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  1. #1
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Excess weight and wheel durability

    I've been looking at a hybrid or two with a thought to using it for help with dieting. I used to be a road bike rider (still have my '84 Gitane Tour de France and an almost-as-old Trek 1500) but they have fallen by the wayside as I've aged and ballooned up over the past few years. Hard to believe I even raced citizen's class many years ago. Now if I want to ride at all I need something a little more friendly to my back, but still zippy and responsive, at least till I'm at a more reasonable weight and a little more flexible (though with ongoing lower back issues it remains to be seen if that flexibility ever returns). I've seen some posts here from larger guys, so I thought I'd join the fray.

    My question is this: Are the high-zoot Bontrager wheels on the Trek 7500FX going to hold up under a 280-lb rider? I know how to ride "light", using my legs to absorb shock. If I see it coming, I never hit anything while acting as dead weight on the saddle. Am I an idiot to be concerned about these things folding like a taco when I climb on board? What have other heavier riders found?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    I don't think any of these new wheels with a low spoke count hold up on a heavier rider. I have been over 250 pounds in the past and still rode over 7000 miles a year. I think all people over about 220 should look at using 36 spoke hand built wheels. In fact, on my road bike I have two sets of wheels. One set is a 20 spoke Bontrager Race Lite and the other is a 36 spoke CXP33/Chorus/Sapim spoked setup that is as true as the day I bought them which was several thousand miles ago.

  3. #3
    But Getting Smaller Bigmark's Avatar
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    I have Bontager select invert on a Matrix 750 rim (36 spoke) under my Gary Fisher Tiburon, and they hold up to my 306 large economy sized frame. I tagged an H of a hole the other day, and I figured I would be in for some straightening, but when I put it on my alignment stand it was still true.
    ~~"Get on your bikes and ride!"~~
    Working to be JustMark

  4. #4
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    I weigh about 230, down from 270 a year ago, and I've never had much success with any road wheel with fewer than 36 spokes. 32-hole mountain bike wheels work OK, I assume because the tires cushion them from the worst of the shock, but even expertly hand-built road wheels seem to get wobbly under me in a few hundred miles, and I often break spokes or pull them out of the rim when I try to go too light.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lookinUp's Avatar
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    I recently purchased the 7500FX and am 225#. Looking at the wheels that came with the bike and reading the posts here, I knew they would probably not hold up to my weight - HOWEVER, I ended up buying the upgraded wheels with the disc brakes and they are much more substantial. Haven't checked the spoke count but guessing it would be 32. You might ask around the forums for input on those wheels.

    Trek Madone 5.2 wsd

  6. #6
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight, Bigmark. I think we might have some common cycling needs and concerns. 306 is where I topped out a little over a year ago. Last trip to the doctor (6 weeks ago) I was at 275. I believe there's hope around the corner for us all.

  7. #7
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Velo Dog and lookinUp - thanks for the repllies. I appreciate all the info I can get from fellow bigguys.

    Test rode a Fisher Marlin on Friday, and may end up with that, assuming they don't want a lot of money to swap to more road-friendly tires and they can get the stem where I need it. It sure seemed like a sweet bike for the money. My LBS sells it for $470.

  8. #8
    But Getting Smaller Bigmark's Avatar
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    270 is what I am looking for. If I would get serious about my diet again I would be there in a short time, but with riding I am not afraid of eating some carbs. My LBS didnít have the Marlin until after I got my Tiburon. It is a great bike, and if they can fit you to the bike I am sure you will be happy. I am sure they will switch your tires without even batting an eye.

    If you get a chance after tomorrow, check out my web page, and I will have a shot of my tires and rims posted. As of yet, I canít find anything about my bike I can complain about. I do think I am going with a solid stem and a different seat. The seat is only comfortable for about 20 miles. After that, I need to get off for a while. I think it is the seat is to soft, and hits me where it shouldnít.

    Anyhow, let us know what you end up with, and how the LBS treats you.
    ~~"Get on your bikes and ride!"~~
    Working to be JustMark

  9. #9
    610
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    I'm pushing 300 lbs and I bought a bicycle made for a heavy people: Kona Hoss Deluxe. The wheels on it are outstanding! You can always substitute the knobs for slicks if you so choose.

  10. #10
    Giant-Riding Ogre Don Gwinn's Avatar
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    306 is where you topped out . . . . and I'm really excited about getting down to 308 . . . what a world, what a world!

    I asked the guy at the LBS about durability for someone my size (he reads BF) and he showed me his bike--a REALLY light road bike with (I think he said) 18-spoke wheels. He weighs around 275 or so and says he has over 3000 miles on that bike this year with no problems. He seemed to think this stuff gets over-analyzed on the intertronic forumwebs.

    Honestly, he made me rethink my whole idea of what I want in my new bike. I thought I needed something upright, so a hybrid. I thought that because of my size; I didn't think I could be comfortable getting so low. But having experienced the difference just road slicks made in The August and Venerable Huffy Mountain Bike, I wonder if I'll be satisfied with a hybrid or if I'm just going to want more and more speed as I progress.
    _________________________________________________

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  11. #11
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the feedback. I would have said so sooner, but got real busy at work in addition to trying to get unpacked and organized here at home (just built a new house). And to you, BigMark, especially, thanks for your fitness/weight tracking files. I just haven't had time to look at them yet.

    I think the Marlin will probably be purchased next weekend when my brother is visiting from Oak Park. It'll give him some vicarious kicks. In the meantime I have to learn how to use this new miter saw I got for some of the miscellaneous trim work that still needs to be done.

    I can't tell everyone how much I'm looking forward to riding again.

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