Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) - need clyde help!
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03-27-07, 07:42 PM
so i've got a friend who needs a bike. problem is he weighs over 400lbs and doesn't think there's anything out there that will support his weight.
can you guys recommend a frame/wheelset/saddle etc., that you think might best fit his needs? i'd really like to help him throw something together so he can get out there and start dropping some lbs.
thanks in advance!
03-27-07, 07:51 PM
I'd recommend buying an older used steel frame mt. bike, something from late 80's or 90's that doesn't have compact frame geometry. These can be had for very cheap on Craig's List. Trek, Specialized, etc. Lots of choices out there for not a big cash outlay. Very easy to get running, and can take modern components. I started at 385lbs on a '95 Diamondback Wildwood, now 310 on a '84 Bianchi Brava built up with mid-90's Ultegra. Just got a Redline 925 as well. :)
Just make sure whatever your friend gets has 36 spoke wheels, and really there's no good reason to go for high-performance light weight racing components at all until he really needs them on a future bike. :)
"Throwing something together" would not be recommended.
I am riding a stock Trek 7200 with some alterations:
The LBS respoked it with some DT spokes after the stock set popped at 2,000 miles.
I replaced the stock seatpost with a Thomson.
I replaced the seat with a Brooks B67.
I have logged nearly 5,000 miles to date. The frameset and wheels have held up.
Have your friend go to his LBS. If they are worth their salt they can configure something for him. Perhaps some tandem wheels until he loses a few pounds. But there IS something out there for him!
03-27-07, 08:19 PM
"Throwing something together" would not be recommended.
precisely why i came over here:)
thanks for the responses so far!
03-28-07, 01:30 AM
being an über-clyde of similar proportions, I can perhaps give some pointers as well, although really I can only follow on from the tip about the LBS. Took me a while to find a shop here in Zurich that would go the extra mile to help me find a solution, but it made all the difference in the world.
I started off on an old steel frame made here locally - that's a good tip for getting him started. I've now got a Kona Hoss with Trailbladez forks - but he's gonna want to find out whether he really enjoys his cycling before he goes spending that sort of money.
It's all about how he feels on the bike though, he has to be comfortable with it - that's why he needs to find a shop locally that'll let him try out a couple of bikes until he gets the feel of them.
wheels are crucial obviously - as the other poster said, 36-spokes are an absolute must, and at his weight there's no point quibbling about a couple of grams here or there so go for some heavy duty wheels - DT Swiss are good but there's plenty of options. I actually got my LBS to build the wheels for me using a tandem hub. Again, there just ain't nothing better than having a good LBS.
Tyres - I swear by Schwalbe Marathon. I had punctures a plenty until I switched onto them, short of taking a hammer and nail to them, you ain't gonna puncture them.
good shorts, gloves and saddle cream will make his life a helluva lot happier as well
03-28-07, 11:38 AM
I was at about 420lbs when I bought my Specialized Hardrock Sport. Before that I had an older Raleigh MTB. Kept popping spokes and other fun stuff, so finally got fet up and bought a new bike.
700+ miles between August and November, none of them "easy" attest to the durability of that bike. I'm down to 380, and haven't had any wheel issues with that one.
I also just purchased a Trek 7.3FX that is almost up to 100 miles, albeit with some wheel "issues". Now that I've finally gotten the spokes tightened, it's much better. Time will tell, however.
For saddles, AVOID THE BONTRAGER RACE LIGHT that comes on the FX series (and many other Treks). It's an ass hatchet beyond words.
My Hardrock Sport came with a Speciailized Rival saddle, and it's amazing. Kudos to specialized for putting a $65 saddle on a $400 (I paid $350) bike for '07. I really love that saddle, and am looking forward to putting 30 miles on it on Saturday down a local gravel trail.
I tried a big fat guy Bell saddle, and it's great for anything under 20 miles. Beyond that, it wears on the hips. I also found that I was much slower with the Bell saddle than anything else.
I keep hearing good things about the Specialized Milano, and think I'll try one on my Trek as I am afraid of pancaking a Brooks. WHen I'm sub-300 I'll grab a B17.
Tell him to just get something he'll ride, and enjoy it. I second the 36+ spoke endorsement.
03-28-07, 01:36 PM
I have had my 92 Cannondale T-700 since new and has taken care of me when my weight topped out at over 440 lbs. Over the years I have modded it but the only real thing that was done for my weight was swapping out the wheels with some nice Mavics and white industries hubs. Ok, so it was more for the bling of the hubs than weight issues, but I gotta tell the wife something she would believe!!
03-28-07, 03:01 PM
awesome. thanks again for the replies.
just to give a little background about my friend... we pretty-much grew up together from the 5th grade, and got into cycling together at around 13 years old. we also started playing tennis together at an even earlier age. he's always been a pretty good athlete and very competitive, but towards the end of highschool is when his weight really took off on him. unfortunately, now that he's in his mid-30's he gets his entire competitive fix playing online video games.
he's currently going to the gym a few times a week, but i'm not sure how much that's doing for him. i'm always encouraging him and asking how that's going, but his reply is pretty-much the standard "it's alright, i guess.."
when i asked him if he'd ride a bike if he had one, he said "dude, that would rock. if i had the money."
so now i'm trying to figure out what his options are.
thanks again for all of your ideas and help!
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