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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm dreaming of a new bike I just don't know much about it yet. I'm hoping that you all can help me narrow it down a little bit to make my search (and bike lust) more focused. I know, touch call, but bear with me a bit. First a bit about me. I'm 6'2" 260lbs with more torso than most people my height. My pants inseam is only 32". I've been riding for 6 years now. I ride recreationally only on rides up to 100 miles. With my two little boys I'm happy if I get in 1500 miles in a year.

My current bike is a Specialized Allez Elite 58cm that I bought before I knew anything about road bikes (or what shops to look in for one.) Needless to say it doesn't fit me that well. I've tweaked the seat height, seat fore/aft position, replaced the stem with a higher angle and use about 1" of spacers too. I just can't get the bars up to the level I'd like on this frame. I've currently got them within 1" below the seat, but I'd prefer them higher (and more comfortable.)

What I want is comfort. From reading I think I want more of a touring geometry so that it'll accomodate larger tires (25-28mm). I'd like to try something other than aluminum (with carbon forks) and have been thinking either steel or carbon. With my weight I'm not the least bit concerned about the weight of the bike. Mostly I want a bike that's comfortable and won't beat me up.

I get pains between my shoulder blades on rides longer than 30 miles. Its much better since I've adapted my riding position to the bike and tweaked the bike but I'm basically at the limit of what I can do on this frame. I'm not sure of the budget but $2-2.5K is probably reasonable. Given that I spent $1K on the one that didn't fit 6 years ago. :-(

So if you're still with me. What should I be dreaming about or researching in my spare time surfing the internet? I live near Philadelphia, PA so I've got a lot of local bike shops. I don't like going in as an un-informed customer and potentially getting the summer bike builder working with me if there is an expert to who's brain I can pick. :)

Thanks,

Eric
 

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I'd consider the specialized Roubaix Expert Ultegra, in probably a 56. Competitive Cyclist (www.competitivecyclist.com) has a great Fit Calculator that you can use to determine your ideal frame size. Since it sounds like shoulder pain is your number one issue, I'd put more focus on getting your top tube length set to fit, and then worry about seat tube length. Using the fit calculator will help you get an idea of what size frame you should be riding and will probably help you feel more comfortable talking with the shop.

I'm new to "serious" riding as well, but have been studying it diligently since January. I just pulled the trigger on a Cervelo R3 - super comfy, but probably a little more expensive and a little more aggressive in positioning than what you're looking for.

When I demo'd the Roubiax, I noticed it had a very "upright" and relaxed seating position. It's also carbon, with gel inserts on the seat stays, so it rides like it's on air. :)
 

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Most shops will offer a fit session to make sure the bike fits you correctly. This would be important for longevity of riding, etc. For your shoulder pain, I too experienced that as well and thought it might be my top tube length. But after the fit session, it was determined that my handle bars were about 4 cm too narrow which pinched my shoulders together. Long story short, switched out the bars and don't any issues now.

Bikes like the Roubaix sound like the way to go for you. They are supposed to be long saddle time bikes that offer comfort for longer rides.

So...my suggestion on research

- bike shops. developing a relationship with a good shop is very helpful, especialy if you are new to the biking habit. They can answer your questions, and help explain things.

- geometry. how do you want to sit, sounds like you want your bars higher then the seat, so after you settle on how you want to sit on the bike, then you can investigate..

- frame material. Carbon, Steel, Ti, AL depends on manufacturer, but they all offer something.

- test ride. be comfortable during the rides.

- patience. sounds like you are willing to invest the time to research, don't make the snap decision. If one bike just feels right, then start comparing the others to that bike.

I wish you luck my friend. There are others more knowlegable about bikes then me, but this is what I did when I bought my bike.
 

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Hey ECF
I am 6'3" 275 or so and have gone through some of the issues that you are having. I currently work for a bike shop on the west coast and I regularly see a PT that specializes in bike fits due to injuries. Feel free to drop me a line and I would be more than happy to answer any questions and share whatever info that i have.

Best of Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies...

It sounds like I'm looking for something in the 'relaxed fit' category. I've done sone looking online the last couple days. It seems any of the following might fit that bill, Serrotta Fierte, Canondale Synpse, Trek Pilot, Specialized Roubaix, Cervelo R3 or maybe RS (not sure yet), and anything else custom built, of course.

Since I've already got an Aluminum/carbon fork I know that's out. Does anyone know if any of the above bikes have weight limits? Are there other makes/models custom builders I should be looking into?

I should have mentioned that I've been through some fit sessions on my current bike and its setup about as well as it can be. Is it true that if I have a longer top tube, but taller head tube it'll actually put the bar at about the same reach, just higher. I think that makes sense, just checking.

Thats all for now, keep the ideas and suggestions coming, please.

Eric
 
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