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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 08-26-11, 02:41 PM   #1
nazran
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LBS kind of killed my dream today.... (320 pound rider)

Been riding a Specialized Expedition for a few years (fitness and commuting). I want to upgrade to a more road oriented fitness bike. I started at nearly 400 lbs and now down to 320ish.

I had been looking at the:

2011 Giant Rapid 3

and

Trek FX 7.3 (link provided in case you live under a rock )

Giant LBS guy says (in a nice way) I have no business on the Giant. it is made for 250 lbs or less. Recommended I go with the Giant Escape instead. Says it is sturdier and 700x32 are gonna handle weight better than 700x28 of Rapid.
TREK LBS guy looks real nervous when I tell him might weight, but says it probably would be ok.

My current bike feels strong enough but I am breaking a lot of rear spokes lately at 320 (but none for 2 years at 400 and lower weight) and I want to move to skinnier tires and faster speeds.

What do you guys think? Is LBS guy 1 being to cautious or is LBS guy 2 wanting to make the sale?
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Old 08-26-11, 02:52 PM   #2
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I think it's worth paying attention when somebody tells you not to buy something they're selling. That said, I can't see how the frame itself is going to be a problem. My frame doesn't have a weight limit. It's the wheels you need to keep an eye on.

I weigh a lot less than you, but I ride 23s, and was riding them when I was heavier. You need to put more air in them than other people do, but...

You're probably breaking spokes now because they've been straining over the past couple years, and are finally on their death beds. A stronger wheel is the best fix, no matter which bike you wind up on.
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Old 08-26-11, 03:13 PM   #3
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My 2c - go with another LBS.

Last year, at 318lbs my LBS assured me an all-carbon Roubaix would hold me fine - and it has. Thats after 3k miles and not a single spoke broken...first bike Ive actually worn tires out on

P.S. I also ride a Trek Fx 7.3 -Im currently 285lbs.
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Old 08-26-11, 03:18 PM   #4
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I'd say first get yourself some good custom wheels built for you that you'll put on any bike you ride no matter what it is. Multiple spokes breaking says it's time for a wheel rebuild/new wheel.
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Old 08-26-11, 03:37 PM   #5
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I had no problems on my 7300FX at that weight. No sure if there are any major differences between the two models though.
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Old 08-26-11, 03:50 PM   #6
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I agree, the rear wheel will be the issue. Use the stock wheel till it croaks. Have the shop retension the spokes after 200 miles. Do not take no for an answer, do not settle for a simple true of the wheel. The spoke tension is the key to making the wheel last longer after a short break in period. If you wait too long or don't do so, then it's your problem, you should have taken this key advice. Do so with a new handbuilt replacemtn wheel as well or you are schkrewed!

As far as teh Trek, I'd go for it. I have a Lemond (made by Tek), the frame broke so Trek replaced the frame per their lifteime frame warranty. Do not abuse it, crashing, saw the fork in half, ride without the wheels and you should be fine. If it does crack, Trek will replace it free but you may have to pay a fee of $50 to the shop to transfer the components from the old frame to the new frame.

You will notice a big difference from your present bike vs the Trek. Good tires (stock are usually junk) and you are good to go!
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Old 08-26-11, 03:57 PM   #7
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naz: where about do you live? I ask because I know a few different Giant dealers who are great. I was 330 when I bought both my giants.... I have a Giant Defy which is solid and also a Giant Roam which is great. If you are anywhere close, your more then welcome to try them out if you would like. Are you looking to stick with a mtn bike versus a road bike?
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Old 08-26-11, 04:25 PM   #8
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I'd get the bike you want first. If you start having wheel problems, invest in a stronger set of wheels. But give the stock set a chance. You might be surprised. You weigh a good 100+ pounds less than I did when I started riding again. None of the stock parts on any of my bikes failed under my girth.
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Old 08-26-11, 05:33 PM   #9
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Seems pretty similar to my Giant OCR2 (06), materials-wise - and I was your weight when I bought it. Even now, I still love it (though it doesn't keep me from dreaming of a Ti or carbon road bike someday). In my most recent tri I let my little brother use my tri bike and I used that Giant.

You might ask what their specific thoughts are on the weight limit factors - are they thinking about stock wheels? Seatpost have a specified limit? Frame is a non-issue, and I think everyone here has covered wheels pretty well. (My OCR2 only needed a little truing on the rear wheel since I've owned it - still have the stock wheels on it)

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Old 08-26-11, 05:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sayre Kulp View Post
None of the stock parts on any of my bikes failed under my girth.
I would keep an eye on the BB crank area though. At 230'ish, I have thrashed a couple of BB's (Isis on stock Bontrager cranks) and a couple of low end BB's on another bike.

Bikes were $1050 and $800 but these models mentioned by the OP are slightly lower on the pole, so I'd keep any eye on these parts. A new BB should be under warranty if it fails early and upgraded at a minimal price if needed.

I've had problems with BB's less than 105 level. I also ended up replacing the crank on my Lemond after 13,000 crank smashing miles (2 years).
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Old 08-26-11, 05:56 PM   #11
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I have a 2011 Giant Rapid 3. I bought it a week ago and I have about 160 miles on it already. I weigh 236 pounds and I have very strong legs (I 5/3/1 powerlifting when I'm not riding). I ride mainly in a city with terrible streets and the bike feels solid. I trust my LBS, they know me by name, and they wouldn't just sell me a bike that wouldn't hold up for me because I'm a return customer for life. I honestly think the Giant Rapid 3 would be a fine bike for you. However I am a bit of a newbie here and some people might be more experienced than I am, I'm just speaking as a clyde that owns one of the bikes you're looking at purchasing.
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Old 08-26-11, 06:30 PM   #12
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I was 338lbs when I Started riding. I bought a trek but had Mavic wheels with 36 spokes put on it before I even took it home. It never broke I now own a Specialized bike and I am 200lbs and I still had to have a rear wheel built. I don't think its the bike but the wheels. ECB1
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Old 08-26-11, 07:42 PM   #13
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One thing the LBS might be concerned about is warranty issues. If the manufacturer has a limit of 250lbs, and something breaks, the manufacturer may not pay the LBS for the repair.
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Old 08-26-11, 08:01 PM   #14
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At 360 lbs, the stock back wheel on my Giant Cypress DX lasted 4 years of limited riding. After a couple of 60 mile days on the Bike Across Kansas, the back spokes started breaking two at a time so I got another wheel with more spokes. Two years later, the rear wheel again showing signs of fatigue. I think the real issue is whether to buy nice, heavy duty, wheels that are each worth more than the bike or start over with a new bike. I am not that concerned with whether the frame will support my weight. It will but will the wheels support the load? A hand built wheel properly tensioned may make a world of difference but is it like putting mag wheels on a Kia.
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Old 08-26-11, 08:07 PM   #15
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at 6'3 240" I trashed the rear wheel on my rapid 3 in a few months. the rim began to crack at the spoke holes. With that said, the wheel held up fine and was true and never popped a spoke. There isn't a road bike that comes stock with wheels appropriate for someone your size and that is going to be the biggest limiting factor, not the frame. The rapid is a VERY good value in my opinon. i paid $550 for mine when I bought it. you could get upgraded wheels (or at least just upgrade the rear, the front will probably be fine) for a couple hundred more and be good to go. I would recommend a velocity chukker or mavic a719 and put 32 c tires on
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Old 08-26-11, 08:26 PM   #16
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Congratulations on dropping almost 80 pounds already!

For the Trek 7.3FX you're only 20 Lbs over. Maybe use that as a further incentive to drop below 300.

From Trek:
http://www.trekbikes.com/faq/questio...questionid=104

Rider weight limit of 300lbs:
Hybrid bicycles with 700c wheels, tires larger than 28c, and flat handlebars
  • City bicycles: hybrids with special equipment, cyclocross bicycles: with drop type handlebars, knobby 700c tires, and cantilever or disc brakes
  • Mountain bikes of all types including: standard, race, cross-country, heavy-duty, trail, all-mountain, freeride, and jumping bikes of both the hardtail and full suspension variety.
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Old 08-27-11, 11:33 AM   #17
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I was 338lbs when I Started riding. I bought a trek but had Mavic wheels with 36 spokes put on it before I even took it home. It never broke I now own a Specialized bike and I am 200lbs and I still had to have a rear wheel built. I don't think its the bike but the wheels. ECB1
For weights such as yours you NEED a strong wheel with 36 SPOKES to keep from breaking spokes or trashing the wheel.

I weight 365 and won't even throw a leg over a bike with weak wheels. It's 36 (11 gage) spokes or nothing for me.
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Old 08-27-11, 06:58 PM   #18
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Agreed with the 36 spoke advice. I've broken a spoke on a 36 spoke wheel precisely once on a 16 year old wheel.
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Old 08-27-11, 10:14 PM   #19
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Get the bike you like and just plan on getting a good set of wheels for it if/when the stock ones give out. It's the cost of doing business as a clyde I kept breaking spokes on the rear wheel of my Specialized Crosstrail Sport (330lbs). Upgraded to custom built Velocity Dyads, 40H rear, 36H front. No problems since.
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Old 08-27-11, 10:22 PM   #20
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I weighed about 360 lbs. when I started two years ago. I broke a lot of spokes on my first rear wheel but I learned that it had a lot to do with the quality of materials used and the way it was assembled. If you use a good quality double-walled eyeletted rim with a boxy profile, 36 (not 32) good quality spokes (not heavier gauge spokes) and get a wheel built by hand by someone with a lot of experience, you should be fine. After my local bike shop sold me three different rear wheels over several weeks and I kept breaking spokes, I finally paid about $250 shipped for a rear wheel from Harris Cyclery. That wheel survived over a year of all-weather commuting in New York City and Brooklyn before a taxi took it out.

Not many things are officially tested and rated for people our size. Even the driver seat of your car may not be rated over 250 or 260. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the bottom line is you have to learn to make your own educated guess as to whether something can handle the abuse you're planning to dish out and also take responsibility if you break it.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:18 AM   #21
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I feel your pain. I wanted a Trek 7.5FX so bad, like a kid after a toy[well maybe I am a kid]. I am at about 280, local LBS, put two bikes on hold at Trek, a 7.3 and a 7.5 told me why I shouldn't buy the 7.5 and why I should buy the 7.3. Told me to think about it for a week. I came home, and thought about it for one week. I went with the 7.3. I will get below 250 and have me a 7.5 or better in a couple of years. With all said I am glad the local LBS was honest with me, just bought the wife a 7.2 from there. I know this shop will build thier bikes right. I love riding the 7.3 I am up to 21 mile rides and I could never get past 15 with my 7300.
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Old 08-28-11, 11:36 AM   #22
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I feel your pain. I wanted a Trek 7.5FX so bad, like a kid after a toy[well maybe I am a kid]. I am at about 280, local LBS, put two bikes on hold at Trek, a 7.3 and a 7.5 told me why I shouldn't buy the 7.5 and why I should buy the 7.3. Told me to think about it for a week. I came home, and thought about it for one week. I went with the 7.3. I will get below 250 and have me a 7.5 or better in a couple of years. With all said I am glad the local LBS was honest with me, just bought the wife a 7.2 from there. I know this shop will build thier bikes right. I love riding the 7.3 I am up to 21 mile rides and I could never get past 15 with my 7300.
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Can't let marketing get in the way of buying what you need. the reality is that the 7.5 isn't any better or worse of a bike for you than the 7.3 it's just Different. You will be faster on the 7.3 because it's not going to break down on you. Honestly there is no reason why you can't ride a 7.5, your weight isn't going to damage the carbon fork, the only issue is the 24 spoke bontrager wheelset which isn't a very nice wheelset. Do yourself a favor, and don't bother upgrading the bike, get yourself an aftermarket wheelset, because that is the biggest difference between the two bikes
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Old 08-28-11, 11:56 AM   #23
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OP, check out this bike from nashbar http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...8#ReviewHeader flat bar like the rapid but carbon fork instead of steel and it's $150 left. The wheels also won't be stout enough but pair it up with these wheels http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_10000_202478 and you will be good to go. if you don't want to do the mail order thing, go ahead and buy the rapid 3 from the lbs and then buy those wheels I show you above. Take the stock wheels and put them on your local Craigslist for $150 and take $100 for them if someone offers and you are good to go.
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Old 08-28-11, 12:07 PM   #24
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SPECIALIZED bikes are strong and many rated for around 300 lbs... I weighted almost 300 and my mountain bike was great, and I didn't brake anything on it, and I was abusing it... hybrid on other hand ( crosstrail ) the only issue was breaking spokes... problem was fixed after replacing it with double walled rims with 36 spokes. My weight + all accessories and drinks and food were well over 320. I wouldn't try any road bike with my weight...they seems to be made just for " skinny butts ". Hybrid is your best choice, and you can put skinner tires on it.
For anyone weighting around 300 lbs, I can recommend cheap but very solid wheels with shimano hub. WTB freedom rider , rear for about $50 and front little cheaper. Ask your local LBS.

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Old 08-28-11, 09:15 PM   #25
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Don't fixate on a 36 spoke count - it isn't like a quality 32 spoke wheel would be a problem. Focus on the quality of the build (and builder, if you go that route), rather than strictly going off of spoke count like there is a single magic number.

The Giant OCR I mentioned above? 24/28 spoke count. Fine for 4-5 years so far, a few thousand miles total (not much this year, but that is another story).


Sayre, what was that first bike? And do you recall any details about your wheels?
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