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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 11-11-12, 03:52 PM   #1
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Strong and Big Roadies ,what frames are up to your applied force?

Trek must have some head office people wondering why they don't term limit
warranties on bikes that riders go thru to failure
in a few years, of training and amateur racing,
Like Surly QBP does ..

curious what folks that are using modest priced framed [non Custom] bikes
have as their experiences?

Maybe this Guy needs something quite beefy ,
or really able to elastically bend and rebound , Like Titanium does so well ..

Aluminum is certainly un happy with a lot of flexing work cycles over time.
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Old 11-11-12, 05:15 PM   #2
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Aluminum is certainly un happy with a lot of flexing work cycles over time.
Your question is incomprehensible. The last sentence is patent nonsense for the vast majority of frames and riders.
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Old 11-11-12, 06:05 PM   #3
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Trek must have some head office people wondering why they don't term limit
warranties on bikes that riders go thru to failure
in a few years, of training and amateur racing,
Like Surly QBP does ..

curious what folks that are using modest priced framed [non Custom] bikes
have as their experiences?

Maybe this Guy needs something quite beefy ,
or really able to elastically bend and rebound , Like Titanium does so well ..

Aluminum is certainly un happy with a lot of flexing work cycles over time.
I don't understand, yes I understand question but nothing else you posted. I'm a big roadie who happens to keep up with little roadies and I put down a lot of power to do it. I ride a Trek 5.5 Madone from 2009 and I have over 20000km on it, so I say Trek pretty much has it fiqured out.
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Old 11-11-12, 07:02 PM   #4
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trek has a lifetime warranty on their frames right? Then go ride the snoot out of it and if it cracks then get that current yr equivalent model and repeat. Most other companies offer a 5yr plan, cuz they figure you would upgrade by then. Call it their "sales pitch"
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Old 11-11-12, 07:11 PM   #5
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I'm not sure if I would be considered BIG or POWERFUL. But I snapped this aluminum frame on a Lemond Tourmalet after 13,000 miles. Trek upgraded free of charge to a partial carbon frame and fork (Chambery). The Chambery is a bike that is twice the price of my orginal purchase so I didn't cry over it.

Then the Chambery frame snapped at an aluminum section after 13,400 miles but Trek replaced it free of charge, frame and fork to a full carbone Madone 4.7. If this full carbon lasts more than 14,000, I'll be happy.

Trek replaced my frames and fork free of charge, free upgrades to better bikes, I have nothing to complain about, it's like getting a new bike every 3 years free of charge.

I did the component swap myself last time. So I spent about $50 max, no biggie!















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Old 11-11-12, 07:38 PM   #6
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I bought an older Obrea Orca, triple butted. I was hoping the triple butting was good for my weight. Strength is probably not ever going to be a concern. But it is a strong good ride.
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Old 11-12-12, 02:51 PM   #7
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the Young fellow just goes thru frames in a few years, hammering ..

Apparently does not lose much time in the swim part either..

Pacific County WA Tri, last Month..
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Old 11-12-12, 03:36 PM   #8
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stock up on $60 nashbar frames might be the solution if you don't want to deal with warranties
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Old 11-15-12, 05:57 PM   #9
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I own old steel but I don't race. A while back, I found a 1988 Bianchi Limited on CL and that frame was excellent. I loved the liveliness and geometry, plus the fork was a stiff unicrown. I own a couple of Bridgestone RBs. My RB1 is light but has a bit too much fork flex. I was able to find some 700c replacement crmo forks, one was a fairly light tange prestige but I can't remember the maker - but black nickel finish. Stiff but very light. The feel is good and it's been in service for a decade and takes my weight.

Not racing machines for sure, but I figure if you have the right component mix, you can still have a 20 lb bike, just not a 16 lb one. I'll second the notion by Jsigone - find a nashbar road frame that works, and get a bunch of them and some spare forks and derailleur hangers too - those who race bikes will likely crash time some times. No curse intended of course!
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Old 11-15-12, 07:01 PM   #10
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Im a 296lb rugby player, so plenty of weight and power being put thru the alum frame on my $350 bike. Ive only had it a few months but Ive had no problems so far....not even a broken spoke!

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ington2_IX.htm
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Old 11-15-12, 11:57 PM   #11
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Im a 296lb rugby player, so plenty of weight and power being put thru the alum frame on my $350 bike. Ive only had it a few months but Ive had no problems so far....not even a broken spoke!

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ington2_IX.htm
I think FietsBob (the OP) was wondering if others had some solution around fatigue stress issues with Aluminum that is used a lot. Aluminum is a strong metal when it's thick enough, but it is different from steel in that every time aluminum flexes, it counts as a cycle that weakens the metal. Over time and 10 million cycles or so, it can fail. And when aluminum fails, see pictures above - it's not graceful, like a crack, followed by a long slow tear. It fails catastrophically and that can hurt.

I've broken 2 steel road frame riding up the Berkeley hills in my time there as a student. Both failures at the right chain stay just behind the BB bridge. Warranty claims, yes. :-) But in each case, I was able to ride the 28 miles back gently to Concord/Martinez and home. So you won't ever see me do long rides on Aluminum or CF ever.

So being heavy isn't an issue. But if you're turning over the 4th digit on your cyclometer several times per year on an aluminum frame and you're a big and strong rider, I'd recommend a new aluminum frame every 5 or 6 thousand miles. You're putting a lot of cycles into that frame and without warning, it could fail.
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Old 11-16-12, 12:24 AM   #12
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I've broken 2 steel road frame............... So you won't ever see me do long rides on Aluminum or CF ever.
Good answer but somethng puzzles me. You broke 2 steel frames but you won't ride alum or CF on a long ride?

What do you ride?
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Old 11-16-12, 01:47 PM   #13
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Good answer but somethng puzzles me. You broke 2 steel frames but you won't ride alum or CF on a long ride?

What do you ride?
Steel of course! :-). If it cracks, I figure I can still sit and spin, finally making it home without calling the wife. And some places, there is no wireless phone signal. I hate having to hike up to the top to find line-of-site to shoot a text. And then the wife may be navigationally challenged, which includes programming the GPS. I would love to entertain Titanium frames even though they are a bit noodly.

You've certainly got the most impressive line up of failed frames of anyone I know. Manufacturers should line up and give you test bikes.
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Old 11-16-12, 01:54 PM   #14
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Steel of course! :-). If it cracks, I figure I can still sit and spin, finally making it home without calling the wife.
Ah, I kinda sorta figured that was what you meant.


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You've certainly got the most impressive line up of failed frames of anyone I know. Manufacturers should line up and give you test bikes.
Hahaha! I've had several ride friends say that Trek should hire me as a frame ride testor.
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Old 11-16-12, 02:28 PM   #15
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Hahaha! I've had several ride friends say that Trek should hire me as a frame ride testor.
And I think they should. There's gotta be a fairly profitable and big niche for bikes that aren't tanks but can take punishment from big and strong riders and keep riding.
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Old 11-16-12, 06:19 PM   #16
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I have a 1991 Series-5 PDG frame (Tange OS tubing) that I rode for a while a couple years ago, but 500 of my own miles proved that I couldn't make it fit me (too small). Even with the 45,000+ that my dad had originally put on it before replacing it and putting it up in the shed, the frame remains solid.

I also have a 1988 Trek 400 which is of similar state. I rescued it from a dumpster and it had who-knows-how-many miles on it before me; and I've been riding it as a singlespeed on Seattle hills.

I have since March on my RL Conquest Pro (aluminium with CF fork) and nearly all the miles on it are off-road training or racing miles for cyclocross. I beat the hell out of that frame this season and for a 215 pounder wailing on a bike that ready-to-race only tips the scales at 21 pounds, it is in amazingly good shape. Cosmetic scuffage at the usual grab points for a CX bike, and that's it.
This may not mean much, since it's seen less than a year of wear and tear.

My brevet/commuter is a Surly Cross Check which I'll be rolling 25,000 on the odometer pretty soon. It is starting to feel a bit on the noodly side for my taste, and I am likely going to replace it with a full carbon Pedal Force CX-2.
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Old 11-16-12, 07:55 PM   #17
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i have to smile at this question. My son is 6'3", 205, 5% body fat and is considered a clydesdale, I'm 6'3" 330lbs and am in the really big clydesdale class. I have never had a problem with a bike frame breaking down. I have owned several treks, from steel to aluminum to OCLV. This year I bought an aluminum trike, no problem. I ride a single speed Redline Mountain bike. I have 4000 miles since ragbrai this year.
My advice, by a good bike, ride hard and don't worry. In my prime I was squatting 600 pounds. I ride hard. Metal fatigue is a real issue. Fortunately, this has never been a problem for me.
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Old 11-17-12, 04:46 AM   #18
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I bought an older Obrea Orca, triple butted. I was hoping the triple butting was good for my weight. Strength is probably not ever going to be a concern. But it is a strong good ride.
Triple butting is not stronger, it actually shaves the material away from the center of the tube for weight reduction. A cheap heavy frame has the same thickness throughout the tube, a double butted tube is thinner in the middle, a triple butted tube is thin in the middle, somewhat less thin getting towards the end, and the same thickness as the cheap heavy tube at the end.
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Old 11-17-12, 08:33 AM   #19
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I've seen broken frames in steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber over the years, and I've heard of people breaking titanium (although only years of huge mileage). Manufacturing errors, ham-fisted mechanics, and exceptional wear and tear can break any frame.
Fortunately, most people have never broken one. And you'll probably want another bike eventually anyway.
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Old 11-17-12, 08:49 AM   #20
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My advice, by a good bike, ride hard and don't worry.
Exactly.
I'm not sure if it's differences in ride style that cause the problems or luck of the draw from a manufacturing lot, but I've only broken one frame in my life, and that was an old Crack 'n' Fail era bonded aluminium MTB. I've ridden various grades of steel and alu since then, and even carbon tubes on aluminium lugs/stays (90s Trek 2100) without any problems. Heck, I raced on that 2100 at just over 200 pounds and never even broke a component outside of crashing.
Meanwhile, I've got some 140 - 150 pound friends that bust equipment like it was their job. Snapped crankarms, broken pedal spindles, chainstays/seat-tubes/downtubes cracking around the junctions... And they're not racers, either. Just avid riders who put frequent long mile days in on the bike.
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Old 11-17-12, 10:52 AM   #21
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Triple butting is not stronger, it actually shaves the material away from the center of the tube for weight reduction. A cheap heavy frame has the same thickness throughout the tube, a double butted tube is thinner in the middle, a triple butted tube is thin in the middle, somewhat less thin getting towards the end, and the same thickness as the cheap heavy tube at the end.
I explained this when he posted his desire to purchase this bike. I guess he didn't believe me.
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Old 11-17-12, 11:04 AM   #22
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I've seen broken frames in steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber over the years, and I've heard of people breaking titanium (although only years of huge mileage). Manufacturing errors, ham-fisted mechanics, and exceptional wear and tear can break any frame.
Fortunately, most people have never broken one. And you'll probably want another bike eventually anyway.
I broke two alum, my 210 lb friend broke a steel De Rosa after 2 years (8000 miles tops) and a forum member OCRRick broke a ti frame at 155 lbs. I believe he only rode the bike 2 years high mileage when it happened and IIRC, it broke a second time ( I could be wrong about the 2nd break but I think this is correct)


My 210 lb buddy's STEEL DeRosa fame. Paying for the name and fine craftsmanship ha ha! Could be the weld point but either way, broken steel and it was not replaced or repaired under warranty. He had to pay ot of his pocket for the repair then sold it worried about his massive weight on the bike.


steel1 by mrbeanz1, on Flickr

155 lbs of forum member OCRRick, broke his ti frame and now has turned to riding a CF Calfee hoping it is more durable under than ti under his massive weight.

In red, 155 lbs.


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Old 11-17-12, 06:08 PM   #23
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Sounds like it might be more of a "what happened" when the frame broke vs. "who" was on it.
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Old 11-17-12, 07:56 PM   #24
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I ride and race a lot. Went though a couple of really nice steel frames (one of them broke my heart as it was a beautiful old Raleigh team pro). One snapped clean through the seat tube just above the bottom bracket, and was in an event at biggish speed. The other i noticed a big crack through the chain stay behind the bridge.

I'm 2m tall and 125-130kg (ex rugby player too

So this was enough to convince me that i needed to get some thing that could handle my weight and long levers. So went to a custom Zinn titanium bike and its been just awesome. Big strong frame coupled with a strong fork and strong wheels. Just been totally confidence inspiring. Can get out of the saddle and sprint now in races... Something i never would do on my steel bikes as they flexed too much.

Certainly not a budget option but what price do you put on you own health? Don't know that they strategy of break and replace is a the safest idea in the world. Get a bike that's designed and built to handle your size and weight would be my advice. Had it 4 years today and it's like brand new still - i love getting on it every time!
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Old 11-18-12, 09:40 AM   #25
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I'm not sure if I would be considered BIG or POWERFUL. But I snapped this aluminum frame on a Lemond Tourmalet after 13,000 miles. Trek upgraded free of charge to a partial carbon frame and fork (Chambery). The Chambery is a bike that is twice the price of my orginal purchase so I didn't cry over it.

Then the Chambery frame snapped at an aluminum section after 13,400 miles but Trek replaced it free of charge, frame and fork to a full carbone Madone 4.7. If this full carbon lasts more than 14,000, I'll be happy.

Trek replaced my frames and fork free of charge, free upgrades to better bikes, I have nothing to complain about, it's like getting a new bike every 3 years free of charge.

I did the component swap myself last time. So I spent about $50 max, no biggie!















Anyone over 200lbs is not only considered big in this sport, you are considered HUGE. Whether or not you are powerful, that is a different story but just from the added weight you are putting on the bike, you certainly don't have to have the strongest legs in the world to stress it. As for me, I have a Surly disc trucker and a CF motobecane crotch rocket. Bikes direct doesn't warranty their frames at all if I'm not mistaken but when you pay $1900 for a fully force equipped bike, you don't worry about that. They sell the CF frame only for $500. Another friend has an ultegra equipped madone 5.2 that he paid 3300 for so I have to replace my frame 3 times over before I get to what he spent. Is the Madone frame nicer? of course, it's more modern than the Bikes direct frame. the madone has the internal cable routing and the duotrap sensor in the chain stay which is a cool feature and the tubing is probably a bit more aero shaped but hey, when you are 250lbs do you really care about the aeroness of your frame tubing???

I would also add to the OP that aluminum is certainly a very viable frame material. I don't know how many miles a year Mr. Beanz does but even if it's 5000 a year, that means he's reeplacing a frame after 2.5 years. you can buy an aluminum frame from nashbar for $100. thats not too shabby. so no, it doesn't have the durability but the availability and cost make it a great option.
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