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  1. #1
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    Overweight biker has questions

    I recently bought a Trek DS 8.4. My rides are usually 10 to 12 miles on paved trails, once or twice a week, with a goal of riding similar distances 5 days a week - gotta get up earlier so it doesn't interfere with work and family. I hadn't though much about my weight being an issue (270lbs) for the bike until I read something about wheels wearing out for heavier riders. My rides have some hills, but no bumps or jumps. I'm wondering how concerned I should be, and if there is anything else I need to take into consideration.

  2. #2
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Check the Clydesdale Forum. They will have much better answers.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    No concerns, unless you start popping spokes, in which case you can replace your wheels with something more heavy duty. Nice bike, btw.

  4. #4
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I was up to a heaviest of 286 and ride a road bike. Never had a problem with the wheels on it and a mountain bike will be even more robust.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  5. #5
    Senior Member 1FJEF's Avatar
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    I am within 5lbs of you. Your issues will be with the back wheel. Nice bike by the way.

    Trek has a rider weight limit of 275 to 300lbs max for certain models.
    The rear wheel is my only problem. With my weight & that 32 spoke count & 38mm tire I would expect 1200-1500miles from that back wheel. I have gone through 4 or 5 rear wheels on various bikes recently, so I speak from experience.
    You can delay this by going to the widest rear tire that will fit your bike & ride it at the lowest pressure that will avoid pinch flats & rim impacts, the idea being to have the tire have some cushion & act as a shock absorber for the spokes.
    When you start breaking spokes you can fix your situation by having a custom wheel built. I'd go to a 36 spoke hub too. Peter White builds for heavy guys like us.
    I would expect no problem with your front wheel.

  6. #6
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    As I have said before on this other forums here I think riding style has more to with wheel issues than weight. As much as I am loath I am a a, what is that charming they word they use for us Gals? anyway I rider lots of rather light wheels with little trouble. I am very careful when riding and try my best to avoid obstacles liek potholes, curbs and the like. I knew lots of smaller riders who had wheel troubles simply because they rode through or over anything in their path.

    OH welcome to the forums and likely the best method of excericise on the planet! I wish you many happy years of cycling
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto, '90 Campione del Fausto Giamondi Specialisma Italiano Mundo, '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '86 Volpe, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '09 Motobecane SS, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  7. #7
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    I am new to bicycling and I am loving it. I am in the same boat as you are in (I weigh about 260 pounds) and I started riding bicycles to lose weight. I use a Mountian Bike.

    One thing I learn is that at least in the New Orleans area, the local bicycle shops have better employees than the box stores (Wal-Mart, Target, est.).

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the good feedback. This is exactly what I was looking for. Looks like I need to keep an eye on the back wheel. 1FJEF, thanks for the Peter White suggestion.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    This subject comes up all the time in the Clyde/Athena forum. Generally, you'll be OK as long as you don't go for punishing rides off-road (or over curbs) and you keep the bike (especially the spokes) well-tuned. The first sign of trouble is usually when the spokes start popping, but that normally happens with much heavier riders (which is why the heavier ones go for the higher-spoke count wheels). At 270 lbs on a paved trail you shouldn't have any problems, I'm 220 and I've gotten one of my bikes airborne several times, which had to put much more than 270 pounds on the wheels when landing and I haven't had any problems (full disclosure: I get all of my bikes professionally tuned once a year, which I'm sure helps a bit).

  10. #10
    Newbie TJPII's Avatar
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    I'm 280, and I have a 2011 Trek/ Gary Fisher Kaitai, which appears to be very similar to your ride. After about 70 miles I needed to have the rear wheel re-trued. After 120 I broke a spoke. 30 miles after that, I broke another and followed the suggestion of my LBS to buy a 36 spoke wheel. 60 miles on the new rim and so far no problems.

  11. #11
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    You might also check out Rich Lesnik of Hands On Wheels in California. I weigh 370 and do a mix of road and dirt riding and he just built me a rear wheel using a Velocity Dyad 40-spoke rim, an un-branded but tough hub and DTSwiss spokes. I should get it Thursday. I haven't had problems with my rear wheel yet but I wanted to upgrade from 7-speed to 9-speed so this was a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. When finances allow, I'll have him build me a matching front wheel.

    I will say I placed the order on a Monday and the wheel shipped the following Saturday. This, despite his website saying there will be significant delays for the rest of the month. Really good service!
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rustybyker View Post
    .... I hadn't though much about my weight being an issue (270lbs) for the bike until I read something about wheels wearing out for heavier riders. ....
    What happens is the rear bearings will wear out very fast, and the fronts may also. How you tell this is, when you hold the the bike up off the ground (or lay it upside down) and spin the wheel, it will make a 'klunking' noise as it spins freely, instead of spinning smoothly.

    AT least you will need a new hub, and it is worth considering replacing the spokes and rim also. It may be cheaper to just buy another whole rear wheel off Amazon, but don't do it. You want them to hand-build it, so the spokes are tensioned properly (not machine-built).

    You can have the shop reuse the existing spokes, but I wouldn't advise it. The cheapest spokes that the shop will put in are probably better quality than what the wheel has now. And the spokes only costs $12 or whatever anyway.

    If you are having a wheel built anyway, it is also worth considering replacing the rear rim. Tell them you want a wider "downhill" rim, there's cheap ones. A bit heavier, but much stiffer and stronger, and wider.

    The rear hub that Trek says is standard is the Shimano M475, that retails for around $27.
    A good choice for stepping up would be the Shimano M756, that sells for around $70.

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