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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 04-07-10, 07:01 PM   #1
joesullivan
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Did I buy a bike that I'm too fat for?

Decided to get back into cycling after an 18 year break(got hit by a car). Over the past 10 years I've unfortunately gained 50 lbs.--ouch! After doing research I settled on buying a Trek 7.3 fx. Good features, reasonably priced. Right after I made the choice I saw a Trek 7.9 fx being offered online via AMEX Wishlist for a price of $1,200. Impulsively I bought it--tons more bike, at a good price. After reading many posts I am now concerned that the Bontrager Racing wheels with 18 spoke might not be a great choice for a 6'1" 230 lbs guy... I fully intend on losing 20 lbs by year end, down 5 so far...

Do i have to stay on my diet for awhile longer before I take the new bike for a spin? Should I buy an alternate set of tires for the interim period?

Any help would be appreciated!! I pick up the bike Friday, and can't believe that I might be too big to ride it. there's humor in this somewhere...
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Old 04-07-10, 07:28 PM   #2
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Great bike! Maybe pick up a set of wheels with 32 or 36 spokes. You'll be glad you did. The 18 spoke wheels will work, but you might have a hard time keeping them true. No problem.....just ride!!!!
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Old 04-07-10, 07:30 PM   #3
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Just ride it. You might have a problem with breaking spokes, but don't lose sleep over it. Losing 10 or 20 pounds won't make a big difference with wheels.

OTOH you might ride it for a long time and not have a problem.

Some people take new wheels into a LBS to have them re-tensioned.
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Old 04-07-10, 07:56 PM   #4
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Just ride your bike. Upgrade it if it breaks.
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Old 04-07-10, 07:59 PM   #5
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sell the fancy wheels on craigs list or ebay to some skinny biker who wants them and buy yourself something sturdier.

Or just ride them... if you have no problems great, if you occasionally have to have them trued, great and maybe you can stave off a new set of wheels.

Really no wrong answer for you.
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Old 04-07-10, 08:02 PM   #6
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I'm about the same weight as you and have a set of 10yr old 16 spoke Shimano wheels. If they are built properly they should last you many thousands of miles. Ride the bike the way you got it for 200+/- miles then take the wheels into a competent wheel builder and have them re-tensioned. With some care you'll have a fine set of wheels.
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Old 04-07-10, 08:19 PM   #7
joesullivan
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thanks for the quick replies!

I'm going to hit the road on Friday! and see how the tires, and I, do.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-08-10, 01:44 AM   #8
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I've been riding wheels with 20 spokes in the back and 16 spokes in the front for two years. I've been between 210-230 lbs during that time. 4000 miles (2000 per year) without any problems - no broken spokes, wheels are as true as the day I bought them, and lucky enough to only have experienced one flat (just a week ago.)

I had the same concerns when I bought the bike. The salesman at the LBS had no reservations at all. I indicated that I had a set of Mavic Open Pro wheels with 28 spokes. He indicated that he felt that the low spoke count wheels would be just as strong as the 28 spoke wheels. I questioned him a bit on that. He said that any incident that I would have with the low spoke wheels that caused damage to the wheels would probably also cause some damage to a 28 spoke wheel. He said "ride the wheels and don't worry about it." I'm glad I took that advice.
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Old 04-11-10, 05:06 PM   #9
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well how did it go? i bought a pair of mavic aksium with tiny amount of spokes when i was alot lighter than now but have been out a few times on them and nothing major to report. seem to be holding up well. hope its the same for you now with yours oh and i'm 265lbs
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Old 04-12-10, 07:27 PM   #10
joesullivan
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took it this weekend--it was great!! No problems at all. Rode just 7 miles through the hills of western CT before I realized I should be more concerned with my stamina than the wheels ability to hold up!!

Long way to go, but at least I'm on the road again!
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Old 04-13-10, 02:56 AM   #11
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good to hear, and remember its baby steps as i myself am finding out again. take it easy to start and it'll get there
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