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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 08-07-11, 11:25 PM   #1
r95rdstr
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Fat guy on a skinny bike?? (vintage Columbus SP steel)

I'm 6'0" and 245 lbs, and I'm wondering if I'm going to hurt a couple of '87 Schwinns with Columbus Tenax tubing? They're both bone stock, the Super Sport with Rigida SX-100 700x25c alloy rims and the Prelude with Weinmann 913S 700x25 alloy rims. The rear on the Prelude is already out of true about 1/4" both ways and a few of the retainers around the spoke nipples are popped out. I bought it this way. The Super Sport is in the mail, so I haven't seen it yet..

I've got a guy coming over tomorrow to possibly buy my '77 Le Tour II, and I'm wondering if I should keep it and ride it until I get down to a reasonable weight before hopping on either of the Columbus Tenax Schwinns with their skinny alloy rims? And if so, what would be a reasonable weight to not damage either of them?

And yes, I know, people are gonna wanna see pics, so they're attached.
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File Type: jpg 87SuperSport.jpg (38.3 KB, 26 views)
File Type: jpg 77letour.jpg (8.6 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg 87prelude.jpg (4.4 KB, 18 views)
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Old 08-07-11, 11:59 PM   #2
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you should not ride the wheel w/ popped out nipples, perhaps they can be repaired. otherwise your probably ok. wheels that only use 20 or 24 spokes are more sensitive to rider weight.
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Old 08-08-11, 12:12 AM   #3
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As long as you're using 32+ spoke wheels, you shouldn't have any trouble on a steel frame.
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Old 08-08-11, 12:20 AM   #4
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you should not ride the wheel w/ popped out nipples, perhaps they can be repaired. otherwise your probably ok. wheels that only use 20 or 24 spokes are more sensitive to rider weight.
I know not to ride it as is. It's the little bushings that center the nipples in the holes on the rims that are popped out of place, not the nipples (and spokes). Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-08-11, 12:25 AM   #5
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As long as you're using 32+ spoke wheels, you shouldn't have any trouble on a steel frame.
I'm hoping that that's the case, but the condition of the rear rim on the Prelude when I got it had me wondering how it got like that - perhaps another fat boy such as myself? Anyway, despite being filthy and the rear rim a little jacked, the bike appears to have been ridden very little. I say this because the the teeth on the freewheel and those up front appear to have no wear on them, and the original suede seat doesn't have any wear on it, just kinda dirty.
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Old 08-08-11, 12:50 AM   #6
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I weigh 250+, and I ride 9 vintage bikes regularly. Two of them are Columbus Steel. I wouldn't be concerned, but if spokes do start breaking, then I would replace them. Worn spokes are more likely to break with a heavier rider. Typically, worn spokes start breaking on the drive side of the rear wheel. Once they start breaking, they continue to keep breaking.

Also, keep your tires properly inflated. Under inflated tires are more likely to receive rim and spoke damage. A high pressure tire will need to be inflated nearly every ride.
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Old 08-08-11, 12:56 AM   #7
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Columbus Tenax can handle 245 with no problem. As others have stated, it's your wheels you need to focus on. 32 spoke, with the rear laced 3X and you will have near bomb proof wheels if they are tensioned correctly.
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Old 08-08-11, 04:46 AM   #8
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The wheels are already failed, whether or not you caused it. The rims with the pulled-out nipples need to be replaced by a really good wheelbuilder.

But once they are renewed, both bikes should be fine for normal riding.
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Old 08-08-11, 05:10 AM   #9
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The wheels are already failed, whether or not you caused it. The rims with the pulled-out nipples need to be replaced by a really good wheelbuilder.

But once they are renewed, both bikes should be fine for normal riding.
Thanks for your input. I figured worst case scenario was that the rear rim would need to be replaced with a new one laced up to my original hub and spokes. My reasoning was that it might be too far out of true, but I'd love to hear more of why you think the aluminum in the current rim is "already failed"? b I know a little bit about metal fatigue.. does that apply here, or is there more that I'm unaware of?

I knew the rear rim was jacked going in, which is why I only gave $80 for the Prelude when the guy was trying to get $150 out of it. I'm just trying to figure out if it'll be ok once I straighten it out, or if I need to keep the old 1020 hi-ten Le tour with steel Arayas until I lose some of this beer gut.

Again, thanks very much for your input.
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Old 08-08-11, 10:43 AM   #10
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Pics of the suspect rim area are helpful. It can be a fatigue failure of the rim (look for hazing and hash lines on the rim surface), or simply the eyelets around the nipples got loose.
You can try to true the wheel, if it doesn't hold trueness, it's time for a new rim due to the additional issue around the nipples.

Relax, the frames and wheels can handle your weight.
I assume you're riding and have a goal to reduce that weight. As the weight drops, it'll be a non-issue. If you're just a big boy and 245 lbs is your average fighting weight....then I'd upgrade that suspect rim wheel to a freehub wheel. Freehubs are stronger and easier to maintain. And may be cheaper to buy a complete wheel, than to match a replacement rim and pay the labor to have it built and trued.
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