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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 12-28-07, 07:18 PM   #1
MPR
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Q for clydes 250+

If you are riding a road frame; not a touring but a dedicated road frame, what are you riding and how is it handling and holding up?
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Old 12-28-07, 07:28 PM   #2
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I have a Nishiki Sport from the 80's. Steel old skool 10 speed that I upgraded to a triple and will be 8 speeds in the rear. Frame is awesome, wheels are my issue.
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Old 12-28-07, 07:36 PM   #3
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Let me clarify why I ask.

I have a great aluminum Bianchi. It's a tank and has lasted me going on 9 years and many miles. But I do know being aluminum, its days are numbered. Especially if I put the mileage on I'm planning on this year. So I'm starting to plant some seeds as to what my options are. I've looked into some custom Ti and steel options and after I picked myself up off the floor, I realized that may not be an option at this time.

So I'm trying to get a feel of what riders in my "category" may be using.
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Old 12-28-07, 07:40 PM   #4
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Inspect the welds, look for issues in the tubing. Likely it's going to be fine though.
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Old 12-28-07, 07:48 PM   #5
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If the bike is holding up fine, I would not assume it's days are numbered.

Under a given loading condition, aluminum is good for a finite number of cycles of loading. However, that number can be a hundred times more than what is required. There are aluminum planes from WWII still flying around, for example.

Anyway, I haven't read of many or any frame problems from 250# riders- tends to be wheel problems and stuff. Even my $100 mountain bike didn't have frame problems, with me at 280#.
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Old 12-28-07, 07:58 PM   #6
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If the bike is holding up fine, I would not assume it's days are numbered.

Under a given loading condition, aluminum is good for a finite number of cycles of loading. However, that number can be a hundred times more than what is required. There are aluminum planes from WWII still flying around, for example.

Anyway, I haven't read of many or any frame problems from 250# riders- tends to be wheel problems and stuff. Even my $100 mountain bike didn't have frame problems, with me at 280#.
Stephen,

Thanks for this response. I have spoken with a friend who is a metallurgists and he told me that aluminum will start to fatigue with every stress cycle. It may be small and insignificant in the entire life of the product, i.e., your WWII plane example, but it does happen. I'm not arguing with you, I'm not a metals expert. I only meant to point out where my concern is coming from. Believe me, I would like nothing more than this frame to outlast me. I'm very happy with it and feel a kind of kinship.

BTW, on a side note for wheels for real heavy guys. I have a set of wheels that (knocking on wood) have taken me to hell and back. They're Mavic CXP33's with 3x 32 spoke (14 gauge) and Record hubs. These wheels have never been out of true and have taken an absolute beating. Yes, they are heavy, but they're built to last.

Thanks for the responses so far!
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Old 12-28-07, 08:04 PM   #7
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I'm riding a Dawes Lt1000 form Bikes Direct. It's aluminum and is holding up great well over 2000 miles this year.. I had to upgrade the rear wheel to a Velocity Deep V and DT spokes but thats it... great bike...

i started riding this bike around 390lbs or so.. in my 400s i was riding a Trek 412 steel
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Old 12-28-07, 08:20 PM   #8
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Hi,
I ride a Gunnar Sport and love it. It's steel and holding up fine.
What's your budget?
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Old 12-28-07, 08:24 PM   #9
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hmmm

Confidence is important and steel gives you that, as long as it is well made and thick enough for the load. A heavy rider on a aluminum frame with high mileage is a bad combination in my opinion. You don't often get much warning with aluminum. The weld areas are the first place to look, especially the dropouts and don't forget the fork steerer where it joins the crown if it is aluminum. If you have any carbon parts they can break unexpectedly especially if they are scratched or dinged in any way. A gritty tire rubbing can wear a carbon fork on the inside creating a stress point.

I ride several steel bikes and weigh 260 pounds. My favorite is a Surly Long Haul Trucker but its a touring frame. I do have a Rans V2 recumbent and its a tank but a fast one. I also have a Centurion road bike with mustache bars and a actual lugged steel 1980's race bike with Campagnolo parts. All are fine and all have 36 spoke wheels. The race bike is light gauge tubing so I don't ride it much plus its a show bike. I like Surly frames but I really think a heavy rider needs something made of heavier gauge tubing and thats not something you see in a production road frame. It is more common on cross and touring style frames however. Keep in mind light frame weight is relatively unimportant especially when the rider is heavy. The difference is less than 1% of the total. A highly competitive racer with low body fat and a high power to weight ratio might benefit from a pound or two lighter frame in a race but he gets a new frame or two every season. The rest of us need a bike to last. Ultimately you can ride what you want but many makers put weight limits on their bikes and with good reason. If it were me, I would look at a heavy gauge steel frame that fits such as a Surly Crosscheck or even the Pacer. You might also look at the Salsa Casserole frame if you want a production frame for less money. A custom might be a better way to go made with tubing to match your weight and riding style along with some high spoke count wheels..... 36 minimum.
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Old 12-29-07, 01:24 AM   #10
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I have a 98 Cannondale CAAD3. I've done over 4,000 miles every year on it up until 05 when I bought another bike. So that's about 30,000 miles. Still superstiff so I use it on fast rides or timed mtn climbing rides.

Several riders have told me the bike would snap in half. That was coming from friends with a $6,000 carbon fiber Colnago, a $3,000 Ti GT frame, and a $3,000 steel DeRosa that have all snapped way before my Canni!

Any bike can fail!
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Old 12-29-07, 01:36 AM   #11
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I have a couple older Steel Merckx road frames and newer Litespeed Ti and they are holding up just fine..

Most steel and large tube aluminum frames will be fine.. If you are worried, you can always go with a cross bike which are usually a little beefier in the build..

The Cannondale Caads are a solid frame and amazingly lightweight for the tube sized they use..
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Old 12-29-07, 06:15 AM   #12
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If your Al frame lasted 9 years, why not grab another Al frame? My thinking is "if it isn't broke, don't fix it."
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Old 12-29-07, 10:03 AM   #13
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I've been riding a full carbon Specialized Roubaix for two years; I'm 300-315 depending. It's been a great bike. No problems at all (although I did have wheels handbuilt when I bought it).
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Old 12-29-07, 11:38 AM   #14
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Although I sold it a couple yrs ago to buy another mountain bike, I rode a Bianchi 928 frame (all carbon except for the steerer tube) for two years and 2300mi on it. I was 289 at the time.

I rode a Giant OCR (aluminum frame) for 6yrs and many more miles before the Bianchi and weighed in at 265 at the time and it was abused for a roadie.

Both frames held up very well as did all the components all though the Giant was not left stock.

Right now I am using a Bianchi Lewis for my road work and so far no complaints.

The only problems I have encountered with frames over the years was a '98 Kona Stinky (Al frame) that I beat the hell out of for 5yrs before snapping the top tube. The other was a carbon MCM frame from Giant that lasted 10yrs before I snapped the seat tube just above the top tube.

DBD
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Old 12-29-07, 02:15 PM   #15
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Giant OCR3 Composite. Slightly longer wheelbase, tall head tube, super comfy and fast. 1,000 miles and all I've had to do was replace a rear tire.
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Old 12-29-07, 05:33 PM   #16
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Hi,
I ride a Gunnar Sport and love it. It's steel and holding up fine.
What's your budget?
Gunnar is a really good option if you don't want to pay for a custom.
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Old 12-29-07, 11:29 PM   #17
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Im 295lb and have riden a Giant OCR2 for the last year only had to replace a tyre.
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Old 12-30-07, 02:00 PM   #18
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I'm 275 and rode the steel Curtlo for years. I just semi-retired it to try out the carbon frame in the sig. So far it has been a great bike. I love the way the carbon rides.
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Old 12-30-07, 07:00 PM   #19
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Giant OCR3 Composite. Slightly longer wheelbase, tall head tube, super comfy and fast. 1,000 miles and all I've had to do was replace a rear tire.
I wish I had a fast bike...

To the OP: I am at 250# and I ride a 2006 Fuji Team Pro, all carbon frame. I love the way it soaks up the road. I have zero issues with the frame...

However, as has been said, your 9 year old aluminum frame should last at least that much longer unless it has damage from a crash or you treat it really rough. Although, if you just want a new bike, that old frame is shot. You need to toss it out for the trash man and get some bling. Um, when is your trash pick up day?
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