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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 03-31-14, 03:17 PM   #1
OmegaGator
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6'7 350lbs bike fitting question.

Hey guys and gals,

So, I'm roughly 6'7 350lbs, the weight fluctuates, never really goes over 350 tho.

I went to my local bike store the other day to look for a bike, preferably a used steel mountain bike. I started talking to the owner and he insisted that I would be fine on an aluminum bike. He recommended the Giant Seek 2 to me, it looks like a great bike, but they did not have an XL version for me to test out. It is also a little more than I was hoping to spend at $799. Also, I was and still am thinking I needed some upgraded rims. Now I have no idea what kind of rims I should be looking at but the shop said a very rough estimate, without looking up all the numbers, the rims would be roughly $150, each. That puts my total to $1100, which is more than I was hoping to spend.

I plan to ride mostly on the street or paved trails. But, I would also like to be able to go on a few dirt paths with piece of mind.

Does anyone have any input on what I should be getting, bike and rim wise. I'm trying to keep the total bill to around $700 - $800, before taxes. The government has to get their money

Last edited by OmegaGator; 03-31-14 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 03-31-14, 03:23 PM   #2
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You might get by with a 36 hole rear wheel designed for touring for $150. There is far less weight on the front wheel, so the standard wheel should be strong enough.
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Old 03-31-14, 04:07 PM   #3
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Please be sure to check with some folks your height. Fit is everything and 6'7" might put you on the outer edge of stock bikes. I'm not an expert and I'm almost 1' shorter . I ride with a fellow who's 6'4" and he feels like he's a tad tall for his largest of the brand bike.
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Old 03-31-14, 05:00 PM   #4
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I know zip about bike fitting etc but welcome to the bike forums. I've found many wonderful supportive people
here and I hope you will too.

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Old 03-31-14, 05:08 PM   #5
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I'd ride the bike with the stock wheels until you had an issue. If anything, just get someone to check the spoke tension and perhaps increase it a bit for your weight. Ride light and I believe that the stock wheels shouldn't be that much of an issue. Spend the time afterwards saving for something better if you think you want it, or saving for some new wheels. I rode 32 spokes while commuting to uni many years ago, when I was weighing in at 150kg/330lb. There was a little off road section, but most of the ride was on road/paths and I never had a problem with the wheels.

Perhaps also consider the Sedona if it might suit your tastes. It comes in a slightly larger frame.
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Old 03-31-14, 06:21 PM   #6
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At 6'7" I'd see if anyone in he Toronto Raptors NBA team is up-grading their bike

ask about their old bike, if they will be selling it.
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Old 04-01-14, 08:21 AM   #7
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What size did the shop have in stock, and did you at least get on it? Take a look at the geometry:

Seek 2 (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

If you tried a L, note that the XL top tube is only .6 inches longer. Standover height, while less important, is only .5 inches greater.

My point is that if you tried the next size down (or any size, for that matter) do you feel that, based on the differences in geometry across the range of frame sizes, the XL would be large enough for you? The geometry differences across the range of sizes seems tight. For example, the difference in top tube length between the S and the XL is only 1.6"
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Old 04-01-14, 06:04 PM   #8
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Also consider the Talon models and factor in a set of better rolling tyres. They come in 25" TT frames
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Old 04-02-14, 12:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
You might get by with a 36 hole rear wheel designed for touring for $150. There is far less weight on the front wheel, so the standard wheel should be strong enough.
Ya, that what I've been seeing a lot around this forum, looks like 36 spoke rims, with high tension, are the safest bet. Good point about only getting the rear wheels as it carries most of the weigh. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
Please be sure to check with some folks your height. Fit is everything and 6'7" might put you on the outer edge of stock bikes. I'm not an expert and I'm almost 1' shorter . I ride with a fellow who's 6'4" and he feels like he's a tad tall for his largest of the brand bike.
Ya, I've been looking around about this, I knew my height would give me an issue with stock bikes. With my heights and weight the bikes I can choose from are very limited. :'( Thank for your input.

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I know zip about bike fitting etc but welcome to the bike forums. I've found many wonderful supportive people
here and I hope you will too.

Charlie
Thank you very much, I'm sure I will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
I'd ride the bike with the stock wheels until you had an issue. If anything, just get someone to check the spoke tension and perhaps increase it a bit for your weight. Ride light and I believe that the stock wheels shouldn't be that much of an issue. Spend the time afterwards saving for something better if you think you want it, or saving for some new wheels. I rode 32 spokes while commuting to uni many years ago, when I was weighing in at 150kg/330lb. There was a little off road section, but most of the ride was on road/paths and I never had a problem with the wheels.

Perhaps also consider the Sedona if it might suit your tastes. It comes in a slightly larger frame.
I don't think I'm ballsy enough to go with 32 spoke. My one big fear about biking is breaking something half way through a ride. It is nice to hear tho that there some bigger riders riding stock stuff, gives me a lot of piece of mind about getting a normal non-custom bike. And thank you very much for the Sedona suggestion, I shall definitely look into it.

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At 6'7" I'd see if anyone in he Toronto Raptors NBA team is up-grading their bike

ask about their old bike, if they will be selling it.
Hmmmm, I work close to them, I'll go check them out after work next time

Quote:
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
What size did the shop have in stock, and did you at least get on it? Take a look at the geometry:

Seek 2 (2011) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States

If you tried a L, note that the XL top tube is only .6 inches longer. Standover height, while less important, is only .5 inches greater.

My point is that if you tried the next size down (or any size, for that matter) do you feel that, based on the differences in geometry across the range of frame sizes, the XL would be large enough for you? The geometry differences across the range of sizes seems tight. For example, the difference in top tube length between the S and the XL is only 1.6"
Stupidly, I didn't try the Seeks . I tried another bike that the owner said was very close in size, it felt pretty good. But, looking back at it I think I have to go back and try out the Seek XL. I realized I can't judge anything without a proper test ride. But, that is very good info to know regarding the sizing, I'll keep it in mind. Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
Also consider the Talon models and factor in a set of better rolling tyres. They come in 25" TT frames
I'll take a look at the Talon models, thanks! What does TT mean, Titanium?


I was looking around on-line today for bikes and came across a used Specialized Allez road bike, its XXL. It has an aluminum frame and a carbon fork. Is a carbon fork a big no-no for someone my size?
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Old 04-02-14, 04:15 PM   #10
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I'll take a look at the Talon models, thanks! What does TT mean, Titanium?
TT is top tube. The Talon and Seek both have ahead type steerers so there's plenty of scope to change the stem length with stems up to 140mm. The Sedona has a quill type adjustable stem, so to lengthen the setup out, you have to lower the handlebars. You can get longer stems for these too, but there's not so many of them around and they're typically more expensive.

Quote:
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I was looking around on-line today for bikes and came across a used Specialized Allez road bike, its XXL. It has an aluminum frame and a carbon fork. Is a carbon fork a big no-no for someone my size?
I rode an aluminium frame when I started on road bikes. They're a bit unforgiving, but a carbon steerer should make things a bit better. The fork should be ok for your weight, but you'll be stressing the frame which may shorten it's life. Hopefully for you that doesn't happen while you have it in your possession. Having said that, back when I had some free cash I was thinking of investing in one of those for racing crits, but the money went towards my track racing habit instead.

Something like the Talon may be better for starting out on. The gearing would be better, the top tube is longer and there's front suspension to soak up some of the bumps. Some skinnier slicker tyres will make the bike roll a whole lot better too. When you lose some weight and are happy to go faster on pavement, then I'd look at something like the Allez.

Back on the wheel thing, I still have my Sedona that I bought when I got back into riding. It was the biggest size back then. I was around 140kg when I got it, and was doing jumps and stoppies on the front wheel and those wheels are still as true as the day I got them. If you stick with the fat tyres, then 32 spokes will be fine as the lower pressures soak up a lot of the road shock that is what kills spokes. When you're happy to go faster on smaller slicker tyres, then perhaps look at a new wheelset.
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Old 04-02-14, 04:35 PM   #11
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Hi Omegagator,

We recently had another 6'7", 350lb'er enquire about bike sizing. He was interested in moving from a mountain bike to something more road oriented and had a budget of $1,500. Which made it easy to suggest a KHS Flight 747 to him.

In your case, at 350lbs, the best bet with regard to wheels, without going custom and expensive, is going to be something reputable and with 36 spokes. To get that and stay within your $800 budget I believe you may be best served by looking for used bikes.

Even in XL the Seek is not a particularly large frame. I'm 6'5" and I strugle to make the largest sized frames from manufactureres who produce larger frames work.

If you're interested in an all around bike and not set on mountain biking or road biking, I suspect looking for a "jumbo" size used Cannondale or similiar would be a good approach. Something with 26" wheels, which are inherently stronger than 700c road wheels. Preferably 36 spoke. But, if 26", you might be able to get decent service from 32 spoke, if the components are of reasonable quality and most importantly if the spokes are evenly tensioned.

No matter whether you buy new or used, the most important thing for wheel longevity with your weight is going to be reasonably high and absolutely even spoke tension. If buying a new bike from a shop, insist on their tensioning, stress relieving and equalizing the spokes before you take it out the door. If they resist and suggest that you ride it a while, or until issues begin to arise, and then bring it in for service, they may not be the right shop for you. If you purchase used, the first thing to do is consult with other Toronto'ites (Torontarians?) here on the board and find an excellent "wheelsmith".

Just my thoughts.
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Old 04-04-14, 11:22 PM   #12
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@brawlo I have so much regarding bike terms to learn I looked at the talon they all look pretty solid. But, I think I'm going to look for a used bike first, and I don't see any used talons, which is probably a good thing. Also, I'll stay away from carbon until I drop some weight, I really don't want to stress anything. Then I'll get a nice street bike. Thanks for the input!

@bigfred WOW that KHS 747 looks amazing, damn you $1500 price tag! I have started looking at used bikes, I actually saw 1 jumbo cannondale, it was scooped up a few hours before I could I'll definitely be looking for a 36 spoke wheel, these seem to be a very widely accepted must have for a higher weight rider. Thanks for the tip on the even spoke tension, that is one point I didn't know. I will look for a wheelsmith for sure, and Torotonians is what we go by thanks!
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Old 04-04-14, 11:26 PM   #13
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So I was doing some used bike shopping and I found this: http://stcatharines.kijiji.ca/c-buy-...AdIdZ580385725

Is this something I should be looking for? It is steel, which I don't mind. Looks like it has everything, except 36 spoke wheels.
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Old 04-04-14, 11:58 PM   #14
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So I was doing some used bike shopping and I found this: Raleigh Super Grand Prix Hybrid Road Bike - St. Catharines Bikes For Sale - Kijiji St. Catharines Canada.

Is this something I should be looking for? It is steel, which I don't mind. Looks like it has everything, except 36 spoke wheels.
What you are looking at there is an approximately 30 year old mid/low end road bike that has been fitted with straight bars and some hybrid or cyclocross tires. It's definitely not something I would have recommended to you if I saw it first.
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Old 04-05-14, 12:08 AM   #15
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Ahhh okay, damnit, I have too much to learn. Also, the straight bars drew me to it. I've only ever ridden with them, the racing curved handles scare the sh*t outta me, I feel like I'm so far down
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Old 04-05-14, 03:26 PM   #16
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I think you're going down the right path with going second hand. The only problem is the limited market you have to draw on. Most of the people I have known in the flesh and on the internet have changed their priorities once they actually get into the saddle.

You can get something a lot cheaper by going second hand, and you can put the savings into things like saddles, handlebars and wheels which can all be transferred across to a new bike and are the major factors in having an enjoyable ride. Then, once you've spent time out there riding, you can focus your attention on a particular type of bike that is more suitable to your needs/wants rather than spending $$$ on a "jack of all trades master of none" bike.

Looking at second hand though, I would advise having a really good look over the frame, especially around the rear wheel and bottom bracket area. This is where maybe most cracking happens on frames. Spin both wheels and make sure the wheels run true by watching the gap between the rim and the brake pads. Also take the time to have a good look at some new bike running gear. See what brand new gears look like with the shape of the gear teeth and perhaps even see if a bike mechanic can show you some cassettes and sprockets that are stuffed so you can see the difference. You can then make an informed assessment on how close you are to needing new running gear on the bike. It's not a deal breaker as you can get a cassette and chain relatively cheaply, you just need to factor that into the cost of a new bike, and may even be able to use the knowledge to argue for some cost cutting.

It may all sound a bit daunting, but it really isn't that hard, it probably just sounds different to you. Happy shopping.
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Old 04-06-14, 12:37 PM   #17
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Go to REI-Outlet and get the San Rafael DS3 on sale for about $630. www.rei.com/outlet

If you break it, they'll replace it at no cost, if you're a member!
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Old 04-06-14, 05:08 PM   #18
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Old 04-06-14, 06:57 PM   #19
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i dont think rei has any stores in canada
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Old 04-06-14, 07:14 PM   #20
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I knock jack about fitting a bike to be honest, especially for someone with your height. What I can tell you is that you will be ok on the aluminum frame, I am over 350 myself closer to 400 actually and the aluminum frame mt bike I recently bought is holding up just fine. I might recommend a mt bike to start for you they are more durable built almost like a tank on 2 wheels. I have a 29ner wheel size and love it. As for how a frame will fit you- that I have no clue. Bigger frames will cost more- just like most everything bigger will, maybe just save up for it?
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Old 04-06-14, 07:14 PM   #21
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first
dont worry about materials
all the major manufacturers engineer their bikes to be plenty strong
unless you are looking at super lightweight carbon stuff
which generally have a restrictive published weight limit

and the idea that a frame will be stronger simply because it is made of steel
as opposed to aluminum
is untrue
in fact
steel frames are more likely
imho
to be designed with a smaller safety factor than aluminum
in order to minimize the weight penalty

i have had several frames break over the years
and all of them were steel
while every aluminum frame i have had
including some that i thought were much lighter than necessary
has held up fine under seriously hard riding on rough roads and trails

second
keep looking for a used bike
but be patient
as the standard sizes you are likely to find
will be too small

many manufacturers used to make very large bikes
in sizes that are seldom seen today

i think if you are looking for a road bike
hold out for at least a 64cm frame*
and if you want a mountain bike or hybrid
try to find at least a 24 inch frame

i am not trying to tell you that a bike in one of those sizes will automatically fit you
but i that should get you in the ballpark

*an exception to that rule is many modern road bikes with sloping top tubes
as these are sometimes measured differently
so you should try to do your shopping with an idea of how a properly fitting bike should fit

regards
wilfred
6'5"
270 lbs
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Old 04-06-14, 08:58 PM   #22
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[QUOTE=OmegaGator;16629120]Hey guys and gals,

So, I'm roughly 6'7 350lbs, the weight fluctuates, never really goes over 350 tho.

I'm 6'7" and 275 lbs. I have a 26" MTB but it is a custom frame as 6'7" is really outside of a good fit on a 26" stock MTB. However, I also have a 29er and the XL frame is actually big for me.
Check out the 29er's and a good set of 32 spoke wheels will be ok as long as you ride light.
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Old 04-06-14, 09:26 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=jimblairo;16648056]
Quote:
Originally Posted by OmegaGator View Post
Hey guys and gals,

So, I'm roughly 6'7 350lbs, the weight fluctuates, never really goes over 350 tho.

I'm 6'7" and 275 lbs. I have a 26" MTB but it is a custom frame as 6'7" is really outside of a good fit on a 26" stock MTB. However, I also have a 29er and the XL frame is actually big for me.
Check out the 29er's and a good set of 32 spoke wheels will be ok as long as you ride light.
It would probably be massively helpful if you could say what make and model 29'er you have that is too big for you in an XL size.

This also reminds me that in 2012 Specialized was still doing an XXL 29'er Stumpjumper FSR that was really, really big. It was certainly too long for me and I prefered the XL in the FSR, but, would have wished for an XXL in the Epic. They were also doing a reasonably large 23" Stumpjumper hardtail. But, the chances of finding one of those for less than $600 is pretty unlikely, unless it's been abused.
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Old 04-07-14, 05:33 AM   #24
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Quote

It would probably be massively helpful if you could say what make and model 29'er you have that is too big for you in an XL size.

I have a Kona Big Unit 29er. The TTL is 648 and the standover is 862
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Old 04-07-14, 06:11 PM   #25
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@brawlo Ya, I will be looking for a good mountain bike, then when I'm used to riding I'll make the switch to a nice road bike. That is some great info at what to look for, I was trying to look for that! Also, that's a good point that I can just transfer the parts over to a new bike when I get one. Thanks a lot for all your input, it is greatly appreciated!

@WestPablo Yea, there are no REI stores in Canada, and travelling to Yonkers just doesn't seem like fun every time it breaks.

@Metropdx I'll keep that in mind, that was one of my biggest concerns. I thought I NEEDED steel for a long time, thanks!

@Wilfred Laurier Again, thanks for the peace of mind aluminum will be okay for me! I will definitely be looks for bikes at that size for sure, thanks!

@jimblairo & @bigfred Thanks for the bike suggestions, I'll keep an eye out for those. All these different sizes and crazy to keep up with.

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