Originally Posted by BigGuyMo
I went to the LBS yesterday to see what type of bikes if any they would have for a guy my size. Now that I have done some research here I think I will test ride some of the others mentioned on this forum. I am mainly looking for a bike to ride around town. One of the bikes they had me ride was the Giant Suede. I really liked the feel of this ride a lot but I am curious what everyone here thinks of its durability for bigger guys? Any similar bikes that you would recommend? Thanks
As has been said before, I know because I said it, most bicycle frames, should be fine, although that one isn't the typical frame shape, still, with people over the 300lb mark becoming more common, especially in North America, most frames are not going to have a problem, the exceptions, will be festooned in warning stickers, labels and it will be clearly stated in the documentation shipped with the bike. This is because, if they don't warn you, and you are injured by a frame failure, you will be yelling "Forget the doctor, somebody get me a lawyer!!!!!"
A couple of points, first of all wheels, 26" are stronger then 27" or 700C, because of the smaller wheel, the more spokes the better, although 36 spokes seem to be the "sweet spot" where fewer can lead to problems if tension is not kept perfect. There are some 40 spoke wheels, and some tandem wheels are as high as 48 spokes, but they get real expensive real fast.
Now I do see a couple of issues with this bike, first of all there is only 7 speeds, and there is a front suspension, this creates a couple of issues, first of all there is no really low gear, the lowest is 42x34 tooth, which is around 32 gear inches, which is going to limit your hill climbing ability. The front suspension is going to suck up a lot of power as well, especially climbing hills, Do you see a recurring theme here?
The critical questions though are, what kind of riding do you want to do, and what kind of budget do you have?
1) Do you want to be able to ride on narrow forest cow and deer trails?
2) Do you want to be able to ride on smooth paved bike paths, MUPs and the occasional smooth but unpaved trail?
3) Do you want to be able to go fast,?
4) Do you want to be able to do rides where you cover long distances in multi-day trips, carrying everything you need, with you?
Each of these requires a different kind of bike:
1) Mountain bike, these are the Jeep of the bicycle world, all have some suspension, they tend to fall into two broad categories, the Hard Tail (Front only), and the Full Suspension, the only suspensions that have a hope of working with a 400lb rider are the air ride suspensions, and you need a fairly high end one, to hold that much pressure.
2) Hybrid, this is the Honda Civic, Ford Focus of the cycling world, jack of all trades, but master of none.
3) road racing bike, this is the Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette of the cycling world, speed and light weight are the key, this is the category where your most likely to run into more severe weight limits.
4) touring bike, this is the Dodge Caravan of the cycling world, able to haul heavy loads, often festooned with racks, and bags.
5) cyclocross, the SUV of the cycling world, able to handle light off road, but still able to go a little faster.
Urban bikes, and the Suede is an urban bike, is a variation on the Hybrid, the same bike with a triple crank, and a solid fork would be about perfect. Your weight doesn't slot you into a particular category, your riding style does. Don't try and tell me that a guy of 400lbs can't do one of these, because someone (probably on here), will tell you how they did it.
If your not sure, and just getting back into it, you can go for the hybrid, and see what develops. If you find yourself wanting to go faster, or go further, or tackle worse and worse trails, you can always get another bike
I think I am the only one here, who has been here for a while, and has only one bike, something I would like to rectify in then next year or so.