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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 09-29-11, 05:39 PM   #1
Salsaprime
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Looking to buy a bike that can withstand 350 lbs.

I've lost 74 lbs since March 21, 2011, and I'm really excited to join the cycling community. I currently weigh 365 pounds, but by the time I actually buy a bike in December I should be just a bit under 350.

I plan to ride 50/50 road and trail since there's a nice trail less than a mile away from my house. The trail is really easy terrain, no hills, but it is mostly rocks and dirt. I don't plan on doing any jumping anytime soon. So for now most of my riding should be easy. I'm not so much worried about the terrain I'll be riding so much as I am about a bike even just holding my weight. As I get more experienced and drop some more weight though I would like to do some harder trails. So, should I look for front suspension mountain bikes?

Some mountain bike suggestions would really be helpful. My maximum price range would be $1,000.

Last edited by Salsaprime; 09-29-11 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 09-29-11, 07:06 PM   #2
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Mine happily carries that weight and more (http://www.trekbikes.com/int/en/bikes/2004/archive/t300 ). There are many what can do what you are asking of them. My suggestion is to head out to a few bike shops and try some out. Best of luck on your search, and WELCOME!
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Old 09-29-11, 09:08 PM   #3
ponzini
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Trek Navigator 2.0 is working for me.
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Old 09-30-11, 12:10 PM   #4
Nightshade
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Give a look at the civilian version of Worksman industrial cycles. While a heavy bike they will support your weight with ease while handling anything you can throw at them. As long as you avoid ordering the 7 speed hub the cost is very reasonable.

Disclaimer: I own two Worksman cycles, a bicycle and a trike but rode them for 40 yrs where I worked. I have no other association with this company.

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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

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Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 09-30-11, 02:12 PM   #5
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I would get a used hardtail mountain bike (good brand name) and plan on getting some custom rims (40h rear, 32 or 36h front) and new tires with the rest of the money. You'll probably want to ride with the front suspension locked out, if not swap it out with a fixed fork. I'm 330 and haven't seen one that doesn't nearly bottom out for me yet, so it's ineffective at suspension and just puts the bike at a weird angle.
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Old 09-30-11, 02:42 PM   #6
rjm1982
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I'm 380, and the suspension on the Specialized Hard Rock doens't bottom out on me. I do have it dialed down stiff, buti ts far from locked out... i can push down in the front when standing on the bike and get about 4-5 inches of travel, but on a ride it stays at the top, and really softens up cobblestone roads. Hell, i ride a bunch of cobblestone roads around here, at 380lbs, with the stock wheels (I have road tires on them, but the wheels are the stock wheels)

This is also the 2009 model - cant say anything about the newest ones. I am looking into a road bike as well, when i get down to under 300 - but I really dont have a problem with this bike, and with 24 speeds, i never have a problem being in the perfect gear, either....
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Old 09-30-11, 02:58 PM   #7
cleon
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this newbie's 2c... Steel, big tires, lots of spokes, comfort or touring geometry, good saddle
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Old 09-30-11, 05:08 PM   #8
gyozadude
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Hmmm, what would I get with $1000 spending limit...?

For that kind of money, I'd go on Craigslist and wait and watch for some deals. I know my frame size for road, mtn, and hybrid, so what I'm looking for is something traditional in steel. Weight of the bike isn't such a big factor for me, because, heck, I'm a Clyde and I got plenty of weight that dwarfs any savings I'd get from a lighter bike. Like you, I'm concerned about reliability.

I look for a few things. Heavier guage, heat treated chrome-moly steel. No thin Reynolds 531 or Columbus SL/SLX. Not even the thinnest guage Tange Prestige. I want something a bit thicker walled. The middle grade Ishiwata tubing was pretty good and it was hard to beat the feel of a combination Columbus SLX/SPX frame (SPx being thicker guage). I look for braze-ons mounts for cantilever/v-brakes, or even disc brakes. I look for 2 sets of water bottles. A pump peg, a chain hook, housing stops, rear rack, fender mounts and possibly a kick-stand.

Then I consider things like the headset design. More modern frames have threadless headsets. I look for one with 1 1/8th inch diameter. These are the most common today. I look for a longer steerer/head tube to have a bigger the moment arm that holds the front fork with confidence. It also reduces a little, the side load on headset bearings. It's not a deal killer without threadless, but it means I need to service my headset and watch the adjustment more.

I look at rear dropouts and want precisely aligned vertical dropouts. I don't want to mess around with loose or sliding rear axle which could allow the wheel to get pulled out of the dropouts. I look for mud room and fender clearance. I like wider tires but a frame and fork have to have enough clearance to allow for fatter tires. And I look for 135mm rear axle spacing so I can use the most common mtb parts for a an mtb and 130mm for a road bike. But, hey, if I can't get all these features, then I have ways around issues - like for example, with horizontal dropouts, I just condition and clean the dropout faces and get beefy QR skewers and both inner and outer lock nuts with teeth on them.

I like 36H/spoked wheels with strong double wall rims, minimum, and 14 guage stainless spokes. 4X rear, 3X front. I can always buy parts later or use my inventory, but it's nice if the bike already came with good wheels. I hate bent axles, so Shimano freehubs or any brand of freehub today pretty much puts the bearings further outboard on the axle to reduce the chances of bending. And I don't really fret about how many gears in the back. But I prefer around 8 speeds because I can use a conventional 6/7/8 spd chain and don't need to use a thinner (i.e. weaker 9/10/11 spd chain - which are more expensive).

I usually look to own two sets of wheels for each of my dual-use bikes. One set for on-road. One set for slightly off road. This way, I can swap tires and switch rides in just minutes and no worry that I don't have a dedicated bike.

When looking at handlebars, pedals, seat posts, I try to avoid anything that advertises itself as "competition light." It usually means this is lighter weight. I look for stuff that is reasonable in weight but is made thicker stuff, heat treated, and rated for "downhill" if it's an mtb component. Otherwise, I sometimes just default to a part that is made with "cr-mo". Heavy, but it's steel and hopefully it will fail, but gracefully, giving me ample time to save my own skin! LOL!

Last bike I bought took a long lead time to find. And I had to do some things to modify it for my purposes. I waited 61 days before it showed up for the right price on Craigslist. And then I pounced on the deal and bought it. But then rebuilt the wheels with new hubs/cassette, got new brakes, new saddle, and overhauled the BB and headset. I installed a wider, heavy-duty drop bar and 7spd brifters and new cabling and cable housing, new drop bars too. New fatter road tires too. All these parts I bought or acquired from older bikes also on sale online. Took months. But it was probably less than $350 for my steed. Rides great and so lively. Found it for just $200 originally. The guy had no clue what he had. But patience paid off.



I already have an off-road ride with commuter wheelset with slicks. That was a nice experience building too.

And it supported me through thick and thin times (well, okay, not so much 'thin' times as in not so thick times!).
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Last edited by gyozadude; 09-30-11 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 09-30-11, 05:21 PM   #9
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If you are looking for a mix of road and trail, I would consider a cyclocross bike.. Something like the Surly Crosscheck, this works great on the road and has the higher bb height for off road adventures and supports tire sized up to 700x45.. When I take mine offroad, I use Ritchey cross tires at 700x32..

The frame also supports wheelsets in the 130mm and 135mm width, so you can build up a nice robust set of wheels using mtb hubs if needed.. It gives you the best of both worlds and can be found for under 1000.00.. I found mine on CL for 500.00.. Generally you will see them for 500-600 price range used which still gives you some $$$ for a nice wheelset.
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Old 10-02-11, 03:42 PM   #10
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I started riding 2 1/2 years ago on a Trek 7500 and I was tippin the scale at 360LBS. I had no problem with this bike what so ever and it is nice for both road and trail riding. I have not made to many upgrades either on this bike other than a new saddle once I started to add miles to my rides. In the time I have had this bike it has not given me any maintenance problems either and I just past the 2800 mile mark this August. I did put a new chain on it and because I didn't do it at the 1000 mile mark as the shop recommend it cause excessive wear on the rear cassette and had to have it change also. All in all the bike is sturdy and rides nice, and once you start putting on more miles it should serve you well. I looked at the comfort bike when I started riding the the shop told me in a year I would want something more and they could not of been more correct in that statement. You could also look at the cyclocross bikes as a one to start with but all I can say is get out and try riding them before you make a choice.

I know right now that hopefully next year some time I will be adding a pair Colnago World Cup Cyclocross to our stable of bikes for me and my wife.
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Old 10-04-11, 02:41 PM   #11
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I've been beating up my bike a lot, lately..
I don't know that the frame actually matters all that much anymore. They all seem pretty equivalent to me, to my annoyance. I'd LIKE to see an overbuilt aluminum frame that will take a SS/IGH. However, I AM having to do some things to my bike to make it survive our hideous roads and my tendency to throw a bunch of cargo in my baskets..
First, i'm having to upgrade my rear wheel. Heavier rim, heavier spokes. I've just been blowing too many spokes. The front hasn't given me any issues yet.
Second, we just replaced the BB with something sturdier and made out of metal to replace the plastic piece that was in it.
We also had to drill a new hole in the frame to attach the rear basket.
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Old 10-04-11, 04:32 PM   #12
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This thread is just what I'm looking for. I'm 340, looking to get a new bike after not riding for about a dozen years. I'm looking to commute 4 miles each way. Eventually towing a trailer with my 4year old.
I used to mountain bike trail ride.

What do you think of this bike from Craigslist? A Trek 3900 disc for 425$
EDIT: Nevermind, the bike is gone now.

Last edited by Blackfeathers; 10-04-11 at 09:46 PM.
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