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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 09-28-13, 12:37 PM   #1
D1939
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GMC Denali 700c good for 279lb?

Sup. I'm a 16 year old, 279lb guy. Yeah, that's bad, I know. But I was a lot worse: May of 2012 I weighed in the doctors office at 354, and after giving up red meat and walking a lot more often, I made it to around 300 as of three weeks ago. But, since I'm a high school senior and looking to kick this weight before I get out of here, I decided to (and so happy, never going back) become a pesco-vegetarian and start running/biking more often as well as counting calories to maintain 2K/D. It got me my 21lb in 3 weeks loss, which may seem almost unhealthy but in the way I manage myself works (as told by my doctor). My goal is 192lbs by this coming May.

That bio over and done with, I ordered a GMC Denali Road Bike from Wal-Mart—my minimum-wage paycheck can't cover treks—and signed up to participate in the Sea Gull Century, a 100 Mile bike through Maryland. I was wondering if there are any concerns for breaking back wheel spokes (at least until I get down some more) during the long ride?

Thanks.
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Old 09-28-13, 12:45 PM   #2
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No. The brakes would be insufficient, the handlebars are two parts, and I would question the back axle. The only one I've been around had a bent axle and an owner around 200lbs.

edit: I didn't see you had already made the order. I think you can get by, but you will want to make sure it is set up very well. I'm not sure how the bars are joined. If it is fully sleeved, It would probably be ok. The rear hub and spokes are a concern.

what is your location? If you can cancel this order we can probably find you something more suitable. An 80s mtb from a reputable company would be a great way to start. A road bike would be better for the intended ride, but a mtb with slick tires can be a great deal.

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Old 09-28-13, 12:55 PM   #3
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Salisbury, MD. I plan to get it tuned at the Bike store next to SU when it comes in. The reason I decided to order it was because I intend to lose weight pretty quickly.
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Old 09-28-13, 01:01 PM   #4
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My guess is the wheels will need trued after a few rides. Keep an eye on the axle. It may survive and may not. A new axle should be a cheap swap if it does bend. I would also consider upgrading the brake calipers. I'm a fan of good single pivot calipers, but these leave a lot to be desired. A good used set of dual pivots will make a huge improvement. I just recently donated my last extra set or they would be in route to you.
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Old 09-28-13, 01:04 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for the advice man.
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Old 09-28-13, 01:13 PM   #6
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Welcome to BF. This is a great place to hang out, learn, be encouraged and encourage others. I'm assuming you don't ride much right now. A century is going to take a LOT out of you. You really need to put some miles on before doing it. It can be done, and you'll feel great when you accomplish that goal, but train as much as you can (within the limits of what your body will do).

As far as the bike, I agree that I'd rather start with a used bike over a Denali, but that's me. If you go through with it, have the wheels checked out at the LBS. Then ride it like you stole it. But then again, that goes for anything that you buy!

Enjoy. And please post about your journey!

BTW, how tall are you? Do you know your inseam? And what's your budget?

Just poking around:

http://easternshore.craigslist.org/bid/4060879010.html
http://smd.craigslist.org/bik/4083022706.html (GOOD BIKE)
http://smd.craigslist.org/bik/4050534777.html
http://delaware.craigslist.org/bik/4094414871.html

I'm not trying to blow your budget. I'm just thinking some of these options will last you longer than the Denali.
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Old 09-28-13, 01:23 PM   #7
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I agree that the bike may not be sufficient. If you can cancel the order at this point, I would suggest that you can find a better and more suitable bike on the used market. A common recommendation here in the clydes forum is an 80's or 90's non-suspended mountain bike. Ones in good working condition can be found for $100-150 in my area, which should be about what that Denali goes for. I know that at this point you don't know the differences between the bikes, but this forum can be of great help. Here's an article I bookmarked a while back that can help you: how-to-buy-bicycle-on-craigslist

You are presently about the weight I was at a couple of years ago. My lightweight road bike supported me just fine, but it is a much higher end machine with well made wheels. I rode it for 12 years before it finally busted a spoke and after repair has been fine over thousands more miles.
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Old 09-28-13, 01:30 PM   #8
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No, the frame would probably be more than fine as the fork which I believe is just common hi-ten steel (heavy but sturdy). Its the parts that make up the rest of the bike that won't hold up.

Especially the rear wheel. Cheap wheels found on low end bikes like almost all dept store bikes use freewheels instead of much sturdier freehubs. Freewheel axles use support bearings that are much closer to the center of the axle on the drive which which means a large unsupported section of the axle. That results in heavy people bending and breaking lots of axles.

Freehubs have support bearings much closer to the outside of the hub itself so there is much less unsupported axle area.

The handle bar being 2 parts always made me nervous.

The low end drive train components just might not be up to the task of a strong nearly 300 pound rider to be honest.

If you really wanted to, I supposed you could replace the wheels with some stronger freehub based wheels, one piece handlebar with better shifters (bar ends would be probably the cheapest way and they still are quite expensive).

In the end, you would spend far too much money for a bike that isn't worth a lot at all. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but a better choice would be to get an older rigid mountain bike with skinner street slicks on it and possibly convert it to drop bars with bar end shifters. You can find very strong excellent rigid LBS brand mountain bikes all day long for under 100 dollars on CL.
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Old 09-28-13, 01:49 PM   #9
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a better choice would be to get an older rigid mountain bike with skinner street slicks on it and possibly convert it to drop bars with bar end shifters.
A lot of us have done what he is suggesting. You'll see a couple of mine in this thread along with a lot of good ideas and discussion on the topic:
Show-Your-Vintage-MTB-Drop-Bar-Conversions
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Old 09-28-13, 03:19 PM   #10
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I'm also in the camp that thinks you would be much better served by an early 90's or so non suspension mountain bike.
Look for a CR-MO (Chrome Moly) steel frame. Butted (or double butted) is lighter without giving up strength.
Older Specialized Rockhopers, Stump Jumpers, Hardrocks and that ilk.
many times, the older bikes have a better level of components then their newer namesakes.
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Old 09-28-13, 03:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobotech View Post
No, the frame would probably be more than fine as the fork which I believe is just common hi-ten steel (heavy but sturdy). Its the parts that make up the rest of the bike that won't hold up.

Especially the rear wheel. Cheap wheels found on low end bikes like almost all dept store bikes use freewheels instead of much sturdier freehubs. Freewheel axles use support bearings that are much closer to the center of the axle on the drive which which means a large unsupported section of the axle. That results in heavy people bending and breaking lots of axles.

Freehubs have support bearings much closer to the outside of the hub itself so there is much less unsupported axle area.

The handle bar being 2 parts always made me nervous.

The low end drive train components just might not be up to the task of a strong nearly 300 pound rider to be honest.

If you really wanted to, I supposed you could replace the wheels with some stronger freehub based wheels, one piece handlebar with better shifters (bar ends would be probably the cheapest way and they still are quite expensive).

In the end, you would spend far too much money for a bike that isn't worth a lot at all. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but a better choice would be to get an older rigid mountain bike with skinner street slicks on it and possibly convert it to drop bars with bar end shifters. You can find very strong excellent rigid LBS brand mountain bikes all day long for under 100 dollars on CL.
The part that is now in bold face type... the pricing on CL will vary by area/region. My local CL rarely sees gems like those, but is chock full of people asking basically full retail for Nexts...
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Old 09-28-13, 04:10 PM   #12
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my minimum-wage paycheck can't cover treks
I have bought a lot of used bike store branded bikes, and many cost A LOT less than that Denali. Look aggressively, and consider a rigid frame steel MTB. I picked up my 1988 Cimmaron LE last fall at a garage sale for a whopping $15. I converted it to drop bars, and its now my favorite bike. This from a guy that has owned over 500 bikes....

Don't have the expertise or tools? Find a bike co-op, they are a lot of help and FUN!

Given the choice between a nice used bike, and a mediocre new bike, used wins every time. And if you look aggressively, you can find used bikes for less, often a lot less.

As far as finding deals on C/L, they are out there, but as you get to lower prices, you have to move fast, lightning fast! I have bought bikes off C/L in every region of the country (on every road trip, I always bring back a bike or two).

Recent trip to Prince Edward Island (trying to convince my wife to go with drop bars):







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Old 09-28-13, 05:40 PM   #13
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OK. You ordered the Denali so I won't go into what you coulda' shoulda'. As is apparent from the answers you have already received, the Denali does not have a great reputation. There are some stories about people putting 1,000s of miles on Denalis, touring the country, etc. but there are also numerous stories of component failure. So where from here? If you have a bike co-op in your area, make contact. They are great resources for workspace, tools, know-how and inexpensive used parts. If you have access to a bike co-op you might be able the find a better quality 700c rear wheel. Lacking that, a co-op can help you swap for a chrome-moly rear axle (about $5-8 at an LBS) and to true and tension both wheels. This is the first step to making entry level wheels last as long as possible. Stick with wider tires, at least 28mm but 32-35mm would be better if your frame has the clearance. They allow you to run lower pressure while absorbing more shock and distributing force around the rim. This too will help preserve the stock wheels for as long as possible. The frameset will be strong enough, but on the heavy side, so that won't likely be a problem. As noted above, the twist shifters on a sleeved split handlebar scares a lot of people. The advantage of the Denali using the twist shifters is that it is a fast and easy swap to a flat bar (can have a mild sweep and/or rise) from a MTB and use the same shifters. Basic aluminum MTB bars are inexpensive new or free if you don't mind pulling one off of a trashed bike. You will have to find or buy different brake levers. You don't have to do this conversion, but if you are concerned about the split handlebars, it would be a lot cheaper than swapping to a regular drop bar with brifters, bar end, or other shifters.

Just out of curiosity, how much have you ridden up until now and how long until your century ride?
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Old 09-28-13, 06:41 PM   #14
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Hey D, welcome to the forum. I was 16 years old ~320lbs working a minimum wage job, part time job and wanted a bike. The GMC looked appealing so I bought it. If you aren't used to riding anything other than a Wal-mart bike then it will be just fine, but is it recommended? No. If you find that you're really interested in riding you'll want to upgrade to something better (within weeks). You're so much better off saving up a bit of cash and buying something used. It's heavy and sturdy, that's for sure, but it will get old quick. The more you ride the more you expect out of your equipment. If you ride more than what it's built for, you will only be disappointed every time you go out to ride knowing you wasted your money.

Find an older model aluminum road bike with Sora and high spoke count wheels. At this point you don't need anything more than that. Depending on how cycle friendly your area is you could pick up something similar off Craigslist for the same price as the GMC. If it's possible, save up some of your paycheck after you buy yourself a bike and invest in to some gear & tools.

And the best advice that I can give is listen to what some of the members on here have to say. Some of them have more experience in cycling than we have with our ages combined. They've been through it all and they know what works. Any cycling advice that I've given is just a 'digestion' and 'regurgitation' of the information from this site.

Last edited by Axiom; 09-28-13 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 09-28-13, 07:17 PM   #15
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Too bad you didn't ask before you ordered... If you can cancel, do it.
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Old 09-28-13, 11:01 PM   #16
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Forget the Denali, buy a used mountain bike, like the others have said.
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