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Old 03-03-06, 06:45 PM   #1
ajs
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Bike choice for 250lb rider

I'm getting back into riding after a decade off any bike and almost thirty years since any long rides. I'm out of shape and 250lb. After searching for a couple weeks I found a bike that rides great and cost little: a 61cm Fuji S12-S from the end of the 1970s (come to think of it, that's when I quit riding much). Apart from changing the bars and stem to closer/higher to fit my bad neck and paunch, I don't feel like I need anything else.

Here's the question: what is the chance that this bike will fail under my weight? The fork is original and in good shape and the rims are Araya 700c, in good condition though old (look original).
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Old 03-03-06, 08:17 PM   #2
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Hi,
I weigh about that much. If the bike fits and and this doesn't kill the bike, you can make it work. Either the rims die or they don't. If they die, I suggest using Mavic CXP33 rims. There are cheaper ones, but I can't kill these, and I am good at killing gear. I'd also use the biggest tire that will fit the frame. If you can squeeze a 27c or 28c tire in there, great. I use the Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 27c.
Replace the brake pads. I really like Grip Shapes...
http://www.offthefront.com/sports.ht...ing%20Products

Eventually I'd swap out the bars for new ones that are lighter and wider.When you do that you can add bar end shifters. Get a new seat, maybe a bike computer, and you're good to go.

Here's a great stem to get those bars higher
http://www.rivbike.com/webalog/handl...ape/16047.html

Last edited by late; 03-03-06 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 03-03-06, 10:53 PM   #3
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Being it is from the end of the 70's I suspect it is a steel frame and fork. I wouldn't be concerned about the frame failing under you weight unless it is damaged. As for the wheels, so long as they stay true I wouldn't worry about them. If you start breaking spokes or getting splits in the rims then replace as noted above or look at Mavic Open Pros as you can typically pick them up for approximatley $250 for a set.

I went to the Open Pros after having troubles with higher end wheels (breaking spokes and cracked the rim - I weigh about 240). I suggest riding the bike for a at least a year before you decide to upgrade. If you are happy with the bike and are enjoying a great way to exercise then I would stay with the bike.

I do agree with the recommendation for changing out the break pads and making changes to the bars for comfort. This can be done for little money. If you start looking at changing out other components you may be better off with a new bike.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-04-06, 02:02 AM   #4
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The bike should take your weight with no problem, but at the age of those wheels- they probably won't be in a condition to last long. Best thing to do with them is get them to a local shop for tensioning and retrueing before any distance is put on them. That would give a bit of time before you have to fork out for the hospital bills caused by a high speed accident from when the wheels fail.

Wheels are a neglected part of a bike so don't take the chance on them having been maintained well by the previous owner. It is not a large expense to get them checked either, so start building a relationship with your local bike shop (LBS) by getting them checked. ---Unless they are obviously in good condition.
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Old 03-04-06, 06:51 AM   #5
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At 250 anything that is not designed stupidly light for racing will be fine. Your classic steel will be fine.

I weigh 300 and will be riding old steel frames with old components all year as I work to knock off about a third of it, and ride a century or two.
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Old 03-04-06, 08:26 AM   #6
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The Trek 7.3 (2006 model) FX would be a good choice. It's a very strong bike.
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Old 03-04-06, 09:49 AM   #7
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All the comments above are great. I am 225 lbs and have a number of bikes from light to classic steel. I ride highways and dirt back roads and NEVER worry about any of my frames. A steel bike from the 70's is probably so over built that you could run over it with your car and it would still be safe. Just check the frame for any excessive rust, throw some frame saver in the tubes and have fun. The wheels may be the only thing you will ever need to replace CXP33 or Open Pro rims are the best for heavy riders. If you need more gears you can upgrade the rear wheel to an 8 or 9 spd and change out the rear shifter or buy a front triple front crank set and a long reach RD and expand your gearing that way.
I'm 63 slightly over wt but my BP and heart rate are of a 30 year old due to biking. I have ridden continuously since 1955 with no regrets.
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Old 03-04-06, 11:02 AM   #8
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A good, solid and comfortable bike would be a Specialized Sequoia - around $800. I put a lot of miles on one of these at around 250lbs. They have a comfortable, more upright position for a road bike, and a suspension seatpost, so it really helps on the lower back.

Hope this helps!

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Old 03-04-06, 04:29 PM   #9
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Great advice. Thanks to all of you. What a great site!
I had already planned to replace bars and stem: a Nitto technomic stem and moustache or north road bars. And Brake shoes. I am reassured about the frame and fork.
The hard decision is the wheels. On one hand, they cost real money. On the other hand I don't want to crash and hurt myself and the bike and _then_ still need to spend the money for new wheels. So I guess the question is, in the world of broken wheels how common is catastrophic bike-dumping damage vs one-broken-spoke or one-rim-crack type damage?
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Old 03-05-06, 09:33 AM   #10
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Hi,
catastrophic failure is rare. But you could get stranded. I've had that happen. Here's just a thought... Here's some NOS 105 7 speed hubs for 50 bucks.
http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/hubs.html
Here's the rims I got for my next wheels for about $60.
http://cgi.ebay.com/2-Black-Ambrosio...QQcmdZViewItem
You can have them built up into a nice new wheelset for under a couple hundred, and you don't have to do it all at once. You could buy the rims now, get the hubs later. You could also keep an eye on ebay for NOS hubs. I've gotten rims and hubs, so when one of my wheels dies, I just need to get it built up. That takes some of the sting out.
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Old 03-05-06, 10:41 AM   #11
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ajs...

Not to worry, just watch the wheels. I got back into several years ago at 220# and a steele Schwinn from the early 90's which is now my touring bike and everyday running around bike. I even still have the original 36 spoke wheels. I have them trued from time to time. Me, the bike and my tour gear total over 300# with no problems.
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Old 03-05-06, 09:08 PM   #12
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Deanster:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanster04
A steel bike from the 70's is probably so over built that you could run over it with your car and it would still be safe.
I weigh 210 and ride a 35 year old RUSTY Peugeot U08 everywhere. I can testify that it's overbuilt. It wasn't a car, but it was my 6'3 225 pound buddy and his 63cm tank of a Cannondale that ran right smack over us as we sprawled in front of him Jan. 2 of this year. My wheels got "tacoed", but the frame was fine.

We ("Mimi" and I) went about 65 miles this weekend with new wheels and tires. Felt great!

AJS, The bike you are considering will be fine. Enjoy it! (Your initials form the name of a proud British motorcyle line. Any connection?)

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Old 03-06-06, 01:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs
The hard decision is the wheels. On one hand, they cost real money. On the other hand I don't want to crash and hurt myself and the bike and _then_ still need to spend the money for new wheels. So I guess the question is, in the world of broken wheels how common is catastrophic bike-dumping damage vs one-broken-spoke or one-rim-crack type damage?
Just because wheels are old- they are not necessarily rubbish. Get them into your LBS to look at and a tension and retrue is probably all you need. Far cheaper than new wheels and if the LBS gives the green light that they are ok- then you can get further good service out of them.

I recently put a pair of 25 year old wheels into my LBS off an old Bianchi I was given. Rims were ok-spokes tensioned up and hubs OK.
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Old 03-10-06, 09:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs
Here's the question: what is the chance that this bike will fail under my weight? The fork is original and in good shape and the rims are Araya 700c, in good condition though old (look original).
For those looking for a bike specifically designed for heavier riders look no further:

Co-Motion Mazama
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Old 03-10-06, 12:18 PM   #15
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The Trek FX bikes from the 7.3 FX on up are rated for 300 pounds of weight.
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Old 03-10-06, 08:25 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezodog
For those looking for a bike specifically designed for heavier riders look no further:

Co-Motion Mazama
WOW!!!! Talk about an overpriced ride for the big guy!!!

You can do a LOT better on a bike DESIGNED TO CARRY LOTS OF WEIGHT ,not adapted to, for 1/3 to 1/5 of the price of this MAZAMA critter. Holy Cow!! Check out a full dressed Worksman Recreational bike for about $690. $2800 for a bicycle? Good grief already.........


www.worksman.com
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Old 03-11-06, 05:26 PM   #17
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I bought a $200 steel Batavus road bike on Ebay. I have about 420 miles on it so far this year and I couldn't be happier.

Don't overlook a good Ebay buy.....
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Old 03-11-06, 08:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flags6262
The Trek FX bikes from the 7.3 FX on up are rated for 300 pounds of weight.
Is that why my 7.3 FX rides so stiff. I need to add 162 more pounds.

If the Fuji rides comfortable, then that sounds like the bike to get.
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Old 03-12-06, 05:42 PM   #19
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you might want to post this in the "Clydesdale forum" on mbtr

http://forums.mtbr.com/forumdisplay.php?f=95

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Old 03-13-06, 07:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajs
I'm getting back into riding after a decade off any bike and almost thirty years since any long rides. I'm out of shape and 250lb. After searching for a couple weeks I found a bike that rides great and cost little: a 61cm Fuji S12-S from the end of the 1970s (come to think of it, that's when I quit riding much). Apart from changing the bars and stem to closer/higher to fit my bad neck and paunch, I don't feel like I need anything else.

Here's the question: what is the chance that this bike will fail under my weight? The fork is original and in good shape and the rims are Araya 700c, in good condition though old (look original).
Previous advice re larger tires is sage. I put moderate priced Continental Ultra Gatorskins 700c x 28 on my '82 Schwinn Super Sport (Araya alloy rims) and they ride great. Cost was about $30 each.

I'm 6'3" 235. The Schwinn is my upgrade bike. I still have, and ride, my '78 Fuji Sports 10 (1020 gas pipe tubing). Both bikes upgraded this year to wider road bars (46 cm and 44 cm) and taller stems. Also, MKS Sylvan Touring pedals (with Power Grips) for my wider feet.

The wider bars, taller stems, wider pedals and upsized tires make all the difference in the world. Did I mention wider bars? They are like gaining another gear, maybe two.
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Old 03-13-06, 11:10 AM   #21
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When I went back to riding, at 255 lbs, I dusted off the old df & spiffed it up. After 3 weeks I knew there had to be something better and I started looking around. I landed on a Sun EZ Sport long wheel base recumbent. What a difference in comfort! I love it and put 1800 miles last year. I have lost 25 lbs and am still dropping weight. nuff said. bk
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Old 03-13-06, 11:13 AM   #22
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"A steel bike from the 70's is probably so over built that you could run over it with your car and it would still be safe."

Yes, This is very true. My "UTILITY" bike is an old Schwinn world tourist with steel frame & rims.
I've added items to the bike for the job boosting it's dry weight to about 50 lbs with my weight
around 350 so the bike is carring about 400+ lbs before I add any groceries!!

The Schwinn runs true and smooth with nary a complaint and has now for several years. This
is the reason I prefer the older bikes from the 70's & 80's.
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