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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 11-03-06, 08:55 AM   #1
merckxxx
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heavy weight and lightspeeds

anyone in this forum rifde a lightspeed.. do you ahve any handeling problems due to being +200..
the reason i ask is 15 or so years ago I rode a Merlin Ti.. and it felt real scary cause it was flexing a lot under power. (I weighed about 190 then amnd was art the end of my racing days).. I kind of swore off Ti bikes because of that experience.. I your opinion has the new geometry and technology of Ti.. gotten any better for big riders.. or is it mainly still for the 135 to 165 lb pro-rider slot.. I like the idea of the material.. I just think its not so much for the big riders.. no big riders in the tour have ever ridden ti bikes because of this that I am aware of..

if anyone has any different experiences with Ti I would appreciatee it I am considering a new bike.. but still leary if the Ti... and my 215lbs.. I would like to trin down to 180lbs.. but we will se how that goes..

thanks
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Old 11-03-06, 01:32 PM   #2
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I won't even mention the material here, BUT!

I had a riding partner that invested some pretty good money into a bike that was a bit too flexy for his big body. He was really into nutrition and aerobic exercise at the time. Bought some real nice wheels too.

He was about 195 and happy with the feel of the bike. Later made comments on how much better the bike rode while his weight was low. He got a bit lazy and less determined to keep his weight down. Now he's up to about 230-240 and has a really flexy bike.

My opinion is don't think about spending on a bike planning to keep our weight down.

This way of thinking reminds me of my wife while shopping for a wedding dress....I'll spend all this money and buy something a size too small cause I have 6 months to lose the weight. I think it was the one time she listened to me and thank goodness she did!
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Old 11-03-06, 02:01 PM   #3
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Clyde here. In have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the only frame material, that can be considered reliable for clydes is aluminum. I am in the market for a new road bike, and only aluminum frames feel solid under my 220Ibs. Granted that I have not tried steel-framed bikes because of "fear of rust" (I live close to the sea), I am leaning heavily towards purchasing an aluminum bike equipped with Ultegra/Open Pro or equivalent wheels, and then spend a pretty penny on good quality chamois bibs/shorts to help take some edge off the road buzz.

I have tried some carbon frames that rode well for my taste, but I am really not interested in a bike that I'll have to "handle with extreme care". I like leaning my bikes against walls when I'm out and about, and I do not think a carbon-framed bike can take all the resultant "nicks and dings" in stride.

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Old 11-03-06, 03:26 PM   #4
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A quality aluminum frame with carbon rear stays and a good carbon fork. The best of both worlds. But I have to admit, my old Easton aluminum DEAN was one of the best riding road bikes I every had.......
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Old 11-03-06, 04:04 PM   #5
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I'm not sure why you would consider aluminum but not steel; I think it's much easier to balance strength/comfort with steel. However I would not hesitate to buy a Ti frame that was 6/4 instead of 3/2.5. That does raise the price quite a bit though.
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Old 11-03-06, 04:15 PM   #6
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Hi,
yeah, I had an Airborne Carpe Diem, it was Ti and it was a stiff bastard. Btw, I weigh more than you do...
There is actually more than one issue here. There is overall stiffness, which you mention. Then there is stiffness around the bottom bracket. You test that by getting
out of the saddle on a hill and accelerating. A little flex is ok, but if it's wimpy you will know instantly. Then there is stiffness in the sense of compliance (or lack of it) on bumps. You don't want your fillings falling.

Try a bunch of bikes, buy what you like. I ride a Gunnar Sport
http://www.gunnarbikes.com/sport.php

This is also a good bike for Clydes, their Team Issue frame is pretty stiff.
http://www.habcycles.com/road.html
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Old 11-04-06, 11:18 PM   #7
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I think it depends a little bit on the frame, but at 205 and able to put out a fair amount of power, I don't find my tuscany to be too flexy.
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Old 11-05-06, 10:47 AM   #8
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I have a litespeed liege which is a blend of 6/4 and 3/2.5 Ti... Most of the stock TI frames not the lighter weight materials will be plenty stiff for most clydes.. Try before you buy..
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Old 11-05-06, 11:41 AM   #9
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It's not the material that controls the stiffness, it's the design of the frame and the diameter of the tubes.

You can get a stiff Ti frame and a flexible aluminum frame, if you wanted one. You just need the right design.

Go to the Litespeed web site and read the descriptions of the bikes. it mentions the relative stiffness. Then go ride the right one to see if you like it.
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Old 04-18-07, 03:07 PM   #10
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I am a pro powerlifter who was road racing 15 years ago. I compete in the 275# weight class with asperations of growing into the 308's. A couple years ago, I set an all-time top 20 world record deadlift of 830#'s in the 242's, so I can generate a fair amount of leg power. Fifteen years ago I was 155# and road a Rossin. I'd be afraid I'd crack the frame if I stood on it hard during a sprint or a climb now.

Seven years ago, while dating my wife (who races), I bought a Litespeed Palmares while weighing a lite 220#. Even pulled a license and had some fun doing street sprints, LOL. The frame was very stiff and could handle everything I threw at it (was even pushing a 56T up front for sometime). It reminded me of how the Rossin felt while I weighed a buck 50, but stiffer in the bottom bracket area even though I was 70# heavier.

Right now, I'm sitting at a very lean 255#. Last week, I went out with my wife to give her some leadouts for her sprint work and the Palmares was just as stiff and zippy as ever. It actually reminded me of her team captain's Cannondale crit bike I tooled around on to get to the portable toilets during her first race of this year. I can't comment on the frames that Litespeed has built in the past seven years since I purchased mine. I went to their website recently and it seems they've ditched some of their aggressive tube designs. But I will say that that Palmares that is hanging in my garage, which is where it spends the majority of its life unfortunately, has always been able to suck up everything I've dumped on it and even begged for more. The only thing that worries me when I really stand on it is cracking the handlebars in half, snapping the stem, or cracking the steerer tube of the Ouza Pro carbon fork. All of that lightweight stuff is designed for 150# riders. But the frame is golden. Hope this helps someone...
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Old 04-18-07, 08:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenear
...Seven years ago, while dating my wife...
So you are into dating married women, huh?
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Old 04-18-07, 11:47 PM   #12
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"The only thing that worries me when I really stand on it is cracking the handlebars in half, snapping the stem, or cracking the steerer tube of the Ouza Pro carbon fork. All of that lightweight stuff is designed for 150# riders..."


I'd worry about that too.
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Old 04-19-07, 09:37 AM   #13
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I have a Seven it was custom built for me and is Ti. I am about 220 and it is by far the best bike I have ever had. I have been riding since the early 70's and have had several steel bikes I liked them all, although I did break my Serotta. It had Columbus SLX with a SPX down tube and it broke where the seat tube went into the bottom bracket, it cracked the tube. I even had a Klein Alum for awhile. Magnus Backstedt used to ride for Liquigas on a Bianchi said the only thing that held up for his weight was Ti. He was the biggest pro rider at the time . If I remember right he was about 6ft 3 and 200 pounds. He won Paris-Roubaix.
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Old 04-19-07, 10:03 AM   #14
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So you are into dating married women, huh?
No comment, LOL!
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Old 04-19-07, 11:09 AM   #15
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Steel is Real. At 260lbs my Jamis Quest has taken all the abuse I can give it without the abuse to my body that aluminum frames have given me in the past.
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Old 04-19-07, 12:22 PM   #16
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6'2"/250lbs -- have a 2005 Litespeed Tuscany -- absolutely love it. Kept up with a Harley -Davidson in a mountain descent last summer at 50 mph and wasn't a bit afraid of the frame -- was a bit afraid of a tire blowout though -- haha.

As many have mentioned, material and frame design determine stiffness. My Tuscany is plenty stiff for my tastes. My old aluminum looks like it is rubber band in comparison. Plus, Litespeeds have a nice warranty if new, and can be rewelded/aligned if necessary.

I think alot of what is thought of as "frame flex" is really related to your wheels. I know on the Tuscany that my wheels start creaking on big climbs or accelerations, not my frame. And my aluminum frame rides much better with a switch to a well-built open pro/ultegra wheelset.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:01 PM   #17
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6"0"/225. have a Litespeed Classic since 2001. Love it! Best bike I've had. I have to admit I don't stand much, am definately a 'sit and spin' type.

Mike
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Old 04-19-07, 03:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles
I have a Seven it was custom built for me and is Ti. I am about 220 and it is by far the best bike I have ever had. I have been riding since the early 70's and have had several steel bikes I liked them all, although I did break my Serotta. It had Columbus SLX with a SPX down tube and it broke where the seat tube went into the bottom bracket, it cracked the tube. I even had a Klein Alum for awhile. Magnus Backstedt used to ride for Liquigas on a Bianchi said the only thing that held up for his weight was Ti. He was the biggest pro rider at the time . If I remember right he was about 6ft 3 and 200 pounds. He won Paris-Roubaix.
Maggie is back! Story about him in Velonews.com. I think the Bianchi he was on for Liquigas was a custom frame for him, and he was 220# at one time while racing.
I'm 210# and I also have a Gunnar Sport, the best bike I've ridden on rough roads, and plenty stiff. You can treat a steel frame to prevent rust.
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Old 04-29-07, 12:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenear
I am a pro powerlifter who was road racing 15 years ago. I compete in the 275# weight class with asperations of growing into the 308's. A couple years ago, I set an all-time top 20 world record deadlift of 830#'s in the 242's, so I can generate a fair amount of leg power. Fifteen years ago I was 155# ...
they OBVIOUSLY are not testing you for steroids... so even though you currently weigh 125# more than when you raced are you faster now cuz of all the roids'?
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Old 04-29-07, 03:16 AM   #20
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I've got a '97 Natchez (3/2.5) Litsespeed and weigh about 225 - this is about the stiffest bike I've ever ridden. I bought it because I wanted a stiff but lively bike and I couldn't be happier. Well, I'll amend that to say that I couldn't be happier AFTER I replaced the Kinesis AL fork with a Look carbon model. The alum fork that came with the bike was buzzy as hell.

- Mark
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Old 04-29-07, 02:52 PM   #21
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I raced on a Merlin Road i the early 90s when I weighed 190lbs. As you note, the bottom bracket and drivetrain on the early Merlins were not stiff. In addition, the old aluminum forks that were OEM were horrible (the bike handled much better once a Time fork was installed).

I'm no longer racing, and now go about 215 (I'm 6'3"). I've ridden a 2003 Litespeed Vortex for the past three seasons, and I absolutely loved it. It was just destroyed in a car accident. Litespeed suggested that I replace it with a Siena, which is supposedly stiffer in the BB that the new Vortex because it has a biaxial downtube. For a number of reasons, I ended up ordering a Lysnkey rather than a Litespeed. I have not received the Lynskey yet, but it was built to be particularly solid in the drivetrain given my size.

Stiffness of the frame is largely a function of the design of the bike, and the designs of ti framesets have advanced in bounds since the early 90s. There are plenty of very stiff Ti frames available.
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Old 04-29-07, 03:15 PM   #22
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rust and corrosion

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Originally Posted by LUCAS
Clyde here. In have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the only frame material, that can be considered reliable for clydes is aluminum. I am in the market for a new road bike, and only aluminum frames feel solid under my 220Ibs. Granted that I have not tried steel-framed bikes because of "fear of rust" (I live close to the sea), I am leaning heavily towards purchasing an aluminum bike equipped with Ultegra/Open Pro or equivalent wheels, and then spend a pretty penny on good quality chamois bibs/shorts to help take some edge off the road buzz.

I have tried some carbon frames that rode well for my taste, but I am really not interested in a bike that I'll have to "handle with extreme care". I like leaning my bikes against walls when I'm out and about, and I do not think a carbon-framed bike can take all the resultant "nicks and dings" in stride.

Regards,
Aluminum corrodes around saltwater faster than steel rusts. Rust forms a protective layer on steel and besides you can coat the inside with Framesaver or Boesheild and powdercoat or paint the outside. Steel is the least expensive way to get a solid bike for a big rider but Titanium would be the most element proof material provided the design is stiff enough and thats no problem. Buy a Lynsky custom.
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Old 04-29-07, 03:23 PM   #23
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wow

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Originally Posted by EURO-TRASH
they OBVIOUSLY are not testing you for steroids... so even though you currently weigh 125# more than when you raced are you faster now cuz of all the roids'?
Dude.......thats an awfully rude assumption. There are plenty of powerlifters that never take steroids. I weighed 175 pounds twenty years ago and now weigh 260. Unfortunately, not all of it is muscle. When I was lifting regularly, I went from 175 to 197 in less than three years of fairly easy but consistant weight training. Not all body types gain muscle easily but some really put it on fast and are totally genetically suited for it, just like some are genetically suited for winning the TDF and weigh 150 in their prime, dripping wet.
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Old 04-29-07, 04:21 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by LUCAS
Clyde here. In have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the only frame material, that can be considered reliable for clydes is aluminum. I am in the market for a new road bike, and only aluminum frames feel solid under my 220Ibs. Granted that I have not tried steel-framed bikes because of "fear of rust" (I live close to the sea), I am leaning heavily towards purchasing an aluminum bike equipped with Ultegra/Open Pro or equivalent wheels, and then spend a pretty penny on good quality chamois bibs/shorts to help take some edge off the road buzz.

I have tried some carbon frames that rode well for my taste, but I am really not interested in a bike that I'll have to "handle with extreme care". I like leaning my bikes against walls when I'm out and about, and I do not think a carbon-framed bike can take all the resultant "nicks and dings" in stride.

Regards,
I think you're over-thinking things and drawing overly negative conclusions.

First, steel frames are fine if they are pre-treated with rust-proofing before being built. A little care (i.e. wiping it down after a particularly wet ride) and it'll outlast you. The amazing number of 60's and 70's road frames on fixedgeargallery attest to that.

Second, about carbon... I'm 255 and ride a carbon mountain bike. I beat the holy tar out of the thing, have endo'd onto rocks before, and all it's done is chip the clearcoat. It's an Ibis Mojo, and has withstood abuse like this (quote found on bikeforums.net):

Quote:
My friend at Ibis beat with a steel hammer on an out of inventory Mojo frame. He beat on what he knew to be the thinnest, least supported part of the frame (he knows this cuz he helped design the molds). He was unable to do more than chip the surface clear coat.

Later, on a different frame, he (220 lbs.) clamped a frame to a BB jig over an alignment table so that the frame sat horizontally at about 8" over the table top. Then he stood on the frame and stood incrementally further and further from the point of attachment. He ended up standing on the head tube and bouncing on it. It flexed but sprung back and showed no fatigue over several bounces.

I now respect carbon.
Third, aluminum has a fatigue limit that steel does not. Consider this... if aluminum was the best materials for heavy loads, then why are the vast majority of touring frames - the ones taking on the heaviest loads for the longest periods - all steel?

Saying that, I've rode an aluminum hard tail mountain bike for a good year and a half as a 270+ clyde, so I'm no material snob. I would just caution you to consider the builder and the purpose of the bike as much as any material.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:30 PM   #25
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they OBVIOUSLY are not testing you for steroids... so even though you currently weigh 125# more than when you raced are you faster now cuz of all the roids'?
LOL! There are a few sports that just don't care what you use (except for certain diuretics and rec drugs) - most powerlifting feds, strongman, and bodybuilding come to mind. But seriously, you must be joking right?! Your question indicates that you have been brainwashed by the talking head idiots in the media who have absolutely no idea what they're even talking about. Drugs don't make anyone fast. Lots of training and very hard work make you fast. Just remember that the next time you hear some uninformed moron trash the pro riders.
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