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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-14-06, 05:49 PM   #1
lyeinyoureye
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What kind of bike for a really big guy?

My friend's interested in losing weight and I was hoping to get him into riding. The problem is, he's a bit wary of most bikes because of his size, which is understandable because he's as heavy as most NFL OT's (~400ish). Are there any used bikes that could support him safely, or would the best be be building something to fit him?

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Old 09-14-06, 06:15 PM   #2
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Get the guy a good-quality, entry-level mountain bike from a company such as Specialized, Giant, Kona, or Trek. The entry level models will have cheap front forks that your friend will quickly demolish. At that time, have the shop he bought the bike from replace the front forks with "rigid" front forks. Then the bike should be good for a LONG time without major changes. Your friend will probably NOT like the seat that comes on those bikes either. Have him get the shop to select a more suitable seat.

If your friend wants to bypass all the above, and just get a bike that works, have him look at the Kona "Hoss" model, which is specifically designed for Uber-Clydes, or the Kona "Smoke" model which is also pretty heavy-duty.
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Old 09-14-06, 06:46 PM   #3
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Would it be easier to pick up an older entry level model that already came with rigid front forks, or are older mtbs not sufficient?
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Old 09-14-06, 06:48 PM   #4
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I started riding at 365 pounds, and my Giant Sedona DX has held up well.

The extra 30+ pounds I think would be neglicible, but then again, I don't know how close to the breaking point I was.

The only thing that went wrong was sidewall damage on the tires when I rode them a little soft. For any mountain bike type tires, he should keep them inflated to the max, and check them before every ride.

I have over 2000 miles on my Sedona, and it is still doing well. I now weigh 320ish and ride slicks, and I have switched to a rigid fork... Still a good ride for me.
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Old 09-14-06, 07:49 PM   #5
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Steel and rigid from a well know brand.
Older trek steel
Add beefy rims (48-hole rims)
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Old 09-14-06, 07:55 PM   #6
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Awesome, thanks for the advice!
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Old 09-15-06, 12:41 AM   #7
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I would look for something steel, instead of aluminum
I'm 208 and having ridden both I find steel much more comfortable and solid under weight combined
with road imperfections, also I think it would be difficult to break and easy to acquire at a good price
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Old 09-15-06, 10:18 AM   #8
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See if you can find an old rigid frame mtb like this Trek 830. Outfit it as comfortable as possible. He doesn't need straight mtb bars or a uber-light saddle. He needs support and ergonomic design. This bike has North Road bars and a Brooks B67 saddle. Otherwise, it's bone stock. It will probably cost your friend all of $100 to buy and another $120 for the bars and saddle. Tires: I recommend a 1.5" tire with no tread. Decrease this guy's rolling resistance as much as possible. He will also benefit from the BioPace or OvalTech chain rings that can be found on mtbs like this from around '86 to maybe '90. This chainring design isn't made anymore. Too bad. It's the best knee saver I know of. Check out Sheldon Brown's Glossary on it. He also has an article on it somewhere.
http://i9.tinypic.com/2mhwprs.jpg
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Old 09-15-06, 10:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye
My friend's interested in losing weight and I was hoping to get him into riding. The problem is, he's a bit wary of most bikes because of his size, which is understandable because he's as heavy as most NFL OT's (~400ish). Are there any used bikes that could support him safely, or would the best be be building something to fit him?
The biggest issue he'll likely have is with wheels and tires, which tend to be the most prone part of a bike to breakage. He'll want good quality 36-spoke wheels (tandem wheels w/40 or 48 spokes would be even better), and sturdy hubs like the Shimano Deore XT. Also go for wide tires if possible.

I agree with others that a rigid-frame MTB is a good option for your friend! MTB frames are built very strong for offroad use, so they should have no problem handling a 400 lb rider on-road. A sturdy high-quality STEEL road bike would probably work too, although your friend will likely prefer the more upright riding position of a mountain bike.

Good luck finding something that works for him, I hope he's very appreciative of your help!
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Old 09-15-06, 11:39 AM   #10
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+1 for a steel frame and no suspension components (fork or otherwise)

I'd keep an eye out regarding his seatpost..fitting an extra long one will help keep it from bending.

It goes without saying to avoid fancy wheels with low numbers of spokes. stick to tough wheels with good spokes.
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Old 09-15-06, 01:22 PM   #11
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Guy here at work started out on a Trike, and progressed from there. He's shed over 35 lbs so far.
Here's an inspiring article.

http://www.cyclo-vets.org/masterlink...06aprmlweb.pdf

Check out page 3.
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Old 09-16-06, 04:14 PM   #12
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I've put about 700 miles now on a GT Rebound I picked up at a pawn shop...I'm rolling about 355 now (down 20 lbs). I can't believe I like cycling so much...I'm gonna sell my car!
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Old 09-16-06, 05:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye
Would it be easier to pick up an older entry level model that already came with rigid front forks, or are older mtbs not sufficient?
lye, I started back with a Royce Union MTB with Geax Commuter tires called "Evolutions" on it. It held up to a 450 lb (at the time) rider and I still singletrack with it. The 26" wheels hold up to weight very well.The Alex wheels held up really well for pavement even at peak weight and I had even done loaded touring with it (35 pounds of gear/bags/racks).

By the way, it's a rigid fork design.
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Old 09-16-06, 08:05 PM   #14
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+1 on a mountain bike of some sort. The wheels are really more important than just about anything else. At 350# I was riding a 70's/80's era Raleigh Sportif road bike, and I had to have the wheels trued about every two weeks. A bike with a good suspension might not be a bad idea, though. Though it will hurt riding efficiency, having the suspension might save the wheels a bit of strain when going over potholes.
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Old 09-16-06, 09:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye
Would it be easier to pick up an older entry level model that already came with rigid front forks, or are older mtbs not sufficient?
I think that would be sufficient. A good quality MTB frame is built very strong. The wheels will be the week part: as I said above, make sure your friend gets very strong wheels. Tandem wheels would be ideal, but very good well-built mountain wheels with strong rims should suffice.
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Old 09-19-06, 02:06 PM   #16
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I have a Bianchi Vigorelli road bike (Reynolds 631 steel frame) which I had 36 spoke f/r Mavic Open Pro wheels made to replace the stock wheels. I'm currently at 350 lbs, 6 ft and have had no problems so far (200 miles or so.) I also have a Kona Hoss Deluxe which feels bombproof, but I prefer to ride the road bike.

Bianchi Vigorelli site
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Old 09-19-06, 03:00 PM   #17
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I went through a couple of seat posts on my MTN bike before I would up with the one I have now. (I dont ride that bike often and can't remember what type it is.)

It has three supports inside of the post for strength. If you look at the end it looks like the Mercedes logo...

My MTB took serious abuse and handled it well. I was in the upper 200 to mid 300's back then. It is a Specialized Roch Hopper.

If your friend is only going to be on the road/bike paths swap out the MTB tires for a road wheel (often called slicks.). Look for ones with higher max PSI. At that weight, this will be the first big hurdle.

Edit: and send him to BF/Clydesdales.
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Old 09-19-06, 04:59 PM   #18
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Kona Hoss.. This is made specifically for big riders...

http://www.konaworld.com/shopping_ca...0&parentid=253
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Old 09-20-06, 10:03 AM   #19
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The frickin' Hoss is a joke. I rode one, and it felt like an expensive Hardrock.

My suggestion, then, is the Specialized Hardrock. I have a '07 and it came with 36h wheels from the factory, a badass frame, and components designed to be abused. I've put 350 miles on it in the first 45 days of ownership, and love it to death. After I drop 75 lbs (my first goal) I'm going to buy a Specialized Stumpjumper. 25lbs after that, a Bianchi Volpe.

If he wants a road bike, get a Volpe. Seriously. A friend has one and he's lighter, but we were riding and he suddenly turned in front of me. I was doing 20-ish at the time and MAYBE got down to 10mph before colliding with his rear wheel. The front wheel on the late-90's Raleigh I was riding was knocked horribly out of true, but he couldn't notice a problem with his rear wheel. He actually took it to the LBS where he bought it, and they found it to be ever so slightly out of true.

The Volpe is freakin' bombproof, I swear. And it's steel. AND you can usually get them for $800-850. I would say "make sure to ditch the damned suspension seatpost", but for 2007 Bianchi finally got the clue and did it for us .

My endorsement is on the Hardrock. I beat the living hell out of mine for the first month. When I took it in for it's 30 day check, I came back to pick it up. The mechanic says "Usually on 30 day checks we get bikes back looking like new. Not yours, the wheels were ever so slightly out of true. Tires show wear. Lots of dirt on it. Some beauty scratches on it already. Awesome, man, awesome".
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Old 09-20-06, 08:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdinger
The frickin' Hoss is a joke...My suggestion, then, is the Specialized Hardrock...
I must politely disagree with bdinger here. I don't think the Kona Hoss is "a joke." I think it is a good value for what it is designed for. On the other hand, I must strongly agree with bdinger on the exceptional value of the Specialized Hardrock! I bought one just over a month ago. I've been putting a steady 100-150 miles per week on it, and the more I ride it, the more I like it!

Things that I've changed on my Hardrock include:

The seatpost - I don't like one-bolt posts, and the stock post was a one-bolt. I replaced the stock post with a Thompson Elite two-bolt post and it fits better in addition to being more finely adjustable for tilt.

The seat - The stock seat was actually pretty good, but I like my Specialized Milano better.

The stem - I added a Nashbar "comfort stem" to get the bars up a bit.

The result is that this puppy fits me almost as well as my beloved old red racer! I can ride for a LONG time without getting sore and small changes in position on the seat seem to relieve all problems. The bike itself has been bulletproof, acceping curbs, broken concrete, potholes, excursions across lawns, and even a ditch or two with no problems. I've NEVER bought such a high-value bike for the small price I paid for the Hardrock! I currently weigh 260 and this is THE bike for me!
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Old 09-20-06, 10:19 PM   #21
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FarHorizon: I shouldn't say it's a joke, really. It's a very nice bike, but I just wasn't impressed at all with it. The riders that need the level of componentry on a HOss Deluxe would be better served on a lighter frame with custom wheels (for probably a comprable price). And, I'm a Hardrock convert .

I actually shrugged the Hardrock off when I started looking at bikes. The components were too "low end" that I didn't even want to try one. I had all but settled on a Cannondale F400 or Trek 6700. Then I went to go grab a bulb for my SureFire light from a sporting good store. They carried Specialized, and their sales guy knew his **** - and had rode every bike. I rode the Hardrock, Rockhopper, and Stumpjumper. Went home, turned around, and plopped down the cash. 360 miles later, I have not regretted a thing.

I changed only minor things. So far it's been the seatpost bracket-replaced with a thick allen-wrench-able style one, tubes-replaced with specialized anti-thorn tubes, and brake pads-shop threw in some $20 pads when I bought it because "they would be better for me". I really lucked out on that shop, lemme tell you.

I'm going to try out a Milano as they are cheap, and I want to see if that alleviates a minor (but annoying) pain I've been having.

The Hardrock is a purchase I have yet to regret. It's such a great riding and tough-as-nails machine, along with being at an amazing price. I was joking with someone that I'll just buy a new one every year at that price.. lol!

I was dead-set on buying a Stumpjumper for my next bike, but after riding a Bianchi Volpe I dunno. It's just so damned fast!
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Old 09-26-06, 02:54 PM   #22
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If you weigh as much as two riders, what you need is a single bike built like a tandem:

http://www.co-motion.com/Amerc.html
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Old 09-26-06, 03:13 PM   #23
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I started on a comfort bike at about 370 lbs. I had a Trek Navigator 300. I still have it and still ride it from time to time.
http://kingtermite.net/publicstuff/nav300/
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Old 09-26-06, 05:01 PM   #24
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If money is tite ill say again that ive said in other threads..trek 820. Still available new and at barely 200 bucks you cant go wrong..i started on mine at 360lbs..got down to 290..had a car wreck that kept me bed ridden and put back on someweight. I ride this bike even on some bmx tracks..no jumping of course but 0 problems with anything..i even kept the seat. The only thing i changed was the pedals and that was for my own satisfaction.
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Old 11-26-11, 01:06 AM   #25
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Don't know if you can find one, but the EARLY Gary Fisher's are also very good. I have an "Aquila," and from what I can tell, it's pretty well indestructible....
(but I'm about 225, so not really in the same league as some of you).
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