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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Trek FX 7.2 Clyde-Cycle

Old 07-06-19, 12:10 PM
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WOT
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Trek FX 7.2 Clyde-Cycle

It has been quite a while since I posted here. I said I would return and post some details of my Clyde-Cycle. I wanted a commuter that could reliably carry me, my laptop, a change of clothes & groceries in comfort for a routine 8km urban spin to and from work.
Secondly I wanted something that I could bring for an extended spin on the way home or go for a weekend spin on.

Here is the story of what worked for me.

I had a tight budget to start and I bought an XL sized Trek FX 7.2 off a local equivalent of craigslist at a favorable price. In hindsight now I donít think it had ever been properly set up and that probably accounts for a lot of the early component failures that followed.

Rear wheel:
This deserves a paragraph all to itself. Again in retrospect the spokes on the original bontrager wheel probably were not tensioned to suit me or the loading. I became so familiar with the ďprangĒ of a broken spoke and subsequent rear wheel wobble that I was on 1st name terms with the guys in 2 local LBSs. After some research I decided to buy a rear wheel from a tandem and infact I got one custom built. This was a truly wallet opening event as the wheel cost me as much as the full bike did. I went for a 48 spoke unit and it was the 1st of many steps towards near perfect reliability.

Front Wheel:
I had no issues with the original Bontrager front wheel but I wanted dynamo powered lighting. Swapped the wheel out for a 36 spoke item with a shimano dyno hub. My LBS guy convinced me to go for this basic shimano hub, saying it would last longer than the rim due to the rim brakes and my heavy breaking. This guy who I found after buying the rear wheel turned out to be a wheel builder and tensioned the new front wheel to suit me.

Rear carrier:
I picked up a heavy duty carrier on a local used website. It has been super.

Mudguards:
SKS Long. Superb, even if they are a fiddle to fit.

Brake Pads:
Iíve found the shimano pads to be fine and havenít experimented too much. I always have a spare set to hand. The brakes themselves are adequate, an ideal version of this bike would have disc brakes but more about that later.

Bottom Bracket:
Original bracket failed quickly, replaced with a shimano unit from LBS and has been perfect since.

Headset Bearings:
Original Bearings failed quickly too, were replaced by a toplight unit.

Crankset, chain and rear gear set:
Replaced due to wear.

Lighting:
B+M CYoT front and Toplight Rear. Perfect reliability so far.

Saddles:
Bontrager item failed after a few months. Initially replaced with a fabric item until it failed after about 12 months. It failed and I replaced it with a fabric unit.
On thing I found was that while using an ortlieb saddle bag the saddle was stiffer. I think this can lead to early failure of the saddle.
I will probably change to a post mount saddle bag in the future but really itís fine for the moment.

Panniers:
I used Ortlieb fully reflective items for commuting. Perfectly dry contents every time, even in torrential rain.

Tyres and tubes: I got several pinch flats concurrently with the early spoke failures. I ditched the Bontrager rear tyre early after a poorly positioned brake pad caused itís demise.
Currently Iíve got 622x47 on the rear and 622x37 at the front. The increased width at the rear is a comfort and reliability step. Tyres are schwalbe marathon plus and the tubes are schwalbe too. I have not had any punctures on these tyres.

Cockpit:
Iíll save that for a later post, itís a bit unconventional

Cost:
About Ä1500 total spend including all maintenance. Not bad considering this is my main transportation and Iíve had it regularly serviced. I estimate Iíve done 5000km in total.

What would I do differently? If I had money to had I think I would buy a steel framed, disc braked touring bike from say thorn or vsf. Other than that, all of the components I have now are perfect for my needs.

I hope this is useful to someone trying to get a reliable comfortable Clyde-Cycle. Iíll share some photos and update here if I make any big changes.

Last edited by WOT; 09-28-19 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 07-06-19, 12:55 PM
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Old 07-06-19, 02:03 PM
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In the photo above youíll see the cockpit is a bit unusual. The bell was the 1st accessory to go on. Itís a BBB item.
For longer rides I wanted some bullhorns and considered getting some Ergon EG5L which look and feel great. I was conflicted because I did not want to shorten the bars.
The best compromise is how the bars are now. I havenít adjusted anything in at least a year. The previous year felt like I was continuously adjusting something. Iíve retained the full width, added a pair of nice bull horns that I picked up cheap. I had to butcher som grips to fill the gaps but this works well for me.
The mirror was added to help with commuting in traffic. I canít remember the make. Cateye maybe.
There is also an adjustable stem that I added from an old bike.
The bar is a little wide for traffic but itís not much wider than me or the pair of loaded panniers so I find the width ok.
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Old 07-07-19, 04:13 PM
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You're describing what I believe most committed, long term commuters eventually figure out; finding the perfect bike is a process of discovery and evolution. I always advise Clydes seek out a quality wheel set at the earliest opportunity. I'm not so sure I'd recommend a 48 spoke rear, but by doing so you've just about guaranteed yourself a lifetime wheel (not counting brake track wear). And your LBS guy is correct - I have a Shimano dyno hub similar to yours and it's provided thousands of trouble free miles. Your cockpit setup isn't anything too radical. SQ-Labs inner bar ends seem right up your alley.

Isn't is nice when you get your bike dialed in just the way you like? It's good that you've posted your experience as it could be a big help for others trying to find their own solutions.


-Kedosto
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Old 07-08-19, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
You're describing what I believe most committed, long term commuters eventually figure out; finding the perfect bike is a process of discovery and evolution. I always advise Clydes seek out a quality wheel set at the earliest opportunity. I'm not so sure I'd recommend a 48 spoke rear, but by doing so you've just about guaranteed yourself a lifetime wheel (not counting brake track wear). And your LBS guy is correct - I have a Shimano dyno hub similar to yours and it's provided thousands of trouble free miles. Your cockpit setup isn't anything too radical. SQ-Labs inner bar ends seem right up your alley.

Isn't is nice when you get your bike dialed in just the way you like? It's good that you've posted your experience as it could be a big help for others trying to find their own solutions.


-Kedosto
Thank you, iíve never seen those inner bar ends before. Iím reluctant to change the current setup for the time being but iíll Have a good review of the website.

The 48 spoker felt like overkill when I took it out of the box but it has stood up to nearly 2 years of abuse. The weight just makes me stronger, thatís how I see it anyway.
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Old 07-08-19, 10:42 AM
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Saddle bag fitted for a spin at the weekend:
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Old 07-08-19, 10:44 AM
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Lifeline mini floor pump for emergencies.
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Old 07-08-19, 11:03 PM
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tallbikeman
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As soon as I saw your air pump I knew you were a serious cyclist. I have repaired so many flats for cyclists who should know better than to leave home without a proper tire pump. CO2 cartridges are no better. I've repaired so many tubes for folks whose cartridge ran out during the repair. or had previously leaked out. If you break something more substantial like your chain then maybe you don't have the proper tool to repair it and have to walk home or beg a ride. In my 60 yrs of riding I've had very few instances where a loose stem or broken chain has stopped a ride. Your bike looks great. Your 48 spoke wheel is a plus on the durability scale and probably means that wheel will never be the reason you couldn't complete a ride. The bicycle business is just like the fashion industry in that they sell the latest fad or fashion if you will. Being a bigger person can take you out of the ordinary fashionable bicycle business and put you into the durability market. I reside in that market with you. I ride 36 spoke wheels and on the rear 10 speed hubs I install 13/14 gauge spokes for durability. There are certain rims I stay away from because of previous failures I've experienced with them. I love deep aero rims because they are so rigid and tolerate my weight well. Kedosto got it right when he said we follow a process of discovery and evolution. Come back in a couple of years and the same bicycle may have completely different setups on it. Good luck with your great looking new bicycle.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for your comments. The course of bike evolution is part of the fun. I had a smaller mini pump and said iíd use it to pump one of the tyres after a tube change. It was not comfortable using it at my house so it definitely would be useless on the side of the road in the rain.
The replacement floor mount item came quickly after that. Iíve never actually used it on my own bike. Itís probably 300g but if you saw a photo of me youíd understand why thatís inconsequential.
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Old 07-14-19, 03:59 PM
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My back wheel was built by PIM cycles and the spec was:
Suzue CR-00 hub,
Kinlin ADHN 700 rim built up with
48 Sapim Strong spokes
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Old 07-14-19, 05:56 PM
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How do you like having those brake levers so close to center?
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Old 07-15-19, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
How do you like having those brake levers so close to center?
They work really well for me in that position and typically operate the brakes with one or two fingers.
I can reach the brakes from the bull horns too.
I intend to move everything about 10mm wider each side in the next while.
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Old 08-16-19, 11:25 AM
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The bracket for my B&M front light was too short casting a nasty shadow from the front wheel.
My options from the B&M catalogue were to mount the light on the handlebar or to get a marginal increase in height from their other brackets.

Neither were ideal so with som digging I tracked down this SON item which is going to do the trick nicely.

I may yet make further tweaks to the positioning so the wiring is temporary




Before


After


SON Part number reference
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Old 08-16-19, 11:49 AM
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Also made the move to clipless, which is super. No issues with falling off yet but I have set the pedals to just about the lowest possible strength setting so unclipping is really easy.



Old reliables


Flat side


SPD side
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Old 08-22-19, 04:56 PM
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Your bike reminds me of my Norco MTB that I ride. It will probably be what I use until I can afford something with disc brakes and threadless headset, which are two items I really want, that and and a slightly bigger steel frame.
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Old 08-31-19, 12:16 PM
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A week ago I was out for a spin and after pulling up following a speedy descent there was a rubbing noise.

Less than a minute later and BOOM! The side wall of my rear rim gave way, puncturing the tube.


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Old 08-31-19, 12:18 PM
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Scrap Aluminium!


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Old 08-31-19, 12:28 PM
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My long term goal is now set to upgrade my frame to a disc braker. Therefore I wanted to spend as little as possible on fixing this.

Rebuild was quoted at £160 by the original wheel builder incl shipping 2 ways.

After doing some research I decided to have a go at swapping the rim.

Like for like Kinlin 48h rim £40 plus a spoke key and replacement rim tape. I decided to recycle the spokes and the nipples. Time will tell if that was a good decision.

I loosened all of the nipples gradually down to a couple of threads and then taped the 2 rims together.

One by one swapped each spoke and nipple.






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Old 08-31-19, 12:50 PM
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No Truing Stand, dishing tool or
No Spoke Tension Meter

I mounted the wheel into the frame and began dialing in tension, hop, dish etc.




48 spokes are a bit of a nightmare to chase around the rim, I admit I thought I was going a bit crazy at one stage.

My goal was to get it good enough that I could cycle it for the coming week. Iím running 47-622 at the rear with minimal clearance to the mudguard and the chainstays.

New Rim Tape, Tube and mounted up the tyre. Perfect clearance! Result.

Brought it for a 10km cycle and there were a a few creaks and pings from the rear. I did get a little bit of rubbing. 10minutes of micro adjustments later and itís like new again.

All in all, I know itís not 100% and Iíll get it onto a trying stand in the next week BUT itís unbelievably satisfying to have gotten it to this point with only a spoke key, a ruler, some chain lube and some tape.
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Old 09-01-19, 10:19 PM
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Quick home repairs

Originally Posted by WOT View Post
No Truing Stand, dishing tool or
No Spoke Tension Meter

I mounted the wheel into the frame and began dialing in tension, hop, dish etc.




48 spokes are a bit of a nightmare to chase around the rim, I admit I thought I was going a bit crazy at one stage.

My goal was to get it good enough that I could cycle it for the coming week. Iím running 47-622 at the rear with minimal clearance to the mudguard and the chainstays.

New Rim Tape, Tube and mounted up the tyre. Perfect clearance! Result.

Brought it for a 10km cycle and there were a a few creaks and pings from the rear. I did get a little bit of rubbing. 10minutes of micro adjustments later and itís like new again.

All in all, I know itís not 100% and Iíll get it onto a trying stand in the next week BUT itís unbelievably satisfying to have gotten it to this point with only a spoke key, a ruler, some chain lube and some tape.
Amazing home repair. I've had to do this a few times myself. Rims wear out from the rim brake pad wear and will do this. Nowadays they sometimes machine in a channel right where the brake pads rub and when you get down to the depth of the machined line you replace the rim. If this rim failed for some other reason then I would be skeptical about replacing with one like it. Of all the bicycles I've owned and the thousands of miles I have ridden with rim brakes I only had one rim fail due to brake pad wear. That rim was a rear 20" rim on a Rans Gliss recumbent. Rear wheels on recumbents typically do most of the braking. It took about 12 years before the rim started to fail. I rented a high end carbon fiber full suspension MTB 3 years ago with hydraulic disc brakes. I told the fellow I rented it from that I was going to wear the disc pads out on one trip down Downieville downhill. He told me the discs pads only lasted a couple of weeks in rental service before being changed out and mine had plenty of meat left. I wore the pads down to metal half way down the hill. The last part was all screechy, grabby braking. I know that disc's are all the rage but I'm not sold on their overall performance. I am a heavy guy and all of us heavy people test bicycle components more severely than lighter people do. Good job replacing that rim.
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Old 09-01-19, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by WOT View Post
No Truing Stand, dishing tool or
No Spoke Tension Meter

I mounted the wheel into the frame and began dialing in tension, hop, dish etc.




48 spokes are a bit of a nightmare to chase around the rim, I admit I thought I was going a bit crazy at one stage.

My goal was to get it good enough that I could cycle it for the coming week. Iím running 47-622 at the rear with minimal clearance to the mudguard and the chainstays.

New Rim Tape, Tube and mounted up the tyre. Perfect clearance! Result.

Brought it for a 10km cycle and there were a a few creaks and pings from the rear. I did get a little bit of rubbing. 10minutes of micro adjustments later and itís like new again.

All in all, I know itís not 100% and Iíll get it onto a trying stand in the next week BUT itís unbelievably satisfying to have gotten it to this point with only a spoke key, a ruler, some chain lube and some tape.
I did a little research on the Kinlin 700c rim you are using. It is listed at 486 grams per rim. I use Velocity Chukker rims which are listed at 640 grams per rim. The Velocity has never worn through or broken out the side on my pair and I've been using them for over 10 years. I believe the Kinlin may be too light duty for you. I know they are light but they may be meant for 140lb riders without panniers and such. If the second rim fails like the first then start looking for beefier rims.
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Old 09-02-19, 06:44 AM
  #22  
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Thanks for your kind comments and further research and input. After 2 years of hardship induced by a heavy rider, heavy panniers and aggressive braking sometimes needed for city cycling I ainít complaining. Quite the opposite infact.

I do think the failure was less to do with brake track wear and more to do with brake track deformation due to heavy braking pressure.

Iíve sent the old rim for recycling now but iíll add a sketch later to illustrate my point.

In broad terms I agree, the profile of the Kinlin rim isnít up to the job long term.

I thoroughly enjoy the tweaking, research, tweaking process but Iím also reluctant to throw the credit card at every new shiny thing that comes along without research.

I considered 3x rims that I could find in 48h drilling.
The Kinlin was the route of least resistance for a few reasons: I could reuse the spokes and nipples so no issues with length or fit. I could also order it from a reputable local vendor and get it in my hands within a couple of days.
Given that I had never even had a spoke key in my hand, let alone used one; a like for like swap really appealed to me from a getting the job done point of view.


I thought about the velocity chukker but 48h werenít available to me in the short term and iíd have needed more research re spokes and nipples.

SJS Cycles have the Rigida Grizzly MKII ex-stock and iíd have been pretty comfortable with spokes and nipples there. The downside was the CSS braking surface. That would bring me to needing to upgrade the brakes to accept brake blocks and would leave me with a mismatched braking system. Special pads for the CSS rear and standards for the front.

That would be called project creep in my line of work.

I take your point on the disc brakes. I feel similarly but without trying Iíll never know I guess.

Iím going to look into rims that are used with the hydraulic rim brakes and various other things but essentially Iíd be aiming to have this rim swapped out with a new rim or complete wheel before it fails again.

That gives me about 18months to figure out a plan, during which time a lot more components will also be replaced!!

58km on Sunday and 26km this morning. All is well.

Until the next chapter....
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Old 09-20-19, 06:48 AM
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Big tidy up to the wiring on my front fork over night with the help of some clear gorilla tape. Very happy with the aesthetic improvement.
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Old 09-20-19, 06:49 AM
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Old 09-28-19, 07:36 AM
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@WOT, I did many of the same things you had done, with a Trek DS. Started with a custom quality wheelset, along with fenders and rack. Altered the saddle, stem and bars to suit, plus good lighting and safety/reflector improvements. Made a much more useful, practical and comfortable ride, at the expense of being heavier than the "floor" model as delivered. A joy to ride, by comparison.

As some have suggested, finding the right "fit" for things is a process.

The wheelset I did were: Velocity Dyad 700c 36H, DT Swiss spokes, Shimano Deore XT hubs, quality build, with Conti Tour Ride 700x1.95 tires. Not a peep through years of use on rougher urban streets and mild trails. Considered a higher spoke count, being a heavier rider, but 36H was fine given the quality of the build.
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