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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 10-30-11, 12:53 PM   #1
tony_merlino
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Cydesdales and Road Bikes

I have a couple of road bikes that I used to ride until I more or less stopped cycling about 12 years ago. I was between 145 and 150 lbs when I rode them. I started cycling again, much less aggressively, a little over a year ago, using an old second-hand mountain bike that I've been gradually converting to an errand/utility bike. I intend to keep using it for trips to the store, the bakery, etc (10 miles round trip, max), but I was thinking of rewarding myself with a new bike next Spring - probably a hybrid or some sort of "city bike".

But reading one of the other threads got me to thinking. I'm about 210 lbs now, and have been afraid to get on my road bikes for fear of damaging them. Is this a silly fear?

The main bike I'd be riding is a 1996 or 97 Bianchi Eros (can't remember which year - it was the year they brought the production back to Italy). Is this too delicate to take a 210 lb rider? Or have I just been being silly? The other is also a 1990s vintage Specialized Epic (carbon frame, aluminum fork, Spinnergy wheels). Same question. On the Bianchi, would I need to think about upgrading wheels or spokes or something, to handle the extra weight. (It would be wonderful if I could just lose the weight, but that's a separate issue...)
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Old 10-30-11, 01:31 PM   #2
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I say ride em. 210 isn't that excessive, and I've witnessed heavier folks on similar bikes.
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Old 10-30-11, 01:39 PM   #3
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I'm 6'4" - 225 lbs and ride all my bikes just fine. I did just buy a new wheelset for my Trek though, Sun doublewall with sealed bearings, In the summer I ride this bike to a local lake to play in the water and tend to bring a lot of stuff with me, the trip back home has a rather steep, long hill to go down so I feel better knowing I have good strong wheels now, but never had a problem with my weight and damaging my bikes.
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Old 10-30-11, 01:59 PM   #4
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6'4'' and 245 down from 335. was riding mid 80's Specialized Allez at 275 with no problems, and at 245 riding two steel and one carbon road bike. Wheelset more of an issue than frame generally
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Old 10-30-11, 06:45 PM   #5
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yeah my first charity bike ride was on a 1984 schwinn world sport LOLS. squeeky breaks, shifting and all! That was at 260. I say ride away!
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Old 10-30-11, 09:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
...Is this a silly fear? ...
Yes Do take your wheels to a good wheelsmith and have them re-tensioned properly. Make sure you're not riding on 12 year old tires too. Otherwise, happy riding.
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Old 10-30-11, 09:07 PM   #7
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I'd guess ( I quit riding road bikes long ago) that pinch flats and broken spokes would increase as your weight goes up.
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Old 10-30-11, 09:52 PM   #8
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I agree with everyone else, 210 isn't that much weight to be concerned about damaging bikes. Get some fresh tires and brake pads and ride them like you stole em.

One idea to get some funds for that city bike, if you have the original 4 spoke spinergy wheels and if they are in good shape you can sell them and get a pretty good amount. I sold mine on ebay for 650 which is a bit high but I had all of the original paperwork and mine were in perfect condition. They usually go for around 400.
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Old 10-31-11, 02:11 AM   #9
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I agree with everyone else, 210 isn't that much weight to be concerned about damaging bikes. Get some fresh tires and brake pads and ride them like you stole em.

One idea to get some funds for that city bike, if you have the original 4 spoke spinergy wheels and if they are in good shape you can sell them and get a pretty good amount. I sold mine on ebay for 650 which is a bit high but I had all of the original paperwork and mine were in perfect condition. They usually go for around 400.
$400! I'm almost ashamed to admit that the Epic with the Spinergy wheels was a gift from a guy I used to work with. He used to race it, but stopped racing, and we were about the same size. One day, there was the UPS guy with a strange looking package ...

I always preferred the Bianchi around here - it's not mountainous, but Northern NJ is pretty hilly, and the Bianchi has a triple crank with "sport/touring" gearing that flattened those hills. I'd upgraded the Campy Mirage components that came with the bike to Chorus. It was a nice ride.

I liked riding the Epic on flatter terrain. It was incredibly light and fast. But the guy I got it from had it geared for racing - the gearing was always a little big for me on the longer, steeper hills. I think I'll keep the wheels. Maybe riding that bike again will be incentive to lose some weight.

In the meantime, I think I'll take the advice here, get the wheels looked at, change the tires and brake pads, and enjoy that Bianchi while I still can...

Last edited by tony_merlino; 10-31-11 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 10-31-11, 02:26 AM   #10
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if you have the original 4 spoke spinergy wheels and if they are in good shape you can sell them and get a pretty good amount.
I had a friend on the SMOOTH trail back in 97'ish. Sweet steel Masi with 4 spoke Spinergy wheels. He was about 6'4 and only weighed 170 lbs. The dude broke 2 sets. Warrantied but after the second set, he was told they would no longer warranty the wheels as they are "race day" wheels and not training wheels. I'd ditch the wheels.

I've been riding road bikes consistently since 96 and have never been under 220 while doing so. (220-250 range)

No, don't take them to the shop for tensioning.
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Old 10-31-11, 06:08 AM   #11
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I had a friend on the SMOOTH trail back in 97'ish. Sweet steel Masi with 4 spoke Spinergy wheels. He was about 6'4 and only weighed 170 lbs. The dude broke 2 sets. Warrantied but after the second set, he was told they would no longer warranty the wheels as they are "race day" wheels and not training wheels. I'd ditch the wheels.
I rode mine everyday for the first two years I had them, even commuted with them for awhile and they held up fine, and never gave me any problems. I eventually did relegate them to racing/important ride status but not because of durability concerns. I just didn't want to risk wrecking them on a daily commute, or training/fun ride because they were pretty spendy for that day.
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Old 10-31-11, 09:08 AM   #12
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Ride the road bike, because that's what you're going to enjoy most. But be wary of Spinergy wheels, especially if they're Rev-X.
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Old 10-31-11, 10:32 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post

But reading one of the other threads got me to thinking. I'm about 210 lbs now, and have been afraid to get on my road bikes for fear of damaging them. Is this a silly fear?
Yes. Even at racing weight I'd be 185-190, and most of the time I ride at around 205. I'd get on either of the bikes you describe and never give it a second thought. If the wheelset is too lightweight ( I doubt it) that is easy to fix. The frames will be absolutely fine, and will stay fine even if you gain another 50lbs.
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Old 10-31-11, 11:25 AM   #14
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...No, don't take them to the shop for tensioning.
Opps, I missed that they were Spinergy wheels. Those were actually pretty fast wheels. They were pretty fragile too. I'd find an every day wheel set to put on there.
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Old 10-31-11, 11:26 AM   #15
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. I just didn't want to risk wrecking them on a daily commute, or training/fun ride because they were pretty spendy for that day.
True! They were hot looking on a celeste Bianchi. I wanted to buy some for Gina's old steel Bianchi but after my bud had the issues, forget it. I believe they were $600 in 98.
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Old 10-31-11, 11:29 AM   #16
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Opps, I missed that they were Spinergy wheels. Those were actually pretty fast wheels. They were pretty fragile too. I'd find an every day wheel set to put on there.
I though they looked sweet, the model with white letters only (early model). But yeah fragile from what I saw in my buddy's wheels, a gamble IMO.


I remember this report posted some time ago.

http://pardo.net/bike/pic/fail-020/index.html

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Old 10-31-11, 12:10 PM   #17
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The bike will hold up fine. The only thing to worry about is the wheels. My standard Alex da-22 rims have had some problems with breaking spokes, but everything else is great. I have a Diamondback Racing Podium 2 bike. Aluminum frame, with carbon fork. I weigh about 270-280, depending on the week.
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Old 11-02-11, 11:18 AM   #18
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I wouldn't worry too much. I got started in this at 400 pounds and was soon on a road bike. True, I had to learn how to work on wheels, but bikes have always held me pretty well. I'm down in the mid 200's now, and ride a Ross Signature with 700 x 25 Kendas. You may feel better with wider tires and heavier built wheelsets, but other than that you should be okay. Roadbikes are nice once you get used to them, but they do take some getting used to. The ride and response may feel very twitchy at first, but miles cure that.
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Old 11-03-11, 09:32 AM   #19
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I wouldn't worry too much. I got started in this at 400 pounds and was soon on a road bike. True, I had to learn how to work on wheels, but bikes have always held me pretty well. I'm down in the mid 200's now, and ride a Ross Signature with 700 x 25 Kendas. You may feel better with wider tires and heavier built wheelsets, but other than that you should be okay. Roadbikes are nice once you get used to them, but they do take some getting used to. The ride and response may feel very twitchy at first, but miles cure that.
I put thousands of miles on both those bikes, particularly the Bianchi, so I was pretty used to the feel. Of course, that was a dozen years and sixty pounds ago...
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Old 11-03-11, 12:34 PM   #20
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I wouldn't worry too much. I got started in this at 400 pounds and was soon on a road bike. True, I had to learn how to work on wheels, but bikes have always held me pretty well. I'm down in the mid 200's now, and ride a Ross Signature with 700 x 25 Kendas. You may feel better with wider tires and heavier built wheelsets, but other than that you should be okay. Roadbikes are nice once you get used to them, but they do take some getting used to. The ride and response may feel very twitchy at first, but miles cure that.
I am not a Clyde so you may want to disregard my post. Most days I captain a tandem weighing about 400lbs and wheels can be a maintenance issue but my main concern would be the fork. Due to the higher inertia of sudden braking and hitting holes etc., I would hesitate to put a light weight single fork on my tandem. Some single forks are pretty heavy duty and may be fine but for me it is a real concern. I don't want to even think about the result of a fork failure at speed.

Like I said you may want to disregard this post. I thought you might want the opinion of someone who on most days drives a 400lb bike down hills at 25-30mph.

I hope you enjoy cycling. It it well worth the effort to get started.

Wayne
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Old 11-04-11, 04:19 AM   #21
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I put thousands of miles on both those bikes, particularly the Bianchi, so I was pretty used to the feel. Of course, that was a dozen years and sixty pounds ago...
All bikes are different, and have a different feel, that's for sure. It seemed to me, when I came back into bicycling after a long hiatus, that there were many things I had to re-learn and reacclimate to on the bike. Here's hoping your results provide you happiness, and many long miles to come. Wheels may be an issue, but you can resolve that. I also found my weight was a bit of a factor as concerned my center of gravity on the bike, that may not be such a problem for you, as you are condsiderably lighter than I was when I first started this again. Enjoy your rides, and keep us posted as to how you are doing!
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