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Looking for a HEAVY chromoly road bike

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Looking for a HEAVY chromoly road bike

Old 07-23-19, 10:23 PM
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anon298r5qy0nc
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Looking for a HEAVY chromoly road bike

Hey everyone, I'm currently riding a Trek Earl which is a HEAVY bike and I love it because all that extra steel protects me from the bumps on the road. I'm now looking for a road bike with a similarly heavy tough-as-a-tank frame. However most road bikes are built to be light. Are there bike manufacturers who make heavy chromoly road bikes? Today I was looking at a used vintage chromoly bike from the 80s hoping that it'd be heavy, but alas it was much lighter than my Trek.
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Old 07-23-19, 10:47 PM
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I wonder if what you actually want is a different alloy. The reason is that the CrMo alloys are intended to allow for a better strength-to-weight ratio. For a given alloy, heavier will mean stiffer. Maybe you might prefer a hi-ten frame, which will naturally be heavier without sacrificing flexibility.
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Old 07-24-19, 01:28 AM
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A Schwinn Varsity or Continental are known to be heavy. I believe both are high tensile steel.
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Old 07-24-19, 01:42 AM
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A Surly Long Haul Trucker is about as heavy as 4130 steel bike frames get. It has a long wheelbase, too, which you'd like, since it's the long wheelbase of the Trek Earl that accounts for the comfort, not its weight.
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Old 07-24-19, 07:17 AM
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A fatter tires at lower PSI will yield better bump absorbstion. Even on your Trek Earl, you may be able to add slightly fatter, softer tires.

Also a lighter, thinner steel frame would be more compliant as it would "flex" more than a heavy frame. A 70s-80s lightweight steel racing bike may do the trick. I have a 1984 Nishiki International and the thin, curved front fork and thin seat and chain stays make for a near luxurious ride. I'm currently running 700x28 tires at 90psi, but had previously put on700x32s which would only fit at 85psi or less. That was very nice.

On the other hand, my 1997 Nishiki Blazer is a very heavy steel MTB with a more upright position. A couple of years ago I put 26x1.85 slicks on it (65psi) and it is like riding a Cadillac Escalade. Nothing upsets the smooth ride.
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Old 07-24-19, 10:52 AM
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BMX cruisers aren't light and you ride them on the road
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Old 07-24-19, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
A fatter tires at lower PSI will yield better bump absorbstion. Even on your Trek Earl, you may be able to add slightly fatter, softer tires.

Also a lighter, thinner steel frame would be more compliant as it would "flex" more than a heavy frame. A 70s-80s lightweight steel racing bike may do the trick. I have a 1984 Nishiki International and the thin, curved front fork and thin seat and chain stays make for a near luxurious ride. I'm currently running 700x28 tires at 90psi, but had previously put on700x32s which would only fit at 85psi or less. That was very nice.

On the other hand, my 1997 Nishiki Blazer is a very heavy steel MTB with a more upright position. A couple of years ago I put 26x1.85 slicks on it (65psi) and it is like riding a Cadillac Escalade. Nothing upsets the smooth ride.
A "heavier" steel frame will not NECESSARILY yield better ride. As well as running as low PSI as you can without risking pinch flats and wider tires, pay attention to the TPI count. More expensive, high TPI count tires will ride nicer. Also consider going tubeless but that's a hassle unto itself.

I am running 50 psi in the rear and 45 in the front of my 700x28C clinchers with inner tubes with no problems. I plan on running 35-30 and 30-25 on my gravel/CX bike with tubulars.
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Old 07-24-19, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak View Post
A Surly Long Haul Trucker is about as heavy as 4130 steel bike frames get. It has a long wheelbase, too, which you'd like, since it's the long wheelbase of the Trek Earl that accounts for the comfort, not its weight.
Thank you for blowing my mind. How little I know about bike geometry. Some of you guys recommend hi-ten and I might just do that. Plenty of hi-ten bikes on craigslist. But now armed with the knowledge about wheelbases, I will save a lot of time not going down wrong alleys with my search. Now I'm going to spend an hour comparing wheelbases of different bikes, just because I find this fascinating.
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Old 07-24-19, 08:28 PM
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You’re blowing your cover pretty early
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Old 07-24-19, 09:16 PM
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Walmart should have heavy bikes.

Or attach some lead.
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Old 07-24-19, 09:34 PM
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Go to the nearest gunshop that sells reloading supplies, and buy a bag of lead shot.
Then pour it into the seat tube.
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Old 07-25-19, 09:34 AM
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So during my wheelbase research last night I read that a 1.5 cm change in wheelbase is noticeable during rough terrain riding. If I'm looking for a used road bike with long chainstays and large wheelbase, we're talking a couple of centimetres longer than the average, not huge. I'd have to bring a tape measure with me.
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Old 07-25-19, 09:45 AM
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no, go away, cover blown. Try another handle. Be a little less clumsy next time.

Or, you know, don't.
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Old 07-25-19, 03:14 PM
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You don't want to go cheap on such an important purchase as a heavy bike.

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Old 07-25-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
You don't want to go cheap on such an important purchase as a heavy bike.

I think I have that RD in my parts bin. May give it a whirl on my next build.....
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Old 07-25-19, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by anon298r5qy0nc View Post
Thank you for blowing my mind. How little I know about bike geometry. Some of you guys recommend hi-ten and I might just do that. Plenty of hi-ten bikes on craigslist. But now armed with the knowledge about wheelbases, I will save a lot of time not going down wrong alleys with my search. Now I'm going to spend an hour comparing wheelbases of different bikes, just because I find this fascinating.
I rode a hi-ten bike for a couple of years as a commuter. Loved, loved, loved that ride, soaked up everything, comfortable for 5 miles or 60. Had 27" wheels as well - even better. Fortunately, hills were not part my commute route. I would not hesitate to by a hi-ten road bike for the proper purpose, and I'd be expecting to save a bunch of cash too.
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Old 07-25-19, 08:42 PM
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Rivendell loves long chainstays too.

Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
You don't want to go cheap on such an important purchase as a heavy bike.

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Old 07-26-19, 04:34 AM
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As KATSUP mentioned, there are the old Schwinn VARSITY and the Schwinn CONTINENTAL (and the SUBURBAN and COLLEGIATE, also....)

The CONTINENTAL is lighter than the VARSITY as the CONTINENTAL has a tubular front fork that is lighter than the forged blade fork of the VARSITY.

The Continental also came with a light weight alloy stem, where the Varsity had a forged steel stem.

The Continental is three pounds lighter than the Varsity. Both bikes feature Schwinn chrome plated steel wheels which are super-durable unless left out in the rain to rust.
Stopping ability will acceptable in totally dry conditions, but when wet, you'll need to hope and pray that you start braking early enough...

All these Schwinns (Varsity/Continental/Suburban/Collegiate) have the same Electro-forged frames. The frame geometry is identical. Collegiate is a Five Speed that has 26" (37-597) tires and longer reach sidepull calipers. You could turn a Collegiate Five speed into a TEN SPEED or a FIFTEEN SPEED if you wanted to, and you'd have the 26" (37-597) wheels that give a Rolls-Royce like ride. The smaller 26" (37-597) wheel makes it slightly easier to get the steel Schwinn motivating from a standstill, especially going uphill, at the expense of the top-speed that a 27" (32-630) wheel would provide IF all else were equal with the front cranks and rear freewheel gears. The COLLEGIATE 5 speed (1970 and later) and the SUBURBAN 5 speed have a MODEL J freewheel which has a wider range gearing, a much better LOW gear (32 teeth) versus the (28 teeth) seen on the Model F freewheel which was seen on VARSITY/CONTINENTAL and SUBURBAN ten speeds. The Suburban is exactly like a Varsity Tourist model EXCEPT that the Suburban has the TUBULAR front fork of the Schwinn Continental. The Suburban has the sidepull brakes of the Varsity and not the Centerpull brakes of the Continental. The Suburban has the heavy forged steel stem, same as the Varsity, not the light alloy version as seen on the Continental.
It is likely that millions of these Schwinns were produced between 1970 and 1976, and many are still around. The great news is that you can find these Schwinn models in every frame size, and if you are the size of an NBA center, or almost the height of Andre The Giant, there were tons of super large Schwinn frame sizes that were made and sold between about '73 and '76. These frames are very strong and the American style ONE-PIECE ashtabula forged Crank is UNBREAKEABLE and super simple to GREASE and SERVICE the #64 caged Crank Bearings..................only a large Crescent wrench and a medium size flathead screwdriver are needed.
Stay Thin, Ride A Schwinn, the extra weight will do you some good!
The reason that I do point out these things about these few models is just to give you IDEAS that you CAN mix and match, and/or change up PARTS from one particular model to another within reason, and it is mostly simple to do.
There are some lesser known variants that began around 1978 or 1977 that are nothing but a VARSITY except with Maeda SUN TOUR derailleurs.....these Schwinns went by SCHWINN RUNABOUT (essentially a tourist Varsity with Suntour derailleurs) and SCHWINN SPORTABOUT (a Varsity with Suntour derailleurs)....you still have the old electro-forged frame, one piece crank....just a varsity with better derailleurs than the Huret Schwinn Approved stuff.
The electro-forged SUBURBAN five speed models and '70 and later COLLEGIATE five speed models have SHIMANO built for Schwinn, Rear Derailleurs that are superior to the Huret rear derailleurs fitted to the TEN SPEED SUBURBAN, CONTINENTAL & VARSITY.
You will find the Shimano built GT-100 on 1970 thru 1973 five speed Suburbans and Collegiates. You will find the Shimano built GT-120 on 1974 - 1977 five speed Suburbans and Collegiates.
The MODEL J FREEWHEEL has 32, 26, 21, 17, 14 IT CAN BE FOUND ON ALL 1970 - 1977 COLLEGIATE five speeds and SUBURBAN five speeds through 1976 until the FFS was adopted in about 1977.
Here is a comparison
of the TEN SPEED (model F) it has 28, 24, 20, 16, 14 which you can see is not nearly as useful on a "heavy" Schwinn if you ride in a hilly area.
(model F) is found on CONTINENTAL/VARSITY and Suburban TEN SPEED..................I can't recall but I seem to think the later seventies RUNABOUT/SPORTABOUT does have this same Varsity gearing as it is simply 100% varsity except with Suntour derailleurs.
If you equip any ancient electro-forged SCHWINN with such a wide range Freewheel with a 32 teeth low gear or perhaps even another aftermkt shimano/suntour etc freewheel that has 34 teeth as low gear, you will have an adequate low gearing with at least 32 teeth to allow you to go to a SINGLE CRANK with 46 teeth.......and toss away the front derailleur and make the bicycle a five speed. Simplicity is good. You can find the "Cloverleaf" crank style and the "Mag" crank style on many old Schwinns....all of these will be 46 teeth................There is a reproduction "Sweetheart" crank wheel that looks like the Cloverleaf except instead of four circles, it has four heart like shapes....also 46 teeth... You don't have to go with 46 teeth if you don't want to. 46 is a really good choice because it sort of splits the distance between the typical late sixties and onward 39 and 52 Schwinn ten speed front cranks. You can easily find 44, and 48, and 52 single crank wheels as well as others in the aftermkt and from other old bikes.
It should not be too difficult to find an inexpensive or FREE Schwinn 'electro-forged' HEAVY "lightweight" that you can customize to your liking.
The SEATPOSTS on these Schwinns are 13/16" diameter with the skinny 5/8" seat mount top part, but you can Flip the post upside down IF you're not extending it fully so you get a 13/16 top that will work okay for a 7/8 more modern seat. WALD sells aftermkt posts for 13/16 size that have a 7/8 top part...........you can buy these from a few major online bike stores for about $8 shipped. Nothing else is even difficult. All Chicago made electro-forged Schwinns of the late sixties onward have the same quill stem size diameter..................quality built...............simple, durable caged bearings in the headset/front fork steerer.. SCHWINN did build a better more durable bicycle than everyone else......................BUILT LIKE A TANK and Heavy as one too! The slack geometry of these Schwinn frames with the relatively long wheelbase and the WEIGHT contributes to a nice ride that allows almost anyone to ride no-handed for a bit as these bikes track straight and smooth enough that this can be easily done on an electro-forged Schwinn lightweight like a Varsity/Conti, etc.....
People like to make fun of old Schwinns.........................like the old saying " I wouldn't be caught dead riding a Schwinn" and other favorites, but the fact is they are wonderful general purpose bicycles that are well built. If you are seeking something HEAVY with cruiser like qualities of a comfortable slow ride, take it easy kind of approach versus trying to average 17 mph on the road.......the ancient Schwinn "lightweights" are the best around to give you maximum exercise and durability/simplicity. A 40 pound Schwinn is not a bad idea for those reasons. The Conti weighs only 37 but if you're looking for weight, you get three more with the Varsity. Others will tell you, that you're crazy to consider an ancient Schwinn..... What is the harm in doing so? They don't cost much and likely within a years time, you can likely located three free Schwinns from garages/basements/barns of folks you know or are related to.
These ancient electro-forged SCHWINNs really shine for folks older than 40 when converted to upright tourist style with Northroad bars as opposed to the drop bars. The Suburbans and most Collegiates are already in this configuration, but it is super easy to change the bars and seat on any Schwinn ten speed.
The Twin Stik gear levers are located on the stem from 1967 through end of Chicago production in the early eighties, so you already have the gear shift levers in a great place for a Tourist style bike..........downtube shifters are awful for upright cruiser Tourist style Northroads bar riding.
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