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A little back round. I have been riding a road bike since 2001.I am a big guy at 6'2" and 260lbs. Last year I didnt ride my old 1999 Specialized S-works. I rode my mt. bike. This year I am riding the specialized again. I have wanted to buy a newer bike that it carbon as I figured that it would be a plusher ride. So here are some of my questions. Need some experienced advice.

I bought a ebay chinese carbon frame.

1. What groupset should I buy. Campagnolo, Shimano, or SRAM? I live in a hilly area and don't climb the greatest cuz of my weight. I want a Campy Chorus but they dont have a triple? If I get a double do I want the 11-25 cassette?

2. what length crank should I have? My inseam is a 34and the bike frame is a 58cm. Not sure what my current bike has. Do i need the 172.5?

3. I need a 31.6mm seatpost and a 34.9 seatpost clamp. What would you recomend? I was thinking a thompson clamp?

4. the cockpit (on the Spec.) seems more stretched out than I remember. Should I get a shorter stem? what length should I get? Any rec. on a stem? It will attach to a 44cm S-works carbon bar I got a deal on.

5. Should I use carbon "prep" paste? if so what brand?

6. Any rec. on some "aero" wheels. I like the zippmaxs but I dont want to spend more than 1,500.00. eastons?

7. what online store has the best prices on campy grouppo's?

I cant remember my other questions, but these are probably enough. Thanks.
 

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info...

That's a lot of questions. In lieu of a triple, Campy offers a 50/34 with 11-25, 12-27 or 12-29 cassettes. You can combine the 11-15 from an 11-25 with either of the other two cassetes to create an 11-27 or 11-29, but the 15-17 shift won't be perfect. The 50/12 top gear is a lot like a 53/13.

I'd try a 175mm crank with your inseam.

Aero wheels at your weight? Forget that. Stick with something more reliable, like handbuilt 32H.
 

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Spend the money and get a pro fitting, it will answer the question of crank length and stem. I'd also recommend going a compact double with a 11/28~29 in the back. Between the different groups, they all shift different and are good, so get what feels and appeals best to you.
Just about any clamp will do. Yes on the paste, any brand. Definitely get stronger wheels than just aero. You'll be much happier down the road. Check ribble, wiggle, and PBK for prices.
 

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I'd also suggest you consider a compact crankset instead of a triple. There are reasons more and more compacts are being offered, while fewer manufacturers are making triples each year.

I don't know much about Campy, but can tell you that Sram offers a lot of different cassette combinations (more than Shimano) intended for compact cranksets. Sram started the whole compact crank revolution. Shimano and Campy have had to follow suit.

Try a 26T or 27T large cog, with a compact crank for help climbing. This is probably low enough gearing, but is still compatible with most short rear derailleurs. (Check manufacturer's websites for derailleur limitation with largest cogs.)

If you go with a compact crankset, you'll likely want an 11T smallest cog... What goes up must come down and the 11T will help keep you from spinning out on faster decents.

With a compact crankset, you can end up with just as wide an overall range as with a triple... The difference is that the individual gear-to-gear jumps are bigger than with a standard double or triple.

Carbon assmbly paste is essentially a grease with "grit" in it (I'm guessing metal particles). Use it any time you are clamping carbon parts, so that you can use minimum torque to keep from crushing the carbon parts. It's most useful on steerers, carbon handlebars and seat posts. A $5 tube of the stuff will probably last a lifetime!

You don't want to use carbon assembly paste in places where lubricating grease is needed. For example, the threads of a bottom bracket or around the headset bearings, where grease is used to keep aluminum threads from binding in the first case, and for some additional protection against water entering the bearings in the second case.

Depending upon your budget, a new, full group might be the way to go. But you can often buy takeoffs for some savings on certain auction sites. You might mix and match parts. I just put together a bike with mostly Sram Rival, but a Red crankset in the size I wanted. All brand new 2010 parts, that ended up costing me a few hundred $ less than any group I might buy off the shelf. On the other hand, when buying a group you can specify a lot of the items to get exactly the size you want.... and you might wait a while for an auction to pop up with a particular combination you're seeking.

Sometimes it's better to buy some parts individually. For example, some people downgrade the Sram front derailleur from Red to either Force or Rival. The Red FD uses a titanium cage to save a few grams, but is flexier and not quite as "positive" shifting. On the other hand, the Red crank is both stiffer and lighter than the Force, and a whole lot lighter than the Rival. Aside from the cranksets, there's little weight penalty comparing most of the Sram components with each other. The carbon levers, brake calipers and derailleurs are only a wee bit heavier in the downgrade lines. Shifting with Red is the nicest, but both Force and Rival are darned good, too.

From my limited experience, Sram is a little fussier to set up. Just seems to me that Shimano derailleurs are a little more tolerant of misalignment. Sram shifting is "crisper", Shimano's more smooth. Not really saying one is better than the other... They're just different.

Using a single lever for both up and down shifting - the way Sram does - takes a little getting used to. It's no big deal after a while, though, and it's why their shifters are the lightest available.

Campy, Shimano and Sram all grip a little differently when riding on the hoods. They just have different approaches to ergonomics. Some prefer one or the other. I ride both Shimano (Ultegra 6600) and Sram (both Force and Rival) and don't really prefer one over the other. You might, though, so check them out in a shop, if at all possible. After all, you'll likely be gripping those hoods for long periods of time while climbing those hills.

I agree with the idea of a fitting. It's the best way to find a good starting point (and maybe even prevent injury). Have to admit I just swap out stems a couple times to see what feels best. And I prefer a 172.5 crank arm on my bike, even though my 31 inch inseam and 53 to 54cm bike size "dictate" that I should be using a 170mm crank arm. But I'm not a terribly serious cyclist and don't spend hours and hours in the saddle.

Most modern stems are designed to work with carbon bars. Some older ones tended to have too sharp machined edges and needed some care or work, or they might damage carbon parts. I would just recommend looking for a stem that has a four-bolt face plate. Some still use only two bolts, to try to save a few grams.... But I've found their narrower gripping area seems to make them more inclined to "creaking" and flexing with a carbon bar.

Seatpost and clamp can be almost anything that appeals to you. If the clamp will be riding directly on the carbon tubing, there is a type that might be a little safer, with an offset slot at an angle. The one I use on my Look is a smaller size than you need, but happens to be a Campy clamp of this type. (http://cgi.ebay.com/Campagnolo-31-8mm-Seat-Post-Clamp-31-8-Seatpost-Collar-/170517139306?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Cycling_Parts_Accessories&hash=item27b39d0f6a)

Agreed.... go for strong wheels... you're a Clydesdale! There are some stronger designs of Aero wheels available, but unless you are going to be competing in time trials or traithlons, you might be better off just looking for a good, reliable set of training wheels. Later you might add a set of "race day wheels", if you really need them. Spend some time looking through the reviews here and elsewhere.

Have fun building your bike!
 

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Amfoto1 said:
I'd also suggest you consider a compact crankset instead of a triple.
I still believe that a 6'2", 260 lb guy should get a triple. A 30 x 27 will feel a lot friendlier than a 35 X 27 when he hits a big hill. Heck, I run a compact with a 11 x 28 and I weigh 175 lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow..thanks for all the feedback. amfoto especially great post. I have an ultegra double right now. I seem to have to stand in the saddle for the steeper stuff. Do you count the teeth to find out what size cassette you have on a bike? That was never clear to me :D.

I realize that piecing a group together would be cheaper if I wait for the right prices but I will probably get a grouppo cuz its simpler and easier. Still

Alright anyone else have a wheelset recomendation? I guess any wheelset that would be good. I don't need it to be aero. My current wheelset are mavic heliums.

I agree on the professional fit. But I live in ND and I don't know of any available. The LBS might help but don't want to do that since I'm not really buying anything from them.
 

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If you plan on climbing mountains, triple are the best.

For wheels, get handbuilt wheels with Mavic CXP-33 rims and reasonable hubs (Ultegra, Dura-Ace, or DT or King if you have spare money). The Ksyrium wheels are very popular and nice, but they have high tension and this is a pain when you break a spoke (just broke one on the Death Ride). Open Pro rims are also popular but not super strong, I keep killing them. CXP-33 are strong, I never killed one - just ordered a few from England. Beware of wheels with low spoke count or paired spokes, when you break a spoke the wheel will be completely off and you won't be able to ride.
 
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