Bicycle Mechanics - Cruiser for a 400+ person
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05-03-12, 08:11 PM
I put together a bike for a friend who is 400+ pounds.
I had a beach cruiser (all steel) and I switched the wheel set to have heavy-gauge stainless steel spokes (12g), Weinmann DH-39 Doublewall Black Rims (Dimensions: 26 x 38 ), and KT Histop Coaster Hub.
As far as tires, I put regular cruiser balloon tires (26").
I switched out the saddle with a Ravx Cruiser Deluxe Seat. (This thing is huge!)
My question is, will this home made bike work for my friend? All the bikes that I have seen online are well over $600 for a 550lb capacity. This guy isn't motivated to do much, but he is willing to give this a try.
We are going to start off slow, about 2 miles each way.
Any info is greatly appreciated.
05-04-12, 11:33 AM
You might want to try posting this question in the Clydesdales/Athenas forum.
Lots of experience there with bikes for larger folks.
05-04-12, 11:52 AM
Industrial utility bike.. Worksman.. made in NY.
they are made for transportation on big shop sites.
shipyards warehouses and aircraft manufacturers ..
05-04-12, 11:56 AM
Looks like a good choice to me. Make sure you don't go down too much of a hill because braking that much weight could be a problem. Might have to experiment with tires if he gets pinch flats.
05-04-12, 12:46 PM
Should work good. The weak link will be spokes if anything. 36 spoke wheels and good tension. I would add those heavy wall tubes like they sell at wal-mart with the slime filling. IMO I tried them once and the thick tube seemed to really beef up the tire strength and let you put some good pressure in them. The down side to these tubes is they weigh a lot. In this case that’s not an issue.
The only other thing I would add to that bike is a front brake if you can rig one up.
Also if he starts liking the idea of biking keep your eye out for an old high end mountain bike from the 80’s hard tail solid fork model. These with street tires make some really solid bikes and the low gearing is what he will be wanting as he starts riding more. You could even switch over the cruiser bars, seat and tires tubes.
05-04-12, 02:02 PM
Your plan sound good ,and yes it will work . I hope your friend enjoy cycling and the fun than come with it.
05-04-12, 02:55 PM
I think that's a good start. Things that tend to go for heavy riders are saddles and wheels. spokes can break, and rims are more likely to come out of true. Also, with all sensitivity (I weigh @250 myself), your friend will want better brakes once he gets going faster. Foolproof solution is an all-steel, full rigid hardtail (like someone else mentioned...late 80s-mid 90s is good) with a bomber wheelset...salsa gordo rims for rim brakes are killer...I have a 36h set that have lasted to abuse on-trail under my 250lbs for years...but these also come in 40 and 48hole versions! If your friend enjoys the cruiser but wants to upgrade, that might be a good direction to go in. I love SS cruisers, but ppl who are carrying extra weight/aren't in good shape might like some multiple gear options and good brakes...
ps-I have a worksman, and i love it...but it ain't really much beefier than most good-quality all-steel cruisers. The wheels are very heavy and strong as a result, but i think a well-built 36h wheel with alloy mtb rims (I like sun mtx-33) is stronger.
05-07-12, 02:45 AM
Thanks for all the info! Well, we went for a ride on Friday and he hated the cruiser. He couldn't ride it. He said he felt as though he was leaning forward too much. We tried to adjust the handle bars and the seat, but nothing worked. We think the frame may be a bit too tall for him. He's torso and not much legs. He was able to ride my friend's Electra Cruiser pretty good. He said he felt more comfortable riding that. Can it be the "flat foot technology" that Electra has? Here is plan b, a friend is willing to trade an Electra Townie for the cruiser. Here is my next question, can I switch the Townie's rims for Weinnman rims? Electra's site says that it's rims are 26x2.0, but the Weimann's is 26x2.125. The townie also has a front brake which is cool. Side note: at least for those five minutes, my friend did feel like a kid.....which made me want to try harder to figure out the bike situation. I will look into the 80's mountain bikes. Thanks everyone!
05-07-12, 10:47 AM
There are wide U shaped pull back handlebars to buy, available.
Many Brands now offer a crank forward frame design,
with Trek , it is the Pure Model.. so stops are flat footed,
pedals well ahead of riders hips.
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