. Still expensive, but not $4500.

I too live in New Mexico, but I'm not aware of anyone building here in the state. My bikes have come from Montana, Seattle and Portland.

Rack bikes can be made to work, but I would still spend some time talking to Leonard or Carl. Be upfront and tell them you're not ready to go custom. Get some ideas about sizing. Won't be a waste of time.
 

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Incredibly slow
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Hopefully I won't get flamed here, but everyone's favorite e-retailer, Bikesdirect.com, does have a 105 equipped 64 cm steel bike for $750, and a 64 cm Ultegra 853 steel bike for $1300. It is a lot cheaper way to find out if your father really will enjoy riding. And as others have pointed out in other posts about BD, you can always strip the parts and use them on a better frame. Their 64cm bikes (ctr to top) have a top tube length of 61 cm, and a standover of 86.5 cm.

Or you could check Ebay for a used bike. There are occasionally a few big frames/bikes.
 

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Leader makes a 65cm frame

Leader makes the 717R, 730R, and 736R in a 65cm center to top of seat tube. with a 177.5 or 180mm crank set you are good to go. Visit our site at www.leaderbikestore.com

FYI we do pay and advertise here on RBR this is only a helpful add on to the thread for high quality budget oriented people.

Chris
 

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Apa kabar?
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269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks a bunch

thanks to all who have posted, a lot of very useful information and resources. i will be sure the forward all of this information to my dad. he's an engineer, so he'll probably really enjoy talking with these custom bike experts about frame geometries and sizes. you have all been a great help. thanks!
 

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Being that it's a family thing, and it sounds like your father is excited and also seems willing to drop some dough on a custom I might suggest you find a local bike shop that does fitting right. I got my custom carbon fiber Calfee Tetra Pro through my local bike shop. It's full custom. You don't need to deal directly with the builder, but you want a local shop that knows and preaches proper bike fit. You will get practical fit checking before a custom bike is ordered. There are more things to take into consideration than just body geometry. General fitness, flexibility, limb length differences, any existing health conditions, etc, go into the mix. It will be good for you and the local bike shop you choose to give them your business as they will give you their expertise and help. Just my two cents.
 

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LeaderBike said:
Leader makes the 717R, 730R, and 736R in a 65cm center to top of seat tube. with a 177.5 or 180mm crank set you are good to go. Visit our site at www.leaderbikestore.com

FYI we do pay and advertise here on RBR this is only a helpful add on to the thread for high quality budget oriented people.

Chris
This 65 is actually about a 61or 62 if I recall the dimentions correctly. A 63 isn't that hard to come by, and I ride one. It is to small, but it works OK. I am 6'7", by the way. I hope to be talking to Mr. Zinn about a Project Big in the not too distant future.
 
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