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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 03-03-07, 02:27 PM   #1
bonejockey43
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cyclocross for 250 lbs

Greetings. I am presently in the market for a cyclocross bike, and I was wondering if there are any other large mammals who could offer me some insight as to which bikes may serve me well. I am 6'1", and I weigh 250 lbs. My intended use of the bike will fall into the following categories: 65% use for pulling a Chariot CX2 trailer on paved, dirt, and gravel trails, and 35% for road training - after a few years, when the kids have their own bikes, I will probably get a dedicated road bike. Additionally, I plan on having two sets of tires - one for trails, and one for the road. My price range (excluding the second set of tires) will be around $1500, but I could go a little higher if convinced that it was a worthwhile investment.

My questions are as follows:

1. Are there certain bikes that anyone has experience with that are more tailored for for individuals of larger size?

2. What type of frame material would be best suited for my intended usage? Steel or aluminum (or carbon if in the unlikely event a carbon bicycle falls in my price range)? Would carbon forks and a carbon seatpost be beneficial?

3. Would the increased braking power of disc brakes provide additional safety for my "cargo" when pulling my trailer?

If anyone has any insight into these questions, and would like to share their expertise or insight with me, I would be greatly appreciative. Thank you for your help.
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Old 03-03-07, 03:50 PM   #2
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I don't think Carbon cross bikes would be a good idea in itself, nevermind made for the use of heavy fellas like us

For #3 above, disc brakes work in all conditions. From my personal experience, though, it really depends on the type of disc brake...I wasn't impressed with the ones I tried when I went test riding on a Trek SU200. They seemed to stop as well as cantilever brakes on my old mountain bike. If you find discs that'll stop better than other brakes you use, then use them. They'll help immensely.
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Old 03-03-07, 04:30 PM   #3
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Aluminum

What are you pulling in the trailer?
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Old 03-03-07, 05:10 PM   #4
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By "cargo," I meant my 35 lb 3 year old.

Why aluminum? Is it stiffness?
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Old 03-03-07, 06:31 PM   #5
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I'd say so. It's not fun riding a wobbly steel frame at high speed. Of course, that depends on the type of steel the bike uses. If it's the same kinda tubing they use on touring bikes, then I wouldn't worry about the material as much.

Hmm...ever consider a touring bike instead? Or would the tire clearances be too insufficient for your tastes? Tourers are better for load-hauling, of course

EDIT: Um, actually, if you're dead-set on a cyclocross and want to use wide tires and have versatility, I'd recommend a Surly Cross-Check. It can use 700 x 45c tires (and skinnier ones too), it can use road triple cranksets, and the way it's designed makes it versatile up the wazoo...single speed, fixed gear, road gearing, mountain gearing, touring, etc. I've been told by one of the Surly guys over e-mail (he's a Clydesdale, too) that the Cross-Check is plenty stiff enough to handle our weight.

Of course, it's 4130 Chromoly steel. And it uses either Cantilever or V-brakes, not disc brakes.

Last edited by fat_bike_nut; 03-03-07 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 03-03-07, 09:19 PM   #6
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Hi, I'm 6'4'' and 279.2 my LBS was very keen on the Marinoni - great steel and they build to order -custom if needed- for about 1.5K ...I bought a Surly Cross Check b/c I could not afford the Marinoni option.

http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/Bikes/Touring/Fango.htm

Let us know what you decide
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Old 03-03-07, 09:54 PM   #7
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I like my Cross-Check a lot. I run 700 x 38 tires on it for commuting and could go quite a bit wider, and you can get a built bike or a frame and build it to your specs if you have the $$$. The Cross Check has double eyelets for fenders and a rack and can be made into all kinds of Frankenbikes due to the versatility of the frame. It's steel and pretty affordable. It's not a beauty - mine is black and finished nicely enough, but the Lemond Proprad looks a lot better.
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Old 03-06-07, 09:50 PM   #8
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My two cents.

I'm a 250# guy. Well, 244. Anyway, I've ridden lots of bikes, including cyclocross frames both steel and aluminum.

You are NOT a monster who's liable to crush a bike frame. The diamond frame bicycle is one of the sturdiest designs possible. In steel or aluminum, there's not a frame out there you're going to crush, unless perhaps you're talking about aluminum FOIL.

Thus, your choice is really about which frame you like the most.

Personally, I don't think a hyperlight bike is necessary to have a little fun in the mud and to have a nice commuter. Heck, we're already carrying a few extra pounds, what's a few more?

Thus, for quality and value, I like the Surly Crosscheck or Karate Monkey in steel. They're not the prettiest frames in the world, but they're solid, great frames. Build 'em like you want and you'll have a great bike. In aluminum, we come to my own choice, the Flyte XLS 3. With a carbon fork, headset and stem, you can pick up the frame for a song, or order it complete. I built one last year and have found it wildly fun with some Velocity Aeroheads or some big Mavic rims. I'm not even REMOTELY worried about breaking it.

Youi've got disk options with all these bikes, too. Unless you're going to start racing sanctioned events, you can stick whatever you want on the bike. You won't make a mistake with any of these.

Besides, with some mileage under your belt, you're going to have a smaller belt quickly enough, right? Don't sweat it. Get what you want or what you can afford, and start riding.
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Old 03-07-07, 10:58 AM   #9
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I'm at 235 and pull my 2.5 yo (~30 lbs) in a chariot cougar 1 trailer all the time. I use a Kona JTS (05 model I think...the blue one). I've had no issues with stopping power of the cantis, but remember to use more front than rear, especially when towin the trailer. The 32 spoke wheels are fine for my weight, plus all my commuting stuff (~265 loaded) on potholed, rutted nasty roads. Yet put on a pair of road wheels, take of the fenders and it took me 112 miles for an Ironman. I can't say enough good things about it. New ones have a carbon fork. I don't know how I feel about that for my weight, but that's my input to counter the Surly crowd.

BTW, if you are going to pull a trailer on dirt trails, PLEASE put on a rear fender with a mudflap. Your kids will appreciate not having gravel thrown up into their trailer. Even with the screen my daughter was covered in dust the first time I took her on a trail without the rear fender on.
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Old 03-09-07, 04:34 PM   #10
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You need a 59cm Surly Crosscheck and you'll NEVER have a problem. I've ridden and raced on a CrossCheck at over 300lbs. and there's NOTHING "wobbly" about a Surly.
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Old 03-10-07, 05:31 AM   #11
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+2 on the Surly Crosscheck.. Rock solid bike...
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Old 03-10-07, 01:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The CLYDE
You need a 59cm Surly Crosscheck and you'll NEVER have a problem. I've ridden and raced on a CrossCheck at over 300lbs. and there's NOTHING "wobbly" about a Surly.
Spot on with that comment.

There is a question of integrity with the aluminum versus steel for large riders. Every bump you take with an aluminum frame subtracts from the life span of the frame, with steel you have to exceed an incredibly high threshold before the structure is affected (so high you will more than likely never go above it).

Another good option would be the LeMond Poprad with disc brakes. Another benefit of disc brakes is that us larger folks are more likely to damage a rim. With disc brakes you can still ride and have functional braking even if you have significant damage to your rim.
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Old 03-10-07, 07:02 PM   #13
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Kona "Jake the Snake" models also have a good cyclocross reputation, so far as I know...
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Old 03-10-07, 07:48 PM   #14
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I've been trying to decide between geeting a Bianchi Volpe and a Jamis Aurora, sounds like they could both options for you too. Steel frames, room for 38mm tires and fenders, and they are way under your budget.
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Old 03-13-07, 04:28 PM   #15
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also looking at a cross bike

So I am also in the hunt for a cross bike, I am about 6'2" 270 and when you add the backpack on the way to work I am closer to 300 than I would like to admit. I live in the seattle area and we have lots of hills and rain and was very interested in disc brakes. I recently found the Salsa Las Cruces and am thinking about getting one, was wondering if anyone had any input on this bike?
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Old 03-13-07, 10:05 PM   #16
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I like disc brakes. I have them on my Klein Mountain bike and they work great in the mud and rain of Western Washington.

As far a disc's on a cross bike, that is a personal thing. I like canti's because they dont seem to clog up as much as the discs do.

I am 6'4" 270lbs and have ridden both aluminium and steel cross bikes. I am currently working on a Surly Cross Check build for the upcoming cross season. I like the Cross Check because it is a fairly affordable frame and when it gets some dings and dents I wont cry too many tears like I would for a fancier alum/carbon/ti frame.

Good luck, have fun.
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