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  1. #1
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    Affordable bikes with high weight limits?

    I'm not sure I belong in this forum, I'm flat out fat not just big, but I thought I'd give it a shot!

    I'm 5'9 - 5'10 and around 300lbs. I really want to start riding a bike again, but I'm terrified of the thought of breaking one because of my weight. The only ones I've come across so far that claim to be built for large people are $400+ and say they take 6-8 weeks to build/be shipped. That stinks because I live in Alaska and that will take up most of the time I have to ride before winter, lol! Plus, I can't afford that.

    I'm hoping to spend under $200. When I was younger, I rode mountain bikes, so I'd like something similar to one. I'd just be riding it on trails and things though.

    Can anybody help?! Thanks!

  2. #2
    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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    Meh, you're tiny. I started out at over 450, as did several other members.

    Bump your budget to $300 or so and you can snag a Specialized Hardrock Sport and get the "House Bike", so to speak.

    The weak link on a bike isn't going to be the frame, by the way, it's the wheels. We also have 300 pounders riding road bikes, using wheels like the Velocity Deep V, or other equivalent deep profile, double walled rim with a 36 spoke setup.
    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

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  3. #3
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    I started out at around 430-440lbs on my Giant Sedona DX. It's a great bike and I've had ZERO problems with it. I'm down to 346 now and it's even more enjoyable to ride. I think I paid $380 for it back in 2006 and walked out of the bike store with it that day.

  4. #4
    Redneck
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    I'm about your size k_alaska within 20 pounds anyhow. I too bought a Giant Sedona. Only 68 miles since I picked it up last week, but it is holding up just fine. I paid like 250-something out the door.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies! Is it more or less expensive to build a bike? I've been reading other parts of the forum, lots of stuff about wheels, and I'm guessing that most (if not all) bikes come with wheels that aren't the greatest, so if it would be wise for me to purchase stronger tires from the beginning, would it make more sense financially for me to buy a separate frame/tires/etc, and put it all together or to buy a bike and replace the wheels?

    I'm pretty good at following directions so I'd probably be able to figure out how to build it, and if not, I have an Uncle that I'm sure would help, so if that's the cheaper way to go, please let me know!

    Also, if I get one of the bikes mentioned (Giant Sedona or Specialized Hardrock Sport), what wheels would you guys recommend, I've been reading that many bikes don't fit with the wheels that are best for bigger people.

    Sorry for all the questions, the closest 'good' bike shop is about 70 miles away and with gas prices, it's not a trip I want to make until I know enough to make a good decision!

  6. #6
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    If you are willing to learn to do your own mechanical work, you may be better off getting a bike from bikes direct. Look at some of their lower end hardtail mountain bikes and see what you think. If you are 5'9" you will probably ride a 17" or 19" mountain frame. I only mention learning to do your own work because I live a long way from any shops also and find it easier to order parts and tools online than to drive an hour to a shop for them to order what I need and have to drive back again next week.
    It will cost a lot more to build a bike than to buy a complete, so don't go that route unless you really know what you want.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Senior Member mjolniir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_alaska View Post
    Thanks for the replies! Is it more or less expensive to build a bike? I've been reading other parts of the forum, lots of stuff about wheels, and I'm guessing that most (if not all) bikes come with wheels that aren't the greatest, so if it would be wise for me to purchase stronger tires from the beginning, would it make more sense financially for me to buy a separate frame/tires/etc, and put it all together or to buy a bike and replace the wheels?
    I bought a 2006 Specialized Hardrock Sport new. If I were to build that bike piece by piece, it would have cost me a lot more. My Road Bike and Tri bike on the other hand, I built from the ground up, and they cost a lot more (in the thousands).

    It is generally more expensive to build then buy, particularly if you want a new bike. If you are willing to buy used components, you can build a bike cheaper.

    Edit:
    By the way the stock wheels on the Hardrock sport are fine for you.

    If money is an issue, consider buying a used bike.
    Last edited by mjolniir; 05-22-08 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Expansion.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
    If you are willing to learn to do your own mechanical work, you may be better off getting a bike from bikes direct. Look at some of their lower end hardtail mountain bikes and see what you think. If you are 5'9" you will probably ride a 17" or 19" mountain frame. I only mention learning to do your own work because I live a long way from any shops also and find it easier to order parts and tools online than to drive an hour to a shop for them to order what I need and have to drive back again next week.
    It will cost a lot more to build a bike than to buy a complete, so don't go that route unless you really know what you want.
    Thanks for the info! I think for now I'm going to have to stick with complete, I really can't even afford a bike right now, but I'm going to make it happen (with the help of my family) because I need to do something for my health. I just recently realized how big I actually am (it sounds silly, but it just never *clicked* in my head) and now that I see it, I really want to do something. Plus, I've always loved riding.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjolniir View Post
    I bought a 2006 Specialized Hardrock Sport new. If I were to build that bike piece by piece, it would have cost me a lot more. My Road Bike and Tri bike on the other hand, I built from the ground up, and they cost a lot more (in the thousands).

    It is generally more expensive to build then buy, particularly if you want a new bike. If you are willing to buy used components, you can build a bike cheaper.

    Edit:
    By the way the stock wheels on the Hardrock sport are fine for you.

    If money is an issue, consider buying a used bike.
    Thanks so much! I think I'm probably just going to go with the Hardrock Sport then! If I love biking as much as I used to, later on when I'm in a better place financially I'll build something. I've been looking at the Hardrock Sport online and it looks like a nice bike anyways, so I'll be happy with it now that I know the wheels will be okay.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_alaska View Post
    Thanks for the replies! Is it more or less expensive to build a bike? I've been reading other parts of the forum, lots of stuff about wheels, and I'm guessing that most (if not all) bikes come with wheels that aren't the greatest, so if it would be wise for me to purchase stronger tires from the beginning, would it make more sense financially for me to buy a separate frame/tires/etc, and put it all together or to buy a bike and replace the wheels?

    I'm pretty good at following directions so I'd probably be able to figure out how to build it, and if not, I have an Uncle that I'm sure would help, so if that's the cheaper way to go, please let me know!

    Also, if I get one of the bikes mentioned (Giant Sedona or Specialized Hardrock Sport), what wheels would you guys recommend, I've been reading that many bikes don't fit with the wheels that are best for bigger people.

    Sorry for all the questions, the closest 'good' bike shop is about 70 miles away and with gas prices, it's not a trip I want to make until I know enough to make a good decision!
    The best course of action, is to go to the shop, bike companies buy parts in large volumes, so the complete bike is cheaper then the parts it's made of. Parts make sense if your looking at used, and either have a ready supply of old clunkers or used parts. Large city police auctions can be a good source of old clunkers, that can be parted out. They can also be a good source of decent bicycles that were stolen, then abandoned, found by authorities, turned over to police, and never claimed by their rightful owners. If your city has a registry, or bicycle licensing program, it's a good idea to register, so that if your bicycle is found, then it can be returned to you.

    The issue with wheels is rather simple, a bicycle wheel is like a suspension bridge, that has been rolled into a ring, the rim is the bridge deck, the spokes are the suspension cables, and the hub us the support tower. Spokes need to be kept at a certain level of tension for it all to work properly. If the tension is low, then the wheel flexes slightly as it goes around, this bends the spokes, where they are already bent to go into the hub, when you bend a piece of steel wire, this way, it doesn't take long to break.

    A wheel with a lot of spokes and a light load, even with tension a little low, is unlikely to break spokes, however as the spoke count goes down and/or the load weight goes up, tension becomes more critical. It's not so much the quality of the parts, but the quality of how the wheel was built. Most bikes, the wheels are made by wheel lacing machines, which do not provide enough tension, dealers often when they assemble the bicycle, don't touch the spoke tension, so it goes out the door with too low tension. Good dealers, when they assemble the bicycle, will check that the wheels have enough tension and are true. They will also ask you to bring the bicycle back in 200 miles or so, for a check over. This check over is make sure all the screws and bolts are tight, and readjust the brakes and shifters, a good shop will also make sure the spokes have enough tension. Skipping this free service, is likely to present you with issues.

  11. #11
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Does the infamous bikesdirect have anything clyde worthy in that price range?

  12. #12
    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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    PM Mike at Bikes Direct, he's a member here. He was talking recently about a Clydeworthy wheelset, for one thing.

    Here's his profile here at BF.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/members/bikesdirect_com-67142.html
    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

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

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