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  1. #1
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    235 lbs. - Am I going to destroy a road bike?

    Hi,

    I'd like some opinions here. I'm 6 foot 2, weigh 235 lbs., and currently ride a Giant Cypress DX hybrid. It's held up great (I have a little over 1000 miles on it), but after winter I want to buy a road bike.

    Actually, when I bought the hybrid, I really wanted a road bike. But the folks at my local shop said that, due to my size and weight and the typical road bike's skinny wheels, tires, and frame, that I should definitely NOT buy a road bike. Their reasoning was that I would always be replacing tires and wheels, and that I would, in effect, destroy any road bike due to my size in a relatively short time of riding.

    Is this the sad truth? If I buy a road bike, will I be constantly replacing parts and fixing it, all due to my fat ass?

  2. #2
    By Necessity. RDRomano's Avatar
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    First read most of what Air has linked to his .sig file. I'm a newb here myself. Same height and weight as you too (well, I'm +5lbs. on you). Consensus seems to be that somewhat wider tires (700 x 32 -- 700 x 38) will give you a cushier ride, and may help stave off some flats, but many here have reported substantially higher weights that you, and ride fine on 25 - 28mm tires. I think your LBS was being both inaccurate and uncharitable. I like a bit of cush, but not to the point of slop, so I split the difference. I ordered a Raleigh One-Way, 35mm tires.

    I'm no zen master, but I'm gonna have to call *Bull* on the idea that you're gonna crack/break frames on a road bike at 235#. Unless you're downhilling Mt. Hood with it.

    Air and tom Stormcrow can tell you more than I can though.
    --Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, whose brother is a district judge, once observed that, "The role of a district judge is to decide quickly, wisely, and fairly. This is not to say that the role of an appellate judge is to decide slowly, foolishly, and unfairly, for that would usurp the function of the Supreme Court."

  3. #3
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    I'm only 10 pounds lighter and the guys at my LBS told me I'd be fine on most bikes. I was specifically pointed to the Felt f80 & a giant TCR. The sales person said that I should think about getting different wheels after a few thousand miles with the TCR (low spoke count), but the Felt f80 stock tires should handle great.

    One big thing that I always look for is the two piece crankset. I know it as Hollowtech II. I'm sure other people on the forum will be able to explain it better.

  4. #4
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    I'm 6'6" and 230-235 pounds and I ride a Litespeed Ultimate on 25's, a Marinoni CX on 28's and a light touring bike on 28's. I've put in 13,000km this year with no broken spokes, no rim or hub problems and only 2 flats.

    I use 36 spoke open pro's and American Classic Hurricanes. These wheels can take the beating. Also, I never had to true or retension the wheeel sets this year.

  5. #5
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    You will be fine on a road bike. Most any frame will carry your weight. The limiting factor will be wheels. Look for a reasonable spoke count & quality spokes. If you are really concerned, consider having a set hand built by a respectable wheel builder. They will be strong enough. I wouldn't do jumps or aim at the potholes, but the idea that you can't ride a road bike at that weight is silly.

  6. #6
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    Take a look at a Trek 520 which is listed as a touring bike but comes with Shimano 105 road components (52-42-30 chain ring). I bought one when I made the jump to road bikes cuz I was 240 pounds and was not sure if I'd be comfortable with road bike geometry.

    I loved it. The steel frame soaked up the vibrations and it was not twitchy and the 28 tires prevented pinch flats. Eventually the wheels gave out and I replaced them with a set of Mavic Open Pro 36 spoke.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rideorglide's Avatar
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    Emphatically no. You can ride a road bike, very much so. It takes a little more getting used to than a comfort bike, and proper fit is very important.

    As Romano said above, "I think your LBS was being both inaccurate and uncharitable." and I have to agree with that.

    There are some wheel issues for clydes (esp with OEM wheels), but none that haven't been surmounted long ago by many who have gone before you.

    1) go with a strong wheelset in the first pace, (you have to have an LBS that's professional enough to work with you on that one)

    2) or, swap out the OEM wheels later with a more appropriate wheelset, if or when the OEM wheels cease to peform as desired

    You will find that many clydes and uber clydes here are getting thousands and thousands of miles from their clyde-worthy wheels.

    From what I can tell, most here usually swap out the initial wheelset for one that's more sturdy (and there's nothing unusual in roadie culture in that). And then there are others that get lucky with OEM.

    If you do enough searches here, you'll find plenty of wheel threads, and plenty of folk who swear by handbuilt wheels, and usually with some combination of:

    ultegra hubs and any of the following rims --
    Mavic CXP-33,
    Mavic Open Pro,
    Velocity Deep-V,
    and there's also a good value Campy wheel that has proved popular, even though it has few spokes.

    Many here also choose to go with 32-spoke or even 36-spoke setups -- and that's the way I will probably go with my next ride. (But others have had also success with well built wheels with fewer spokes.)

    I'm currently riding a steel beater road bike on 22 year-old 32h mavic rims.

    For my next bike I -- or the LBS depending available time and patience -- will be building up a frame with a stiff Easton fork and what will probably be Velocity Deep-V rim custom wheels.

    25-28mm tyres seem to be a good starting point. Continental gatorskins are a decent training tyre, that rides quick and gives good flat protection, if you are concerned about that.

    here are some well respected wheel suppliers according to others who have posted here:

    http://www.oddsandendos.com/
    http://www.yellowjersey.org/velwp.html
    http://www.coloradocyclist.com/commo...0&CI=1,224,333


    One more thing -- there's a lot of us bigguns who are really enjoying the speed a clyde can generate on a road bike.
    Once we get our momentum going, well . . . it's a beautiful thing!
    Last edited by rideorglide; 12-16-06 at 10:22 AM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys!

    When I was told this I was skeptical myself, but now I feel much better. Thank you!

  9. #9
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    You will be fine on a road bike. Most any frame will carry your weight. The limiting factor will be wheels. Look for a reasonable spoke count & quality spokes. If you are really concerned, consider having a set hand built by a respectable wheel builder. They will be strong enough. I wouldn't do jumps or aim at the potholes, but the idea that you can't ride a road bike at that weight is silly.
    +1

    Decent wheels and a decent frame (ie, not an ultralight racing frame) and you'll be fine. I'm, 6'1", 230, and my road bike is a 20+ yr old Columbus steel Bianchi. I run Velocity Fusion 32sp wheels with 700x25 tires. I also have a 20+ year old Bianchi cross bike that has an even lighter Columbus frame, same wheels, except the rear is 36sp. If you remain skeptical, consider a touring bike, which routinely support 300lbs or so of rider + gear
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

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    Google Magnus Backstedt and read your worries away :-)

  11. #11
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    Check that the roadbike can accept 28mm tyres by using long reach brakes.
    I would assume that compact style frames with lots of unsuported seatpost (see Giant TCR) are less suitable than a traditional style. What do other riders think?

    Some road bikes are very racy, others are more for sport riding. Try both styles to see which you prefer. Yopu probably dont have to resort to a full-on touring bike like the Trek 520.

  12. #12
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    What the bike shop told you was rubbish. I'm at 300 pounds and I ride a carbon fiber road bike with NO problems (except that everyone leaves me going up steep hills, but that's not the bike's fault).

    At my weight, which is quite a bit more than yours, I found that many bikes were not stiff enough. Through a series of test rides I found that Cannondale and Specialized make stiff bikes. Trek, Giant, and a few others were less stiff and I didn't care for those.

    At the recommendation of my LBS I had a set of Deep V wheels built up to replace the low-spoke count wheels that came with my bike, and I ride 25s instead of 23s. Standard Ultegra hubs. I knocked the wheels out of true once, when they were fairly new, but since then they've been fine.

    Get a road bike and go have fun. Have you ever seen the clip of Lance Armstrong training on a mountain when he is told the road is closed and he can't ride anymore? "Who said that?" he snaps angrily.

    I think you need to find a new bike shop that will work with you.

  13. #13
    fishologist cohophysh's Avatar
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    What the bike shop told you was rubbish. I'm at 300 pounds and I ride a carbon fiber road bike with NO problems (except that everyone leaves me going up steep hills, but that's not the bike's fault).
    what carbon road bike do you ride?
    We cannot solve problems with the same level of consciousness that created them. A.E.

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  14. #14
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    You can ride a road bike. You can ride it on 23mm tires.

    Depending on the tires, you may be replacing your rear tire anywhere between 2000 and 3000 miles. Honestly, we're talking about $35 every ~4 months here, which is pretty cheap.

    You'll probably want a decent spoke count wheel; mavic open pros with 32 spokes (14 gauge) should be quite fine. You can get them from performance for $200 for a set.

    I'd probably stay away from a boutique carbon frame, but I'm pretty sure Trek will warranty their frames as long as you're under 280lbs.

    Here's my story:

    I was over 260lbs on January 1 (honestly, I don't know how much over, I just know it was "way too fat"). That was depressing for me because I had been a runner/physically active all of my adult life until a hamstring injury during a marathon in 2004 forced me to lay up for 18 months, and during that period I put on a crapload of weight. I knew there was no way I could run carrying that much extra heft, so I started cycling in January (I used to mountain bike a lot for cross training). I wound up buying a giant TCR1 (aluminum frame compact road bike) with mavic open pros (32 count) for peanuts off of ebay, and while I broke a few spokes here and there, the wheel problem was more of the case of the wheel being old and in need of a rebuild rather than anything else.

    Now, 6000 miles and 60lbs later, I'm down to 199-201 (depending on the holiday party I went to last night, doh!), and have upgraded to a pretty nice bike (litespeed tuscany with ksyrium elite wheels), am riding 150 miles a week, and am back to running (I did a 12 mile run this morning with a bunch of my old running pals).

    BTW, if you really want to read an awe inspiring story pick up Heft on Wheels by Mike Magnuson. The guy started out riding a road bike at around 265lbs and got down to 185 and kicking ass in a number of mountain centuries.

    Good luck!

    Ken

  15. #15
    Senior Member john bono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dydst
    Hi,

    I'd like some opinions here. I'm 6 foot 2, weigh 235 lbs., and currently ride a Giant Cypress DX hybrid. It's held up great (I have a little over 1000 miles on it), but after winter I want to buy a road bike.

    Actually, when I bought the hybrid, I really wanted a road bike. But the folks at my local shop said that, due to my size and weight and the typical road bike's skinny wheels, tires, and frame, that I should definitely NOT buy a road bike. Their reasoning was that I would always be replacing tires and wheels, and that I would, in effect, destroy any road bike due to my size in a relatively short time of riding.

    Is this the sad truth? If I buy a road bike, will I be constantly replacing parts and fixing it, all due to my fat ass?

    Find a different LBS--quickly. I'm 290 lbs+, and I ride a Spec Sequoia with 25mm tires. The only thing you might need to do is dump the OEM wheels and replace them with a 36 spoke wheel like the velocity deep v. I've even wrecked this bike, and other than a couple of scratches on the carbon fiber, the bike is just as solid as the day I bought it.
    Ride a bike. It makes your legs stringy, and less tasty to our Kanamit friends.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  16. #16
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john bono
    Find a different LBS--quickly. I'm 290 lbs+, and I ride a Spec Sequoia with 25mm tires. The only thing you might need to do is dump the OEM wheels and replace them with a 36 spoke wheel like the velocity deep v. I've even wrecked this bike, and other than a couple of scratches on the carbon fiber, the bike is just as solid as the day I bought it.
    AGreed....find a new LBS, and refer them to my blog (The old one!). Let them see what a clyde is capable of riding and what a bike is capable of taking!

    http://theamazingshrinkingman.spaces...02_owner=1&_c=
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  17. #17
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    You should have no problem with a road bike. What kind of LBS do you do business with? I ride a Waterford 2200 steel frame/ steel fork, Campy Record 10sp, Mavic Open Pro CD Ceramic (extra stopping power in wet weather) 3 cross 32 spoke (14 straight gauge) wheels. I've got over 45,000 miles on this setup with no major problems. Oh, by the way did I mention I'm 6' 230 lbs.
    Make mine a double!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cohophysh
    what carbon road bike do you ride?
    I ride an '06 Specialized Roubaix Expert that has a few modifications. I mentioned that my LBS built up some Deep V wheels. I have Bontrager hard case tires because they have stiffer sidewalls. I replaced the stock handlebars with FSA carbon flat-tops to spread out the pressure on my hands. (They were expensive and I wondered if I would regret spending the money, but they've been worth every penny.) I also replaced the saddle with a Selle Strike SMP TRK. (Next year they're going to add a couple more names and letters to the saddle's model name so it's easier to say.) It won't impress any racers, but it's a great ride for me.

  19. #19
    Air
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    Destroyer of Wheels Air's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    And here's the sig

  20. #20
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john bono
    Find a different LBS--quickly...
    +1

    I started riding at 315 lbs in August (after a 9-year absence from racing). Down to 285 today. Have ridden/raced bikes for years. Sure, occasionally my wheels come out of true, but...I just use a spoke wrench and fix 'em up.

    Started riding on an aluminum Cannondale Black Lightning, currently ride a carbon fiber Kuota Kharma. I use 23 tires, have used 21's in the past. My Cannondale had Matrix Titan rims. My current Kuota uses Mavic CXP33's. Get some strong wheels...you'll be fine.

  21. #21
    Super Course fan redneckwes's Avatar
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    I'm 6'1" and 240...ish, close to 1000 miles this summer/fall on steel frame road bikes, no problems.

    Find a real bike shop, stay away from the big $$, staff all in matching shirts places.

  22. #22
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    I have 1000's of miles on various road bikes with 23mm tires and if you choose the right wheels, you will be fine. I like Open Pro 36 hole with Ultegra hubs. Try to find a good wheel builder in your area, maybe ask some local riders. Oh, mkadam68 knows what he's talking about, that dude is strong.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big john
    ...Oh, mkadam68 knows what he's talking about, that dude is strong.
    Oh you are such a liar...

    Haven't seen you in a bit. Just got my lights fixed for commuting in the morning, and my rear wheel back from the shop...I should be out more and catch up with you all.

  24. #24
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    I'm about 20lbs lighter than you, and I ride an all aluminum C'dale with head shock. I insist on riding 23 tires, but I do have a nice set of 36 spoke Mavic CXPs. Never had a problem.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  25. #25
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Sitck with a 32 spoke count wheel, or higher, and you'll be good. I'm heavier and ride 23mm tires and have never pinch flatted, but I run on max pressure on the tire sidewall.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

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