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So what should I NOT get?

Old 10-04-06, 12:57 PM
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So what should I NOT get?

So, I am fat. I am 5'7" and weight in at 305 Lb. I used to ride 350+ miles per week over 12 years and 125 Lb ago. I want to get back into cycling more for the weight issue than anything else. It seems that so much has happened in the world of cycling since my days, including thread and forums about fat guys riding bikes. At first, I found the clydesdale forum rather offensive, and I am not one to take offense easily, but when I think of a clydesdale I can only picture a huge fat hairy horse pulling a budweiser wagon.

Anyway, I am wanting to get a new bike to go to work and back. I also want to put a few miles here and there in the hopes that I can loose some weight. When I do, I will get a very nice bike.

So, what I want to basically know is what frame material, wheels, pedals, etc. I SHOULD NOT get because of the total weight I will put on it. I don't want to have to worry as I pedal into a heart attack that my frame will split or that my wheels will turn into pretzels.

Thanks
PS: currently looking at Bianchi steel frame entry level road bikes.
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Old 10-04-06, 09:36 PM
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I can't comment on the bikes, because I have no practical experience. But, don't be offended by the clydesdale title Its just a name for us biggun's who haul a heavy load and are built different. I think its an honor to be compared to a beer hauling workhorse. I fit the description!
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Old 10-04-06, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dgasmd
So, I am fat. I am 5'7" and weight in at 305 Lb. I used to ride 350+ miles per week over 12 years and 125 Lb ago. I want to get back into cycling more for the weight issue than anything else. It seems that so much has happened in the world of cycling since my days, including thread and forums about fat guys riding bikes. At first, I found the clydesdale forum rather offensive, and I am not one to take offense easily, but when I think of a clydesdale I can only picture a huge fat hairy horse pulling a budweiser wagon.

Anyway, I am wanting to get a new bike to go to work and back. I also want to put a few miles here and there in the hopes that I can loose some weight. When I do, I will get a very nice bike.

So, what I want to basically know is what frame material, wheels, pedals, etc. I SHOULD NOT get because of the total weight I will put on it. I don't want to have to worry as I pedal into a heart attack that my frame will split or that my wheels will turn into pretzels.

Thanks
PS: currently looking at Bianchi steel frame entry level road bikes.

being a clyde myself (240lbs) I can honestly recommend that most frame materials will be fine. I would stay away from super thin Aluminums as they usually have a limited warranties for high rider weights as well as some of the litespeed titaniums (super light framed litespeed ghisallo I think). You are probably looking in the right plac ewith the Bianchi Steel frame. I have a Steel Pegoretti Marcelo and I've put in 2400 miles on it this year and absolutely love it. I had a Cannondale CAAD 7 frame which is super light super stiff aluminum and it wore me out...so i'd stay away from the aluminum. Your biggest problem will be wheels. You should get a set of 32 spoke or 36 spoke wheels. If you do a search in the forum search look up Mike Garcia Wheels and you should can read about a good quality custom wheelset. I had a custom 32 spoke wheelset built and haven't looked back. I've only had to have them trued once after bunny hopping a pot hole. My old Mavic Equipes would need to be trued about once a month.

Good luck!
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Old 10-05-06, 07:21 AM
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Don't get anywheels that have not been hand built by a wheelsmith who knows you. Try to keep off aluminium frames, they will eventually crack with your weight (been there, done it 3 times). Carbon seems to survive (Trek5200) as does 853 steel (Lemond). Don't buy any frame without a lifetime warranty on it. MTB frames and wheels are best for a big clyde. I'm a huge pro mechanic and wheelbuilder. I ride a Marin Pine mountain MTB with 36 spoke wheels (Hope hubs to Mavix X719) and a Trek 5200 carbon road bike with Ultegra hubs to Mavic CXP33 rims.
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Old 10-05-06, 07:28 AM
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I must politely disagree with chrisvu05. Despite manufacturer's claims that there "is no weight limit" on their lightweight framesets, the failure rate belies the hype. Were I the OP, I'd avoid carbon-fiber anything (unless it is deliberately built for abuse, such as MTB, touring, or cyclocross). I'd also avoid any wheel with less than 32 spokes and a 3-cross pattern (despite the fact that I had good luck for awhile with a 28/24 Campy Vento wheelset).

For commuting and fitness riding at 300+ pounds, I'd suggest to the OP that she/he avoid road bikes completely. Buy an entry level MTB (such as the Specialized RockHopper) or an entry level hybrid (such as the Kona Dew). Either of these styles of bike will offer MUCH more durability than ANY road bike, just because of the wider rims and tires. Could the OP put wider tires on his road bike? Yes, but the frame still wouldn't accommodate as wide a tire as a MTB or hybrid.

So to answer the OP's question "What should I avoid?," my recommendation is to avoid road bikes completely. I know they're appealing, but they really aren't what is needed for fitness riding and commuting. In fact, a coaster-brake cruiser such as an Electrabike Amsterdam or Townie might be the best choice of all for the OP (until the first 100# is lost).

Ride before you buy & happy shopping!
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Old 10-05-06, 07:40 AM
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Hi,
I am 250 and have weighed more. All this depends on what the budget is.
1) At about $1K you can get a Specialized Seqouia and swap the wheels when
you buy it for something more rugged. You might want to start with a rim made for touring. An inexpensive way around this is a wheel made for cyclocross. Get the biggest tire that will fit on it, preferably something like the Panaracer Pasela TG 32c.
2) At around $2K things get interesting. There is a Florida based company called Habanero www.habcycles.com that makes a wonderful road bike. Have them build it with CXP33 rims, and have them install a steep stem to get the bars up high. When you lose weight you can drop the bars some.
3) Lastly, there is the custom option. You can get a frame made just for you from many companies, Waterford would be my choice. This, of course, will add a few hundred bucks to the cost...
4) If all this is too much, you can get a hybrid.
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Old 10-05-06, 08:50 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by dgasmd
At first, I found the clydesdale forum rather offensive, and I am not one to take offense easily, but when I think of a clydesdale I can only picture a huge fat hairy horse pulling a budweiser wagon.
The Clydesdale category has been around for a long time, actually. I remember back in my tri-racing days (about 16 years ago) and signing up for the Columbus, OH 1.5K/40K/10K sponsored by Anheuser-Busch. When I was signing in for my age group, (19-21 at the time,) a race official said "Step up on the scale, man. I bet you can race in the new category." Sure enough, I was 200+ and raced in their newly created Clydesdale division.
When I was a kid I worked at an Anheuser-Busch theme park where they'd parade the Budweiser Clydesdales for a week. They're not "huge fat hairy" horses. They're huge, muscular, powerful work horses that can out-do just about any other animal on the farm.
I'm 6'6", 260 pounds. I'll never be under 240, much less under 200 pounds. I'm always gonna be a Clydesdale, and I'm proud of it. True to the moniker, I'm out there on my commute in the sun, rain, cold, wind, storm, whatever... and while I may not be the fastest guy out there, I can keep going all day long, every day.
Be proud to be a Clydesdale. When people want a distraction; to be entertained and amused, they go watch the race horses for the afternoon. When they want to get the hard work done, they call on the Clydesdales.
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Old 10-05-06, 10:10 AM
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I agree with some of the other opinions. Don't get a road bike. They're light and fun and fast and all that stuff, but you said, "So, I am fat." Ok, that means 'heavy' right? Now, in my brief riding experience, there has been a correspondence between 'heavy' and 'comfort.' Meaning, the heavier you are, the more important it is to be comfortable on the bike. The more comfort you experience, the longer you will ride, with the inevitable result being weight loss. You also said that as you lose weight you'll get a good bike. Good plan. That tells me that you have sensibly ruled out anything over $200. Yes, you can get a decent bike in your size all day long for under that. For $100 you can get a MTB and then get a great saddle and better bars for another $130. Ok, that's over $200, but I don't scrimp on the saddles. A Brooks springer will cost about $90 w/ shipping.
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Old 10-05-06, 10:31 AM
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as far as bike goes - just go with what fits - don't try high end racers/timetrial bikes - the stretched out position can be very uncomfortable for new riders - have a look at any disc brake equipped bike - either road, cyclocross or mountain - pretty much any bike can be converted to road use and vice versa (BIG generalisation here ) - anyway good luck and have fun




Originally Posted by dgasmd
At first, I found the clydesdale forum rather offensive, and I am not one to take offense easily, but when I think of a clydesdale I can only picture a huge fat hairy horse pulling a budweiser wagon.
beg to differ on that - clydesdales FTW!


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Old 10-05-06, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by dgasmd
So, I am fat. I am 5'7" and weight in at 305 Lb. I used to ride 350+ miles per week over 12 years and 125 Lb ago. I want to get back into cycling more for the weight issue than anything else. It seems that so much has happened in the world of cycling since my days, including thread and forums about fat guys riding bikes. At first, I found the clydesdale forum rather offensive, and I am not one to take offense easily, but when I think of a clydesdale I can only picture a huge fat hairy horse pulling a budweiser wagon.

Anyway, I am wanting to get a new bike to go to work and back. I also want to put a few miles here and there in the hopes that I can loose some weight. When I do, I will get a very nice bike.

So, what I want to basically know is what frame material, wheels, pedals, etc. I SHOULD NOT get because of the total weight I will put on it. I don't want to have to worry as I pedal into a heart attack that my frame will split or that my wheels will turn into pretzels.

Thanks
PS: currently looking at Bianchi steel frame entry level road bikes.
Don't get an ultralightweight Osmium-Scanium alloy race frame! The Bianchi should hold up pretty well. I'd think about 32H wheels though! The frame is fine, go with "bombproof" wheelsets and you'll be fine!
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Old 10-05-06, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by chrisvu05
I would stay away from super thin Aluminums as they usually have a limited warranties for high rider weights as well as some of the litespeed titaniums (super light framed litespeed ghisallo I think).

I was at the LBS yesterday and they were trying to sell me the new Trek track bike...not being read up on it I picked it up and my immediate guess was CF...nope, ZR9000 alumium. tapping the frame sounded about like dinging an empty aluminum can. I'm sure it's a great bike but I just didn't see my 235lbs and all my gear going onto the thing.

I'd also say stear clear of carbon-fiber seatposts. I suspect it'll be the first thing to go on the bikes I'm looking at right now.

I wouldn't necessarily say keep away from road-bikes, just be more careful looking at them. Any good steel frame, roadie or not, should be able to handle a lot of weight.
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Old 10-05-06, 12:32 PM
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I don't see any reason to stay away from road bikes. The biggest issue with a road bike isn't going to be the frame, it's going to be the wheels. If you want a road bike, avoid "weight weenie" bikes and go more towards the touring/cyclocross end of the spectrum. Also, make certain you can get/upgrade the wheels to a 36 spoke wheel. Probably the trek 520 and the surly Long Haul Trucker are probably the best choices I can think of. If the wheels are inflated properly, you can ride 25mm tires just fine.(I'm close to 290, and I ride 25s).
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Old 10-05-06, 12:48 PM
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Something not mentioned yet is gearing, and its why I will recommend at least considering a mtn bike (hardtail). When you are big, you are likely out of shape. Big + Out of shape + hill = UGGG! Mtn bikes have pretty low gearing so you should be able to climb most any grade (on the road) with no trouble. Personally I have a 28 chainring with a 32 rear cog on my roadbike and still struggle up some of the grades around here (short steep sections of like 14-19% Grade). This after well over 3k miles in the saddle this year and weighing in at 225.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by john bono
I don't see any reason to stay away from road bikes. The biggest issue with a road bike isn't going to be the frame, it's going to be the wheels.
+1

If you want a road bike, avoid "weight weenie" bikes and go more towards the touring/cyclocross end of the spectrum. Also, make certain you can get/upgrade the wheels to a 36 spoke wheel.
I don't think you need to restrict yourself to touring or cyclocross bikes. At 6'3 and 285, I don't (2000 Lemond Zurich, 1967 Paramount). I absolutely agree on the 36-spoke wheels, though. And try to get them with butted spokes - they make stronger wheels than straight-gauge ones do.

Probably the trek 520 and the surly Long Haul Trucker are probably the best choices I can think of. If the wheels are inflated properly, you can ride 25mm tires just fine.(I'm close to 290, and I ride 25s).
The 520 and the LHT are good, solid options (I have a 520, too). I would suggest that you get something that allows the option of mounting tires up to at least 28mm tires, though. Lots of folks our size prefer 32's or even 35's on the road. Personally, I prefer 28's, although I can and sometimes do ride 25's.

Oh, and invest in a decent floor pump. It will be important for you to keep your tire pressure up, especially on road tires, unless you like getting pinch flats.

Congrats and kudoes on making the commitment to get back in the saddle. I'm pretty sure you won't regret it. If you keep the rubber side down, I guarantee you won't regret it.
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Old 10-05-06, 01:16 PM
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Don't get the top-of-the-line MTB drivetrain components. Those are built for racing, and are twice as expensive to save 20% weight. Get the next best down, which are more durable. For example, with Shimano, don't get XTR no matter how pretty they are... get XT and be happy that whenever you bend a chainring it's a $30 replacement, not $70.
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Old 10-07-06, 10:00 PM
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The first thing you should probably consider is the frame material and for your size I think steel is the best choice. As far as type of bike, the first thing I would avoid is any of the narrow tired, high seat-low bar racing type road bikes. If you want drop bars, consider a touring or cyclocross bike. You'll be able to put wider tires on these, which will be a big advantage for you. Their more upright seating position will probably suit you better. The other options are comfort bikes and mountain bikes. Probably the best way to make up your mind is to ride one of each type. A good dealer should let you do this as it's their job to find the bike that best suits your wants and needs.

I don't mind the Clydesdale moniker. I live in MO so I've seen the Budweiser clydesdales many times. I think they are one of the most beautiful horse breeds, big and muscular just like a lot of us!
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Old 10-09-06, 12:19 AM
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I'm gonna suggest heavy duty steel touring bikes.
The trek 520s a good choice, though don't gain any more weight.
I cracked mine while touring (probably 325-350 total weight).
That or a good steel mtb with slicks. I'd just say avoid AL. There is good AL out there that will support clydes but it will cost quite a bit.
/and clyde is a good thing.
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Old 10-09-06, 09:56 AM
  #18  
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I started out at about 370 pounds with a comfort bike, 36 spoke wheels I think. I rode it for about 1 1/2 years or so with no issues. It was steel and I used the stock wheels and never had a wheel issue until I wrecked and messed one of the wheels up.

Now down to around 315 or 320 pounds.

Last Xmas I bought a steel touring road bike (Trek 520), also steel frame. I forget how many spokes, but since its a touring wheels are probably heavier designed. I've got about 500 miles on it and no issues with it either.

I've been fine with stock wheels as long as it is designed to be a sturdier bike.
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Old 10-09-06, 10:40 AM
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if budget were not an issue (and you'll have to get over your aversion to the clydesdale word -- it really is meant with love though.)

I would look at athe Aegis bikes. I've ridden one and it is sweet.

They have a generous replacement program and they will build a stronger (dare I say "Clydesdale") frame for the heavier riders. Oh, and they are beautiful bikes.
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Old 10-11-06, 10:55 AM
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Ugh. Rode to work today for the first time. 5' 11" 265. Prior service, so I used to be in shape 5 years ago until a back injury discharged me. I tend to lead first and hurt later but I drove partway to work and picked a spot to park. Unfortunately it was only 3/4 -1 mile from work.

Anyway- I bought a Cannondale 3.0 from an LBS last year and thats what I ride. Im reading about frames in here, though, and wondering now if that was a good choice....
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Old 10-11-06, 11:53 AM
  #21  
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There's some good info here.
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Old 10-18-06, 02:36 PM
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To get technical about it, a Clydesdale is one of the larger breeds of draft horse. The draft animals are used to pull heavy loads – wagons, plows, etc., and have much thicker limbs than other breeds of horses. Clydesdales originated in Scotland and are distinguished among their draft brethren by absolutely colossal feet and shaggy lower legs.

Draft horses come in a variety of sizes. Horses are measured in “hands’ (4 inch increments) at the “withers” (the highest part of the back, at the base of the neck). A saddle horse is usually around 14-15 hands, Clydesdales measure in at 16-19 hands. They are huge even by draft horse standards. Because they are so large, they were never that popular among farmers, even today the Amish use mostly Belgians and Perchrons to plow and pull heavy loads.

The Clydesdales found a niche pulling loads in cities where their immense size and huge feet were assets. An ideal fit for the beer business.
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Old 10-18-06, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by onelung
To get technical about it, a Clydesdale is one of the larger breeds of draft horse. The draft animals are used to pull heavy loads – wagons, plows, etc., and have much thicker limbs than other breeds of horses. Clydesdales originated in Scotland and are distinguished among their draft brethren by absolutely colossal feet and shaggy lower legs.

Draft horses come in a variety of sizes. Horses are measured in “hands’ (4 inch increments) at the “withers” (the highest part of the back, at the base of the neck). A saddle horse is usually around 14-15 hands, Clydesdales measure in at 16-19 hands. They are huge even by draft horse standards. Because they are so large, they were never that popular among farmers, even today the Amish use mostly Belgians and Perchrons to plow and pull heavy loads.

The Clydesdales found a niche pulling loads in cities where their immense size and huge feet were assets. An ideal fit for the beer business.
Thick limbs: Check
Colossal feet: Check
Shaggy lower legs: Check
Big, even by regular standards for calling things big: Check
Not popular among farmers and the Amish: Quite possible
Ideal for hauling around beer: Check

Yep. I'm a Clydesdale.
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Old 10-19-06, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
Thick limbs: Check
Colossal feet: Check
Shaggy lower legs: Check
Big, even by regular standards for calling things big: Check
Not popular among farmers and the Amish: Quite possible
Ideal for hauling around beer: Check

Yep. I'm a Clydesdale.
Awesome!
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Old 10-19-06, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
...
Not popular among farmers and the Amish: Quite possible...
...
Yep. I'm a Clydesdale.
+2

especially at meal times
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