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380lb. Want to ride a drop bar road Bike

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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

380lb. Want to ride a drop bar road Bike

Old 06-15-20, 07:06 PM
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dave73
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380lb. Want to ride a drop bar road Bike

Hi all, I am new here. I recently just lost 30lbs and I plan to keep on going. I am currently at 380lb / 6'3" and really want to get back to road riding to lose weight and get in shape. I have friends that want me to ride with them, and don't care about me probably lagging behind, but am I crazy to think a LBS will be able to build me a road bike that will hold me? I have a pretty large budget at $3000 as long as the bike will hold up. I really don’t want to get on a mountain bike or straight bar hybrid unless it is my only option, want to ride the bike I used to ride in the “old days”. Any help out there to validate for me and/or offer and ideas or possible models that may work? I realize I may need the LBS to custom build, especially the wheels.

Last edited by dave73; 06-16-20 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:45 AM
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My bet is that a drop-bar bike is out of the question for now, unless it's a drop bar handlebar mounted really high (as in no drop or even the handlebar is higher than the seat). I'm currently in the 270s and an inch shorter than you and even while riding the hoods my thighs still contact my gut while pedaling. My bike has around 60mm or so of drop. While riding the drops it's worse, and is one of the primary reasons I don't ride that drops that much. I think simple geometry will dictate that you'll need a bike with a fairly vertical riding position until you've shrunk some more.

Edited to add: With your $3000 budget you could easily buy a cheap bike with a more vertical riding position and ride it until you've lost some more weight, then buy the bike you really want. I was around 380 when I started my weight loss in earnest, was around 360-365 when I started riding my mountain bike with road-like tires on it, and around 275 when I bought a used road bike. I've ridden my road bike weighing more than that (up to around 290 or so) but it's far less comfortable. I honestly think your best bet is a more vertically oriented bike for now, and when you're down a hundred pounds or so then go for the drop-bar road bike.

Last edited by SethAZ; 06-16-20 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:48 AM
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Thanks Seth, appreciate the info.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:05 AM
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Go for it. They make Gravel, Cross Over, and Touring bikes for carrying loads. Most of the heavy weights are steel bikes. Drop bars can be added or some come with them.
Risers can be added for more upright position and removed later, as your body adapts. Drop bars give you more hand positions on long rides.
Count spokes you need a wheel with 36+ spokes. They make special spoke wheels and bigger tires for heavy weights.
Also important, get a bike that Fits and adjusted from your LBS. If it is not comfortable you will not ride it.

Good luck and RIDE RIDE RIDE
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Old 06-16-20, 11:10 AM
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Thanks 1979schwinn !!!
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Old 06-16-20, 11:42 AM
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I recommend a touring bike. It should be strong enough for you right out of the box.
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Old 06-16-20, 11:44 AM
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Thanks Tyrion!
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Old 06-16-20, 11:50 AM
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Another approach - this may well be above your budget however. Go to Leanard Zinn's site. He is a framebuilder/mechanic/bike guru who got into framebuilding as a person much too bike to fit any stock frame. Recently he has started marketing a semi-custom bike for riders who are big enough to destroy anything out there. He's been doing bikes for big people a long time, is a wealth of knowledge and is very approachable. You have nothing to lose going to his site or contacting him.

I see the KHS Fite 747 for $2100 in his non-custom page. https://zinncycles.com/non-custom-bikes.

Don't settle. Find the bike that sparks your passion!

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Old 06-16-20, 12:33 PM
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Cool, thanks.
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Old 06-16-20, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
I recommend a touring bike. It should be strong enough for you right out of the box.
Another plus is that you can often get bars level with, or even an inch or two above, the saddle on touring bikes. Start with the largest frame you can straddle and work from there.
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Old 06-16-20, 02:09 PM
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Think Surly Long Haul Trucker. It'll take wider tires, comes stock with a triple, sturdy wheels and no quick release on the seatpost clamp. A solid bike, I've owned two and never had one fail me. I'm 280lbs and don't ride with the kind of finesse I should. Just a thought.
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Old 06-16-20, 03:50 PM
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check out this surly https://surlybikes.com/bikes/midnight_special and just look around on the surly site
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Old 06-25-20, 03:15 PM
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The issue is Geometry, depending on your gut size you're not going to be able to bend over far enough to properly hold the handlebars, your thighs are going to hit your gut and bending over that far will also cause breathing issues with a big gut.
Look at a road bike when you get your waist down to under 40"
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Old 06-25-20, 05:38 PM
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It seems like we have this thread often....

Find a bike you like and fits and buy it. Get some 36 or 40 spoke quality wheels with it (or leave room in the budget) Enjoy.

I am a little taller at 6'6" but between 350-380lbs. My road bike is a Scott CR1-10, properly fitted and it has 10K+ miles on it. I went through some wheels early on from the LBS and have been riding on some Vuelta HD Clydesdale wheels for the majority of that mileage. I have a Velocity 36 spoke unused as a spare. The downside to this bike is the tire clearance (25's max) but once again, I have very few problems for many miles and the bike rides great and suits my needs well.

My gravel bike is a Jamis Renegade expert, once again with a Velocity 40 spoke wheel and it has 1k miles with no issues.

Both bikes required a stem flip to get the fit right for me.

My point is that you don't need a special bike for our weight. My Scott model was a race frame previous to bumping down their lineup to be an "endurance" bike. It is pretty light, extremely stiff and has not been a problem. Put good wheels on whatever you like and fits you properly (or can be made to fit) and enjoy

DaveW
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Old 06-25-20, 06:05 PM
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Thank you dwhitworth , you just made me feel a lot more comfortable with my decision, I really appreciate it. I decided to go with a mountain bike for light trail riding and paved trails to start out, thinking for now I may have a belly issue with my knees in the crouch position. I am waiting for a Salsa Timberjack to be delivered and plan to buy some better weight supporting wheels than the 32h that are on there. After I drop the belly, plans are going to be to go for a road bike! Thanks to everyone for all the comments, it has really helped and is much appreciated!!!
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Old 06-25-20, 07:21 PM
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First I am nowhere near your weight. When I got my touring bike, I told them not to touch the steer tube, that I would cut it myself. I wanted a long steer tube so I could adjust the height of the bars to where I found them comfortable. If you do the same then you could have higher handlebars and lower them as you lose weight.
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Old 06-26-20, 07:45 AM
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Hi Dave,

Clydesdale Bicycles makes titanium drop-bar road bikes specifically for big guys ( www.bikeclydesdale.com ). At $4,450 it is outside your budget but, if you can swing it, you will have a high-performance bomb-proof bicycle for life. Even after you lose the weight (and you will) this will still be a bike that you will still be proud to own and a treasure to have.

I'm a big guy too (310 lbs). If I had known about this company before, I would have gone this route myself. I recently dropped $1,000 on a set of customer-built wheels alone to support my weight. That makes my personal total of $4,000 after having bought a new Trek only to have the rear wheel start coming loose after the first 70 miles of riding. I could have just gotten one of the Clydesdale bikes and saved myself all the aggravation and disappointment.

Just a thought.

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Old 06-27-20, 08:37 AM
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Second the Surly Long Haul Trucker, I was just looking at that myself this morning as they have just redesigned it:

https://surlybikes.com/bikes/disc_trucker

The Trek 520 is another good option:

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...?colorCode=red

Or the Salsa Marrakesh:

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/marrak...marrakesh_sora

I am looking at both the Trucker and the 520 myself. Good luck!
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Old 06-27-20, 09:28 AM
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The Surly and Trek have a more upright position, though I am sure you could have the Marrakesh customized to lift the handlebars if that is what you like. I think the component set is better on both the Surly and Marrakesh.
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Old 06-28-20, 07:49 AM
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I'm stuck riding a beach cruiser type of bike right now because my gut is too large. I'm working on finding a good compression garment and weight loss, but it's very disappointing not to be able to ride any of my other bikes, yet. The upside is, the cruiser is pretty heavy and slow and I'm getting good workouts doing laps in my neighborhood. I hope you find a configuration that works for you. Since I saved some of my old bikes, I can at least do some test runs as my fitness improves. That's my goal, at least. I just started June 1, and have improved a lot in the last 2 weeks.

Happy riding!
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Old 07-03-20, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by oldlady62 View Post
I'm stuck riding a beach cruiser type of bike right now because my gut is too large. I'm working on finding a good compression garment and weight loss, but it's very disappointing not to be able to ride any of my other bikes, yet. The upside is, the cruiser is pretty heavy and slow and I'm getting good workouts doing laps in my neighborhood. I hope you find a configuration that works for you. Since I saved some of my old bikes, I can at least do some test runs as my fitness improves. That's my goal, at least. I just started June 1, and have improved a lot in the last 2 weeks.

Happy riding!
Keep going oldlady62 and put a positive spin on that beach cruiser. I'm sure there are many others working on getting mobile/fit/healthy that would love to ride a beach cruiser. We are all on this thread to seek advise and motivation, I just finished a 20 minute ride before work. Not a long ride, but it was great to enjoy the cool air in my face, watch the sun rising, birds chirping, sprinklers starting, you get the drift. LOL So get out there and enjoy and as you said "Happy riding". Ok, gotta go the endorphins made me too happy. Mark
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Old 07-03-20, 12:12 PM
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You can ride any road bike you want. Some brands have weight limits (lawyer limits) others do not. If buying new look at Bianchi or Orbea.

Get a bike fit to get the bike fitted to you. You may need a riser stem to sit you more upright for now, but eventually you will be comfortable with a normal stem (maybe a tad shorter than other people).

Also you will want upgraded wheels so that you aren't constantly having to true the wheel and replace spokes (maybe have a set of wheels made to the specs of a tandem bicycle).

You can do this.
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Old 07-04-20, 11:40 AM
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The two hurdles I can think of are bike fit - being too low in the drops with a big belly can restrict your lungs ability to breathe, and wheel durability - the stock wheels that come on most bikes will start popping spokes or eating it’s own hub bearings after a season under a 200 lb rider, so at almost twice that weight you are very likely to have problems.

But those are problems with the ‘stock’ parts and configurations. A good shop will work with you to put stronger wheels with more and better tensioned spokes and better hubs, and to play with spacers and stem lengths to get you comfortable.
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Old 07-04-20, 04:49 PM
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I was 343lbs and I bought a new Specialized rode bike. I bent both wheels very quickly, the rear being a horshoe. I had the LBS build me a 36 spoke Mavic rear and a 34 spoke Mavic front and they have taken me from 3 mles rides with complete exhaustion to 110 mile solo rides. I still ride the same bike and same wheels and I weigh 184lbs. You can do it, go for it. I will always be a Clyde in my mind. Good luck
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