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Seeking <$600 hybrid: 6’ 290#Long torso, 35” inseam, heavy upper body- guidance?

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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.

Seeking <$600 hybrid: 6’ 290#Long torso, 35” inseam, heavy upper body- guidance?

Old 08-12-21, 07:43 PM
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Seeking <$600 hybrid: 6’ 290#Long torso, 35” inseam, heavy upper body- guidance?

Hi first time on the forum and unfamiliar with Etiquette, so please be gentle.
I find that I prefer to be stretched out between the seat post and head tube more so than what I find available on XL hybrid frames. My local bike guy just took my large Fuji hybrid on consignment because I felt bunched up and too erect in the seat. He helped me formulate this criteria:Seat post to head tube measurement needs to be 640 mm. I feel like my other needs are relatively common: I like a light frame, I like to go fast in my 5 to 10 mile occasional wanderings and dislike the hugeTires that are en vogue right now- they feel mushy. I do have to hop off curbs here and there, so some shock absorption is appropriate I imagine? I live in the Arizona desert. Most of the riding will be in a bike lane on a paved road, occasionally I might have to swerve into some gravel because we have some hard-core cyclist haters here. Am I looking for a unicorn? If yes, Where do I need to compromise? Our guidance is appreciated. My bike guy has tracks around $700 and they are just aesthetically unappealing to me but he said he would assemble any bike that I purchased since He doesn’t have a frame to meet my needs. Sidenote: my favorite best-fitting bike ever was a 1999 XL mongoose hybrid. I rode that thing all over Chicago 25 to 30 miles a day and was in the best shape of my life. I miss that. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-21, 09:30 AM
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Hopping curbs at 290lbs? Absolutely not. I destroyed a rear rim with a thick 2.2" tire and bent the freewheel hub to sh*t when I weighed merely 220-245lb from hopping curbs. No way.

35" inseam is very long for 6' tall. Ar enough sure you've measured this correctly?
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Old 08-22-21, 09:35 PM
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Maybe spend some time looking at mountain bike frames? Not sure if the slacked out front geo might work against you on the street, but you'll find longer reaching frames in the hardcore hardtail arena and there's lots of cheap options in there too. You will need to get wheels to suit, but XC style wheels run rims that are narrow enough to accommodate road oriented tyres.

Hybrids are designed to have you upright for cruising. Road frames lengthen you out but need to be accompanied with a drop bar for that stretch. A lot of straight bar hybrids/flat bar bikes are just a road frame but they miss out on the extra reach afforded by the drop bar
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Old 08-22-21, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by heatherv74
Am I looking for a unicorn? If yes, Where do I need to compromise?
Yes. Here:
Originally Posted by Moisture
Hopping curbs at 290lbs? Absolutely not. I destroyed a rear rim with a thick 2.2" tire and bent the freewheel hub to sh*t when I weighed merely 220-245lb from hopping curbs. No way.
From Peter White custom wheel page (https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/wheels.php):
Originally Posted by Peter White
Let's be very clear about something. Rims for racing bikes, such as the Mavic Open Pro and Velocity Aerohead, are made for people who use bicycles in races. That's why they're called racing bikes; because people actually race with them! To be a competitive road racer, you will not want to weigh much more than about 160 lbs. Even at that weight, you'll find yourself at a significant disadvantage in many road races, at least those with any hills. Since the manufacturers of racing rims are aware of this fact, they don't bother making these rims strong enough for 230 lb cyclists, regardless of whether those 230 lb cyclists have the curious notion that it would be a good idea to ride a bike with "racing rims" and 23mm tires.

Remember, reality is what it is, regardless of what you read in the cycling magazines.

So, when you call and tell me you weigh as much as the typical NFL running back and you're just tickled pink with your Campy Record 10 speed equipped bike but you want a set of wheels that are light weight and "bomb proof" (I love that one!) don't be surprised when I suggest you go on a diet and call me back in a few years. I'm not writing this because I don't want your business, it's because I hate feeding on misconceptions spread by the marketing departments of various cycling companies and the moronic magazine scribes.

I can build a very strong wheel that will hold 23mm or 25mm tires so that the wheel with tire mounted will fit in your "racing" frame. And even if you weigh 250 pounds, the wheel will be strong enough. But that doesn't mean that the bike is suitable for you. Since most "racing" bikes can't accept tires larger than 25mm, you'll need to inflate those tires to very high pressure in order not to pinch flat. The ridiculous pressure ratings you see on tire sidewalls are best ignored since they result in a harsh ride and no actual performance improvement.

Most of the telephone calls and emails I get from people looking for wheels are from people well over 200 pounds, riding bikes made for 150 pound racers. Yes, they're having all sorts of trouble with their rear wheels; that's why they're calling me. Most bikes you find in bike shops have poorly built wheels. But the rear wheel isn't the real problem. The real problem is they've bought a bike which isn't suitable for their weight. The clearances in the frame aren't large enough for suitably large tires.

If you're not racing, what the heck are you doing with a racing bike? And if you weigh over 200 pounds and have a racing bike and you keep trashing wheels, my best advice is to get rid of the damned thing and get a bike that's better suited to you, like this. Then talk to me about wheels.
I am just under 300#, and I have destroyed a wheel with Alex DH19 (not the lightest -- it used to be a part of stock wheels for Surly LHT) rim on a loaded tour (rim cracked near spoke holes).
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Old 08-23-21, 06:11 AM
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Several quite large folks seem to be happy with the Electra Townie. https://electra.trekbikes.com/us/en_...ownie/c/EB300/ You can read more about them in the Beach Cruiser section.
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Old 08-23-21, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by brawlo
Maybe spend some time looking at mountain bike frames? Not sure if the slacked out front geo might work against you on the street, but you'll find longer reaching frames in the hardcore hardtail arena and there's lots of cheap options in there too. You will need to get wheels to suit, but XC style wheels run rims that are narrow enough to accommodate road oriented tyres.

Hybrids are designed to have you upright for cruising. Road frames lengthen you out but need to be accompanied with a drop bar for that stretch. A lot of straight bar hybrids/flat bar bikes are just a road frame but they miss out on the extra reach afforded by the drop bar
Youre pretty spot on with your observation here. This is what I've noticed with my Trek FX. On the XL frame, the top tube length of 590 is exactly average for nearly any drop bar road bike in my size. (They run at 580/590..)

However, there are some other small differences. The bottom bracket is a bit higher, which is perfect if you like to use longer crank arms. The angles are more or less the same as an average road bike except for a slightly more slack seat tube for a more upright positioning.

The key difference here would be the chainstay length. Road bikes balance you out over the front wheel more, which allows engineers to opt for a rather short chainstay to achieve a faster rear end response. However, if you ride more upright, you will need longer chainstays to stop the front end from getting all light and imbalanced during specific scenarios. With this considered, if I used a shorter stem and converted my FX to drop bars, I am sure it would work just fine. As of right now, with my seat being as high as it is (slightly longer inseam than torso, 46% ratio) it felt weird and unstable after getting back onto it.

Back to the topic. A 290lb dude at 6ft that is top heavy wouldn't like to be super stretched out. It will ruin handling and be uncomfortable. op will have to find middle ground. A hybrid bike would be the best choice

With OP's budget, look around in the classifieds and find yourself a good deal on something lightly used.
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Old 08-23-21, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by csport
Yes. Here:


From Peter White custom wheel page (https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/wheels.php):


I am just under 300#, and I have destroyed a wheel with Alex DH19 (not the lightest -- it used to be a part of stock wheels for Surly LHT) rim on a loaded tour (rim cracked near spoke holes).
im 6ft3. If i get down to my lowest weight reasonably possible, I think I'd be around 180lb. That would be with a decent amount of muscle, but very low overall body fat. I am sure that there are lots of competitive road racers out there at my height with zero issues.

What do you think?
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Old 08-24-21, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture
im 6ft3. If i get down to my lowest weight reasonably possible, I think I'd be around 180lb. That would be with a decent amount of muscle, but very low overall body fat. I am sure that there are lots of competitive road racers out there at my height with zero issues.

What do you think?
Maybe there is no exact cutoff, but the OP is far from the range. I know this because I am approximately the same weight (280-290). Tire pressure according to (extrapolated) Frank Berto measurement is (e.g., https://roubert.name/joakim/pressure/) 177/143 psi for 23 mm tires and 153/123 psi for 25 mm tires. Yes, one can go lower than the pressure suggested by this method, and I have done that. Still using 28mm (actually they measure 30mm -- Conti GP 4000SII) I had a harsh ride, even on pavement. With 40-42mm front tire at 50-55 PSI the ride is much more comfortable. YMMV.
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Old 08-24-21, 03:56 AM
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Those pressures are pretty over the top by today’s standards. The lightest I’ve been while racing road and track is 110kg, but spent most of my time in the 120-130kg bracket. I ride 25mm tyres at 105psi without any drama for years. On track I notice a handling difference going from 120 to 140psi but that’s smooth bitumen. On boards I would run out tubs at 180psi and up to 220psi, but that’s buttery smooth track conditions. Running anything over 120psi on a 23mm road tyre is for smooth road racing or track only. I’ve been racing road and track for over 10yrs fairly successfully and only ever had one rim crack on me at the spoke holes. There’s a lot of BS that circulates within our sport that comes from smaller riders extrapolating without experience or observation. Yes we have to make wiser equipment choices due to our weight and many rely on honestly really poor advice from mostly well meaning but knowledge lacking industry heads
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Old 08-24-21, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by csport
Yes. Here:


From Peter White custom wheel page (https://www.peterwhitecycles.com/wheels.php):


I am just under 300#, and I have destroyed a wheel with Alex DH19 (not the lightest -- it used to be a part of stock wheels for Surly LHT) rim on a loaded tour (rim cracked near spoke holes).
That's a lovely, nonsensical quote and totally outdated. I'm in the 280 range and this summer did 160 miles over rough terrain on my nicely built wheels that are light, 1600g for the pair, and had no trouble even with the 40 added lbs for cargo. In my fast days I was still 240 and wore out several mavic open pro by braking through the sidewalls after thousands of miles but didn't break them. Plenty of wheels will hold up as long as you move past the pre-built, low spoke wheels. Especially modern rims are much better than in years past.

Originally Posted by Moisture
Hopping curbs at 290lbs? Absolutely not. I destroyed a rear rim with a thick 2.2" tire and bent the freewheel hub to sh*t when I weighed merely 220-245lb from hopping curbs. No way.

35" inseam is very long for 6' tall. Ar enough sure you've measured this correctly?
Well there's your problem, a freewheel hub, I once snapped the axle on one in the hub cranking up a hill and bent the frame stays in the process. Also going to guess that Heather is a woman, my wife at 5'6" has the same inseam as me at 5'10" and I've fit plenty of females that had taller inseams than me while still being my wife's height, long legs are common for the gender.

OP: the person who suggested a MTB might not be far off, the shop should be able to swap the tires for 1.5 tires with some modest tread which will run fine on the road. Weight wise and performance wise a 600.00 mtb won't be a lot different from a 600.00 hybrid and with the tires might be what you need. You just want to make sure that whatever you buy has 8sp or more in the back and double wall rims, at 600.00 that shouldn't be a problem but it can be. Also get something with a threadless stem system, if reach is of concern most shops have a selection of previously swapped stems, and most places I worked had an abundance of long ones, and they can get you your longer reach with some ease by swapping the stem. Shops often don't have the older quill style that cheaper hybrids tend to come with. With MTBs being 29" they are performance wise close to a hybrid, below 1000.00 they tend to have a less aggressive geometry knowing that the bike will rarely leave pavement and they're often sturdier. Often hybrids will be fairly similar in shape with few standouts but stems and handlebars can be swapped.
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Old 08-24-21, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth
That's a lovely, nonsensical quote and totally outdated. I'm in the 280 range and this summer did 160 miles over rough terrain on my nicely built wheels that are light, 1600g for the pair, and had no trouble even with the 40 added lbs for cargo. In my fast days I was still 240 and wore out several mavic open pro by braking through the sidewalls after thousands of miles but didn't break them. Plenty of wheels will hold up as long as you move past the pre-built, low spoke wheels. Especially modern rims are much better than in years past.


Well there's your problem, a freewheel hub, I once snapped the axle on one in the hub cranking up a hill and bent the frame stays in the process. Also going to guess that Heather is a woman, my wife at 5'6" has the same inseam as me at 5'10" and I've fit plenty of females that had taller inseams than me while still being my wife's height, long legs are common for the gender.

OP: the person who suggested a MTB might not be far off, the shop should be able to swap the tires for 1.5 tires with some modest tread which will run fine on the road. Weight wise and performance wise a 600.00 mtb won't be a lot different from a 600.00 hybrid and with the tires might be what you need. You just want to make sure that whatever you buy has 8sp or more in the back and double wall rims, at 600.00 that shouldn't be a problem but it can be. Also get something with a threadless stem system, if reach is of concern most shops have a selection of previously swapped stems, and most places I worked had an abundance of long ones, and they can get you your longer reach with some ease by swapping the stem. Shops often don't have the older quill style that cheaper hybrids tend to come with. With MTBs being 29" they are performance wise close to a hybrid, below 1000.00 they tend to have a less aggressive geometry knowing that the bike will rarely leave pavement and they're often sturdier. Often hybrids will be fairly similar in shape with few standouts but stems and handlebars can be swapped.
at 220+lb I would not be hopping any curbs, with or without a freehub.

Smaller diameter wheels than what the MTB was designed for just isnt a good idea. It didnt work well with the frame geometry designed around a suspension fork.You can get some slick hybrid tires that are about the same size as the ones you are replacing.

Next would be the suspension fork. You would want to ideally replace it with a rigid about the same ATC, to get the best performance on road or gravel.

Threadless stem wouldnt be mandatory. still many relevant options out there for quill replacements. Not too many modern bikes out there still using quill stems anyways.
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Old 08-24-21, 02:08 PM
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There have been some insightful posts so far so I am surprised no one has asked why the o.p. 'needs' to be stretched by a large seattube to headtube distance when completely (un)reasonable amounts of stretch can be obtained by the plethora of >120mm stems (threadless) on the market. Off the shelf XL hybrids come with 110mm (usually) stock but I have to think 140mm would put the o.p. in a nice Criterium tuck. As for wheels/tires ... 28mm should be able to do what they want. I've never hopped a curb in my life so consider my POV. I would think curb hopping, even occasional curb hopping, a non-starter for any kind of hybrid or roadbike. Gravel is something else entirely. On a club ride once the route guy screwed up and we wound up on gravel ... 5 miles worth ... on 28mm tires. It wasn't at all fun, but we made it across.
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Old 08-24-21, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture
at 220+lb I would not be hopping any curbs, with or without a freehub.

Smaller diameter wheels than what the MTB was designed for just isnt a good idea. It didnt work well with the frame geometry designed around a suspension fork.You can get some slick hybrid tires that are about the same size as the ones you are replacing.

Next would be the suspension fork. You would want to ideally replace it with a rigid about the same ATC, to get the best performance on road or gravel.

Threadless stem wouldnt be mandatory. still many relevant options out there for quill replacements. Not too many modern bikes out there still using quill stems anyways.
At 280lbs I have no trouble hopping curbs or doing drops, all about technique, unless you have crap parts like freewheels. I've been out teaching my kids to bunny hop on my gravel bike, bikes aren't as fragile as you make them out to be.

No one said anything about changing wheel size, I even mentioned that the 29" wheel is the same diameter as a hybrid making it a good alternative if you put a 1.5 tire on it.

Keep the fork, although heavy, they won't slow you down that much and most real hybrids already have one. Not a bad comfort item if you hit gravel.
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