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  1. #1
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    Overweight issues

    Hey guys,

    I am new here and hoping I can find some answers. Both my boyfriend and I are overweight. I have a Raleigh hybrid bike that I have had for years and never had any issues with it. My boyfriend is a big guy....6'3 and 340 lbs. I want him to start riding with me for exercise. I just purchased a cheap bike from Target because I want to make sure he enjoys this before putting any real money into a bike. I ended up getting a Shogun HIgh Roller 29" because I read online that big people should have bigger bikes, with wider tires. The reviews on Target for this bike were few. 2 of 3 reviews claimed there were issues with tires almost immediately and issues and time delays in dealing with the manufacturer (Kent) and getting replacement tires. I want to purchase some back up tires just in case and not sure how to go about it. I searched online and had no troubles finding tubes for 29 x 2.125 but unable to find actual tires that size. I do see tires that are 29 x 2.1...is this the same size?! I have a feeling this is a stupid question!! LOL! Also, any tips on particular bikes or bike parts for big people would be much appreciated! Thanks in advanced.

  2. #2
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Close enough to the same size. Anything marked "29x__" will work, and most 700c tires would fit as well.
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  3. #3
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    I'm bigger than your boyfriend (370-380) and I would not ride a dept store bike if only for the fact that a used bike shop bike will have quite a bit better components than the dept store bike.

    Most dept store bikes use freewheels in their rear wheels and fat guys like me have a tendancy to snap axles or bend axles due to the design of freewheels. On the other hand, even a lower end Trek or Specialized or Diamondback or other local bike shop brand will have wheels that use freehubs and not freewheels. I have been riding for year now and have not bent any axles or broken an axle.

    The big weak link for big people are the wheels on cheaper bikes. Other than that, its just a matter of keeping your bike maintained and working well.

  4. #4
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    29 x most anything should be fine for you, x2.125 vs .2.1... is absolutely close enough.

    But I suggest to a moderator to move this thread over to C&A, where they specialize in these kinds of questions, and are very friendly and supportive to new, heavy riders.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Ditto about the wheels & Free Hub vs Free Wheel.
    Here's a link to show the difference between a FH & FW.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html

    Clyde & Athena Forum
    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...00-lb-91-kg%29

  6. #6
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    My son who is about 310 rides a nicer dept store bike however i did have to rebuild his wheel even though it came with a freehub. My son's bike is a 400 dollar bike from Wally World and came with a freehub but he kept on breaking spokes every 3 weeks of riding and that was with me doing a final retension on it. However after I rebuilt the wheel using DT Swiss double butted spokes, he hasn't broken a single spoke and the wheel has barely gone out of true after about 3-4 months of riding.

    Its all about the wheels for big guys. For fun, I built up a cheaper Schwinn MTB frame from a bike that was new about 200 dollars from wally world. I put nice wheels on it, XTR derailleurs, Deore shifters, deore crankset, etc. It was as good as any lower end Specialized with all of the updated components even though it was a low end frame to begin with.

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    There's a very reliable way to ensure that you always buy the correct tire size and that's to reference the ISO (ERTRO) dimension. This is expressed as the bead diameter, followed by the width - both in mm. A typical 29' tire will be a 622-50. The 622 is exact and there's no fudge room, but you have lattitude of 20% or more on the width value for any given rim.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    My son is 6'5 and 300-310. He's happy as a clam on his Motobecane 29er from Bikesdirect - a 29" mountain bike is a great way to go for big, tall guys, IMO.

    For tires, I've put the Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35" semi-slick tires on his bike, and they offer a great ride. Great tire. http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...-apple-29-inch

    A good saddle will also help. Don't be fooled by the super-cushy, super-wide saddles - they can actually be LESS comfortable and can present more circulation issues than a good quality saddle that is properly sized for the person's sit bones.
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    Fatigue severely weakens freewheel axles before they finally bend or break due to some overload. If you guys kept track of how long they generally last, you could swap them out before they broke. That would save the hub from running with misadjusted bearings due to a bad axle.

  10. #10
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    I'm bigger than your boyfriend (370-380) and I would not ride a dept store bike if only for the fact that a used bike shop bike will have quite a bit better components than the dept store bike.

    Most dept store bikes use freewheels in their rear wheels and fat guys like me have a tendancy to snap axles or bend axles due to the design of freewheels. On the other hand, even a lower end Trek or Specialized or Diamondback or other local bike shop brand will have wheels that use freehubs and not freewheels. I have been riding for year now and have not bent any axles or broken an axle.

    The big weak link for big people are the wheels on cheaper bikes. Other than that, its just a matter of keeping your bike maintained and working well.
    I agree. I know someone who is about 6'2 and 450lbs and he asked me what to look for in a bike and I told him that he needed to find a wheel that has a lot of spokes. 48 spokes for someone who is 450lbs would be ideal, but 36 or 40 should work. The problem is, most spokes using conventional wheel design are about 32 spokes. 36 spoke wheels are getting harder and harder to find. Bigger folks who want good wheels that last will most likely have to get custom made wheels which are not cheap. But good wheels are really important so they could be worth it to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  11. #11
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    The main problem your bf may have is that bikes from box stores generally come in one size - 'MEDIUM' - and he should be riding what most manufacturers call an 'extra large.' Riding the box store bike will be less comfortable, less fun, and more frustrating than riding any bike that fits.

    If you keep your 29er and he gets a used 10-speed with a 60 or 62cm frame, he will feel like a champion when you go riding because he will move faster with the same effort.

    I have heard some people say heavy slow bikes are better for exercise because you actually spend more energy keeping them moving, but in reality all that happens is people tend to ride less because it is less fun.
    THe same goes for you - if you are riding mostly on paved or at worst gravel or crushed stone surfaces (road and bike paths) then you should replace your tires with road tires - narrower tires with minimal tread designed for higher pressures will give better traction (increased safety) and better efficiency (longer distances and higher speed for more fun and more exercise). 700 X 35 or 700 X 38 tires will be a major improvement over whatever came stock on your bike.

  12. #12
    Retro Grouch onespeedbiker's Avatar
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    My step-daughter is an Athena at 510 and about 280. When she wanted a bicycle to tool around on, I put together a bike I knew would hold together as she lives some 300 mi away. For a frameset I choose a Surly Long Haul trucker and for wheels I used a 7 speed 48 spoke tandem wheelset. for the rest you'll have to read my blog http://onespeedbiker.blogspot.com/20...l-trucker.html. It certainly cost more than a department store bike; but not by as much as you'd think!

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    Thank you!!!

    Thanks to all of you! This is very helpful. I think since funds are limited, we are going to try this bike out and see what happens for now....trust me! I would love nothing more than to put him on a Specialized Rockhopper!!! I ordered 2 additional tires/tubes and we will go from there. He is more mechanically inclined than I so I have turned this forum over to him!! Thanks again and Happy Holidays!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptagrrl View Post
    Thanks to all of you! This is very helpful. I think since funds are limited, we are going to try this bike out and see what happens for now....trust me! I would love nothing more than to put him on a Specialized Rockhopper!!! I ordered 2 additional tires/tubes and we will go from there. He is more mechanically inclined than I so I have turned this forum over to him!! Thanks again and Happy Holidays!!!
    If you're going to go this route (pun intended), I strongly suggest you take the bike to an LBS and have them assemble it. Particularly, have them check the hubs, and repack/adjust them, that along with the wheels, and bb/cranks/pedals is where we see most of the issues with these sort of bikes and heavier riders. Also, Plan on replacing the wheels in the near future.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptagrrl View Post
    Hey guys, I am new here and hoping I can find some answers. Both my boyfriend and I are overweight. I have a Raleigh hybrid bike that I have had for years and never had any issues with it. My boyfriend is a big guy....6'3 and 340 lbs. I want him to start riding with me for exercise. I just purchased a cheap bike from Target because I want to make sure he enjoys this before putting any real money into a bike. I ended up getting a Shogun HIgh Roller 29" because I read online that big people should have bigger bikes, with wider tires. The reviews on Target for this bike were few. 2 of 3 reviews claimed there were issues with tires almost immediately and issues and time delays in dealing with the manufacturer (Kent) and getting replacement tires. I want to purchase some back up tires just in case and not sure how to go about it. I searched online and had no troubles finding tubes for 29 x 2.125 but unable to find actual tires that size. I do see tires that are 29 x 2.1...is this the same size?! I have a feeling this is a stupid question!! LOL! Also, any tips on particular bikes or bike parts for big people would be much appreciated! Thanks in advanced.
    Might recommended this speciific bike forum - it is on target and bounty friendly:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...-(200-lb-91-kg)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by onespeedbiker View Post
    My step-daughter is an Athena at 510 and about 280. When she wanted a bicycle to tool around on, I put together a bike I knew would hold together as she lives some 300 mi away. For a frameset I choose a Surly Long Haul trucker and for wheels I used a 7 speed 48 spoke tandem wheelset. for the rest you'll have to read my blog http://onespeedbiker.blogspot.com/20...l-trucker.html. It certainly cost more than a department store bike; but not by as much as you'd think!
    +10 on that recommendation. It would basically last forever with minimal maintenance and care. I run 48-spoke tandem wheels on all my tandems and hybrid/commute bikes (although I am only 6'5'' and 250 pounds) as I like the feel of them and that they effectively never break.

  17. #17
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    Might recommended this speciific bike forum - it is on target and bounty friendly:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdispl...-(200-lb-91-kg)
    +1.

    340 lbs is a common enough weight. But it is bigger than some manufacture's weight limits, so it's worth investigating.

    Good luck!

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  18. #18
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    Something else to consider, riding style. A lot of people are mashers, they keep their bike in a higher gear which makes them pedal harder but slower. The problem with that is if the person pedaling is overweight, they put a LOT of torque on the wheels. My son killed more than 2 rear wheels with his mashing style of pedaling. He would be in the smallest cog in the rear and the middle on the front and start off from a dead stop going up a hill at his 300 pounds. That is going to put tremendous twisting torque on the rear wheel.

    What I taught my son was to downshift the rear derailleur all the way while coming to a stop. He finally listened and even said how he found it much easier to ride now that he downshifts.

    Just something to keep in mind.

  19. #19
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    For the money, a Target bike won't give you as much value as a used bike from shop, thrift-store or garage-sale. Find a knowledgeable friend, shop-employee or ex-racer and look at used MTBs or hybrids from those places. You can typically find a 3-5 year-old $1000 bike for less than $150. Will come with much higher-quality components and frame-material than the Target bike. You may need to replace the tyres and chain, but that's not much and it sounds like you'll need to replace the tyres on the Target bike anyway.

    Also learn to use a floor-pump and pressure-gauge. Low-pressure is the main cause of flats and tyre-problems in that weight-range. Good luck!
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-06-12 at 04:47 AM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
    Something else to consider, riding style. A lot of people are mashers, they keep their bike in a higher gear which makes them pedal harder but slower. The problem with that is if the person pedaling is overweight, they put a LOT of torque on the wheels. My son killed more than 2 rear wheels with his mashing style of pedaling. He would be in the smallest cog in the rear and the middle on the front and start off from a dead stop going up a hill at his 300 pounds. That is going to put tremendous twisting torque on the rear wheel.

    What I taught my son was to downshift the rear derailleur all the way while coming to a stop. He finally listened and even said how he found it much easier to ride now that he downshifts.
    Bobotech, you got torque confused with force. Being in tallest-gear (smallest cog in back) will generate the lowest torque on the rear-wheel, but you have to really stand on the pedals and exert more tension force on the chain to generate any torque and acceleration at all (try starting a stick-shift car in 3rd gear). Starting out in the lowest-gear (biggest cog) will generate more torque on the rear-wheel for the same chain-tension, like starting a manual car in 1st gear.

    What was happening with your son's bike was probably due to his mashing/stomping motions. This causes uneven lateral-loading on the frame and lots of rocking back and forth. Wheels are extremely weak in the lateral-direction. If he hits any bumps or pothole while standing out of the saddle, rocking the bike and stomping on the pedals, this can easily tweak a wheel and rim permanently. Heck, that can happen if you're a light tiny rider as well.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-06-12 at 04:52 AM.

  21. #21
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    THANK YOU! We live in good ol' flat FL so I don't think we will have to worry about the hills, but not to say that FL is completely flat. We will keep this is mind, for sure.

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    I have been checking out the thrift shops for quite sometime and around here, they are pretty much used Wal-Mart bikes. Cycling isn't too popular in Hernando County quite yet, so it will be awhile before "decent" bikes show up in thrift stores. As far as the tires, thank goodness my BF actually reads and the manual specifically said to make sure the exact amount of air goes in the tires at first...I am assuming most people didn't do this and maybe this is why they had tire issues. We have a floor pump, but we need another with the gauge so we know how much is going in. Thanks for the info.

  23. #23
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    Flatidah, consider Worksman's Cruiser bikes ..the New York company took up the Industrial bike niche of Chicago Schwinns

    to carry around workers and toolboxes on factory floors and large industrial sites, like Shipyards.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    +10 on that recommendation. It would basically last forever with minimal maintenance and care. I run 48-spoke tandem wheels on all my tandems and hybrid/commute bikes (although I am only 6'5'' and 250 pounds) as I like the feel of them and that they effectively never break.
    Not to hijack, but where do you find reasonably priced tandem wheels or hubs? I only have found freewheel tandem wheels for affordable prices, never any freehub ones.
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