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  1. #1
    pj7
    pj7 is offline
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    I've been digging thru the archives and have noticed a trend; most of the advice given to heavier people like myself (330 lbs) is to ride with as high of a psi as possible, make sure the wheels have plenty of spokes (I believe it was 36), and ride on good tires that can handle the additional weight.
    My bike is a 2004 Trek 7100, it has Matrix 550 rims and Bontrager Invert Select wheels 700x35 which handle up to 65psi.
    I've seen you guys mention >100psi many times. I've also seen mention of getting slightly larger tires that what I currently have. I'm happy with my purchase, have ridden it a few times, but am now concerned about what *might* happen when I start commuting to work (11miles each way starting at 4:00AM).
    My questions are as follows:
    Should I look into purchasing better tires than what I currently have, something that can handle 100psi to possibly 120psi?
    Should I consider the kevlar lined tires I've seen mention to?
    If I do purchase new tires for one of the above reasons, is it (in your opinion) a good idea to step up to a slightly wider tire than my current?
    And with the increase in tire pressure, will my rims be able to handle it? I can not find anywhere a listing that tells me what psi my rims can handle.
    Thanks

    EDIT:
    The roads I'll be traveling on are fairly nasty roads, winding, thin shoulder of gravel and debris if any shoulder at all, NO bike lanes, and riddled with potholes ranging from golf-ball dimples to the crater out in Arizona.
    Last edited by pj7; 02-25-05 at 07:35 AM.

  2. #2
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    While I can't offer you specific tire recommendations or pressure ranges I will definitely advise you to go with strong heavy tires and wheels. At 280 I also exceed the normal range of bicyclists weight and I have killed off several rear wheels. The roads and trails I ride on are far smoother and better maintained than those you describe. Also you will want to avoid those potholes, I can tell you from experience that at our weight bike wheels don't like potholes. I would also suggest that you have your LBS check to make sure the wheel is true and properly mounted, since any significant variation can lead to bent axles and other problems (again the sad voice of experience). Higher tire pressures will help you avoid pinch flats that plagued my early months of riding. Good luck in your quest.

  3. #3
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    first off, I weigh more then you do,and routinly ride 15 miles through pretty bad roads to get to the local rail trail .15 miles includes the trail,but 4 miles is city streets. 65 psi in a 700x35 should make for a pretty cushy ride, and I would try it to see if it works for you and your riding style. it might be ok.

    for me I ride 700x28 @85-90 psi and (knock on wood) havent had any problems yet. my wifes bike has some cheap 26x1.5 slicks and I run them @65psi when I ride it(500 plus miles last year). I have recently built up with mostly used ebay parts a trek 730 hybrid with drop bars. it has 700X32 panaracer paselas that I have been riding for a couple days now @100psi. I only mention the 32 to referance the fact that these 32 are not as wide as my 28 on my everyday bike(an old haro hybrid). either my 28's are real wide for 28's or my 32's are real narrow for 32's. its common enough practice for differant manufacter'ers(?) to label their tire how they see fit,no matter what the actual size is.http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

    also there is a little bit of give in the psi of most tire. I think I saw 10% once ,but I generally feel safe putting 10-15 psi more then the stated max psi. take that with a grain of salt, but thats what I have done frome time to time.

    as if your current wheels will handle the psi? probably,but a quick email to trek might be the easiest way to find out for sure. my wheels that have the 100 psi paselas originaly had 65 psi 35's on it when they where new, and lbs guy who I really trust(hi joe) said no problem.
    Last edited by spanky4x4; 02-25-05 at 07:59 AM. Reason: add sheldon brown link
    "When a man lies, he murders some part of the world"

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  4. #4
    Senior Member billh's Avatar
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    I'm 200+ and recently bought a Mavic 700c 40-spoke front wheel designed for tandems for my commuter bike because I've had problems with broken spokes and rims before on 32 and 36 spoke wheels. I don't notice any difference in weight, only been riding it about 2 weeks. However, on the back I'm riding a 32-spoke Mavic rim that I built myself because I'm too lazy to build up another 36h, need to find a rim first. And the 32-spoke is holding up fine.

  5. #5
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Yup,
    there is simply NO reason to run a huge tire at a high pressure.
    When I got back into cycling a few years ago, I had a hybrid with 37c tires that were really 40c tires. They were massive. So trying to get an excuse to replace them with lighter tires, I ran them over glass, debris, you name it. They survived. Give the tires a try. There are higher quality tires out there, if there is a need you can always get them later.

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    Those are decent quality tires, you can try increasing the pressure a bit but it may make the ride too uncomfortable. The higher pressures you refer to are for thinner tires. When the rear tire tread wears out you may replace it with a 38 mm wide one.

    For long wheel life take the bike back to the shop hand have them retension the spokes as they settle in during the first few rides. I dont know what the construction of your rim is, but double walled ones are much more robust. If it doesnt keep its shape, get your shop to replace or rebuild with a double walled rim.

  7. #7
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    I started at 250 (230 now) and am on a '04 7100 with the same wheelset and tires.

    I have been through about 10 broken spokes on the piece of crap rear wheel.

    I'd advise replacing the wheelset pronto.

  8. #8
    pj7
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    I appreciate everyones advice on this matter.
    Now to add another question or two to my conundrum, what is a good economically minded rear wheel for this situation? Everywhere I look, and can not seem to find many places, tend to sell wheels in pairs only and at a cost of more than what I paid for the entire bike in the first place. Is it possible to just purchase the rear wheel only? And if so, does it come with gearing or will I have to take it to a shop and have then transfer my gears to the new wheel?
    I'm trying to get all this info now so that I can have this done when I leave work today, which is in just a few more hours.

  9. #9
    Zen Cyclist jslopez's Avatar
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    Should I look into purchasing better tires than what I currently have, something that can handle 100psi to possibly 120psi?
    - As long as they aren't that myc thinner than the tires you usually use (as it will affect the ride quality and possibly durability) then I would sugget yes.

    Should I consider the kevlar lined tires I've seen mention to?
    Yes but this has more to do with the road conditions you described. Also if you don't mind a little more rotating weight you may want to consider putting some slime in your tubes as you really want to minimize/avoid the need to fix tires on dangerous roads

    And with the increase in tire pressure, will my rims be able to handle it? I can not find anywhere a listing that tells me what psi my rims can handle.
    Call/email the manufacturer. That was the only way I found the PSI ratin on my AM rims.

    One more thing you mentioned which I'm hoping you are well prepared for is the fact that you are riding bad roads at 4 am!!! Do make sure you're lit up like a christmas tree, back light, headlight and maybe one of those illuminite jackets and ofcourse the usual tire changing gear.
    ZEN CYCLIST once again...

  10. #10
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    Well, you read my mind on that one bro.

    My LBS gave a one-year service guarantee and have fixed all the spokes no charge, most of them while I waited. They're a good bunch of wrenches in there.

    Now the problem seems solved, I think they've tensioned everything well and the weak spokes are gone.

    (and of course I stuff the 'Pizza Fund' jar on the service counter, I'll take the free service but I'm not totally a cheap bastid )

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pj7
    I appreciate everyones advice on this matter.
    Now to add another question or two to my conundrum, what is a good economically minded rear wheel for this situation? Everywhere I look, and can not seem to find many places, tend to sell wheels in pairs only and at a cost of more than what I paid for the entire bike in the first place. Is it possible to just purchase the rear wheel only? And if so, does it come with gearing or will I have to take it to a shop and have then transfer my gears to the new wheel?
    I'm trying to get all this info now so that I can have this done when I leave work today, which is in just a few more hours.
    You can get a rear wheel only through www.nashbar.com; cheapest 700 they have is $60. If you get a new wheel I recommend 14 gauge spokes (2.0 mm). You will have to get your gears transferred, LBS shouldn't charge much for that. Another option is not to worry about the wheel unless you actually pop some spokes.
    As for the kevlar tires, a cheaper and durable option is tire liners (Mr. Tuffy or Slime). The Mr. Tuffy liners can cut the inner tube where they overlap. On another thread the advice is give to sand the ends and use rubber cement to attach them to the tube. I've actually gotten flats on kevlar-lined tires, but never through a tire liner (except for the aforementioned tube-cutting problem).
    Good luck with your cycling and commuting!
    Rich
    Rans Rocket; Montague CX; Dahon Helios SL

  12. #12
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    The Nashbar site doesnt mention the internal width of their rims. You want them about 21 mm wide. Ones drilled for Presta valves are stronger, because the hole is smaller, but you will have to buy a 25c adapter to be able to inflate them with a gas station hose. Dont buy new rims of tires till you have to. The Tuffy liners are good. When you have to buy new tires the Specialized Armadillos are bombproff, but they dont roll as easy or handle as nicely as some lighter tires. I go with the lighter tire and the Tuffy liner.

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    Your rims should be able to take much higher pressure than 65psi, it is not a limiting factor.
    I have had one rim fail on me due to wear (in 30 years). As the braking surface thins there comes a point where it can't take the pressure of the tyre and folds out or comes apart into a hoop.
    Proof testing of rims involves pumping up your tyres 50% beyond the max. If they dont collapse or bend out then they are find.
    Recomend you use safety glasses for this test and deflate back to normal pressure before riding. This is a test that you only need do on old wheels.

    Your tyres sound fine but you could probably add and extra 10psi without harm. When they wear thin you can think about replacing them and you will have a good idea if they are tough enough for your roads.

  14. #14
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    When you do need a new rear wheel, ask your LBS to build you one. They should be able to take your hub and lace it to a new stronger rim, and a good hand built wheel should lbe stronger and last longer then the machine built wheel you have now.

  15. #15
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhchdh
    When you do need a new rear wheel, ask your LBS to build you one. They should be able to take your hub and lace it to a new stronger rim, and a good hand built wheel should lbe stronger and last longer then the machine built wheel you have now.
    This is the best answer yet. It will give you stronger, more reliable, wheels with higher, and more even spoke tension. If you want to move directly to strong trouble free wheel sets, have the shop hand make up some tandem hubs with 42 spokes (or so) to tandem rims.
    See what they have to suggest. This should pretty much stop any wheel problems.

  16. #16
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Sheldon Brown has an article on tire inflation pressures that might be helpful:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#pressure

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Try the Specialized Infinity Armadillo tire. A bit higher pressure, but is rated to run at the lower end of 75psi. You get a tough tire with good flat protection. You can get just a rear wheel through an LBS, or order online, like through Performance. You might check on getting a tandem rear wheel, but it might cost more. I see Harris Cyclery will build a 48 spoke wheel.

  19. #19
    Direct Hit Not Required BlastRadius's Avatar
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    My Bontrager Select Invert 700x38 tires can go from 60 to 80 psi. Double-check the PSI range on your tires.

  20. #20
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    My advice? Ride Lightly. I have to. Avoid potholes and irregular parts of the road like the plague. Don't even think about hopping curbs or dropping off anything more than an inch or so (if that). The idea is to ride smooooothly. Don't shock the wheels. I weight 320-325 right now and this is how I ride, and I've been riding single wall 27" wheels with 1 1/4" tires for a couple of weeks now and they're holding up fine.

  21. #21
    pj7
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    BlastRadius you were right, on a double-look I saw that my tires were rated much higher than what the manual I had read, a mis-print I am sure, but my tires are rated to handle 80psi.
    I'll have my wheels/spokes checked soon to make sure everything is looking good. Looks like I'll stick with the stock components until somethin breaks, then I'll head the advice given.
    Thanks everyone.

  22. #22
    Guy with bike
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    Wight? So you're like a zombie or something?

  23. #23
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    I'm ~285 at this point, I was up around 295 when I first started riding road. I have 32hole Alex DA-22 rims, and I have yet to have any problems in several hundred miles. I trued them once after about 50 miles and haven't had to since. My roads aren't perfect, and the bike trail I occasionally ride on has lots of roots breaking up the concrete.

  24. #24
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    Broke another rear-wheel spoke yesterday. LBS telling me I need to look into a better rear wheel. I begin to see that much of the price of better bikes is the better wheels. Doesn't seem right though. Ought to be able to buy any Trek and expect the wheels to be reasonable quality.

  25. #25
    No pain, no gain. PainTrain's Avatar
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    Update: A few more broken spokes since this thread got buried. I have now ordered a double-wall set from Harris Cyclery (Sheldon Brown). Hope my wheel woes will soon be a thing of the past.

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