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Bike suggestions for 300+ pound rider

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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.

Bike suggestions for 300+ pound rider

Old 06-17-21, 09:27 AM
  #1  
SirSquishy
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Bike suggestions for 300+ pound rider

Hello, everyone. I'm not proud to say that I currently weigh in at 320 pounds. It's a long story with injuries and other things, but basically I haven't ridden a bike since I was about 190 pounds, close to 10 years ago. My riding style was/is casual. No commuting, no mountain biking, just local streets, park paths, etc. I was riding a Diamondback Wildwood from Dick's Sporting Goods. It's still in the shed, but it would need a thorough tuneup from the local bike shop. It wasn't the highest end bike to begin with, though, and I'm not sure if it'll hold up to my weight.

I've read suggestions here about upgrading the wheels, but I don't know if that advice still applies to someone of my size. I'd hate to spend the money on a tune-up just to have the bike collapse under me. Should I just upgrade to a beefier bike? I appreciate any advice you all would be willing to give. Thank you.

Editing to add: I'm 320, but 5'8". I have short legs. So I probably can't just get a larger frame bike for someone who is taller. It's terrible being short and fat.

Last edited by SirSquishy; 06-17-21 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 06-17-21, 07:09 PM
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I think that your Diamondback should be fine. Also, there is a shortage of bicycles and parts right now due to the pandemic so giving your existing bike a tune up might be your best option anyway. If you're interested in a new bike, that is certainly fine but just be advised that your selection is going to be limited and depending on where you live you may not even be able to find a bike your size. I just purchased a new bike and I had to drive 7 hours to the store that had one in stock.
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Old 06-18-21, 07:56 AM
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If your bike has been stored for 10 years, it will definitely need a tuneup. Probably dusted off & cleaned up, the tires are probably dry rotted and flat, so probably needs new tires & tubes, new lube on the chain, and make sure the shifters/derailleurs and brakes work properly. But after that you should be good to go. But I think it would hold your weight. At least it wouldn't hurt giving it a try. It's pretty easy maintenance, and if I lived near you I'd offer to do it for free.
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Old 06-18-21, 09:10 AM
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Larger frame size bikes for taller people are not made any more robust than smaller frames. All the moving parts are the same, and the frame will be made with the same construction techniques which actually means the smaller frames will be theoretically stronger than larger frames.

Anyhoo, frame durability is not going t be an issue. 320lbs is totally within the reasonable range for just about any bike, as long as it's not a super lightweight racing bike.

The durability issues will be with wheels, specifically the rear wheel (which holds most of the weight), and specifically specifically the spokes, and the rear hub axle.
SPokes generally fail because they are not tensioned properly, which leads to the tension going from very low/zero to very high/all weight held by one spoke each wheel revolution, which results in spokes breaking from fatigue, like bending a paperclip back and forth repeatedly.

The good news is that even if a spoke or two or three break, or if your axle bends, you can safely continue riding - neither of these is a ride ending failure, usually.

THe solution is to get a new wheel built up with a 'freehub' type hub (if your existing wheel doesn't have one, many basic bikes come with the older and weaker 'freewheel' hub design), and spokes tensioned up to the max allowed by the rim. A good shop can probably take an inexpensive machine built wheel and bring the spoke tension up for a heavier rider.

Al this is to say, pull your bike out of the garage and get a shop to give it a minor tune up and check-out. Your bike as-is will be fine in the short term, and you'll definitely get some rides in before you have any problems. Start shopping for a new rear wheel before you need one, though, so when spokes start popping you aren't without a bike for any length of time.
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Old 06-21-21, 12:02 PM
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Put new tires, tubes and cables on the old bike and ride. Go bike shopping when you feel the bike is limiting the rides you want to do. Bikes and parts are still in short supply, so you may not find what you want.
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Old 06-23-21, 04:57 PM
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SirSquishy
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I'll get it tuned up and give it a try.
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Old 09-15-21, 09:25 AM
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What about frame material? Should a 310 lb guy stick to a certain frame material?
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Old 09-15-21, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tclong03 View Post
What about frame material? Should a 310 lb guy stick to a certain frame material?
Wheels are usually the weak point unless it is a step through girls bike. Spoke tension needs to be even and more spokes is better.
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Old 09-22-21, 07:45 PM
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If you dont have a lot of hills and aren't in a rush to get anywhere fast how about a 26" or 29" BMX Cruiser?
  • super strong frame, wheels and cranks can handle the weight no prob
  • low seat height and high bars address the body dimensions
  • simple drivetrain is reliable and easy to maintain
  • Beefy tires
  • looks a lot cooler than the Wildwood IMO
examples...





These have lower bottom brackets, if you are conerned about that




Last edited by tdipail; 09-22-21 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 09-22-21, 08:01 PM
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According to Diamond's website, they're good to 300 lbs. Throw in a fudge factor for safety and I bet you're good to go for the boulevards. Wider tires, if you can get them, will help the wheels and handling. As always, check with the bike shop while it's being tuned.
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Old 11-06-21, 11:14 AM
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I know its an old thread. Fantastic suggestions what I did was take an old MTB bike had some ancient wheels with 36 spoke count and I have been riding it since June. started out at 280 down to 229 with a goal to be sub 200 end of jan 2022.
The Bike is an Old 1997 Ibis Szazbo even though people say its a horrible MTB bike it has done its job admirably. Good Luck , don't have to spend a lot of cash, tons of used bikes are out their collecting dust.
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