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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Just wanted to introduce myself, tell my story, and ask a few questions. I've been mountain biking for a few years (let's call it "Cross Country Trail Riding" as I'm in Florida where there are no mountains and very few natural hills).

In order to build some speed and endurance out on the trails, and to be able to get in some more miles beginning from my front door when I don't have the time to drive to the trailhead (Work, Work, Work, and a 10 month old baby).. I decided to give road biking a whirl!

To get in the sport at a budget, I went the Bikes Direct route. I ordered a Gravity Avenue B and after a few slight adjustments (I think) it fits me well. It has downtube shifters which has taken some getting used to, but I figure used them for years without issues. This was a $259 bike, so definitely at the low end, but I'm hoping to put some miles on it and see how it holds up, as well as improve my fitness and maybe lose a few pounds. I am a big guy at 6'5 270 lbs and 30 years old.

I just couldn't stand the thought of putting on the cheapie pedals that came with the bike, so I'm riding clipless with Crankbrothers Mallets (not traditional for a roadbike by any means but I've been clipless for well over a year on my MTB and can't go back to flats). I'm also out there with my MTB helmet and shoes, but it will have to do for now.

I've been on 3 short rides that I sneak in after dark after the baby goes to sleep, 8-10 miles each at a 14mph pace which I suppose is a good starting point. Now that I'm getting more comfortable on the bike I will make the miles longer.. hardest part is finding the time to get out there. I see some folks around here getting 20mph averages and that seems quite out of reach for me.. I feel like I'm scooting at 14.

This bike came with Kenda K152 tires that have a max tire pressure of 80psi printed on them. My first ride, I pinch flatted at 80, so I have pushed the limit to 100psi and havne't had any issues yet. These tires are cheap and poorly reviewed online... so any recommendations on some tires that can handle my weight and won't break the bank?

Also, have any bigger guys (do roadies refer to big guys as clydesdales?) out there had luck with a long lasting budget bike similar to mine? I simply don't have the funds to buy another upper end roadbike at the moment (I've got some money wrapped up in two XC bikes)

Look forward to learning from this site and improving in the sport as we go!
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Welcome to the forums.. :)

Seems to me you really only have two questions (at least, at this time).

First, find out the largest tire your Gravity can run, and buy them. My guess is it'll be around a 28c, but that's a guess. Because sizes vary by brand, you may want to bring your bike to your LBS - at least for the first tire purchase. Once you get some idea of what will fit, you can look online.

Second, while I'm no Clydesdale (yes, that's the term), I can tell you from experience that there's no correlation between durability and cost. Actually, buying a cheaper (heavier) bike oftentimes proves more durable because there's less emphasis on saving weight.

The most likely source of your problems (as you're experiencing, in part) are tires and wheelsets (going out of true). But even there, the lower end/ heavier/ higher spoke counts) variety will be a better bet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. I actually emailed BD (actually Bikeisland.com which is BD's scratch and dent counterpart), and they answered back in literally a few mins.. they don't recommend anything larger than a 25c on this bike due to possible rubbing. Guess I'll be shopping for a 25c that can hold some pressure and my weight.
 

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Thanks for the response. I actually emailed BD (actually Bikeisland.com which is BD's scratch and dent counterpart), and they answered back in literally a few mins.. they don't recommend anything larger than a 25c on this bike due to possible rubbing. Guess I'll be shopping for a 25c that can hold some pressure and my weight.
At 270lbs, you're likely to have problems with 25c.

According to the Tire Pressure Calculator, you should be running around 107psi front and 166psi rear. You're really max'ing out the capacity of most tires.
Bicycle tire pressure calculator
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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Thanks for the response. I actually emailed BD (actually Bikeisland.com which is BD's scratch and dent counterpart), and they answered back in literally a few mins.. they don't recommend anything larger than a 25c on this bike due to possible rubbing. Guess I'll be shopping for a 25c that can hold some pressure and my weight.
It's very possible they're giving you their 'canned' (read, safe) answer. I suggest visiting a bike shop and physically trying a couple of brands/ models. The shop can easily swap a wheelset from another bike equipped with 28's.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained... :wink5:
 

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good luck with the switch to the road....and baby!

after strictly riding trails for the past 5 years or so, I also switched in order to prepare for ragbrai. surprising i love it even more than mtb. not sure if thats because its something different or the road is that much more convenient. it rained all day yesterday with several downpours, but was still able to head out after work without any problems. while the trails will still be mush for at least another day.

given you are already used to riding, you will probably see your road speed and distance improve fairly quickly.
 

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Crank Brothers are already road pedals. ;) Seriously - if you have at least medium-serious MTB shoes, you're not giving anything up.

You're likely to run into problems with wear parts first, on a cheap bike, and it still takes a while. Keep an eye on your bearings, and don't stress out about it. IMHO, road bikes run into diminishing returns a lot faster than mountain bikes as you throw parts at them.
 
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