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  1. #1
    Senior Member ollin's Avatar
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    Tall, heavy rider. (I know, I know...)

    I'm a wide framed 1.90m (6'3'') 108kg (238lb) mexican with an undying love of all things bicycle. I already own a loaded touring rig/urban commuter and a retrogrouch Path Racer I made from an old hercules frame, but I feel i'm still incomplete without a folder to take with me whenever i need to hop on a plane or ride the subway with friends; luckily enough, my city's bike community is growing rapidly and there is a wide offer of Tern, Dahon and Brompton.

    I know i'm really on the verge of maximum weight (Tern link D8 is 110kg, so is Brompton), and my question is; is it really OK to ride this bikes being so close to maximum weight? Which bike would be more resilient and durable, Brompton or Tern Link? I've ridden both and the brompton felt a little more slinky, but that might be a good thing, right? wrong? Is the "steel bends, aluminum snaps" proverb true for folders too? I've read somewhere that bromptons, however slower, are designed to be 3x or 4x as durable as terns or dahons, is this true?

    Any other mastodon-size rider out there care to share their experience?

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    Large Bike Friday Tikit with the heavy rider upgrade is what you probably need. Yes, it will cost a bit more, but you'll be within the weight limit.

    As for the bikes you noted, I think they're all good bikes... and yes, you can ride them if you're a bit over the weight limit. I'm also around the same weight as you, though a few inches shorter. I had a Giant Halfway and now a Bike Friday Tikit.

  3. #3
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    I have a friend who's asked to ride my Tern Link P9. He's not had the opportunity yet, but when he does I'll let him ride it. He's 6'2" and 285lbs (incidentally, he's Mexican as well, though he's often mistaken for Samoan). I can't think of anyway he could hurt my Tern.

    There's no flex in the Tern Link P9. Between Tern (with the Physis handle post) and Brompton, I'd choose Tern.

    In a Tern, the wheels would be the weakest link, though I don't think they would be a problem. If they were problematic, you could always build up 36-hole Sun CR18s, or just a rear 36h CR18. CR18 rims are available in the right size and a 36 spoke, double wall rim would be overkill for you. Conversely, it would seem the frame would be the weak link on a Brompton...
    73 Raleigh 20
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  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Extended seat post on Bromptons is also a thicker wall tube, for strength..

  5. #5
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    Sounds like some enterprising cycle maker needs to start a line of "Big & Tall Folders" made of hightech materials....sure seem to be enough Clydesdales/Athenas who WOULD ride folders if they werent left out of the market!

    Heres a thought: i know the older folders like the Raleigh Twenty are supposed to be pretty rugged, anyone know if they are okay for a rider in ollin's class? maybe he could find a refurbished one or get one fixed up??

  6. #6
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    oh and the video reviewer on NYCE Wheels is over 6 ft and says he had no problems on the Terns....

  7. #7
    Senior Member ollin's Avatar
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    @Lalato: Sounds good but it's way over my budget and I would need to have it imported here :/ have you ridden a brompton or tern? what did you prefer?

    @hopperja: So you think it's better for the frame to be completely stiff rather than allowing for a little flex? The tern link d8 I tried did seem super stiff, not much different from 22.5" aluminum trek, but i thought flex was a good thing for durability.

    @mancunian: Or I need to start losing some pounds!

    Has anyone so close to the weight limit found himself with a broken brompton frame after a nasty pothole? Any experiences?

  8. #8
    Senior Member ollin's Avatar
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    Also; will they take me to the scale if I actually brake it?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lalato's Avatar
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    I"ve had test rides on both the Brompton and the Dahon (which is similar to the Tern). The Brompton had a bit more flex to it, but I felt that both bikes could support my weight. Part of the "flex" I felt on the Brompton was related to the rear suspension on the bike, not the metal it was made out of.

    Generally speaking, stiffer is better, but it depends a lot on rider preferences and the road surfaces you're on. The difference in stiffness between these bikes is minimal compared to a road bike.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Yea there is a Firm suspension and the Standard one..

    Bromptonofiles have even stiffened them up further with automotive motor valve springs.

    Also; will they take me to the scale if I actually brake it?
    .. why how Fast was it going?

  11. #11
    Senior Member ollin's Avatar
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    @fietsbob That's very interesting about the stronger seat post, i did notice that the Terns had thicker ones than the bromptons, they also had thicker steering risers but they are aluminum and the bromptons' are steel, i wonder which one would be stronger?

    Did not think about the suspension issue before, i suppose it is an improvement to have some suspension when you're handling a lot of weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    .. why how Fast was it going?
    I meant the weight scale

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pinigis's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the recommeded maximum weights are not not set at the breaking point, there is a safety margin to account for impact loads caused by hitting bumps, going off of curbs, etc. The impact load can often be twice the weight of the rider. So, if a bike has a 220 lb. rider jumps off of a curb there may be a 440 lb. instantaneous load on the front tire and fork, while a 300 lb. rider will caluse a 600 lb. instantaneous load. The maximum rider weight is set with these conditions in mind. If you way more than the bike is rated to handle, be extra careful in avoiding inpact loads.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ollin's Avatar
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    True, true. They set the limits with legal liability in mind, i suppose. They might be able to take a little more weight like tires can take much more pressure that the stipulated max. I suppose i'll be fine then (maybe being a little more cautious jumping curbs). Still trying to decide between Tern and Brompton, i have not gotten any comments regarding durability, would supple steel be more durable than rigid aluminum?

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fietsbob
    .. why how Fast was it going?
    I meant the weight scale
    then you need to use the word: Break, instead of brake.


    freno vs fractura (web translation)
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-25-12 at 11:56 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ollin's Avatar
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    Sorry, English is not my mother tongue.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Any reason for suggesting just these two bikes?
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

  17. #17
    Senior Member ollin's Avatar
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    Availability, mostly.

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    In Brompton's Case, the extended seatpost is no larger, Outside Diameter,
    but tube wall is 30% thicker..

    Taller yet the telescopic seatpost, is the way to Go..

    H is for Higher in the handle bar mast .. so H 6 is a taller 6 speed .

    No long term data on Tern, the company is very new.

  19. #19
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    I'm 6'7'', 238lbs... Just got my Tern Link D8, best $600 I've ever spent. It feels super sturdy, and the seat can go high enough to where it is even too high for me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Xootr Swift will treat you right. It is rated for #250 or #260 but I am well north of that and have never had any problems. the thing is pretty much bulletproof and rides like a normal bike. I'm sure Bike Friday is great too but you have to pay extra for their "heavy rider" option - yuck.
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  21. #21
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ollin View Post
    Did not think about the suspension issue before, i suppose it is an improvement to have some suspension when you're handling a lot of weight.
    Suspension can be in many places on a bike. The old (and lightest, apart from Bromptons rubberblock) option is a sprung seat (like a Brooks Flyer) and fat tyres (like Scwalbe BA`s).
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  22. #22
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    then you need to use the word: Break, instead of brake.


    freno vs fractura (web translation)
    Stopp picking on him and work on your grammar instead old man!
    °Empty drums make a lot of noice... (Old Hungarian proverb).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinigis View Post
    If you way more than the bike is rated to handle, be extra careful in avoiding inpact loads.
    I'm 6', 240lbs and ride an alu framed Dahon D7. Nothing, save for maybe the cheap, folding plastic pedals which display flex under foot, feels like it's being taxed to death, but I do take care to ride more conservatively than I might otherwise. No curb launching or wheelies, and not even any aggressive hammering where I'd be torquing on the handlebars heavily.

    At first I was concerned riding like that would be hard to do and not very much fun, but really, the character of the bike doesn't encourage one to do that anyway, so it has been no problem. It's a bike more for easy cruising, and the way the folder fit into my stable and how I actually use it perfectly mesh with that.

    To give you an example, I often ride along with my 6 year old on it; it's stable at low speeds, and the upright position keeps me attentive to what's going on around me. Similarly, if I throw it in the car with me to go explore a new town, or use it on the train to get to a business meeting, these are uses where I don't want to get in a sweaty workout, but rather to relax and enjoy the journey.

    To the OPs question of steel vs. alu, I'd suggest not to worry about that too much, as both materials make bikes that usually, even in the cheapest models, outlive the time anyone wants to ride them! I'd bet most failures are not of frame joints, but components. I don't have data to back that up, but that's what my experience (with bikes in general) tells me. All that said, the frame gusset between the main tube and the seat tube on my Dahon does give me an extra measure of comfort!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmother View Post
    Stopp picking on him and work on your grammar instead old man!
    Yeah, that struck me as funny, too, coming from fietsbob, whose contributions I adore, but often can't figure out what the heck they mean!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  25. #25
    Senior Member ollin's Avatar
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    @fietsbob: Great info about the seat post, it sounds like it might be more sturdy than tern's. Great info about vocabulary as well! hehe.

    @chaadster: Exactly what i needed to hear, knowledge from experience. Given all this, i think i'll be fine on any of the foldables as long as I don't overdo the mountain downhill thing, right? (kidding ).

    Thanks all for replying, let's hope that the manufacturers soon realize that large people have feelings too or that we lose weight hehe. I'll post some pics and impressions when i get around deciding between tern and brompton. (all others are unavailable i'n my 3rd world paradise)

    Ride On!

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