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Thread: Am I too heavy?

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    Am I too heavy?

    I ride a Bianchi Volpe 61cm and i'm starting to think i'm too heavy for this bike.
    Im 6'6'' 275lbs
    Will I ruin this bike if I continue to ride for weight loss?

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    The frame, fork and associated bits are likely to hold up for regular riding, but the wheels may suffer, depending on what they are. You may want to look for a set with a nice and high spoke count.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I'd make the stops by the bike shop to tension and the wheels,
    as maintenance, more often, as that extra weight will strain things a bit more.

    but staying ahead on the wheels by not riding with them under tensioned, will help.

    under-tension makes the spoke bend, at the ends, with every rotation,
    which is a primary cause of broken spokes.

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    Bike might be a little small for someone your height, but there is no reason your weight should be an issue... except for the wheels, which you need to ensure are up tot he proper tension before you try to ride another thousand miles.

    Ride the bike and enjoy it.

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    What would be a good wheelset?

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    Before buying a "good" wheelset, why don't you have the existing wheels checked, and tightened if indicated. Then you can run these as long as they last, and hopefully you'll be a bit lighter when time comes for a replacement.

    Also be aware that weight alone isn't the issue. How you ride counts at least as much. In my 40+ years I've known ballerinas (105#s danced with NYC ballet, murder on her equipment) that rode light defensive tackles, and defense tackles that rode like ballerinas. Learning not to lean the bike over when sprinting and climbing (leaning in turns is proper), to lift your ass out of the saddle and let the bike rise over bumps without having to lift you also, and various other ways of not subjecting the bike to the full impact of your weight will do more to extend your bikes life than buying new supposedly better hardware. Remember you are not dead weight cargo, so act like you're riding, not just driving the bike and you'll do OK.
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    You don't say what type of wheels you have on the bike right now. Based on your weight, I would recommend something with either 32 or 36 spokes. 36 would be better, but it really does depend on how you ride.

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    VolpeRider, Just as a frame of reference, folks are riding tandems (300+ combined rider weight) on fairly standard wheels with no issues. I know of many that have crossed the country on plain vanilla 36h wheels built with 14g DB spokes, so there's plenty of strength there for someone of your weight.

    I forgot to mention it earlier, but consider using wider tires. Tire cross section is the key factor in load capacity (same as with trucks) and a wider tire will go a long way to making this bike (as is) suitable for you.
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    I'm not a bicycle mechanic but I was wondering, what has made you start to question that you might be too heavy for the bike? Is the bike doing something that it didn't used to do?
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    As stated, the frame is fine, you probably need stronger wheels. You not only need a high spoke count, 32 or 36, but also depth of the wheel is important, over 25mm even closer to 30mm or over, and the way the wheel is supported inside, cross bracing and shape are important to the strength of a wheel.

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    The Volpe is a hybrid bike. If the wheels are stock, they're 32h 23 mm wide rims with 700x38c tires. The frame is TIG welded Cr-Mo steel with a steel fork.

    I don't think you need to do anything except ride that bike. If the wheels fail, replace them.

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    As FBinNY said, tire volume is your friend. Run the widest tires that will fit in your frame. They will carry more weight, absorb more shock that would be going into the components, be more comfortable for you, have better traction and the only thing you'll be giving up is top end speed and aerodynamics. Since you're riding for fitness I don't think you could've done much better than the bike you chose.
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    I think the stock tires are 38mm. If that's what the OP has, that's pretty wide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve530 View Post
    I think the stock tires are 38mm. If that's what the OP has, that's pretty wide.
    +1

    When I saw "Bianchi" my mind went to a road bike with 23mm tires and low-spoke wheels. If the OP's bike is the same as the current Volpe, it should hold up just fine.

    Make sure the wheels are properly tensioned. If they start failing, then get some 36x3 ones.
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    Wow! Thanks everybody. I feel much better about getting out there and enjoying my bike.

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    What would be a good wheelset?
    shimano hub, 36 hole, as I expect the is that stuff of the drive train,
    a 36 hole Sun CR18 rim, 2mm/14 gage mm spokes .
    same 'speed' number..

    I think the stock tires are 38mm. If that's what the OP has, that's pretty wide.
    there is no problem with that , good tires suggested flat resistant
    schwalbe marathon + are touring rider's favorite
    they haul camp gear, rider is trying to reduce the load , same puncture free benefit.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 09-25-11 at 11:26 PM.

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