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Very large guy here, beef up my trek 8.3 ds?

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Very large guy here, beef up my trek 8.3 ds?

Old 05-28-20, 06:19 PM
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BigGuy305
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Very large guy here, beef up my trek 8.3 ds?


First of all thanks for any advice sent this way.


I bought this trek 8.3 ds xl size a couple years ago from a local bike shop after I walked in looking for something to ride on streets, side walks, and some bike paths with light gravel. I aLmost walked out with a 25Ē trek fx.

im nearly 390 pounds and 6í4-6í5. I donít think itís a bad bike but I think thereís some things I can do to suit me a little better. I havenít ridden it unfortunately in a while and thatís my fault. Since Iíve had it Iíve changed the handle bar riser to try to make it slightly more upright and Iíve added stronger pedals. I want to get back in to riding it to try and get some exercise and fresh air. Iím not against getting another bike but Iím not sure I have the time to scour Craigslist and check out a bunch of other bikes so If that was the best course of action Iíd end up buying new.

As it sits the tires are completely flat. I want to upgrade them and the tubes to something a little heavier duty and beefier. The same goes with potentially at least the rear wheel. Itís a 32 spoke 29 inch wheel. I feel like before even at a slightly lighter weight that when I sat on the bike the back tires and wheel would feel like they would want to scream. Can anyone point me in the right direction to upgrade these? Is there something I can buy off the shelf or from a web site ready to go that will fit? I know some people change the front fork too to something rigid. Mine has a lock out but itís still feels kind of iffy. Lastly the seat could be a little more comfortable. Any suggestions?

is it worth doing any of these things to my current bike? Iím mainly looking for something that can take the abuse better with out going out and spending 1,000+ dollars.

I feel like if I walk in to the 2 closest bike stores to me they are just going to try to sell me the biggest bike they have in stock.

Last edited by BigGuy305; 05-28-20 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 05-28-20, 06:47 PM
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What size tires are those? I know they're 700c (29" tires), I mean the width. And is there much room around the chainstays and seat stays with those tires on? It would probably help to put larger tires on that bike, as in as large as you can fit. The Trek site for this bike says 38C tires, but I don't know if they're just saying that's what comes on the bike, or that's the largest tires they could support. If it'll take 38mm tires and the tires on it now aren't 38mm tires, my opinion would be that you find some 38mm tires and put on there, or even go larger if they'll fit.

The extra volume of those tires at max pressure would do more to cushion the little impacts as you run into uneven pavement and whatnot. What you don't want is for the wheels to "bottom out" in any kind of impact and pinch the innertube between the rim and the ground. Also, if you bottom out on any kind of impact then the impact forces will go straight into the rim instead of being cushioned by the air spring that the tire is. Also, you should try to "unweight" your saddle while riding over anything rough, large cracks in the pavement, etc. By that we mean if you see some uneven pavement or large crack or curb or whatever you either stand on the pedals, or at least press down hard on them and mostly lift yourself out of the saddle so that your legs can act as shock absorbers,

If you're looking for new wheels try to find some wheels with 36 spokes, or even more if you see them, at least for the rear wheel, which bears the brunt of the forces acting on the wheels due to the weight.
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Old 05-28-20, 08:40 PM
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It looks like it would fit a wider tire. Iím guessing thatís just what comes on it.

any experience with these? These seem to be the only wheels I could google to buy

https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...oducts_id=3556
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Old 05-29-20, 10:10 PM
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At your weight you'd be better off with smaller diameter wheels that have 36 spokes and double walled rims and some wider tires but if you do the best you can with 29s you will be a whole lot better off than you are now. At this point it's surprising you didn't have any problems already, even at 'just' 300 those wheels would probably have trouble eventually. I got some broken spokes even under 300 and with better setup for strength.
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Old 05-29-20, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BigGuy305 View Post
It looks like it would fit a wider tire. I’m guessing that’s just what comes on it.

any experience with these? These seem to be the only wheels I could google to buy

https://www.velomine.com/index.php?m...oducts_id=3556
That looks like a nice set of wheels for the price and would work well with the 40 spokes. Your bike looks good and that would be the only upgrade that I would do. And possibly wider tires. I didn't see how wide the tires are on that bike.

What kind of riding do you do? dirt?, roads?

Last edited by cyclist2000; 05-29-20 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 05-30-20, 01:22 AM
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I have zero experience with those wheels, but if I was riding at 390 lbs I'd be looking for wheels like that. At my highest weight ever I was 380 lbs, but by the time I started riding my mountain bike I was around 360-365 or so, and in the first few days of riding it I popped a couple spokes just riding off a curb while firmly seated in the saddle (so my whole weight came to bear on the wheel in an instant). If I'd stood up from the saddle I could probably have ridden off the curb without popping spokes, but that experience definitely gives me a certain attitude towards riding at those higher weights. I've read posts from folks who claimed to have weighed similar weights and rode wheels for years with low spoke counts just fine. Good for them. I wouldn't do it.

I'm in the 270s right now and my tough road bike wheelset has 36 spokes both front and rear for toughness and durability. In fairness, I'm building a new front wheel that will only use 28 spokes, but I have no plans to drop from 36 spokes in the rear at least until I'm in the very low 200s.
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Old 05-30-20, 04:00 AM
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I ended up getting a recommendation for another bike shop I felt comfortable with after talking to them. They are going to build me a 40 spoke wheel for the back. Iíll look at the front wheel after.
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Old 05-30-20, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BigGuy305 View Post
trek 8.3 ds xl ... 390 pounds and 6í4-6í5 ... I want to upgrade them and the tubes to something a little heavier duty and beefier. The same goes with potentially at least the rear wheel. Itís a 32 spoke 29 inch wheel.
Trek DS 8.5, here. Came much as your unit, but decided to thoroughly beef up the wheelset. Opted for Velocity Dyad, DT Swiss spokes and nipples, Shimano Deore XT 36H hubs, and Continental Tour Ride tires in 47-622 sizing. Vastly improved ride quality, stronger wheels and hubs. Heavier than what came on the bike, by a good margin. But, nary a creak or groan or "pop" in years of use over moderately-potholed urban streets in all weather. If I were to do it all over again, I'd likely opt for the Velocity Cliffhanger rims, possibly the Rhyno Lite XL. Four-cross lacing, at least 36H. If I were in the 175lb range, I might go 32H.

I'd have no problem with a set of those Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite rims in 40H. Looks reasonably strong, assuming of course that the builder knew what he/she was doing. (Don't know much about the Origin8 hubs, there, so can't speak to those.) Anyway, years ago heavy-laden tourers would often opt for the Rhyno Lite rims, with 40H. By all accounts, very stout and able to withstand heavier loads.

If you're more of an upright riding position person, then by all means do it. If it helps improve comfort, ease of use. I'm in the process of tweaking a Trek 970 for upright fairly upright riding. A no-name riser/swept bar with five inches of rise and about seven inches of pull-back (sweep), adjustable-height stem, Brooks B67 saddle. Which, for me, has made all the difference in the world, for comfort. I'm nowhere near as tall or heavy a rider, but the improvement is still dramatic. A seemingly pointless "improvement" to a very capable MTB frame, but worthwhile to have it with improved ride characteristics for urban streets while being beefier for rougher surfaces. (Won't be doing much cross-country stuff, which is why I wasn't too worried about the alterations.)

I seem to remember a product recall on the forks, at least for the vintage of DS 8.5 I had. (SR Suntour NRX, in my case, but it's been awhile.) Depending on vintage, if you haven't already evaluated that, check with your dealer. Issue with the ends of the forks snapping off under hard riding, IIRC.
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Old 05-30-20, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Trek DS 8.5, here. Came much as your unit, but decided to thoroughly beef up the wheelset. Opted for Velocity Dyad, DT Swiss spokes and nipples, Shimano Deore XT 36H hubs, and Continental Tour Ride tires in 47-622 sizing. Vastly improved ride quality, stronger wheels and hubs. Heavier than what came on the bike, by a good margin. But, nary a creak or groan or "pop" in years of use over moderately-potholed urban streets in all weather. If I were to do it all over again, I'd likely opt for the Velocity Cliffhanger rims, possibly the Rhyno Lite XL. Four-cross lacing, at least 36H. If I were in the 175lb range, I might go 32H.

I'd have no problem with a set of those Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite rims in 40H. Looks reasonably strong, assuming of course that the builder knew what he/she was doing. (Don't know much about the Origin8 hubs, there, so can't speak to those.) Anyway, years ago heavy-laden tourers would often opt for the Rhyno Lite rims, with 40H. By all accounts, very stout and able to withstand heavier loads.

If you're more of an upright riding position person, then by all means do it. If it helps improve comfort, ease of use. I'm in the process of tweaking a Trek 970 for upright fairly upright riding. A no-name riser/swept bar with five inches of rise and about seven inches of pull-back (sweep), adjustable-height stem, Brooks B67 saddle. Which, for me, has made all the difference in the world, for comfort. I'm nowhere near as tall or heavy a rider, but the improvement is still dramatic. A seemingly pointless "improvement" to a very capable MTB frame, but worthwhile to have it with improved ride characteristics for urban streets while being beefier for rougher surfaces. (Won't be doing much cross-country stuff, which is why I wasn't too worried about the alterations.)

I seem to remember a product recall on the forks, at least for the vintage of DS 8.5 I had. (SR Suntour NRX, in my case, but it's been awhile.) Depending on vintage, if you haven't already evaluated that, check with your dealer. Issue with the ends of the forks snapping off under hard riding, IIRC.
thanks for the tips I will check on that recall. The owner or the most recent bike shop I went to is going to build me a back wheel he said from a ď40 hole velocity chucker rim with a sealed cartridge and 12
gauge spokes ď. Does that sound about right? He said he has build wheels for many big dudes including football players etc. he seems to be pretty knowledgeable. Iíd rather deal with someone local instead of just buying something online. Hopefully I wonít need to mess with the front wheel but Iím sure that would only keep it stronger.
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Old 05-31-20, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BigGuy305 View Post
thanks for the tips I will check on that recall. The owner or the most recent bike shop I went to is going to build me a back wheel he said from a ď40 hole velocity chucker rim with a sealed cartridge and 12
gauge spokes ď. Does that sound about right? He said he has build wheels for many big dudes including football players etc. he seems to be pretty knowledgeable. Iíd rather deal with someone local instead of just buying something online. Hopefully I wonít need to mess with the front wheel but Iím sure that would only keep it stronger.
Yeah, that'll do it.

Most wheelsets for "stouter" (than typical factory) builds seem to come with 36H, more or less. But usually the gauge of spokes is still 14ga or 15ga. Going to the Chukker (or similar rim, Dyad/Atlas/etc), 40H, tough 12ga spokes, 4-cross lacing ... and ensuring the build quality is as strongly and exactly done as can be ... it's hard to see how that wouldn't work well for you.

On the Trek DS, though, I'd recommend considering a wider rim. If willing to have much larger (wider) tires, the Velocity CliffHanger might be a suitable alternative. As compared to a 700x38 tire on the DS, at 6mm wider than the Chukker/Dyad/Atlas rims, the CliffHanger would give you the ability to effectively run 45mm-65mm tires. Higher volume, wider for better sidewall orientation (as compared to the skinnier factory rims with those 700x38s). It'll improve the ride quality, increase the "suspension" factor on rougher roads and with heavier loads. Ask your wheelbuilding guy about it. Very strong rim.
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