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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 12-07-13, 08:44 AM   #1
punkncat
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Help me help a fellow Clyde.

A buddy of mine has been expressing interest in buying a bike for the past several years. At the time that he started looking, I worked at a bike shop and we exhausted several resources looking for something in his size and more importantly price range. We could not provide anything that I deemed suitable for him.

This fellow is 6'8". He weighs in at 350 on the light side and tends to swing near 4. He is working with a starting budget of around $400 all told, and there is the issue. Obviously a BBS bike isn't going to suit him on size alone, not to mention quality. I had considered an Expedition or one of the MTB to use. There is a size issue with those frames in various ways. WE found some road bikes and one hybrid that would fit but the immediate question was whether or not the wheels would hold up long enough. Our thoughts were no, custom (I should say "built") wheels, and once again well beyond price limit.

So, new bike is out. Taller riders will well know the pitfalls and shortcomings of searching on the used market.

The guy is not so "style" oriented as he just wants something he can try out. He does well enough that I could see him ordering a custom built bike if he rides this one, assuming we can find something that won't fold up first ride.

Can you suggest to me a very large sized diamond frame bike with wheels strong enough to hold, well under $400?

Last edited by punkncat; 12-07-13 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 12-07-13, 09:31 AM   #2
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Consider just building a rear wheel?
Most any 32-36 spoke front should work, if the spokes are properly tensioned.
I'm assuming this will be for smooth pavement only??
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Old 12-07-13, 11:48 AM   #3
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Step #1 - Join a bicycle co-op

Step #2 - Locate the correct sized frame at an affordable price

Step #3 - Work on any wheel modifications necessary at some later date when it can be afforded

Step#4 - Teach your friend how important it is to do frequent tire and wheel inspections, given his dimensions

Last edited by WestPablo; 12-08-13 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 12-07-13, 04:38 PM   #4
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I guess I'm a little bewildered, you say the guy does well enough that he can afford to buy a custom build if he rides this one? Why the arbitrary $400 ceiling? If he goes cheap then odds are he'll have problems and won't click with the sport. You say you've been trying to find a bike for "years" for him, maybe he should have been saving over this time to increase the budget.

If I'm misreading something I apologize, I just hate to see someone set themselves up to fail. If he doesn't like a thousand dollar bike he can sell it and lose less than he'll lose if he sold a four hundred dollar bike as a cheap bike depreciates much more than a quality one will.
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Old 12-08-13, 08:25 AM   #5
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I guess I'm a little bewildered, you say the guy does well enough that he can afford to buy a custom build if he rides this one? Why the arbitrary $400 ceiling? If he goes cheap then odds are he'll have problems and won't click with the sport. You say you've been trying to find a bike for "years" for him, maybe he should have been saving over this time to increase the budget.

If I'm misreading something I apologize, I just hate to see someone set themselves up to fail. If he doesn't like a thousand dollar bike he can sell it and lose less than he'll lose if he sold a four hundred dollar bike as a cheap bike depreciates much more than a quality one will.
This. Given his current limitation, he is really setting himself up for disappointment and frustration. Even at a $600 point, for example, would make life much easier for him (Allowing for strong customs wheels). It seems like you've been trying for a long time to convince him that he should ride... Some people just don't ever see the + side of riding. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-13, 09:00 AM   #6
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+1 with ChiefTJS and Eriwn8r

Since I've not seen the answer yet, I'm going to assume (yeah, I know... ) that's he's of the mind that he doesn't want to drop a lot of cash on something he might not like. $600 is kind of expensive for a clothes rack. My suggestion would be to search CL or a big box... as much as I hate to say that. If you guys can find a used mountain bike, or even a new Wal-Mart "special" , it can serve until he decides he like it enough to upgrade, plus initial cost would allow for the building of a stouter rear wheel... Not the best route, by a long shot, but perhaps a way through the door?
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Old 12-08-13, 01:29 PM   #7
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Believe that I have tried to convey the benefits of buying a decent bike up front. The answer is exactly as "web" put it, he doesn't want to drop a significant wad on something he might do twice and hate.
He is a really busy guy as well as has a tendency to procrastinate, like anyone I suppose, and the next thing you know a long while has gone by. I have been busy, so has he...his wife actually reached out to me this last time as a Christmas idea, as he continues to discuss it in the background.

The reason I asked was in the hope that one of you might have a solution I had not considered.
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Old 12-08-13, 01:32 PM   #8
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Believe that I have tried to convey the benefits of buying a decent bike up front. The answer is exactly as "web" put it, he doesn't want to drop a significant wad on something he might do twice and hate.
He is a really busy guy as well as has a tendency to procrastinate, like anyone I suppose, and the next thing you know a long while has gone by. I have been busy, so has he...his wife actually reached out to me this last time as a Christmas idea, as he continues to discuss it in the background.

The reason I asked was in the hope that one of you might have a solution I had not considered.
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Old 12-08-13, 01:41 PM   #9
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Velocity double wall 36 spoke. Have a local dealer make up one for the rear. He should not be able to break it.
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Old 12-08-13, 01:44 PM   #10
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Jamis Coda, sub. $500.00 bike. He would be hard pressed to destroy it. Steel frame & fork. Have one, love it.
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Old 12-08-13, 02:05 PM   #11
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Jamis Coda, sub. $500.00 bike. He would be hard pressed to destroy it. Steel frame & fork. Have one, love it.
+2

Can't beat a Coda Sport for this occasion!
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Old 12-08-13, 06:27 PM   #12
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Please share with me where? I see it for $540 for a mixte looking thing and up above 6 for everything else.
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Old 12-08-13, 11:11 PM   #13
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Believe that I have tried to convey the benefits of buying a decent bike up front. The answer is exactly as "web" put it, he doesn't want to drop a significant wad on something he might do twice and hate.
Well, the obvious solution is to buy a decent used bike that you can easily resell if he hates it. Maybe Long Haul Trucker or something of that ilk. I doubt he'd lose more than 1-200 total if he bought one and sold it, but if you buy a cheap bike you own a cheap bike. It is what it is.

Good luck!
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Old 12-09-13, 06:34 AM   #14
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Please share with me where? I see it for $540 for a mixte looking thing and up above 6 for everything else.
Alright then, get the Schwinn Slicker at www.nashbar.com @ $425
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Old 12-09-13, 08:21 AM   #15
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If you could find an older steel road bike in his size they can be had for 100-200. If you have access to a local bike shop that has a good mechanic then you could replace the wheels, which will probably be 27 inch if the bike is from 90 or earlier, with a prebuilt set based off of Sun CR-18 rims. This is essentially what I did. I have ridden my bike with a cr-18 as heavy as 330 plus 15 pounds of pannier loaded gear. But my mechanic tensioned the wheel when I bought it, and trued it a month later.
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Old 12-09-13, 11:36 AM   #16
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Bought a Coda Sport three weeks ago at Bike Courier shop in Louisville, Ky. $480.00 plus tax. I have other "more expensive" bikes but when you break down all of the specs, cro-mo frame/fork, dbl wall rims, etc, this is a bargain.
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