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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.

Too heavy for carbon?

Old 07-18-22, 03:17 PM
  #1  
PatCodd
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Too heavy for carbon?

Hello, I am 240 pounds and 6'1".and consider myself to be a mediocre cyclist in terms of power and speed. My FTP is around 225 and I can put out about 500 watts for a minute. I have an BMC GranFondo 02 that I have been riding for several years with intermittent wheel rub issues specifically on the left chainstay. I also seem to destroy wheels fairly quickly and need to get wheels re trued about every 500 to 750 miles, which I attribute to the awful roads where I live. I recently had a mechanic tell me that due to my size and the power I put down, which I didn't really think was that much power, I should basically not be on a carbon bike as any bike would flex too much under the strain. I know that there are plenty of Clydesdales on carbon bikes, has anyone else had a mechanic tell them that? I will soon be in the market for a new bike hopefully and was looking at a Trek DOMANE in carbon but am wondering if I should be looking at TI bikes instead.
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Old 07-18-22, 05:40 PM
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I am sure I have mentioned this here before several times, but I am 6'6 and between 340-375# and have been riding a carbon Scott CR1-10 since 2016 and well over 10k miles with no issues. It replaced an aluminum Specialized that got stolen and the Scott is approximately 11 billion percent stiffer and less "spindly" feeling under my weight. And it rides better/smoother.

Also, IMO, a 240# rider having that much wheel trouble is also not...great. The above mentioned Scott will barely fit most 25c tires or a wide running 23c. So I have to run high pressure so any bad roads or whatever get transmitted to the wheel and I have WAY fewer wheel problems than that. (You also have to ride "light", which I try to do but miss stuff like everybody) I had a Vuelta HD wheel last 3 seasons of heavy miles before going out of true and even my latest Velocity one that went out recently had 18 months on it and 2k miles.

HTH

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Old 07-18-22, 06:43 PM
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Steve B.
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I'm same weight, have been on cheap Chinese carbon frames for 10 years, multi thousands of miles, no issues,
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Old 07-19-22, 03:33 PM
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Your mechanics is foolish. Go carbon 100%. But bikes ain’t bikes and there can be big differences between very similar looking frames. I could put out way more power than you in my prime and have been very happy on my Canyon Ultimate CFSL and the not quite as good Felt F4 before that. I’d be looking at frames that can take at least 28mm tyres if your roads are really bad. Perhaps even larger if your roads are truly bad
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Old 07-19-22, 03:50 PM
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Sounds like your "mechanic" shouldn't be allowed near a bike wheel.

You may need to get new wheels (with more spokes), just find someone who really knows how to build/tension/stress relieve bike wheels, or learn to do it yourself.
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Old 07-19-22, 08:31 PM
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I was 225lb when I got my first carbon bike, a Merida Silex, no issues whatsoever, and certainly modern bikes to take us plus some camping gear, so so your 240lb should be no issue at all.
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Old 07-19-22, 08:54 PM
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I’ve weighed as much as 265 on my Roubaix, currently at about 245. FTP has been around 270 in months past, a bit lower now. Almost 13,000 trouble-free miles. The Roval CLX 32 carbon wheels (21/24 spoke) have never even needed to be trued, though the roads here are pretty good.
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Old 07-20-22, 08:43 AM
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I have a 2019 Trek Domane SL5 carbon bike and have ridden it as heavy as 305 lbs (before clothing, gear, etc) . I'm now at 270 and have had zero issues with the bike, It has over 2500 miles on it now. I did have to invest in a set of custom-built wheels because the ones that came stock were creaking under my weight. I spent an extra $1000 on the wheelset but since I got the bike for $700 under the original MSRP (right before COVID came to the US) it was a good investment over all, I really didn't want a carbon frame at first. I was looking for an aluminum frame with a 105 group set. The Trek dealer had the Domane and offered a great price so I took a chance on it. From what I gather, not all carbon frames are created equal and Trek is supposedly superior to most others.
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Old 07-21-22, 12:01 AM
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I have a giant carbon bike and a serotta Ti and carbon bike, have weighed up to 240 with the Giant and 220 with the Serotta. No problems with the frames. I have some lightweight steel frames that the shop owner said that I shouldn't ride. Some people are pretty conservative.
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Old 08-01-22, 06:25 AM
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Trek Carbon Bikes

My old Madone unable to ride anymore 225lb limit. Does it have more to do with spokes? The new Trek FX line both aluminum and carbon frames rated at 300lb. I am disabled and unable to walk any distance so I try to bike each day. Spring bike shop sales I got an FX Sport 5 with 300lb limit and later a Checkpoint SL7 275lb limit. I am around 285lb. No issues with either bike. The Checkpoint SL7 has carbon wheels, seat post, etc. The SL7 handlebars are aluminum. I stay away from carbon handlebars since I had front tire flat crash that cracked my carbon bars on the Madone where if I had a bent aluminum bar I could have ridden rather than walked back to my vehicle. The Checkpoint both aluminum and carbon frames 275lb limit. FX and Checkpoint line have similar aluminum and carbon rims that come stock with 700x40mm cushy stable tires good for riding most surfaces. But still the 300lb FX and 275lb Checkpoint. This seems similar for many of Treks drop handlebar bikes both aluminum and carbon 275lb and flatbar bikes aluminum and carbon 300lb. Even with my example of bikes with similar wheels both aluminum and carbon rims and similar spokes still the 275lb and 300lb limit differences. The lighter SLR frames also have the 275lb limit.

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Old 08-08-22, 07:21 AM
  #11  
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Me too

I weigh a deuce and a half, and I am 6' 2" I've been on a carbon Trek Domane for 5 years, 5000 miles. The carbon frame is in great shape.
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Old 08-10-22, 01:55 PM
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carbon frames are fine for you. Stock wheels generally suck, it doesn't matter the bike price entry point, it's always some heavy machine built wheelset.

You can either have it rebuilt and make sure everything is tq correctly or just get a new wheelset that is designed to be stronger. Even carbon wheelset at your weight is fine. Most big brands have like 280lb limits and lifetime warranty including crashing them.

Roval C38
Roval Terra
bontrager aeolus pro 3v (I have these on my Diverge)
Reynolds wheels (I have AR58s on my pinarello)

If your roads are crap like it sounds the Roval Terra and Bontrager 3V wheels are Gravel wheelset, designed for minimum of 32c road and up to 50c. Tire will setup wider since internal width and external width are wider than the road bike version of these wheels. This means the tire has more case volume and can run lower tire pressure while maintaining the low tire resistance of some tire models.
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Old 08-11-22, 10:32 AM
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I weighed 265 when I started riding in June 2017, I'm down to 225 now. I've had 2 carbon road bikes and 1 carbon gravel bike during that time. Collectively I've put over 27,000 miles on the 3 of them without any issues.

I ride Reynolds carbon wheels on my 2015 Cannondale Synapse (22k+) and haven't had to tighten a spoke in 4 years, much less anything else. I have Roval Terra C carbon wheels on my '21 Salsa Warbird (over 1k miles so far), never a problem.

Go ride!!

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Old 08-11-22, 11:13 AM
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Years ago I had a bike store employee tell me road bikes weren't for people my size. At the time I was 6'2" and weighed about 210.
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Old 08-11-22, 11:28 AM
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I think the main problem I have in transitioning to Carbon, besides the cost, is that if I do have a failure it will be catastrophic. At 240-250 lbs I am certainly stressing my frames. But I think you can be selective in the Carbon Frame you choose to go with. A Carbon frame designed for touring would be my first choice for the roads I ride. And I don't do touring. At your height and weight you should consider that your are looking for a sturdy frame with sturdy wheels. Steel, Aluminum, or Carbon that rules out most of the affordable off the shelf bikes for sure...
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Old 08-15-22, 07:48 AM
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Just get a nice steel frame and fork. Have a 36 spoke rear wheel built for you and forget it. I weigh 290 been there fr a while, ride a Gunnar Crosshairs and built my own 36 spoke wheels, 105 hubs with Velocity Atlas rims. Also I ride 32 mm Gatorskins. I have ridden everything but ti in my 30+ years of riding. My lightest weight was 230 years ago. If you ride mostly on the road try to find a rim brake frame for sale cause everyone thinks they need discs on the road, false.
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Old 08-18-22, 09:11 AM
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5'8" 265 pounds currently, Since owning my Roubaix low of 205 high of 290. 32,429 strava miles to date.

Um yeah find a different bike mechanic/shop.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:59 PM
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I second (or thirds, fourths, etc) everyone's thoughts above. Go carbon. I'm 260-280 lbs, I'm on a Pinarello dogma f8 with Flo cycling wheels. Only issues I have had was when i was downshifting and popped the chain on the inner cog, causing the derauiller to break some spokes. Since then, wheels have been trued and running great! Wheels are more important for the build than most frames. Flo used to have an option for "clydesdales" but I can't seem to find it again. That being said, I am now running their FLO 77 AS (full carbon) wheels for the past 6 months and have had no issues with them. Cheaper than Zipp, ENVE, Princeton Carbon works, etc (maybe not as sexy) but the price savings, I think, is more important than weight savings at our weight class. Me shaving a few hundred grams on the bike means nothing when I can lose a lot more than that from riding.
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Old 09-04-22, 07:30 PM
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I've been on a Trek Emonda SL5 for about 10k miles, no issues. I did upgrade the wheelset to a (now defunct) ALTO wheelset. I've replaced two spokes over the course of three years, but I'm not complaining, probably my fault for letting them go without a retensioning. I oscillate between 285-305 and FTP is in the ballpark of 300.

Trek usually has a 275 limit on road bikes. My cousin is a former shop owner and would always say it's fine as long as you're around 300. I'd also note that a lot of the new Bontrager wheels have no weight limit.

Good luck!
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Old 11-23-22, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
carbon frames are fine for you. Stock wheels generally suck, it doesn't matter the bike price entry point, it's always some heavy machine built wheelset.

You can either have it rebuilt and make sure everything is tq correctly or just get a new wheelset that is designed to be stronger. Even carbon wheelset at your weight is fine. Most big brands have like 280lb limits and lifetime warranty including crashing them.

Roval C38
Roval Terra
bontrager aeolus pro 3v (I have these on my Diverge)
Reynolds wheels (I have AR58s on my pinarello)

If your roads are crap like it sounds the Roval Terra and Bontrager 3V wheels are Gravel wheelset, designed for minimum of 32c road and up to 50c. Tire will setup wider since internal width and external width are wider than the road bike version of these wheels. This means the tire has more case volume and can run lower tire pressure while maintaining the low tire resistance of some tire models.
What spoke count are your carbon wheels?
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Old 11-23-22, 02:33 AM
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Chicken_fat

Reynolds https://hayesbicycle.com/products/ar-58
•Inner Rim Width: 19MM
•Outer Rim Width: 28MM
•Rim Depth: 58MM
•Spokes: F20 | R24

Bontragers https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...wheel/p/27195/

•Spokes: F24 | R24
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Old 11-23-22, 02:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
Chicken_fat

Reynolds https://hayesbicycle.com/products/ar-58
•Inner Rim Width: 19MM
•Outer Rim Width: 28MM
•Rim Depth: 58MM
•Spokes: F20 | R24

Bontragers https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/e...wheel/p/27195/

•Spokes: F24 | R24
Thanks! Considering carbon wheels eventually…
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Old 12-06-22, 10:41 AM
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I'd go with steel over carbon, simply because frame is such a small percentage weight for a clyde and steel is more idiot proof, but carbon over alloy due to fatigue life.
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