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  1. #1
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    Folding bikes for Big/Tall

    I was wondering if any of you folding bike owners are Big/tall people, I'm talking 6'0"+ and say 250lbs+ size.
    I'm really interested in getting a folding bike, but I don't know if the bike can handle my weight for one,
    and two be comfortable to ride. My dimensions are 6'3" around 280lbs.

    If the weight is too much, can I just replace the wheels and tires to support my larger size? I don't see why not?

    I've ridden several normal off the shelf mountain bikes at my current size, if not heavier and had very few problems.

    I've been looking at several different brands of folding bikes: Dahon, Downtube, Citizen Bike, Tikit, and Birdy.
    They all look like great folding bikes, but all list very low max weights on their spec sheets.
    Have they just not been tested on heavier weights or are these folding bicycles simply not
    for bigger people?

    Any information would be most helpful.

    Thank You.

  2. #2
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    The thread you posted right on top of addresses this very issue: Please help me out

    The monocoque Birdy is way overbuilt, as is the Moulton. Both would need adjustments to the suspension (Birdy: green rear elastomer or custom if you like the ride stiff, solid front). Bike Friday will do a custom build and they are also probably overbuilt. That said, at 6'3"/280, I would feel more comfortable on a custom Friday or a Moulton than any other bike if I were you because of the seatpost length.

  3. #3
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    Thank you for a response. I was typing my thread, posted it, and when I got back to the main page I saw the thread right underneath mine. Weird we posted around the same time, with similar situation.

  4. #4
    Weakling
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    But that guy did a bad choice. How could any of us know
    without looking that it was about being tall and overweight
    Please help me out
    such subject line could be about whatever.

    A moderator should change it so it show what it is all about.

  5. #5
    Weakling
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    It seems that even Mobiky doesn't carry your weight

    Mobiky Genius has maximum load of 240 lbs.
    Adjustable height allows up to 6' tall

    The Brompton is designed for loads not exceeding 110kg (rider)
    plus 20kg (luggage) so that one 242lb could maybe not carry you either?

    I have the same problem as you have. I'm
    194cm which if I remember is 6' 4" or so.
    And my weight is around 95 kg or 210lb
    I use an old Microbike just now which could
    handle 110kg if new but now when the plastic
    wheels are old they easily brittle the designer told me.

    but I long for to buy something else. The bike I like the best
    have 85kg as highest weight. Carryme from Pacific Cycles Taiwan.
    Last edited by Weakling; 01-19-08 at 02:41 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klink77 View Post
    I was wondering if any of you folding bike owners are Big/tall people, I'm talking 6'0"+ and say 250lbs+ size.
    I'm really interested in getting a folding bike, but I don't know if the bike can handle my weight for one,
    and two be comfortable to ride. My dimensions are 6'3" around 280lbs.

    If the weight is too much, can I just replace the wheels and tires to support my larger size? I don't see why not?

    I've ridden several normal off the shelf mountain bikes at my current size, if not heavier and had very few problems.

    I've been looking at several different brands of folding bikes: Dahon, Downtube, Citizen Bike, Tikit, and Birdy.
    They all look like great folding bikes, but all list very low max weights on their spec sheets.
    Have they just not been tested on heavier weights or are these folding bicycles simply not
    for bigger people?

    Any information would be most helpful.

    Thank You.
    Dahon sells extra long seatposts. I know a 6'3" inch rider who rides a Dahon. Check their web site under accessories.

    David

  7. #7
    Bop
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    Journey-man
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    6'4", was 240 when I first got it my Swift. Love it.

  8. #8
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Actually, thinking about this, I would think that 300 pounds and 5'10 would be more than fine on most folders, but 280 pounds and 6'3" would be ideally left to the Bike Friday or Moulton folks. At issue is the fact that the extra long seat post will have a good deal of stress on it at the point in which it goes into the frame. Of course, you could always go steel, which Brompton will do.

    Remember that bikes designed for high load touring have a lot of extra metal on them. The Birdy frame is now 1Kg heavier than the earlier frame designed for commuting alone. Everyone with 8Kg Birdies on their forum have older frames.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sprockets's Avatar
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    I am 6'3", 210lbs and have a Bike Friday Pocket Llama and an alloy Avenir 6 speed. Side by side it is obvious that the BF Pocket Llama is a much better fit than the Avenir, though I think the Avenir would have no problem with a 6 footer. I got the largest BF available and it is just right for me. That said the Avenir is still comfortable, good for slower recreational riding and cost about 1/8 the price of my BF. It really depends on what you want it for. If you're looking to repace a full size bike then I say go Bike Friday. Otherwise, consider something else.
    *************************
    As god as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

  10. #10
    Senior Member Foldable Two's Avatar
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    I'm 6'3" (barefoot) - used to be 6'4" when I was younger - just the way it goes at 65. I weigh about 205 dressed and have a 6'6" arm span.

    I have both a Dahon S1 and a Bike Friday NWT. Until I got the NWT a few months ago, I also had a Dahon Boardwalk D7.

    I use(d) Thudbuster seat posts on all three bikes as they are more comfortable and also offer maybe a 1/2" more seat post extension on the Dahons. The 'Biologic' stem riser on the D7 gave adequate reach, but I have installed short bar ends on the S1 to make the position comfortable. The S1 is a 2005 model and has the vertically adjustable stem which greatly helps achieving that comfortable riding position. I have ridden 20-25 miles on the S1 several times.

    My custom made Bike Friday, on the other hand, is an XXL sized frame (62cm effective top-tube length). The bar ends are just to give me a different hand position.

    Have to add one other opinion: The NWT is far faster and easier to ride than either of the Dahons, period. The wife feels the same about her Pocket Crusoe vs. her old D7.

    We are out here in an RV park in Cannon Beach, OR as I write this. Even though it's a bit cold and has rained on and off, we have managed to get in a couple of bike rides in the last five days. It's also nice to have the bikes stored in our 4Runner, both safe and out of the weather.
    Last edited by Foldable Two; 02-20-08 at 05:01 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Trucker_JDub's Avatar
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    I an 6'1" and 341lbs. (I was 351 when I got this bike at the first of this year) and I am comfortable on my 20" Montague Paratrooper. I have a couple inches left I could go up on the seat post. I sent several emails to the company to find the weight spec for the bike and all I got back was 'you should be fine' It wasn't until after I got it that I learned the weight limit is about 250lbs. I figured what the heck I have a no questions asked 90 day return on it so I will give it a shot. I am careful on it mainly for my weight. I am treating it more like people would treat a race or road bike. Avoiding curbs and big potholes and nothing crazy. Only smooth trails and pavement for me at least until my weight comes down more. I have been looking over it very carefully after each ride for signs that I'm too fat and have not found any. I am planning on changing out the front fork though. I want a stiffer shock. I have not bottomed this one out while riding but I find that on quick turns with my weight it dips farther then I like and can give an unstable feeling (but I am 60lbs heavier then you).

    This is my .02, good luck with your search.

  12. #12
    Car free since 1995 pm124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trucker_JDub View Post
    I an 6'1" and 341lbs. (I was 351 when I got this bike at the first of this year) and I am comfortable on my 20" Montague Paratrooper. I have a couple inches left I could go up on the seat post. I sent several emails to the company to find the weight spec for the bike and all I got back was 'you should be fine' It wasn't until after I got it that I learned the weight limit is about 250lbs. I figured what the heck I have a no questions asked 90 day return on it so I will give it a shot. I am careful on it mainly for my weight. I am treating it more like people would treat a race or road bike. Avoiding curbs and big potholes and nothing crazy. Only smooth trails and pavement for me at least until my weight comes down more. I have been looking over it very carefully after each ride for signs that I'm too fat and have not found any. I am planning on changing out the front fork though. I want a stiffer shock. I have not bottomed this one out while riding but I find that on quick turns with my weight it dips farther then I like and can give an unstable feeling (but I am 60lbs heavier then you).

    This is my .02, good luck with your search.
    Dear Trucker,

    Great to hear that they feel that there is no problem. There aren't enough manufacturers out there building inexpensive bikes for bigger and taller folks. Any engineers know whether this is status quo in the industry? I would think that well built hinge-less frames would be fine for most folks, so long as the seatpost isn't overextended height wise. Bike Fridays are great, but not everyone can afford to drop $2000 on a bike.

    Smaller people are also at a huge disadvantage everywhere except Japan. (Where, ironically, most young people are quite tall.) My partner is short, and fine on her bike, but there is about a foot of unneeded seatpost under her and about a Kg of unneeded aluminum on the bike as a whole. She could also use a lower bottom bracket, as her ideal crank length is about 155.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
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    I'm in the same weight category, I'd also vote for Montague. I've taken a Montague CX with me on several overseas trips. My last was a 1000km+ loaded touring ride along the Queensland coast in Australia (I installed a rear rack from tubus), followed by a 3000km bus trip to return from Cairns to Darwin.

    The frame has proven to be pretty strong (and sufficiently stiff for comfort). The bike has hardly any original components left though. Changed from 7 to 8 gears, replaced my rear wheel with an extra strong custom built one (spokes kept breaking ; now using a tandem hub, an Atomlab Pimp rim and DT Swiss Alpine III spokes). Had a rear dropout bent by an airline - they had to be replaced (I'm using a bag for transportation, that way one-way transfers are no problem - I'd now take off the rear derailleur prior to air transportation) ; my front rim was worn out by braking so replaced the front wheel as well,....

    My last change were the Bowden cables to the rear derailleur ; they kept getting clogged up by dust so had them replaced by a less segmented type,...

    If strength and/or compact transportation are important, I'd choose the CX over the other models (more compact (threaded mount front fork is more compact after stem is removed), quite strong steel rear triangle, fixed steel fork, ...)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pm124 View Post
    Bike Fridays are great, but not everyone can afford to drop $2000 on a bike.
    I don't know... There are some folks at my office that make very modest salaries that spend more than that on HD TVs. I'd say it's a matter of priorities rather than cost alone. To me a bike easily pays for itself in enjoyment, exercise, and gas. A television has no value once purchased, saves no gas, and fends off no medical conditions with life-giving exercise, yet many low income folks purchase expensive televisions. $2000 is pretty easy to make up over a year or two of very modest saving. I also never realized what a difference a really good bike makes until I took the plunge. I always remind myself that I can buy a dozen very nice bikes and still have it cost less than a car.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klink77 View Post
    I've been looking at several different brands of folding bikes: Dahon, Downtube, Citizen Bike, Tikit, and Birdy.
    They all look like great folding bikes, but all list very low max weights on their spec sheets.
    Have they just not been tested on heavier weights or are these folding bicycles simply not
    for bigger people?[/LEFT]
    I'd stay away from this forum for a question like that and call up the manufacturers and discuss it with each of them. I would suspect that a few have some degree of customization available, like Bike Friday for example. True folders (like the Tikit as opposed to a Pocket Rocket) are more difficult to customize. I'd be hesitant to take anyone's word but the designer's on what it will hold, but any engineered device has a factor of safety. A bike is subject to a fair amount of fatigue, so the effects of overburden wouldn't likely be apparent immediately if you were over-stressing the frame or connections. Fatigue failures are usually rather sudden and therefore potentially dangerous. In any case, at your size you'd definitely want to go with a low cost/high fatigue resistant material like steel. As for the height... you'll just have to try them out, again with guidance from the manufacturer on customization.

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