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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 11-17-11, 07:39 AM   #1
PlusVeggie27
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What electric bike under $1000 would be able to support 280 lbs?

I have been looking at the http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...6&blockType=G6 and http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...2&blockType=G2 The first one says the weight limit is 240, and the last one doesn't state a limit. I like the price of the first one, and I found that I can get it 100 dollars cheaper elsewhere. I wanted a bike that was a 2 in 1. I currenly have no bike, and my goal is to ride a bike and use a bike trailer for my little one on the back. The bike is for exercise, but when I'm either too tired pulling him or I'm riding solo, I'd like the option of an electric bike feature for days when I'm riding to school which is uphill. I never been on an electric bike, and if it goes too fast I won't use it when pulling my little on on the bike trailer. If those won't work I'll settle for a regular bike. I don't wan to pay more if the power of those won't be strong enough. THANKS, and I hope I put this in the right section.
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Old 11-17-11, 07:48 AM   #2
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It might be a good idea to post this in the "Electric Bike" forum.
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Old 11-17-11, 07:50 AM   #3
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I figure I'd stand a better chance with larger riders.
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Old 11-17-11, 09:49 AM   #4
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I coverted a Giant Sedona to an e-bike. It would have no problem with 350 lbs.
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Old 11-17-11, 09:57 AM   #5
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The first one lists its weight as 66 lbs. That probably includes the box and packaging, but, still, that's two very heavy bikes. It may or may not be good as a light motorcycle, but I really doubt you'll use it to get much exercise, especially if you need to go somewhere uphill.

With that said, larger people can typically ride bikes with smaller weight limits, and be perfectly fine. Frames are strong. It's the wheels that cause trouble, but, fortunately, they can be fixed or replaced, if they're not up to par. Now that's for bikes where the motor is a human, and if the motor isn't strong enough, repeated use will improve it. The one with the 240 lb limit might have a strong enough engine, or it might not. That's something you'll have to look into.
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Old 11-17-11, 10:44 AM   #6
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The first one lists its weight as 66 lbs. That probably includes the box and packaging, but, still, that's two very heavy bikes. It may or may not be good as a light motorcycle, but I really doubt you'll use it to get much exercise, especially if you need to go somewhere uphill.

With that said, larger people can typically ride bikes with smaller weight limits, and be perfectly fine. Frames are strong. It's the wheels that cause trouble, but, fortunately, they can be fixed or replaced, if they're not up to par. Now that's for bikes where the motor is a human, and if the motor isn't strong enough, repeated use will improve it. The one with the 240 lb limit might have a strong enough engine, or it might not. That's something you'll have to look into.
What I want to know is, is that too heavy to ride as a regular bike? Because although it has the option to pedal if the battery dies, I would prefer it the other way around. I'm in NYC, so not much hills or anything. Mostly flat surface where I will be riding, I just know there is one hill on the block of my schools. Thats the only hill I can think of in the entire borough.
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Old 11-17-11, 10:47 AM   #7
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I don't know too much about e-bikes, but I have a feeling that you're probably going to be disappointed with the performance of those considering the prices on them. When I was looking into them a few months back just out of curiosity, it seemed to me that even the low-end electric kits (ie: no bicycle, just the wheel/battery) sold for over $1000, so a $500 price tag on an entire bike+motor seems fishy.

That being said, the weight limits are probably due to the wheels. Bicycle frames can withstand an incredible amount of weight, and the weakest part is always the wheel. For a Clyde, I always recommend having custom wheels built. It may behoove you to buy a kit (motorized hub+battery) and have a bike shop build that into a custom wheel for you. I don't know if there are any kits out there that offer higher spoke counts, but you'd be best looking at 36h hubs/rims, and avoid anything with 32 holes or less.

Another thing to consider is that since we are clydes, we will get less benefit out of e-bike motors. Laws of physics state that Acceleration = force / mass. The more mass there is, the lower acceleration there is. Additionally, hills will be an even larger concern. The formula for potential energy (ie: the amount of energy it takes to lift an object straight up from the ground) is:

Potential Energy = Mass * Gravity * Height

The more mass you have, the more energy it takes to go up the same amount of height as a lighter person. This will have negative consequences on battery life, along with potentially stalling the motor if you attempt to go up too steep of a hill without pedal assistance. So simply put, we clydes, if we want to seriously consider e-bikes, need bigger batteries and stronger motors... which means we'll have to pay more to get usable motors.

Just some things to take into consideration.


Side Note: I eventually abandoned my quest to tinker around with e-bikes, because I felt that it would offer too great of a temptation to let the bike do all of the work. I'm glad I did, because now I can go long distances on my bike, and never feel the need for electric assistance anymore.
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Old 11-17-11, 10:51 AM   #8
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I know that the heavier you are the slower it would go, I mainly want to know is if the basic bike part is good enough.. I think I'll check out the electric bike section.
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Old 11-17-11, 11:00 AM   #9
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I ride my bike with my daughter in tow sometimes, if I can't make the hill with her I just get off and walk it...I honestly think you would be better off with a "normal" bike rather than an e-bike...you will be surprised how far you can go after a bit of riding!

Good luck on your search.
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Old 11-17-11, 11:02 AM   #10
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What I want to know is, is that too heavy to ride as a regular bike? Because although it has the option to pedal if the battery dies, I would prefer it the other way around. I'm in NYC, so not much hills or anything. Mostly flat surface where I will be riding, I just know there is one hill on the block of my schools. Thats the only hill I can think of in the entire borough.
Yes. Well, different people will say different things; people who've been cycling for years sometimes "tour" (eg travel very long distances, camping at night from their bike) and load up 100 pounds of tent, stove, water, and the like, so riding a 60 pound bike isn't impossible. But it's going to be very unpleasant. Weight is most important when you're going up hill, for obvious reasons, but when people say that they're talking about an 18 vs a 25 vs a monstrously heavy 30 pound bike. It's going to take a lot of work to get a 60 pound bike moving from a stop, and the brakes had better be damn good! A heavy bike and a heavy rider add up to a lot of inertia.

A test ride is in order (always good advice), but I'd seriously recommend against this if you want to also use it as a pedal bike, for exercise.

Full disclosure: my bike weighs 17.8 lbs right now, and will be around 15.? when I change the wheels. My older bike was 35 lbs and I'd load it up with gear sometimes; it took a lot of work up hill was doable, and down hill was a little scary at times. Take my advice with a grain of salt, but a small one.
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Old 11-17-11, 11:07 AM   #11
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Ahh.. Gotcha. I didn't know what the average weight of a bike was. So really and truely it seems that its best to be used with electricity and pedaling. What I'm looking for is a regular weight bike. So it makes better sense to convert to an ebike with a converter, BUT being a person who doesn't know a thing about bikes, or how to install that I'd probably avoid doing that. Looks like a regular bike for me.
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Old 11-17-11, 11:25 AM   #12
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I don't know if there are any kits out there that offer higher spoke counts, but you'd be best looking at 36h hubs/rims, and avoid anything with 32 holes or less.
Mithrandir has great advice and info, it's an excellent post. Informative but not overwhelming. But this quote is the one (and only) thing I disagree with. I've put 4,000+ miles on a set of wheels with 20 and 24 spokes. They're indestructible. They're heavy, but they've stood up to lots of abuse, and to my weight hitting potholes at high speeds. Bigger people tend to do well on 32+ spoke wheels, because these tend to be overbuilt and very strong. But it's the quality of the wheel build itself, the skill the builder put into it, and then the particular spokes and rim, before the number of spokes, that's important.

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Ahh.. Gotcha. I didn't know what the average weight of a bike was. So really and truely it seems that its best to be used with electricity and pedaling. What I'm looking for is a regular weight bike. So it makes better sense to convert to an ebike with a converter, BUT being a person who doesn't know a thing about bikes, or how to install that I'd probably avoid doing that. Looks like a regular bike for me.
I think somewhere in the ~25 pound range is probably average. The UCI won't allow bikes lighter than 15 lbs to race, so that's a pretty common low end. I bet if you started a poll thread asking what the heaviest bike people would ride regularly is, it'd be around 30 to 35 lbs, and most people wouldn't do 40.

Also, cycling fitness comes pretty quickly. It takes a while to be a sprinter or to climb lots of hills, but people start being able to cover good distances on flat ground faster than you'd think. A lot of us ride much further than the batteries you're looking at will allow, just for fun. Last weekend I did 55 miles on Saturday because the sun was out. I think Mithrandir just did about 100 in a day to get to Niagara Falls and back.
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Old 11-17-11, 11:49 AM   #13
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I'm in NYC, so not much hills or anything. Mostly flat surface where I will be riding, I just know there is one hill on the block of my schools. Thats the only hill I can think of in the entire borough.
If you are not used to riding, then you should reconsider this belief. Terrain that appears flat while walking or riding in a vehicle, can feel anything but so to an unfit rider. When I first started riding again as an adult, my fitness was non-existent. Even small inclines (several inches per foot) were noticeably harder to pedal up than real flats or declines. Adding all of the weight that an electric bicycle adds will only make the pedaling harder. And relying predominantly on a electric motor is going to be a problem at some point, particularly if you choose an inexpensive ebike.
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Old 11-17-11, 01:04 PM   #14
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Mithrandir has great advice and info, it's an excellent post. Informative but not overwhelming. But this quote is the one (and only) thing I disagree with. I've put 4,000+ miles on a set of wheels with 20 and 24 spokes. They're indestructible. They're heavy, but they've stood up to lots of abuse, and to my weight hitting potholes at high speeds. Bigger people tend to do well on 32+ spoke wheels, because these tend to be overbuilt and very strong. But it's the quality of the wheel build itself, the skill the builder put into it, and then the particular spokes and rim, before the number of spokes, that's important.
I won't claim to be an expert, since my sample set is rather limited and based solely on my experience with 4 different wheels:

1: 36 spoke front wheel - 16 years old, ~5000 miles, never been trued and still working flawless today
2: 36 spoke rear wheel - 16 years old, ~3000 miles, been trued once, broke one spoke, hub bearings became warped and the cone was pitted so I replaced it with #3.
3: 32 spoke rear wheel - 1 week old, ~100 miles, crapped out on me. Detensioned itself, broke 3 spokes, became out-of-round and had to be tossed.
4: 36 spoke rear wheel - 3 months old, ~2000 miles, has yet to be trued, still nearly perfect except for a sheared freehub body (my fault, I installed the cassette wrong).


I guess my experience with the 32 spoke wheel has spooked me, personally I will not try another 32 until I drop below 300 pounds. The thought of getting stuck somewhere again scares me.


Now, it's possible that my weight, being somewhat "uber"clydish, has surpassed the point where 32 spokes is no longer able to support my weight. I sometimes forget that Clydes are anyone over 200 pounds, which could mean people a whole 150 pounds lighter than me . What weights do you have experiences with <=32 spoke wheels with? I'd be genuinely interested in hearing if anyone has good luck with <=32 spoke wheels over 300 pounds.

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Old 11-17-11, 01:40 PM   #15
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people who've been cycling for years sometimes "tour" (eg travel very long distances, camping at night from their bike) and load up 100 pounds of tent, stove, water, and the like, so riding a 60 pound bike isn't impossible. But it's going to be very unpleasant.
Not in the least if you have adequate gearing.

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Old 11-17-11, 02:19 PM   #16
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Gorgeous photo! Is that Montana?

And I guess I could have worded that quote a little better. I didn't mean touring is unpleasant, I meant riding a 60 pound hybrid bike around town would be unpleasant. Bike tours are awesome!
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Old 11-18-11, 08:08 AM   #17
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Gorgeous photo! Is that Montana?

And I guess I could have worded that quote a little better. I didn't mean touring is unpleasant, I meant riding a 60 pound hybrid bike around town would be unpleasant. Bike tours are awesome!
Heading south on Chief Mountain Highway in Alberta, just north of the U.S. border.
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Old 11-18-11, 10:05 AM   #18
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If you are not used to riding, then you should reconsider this belief. Terrain that appears flat while walking or riding in a vehicle, can feel anything but so to an unfit rider. When I first started riding again as an adult, my fitness was non-existent. Even small inclines (several inches per foot) were noticeably harder to pedal up than real flats or declines. Adding all of the weight that an electric bicycle adds will only make the pedaling harder. And relying predominantly on a electric motor is going to be a problem at some point, particularly if you choose an inexpensive ebike.
+1 - When I started riding I chose routes that I thought to be flat. I had quite a short, sharp shock when I had to dismount and walk many of the "flat" sections that were actually subtle inclines
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