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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 08-06-08, 09:48 AM   #1
audiofx
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Carbon bike for a big guy?

I am in the market for a new or used road bike. I have less than $1500 to spend so I am either looking at a nice brand new aluminum bike from the LBS or perhaps a used carbon bike from Ebay.

Being 250lbs, should I even consider a carbon frame? Should I stick with the more durable aluminum to avoid any potential problems? I am looking at the Felt line and have read about cracking with some of their carbon frames. Buying a used Felt also voids the frame warranty (I think).
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Old 08-06-08, 10:00 AM   #2
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At your weight, I don't think you'd have a problem riding a carbon frame. That said, I'm pretty hesitant to buy a used carbon bike from someone I don't know. Carbon is generally very durable, but when it fails it tends to do so spectacularly. I'd be worried that a used carbon bike might have some hidden defect that could fail at the worst possible moment (e.g. 40mph descent). If you really want carbon, I'd zip around to all of your local bike shops today and see what they have on sale! The last time I stopped in, there was some stock from last year that was being closed out at great prices... if you could find a frame that fit.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:21 AM   #3
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Excellent advice!

Also to add: why discount steel? Why look at only aluminum or carbon? New steel is lightweight and extremely durable, comfortable to ride. I would not consider a used carbon bike but a used steel one at a good price is a deal.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:27 AM   #4
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I think Performance Bike has new Fuji full carbon bikes at your price point.
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Old 08-06-08, 11:26 AM   #5
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I went through a similar analysis.........

Being 280 lbs, last November I went through a similar analysis. I ended up with an Orbea Onix, because they did not have a weight limit on their frame and it was a closeout for 2007. Trek was OK with the weight as well, but Specialized does not like the rider being over 240. This is according to the the salesman. I am sure that Specialized will take a heavier load, but I did not want to chance it. Anyway ride the bikes and pick one that fits you, is the best advice anyone can give you. Most of the big names that are out there make great bikes, so if the bike fits and feels good to you, it's hard to go wrong.
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Old 08-06-08, 11:44 AM   #6
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All excellent advice so far...

(BTW, I was 318 lbs when I started riding my CF bike. 12,000+ miles later? No problems.)
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Old 08-06-08, 01:54 PM   #7
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6'3" 270 and I ride the CF Bianchi Ducati. Feels solid and have not had any issues so far.

You might want to take a look at Pedal Force for CF frames.
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Old 08-06-08, 02:50 PM   #8
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I am 270 and ride a Kuota Kharma. Kuota stated that the frame would be fine. Even the Fulcrum racing 7's are holding up fine. Got almost 1400 miles on the bike.
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Old 08-06-08, 03:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCIpam View Post
Also to add: why discount steel? Why look at only aluminum or carbon?
Because the number of readily-available carbon and aluminum bikes dwarfs the number of readily-available steel bikes? Sadly, it's getting harder and harder to find steel-framed bikes from anyone other than a custom builder. I know that Lemond has one steel model, but I'd be hard-pressed to name a second company... The good news is that there are more and more independent frame builders building high-quality steel bikes.
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Old 08-06-08, 04:06 PM   #10
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Because the number of readily-available carbon and aluminum bikes dwarfs the number of readily-available steel bikes? Sadly, it's getting harder and harder to find steel-framed bikes from anyone other than a custom builder. I know that Lemond has one steel model, but I'd be hard-pressed to name a second company... The good news is that there are more and more independent frame builders building high-quality steel bikes.
Here you go. I'll be racing on this one next spring.

http://www.konaworld.com/08_kapu_w.htm
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Old 08-06-08, 07:30 PM   #11
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I was planning on getting a new 2009 entry-level Felt at the LBS and thought carbon was out of my price range. I just barely lost an auction on a 2008 Felt carbon on Ebay for the same price I was willing to pay for a new bike. I really have no need for carbon (I don't race) but the components on the carbon bike were much better than the new bike I will be getting.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cons View Post
I think Performance Bike has new Fuji full carbon bikes at your price point.
If you can find an '07 Fuji Newest 1.0 or 3.0 at Performance, you'll spend about 1/4 to 1/2 of your budget for a pretty phenomenal bike. I'm 340 and the carbon fork on my 3.0 has held up remarkably well.

To note, the price tags on my 3.0 were.

$879, $759, SALE:$699, SALE:$625, SALE:$599, CLEARANCE:$499, SOLD:$399 (and my 10% from the membership).

Last edited by AndrewCO; 08-06-08 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
Because the number of readily-available carbon and aluminum bikes dwarfs the number of readily-available steel bikes? Sadly, it's getting harder and harder to find steel-framed bikes from anyone other than a custom builder. I know that Lemond has one steel model, but I'd be hard-pressed to name a second company... The good news is that there are more and more independent frame builders building high-quality steel bikes.
Jamis makes some decent steel bikes. Not exactly a racing bike but a solid steel road frame for sure.
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Old 08-07-08, 08:42 AM   #14
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FWIW:
I'm 5'10" 240# & have a Giant OCR Limited (carbon frame) w/ Xero XSR-3 20/24 spoke wheels.
http://archive.giant-bicycles.com/us...06&model=11445
http://www.xerowheel.com/prod_detail...&id2=19&pid=20

After 2500+ miles I have had no issues w/ the frame or wheels.

Having said that, remember that carbon needs to be 'babied' more than Steel, Al, or TI. Minor trauma that would only be a small dent or just scrape the paint on other frames could be catastophic for carbon.
Have you ever heard of anyone crushing an aluminum downtube with a repair stand clamp???
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Old 08-07-08, 09:19 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by abbynemmy View Post
Here you go. I'll be racing on this one next spring.

http://www.konaworld.com/08_kapu_w.htm
Here is another great steel option. Pretty good component package as well.

http://www.salsacycles.com/casserollComp08.html
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Old 08-08-08, 06:34 AM   #16
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CF for a big guy on a budget

Try BikesDirect.
I'm not at all happy with the wheelset that came with my full CF MOtobecane IF but the rest of the bike has been outstanding. Ultegra and top line FSA thruout.
No shipping charge and the bike came all but completely set up (tho having a qualified shop go thru the bike-especially the BB with the FSA-is a worthwhile investment)
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Old 08-08-08, 01:39 PM   #17
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5'11" 250 lbs - I ride a '06 Specialized Roubaix Elete full carbon frame. No problems.
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Old 08-08-08, 03:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofx View Post
I am in the market for a new or used road bike. I have less than $1500 to spend so I am either looking at a nice brand new aluminum bike from the LBS or perhaps a used carbon bike from Ebay.

Being 250lbs, should I even consider a carbon frame? Should I stick with the more durable aluminum to avoid any potential problems? I am looking at the Felt line and have read about cracking with some of their carbon frames. Buying a used Felt also voids the frame warranty (I think).
CF which is actually carbon fibre reinforced plastic, is actually more durable then AL, in that it doesn't suffer from fatigue failure issues. Fatigue failure is the tendency of Aluminum to break if flexed repeatedly over time. This is why AL frames are super stiff,

However CF has a different issue, if you crash, with a CF frame or fork it needs a professional inspection, to make sure there isn't internal damage, , if damaged the component needs to be replaced, damaged CF is severely weakened, and tends to fail at some later point in time catastrophically. Because of this, I would avoid a CF frame or fork that is used, unless you know the bikes history, and not just what the guy selling it, is willing to tell you. Some people will have a crash, find out the frame needs to be replaced, clean it up and sell it, because they don't want to pay for a new frame, and the cost of moving components over. They would rather have a new bicycle that isn't damaged.

The real issue though is, if you like the bike, and it fits well, and you find it comfortable, then that is the bike to choose, regardless of frame material.
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Old 08-08-08, 03:51 PM   #19
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I just bought a Raleigh Supercourse for less than $1300 and it's a carbon frame bike. Tiagra components with 105 rear, and Shimano R500 rims. I changed to a 46cm wide handlebar, put on Michelin Pro Race tires, and a different seat. I ride as much as I can. I'm down from about 230, and I have no issues with the bike and my weight, and that includes flats.

FWIW, I also have a $200 aluminum frame hybrid with road wheels and 700x25 Michelins and I've ridden the daylights out of it with no problems also. I was closer to 250 when I got that bike in May. The reason I went with that bike was because I didn't want to spend money on an expensive bike until I was sure I could ride it, and fairly sure I wouldn't break it.

Also, the Lemond Tourmalet was a really nice bike and it was $1150 locally, as was a similar Trek.
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Old 08-08-08, 05:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bone Head View Post
FWIW:

Have you ever heard of anyone crushing an aluminum downtube with a repair stand clamp???
I've had a shop mechanic crush my aluminum seat tube on my Cannondale. Only one hour old. Manager thru me the book and said pick out a new frame.

I've also snapped the frame on my aluminum Lemond Tourmalet.

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