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  1. #1
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    carbon vs aluminum for commuter clydsdale commuter/rec rider

    I'm upgrading from a heavy steel touring bike that I've had for 2 1/2 seasons now to get a lighter faster ride for my 12 mile commute and 20-40 mile weekend rides and few centuries during the season. I'm 6'3"-4" and 260 lbs. I've been riding for a long time and know a good ride but I don't want to get beat up on along ride either. My touring bike is a bit small and very reliable but it's slow with wide 35mm tires and heavy parts.

    On BikesDirect, would carbon, like the Kestrel Evoke or Motobecane Immortal Pro be a comfortable and fun ride for someone who has never been on carbon fiber before? Or would I be best to stick with aluminum like the Motobecane Sprint or Windsor Knight? I'm looking at the 62cm for fit.


    Kestrel Evoke: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...l/evoke_09.htm
    Moto - Sprint: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e/sprint_x.htm

  2. #2
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    Reputation: chas0039's Avatar
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    I could be wrong, but I would guess that you need to consider something with a higher spoke count for the rims. At 260lbs you would be over the upper limits of most of the tires offered with the carbon frames at BD, as well as many of the aluminum frames. If you were to look at the Mercier Corvus, you will find sturdier tires as well as a much more rugged steel frame. I don't know how light you need to go, but I have 6 different bikes, two much older with heavy steel frames, and I do not find the Mercier heavy or slow at all. It is every bit as quick as my Titanium frame. Unfortunately, BD is out of stock, but you can see the difference in the spoke count. Rims these days seem to assume that we weigh nothing and with low spoke count in vogue, they are selling many versions which are truly non-ride-able by anyone without a very low weight. I have a set of Fulcrum Racing 7s which are a decent spoke count (these days) sold as "training" wheels and at 6'2" and 175lbs I am at nearly at the upper limit for weight.

  3. #3
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    Fellow clyde

    I'm 6'7" and 260 - I recently bought a bikes direct Cyclocross - its aluminum, which I'd been warned against because of my size, but since its a cyclocross, I believe it'll make a great road bike (overbuilt for the off road, which I'll likely never do). I only have a couple hundred miles on it, but for 499 (cyclocross cx) I got a bike that fits me (hard to find even from a LBS). I built a new rear wheel, with a velocity dyad (36 h), paid a LBS to tune it up after I assembled it, so ended up for under 700, a great road bike! Even though low end shifters etc, they work great and SO much nicer than the down tube shifters I had on the old Fuji road bike. Its super light, and a great ride!

  4. #4
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    I'm 6'7" and 260 - I recently bought a bikes direct Cyclocross
    I'm assuming you chose the 64cm for your height? I'm torn because at 6'3 1/2 I feel I'm right in between the 61 and 64 on the Fantom CX, which is a bike I'm now considering because of it's strength and versatility (fenders, wider tires, rack mounts, etc). I have a long torso and often feel cramped on a bike if it's too small.

    From your experience do you think the 64 is too big for someone 3-4 inches shorter than you? I have a 35-36" inseam (measured standing over a book against the wall)

  5. #5
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    I did get the 64cm bike – it is plenty long – I also am long torsoed (34” inseam, the rest is torso) , and just yesterday bought a shorter, higher stem to shorten my length a bit and bring my bars a little higher. I’d GUESS the 61cm might be better for you, but its hard to say. One of the joys of buying direct (that and saving 800 dollars…). My seat post is close to being maxed out. I might consider longer cranks in the future.

    If you were to try a bike at a LBS that fits,, measure the distance from seat to handlebar, I could do the same on the 64 and see how they compare.

    The guys at the bike shop who did my tune up were laughing about trying to testride it – the guy held his hand up to about his shoulder, and said the bike is this big. Not really that tall, but LOOOONG. Hard for them to ride cuz they could hardly reach the handlebars. but they were not 6 footers so.. if you happen to live in Minneapolis or surrounding areas, you'd be welcome to test ride it..

  6. #6
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    The other comment - it doesn't have as much room for fenders as you might suspect - the tires I have on there are 35s and they fit fine, but I went to put a front fender on, and the standard one didnt fit - the bike mechanic had to put a special half fender on (not enough room between the tire and the frame, with the cables running down there..)

  7. #7
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    Hey Sprocket, did you ever get a bike?

  8. #8
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    I'm a nearly exact 6-3 with a 35" true inseam, although I can get by with 34 in pants… I ride a 61 road bike and think thats the way to go. I tried a 64, and it felt fine sitting on, but putting it in the trainer for 5 minutes really exposed the awkwardness of it. I suppose we could have shortened the stem as much as you could lengthen a stem on a 61… I'm happy with the 61, @ 6-3.
    The internet is a little like a bar, a wonderful place where we can bullsh(t our past, but it also, is full of reasonably reliable sources of information to be used as ammo to call "bullish)t."

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