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  1. #1
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Good news from a frame builder

    I usually hang around in C&V or frame builders and figured I should chime in here after reading a couple of threads. Using technology from all the different genres of cycling you folks can have bikes that don't dissolve when you drop the hammer. It may be hard to find a off the shelf carbon or lugged bike but custom alloy steel or aluminum is no problem. I built a aluminum MTB frame for a 450# fella that was a pretty hardcore rider and a chopper for a famous 475# athlete. The MTB frame weighed around 6 lbs. I am showing you this one because I built it twenty years ago and hasn't been back for repair!


    frame by frankthewelder, on Flickr


    If you are over 400#

    Profile cranks
    Hadley through axle hubs (there may be others) with steel axle, 26" high profile Alex rims
    custom 4130 or 6061 frame/fork with long head tube (less bearing leverage)
    BMX pedals

    You may still have difficulty with chains and freehub bodies/pawls but the hub will last and can be serviced. Many bike shops these days are tied to a single brand and can't even make suggestions outside their product lines. I am starting to get jobs from people who are only slightly larger than average who tell me that bike shop employees completely ignore them when they walk in the door.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

    frankthewelder@comcast.net

    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  2. #2
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    CID
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    1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX
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    That's pretty badass.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  3. #3
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    Whittier, CA
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    Specialized Roubaix
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    I am starting to get jobs from people who are only slightly larger than average who tell me that bike shop employees completely ignore them when they walk in the door.
    Oy! That sucks.

    It sounds like it's working out well for you though, congrats.

    That's a sharp looking frame!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2013
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    I am 6'4", 436#, and looking for a bike to ride on my weight loss journey (started at 454 two weeks ago). I'm a high school teacher and coach, so I don't have bunch of gold bullion lying around. What might you suggest for me?

    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    I usually hang around in C&V or frame builders and figured I should chime in here after reading a couple of threads. Using technology from all the different genres of cycling you folks can have bikes that don't dissolve when you drop the hammer. It may be hard to find a off the shelf carbon or lugged bike but custom alloy steel or aluminum is no problem. I built a aluminum MTB frame for a 450# fella that was a pretty hardcore rider and a chopper for a famous 475# athlete. The MTB frame weighed around 6 lbs. I am showing you this one because I built it twenty years ago and hasn't been back for repair!


    frame by frankthewelder, on Flickr


    If you are over 400#

    Profile cranks
    Hadley through axle hubs (there may be others) with steel axle, 26" high profile Alex rims
    custom 4130 or 6061 frame/fork with long head tube (less bearing leverage)
    BMX pedals

    You may still have difficulty with chains and freehub bodies/pawls but the hub will last and can be serviced. Many bike shops these days are tied to a single brand and can't even make suggestions outside their product lines. I am starting to get jobs from people who are only slightly larger than average who tell me that bike shop employees completely ignore them when they walk in the door.

  5. #5
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
    My Bikes
    '89 Miyata 1400, '82 nishiski (current utilty/commuter project)
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    if you can't do a custom at this time....... go for an old school, non suspension steel mountain bike. Put non knobbie, higher pressure tires on it. ride and don't worry
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

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