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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 07-12-08, 12:02 PM   #1
AbundantChoice
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Introduction / New Worksman Cycle

Hi, figured i'd finally de-lurk. So i've been using a recumbent workout machine in my bedroom for a few years, but I recently moved and discovered my new place has a ton of nice bike trails around it. Basically looking for leisure riding, not interested in doing massive megarides, it's more about using the bike as a secondary source of exercise (primary will probably remain the recumbent machine). So... I took the plunge and got a new bike. Based on a recommendation from the LBS, I got a Worksman Cycle cruiser. Ordered directly with Worksman through the LBS, not one of those ripoff "Big And Tall Bikes" sites that tries to charge you $2000 for a $600 bike. So far I like it, but i've replaced the standard swept-back cruiser bars with (of all things) BMX-style uprights. So... some general Worksman observations:

* Holy crap is the bike heavy. I'd guess it weighs about twice as much as the Surly my friend has.
* But the upside of the bike being heavy is I think it can take a direct tank shell and still survive. I've completely eaten it twice, once from a stealth pothole, and once from a nasty skid in the rain, and the bike is basically untouched. All I had to do was get the fenders re-centered (doable by hand).
* The 3-speed Nexus gear inside the rear hub is a mixed bag. Plus? No derailleur. Minus? Noisier. Plus? 2nd gear is essentially direct drive just like a fixie. Minus? 1st and 3rd really aren't *that* far off from 2nd.
* The wheels are really, really strange. The call them "clincher" rims, and the tires are massive, almost like the wheels came off an old moped or something.
* This thing would probably suck for extended rides, but as an "urban assault vehicle" it works really well.
*If you're in the Boston area and looking for a friendly bike shop that is Clydesdale-friendly, I 100% reccomend Ferris Wheels down in Jamaica Plain. Every single person there has been nothing but supportive, friendly, and encouraging.

I know the whole Worksman / cruiser thing is kind of different from the road / mountain bikes most people here are looking for, but in any case a pic of my bike is here:

In any case, just wanted to say "hey." After ~ 100 miles I'm liking the bike. I think with perfect hindsight I might have gone with a Surly instead, but i'm happy with this bike so far and plan to ride it into the ground, knowing that i'll break long before the bike does.
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Old 07-12-08, 12:49 PM   #2
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that does look like a tank (in a good way)

I kind of like those moped wheels, looks liek a fun cruiser.
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Old 07-13-08, 05:49 AM   #3
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That's a cool looking bike. Welcome aboard
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Old 07-13-08, 07:23 AM   #4
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Clincher refers to the tires. The other choice would be tubular.
Please, tighten the chain.
Good job obscuring the license plate on the Suby.
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Old 07-13-08, 07:56 AM   #5
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Welcome. I looked into getting a Worksman at one time, but they were too small. DO you have to order replacement tires from them, or does your LBS carry stock?
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Old 07-13-08, 07:59 AM   #6
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Funny you mention the chain. I had thought it looked a little slack, until about a week ago when torquing the heck out of the drivetrain it jumped off the rear cog. Then, every time I tried to get going it would jump off again.

Took it to the LBS, and it turns out I hadnt stretched or broken the chain... instead I had actually moved the rear wheel about 1/2 inch forward within the seating holes of the forks. That, combined with a slightly loose chain to begin with, became an unusably loose chain. Needless to say, that problem got fixed (switched out to a heavier washer, and added tiny rubber stoppers, and the chain got tightened up. So now it's tighter than it is in that picture, and I don't have any more slippage.
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Old 07-13-08, 08:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazama View Post
Welcome. I looked into getting a Worksman at one time, but they were too small. DO you have to order replacement tires from them, or does your LBS carry stock?
Unfortunately, replacement tires will have to come from Worksman. I'm half tempted to order a spare set because given road/bikepath quality around here, tire annihilation seems to be an inevitability rather than a probability.
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Old 07-13-08, 08:13 AM   #8
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The place I worked (layed off now) has about 200 workmans trikes. Those things are bomb proof , there are some there that have tool boxes so big they put weights on the front to keep them from flipping over backwards The newest ones are 25 years old, and have more miles on then than most cars on the road
Cool bike
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Old 07-13-08, 08:14 AM   #9
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That looks like a pretty standard 26" tire. Why would you have to order them from Worksman?
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Old 07-13-08, 08:29 AM   #10
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+1 on the tires. Probably a standard 26x2.125
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Old 07-13-08, 09:51 AM   #11
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they look wider than 2.125 to me... the mtb tires look more rounded to me though, those look flat on the bottom.
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Old 07-13-08, 11:40 AM   #12
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I'll doublecheck on the tires next time I go into the LBS. They said there was something wacky about the tire/rim, but it might be something they can handle.
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Old 07-13-08, 04:00 PM   #13
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About the tires: there should be a series of number in parthensis next to the tire size. What does that say? That is an international rim size. If your LBS can't find a tire based on those numbers, find a new LBS.

26" wheels can come in rim sizes of 559, 590, 597, and 584.
559 is the current common MTB, cruiser, and comfort bike wheel.
590 is the old Schwinn and Raleigh wheel.
I've only seen the 597 size on trikes, but I think this is an old road bike size.
584 is also called 650B used on old touring bikes and some older MTBs (Schwinn again) and is making a comback as a happy medium between 26" and 29".

Confused? Just find that number. Should be (###-##). This is the rim seating size in millimeters. The late Sheldon Brown has a good webpage with more, maybe better, information.
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Old 07-13-08, 09:46 PM   #14
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I have one of those as well. Mine is Safety Yellow and a single-speed.

I also replaced the handlebars with some shorter straighter bars with a slight rise. The regular cruiser handlebars let your hands slide forward on the bars when sweaty. Also, I had to point the standard cruiser bars upward for knee clearance.

The frame is smallish. The straight bar frame is slightly larger than the regular frame.

The wheels are definitely different, but they use regular 26x2.125" tires. However, around here, nobody sells a blackwall 26x2.125" tire. You can easily find whitewall 26x2.125" tires, though, and can use them if you don't mind the looks.

Worksman does not make tires, and nobody in the US does; they just buy the tires and have them made with the Worksman name. I found the identical tires without the Worksman name for about $8 at www.niagaracycle.com. That site is down at the moment, but I can look them up for you. The tread pattern is identical to the Worksman.

I understand that on 3-speed hubs, second speed is normally a direct drive, so that's normal.

I don't know what kind of gearing they use on the 3-speeds, but on the single speeds, standard gearing is 2:1 (either 44:22 or 42:21, I forget which). Anyway, that is lower than normally used on single speed bikes. If you need lower gearing than first gear, you should be able to get a smaller front sprocket or larger rear sprocket and adjust that within reason. The front sprocket is available from Worksman, and is thicker than on a normal bike. But the rear sprocket, at least on a single-speed, is a standard sprocket that is interchangeable with a lot of other coaster-brake bikes. Of course, you don't normally find rear sprockets bigger than 22 tooth, anyway.

I've had some miscellaneous minor issues come up. The seat started squeaking. I took the spring bolts out, removed the springs, rubbed them down with axle grease, wiped off the excess with paper towels, reassembled, and they've been fine every since. I started getting a clicky noise, and thought it was the bottom bearing, but turned out to be a pedal. I haven't bothered fixing that. I've added a rear rack, mainly to carry flat-fixing stuff. I've added a bottle cage to the handlebars for my headlight battery (and for bottles of course, 24 oz gatorade fits it). I've added a cheap speedometer. Beware that the Schwinn wireless speedometer won't fit this bike, as I found out.

I've ridden my Worksman on a couple of 65-mile trips and a couple of 40+ mile outings. It's not fast, I'm not fast, but we get there. Going around White Rock Lake/Creek trails, my best average for the 22 miles is 16.0 mph, and that was putting some effort into it. But I don't normally go quite that fast on average. Fastest I've gotten it by pedaling was 23 mph when passing a car. I've hit a bit faster on downhills.
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Old 07-13-08, 10:04 PM   #15
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Thanks for the heads up on the tires! That's definitely useful info. I read your Worksman thread: my bike definitely arrived better packed than yours.. maybe they're listening? I've been trying to figure out the best place to put a watter bottle holder, I might try your front-mounting option

So far the three gears are working OK even though theyre close, I generally don't find myself wishing for a lower gear than what 1st gives me except on one short hill near my place that I usually bike around now. I actually find myself wishing for a 4th gear more than a "below 1st" gear. Maybe it's because the bike is so heavy... once it's going inertia really gets working for you and I want to be able to "dig" into the pedals more and really crank. Then again, with the handlebars I have it's unclear how much digging i'd really be able to do anyway.

The only noises coming from mine right now are from the 3-speed hub, which is apparently modus operandi. It takes a while to adjust to the whole "coasting is louder than pedaling" bit.
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Old 07-13-08, 10:41 PM   #16
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Well, the Niagara site still isn't fully functional (it normally is), but I stepped out to the garage to check my extra tire. It's a Cheng Shin C-241 tire.
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Old 07-13-08, 11:14 PM   #17
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As I recall, three-speed hubs for bikes have been planetary gear sets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicyclic_gearing

http://web.mit.edu/2.972/www/reports...speed_hub.html
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Old 07-14-08, 11:53 AM   #18
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Think this would fit me?

I like the idea of these Worksman bikes but of course it's hard to get from Portland to Queens to try one out. I'm 6'3" with my height in my body. Thanks
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Old 07-14-08, 02:19 PM   #19
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I'm 6'3" and the bike feels slightly short on me, but not that bad. The seatpost is more than long enough to get the seat up to where you'll need it. The bigger issue is with the stock handlebars you'll feel like it's in your lap when you turn. You'll probably want to swap in some MTB bars, or do the BMX thing.
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Old 07-22-11, 07:41 PM   #20
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I like this bicycle a lot. I really like things built stout, and those wheels look hella stout
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Old 07-22-11, 09:47 PM   #21
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I like this bicycle a lot. I really like things built stout, and those wheels look hella stout
I wish the OP were around to talk about his bike. He last posted three years ago.
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Old 07-23-11, 01:58 PM   #22
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Good looking bike, welcome to the road. I'm surprised you didn't go for a recumbent since you have been riding a recumbent stationary bike.
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Old 07-23-11, 03:39 PM   #23
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^^Not much point in addressing the OP here. This is a zombie thread.
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