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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 03-13-09, 12:23 PM   #1
marcusedvalson
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Aluminum Frame ok?

Im 6'3" and 230 lbs. Is an aluminum frame ok to buy? Am I gonna crack that thing? I have my eye on this aluminum bike, but I dont want to buy it and break it. Should I just stick to good old steel?
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Old 03-13-09, 12:31 PM   #2
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I just weighed myself this AM...225 lbs.

I ride an Aluminum Cannondale (Road Warrior Optimo frame). Aluminum will not be an issue. Make sure you have good wheels, though. Mine are stock 32 spoke (700 x 25C tire).
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Old 03-13-09, 12:34 PM   #3
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While I prefer steel for the ride qualities, I also own and ride an aluminum bike. I'm 220 and have never had a problem with any aluminim frame. The wheels will be the weak point here.

What bike are you looking at?
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Old 03-13-09, 01:00 PM   #4
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I am thinking of this bike:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...corvus_al8.htm

I like the geometry and the components. The paint job sucks, but I have a friend who does powdercoat so I will get him to trick it up nice for me.
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Old 03-13-09, 01:10 PM   #5
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Aluminum...no problem, I am 310 and ride an aluminum roadbike. Regarding Bikes Direct, you may get quite a few differing opinions about dealing with them. If you do buy from them take the bike to the shop and have it put together.
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Old 03-13-09, 01:29 PM   #6
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Unless it's a POS, you will not break ANY frame made of ANY material at your weight. I started at 6'3" and 230 on a Specialized Tarmac Expert.
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Old 03-13-09, 02:02 PM   #7
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Frame material isn't nearly as important as wheel build quality. The wheels support the weight, not the frame.
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Old 03-13-09, 02:06 PM   #8
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Frame material isn't nearly as important as wheel build quality. The wheels support the weight, not the frame.
Tru dat!
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Old 03-13-09, 02:17 PM   #9
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I weigh 350 and ride aluminum... It hasn't failed me yet...

Neither has steel...

I haven't had the nerve to try carbon yet.
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Old 03-13-09, 02:33 PM   #10
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Does anyone else have an opinion on this bike? Specifically the wheels?

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...corvus_al8.htm
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Old 03-13-09, 03:17 PM   #11
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Shimano makes good wheels--I know their top-end stuff is really good. The tires are low-end, cheapo stuff. Nothing to brag about, but they'll get the job done. Specs don't say what the hub is... might be the lowest model Shimano they make. Might be 105. Dunno.

Hard to tell, but looks like (from the photo) to be 20 spokes front and 24 rear. May be a little low for your size. Depending on what you're going to do with them, I would think at the least to go with 24/28. That said, I do have 24/28 Mavic Elite's... but I only use them for special events/races. My daily wheels are 32h, Mavic Open Pro's. I weigh in at 255-260 lbs.

Contact Bikes Direct. They try to keep a positive image, so they'll more'n likely give you the info you need, and maybe even swap out the wheels.
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Old 03-13-09, 04:02 PM   #12
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Does anyone else have an opinion on this bike? Specifically the wheels?

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...corvus_al8.htm
I really wouldn't worry at 230 pounds like I do at 300 with that wheel set. Don't count on bikesdirect.com to swap wheels, as all their bikes come prepackaged from the factory in the Far East and distributed out of Houston. You may be able to get a swap at a bike shop or another cyclist.
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Old 03-13-09, 04:15 PM   #13
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Bikes Direct has two Corvus Models, the Steel and the Aluminum. It looks to me like the Aluminum version has far better components. Is that an accurate judgement?

Here is the aluminum:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...corvus_al8.htm

Here is the steel:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ier_corvus.htm
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Old 03-13-09, 04:23 PM   #14
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I weigh about 250, and while both my road bikes are steel, I've had a Cannondale aluminum mountain bike for 10 years. It's been ridden often and hard (I live a mile from a national forest), and it's had zero problems. Assuming you're talking about a name-brand bike and not some department store cheapie, I'm sure you'll be find.
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Old 03-13-09, 04:57 PM   #15
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I started at 6ft 371 lbs and have never ridien anything but an aluminum bikes since I started back riding last Fathers day .... It a hold you just fine NO PROBLEM ....UNLESS its some cheap piece a crapola ....

Last edited by pipes; 03-13-09 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 03-13-09, 05:38 PM   #16
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Just remember, shopping at bikesdirect is a gamble - might be worth it though. They certainly do not pretend to care about the customers as soon as they have received the money. Try calling them? Good luck.

Aluminum should not be a problem; the wheels will likely not last very long.
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Old 03-13-09, 07:43 PM   #17
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I agree with the wheel being the weak link. You will pop spokes long before you crack a frame.

Even if you get up out of the saddle, and crank down on the pedals, twisting that frame with the force of a dozen Lance Armstrongs, you aren't going to do dammage to the frame.
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Old 03-13-09, 08:11 PM   #18
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I rode a stock Trek 7200 (alum) frame for 7,500 miles with no issues at 340#. Don't worry about the frame, worry about the spoke count/quality. That (and possibly the seatpost) is where your issues will occur.
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Old 03-14-09, 12:03 AM   #19
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Probably depends on the the design of the frame. I have an older 1998 Cannondale CAAD3 with oversized tubing at the bottom bracket area, no problems. MY 2005 Lemond ($1300) had smaller diameter tubing and flexed more thn the Cannondale.

After 13000 miles, the frame went "snap crackle pop" on a seated climb!..I rode it at 220-245 lbs for nearly 3 years.

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Old 03-14-09, 01:25 AM   #20
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The only issue with bikes Direct is that you don't have a local shop when warranty issues and set up is needed. If you know someone who is familiar with light tune up work on a bike you can be set up and good to go in less than an hour. A good LBS shouldn't charge more than a tune up fee to put the bike together if you are not sure how to do it.

Most of the stories I have heard about warranty issues with BD see to work out in the end. I would not hesitate to order from them, but I have a Spectrum Cycles locally and it is the brick and mortar store front for BD. I would just go there and get my bike if I was looking at one of their bikes. Do web search for Spectrum Cycles. they have a few stores in different parts of the country. You might get lucky.

One thing other than wheels to consider is that the bottom brackets on BD bikes are very low end. It's a quick and easy, and not expensive, switch. I would highly recommend doing so down the road, but get all the miles you can out of the stock unit first.
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Old 03-14-09, 07:43 AM   #21
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I wouldn't worry too much over an FSA bottom bracket.
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Old 03-14-09, 07:44 AM   #22
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im 340# on aluminum and carbon with stock rims Alex AS1, 24-hole/28-hole so far nothing but good to say about them.2008 Specialized Sequoia Elite
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Old 03-14-09, 10:30 AM   #23
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After 13000 miles, the frame went "snap crackle pop" on a seated climb!..I rode it at 220-245 lbs for nearly 3 years.

Wow! I would not have thought something like that would be possible from just regular riding.
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Old 03-14-09, 11:30 AM   #24
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Remember, aluminum has a better strength:weight ratio than steel...consider the number of aluminum airplanes you see compared to the number of steel airplanes...
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Old 03-14-09, 12:16 PM   #25
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I ride an aluminum CAAD9 and i'm at 275. I ride it hard and have had no problems. I've only put about 1600 miles since Dec. but it can handle more than i can dish out.
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