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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.

View Poll Results: Safe to ride road bike with CF seat stays and fork
Sure, ride your road bike 12 92.31%
Play it safe, ride your MTB until you get the weight down. 1 7.69%
Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-30-11, 02:11 PM   #1
HIPCHIP
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2009 Felt Z-70

I purchased a Felt Z-70 back in May of '09. This is the relaxed frame geometry and the bike has carbon fiber forks and seat stays. At the time I weighed around 185-190, but due to some health and injury problems I'm up to about the 230+ lbs range. I've read that the carbon fiber is designed for riders under 200 lbs and I'm worried being around 35+ lbs over that when fully dressed and with equipment, is there a chance I could break the seat stays especially, or possibly the fork? I have an old aluminum frame mountain bike I can ride until I get back under 200, but would prefer to ride my regular road bike when they get my problems fixed, so thought I'd see what you folks know? The roads I ride on are basically flat and smooth and at this time my speed is about 12+ MPH when I'm able to ride.
Thanks in advance
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Old 11-30-11, 02:18 PM   #2
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I bought a Felt Z85 earlier this year (carbon fork and carbon seat post but not carbon stays) when I weighed 255. I've not had any issues with it.
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Old 11-30-11, 02:19 PM   #3
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Ride it and have fun.....
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Old 11-30-11, 02:20 PM   #4
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I've read that the carbon fiber is designed for riders under 200 lbs
I've read that California is going to fall into the ocean, and that the world is going to end on all sorts of different days.
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Old 11-30-11, 03:04 PM   #5
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I spent 3-4 minutes looking around Felt's website and found their Owner's Manual for their current multi-speed bikes. They do have weight limits (see page 35). High-performance road bikes have the lowest limit: riders should weigh 275 pounds or less and luggage should be limited to 10 lbs for less, for a total carrying capacity of 285 pounds or less...
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Old 11-30-11, 03:13 PM   #6
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I'd expect the wheels to fail before the frame.
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Old 11-30-11, 06:45 PM   #7
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People are way too hyper about weight limits on frames, IMO, at least at the weights you're talking about. I wouldn't give it a second thought. Wheels, as himespau pointed out, are another matter.
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Old 11-30-11, 08:48 PM   #8
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I purchased a Felt Z-70 back in May of '09. This is the relaxed frame geometry and the bike has carbon fiber forks and seat stays. At the time I weighed around 185-190, but due to some health and injury problems I'm up to about the 230+ lbs range. I've read that the carbon fiber is designed for riders under 200 lbs and I'm worried being around 35+ lbs over that when fully dressed and with equipment, is there a chance I could break the seat stays especially, or possibly the fork? I have an old aluminum frame mountain bike I can ride until I get back under 200, but would prefer to ride my regular road bike when they get my problems fixed, so thought I'd see what you folks know? The roads I ride on are basically flat and smooth and at this time my speed is about 12+ MPH when I'm able to ride.
Thanks in advance
I have a Felt F-75 and have ridden it as high/large as 274. My only problem with it is I'm not worthy of the speed it is capable of. But it a great workout trying to go the speeds it is capable of!

I have wheels off a Felt AR3 and the only problem with them are I have no problems with them.
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Old 11-30-11, 08:53 PM   #9
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230 doesn't seem so heavy to me. Ride the carbon.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:06 AM   #10
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Cool, nice to know I can ride the comfortable bike. I'm hoping to get back down to 185ish or less and then getting a full carbon so I can start doing some competitions, so definitely want to ride the Z70 as I'm looking at something in the Z series only full carbon.
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Old 12-01-11, 10:54 AM   #11
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People are way too hyper about weight limits on frames, IMO, at least at the weights you're talking about. I wouldn't give it a second thought. Wheels, as himespau pointed out, are another matter.
And it's not like they're going to fail in a catastrophic way while you're cruising down a hill ... after a while they'll start needing to be trued, and eventually you'll break a spoke ... then another ... Ride the wheels you've got until they start giving you problems, then think about stronger wheels when the time comes.
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Old 12-01-11, 11:33 AM   #12
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And it's not like they're going to fail in a catastrophic way while you're cruising down a hill ... after a while they'll start needing to be trued, and eventually you'll break a spoke ... then another ... Ride the wheels you've got until they start giving you problems, then think about stronger wheels when the time comes.
Wheels are OK. I've upgraded the front and true the rear all the time, so they aren't really a problem. I was more worried about a frame failure where I would have to get a whole new frame.
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Old 12-01-11, 12:57 PM   #13
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Frames don't fail just from weight. If Felt says the weight limit is 285 lbs, what that probably means is the engineers who designed and tested the frame decided it's completely safe for something like 600 pounds; the project manager decided to add some cover-your-ass magic and cut that by 1/3; the lawyers somehow decided 275 (rider) + 10 (cargo) was as much as they would encourage. I'm making the numbers up, but, the weight it can actually support and their fear of getting sued meet somewhere in the middle. And you're below the weight limit by a good deal anyway. Plus, there are lots of people in here who weigh more than you, enjoying their carbon bikes.

Do you know Felt's warranty policy? My carbon frame cracked, and it was like Christmas. ( It wasn't weight that did it, by the way. )
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Old 12-01-11, 01:27 PM   #14
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Frames don't fail just from weight. If Felt says the weight limit is 285 lbs, what that probably means is the engineers who designed and tested the frame decided it's completely safe for something like 600 pounds; the project manager decided to add some cover-your-ass magic and cut that by 1/3; the lawyers somehow decided 275 (rider) + 10 (cargo) was as much as they would encourage. I'm making the numbers up, but, the weight it can actually support and their fear of getting sued meet somewhere in the middle. And you're below the weight limit by a good deal anyway. Plus, there are lots of people in here who weigh more than you, enjoying their carbon bikes.

Do you know Felt's warranty policy? My carbon frame cracked, and it was like Christmas. ( It wasn't weight that did it, by the way. )
Not sure of Felts warranty policy on this, but just didn't want to be in the middle of nowhere and have the frame break on me, and then be out a ton of $ to get a new frame or bike and have Felt tell me I violated the rules by being too heavy for the frame, but it sounds like I'm OK.

Mainly looking for reassurance that it's OK to ride my bike as compared to being called a dumb$h!t for riding CF while being over the weight limit. This ain't no old, will take anything you can throw at it, Schwinn, it's a fancy smancy CF expensive road bike (LOL). Heck, my dad scoffed at paying over $5 for a bicycle, so when I told him how much this one cost, and that it was a lower end model he about had a heart attack!
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Old 12-01-11, 01:41 PM   #15
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Not sure of Felts warranty policy on this, but just didn't want to be in the middle of nowhere and have the frame break on me, and then be out a ton of $ to get a new frame or bike and have Felt tell me I violated the rules by being too heavy for the frame, but it sounds like I'm OK.

Mainly looking for reassurance that it's OK to ride my bike as compared to being called a dumb$h!t for riding CF while being over the weight limit. This ain't no old, will take anything you can throw at it, Schwinn, it's a fancy smancy CF expensive road bike (LOL). Heck, my dad scoffed at paying over $5 for a bicycle, so when I told him how much this one cost, and that it was a lower end model he about had a heart attack!
5 year warranty from date of purchase.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:55 PM   #16
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5 year warranty from date of purchase.
Cool, I'm about 1/2 way through my warranty.
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Old 12-01-11, 01:58 PM   #17
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Not sure of Felts warranty policy on this, but just didn't want to be in the middle of nowhere and have the frame break on me, and then be out a ton of $ to get a new frame or bike and have Felt tell me I violated the rules by being too heavy for the frame, but it sounds like I'm OK.
That's something to be concerned about. Long rides can take you out into the boonies, and any kind of failure (frame, wheel, chain, whatever) can be really, really inconvenient.

One day I went out for a ride on my CF bike; it was a nice day, and the sun was setting just was I got to a water-front park, so I stopped to enjoy the view for a minute. I looked at the bike, and noticed a crack in the seat tube. This was in the city, but ten miles from home, and late enough that the shop was already closed. The crack was small, and I couldn't tell whether it was just in the clear coat, or if it went down into the carbon. I said "eff it," and rode home on the frame. Took it to the shop the next day, and asked them how concerned I should be. They checked it out, took some photos, and said they'd get in touch with Cervelo, but that I can ride it in the meantime, as long as I don't go down any stairs or anything. A few days later, they called to let me know my new frame was in the mail, and that they'd tear my bike down and build the new one up for me when it arrived. Fast forward a few months, and the same crack appeared in the same part of the same tube. Took it back in, Cervelo said I'm entitled to another replacement frame, and, this time, they let me pay a little extra, and get a much better frame set.

The one I had that cracked twice was a "comfort" road racing bike. The tubing was designed to flex a bit to absorb road buzz, and they take a lot of material away where it isn't needed, to reduce the weight. I think they had a flaw in the design of that particular model that year, thinking this part of the tube didn't need reinforcement, and I was stressing it in a way they hadn't anticipated. The new frame uses a different tube shape, and even though it has less material and weighs less, it's had no problems at all, after more than a thousand miles (in a few months).

You can find stories of carbon fiber parts "asploding" catastrophically, but this is almost always when the carbon has been abused and weakened in the past, and then gets pushed. When the stuff isn't crashed, and hasn't taken impacts, I think it's more common if it's going to fail, for a small crack to appear (usually around the BB shell) and to grow over time. Chances are this won't happen to you, but, on the off chance it does, hopefully you get a free replacement, and probably it won't leave you stranded, or collecting your teeth from the side of the road.
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Old 12-01-11, 03:25 PM   #18
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I'm at least 230 lbs. and my road bike has CF fork, seat stays and seat post. Never had an issue. My commuter was (before being taken out be a car) a bike with CF fork and that thing was regularly bombing over RR tracks and pot holes with me and my gear (and, even though the bulk of the hit was to the front wheel/fork, it was the AL seat tube that bent near the BB shell - the CF fork survived). I would not be the least worried with what you're riding at your weight.
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Old 12-01-11, 04:02 PM   #19
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Cool, nice to know I can ride the comfortable bike. I'm hoping to get back down to 185ish or less and then getting a full carbon so I can start doing some competitions, so definitely want to ride the Z70 as I'm looking at something in the Z series only full carbon.
I'm going with ride it till you get to 185 which then begs the question that I have pondered.

When (not if!) I get below 200 lbs am I kicked off the Clyde's forum?
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Old 12-01-11, 07:03 PM   #20
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When (not if!) I get below 200 lbs am I kicked off the Clyde's forum?
You'll then reach Clyde Emeritus status and always be welcome.
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Old 12-07-11, 08:08 PM   #21
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Frames don't fail just from weight. If Felt says the weight limit is 285 lbs, what that probably means is the engineers who designed and tested the frame decided it's completely safe for something like 600 pounds; the project manager decided to add some cover-your-ass magic and cut that by 1/3; the lawyers somehow decided 275 (rider) + 10 (cargo) was as much as they would encourage. I'm making the numbers up, but, the weight it can actually support and their fear of getting sued meet somewhere in the middle. And you're below the weight limit by a good deal anyway. Plus, there are lots of people in here who weigh more than you, enjoying their carbon bikes.

Do you know Felt's warranty policy? My carbon frame cracked, and it was like Christmas. ( It wasn't weight that did it, by the way. )
That's actually fairly accurate. Those weight limits are typically half of what they were safely tested at. If a frame is weight rated for 275, it was probably safely tested at 650-700lbs. The lawyers aren't going to let them put a 250 lb limit on something that failed at 300 lbs...
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