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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 09-06-07, 10:22 PM   #1
Edidid
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300+ Lbs

I am a full time bike commuter, I got my girlfriend into casual biking, but there is one issue as she is just over 300lbs.

Actually this should not be an issue as she enjoys riding my old mountain bike, but it has hit the 12 yr old mark and I can no longer get the elastomers for the fork. So...time for a new bike (other parts are also hard to find)...bah.

Almost every crusiers list a top weight of 250 lbs, which will not do. Where should I be looking?

She is committted biker as she goes out riding with me 2 days a week or so (and walks 4-5 miles without me) rain or shine. She is steadily losing weight, but at a pound or two a week (which is the upper limit of proper and safe) the issue of a bike carrying a heavier frame is still an issue.

Help narrowing frames down, so to speak?
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Old 09-06-07, 10:27 PM   #2
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I don't know about those cruiser limits, as I've never looked into cruisers. But most mountain bikes don't list weight limits. Many of us 300+ pound riders have used mountain bikes, hybrid and even some (usually steel) road bikes.

Where are you looking? What brands?
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Old 09-07-07, 01:46 AM   #3
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Cruiser: http://www.worksman.com/dwcruisers.html

I am 300+ pounds. I ride a Trek 7200 (Hybrid) and have had good luck with it. Whatever you buy I would look into rebuilding the rear wheel in the near future.
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Old 09-07-07, 09:09 AM   #4
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I was looking into the Bianchi 07 Boardwalk and Advantage.

I just got off the phone with the LBS and after getting ahold of the owner I was informed that 250 lbs is the standard limit for warranties on wheels, but not necessarily frames. Apparently some companies use that as a overall limit, but most do not.

He also gave me the general advice of just getting the wheels rebuilt a bit after purchase since the mass produced ones are always a bit loose. So, I guess I should just plan on rebuilding another set of wheels.

7200 looks nice and is afforable. It looks about comparable to the Bianchi Avenue for less.

Hmm...Time to look more into the hybrid catergory this weekend then.

Thanks
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Old 09-07-07, 10:40 AM   #5
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I'm 350+, and have had problems with the rear wheel on my Raleigh Venture, but everything else seems fine (only about 200 miles on the bike so far, though).
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Old 09-08-07, 04:16 PM   #6
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310# and have 1500 miles on a Trek 7.3. Love it. A great upgrade from my cruiser at only $475.
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Old 09-08-07, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edidid View Post
I am a full time bike commuter, I got my girlfriend into casual biking, but there is one issue as she is just over 300lbs.

Actually this should not be an issue as she enjoys riding my old mountain bike, but it has hit the 12 yr old mark and I can no longer get the elastomers for the fork. So...time for a new bike (other parts are also hard to find)...bah.

Almost every crusiers list a top weight of 250 lbs, which will not do. Where should I be looking?

She is committted biker as she goes out riding with me 2 days a week or so (and walks 4-5 miles without me) rain or shine. She is steadily losing weight, but at a pound or two a week (which is the upper limit of proper and safe) the issue of a bike carrying a heavier frame is still an issue.

Help narrowing frames down, so to speak?
With frames, most limits are because of lawyers, the lawyers want low limits to reduce the chance of liability, the marketing folks want high limits to make the product available to a larger market, the engineers know the true limits. So, the lawyers want 150lbs, marketing wants 350lbs and the engineers know that 500lbs is within design specs. So marketing and lawyers negotiate, and 250lbs seems to be the common result.

The real issue is wheels, a bicycle wheel is essentially a suspension bridge with the ends joined together to make a circle, the critical point is that you need enough tension on the spoke threads so they resist turning, but not so much tension that the spokes pull through the rim. Most bicycles use machine made wheels, the machines up until recently were unable to give enough tension, so they use spoke prep a type of glue to keep the spoke threads from turning, this often leaves a slight bit of movement in the spoke, so as the wheel goes around, the spoke shifts slightly at the hub, eventually the spoke will break. Hand built and tensioned wheels, by a decent wheel builder, will have high enough tension that they do not need the glue, and they don't shift at the hub, so the spokes don't break.

Other then the frame and wheels, other components are unlikely to be affected much by weight, although drive train components can be affected by very strong riders, and strong riders tend to be larger, but for a woman that hasn't been riding long, this shouldn't be a major issue.
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Old 09-08-07, 10:16 PM   #8
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The problem about weight limits is that a true weight limit is a dynamic figure. In other words, the same bike may be able to carry quite safely:

– a 400-lb cyclist who pedals smoothly on smooth roads;
– a 300-lb cyclist who pedals smoothly and carefully on pothole-ridden roads;
– a 150-lb cyclist who mashes, jumps curbs and rides fast downhills on streets that look like a mine field.

Now what figure(s) do you give out? And if you give more than one, how do you describe the other parameters?
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Old 09-08-07, 10:30 PM   #9
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I have between 2500 and 3000 miles on a 2003 Giant Sedona DX with total maintenance issues of 1 broken spoke on the rear wheel in 4 years. I have fluctuated between 365 and 300 pounds and back up to 350 and have rode mostly streets, but also on gravel and have ridden gently off a few curbs, and hit several jarring pot holes.

You should feel fairly confident on a similar model from any major manufacturer.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:57 PM   #10
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The whole weight listing estimate trifecta of lawyers, marketing and engineers makes sense. I hadn't thought about that, but nothing is ever simple anymore.

Today we went out to my LBS to get my latest purchased tuned up and so my girlfirend could see the different styles and start narrowing down what she wants specifically. Unfortunatley all the 07 bikes that interested her were not available in her size, too bad since there were some really good deals. She is rather interested in an 08 Bianchi Milano now however.

The LBS told us whatever bike she buys (excluding some ultra-light carbon models, which are not even in consideration anyway) shouldn't have any real issues and if they do that it is an issue he will personally handle with the supplier. The worst he expects is a rebuild of the wheels since the price range of the bikes she is looking at are generally not the best put together and he would have his shop do that for free if under 3 months and at cost of parts if within a year. Can't complain about that. Heck, I put my wheels through the paces and generally get them rebuilt every year.

The only issue now is that she has seen a few different styles of bikes and is having a hard time choosing a single one.
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