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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 04-25-13, 05:00 PM   #1
Tentacle Master
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Suggestion's for 400lb friends

wow its been for ever since I've logged in, and I've never posted here before. So a bit about me I used to own a bike shop but have since moved on to other things to use my rather expensive college education. I have an rather large collection of bicycles and all the tools from my shop.

My future room mates were discussing the hilarity of the number of bikes that I will have in my new house and eventually discussion got around to me inviting them over to ride some. One of them weighs 400lbs and the other 375lbs.

I somehow never had customer's like this ever. I let them ride some of my bikes. A early 90's 4130 chromo IronHorse rigid MTB, a 2009 Specialized Hardrock Sport, and a simple steel coast-brake beach cruiser.

After teaching them to properly ride a bike, they really enjoyed themselves riding the IronHorse and as ridiculous as it looked the beach Cruiser as well. The hardtail's fork quickly compressed even on its highest setting and wasn't very fun for them. I figured this would happen. They want to get themselves on some bikes regularly (around town exercise) and I have no problem finding/building them some bikes, but I've seen big guys and certainly small guys break bikes before.

I think a cromo rigid MTB with beefy drop outs, risers and double wall, high spoke count wheels is a start.

Any advice ya'll could impart to me for these builds?
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Old 04-25-13, 09:01 PM   #2
Bluish Green
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It sounds like you have a pretty good start on the equipment end of things. Make sure you help them with the proper fit for the bike, and equipment-wise, having well-built wheels (particularly the rear wheel) with quality spokes and good wheelbuilding/craftsmanship should go a long way to ensuring many miles free of spoke-breakage. Good on ya for helping friends into bicycling....
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Old 04-26-13, 12:00 AM   #3
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You don't talk about budget or where they will be riding.

If money is of little consequence, I'd have them riding Surly Long Haul Truckers.
It can be ordered with 26" or 700c wheels, and cantilever or disc brakes.

If the guys are short, I'd go for the 26" wheels. The brakes can be their choice.

These bikes are built to carry weight and do well with a granny gear for out of shape cyclists. LHT's come with 36 spoke wheels. The modern hybrid is a little too sweet for my taste. With compact cranks and carbon fibre forks, these bikes are not geared low enough. If a carbon fibre fork folded under stress the rider would face plant pretty severely. Spoke counts are down around 28. Not nearly enough for your big buddies.

If you are on a budget, I'd shop for 5 to 10 year old hybrids with steel forks and triple cranks.
I'd have the wheels tuned then ride them until they break. If the guys are still interested in cycling then they can purchase new 36 spoke wheels.

Good luck, and report back when the 3 of you do your first century.
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Old 04-26-13, 12:25 AM   #4
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Depending upon individual height, I'd have them ride something along the lines of a Surly Moonlander, Pugsley, Ogre, or Troll.
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Old 04-26-13, 05:17 AM   #5
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I'm just shy of 400lbs and I ride a 1995 Trek Multitrack (hybrid) with no fears. Wheels and seatpost slippage are the only two issues I've had. My 36-spoke stock wheels had problems 17 years ago when I only weighed 235 so when I started riding again I invested in a good set of hand-built 40-spoke touring wheels. I had seatpost slippage on a Trek 7.2 FX that I sold about a year ago and just recently I've had some slippage with the Multitrack.

I think any decent cro-moly frame will serve your friends well. Keep in mind that they are likely to need handlebars that are inches above the saddle if they want any comfort at all so keep that in mind in choosing frames.
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Old 04-26-13, 08:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
You don't talk about budget or where they will be riding.
I imagine I would still own the bikes and they would just use them. If they got more serious things can change. They just want to do some neighborhood street riding. Nothing crazy.

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Originally Posted by skilsaw View Post
If money is of little consequence, I'd have them riding Surly Long Haul Truckers.
don't know if you saw my sig but I am all about touring bikes and I couldnt agree more. I think an LTH would be a great choice, not only in its construction but its wheelbase and touring geometry.

5-10 year old hybrids are mostly aluminum by now heh. I need a bit older than that to get back to the cromo.

I do have my 08 Aurora sitting around and I kept glancing over to it when they were test riding. I think its way to tall though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cfiber View Post
Depending upon individual height, I'd have them ride something along the lines of a Surly Moonlander, Pugsley, Ogre, or Troll.
Also good choices

Quote:
Originally Posted by corwin1968 View Post
I'm just shy of 400lbs and I ride a 1995 Trek Multitrack (hybrid) with no fears. Wheels and seatpost slippage are the only two issues I've had. My 36-spoke stock wheels had problems 17 years ago when I only weighed 235 so when I started riding again I invested in a good set of hand-built 40-spoke touring wheels. I had seatpost slippage on a Trek 7.2 FX that I sold about a year ago and just recently I've had some slippage with the Multitrack.

I think any decent cro-moly frame will serve your friends well. Keep in mind that they are likely to need handlebars that are inches above the saddle if they want any comfort at all so keep that in mind in choosing frames.
I actually collect Trek Multitracks. They'd look rather fragile underneath them. The stock wheels would be inadequate. They would need an upgrade to be sure. Bikes that old do get a bit polished in the seat post region so slippage I can see. I would get a new seat post if this is the case. As for your Trek 7.2 FX, yeah like every other bike mentioned here I have one of those too, and ...I don't think I'll put them on it lol.

I'll get out one of my hybrid frames. I got this sick hot pink Specialized Crossroads frame (built it up 20 times into a goldengear fixie) and a spare 36 spoke double walled eyelet-ed wheelset. I imagine that's at least one bike. I might hunt around for a LHT or another 750+ Multitrack
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Old 04-26-13, 10:28 AM   #7
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IF you have a spoke tension meter, I'd go over the wheels with it, especially the rear.
You might even consider an OC rim for the rear so spokes on both sides share the load more equally.

I'd definitely service the hubs.
A little PM may go a long way.
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