Do bike makers publish weight ratings? I haven't been able to find any. Should I contact the companies directly?
I have been trying various approaches to persuade my wife that not only is bicycling very healthy but also she can do it and there are bikes that will support her weight. She is around 360 pounds, high blood pressure (regulated through meds), and hypothyroidism (also regulated through meds). The hypothyroidism caused her weight issue, and she had given up on controlling her weight long before the hypothyroidism was diagnosed.
LBS where we lived in Puyallup was very helpful the few times I got her in there to look at bikes. She wasn't going to even consider a road bike, hybrid, or commuter. She did warm up to the Electra Cruisers and Townies somewhat. LBS got a catalog in her hand to take home.
She has balked at price. "I'm not spending $800 for a bike that my fat a** is going to break anyway." On this, I was able to at least counter that Cruisers and Townies start in the $200s.
I told her spokes were the main weak spot in a lot of bikes, but the local bike club President is a bike builder and I've talked to him about spokes and wheel building--through the free class he runs out of the LBS where he works. I will take myself out of the equation on the wheels, and just let Bill, the bike builder, build a set of über strong wheels for her.
Anyone been in a similar situation? Any advice you can offer me? Any other bikes I could show her?