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  1. #1
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    Bicycle Load Capacity

    Looking at my new Giant FCR-1 which has a rather delicate look with its widely spoked wheels, it occurred to me to wonder what the actual design load capacity or maximum gross weight of the bike is. This information is provided for all other vehicles I know of -- cars, trucks, motorcycles, of course airplanes -- it's usually on a placard somewhere on the vehicle. It seems odd that this information is not readily available for bicycles, where it's obviously an important consideration in how the bike is used. This has to have been considered in the design process, so why is it not made known to the user? Anyone else ever wonder about this?

    Lee

  2. #2
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Nope. Over loading a bike rarely cause death and destruction like a car or truck would over loaded.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Unless you are talking about a lighweight Alloy or C.F.Frame- The limit on how much you can load onto a bike- is "How heavy does it feel when you pedal it". Tyre loading will be a factor- but if it is that heavy- a slight slope and you will be walking. Then you will find out how heavy an overloaded bike is.

    Panniers and racks will have a "Safe" Maximum load that can be put on them- and I suppose a Clydesdale would have a degree of loading aswell. Then there is the Balance problem- Overloaded bikes will not be stable at slow speeds.

    Last year I came across a couple of Touring cyclists- They don't do it often but they reckoned they had 100lbs loaded on each bike. One was an old Cannondale and the other a Chromoly framed bike. What they both had in common were very low gears and strong wheels with hubs that felt as though they could do with a service.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
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    The width of a bike's tires are the best clue as to its design limits. A 21mm wide racing tire with an ultra-light racing rim is designed for a rider weighing 120 pounds to 180 pounds. A hybrid with a 35mm tire and a heavy duty rim is designed to handle riders weighing up to 250 pounds or so. A mountain bike with massive tires and heavy duty rims can handle 300 pound riders.

    Sadly, bike shops tend to steer everyone with a "fat" wallet to the 16 pound road bikes...even the 300 pound people who simply wanted to ride around the neighborhood to lose some weight.

  5. #5
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyoldbikes View Post
    The width of a bike's tires are the best clue as to its design limits. A 21mm wide racing tire with an ultra-light racing rim is designed for a rider weighing 120 pounds to 180 pounds. A hybrid with a 35mm tire and a heavy duty rim is designed to handle riders weighing up to 250 pounds or so. A mountain bike with massive tires and heavy duty rims can handle 300 pound riders.

    Sadly, bike shops tend to steer everyone with a "fat" wallet to the 16 pound road bikes...even the 300 pound people who simply wanted to ride around the neighborhood to lose some weight.
    Try steering someone with a weight issue away from the lightweight bikes sometime and you'll see the real issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyoldbikes View Post
    The width of a bike's tires are the best clue as to its design limits. A 21mm wide racing tire with an ultra-light racing rim is designed for a rider weighing 120 pounds to 180 pounds. A hybrid with a 35mm tire and a heavy duty rim is designed to handle riders weighing up to 250 pounds or so. A mountain bike with massive tires and heavy duty rims can handle 300 pound riders.

    Sadly, bike shops tend to steer everyone with a "fat" wallet to the 16 pound road bikes...even the 300 pound people who simply wanted to ride around the neighborhood to lose some weight.
    Wow. What a load of garbage post. Tires don't dictate weight capacity, wheel build does. I ride a road bike with 32 and 36 spoke wheels at 275 with no problems whatsoever, but my wheels were professionally built by a master wheelsmith.

    Good bike shops don't practice that kind of sales tactic. You're just used to buying cars too much on credit.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  7. #7
    Nighttime Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Wow. What a load of garbage post. Tires don't dictate weight capacity, wheel build does. I ride a road bike with 32 and 36 spoke wheels at 275 with no problems whatsoever, but my wheels were professionally built by a master wheelsmith.

    Good bike shops don't practice that kind of sales tactic. You're just used to buying cars too much on credit.
    Tires are also a limiting factor.
    the Schwalbe has the weight limit of each tire type and size combination.

    CE

  8. #8
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
    Tires are also a limiting factor.
    the Schwalbe has the weight limit of each tire type and size combination.

    CE
    Tire weight limit is meaningless if the wheels are crap.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  9. #9
    Nighttime Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    Tire weight limit is meaningless if the wheels are crap.
    Same with the tires....

    CE

  10. #10
    W A N T E D Juggler2's Avatar
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    But what if the load is actual "crap"?

  11. #11
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    Not ever having taken physics in high school,(All I wanted was out,big mistake) I would think that the determining factor for the load limit of a bike would be the wheels. I am not sure how/where the frame materials and or design would would factor in.

    A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. (I think I heard that somewhere,makes sense to me)
    I have seen ads for the Yuba Mundo saying they had a load capacity in the neighborhood of 400 pounds. Way more weight than I would want to pedal down the road---coming from someone whose bicycle weighs in at approx. 112 pounds.

    I personally have hauled close to a hundred pounds on my bike

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