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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 07-13-09, 02:23 PM   #1
Ghoulardi
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How light before safetly riding a skinny tire road bike?

I'm in the process of losing weight. I'm currently 6'0 and 255 pounds. I've dropped 27 pounds so far.

I've been riding my heavy tank of a commuter bike, regularly pumping up those tires to as high a PSI as acceptable.

At some point, I'd like to start riding a road bike when not performing utilitarian tasks (though I'll probably still commute on my tank...just want the road bike for longer, faster, fun rides.)

I will probably buy some 20 year old bike from the LBS, nothing new and fancy. At what weight can I expect to be able to do this without being super worried about pinch flats, exploding tubes and spokes flying every which way?

(I plan on eventually getting down to 175-180 pounds.)
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Old 07-13-09, 02:37 PM   #2
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I'm currently 245 and been as much as 265, never had a problem with narrow(er) tires. Just be careful about how narrow and what kind of terrain. 23mm tires inflated to max pressure and ridden on chip seal will be a combo likely to cause problems.
I've been very happy on all types of road surfaces with my 28mm tires.
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Old 07-13-09, 04:27 PM   #3
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I'm 240-250 and ride Hutchinson Fusion Comp 23s @ 120psi with no problem. The only flats (2) I've ever had were due to glass.
Pinch flats can also be caused by under-inflation and careless riding.
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Old 07-13-09, 04:38 PM   #4
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my commuter (82 nishiki) has 700/28 panrace tserve.....I do 100-110 ps (cr18 rims, deore hubs)

my road bike (89 miyata) has 700/25 Continental gator skin at 110-115 (velocity deep v, ultegra hubs)

I'm 268

Back when the miyata was new and I was 190....I rode 700/23 and go rid of them.....too rough for me and I never noticed a speed diff from 700/25
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Old 07-13-09, 04:41 PM   #5
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I think you'll do fine on 700x25s. I'm 230 and that's what I ride. I'm also 6'7' and use 195mm cranks on the road. Drive train is another weak link for me. I was always breaking cups on Dura Ace BBs. Switched to Woods with steel cups and all is good to go.
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Old 07-13-09, 04:48 PM   #6
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270, 700/23 @ 145psi. Schwalbe Ultremo DD.

You'll be fine.
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Old 07-13-09, 04:53 PM   #7
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Well, crud. I was hoping to use this as inspiration for getting to a new goal.
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Old 07-13-09, 05:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ghoulardi View Post
Well, crud. I was hoping to use this as inspiration for getting to a new goal.
Hang out in C&V...identify a bike you lust after and use bike as a goal.....not just the tire size.... or maybe 2 bikes, one for now and one for the long term goal.

Me when I hit 190/185 again I want a red steel italian frame with alloy campy ergo hardware.

have fun
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Old 07-13-09, 05:17 PM   #9
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I'm about 280 and I ride Conti Gators 700x25 @ 130psi.
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Old 07-13-09, 05:37 PM   #10
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Well, crud. I was hoping to use this as inspiration for getting to a new goal.
AT 254 I am confident you could splurge on new road bike and ride it with confidence. Now convincing the the finance department may take more work.
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Old 07-13-09, 06:10 PM   #11
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I'm just about your size and weight I ride 700x23 Kyrsium no problems yet
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Old 07-13-09, 06:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
I'm currently 245 and been as much as 265, never had a problem with narrow(er) tires. Just be careful about how narrow and what kind of terrain. 23mm tires inflated to max pressure and ridden on chip seal will be a combo likely to cause problems.
I've been very happy on all types of road surfaces with my 28mm tires.
I run between 230 and 250+....never had a problem with 23s inflated to max (or higher) pressure...even on chip seal. If I had to worry about such things I wouldn't get many miles on my road bike.

With good quality wheels, tubes, tires and reasonable riding practices (no jumping curbs or pot-hole diving), you should have no problems.
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Old 07-13-09, 07:09 PM   #13
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Alright. I'm convinced. I'm going to wait until I'm at 210 to buy it though. Not because of weight considerations, but because I need another motivating prize.

Besides, my bike is more than serviceable. It's just bulky and has a milk crate attached to it. I'll tell you one thing: No one will every steal this thing.

Plus I'd like to ramp up the mileage a bit. I only have a three-mile commute, and I don't often ride more than 10 miles in a day. I'm hoping I can get my longest ride up to 20 miles before I buy a bike I intend to use for longer rides.

Someday, I'd like to ride a century. (Maybe a year or two from now?) It seems imminently doable, it will just take work.
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Old 07-13-09, 07:10 PM   #14
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BTW: When I hit my goal weight, I'm going skydiving.
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Old 07-13-09, 07:14 PM   #15
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I rode 700x23 tires from 285 down to 220ish before I tore out the rim on the rear. Replacement wheels are on the way and I am riding my nicer road bike around instead of the commuter, but as long as I paid attention to the tires and kept them properly inflated I never had pinch flats.
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Old 07-13-09, 07:18 PM   #16
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I've been using Armadillo All Condition 700/23c, always at 120psi minimum (rock hard, no give at all), for about a year now. Started at around 300 pounds, I'm down to 280 (that's -40 of fat and +20 of muscles), I've had one flat due to a very deep pothole crossing Central Park. I've ridden cobblestone streets, popped wheelies, braved the rain and generally abused the crap out of the Bad Boy Ultra with these tires, and had no problems at all.
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Old 07-13-09, 07:33 PM   #17
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I ride on them and they hold fine. But I popped a spoke on the 24 wheel and upgraded to 32 in the rear. I am 240+
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Old 07-13-09, 07:57 PM   #18
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25mm @ 120psi are easily good for 275-280. Quit looking for excuses and just go buy the new bike you want.
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Old 07-13-09, 08:12 PM   #19
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I was never quite as heavy as some of you guys and dolls, but I was as much as 220+/- and have rode on anything from 38's-18's. Most recently I was at 210ish and since riding myself into a lifestyle change that has included getting back into a shop I've gotten down to about 185 (I'm 5'8-9").

We have been selling and having much interest in bikes for clydes as of late. This has lead me to ask what the weight limit is on these bikes. Apparently, its not the frame but the wheels you have to think about. Your average wheel set is apparently limited to a 300# capacity.

I'd say general rule of thumb, the more spokes the better, 3 and 4 cross might be heavy, but the extra few pounds will sweat off over time (I've lost nearly 20# in the last few months).

If you ride a hybrid with wide 38-32's then you can get a narrower tire, likely down to a 25 (but no thiner than your rims) with higher pressure to help your speed and distance. 28's are often used for touring.

Hope I didn't throw too much out there.
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Old 07-14-09, 07:18 AM   #20
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yup have to confirm that "skinny road tires" are fine up at 309lbs and down *LOL*. I bought my bike in Feb weighing 309 and had 700x25 on them so far, and I hate to say this cause I know im going to jinx myself, no flats and no problems with wheels. currently just south of 260lbs. I have about 600 miles on the wheels - (edit I just remembered rear wheel was replaced but due to a faulty free wheel nothing wrong with tires etc, in fact they moved tube and tire and cassette onto new wheel))
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Old 07-14-09, 10:19 AM   #21
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I'm exactly the same weight/height at 6'0", 255lbs... I ride Hutchinson Fusion 2 Kevlar Tires (for thorn protection not because of my weight) 700x23 @ 125psi and I have had no problems.
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Old 07-14-09, 10:39 AM   #22
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Wheels are the issue not tires. Low spoke count wheels are made for skinny little guys
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Old 07-14-09, 12:34 PM   #23
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275 and I use Specilized Armidillos size 700x23. No problems yet (knocking on wood now).
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Old 07-14-09, 12:43 PM   #24
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I should have known better than to talk about eventually buying a new bike on here.

Now I want one now.
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Old 07-14-09, 01:15 PM   #25
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I'm a first time poster, but have been watching from the sidelines for a while now.
I started riding in Feb 09. My starting weight was 418 lbs. I bought a Kona Hoss, I thought I needed something bulletproof. Well a little hard work and determination has worked for me. I have weighed in at 359 this week. I switched to a road bike a couple months ago, because I couldn't keep up with my girlfriend when she was on her road bike.
I first got a Jamis Eclipse that I had my LBS build up with the old parts from her road bike. This was Shimano 105's and Xero XR-1 Wheels. These wheels are a 30mm deep v rim with 16 spokes in front and 20 spokes in back. So far I have nearly 400 miles on them without any trouble.
Now since then, I met a goal for myself and dropped 50 pounds.
I rewarded my goal with a new Trek Madone 6.9. It is a 2009, they were blowing them out a few weeks ago for nearly $3000.00 off list.
The bike weighs 15.1 pounds and has carbon fiber wheels, skinny ultralight 700x23 tires, and skinny bladed spokes. The trek dealer called before I bought the bike and told them about the 360 pound customer, and Trek said no problems, wheels and bike are covered under warranty.
My riding takes place on back roads, and half mile of uneven sidewalks to get to the road.
I have put 257 miles on the trek in the last 3 weeks without so much as a hiccup.
Just from my experience, get whatever you want. Just ride your bike.

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