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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 08-22-09, 03:04 AM   #1
cantdrv55
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Fact or fiction about carbon and clydesdales?

I'm sure this has been covered once or twice but has there been a definitive answer? Will I crack a carbon frame from regular, non-racing use? I'm 220 lb, 5'8" of chub and muscle...mostly the former. I was looking at a carbon bike but the sales guy says I might conisder sticking to aluminum or going titanium because carbons can crack under load. I didn't know if I was being insulted for being heavy or conned for having been naive about frame materials. I'm looking to fellow clydes for their experience.

What say you about carbon? Is one manufacturer's carbon better than the rest? Would you buy a used carbon bike from a fellow clyde? TIA.
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Old 08-22-09, 04:16 AM   #2
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I rode an old cannondale AL hybrid for 1500 miles then got a full carbon road bike @ 275lbs, have ridden 1200 miles on it, so far no problems, I did replace the carbon seat post with a Thomson seat post since I don't trust carbon seat posts for heavy weights. I ride between 120-180 miles per week currently at 250lbs, any name brand should be ok.
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Old 08-22-09, 04:27 AM   #3
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And let me guess the salesman was like 140lbs. In reality it's a fact same as any material have you ever heard of an aluminum frame failing while leaning against a wall duhhhhh, all material breaks while under load. Another thing a carbon frame is likely easier to have repaired than aluminum unless you know of a real good aluminum welder. Buy the carbon if that's the bike you want and it feels good to you. I ride carbon and at 225lbs have had no issues with almost 4000k on mine since May. Any carbon bike in a giving price range is no better or worse IMHO I would however steer clear of a used carbon frame unless you can be sure it has no issues or crash history.
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Old 08-22-09, 04:45 AM   #4
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i got in on the BF group buy of the Pedal Force's RS all-CF frameset:

http://pedalforce.com/online/product...oducts_id=3028

4,200+miles later it's still a sweet ride - and no cracks

and i weigh more than you (now more muscle than chub, thanks to this bike)

i have steel and titanium in my stable of bikes, but CF gives a great ride,
especially with a Brooks saddle and 700x25s!

IMHO of course, YMMV
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Old 08-22-09, 04:50 AM   #5
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IMHO: Fiction. I'm 250 ish and ride carbon. Find a new LBS.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:20 AM   #6
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Fiction man, total bull.

I wouldn't recommend buying a used carbon bike from anyone to tell you the truth. I wouldn't be afraid of a used bike with a carbon fork, they are easily replaced should it fail. If you are looking at a used carbon bike then check it over very carefully for any nicks, gouges, or chips that made it below the paint. Any damage to the fiber weave can seriously compromise the structural integrity of the frame. Remember, carbon fiber = fancy plastic.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:45 AM   #7
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Another thing a carbon frame is likely easier to have repaired than aluminum unless you know of a real good aluminum welder.
When carbon needs repair, you throw it away. Aluminum welding is tricky, but there are plenty of people qualified to do it. Carbon, on the other hand, is almost impossible to repair. Craig Calfee is the only person I know who's willing to attempt it... and he usually has a substantial backlog of work.
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Old 08-22-09, 08:48 AM   #8
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Just piling on, but I can tell you that a good carbon frame will hold much, much more than you weigh. Just be careful tightening components onto that frame (use a torque wrench) and pay attention to any cracks that may show up. I can vouch for trek and Bontrager components in general being very well designed/built in the carbon area. I love my carbon bikes!
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Old 08-22-09, 09:15 AM   #9
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Aluminum frame I was riding at 220 lbs. Snapped on a climb after 12,000 miles, 2.5 years. My buddy has a $4000 STEEL DeRosa that snapped too after a couple of years. Everything is subject to an "oh snap" here and there.

I myself would never buy a used carbon frame. You don't know if the guy crashed it and if it has a risk of failure.


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Old 08-22-09, 11:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cantdrv55 View Post
I'm sure this has been covered once or twice but has there been a definitive answer? Will I crack a carbon frame from regular, non-racing use? I'm 220 lb, 5'8" of chub and muscle...mostly the former. I was looking at a carbon bike but the sales guy says I might conisder sticking to aluminum or going titanium because carbons can crack under load. I didn't know if I was being insulted for being heavy or conned for having been naive about frame materials. I'm looking to fellow clydes for their experience.

What say you about carbon? Is one manufacturer's carbon better than the rest? Would you buy a used carbon bike from a fellow clyde? TIA.
With a good Carbon frame I think you would be fine. Stick with the reputable brands and you'll be fine. Get one with a good warranty. For me I had carbon but recently switched to Ti because of three reasons:
1) I've always wanted a Ti bike and a sale came along for a frame I could not pass by
2) Ti is strong; can last a life time (knock on wood)
3) Bikes in my garage get whacked occasionally (kids, etc.). With carbon if something hits it and creates a deep nick in the frame then the entire frame could be damaged. I was always paranoid of the bike falling over, etc. when leaned up on something. Bugged me to no end.

Issue is Ti can be super expensive. My bike costs, with all components & frame, about $1600 total. It compares with bikes that cost $2400 on up easily.

-b
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Old 08-22-09, 11:08 AM   #11
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When carbon needs repair, you throw it away. Aluminum welding is tricky, but there are plenty of people qualified to do it. Carbon, on the other hand, is almost impossible to repair. Craig Calfee is the only person I know who's willing to attempt it... and he usually has a substantial backlog of work.
Calfee is who I mean yes there is qualified people to weld aluminum I have two friends who are qualified and neither of them will, reason too much risk involved. And you shouls also consider most comanies will back up their frames within reason, some even have crash replacement policies.
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Old 08-22-09, 11:14 AM   #12
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At 220# you are exceedingly average. I wouldn't worry about it. If you like carbon, buy it...at a different shop.
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Old 08-22-09, 11:21 AM   #13
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With a good Carbon frame I think you would be fine. Stick with the reputable brands and you'll be fine. Get one with a good warranty. For me I had carbon but recently switched to Ti because of three reasons:
1) I've always wanted a Ti bike and a sale came along for a frame I could not pass by
2) Ti is strong; can last a life time (knock on wood)
3) Bikes in my garage get whacked occasionally (kids, etc.). With carbon if something hits it and creates a deep nick in the frame then the entire frame could be damaged. I was always paranoid of the bike falling over, etc. when leaned up on something. Bugged me to no end.

Issue is Ti can be super expensive. My bike costs, with all components & frame, about $1600 total. It compares with bikes that cost $2400 on up easily.

-b
Could you please fill me in on where you found a frame for so little. I have been considering building a Ti bike myself and am finding frames starting at over $1500. I am in the same boat as you, I have a mostly carbon bike that has a few nicks in it, my LBS checked them out and said that they were not an issue. I am sure that it fine, but it bugs me too. Plus as you noted, I would like to have a Ti bike, just because it would be fun.
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Old 08-22-09, 11:47 AM   #14
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i started riding carbon when i was almost 300 pounds. this year i did a significant amount of weight training and went from 265 to 283 while losing at least an inch around the gut. My cf frame holds me just fine and i am anything but nice to it when i ride. i have not done a ton of racing with it, but i race and ride enough to not worry to much about the frame. i will always worry about the frame cause its shiny and Cf, but not from riding. i will say the piece of mind i have when riding my steel bike is great. i just don't give a $h!t and i love it.
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Old 08-22-09, 12:34 PM   #15
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When carbon needs repair, you throw it away. Aluminum welding is tricky, but there are plenty of people qualified to do it. Carbon, on the other hand, is almost impossible to repair. Craig Calfee is the only person I know who's willing to attempt it... and he usually has a substantial backlog of work.
odd there aren't more people who do this. I sail an all carbon AClass catamaran, carnage is a fairly normal thing in the class and repairing hulls, masts, foils and various stearing bits is a normal thing.

I suppose it may just be cheaper and lower liability to just replace with bikes.
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Old 08-22-09, 12:47 PM   #16
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I agree: Complete BS
I also agree: Find you another LBS.

I am currently 260lbs and have had my 2006 Specialized Roubaix Elete for the past year and a half with no problems what so ever. When I bought it I was 292 and just starting my weight loss program. My low was 240 back in may of this year and I have been on a yo-yo because of my work schedule not giving me enough time for riding right now. Still the bikes frame has held up very well and I have had no issues aside from having to replace the stock Alex wheels and the stock seat post with a Thompson to accomidate the saddle I currently use. I went over the bike very close before buying it and had my LBS go over it as well. Almost 2500 miles later and still going...................
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Old 08-22-09, 12:58 PM   #17
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6'6" 225-230 mostly Walrus blubber here. So far no problems with my carbon frame over roads with the occasional pothole/cobbles. Being my weight only smaller, I bet you will have no problems with a carbon frame either.

I would buy from another shop. I would buy a quality brand bike and take care of it. Anything can be damaged by poor care while good care can make things last almost forever.

Then I would return and rub their noses in it (but that's just me).
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Old 08-22-09, 01:09 PM   #18
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I researched carbon "weight limits" ~ mostly contacted the tech departments for popular/reputable manufacturers, Cannondale, Trek , etc. ~ and basically asked them what the weight limit was for a specific frame (in my case all petite sizes). They all came back with 275 lbs. I do realize they are trying to sell something but I also know they have warranty/replacement policies and I don't think they'd be inaccurate about this.
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Old 08-22-09, 01:10 PM   #19
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285lb Trek 5.2 Madone. About 3 years of road biking. No problems.
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Old 08-22-09, 04:08 PM   #20
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I'm 6'1" and mostly 235-240 range and have 6,000+ miles on my Madone 5.2 (carbon) and about the same on my 1200 (aluminum) Both Treks. No problems so far. (with the bikes, motor is not so good)
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Old 08-22-09, 04:21 PM   #21
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odd they make 61/62 cm frames if it is expected all riders will be under 220#. Your LBS guy must want to sell you something else for some other reason.
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Old 08-22-09, 04:26 PM   #22
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I weighed 220 when I bought my Specialized Roubaix. LBS said the frame would have no issues. They indicated you'll have to pay more attention to wheels than the frame at weight
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Old 08-22-09, 04:32 PM   #23
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People used to buy a bike and keep it for the rest of their lives. Some people
are very careful, never crash, and never run across a dumb wrench monkey in a bike shop.

I am not that person. I lean my bike against boulders in the mountains, sometimes find terrible mechanics, crash, you name it. It's why there are no carbon touring bikes. They will only take so much abuse.

Nothing against carbon, it just doesn't work for me.
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Old 08-22-09, 05:12 PM   #24
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Could you please fill me in on where you found a frame for so little. I have been considering building a Ti bike myself and am finding frames starting at over $1500. I am in the same boat as you, I have a mostly carbon bike that has a few nicks in it, my LBS checked them out and said that they were not an issue. I am sure that it fine, but it bugs me too. Plus as you noted, I would like to have a Ti bike, just because it would be fun.
I got in on the Performance Bike/Lynskey deal that occurred about 2? months ago now- $629. With regards to the components I shop around for deals on ebay, online stores and craigslist. This is how I keep it so low but have decent components- Ultegra. I also do all of the work myself with the exception of BB which I'm planning to do within the next couple weeks.

The frame performance is selling was welded by the folks @ Lynskey...came in their box + Mark Lynskey acknowledges they put it together. Is it better than my old Carbon? It's a wash.

b
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Old 08-22-09, 05:46 PM   #25
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Total Crapola.

I am also about 5'8' and 250. Have a Specialized Roubaix that I purchased in 2006. Love going downhill with it. Hit 47.6 mph today.
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