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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 08-19-08, 07:38 AM   #1
bigun83
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Road Bike for heavy rider

I'm looking for my first road bike, upgrading from a mtb with road tires. My LBS has a Scott S50 and S30 speedster and a Trek 1.2 and 1.5 that I'm looking at. I'm a big guy at around 340, but use to be around 400 , so I'm a little worried about how the bike will do under all that weight. I've been told that I'll have to get a bigger wheel set. I'm averaging 15 miles-a-day on my current bike and I've been riding steady now for about a month and a half. Having never been on a road bike I don't know if I'm going to want the higher end S30/1.5 or if I'll be happy with the less expensive S50/1.2. The first time I'll ride on a road bike is going to be when I try these out on a test spin. Any recommendation, ideas, comments for me? Thanks!
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Old 08-19-08, 07:53 AM   #2
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Any road bike will do, be it entry level or high end.

The one thing to consider is your wheel set. There are guys here riding as little as 24 spokes and doing ok with it. I weigh 240 (ish) and 32 spokes is the limit of my comfort zone, but think I might have to try 28 before long since, I can get a good deal on them and will need a set for super secret build I have in the works.

If you're buying new, talk to your shop about switching wheels to a good spoke count. If you are looking at Trek, they have a warranty on the Bontragers, so you could ride them and see how they hold up. If they don't work, then switch.
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Old 08-19-08, 03:36 PM   #3
Jerry in So IL
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I am in the same situation. The one thing I was told by heavy riders, bike shop workers, and anyone else is keep correct air pressure. And so far, I'm a believer.

Jerry
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Old 08-20-08, 08:06 PM   #4
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I'm wondering how true that is about it just being the wheels. Many racing teams discourage racing on a carbon fiber frame if you are over 180 lbs. I've heard it from many. True that manufacturers don't make weight limit claims on carbon frames, but noone can convince me that Bontrager's low spoke count wheels will be strong enough to hold a 300 lb. rider eventhough Bontrager supposedly doesn't post weight limits on many of their low spoke count wheels. My buddy said the same thing about his Cannondale Synapse- cracked two frames already and he's 240 lbs. also, he's a big chainring guy like myself and he doesn't race. I cracked an aluminum 2006Felt F80 frame just last year while climbing a hill back when I was 236 lbs. I believe that the choices you chose are solid choices that are durable enough to handle any Clydesdales' weight. With those bikes, a strong set of hoops will do you good. which ones? i don't know yet as I've just posted that question just before responding to yours

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Old 08-20-08, 09:03 PM   #5
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go heavy spoke count or go home

I was talked into a Trek road bike with bontager select wheels and was told by Bontrager, Trek and the bike shop that there is no weight limit on the wheels and I should "have no problem". My weight was 275# and I broke my first spoke in the rear wheel just after finishing a down hill and the speed was +30 mph. I had 400 miles on the bike and returned the bike to the LBS who gave me full credit and they built me a Surly Crosscheck road bike with 36 count wheelset (salsa delgado with shimano 105 hubs). The surly frame allows fat tires so I am running a 700cc x 35 tire which has a max pressure of 85psi. I am very happy with my steel frame and tire wheel combo.
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Old 08-20-08, 09:13 PM   #6
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I started out at 400 myself. Picked up riding at about 365. I bought a road bike at about 320. Its a Giant TCX 1 which is considered a cyclocross bike. The first thing that went was a spoke on the rear wheel. The bike came with 24 paired spoke wheels. I put 32 spoke wheels on and now have about 550 miles on them so far and they're doing just fine.

I ended up replacing the slightly knobby tires the bike came with with street tires and upping the width from 30 to 35. If your roads are as rough as mine are then a bit of cushion is appreciated.

I wouldn't recommend going with carbon fiber anything. Its just asking for trouble. You don't have to be a clyde to have carbon fail on you and then the bike is done. Furthermore we clydes don't get any advantage from the slight weight difference but do save the $$$.

My two cents.

John
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Old 08-20-08, 09:16 PM   #7
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I've been riding on a Trek Madone 5.9sl on bontrager select wheels 26back 24 front spokes for 400 miles. I was 280 when I bought the frame it's made of 110 high modulous carbon fiber. No squeaks or squeals the bike is stiff and it climbs like a goat. The wheels are sub par. The low spoke count is asthetic it's actually a haevy deep V on crappy hubs. That being said they are strong. I've needed them trued once and that was after a nasty crash. I am getting new wheels when I reach 250 hopefully the end of september. I'm going with a custom build probably Velocty deep v's. Develop a good relationship with the bike shop. Ask them if theyll keep your wheels true and help with you if you need to use your warrenty.
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Old 08-20-08, 09:18 PM   #8
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Frames and wheels

I speak as an ex Cat. 2 roadie who got off the bike at ~200 (6'1") and didn't get back on till 17 years later and 266 lbs. I'm now down to 230 and still riding my c. 1986 Cannondale aluminum and Big Ring it when the mood fits. I ride Veloflex Roubaix tubulars on Velocity 36 hole rims. So ymmv.

My feeling is go with 36 spokes. You've got a long way to go before equipment weight is a critical factor. You need durability and comfort to keep the experience enjoyable. Make it goal to reward yourself with trickier equipment as you reach weight milestones.

Now I'm gonna be blunt. Because I've been there and still living it. The bent over racing position was not intended for those of us carrying our spare tires...the ones from the car, not the bike...around our midsections. The days of keeping my knees close to the top tube (part of proper pedaling) are a distant memory for now. You may experience a similar situation, and extended time pushing the pedals around with your knees splaying out may not be a good idea.

Ride the road bike and see how it is for you. But I get the feeling from your post that maybe you'd better spend some more time on the mtn bike.

C.
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Old 08-20-08, 11:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the suggestions and information guys. I really appreciate it! After speaking more with my LBS(yesterday) they recommended that I wait until I get around 260-280 before I go with a road bike, unless I want to spend more money on upgrading to a bigger wheelset like Sun Rhyno Lite. I think I'm going to stick with my mtb for right now until I drop a few more pounds. It'll be extra incentive for me to get to "road bike status." Since I'm going to stick with my old and abused mtb I'm going to have to replace my back wheel because it can't be trued up(due to a couple of crashes and wear and tear) and is constantly rubbing the brakes.

One more thing... What's everyone's opinion on getting a road bike with dual shifters vs. single shifter /thumb shifter? Is it worth the extra $ to get the dual shifters or would I be just as happy with the cheaper option. The only thing I can compare it to now is that I am using a single shift now with my mtb and seem to do fine. LBS said that I would really enjoy the dual shifter because you can shift through more gears without having to single click for each gear and that this comes in handy on the road. Any opinions? Thanks!!!
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Old 08-21-08, 09:09 AM   #10
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Hi bigum83, I applaud your determination. Maybe you could find a good used touring bike to ride until you get to road bike weight. I enjoy riding my touring bike so much that I've given up the idea of even getting a road bike.
Happy cycling!
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Old 08-21-08, 03:41 PM   #11
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+1 on the touring bike suggestion.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:05 AM   #12
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yeah touring bike with high spoke count (32 or more) is a must for heavier clyde's . also might want to go with a 700x25 instead of the 21's and keep your air pressure up (search on here for the air pressure threads), but you will want to go around 120 or higher (depending on what the tire and rim can with stand).

also, you might want to get a triple or compact doulbe for the easy entry into road biking instead of a straight up double with steep gears. Also a good 12-25 or 27 cassette with a 9 or 10spd is great for starting out and it can be easily swapped out for a steeper 11-23 later on when you get in shape.

JOE
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Old 08-22-08, 11:23 AM   #13
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Never raced road but have been riding road for a very long time. My last roadie (before the one I have now) I put just under 3000mi on, a full carbon bike with a low spoke count when I weighed 320 and now I am on my second full carbon, same bike, newer model year.
An Alu roadie should support you just fine if you do not abuse the bike. Being closer to 400 then I, perhaps a higher spoke count is in order. With that said ...

Get the S30, it is a decent bike with decent components. Personally I like drop bars much better but as mentioned, I have been using them for many years but I would suggest putting a flat bar on it OR give it a spin on one of your rides with the drop bars first. You could also purchase a flat bar install it and when you feel ready swap it out for the drop.
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Old 08-23-08, 03:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigun83 View Post
I'm looking for my first road bike, upgrading from a mtb with road tires. My LBS has a Scott S50 and S30 speedster and a Trek 1.2 and 1.5 that I'm looking at. I'm a big guy at around 340, but use to be around 400 , so I'm a little worried about how the bike will do under all that weight. I've been told that I'll have to get a bigger wheel set. I'm averaging 15 miles-a-day on my current bike and I've been riding steady now for about a month and a half. Having never been on a road bike I don't know if I'm going to want the higher end S30/1.5 or if I'll be happy with the less expensive S50/1.2. The first time I'll ride on a road bike is going to be when I try these out on a test spin. Any recommendation, ideas, comments for me? Thanks!
I know you said you are going to hold off on getting a road bike, and thats cool, but I don't think it's necessary.. .your shop is being very conservative, probably because they have had more than one person buy a bike, trash the bike by riding into sewer grates or riding a halfpipe with racks and panniers or some other stupid mistake, then try to blame the shop for not replaing the bike under warranty. Being 300+ lbs will obviously turn a lesser mistake into more damage than a smaller rider would, but under normal conditions a sturdy road bike will work well for you.

However, unless you are planning on racing (which is also cool), a touring bike is probably just as good or better choice for a number of reasons... the gearing tends to be lower and more appropriate for pulling your 300# carcass up hills, there is room for fatter tires which will help protect your rims from potholes and sewer grates that smaller riders can occaisionally hit without problems, more relaxed geometry giving a more stable ride, and frames genereally built to carry a bigger load and still ride well. Also, with proper tire choice (say 700 X 28c) you can ride 99% as fast as a road bike but handle rougher roads and be more comfortable. Oh! And many touring bikes have a more relaxed riding position... unless all of your 300 lbs is in your shoulders and ankles, riding a stretched out position on a standard road bike be hindered by your belly (although many manufacturers are making more relaxed comfortable road bikes now (I guess noone before now wanted to be comfortable on their bikes - go figure ).

Anyhoo, I agree with what people above say - pick a bike with wheels with 32 or more spokes (or have them changed when you buy it), keep the tires well inflated, and ride like hell!

OH! One last thing - the scott bikes you mentioned both come with a rear hub called the "2200" made by Shimano... this is quite a mediocre hub and I bet it would be the first thing to fail (bearings would wear out) on either bike if you got one. However, if you have a part that fails under what you call normal riding conditions, replace it with a better one! If I am wrong and the hub lasts for twenty years, awesome... but don't bet your first born on it
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