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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 02-01-05, 02:11 AM   #1
ceewink
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Road bike for 350 pound man? Does it exist?

I need some advice: Is there any such thing as a road bike for a 350 pound man (5'9")? If so, what make? Or, does he have to start out with a mountain bike then switch to road later?

What is the typical weight limit for a steel frame road bike?

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-01-05, 02:20 AM   #2
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I have heard of people riding steel bikes and even lb bikes weighing that much. You would have to definitly look for a good strong wheelset, 32+ spokes and good rim. Seat post can be an issue in carbon so steel or Al is advised. The best bet is to go to your LBS and tell them about your situation and go from there...
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Old 02-01-05, 02:25 AM   #3
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A cyclocross frameset could be the thing here.
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Old 02-01-05, 03:01 AM   #4
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I don't know where you'd find a definitive answer for this, but I'd really think your best bet would be a mountain bike, not just from a durability standpoint, but also because it might allow for a more comfortable, upright riding position, and the comfort of suspension. Good luck btw - very cool!
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Old 02-01-05, 03:07 AM   #5
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I wouldn't worry about the frame so much. Biggest weakness of road bikes is the rear wheel (which carries 60% of the weight). Mtn biks have stronger rear wheels because the rear hub is wider and the spokes aren't dished as much on the side where the cassette is carried.


If you really want a road bike/mtn bike.....definitely get a 36 spoke rear wheel.
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Old 02-01-05, 08:06 AM   #6
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I started riding last year at 367 pounds. I started on a hardtail Mountain bike, and I agree that it was much more comfortable and kept me going until I lost some weight. I just swapped out the tires for some slicks and added bar ends for additional hand positions.

Once I lost 70 pounds I got a Specialized Sequoia...the entry level model without carbon stays...and rode it for a while. I had a 40 hole rear and a 36 hole front. I rode that bike without problems for about 2000 miles.

Once I got down a little more, I switched to the Giant TCR Composite 1. I now am at 250 pounds, and I have a 32 hole front and 36 hole rear. I have no problems with these wheels either. By the time the weather gets good here in Illinois, I hope to be down a few more pounds and I'll be getting some different wheels. Not sure what,....but I really like the look of Spinergys.

I would definitely recommend going with a mountain bike first just for the comfort level. If a rider is not comfortable, he more than likely won't stick with it anyway. Once he realizes that he's gonna stick with cycling.....he'll be losing weight....then he can look into getting on a road bike.

That's just my experience....YMMV.

gary
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Old 02-01-05, 08:11 AM   #7
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Great book about a big guy on a bike...
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...000952-1210548
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Old 02-01-05, 08:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinhappy
Great book about a big guy on a bike...
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...000952-1210548

Great book, but I think the difference here is that the author was already cycling before he put on the pounds.
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Old 02-01-05, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinhappy
Great book about a big guy on a bike...
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/AS...000952-1210548
Great book. I received it for Christmas, and I read it in three days.
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Old 02-01-05, 11:12 AM   #10
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a mountain bike also would be better for a wider range of gearing making it easier to get up hills

if you live in georgia id recommend roswell bicycles im a heavy rider and they were great getting me set up on an appropriate bike
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Old 02-01-05, 11:12 AM   #11
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Ceewink - The idea of starting off on a mountain bike with slick tires and bar ends seems like a good approach. You'd probably be more comfortable, and the wider tires will be more comfortable and durable if you're riding on rough roads. Good luck! Let us know how you make out.
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Old 02-01-05, 10:27 PM   #12
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A road bike frame is strong enough, but getting road wheels strong enough would be difficult. Even lower priced mountain bikes come with strong wheels that are designed for big, beefy tires. So, a $300 mountain bike will do the job. A $600 road bike would need a set of $400 touring wheels, designed for use size 32 tires (and not every road bike can handle "big' tires).

The "stress" on new wheels can cause them to come out of true. A heavier rider would want to have the wheels checked out after a hundred miles or so, and then again in a few hundred miles. Keeping the wheels perfectly true reduces the chances of broken spokes, or other problems.
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Old 02-01-05, 10:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walnuts
I started riding last year at 367 pounds.

I now am at 250 pounds...
holy carp that's awesome!
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Old 02-01-05, 10:47 PM   #14
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Another forum member PoweredbyTRD had similar situation in the beginning. He started out from heavy duty MTB. As far as I can remember, he was heavier(than thread starter). He's now looking for a road bike(at least that's what I read from his post). Probably he can tell you a good story.
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Old 02-01-05, 11:26 PM   #15
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The best bike in the whole world is any bike that you just can't stop yourself from getting on and riding. That means it the one that fits you and is comfortable.

With that said, you probably wouldn't break a road bike, but you might not feel too comfortable on one.

I'm with those who say that you would do best to start out with a street-adapted MTB. With the right fit, high pressure tires, bar ends, and clipless pedals, you will be only 1 or 2 mph shy of what you would do if you had a road bike.
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Old 02-02-05, 12:27 AM   #16
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I would also suggest a heavy duty mountain bike. I would get one with full suspension, and also some of those hevier MTB road tires. Two reasons here.

1. Continental makes a really nice 2" road tire for MTB's, which is really smooth, since you want to ride the roads. Heavy tread on the road is kind of noisy.

2. I know you could easily ride a hard tail, but I think full suspension might be better to start off with. Mainly because of your weight. If you hit a pretty hard bump or pothole, there is a much higher possibility that you could damage the tire or throw the wheel out of true. The suspension will absorb that much better.
Also, with your weight where it is, if you have any back trouble, which is common, the suspension will be a Godsend. I also had a bad back before I lost some weight. The fact is, when you hit a hard bump, you could possibly injure yourself from the shock. It doesn't take much.

All I can say is, good for you, for wanting to get up and go. Whatever you choose to do, do it because you really want to, and have a great time doing it. Happy riding.
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Old 02-02-05, 12:31 AM   #17
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You can have road wheels built that will work fine.. I would recommend Mavic CXP 33 rims - 36 spoke is a must and 14 gauge spokes.. The good thing is that shimano and campy both make 36 holes hubs throught there line, so you can get shimano 105 - Ultegra or Dura ace is 36 hole.. If you go with anything less than 36 holes you will be truing wheels after every ride..

Open pro's rims might also work - also 36 hole
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Old 02-02-05, 06:55 AM   #18
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Even on a road bike you would benefit from wider tyres than std. Most road bikes are limitted to 25mm width by the available clearance. Some styles have more clearance so can take 32mm or wider tyres. Cyclo-cross style frames such as the Bianchi Volpe are a good choice. A handbuilt touring grade wheel (36 spokes with a tough rim) would be strong enough and probably stronger than those on a £300 MTB.
I think the suggestion to go with an MTB is good. Suspension will absorb the peak impacts and reduce stress to your bikes. Usually we recomend that road riders do NOT use suspension because this robs you of energy and can make it tricky to fit luggage rack and fenders. If you do go for an MTB, consider replacing the factory wheels with a handbuilt set, again of touring grade.
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Old 02-02-05, 06:32 PM   #19
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Either a touring bike or a recumbant would also make sense.
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