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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 01-11-14, 06:53 PM   #1
Dutch80
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(Newb) Max. Weight for entry level carbon bike??

Newb here... Need some input please..

I'm 6'-4" and 290#... I've lost nearly 70 pounds through a sensible diet and riding... I'm absolutely hooked on cycling and currently ride a 61cm Orbea Carpe.. It's a 9 speed city or steet bike as they call it.... Anyway, I'm putting money back as we speak for an entry level carbon road bike when I reach a milestone weight of about 240-250... I ultimately want to get down to 225... The bikes I seemed to have narrowed down to are the Felt Z5 or the Orbea Avant or Orca... The Orbea number models escape me right now, but they are the entry levels in that brand too..
My LBS seems to think those carbon bikes will hold up well at my current weight! I'm using it as a reward for weight loss... I would like your more experience takes on weight limits (real world) and possible draw backs .....

Thanks, Dutch80
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Old 01-11-14, 07:44 PM   #2
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You'll have no problem with carbon @ 250ish. You might want to take a look at a little beefier wheels, but I wouldn't think twice about a carbon frame.

I started on a Motobecane LeChampion Ultegra at about 325 and had zero issues. Got down about 100 lbs. on that bike.
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Old 01-11-14, 07:53 PM   #3
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You'll have no problem with carbon @ 250ish. You might want to take a look at a little beefier wheels, but I wouldn't think twice about a carbon frame.

I started on a Motobecane LeChampion Ultegra at about 325 and had zero issues. Got down about 100 lbs. on that bike.
Ive hears that expression "beefier wheel" used before... Any suggestions on specific model or brands or is that a custom item... Thanks
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Old 01-11-14, 08:14 PM   #4
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To start, you could think of "beefier wheel" as meaning one with a minimum of 32-spokes. For 240#, that should be fine (I'm 260+ and ride 32-spokes).

Then, you need to add in rim brand & model. Since there are so many different manufacturers with "beefy" rims, I don't think we could list them all. Here's a couple of the more popular to start...
  • Mavic Open Pro
  • Velocity Fusion
  • Velocity Aerohead

Then, use 2.0mm spokes (or the old 14-gauge). I prefer straight-gauge, but many people swear by double-butted spokes. My wheelbuilder (the absolute best I have ever seen!) uses spoke washers as well to help relieve some stress in the J-bend of the spoke, reducing chance of spoke breakage. I recommend it at least.

Now, these are components go into hand-built wheels. And they could still be crap. The most important part of the equation is someone who REALLY knows how to build an excellent/perfect wheel. Otherwise, you'll just be going back to the shop every week to have them true it for you. Use these components and build up some great wheels.
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Old 01-11-14, 08:41 PM   #5
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Thanks MK, I just assumed a person really needed to be light to use a carbon frame.... I was introduced to a gentleman that's (my guess) is about 330# and he's been on a mid level Cannondale carbon for about 6 months with no problems... Wish I had hit him up for some wheel advise...

I'll have the nice road bike in front of me like a carrot on a string for another 40 pounds or so... I'll do some more research in my area (central Arkansas) for some heavy duty wheels or wheel builders....
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Old 01-11-14, 09:01 PM   #6
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Since there are so many different manufacturers with "beefy" rims, I don't think we could list them all. Here's a couple of the more popular to start...
  • Mavic Open Pro
  • Velocity Fusion
  • Velocity Aerohead
The Velocity Aerohead is one of the lightest 700c rims they make. It might work for someone over 250lbs, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

The Mavic Open Pro is around the same weight as the Aerohead and I've seen quite a few complaints about them cracking or spokes pulling through the rim in recent years. At this point, I don't think I'd trust them.

The Velocity Fusion is a good choice. The Velocity rim that gets frequent mention here is the Deep V, which is very durable but also very heavy.

Personally, I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about wheels until you start to have problems with them. It wouldn't hurt to ask that your LBS check and adjust the tension of each and every spoke, using a tension meter, before you take delivery of the bike. Suggest that it won't take them that long and may reduce the number of times you have to return for wheel-related warranty service.
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Old 01-11-14, 10:16 PM   #7
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It wouldn't hurt to ask that your LBS check and adjust the tension of each and every spoke, using a tension meter, before you take delivery of the bike. Suggest that it won't take them that long and may reduce the number of times you have to return for wheel-related warranty service.
Is checking and adjusting the tension of a spoke something a fairly handy person (albeit a newb) can or should do... I don't want to think I can true a wheel by any means, but once trued do you think I could maintain the number set by the LBS after every few rides?.....
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Old 01-12-14, 12:04 AM   #8
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Just to note, you may want to check the manual for any stated weight limits for the bike you choose. Not sure if it would be a factor for warranty issues if something happened or not. I know the SuperSix manual states a 285lb weight limit.
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Old 01-12-14, 01:10 AM   #9
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If you can tune a guitar you can tension (and true) a wheel. Puck the spoke, uniform pitch for each side, (then true). All you need is a simple spoke wrench. There are no magic/beefier wheelsets you need. I was 236lbs at my heaviest, carbon bike, using 16/20 & 20/24 wheelsets, no issues. Mostly, it's how you ride. If you are a magnetic for potholes, jump off curbs, ride heavy on your seat, swing your bike side to side in power sprints, then your wheels are going to give you trouble. And the bigger your tires the less shock your wheels and frame are going to endure. The tires on my sprinter are 20.5mm, high pressure, and that's one jarring ride. 25s and a bit less pressure are much smoother, forgiving.

Don't over think it, just ride.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 01-12-14 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 01-12-14, 07:34 AM   #10
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Here is a starting point. First thing is to do a search for wheelsets in these forums. These forums are loaded with clyde wheel set questions and a lot people that will help answer any questions you many have.

I usually start my season in March/April at @240 and get down into 220s by end of summer. I run 36 spoke on both my bikes. I could go with 32 or even 28 and probably be fine. The 36 spoke wheels, just give me piece of mind.

You can order from a catalog, ebay or have a custom built set. There are a lot of options (and price ranges).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Velocity-Deep-V-Black-Shimano-Ultegra-6800-Hubs-11-Speed-36h-Road-Bike-Wheelset-/251346670831?pt=US_Wheels_Wheelsets&hash=item3a856dd4ef


http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...72_-1___202478

Go on http://www.prowheelbuilder.com/ and play around with the custom wheel build.

Or go complete custom by an expert http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/

Good luck!

Last edited by lenny866; 01-12-14 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 01-12-14, 10:07 AM   #11
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At 250, you will be just fine on any of the entry level carbon bikes. If you were looking at the really high end (think s-works craziness) maybe it would warrant a call to the manufacturer but with the bikes you are looking at you will be fine.

For the wheel question, the cheapest option is simply to ride the wheels the bike ships with and see how they hold up. If they give you issues consider an upgrade. The comment about making sure the shop stress relieves and verifies correct spoke tension is a good one and does not take hardly any extra time if the shop is comfortable with wheel work.
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Old 01-12-14, 10:56 AM   #12
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Is checking and adjusting the tension of a spoke something a fairly handy person (albeit a newb) can or should do... I don't want to think I can true a wheel by any means, but once trued do you think I could maintain the number set by the LBS after every few rides?.....
Adjusting the tension, in my opinion, requires a tension meter (ex: Park TM-1) which is rather expensive. Adjusting the tension inevitably affects the trueness of the wheel so you'll also need a truing stand and spoke wrench. An experienced mechanic might be able to accomplish both tasks without these tools, but a newbie probably wouldn't: I've tried tensioning a wheel using the spoke-plucking method, then checking the tension with my tension meter and the results were impressively bad.

A properly built and tensioned wheel shouldn't need much maintenance, so I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about this. As FrenchFit says: just ride.
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Old 01-12-14, 12:06 PM   #13
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A properly built and tensioned wheel shouldn't need much maintenance, so I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about this. As FrenchFit says: just ride.
X2. If the wheel is built properly it should not need much more than very minor (1/4 turn on one or two spoke nipples here or there at most). That does not really apply if there is more of a destructive force like a crash, something getting sucked into the spokes, a major pothole for lighter road wheels, etc.

You can true with using the brake pads as a reference though if you do not have a stand. If like me, your vision is bad, you can use a cable tie on the frame as a point of reference and to verify the dish is correct simply flip the wheel over and make sure the distance between your reference point does not change. For tension, you can get a fairly inexpensive Park meter or if you are in good with your LBS, they would more than likely double check your tension for little or no charge after you make any changes as it only takes a couple minutes to simply check assuming no adjustments need to be made.
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Old 01-12-14, 02:26 PM   #14
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Just consider keeping the service tune up intervals something to be mindful of.

dont think it never needs any because you spent so Much.

hammer hard you will break and fatigue things , so dont form a permanent attachment to the Bike

any part of it... it's a TOOL.
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Old 01-12-14, 08:42 PM   #15
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Dutch80,

I have a 61cm 2012 Felt Z5 and I love it. I feel very comfortable on the bike. I did put a new seat on the bike to improve comfort as my rear was a little oversized for the stock seat. My LBS had a seat trial program where I could test various seats.

I am 6-4 and was 295 when I bought it about 20 months ago. I have put about 6000 miles on it.

I agree that new wheels are a good idea. The bike came with Mavic CPX22 wheels and they lasted about 2000 miles. They had small cracks near the spoke inlets and I started breaking spokes regularly. I replaced the wheels with velocity deep v rims and upsized to 36 spokes. The wheel set was around $500. These wheels have about 3000 miles on them now and they have not required any adjustment since an initial truing.

jwr
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Old 01-12-14, 09:04 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone... Great advise all... I appreciate y'all taking time to steer a newb in the right direction...

I'm in no hurry to learn the nuances of trueing a wheel just yet... I'll have to just trust the LBS for a while on that and most other repair needs till I can pick it up... Although I did help a new friend change from a single to double SRAM crankset today (and added some new handlebars) on my Hybrid... I like to work on what I own when possible and this forum is a great start....

Someone mentioned the very high end carbon bikes... Easy to say now I realize, but I really like the thought of starting with the entry level carbon bike and add the premium components as the older stuff wears out.... At this time I can't see myself needing much better than that... I suspect any bike I buy is potentially faster and more capable than I am

Just need a carbon frame that can carry this Clyde in a few more months...

Thanks, Dutch

Last edited by Dutch80; 01-12-14 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 01-12-14, 09:19 PM   #17
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Dutch80,

I have a 61cm 2012 Felt Z5 and I love it. I feel very comfortable on the bike. I did put a new seat on the bike to improve comfort as my rear was a little oversized for the stock seat. My LBS had a seat trial program where I could test various seats.

I am 6-4 and was 295 when I bought it about 20 months ago. I have put about 6000 miles on it.

I agree that new wheels are a good idea. The bike came with Mavic CPX22 wheels and they lasted about 2000 miles. They had small cracks near the spoke inlets and I started breaking spokes regularly. I replaced the wheels with velocity deep v rims and upsized to 36 spokes. The wheel set was around $500. These wheels have about 3000 miles on them now and they have not required any adjustment since an initial truing.

jwr


jwr,

That's encouraging news.... Although I've narrowed my selection down to 3 bikes (2 Orbeas 1 Felt) Id say the Felt Z5 is the front runner.... Just seems to be a bit better bang for my buck... I'll price some of the wheels you recommended just in case... Glad you've enjoyed the Z5.... I've been pleasantly surprised my Hybrid (Orbea) wheels and spokes have held up so well... (Knock wood)

Hopefully if I drop about 40 more pounds the factory wheels will be OK on a new bike..... We'll see
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