Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36
  1. #1
    Junior Member erqa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    300+ lb. Athena with wheel/tire concerns

    Hey folks, this is my first post. I'm a 25 year-old 300+ lb. lady who has been recently reintroduced to cycling after several years off. I just now upgraded from some Frankensteined junk hybrid to my first ever road bike (an 80s model Raleigh Triumph, nothing fancy). I've never ridden on wheels this thin (the drop handlebars are a whole 'nother thing) and I'm worried about the integrity of such a wheel under my weight. I already noticed on the way home from my LBS how much more I can feel every little bump in the road. Do I have anything to worry about? Am I likely to experience some kind of catastrophic failure? FYI I ride in the road mostly, except for when I'm on campus. I avoid jumping curbs and I think I'm pretty good at handling my bike, floating over uneven pavement, etc.

  2. #2
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky
    My Bikes
    Bacchetta Agio, 80s Raleigh Record single-speed, Surly Big Dummy
    Posts
    2,439
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you know the tire size? 700x23, 700x25, 27"x(something)

    Wider tires can help, and 80s road bikes often have more clearance for wider tires than modern road bikes. The next issue is wheel strength. I'd say ride what you have for now. You may eventually start breaking spokes. When that happens, buy some 36-spoke wheels from a high-quality builder and they'll last nearly forever.

    If your tires are 700x32 or wider, I doubt you'll have an issue with those either.
    Car-Free IT Geek
    My blog: fatguy.org

    Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, 1980s Raleigh Record single-speed conversion, Bacchetta Agio

  3. #3
    Junior Member erqa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The wheel is marked 27" x 1 1/8. I really like the thinner wheels and don't seem to be having tire pressure issues, so I will take your advice and be on the look out for loose or broken spokes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    cherry hill, nj
    Posts
    5,929
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Change out the spokes on the back rim and go with DT spokes. I was 360 pounds when I started riding and DT spokes really helped me. Anything other then DT spokes is like riding on toothpicks. Not good.

    Where abouts you from?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,069
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If your LBS has a wheel builder with a decent reputation, they might be able to look at the wheels for you and give you better info than we can. Otherwise, just ride them until they give you trouble. Keep an eye out for broken spokes, and also for cracks in the rim where it meets the spokes. When either of those crops up, you'll need to deal with it. Until then, just enjoy the ride. The wheel trouble you'll probably eventually run into, won't be a catastrophic failure while you're going full speed down a hill.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  6. #6
    Junior Member erqa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Whew, thanks! I'll keep my eye on them but I was most afraid of something like you described. Also, I'm from beautiful Louisville, KY.

  7. #7
    Am I evil? I am Man!!! Mr Sinister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    447
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If a spoke does break, don't be discouraged. Sooner or later almost everyone breaks a spoke, or 3. I have broken a few last year alone, and then had the rim rebuilt with newer spokes. I would do what Seattle Forrest said, and have a local wheel builder check them out. Learn from him/her and go from there. Or else just ride them till they break, like I seem to do...
    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    I plan on laying on the floor of my office and crying around mid-morning.
    the-rules

    My cheap @$$ rides...

    2003 Giant Warp DS 3
    2006 Diamondback Podium 1

  8. #8
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    1,504
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds like your off to a great start. I was 300lbs+ when Istarted and with "careful" cycling have never broken a spoke in 3000+ miles. The trick is to read the road and avoid the big potholes, kerbs and other hostile road issue.

    Congrats - I love the Raleighs

  9. #9
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc, 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    Posts
    3,990
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I started riding at a little over 280 (the highest I ever saw on the scale was 287 but I didn't weigh myself very often). I started to break spokes when I took to building speed on rutted gravel, using the wheels that came on my MTB. When I got to the point where I was losing confidence in the rear wheel I put a new one on and haven't broken anything since. My weight has come down from my peaks which has helped, but unless by "300+ lb" you're talking being way over 300 I'd be inclined to agree with what has already been said, to ride what you have and replace it if/when it breaks.

    If you've got rim brakes you'll know if you break a spoke because there's a good chance the brakes will rub. With disc brakes it's less obvious, I broke a spoke and the first I knew of it was because the bike seemed to fishtail more than normal in the mud. Even then I'm not entirely sure discovering the broken spoke wasn't a fluke.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  10. #10
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Papa Smurf's Lair
    My Bikes
    in my sig line
    Posts
    1,543
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I've had multiple broken spokes on Radagast the Beige-and-Black, but, oddly enough, nary a one on The Black Pearl. And the Pearl has over 3000 miles.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
    '07 Giant Cypress WSD "Radagast the Beige-and-Black" * '97 (?) Bianchi Premio "Orion" * '09 Trek Allant "The Black Pearl"

  11. #11
    Junior Member erqa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So is a thinner wheel more likely to experience broken spokes? I've never broken a spoke on the Frankenbike.

  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by erqa View Post
    So is a thinner wheel more likely to experience broken spokes? I've never broken a spoke on the Frankenbike.
    Not to be snobbish but if you consider an 80's Raleigh and upgrade form the Frankenbike, you will be terribly disappointed when you need to spend decent dough for a wheel build or replacement. If you're not willing to spend money on a more current bike, you won't be willing to spend money on a wheel. You'd be better off staying with the dependable Frankenbike.

  13. #13
    Junior Member erqa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Uh well some of us don't have hundreds of dollars to throw into a hobby. You can't preface a thing like that with "not to sound snobbish" as if that is supposed to absolve you of being judgmental. I spent the money I could afford on a bike I like. That is not the issue here.

  14. #14
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by erqa View Post
    Uh well some of us don't have hundreds of dollars to throw into a hobby. You can't preface a thing like that with "not to sound snobbish" as if that is supposed to absolve you of being judgmental. I spent the money I could afford on a bike I like. That is not the issue here.
    Then you have a lot to learn. It is a friendly thing for another poster to tell another, if you don't like spending money on a bike, then you aren't going to like spending money on a wheel build. You may need to spend just as much on a wheel as you did the entire bike. I don't set the price of wheel builds or replacements, just informing you that you may be better off staying with Frank.

    To many people try to save on a bike or go with what they can afford only to find that the repairs are more than the bike itself. Reality.

    If you consider being helpful as snobbish, then have at it, you'll learn just what this forum is about.

  15. #15
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    My Bikes
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Trek 900, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '92 Schwinn Crosscut, '03 Diamondback Tandem, '94 Yokota Grizzly Peak
    Posts
    2,501
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think that 80's Raleigh should do you well. Sounds like you have fairly wide tires on it already. If they were 700c's I'd offer you a Panaracer 700x35 that won't fit into the frame of the bike I bought it for. As others have said, keep an eye on the spokes and know that you might have to get another wheel built (or find another one). Or maybe not. Wheels are pretty darn strong. I've been riding my Bianchi for 12 years now and haven't had to true the wheels yet, in spite of getting close the 300 pound mark for a couple of years.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  16. #16
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Mid Willamette Valley, Orygun
    My Bikes
    86 RockHopper,2008 Specialized Globe. Both upgraded to 9 speeds.
    Posts
    7,141
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You said your current tires are 27x 1-1/8".
    The more commonly used size for those wheels is 27x 1-1/4".

    I think I'd go to the larger size tire on the rear.
    It'll absorb a bit more shock (squish factor).
    You can steer the front to avoid ruts etc., but the rear can only "kind of" follow and you don't avoid things quite as well.
    The rear wheel also carries more weight.

    Also, I'd take the wheels in to an LBS and have them trued & TENSIONED before doing a lot of riding. That can help avoid problems. Loose/lightly tension spokes flex more which leads to breakage.
    IF $ are an issue, then just have the rear done at first.
    IF you look at the wheel, it becomes obvious that when you pedal, 1/2 the spokes want to loosen.

  17. #17
    Junior Member erqa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for your help, Bill!

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Puget Sound
    My Bikes
    2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30
    Posts
    998
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Then you have a lot to learn. It is a friendly thing for another poster to tell another, if you don't like spending money on a bike, then you aren't going to like spending money on a wheel build. You may need to spend just as much on a wheel as you did the entire bike. I don't set the price of wheel builds or replacements, just informing you that you may be better off staying with Frank.

    To many people try to save on a bike or go with what they can afford only to find that the repairs are more than the bike itself. Reality.

    If you consider being helpful as snobbish, then have at it, you'll learn just what this forum is about.
    Beanz and I have gone at with each other here in the forum. However, I consider him one of the most knowledgable and enthusiastic members of the forum. He knows what he is talking about. He is not "snobbish"... especially when it comes to cycling equipment. He doesn't have to have the best. He has good quality stuff that he takes care of and he rides his frames and wheels for 10's of thousands of miles. I think if you buy the right equipment up front... you'll literally save thousands of dollars in this sport if you really get into it. The important thing right now is that you are on a bike... but don't try to "nickel and dime" it by trying to to make it into something it will never be. Just live with what you have until you can afford what you really want... something you'll still be riding 15 years from now.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    NY state
    My Bikes
    See Signature...
    Posts
    1,200
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    Change out the spokes on the back rim and go with DT spokes. I was 360 pounds when I started riding and DT spokes really helped me. Anything other then DT spokes is like riding on toothpicks. Not good.

    Where abouts you from?
    I ride on wheelsmith and have zero issues.
    2012 Diamondback Podium 2 - Ready for spring! :D
    1995 Specialized Rockhopper Rigid - SS converted!

  20. #20
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
    Beanz and I have gone at with each other here in the forum. However, I consider him one of the most knowledgable and enthusiastic members of the forum. He knows what he is talking about. He is not "snobbish"... especially when it comes to cycling equipment. He doesn't have to have the best. He has good quality stuff that he takes care of and he rides his frames and wheels for 10's of thousands of miles. I think if you buy the right equipment up front... you'll literally save thousands of dollars in this sport if you really get into it. The important thing right now is that you are on a bike... but don't try to "nickel and dime" it by trying to to make it into something it will never be. Just live with what you have until you can afford what you really want... something you'll still be riding 15 years from now.
    Thanks, well said! ....I just see things different from some others after going through so many bikes and equipment. As far as myself, I can do the old bike thing if I like, I can rebuild a wheel myself for as little as $20. I put together my Madone for $80. The OP can't and like you say, will get nickle and dimed to death.

    Nothing snobbish here, just experience and advice. Thanks ITR!

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    85
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Assuming you have 700c size wheels, I would first invest in some good commuter tires that are at least 700c 28mm, preferably 700c 32's. The 32's are actually a common size since cyclocross bikers use that size, but don't get tires with knobby treads because they wear very quickly.

    The easiest way to prevent wheel damage that doesn't cost any money is to practice riding in a safe line avoiding potholes. It doesn't matter how expensive your wheels are or how heavy you are; if you go over a pothole dead on, you always risk killing your wheels. I wouldn't bother spending hundreds of dollars on a hand-built wheelset until you get this skill down first.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Rona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Groningen, Netherlands
    My Bikes
    Pre-Grant Peterson Bridgestone Mixte, Gazelle Champion Mondial Semirace Mixte
    Posts
    289
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome!
    I'm a 220 pound Athena on a 1980's Gazelle or an 80's Bridgestone. I'm also a severe cheapskate and try not to spend a ton of money on my hobby either. My saddles tend to cost more than my bikes do!

    So far I've not had a single spoke break. I'm sure it will happen someday though. I check the tension in my spokes every few months. Just run your fingers over them and make sure they sound about the same and have the same "ting" sound. If not, it's easy to ask someone for help at a bike kitchen or LBS. Prevention is WAY better than a pound of cure.

    I've had a lot of success with buying used wheel sets because we have a growing semi-professional racing culture here. I've upgraded my own bikes and my husbands just by keeping an eye out. It's a lot like browsing the clearance racks-- look for great deals before you need something, not when you are desperate for a replacement. Until then, use the equipment you have until it wears out. Old Raleighs are great bikes and can take a beating.

    I also agree about going with the biggest tire you can fit. My Bridgestone has a 700c 32mm on it and it's soooo comfy. It's not as fast as my Gazelle with 700c 23mm, but I can bike for more hours per day.

    Biggest thing-- go out and have fun!
    Rona
    http://ronajustine.blogspot.com
    American Expat living in the Netherlands
    Artist, Educator and Cyclist

  23. #23
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Papa Smurf's Lair
    My Bikes
    in my sig line
    Posts
    1,543
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If you think Beanz is a snob, you have a lot to learn. He's a wonderful, kind human more than willing to share with anyone interested in cycling. I know from personal experience.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
    '07 Giant Cypress WSD "Radagast the Beige-and-Black" * '97 (?) Bianchi Premio "Orion" * '09 Trek Allant "The Black Pearl"

  24. #24
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Upland Ca
    My Bikes
    Lemond Chambery/Cannondale R-900/Trek 8000 MTB/Burley Duet tandem
    Posts
    20,031
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Condorita View Post
    If you think Beanz is a snob, you have a lot to learn. He's a wonderful, kind human more than willing to share with anyone interested in cycling. I know from personal experience.
    Remind me to give you a hug when we meet again.

  25. #25
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    England
    My Bikes
    2009 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc, 2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    Posts
    3,990
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by erqa View Post
    Uh well some of us don't have hundreds of dollars to throw into a hobby. You can't preface a thing like that with "not to sound snobbish" as if that is supposed to absolve you of being judgmental. I spent the money I could afford on a bike I like. That is not the issue here.
    I know much of this has already been said but the brutal truth is that there comes a time when you need to spend some money to get parts that are strong enough. It may be your new ride will do what you need it to do and you'll never break anything. It may be you'll hit something awkwardly and need a new wheel.

    Unfortunately the price of a new wheel is the same whatever that sum of money means to you. A $100 wheel costs $100 - if you're in the habit of using C-notes as firestarters then you get to spare a firestarter for a wheel. If $100 is a year's worth of hard saving then you get to save hard for a year for it.

    It would be snobbish to look down on someone who had "lesser" equipment as if it made them a lesser person but it's far from snobbish to simply tell it like it is. And you're better off spending $200 up front rather than $20 every month for a year - if you don't have the $200 you need to figure whether it's worth borrowing it and using the $20s you save to fund it, or dealing with the $20 every month and trying to save despite the extra outgoing.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •