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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.

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Old 10-10-07, 03:42 AM   #1
damnable
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How heavy do you have to be....

Hi there,
I'm half looking into purchasing a roadish type bike and I've been reading through the stickies suggestion thread.

So, my question is, how heavy do you have to be to need more heavy duty equipment?

Or in other words, I am about 212-215, if I bought an entry level roadish bike (this description includes tourers and maybe cyclocross), would I need to change the wheels out? Would I need to go steel or is aluminium and maybe a carbon fork going to be strong enough?

Thanks there.
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Old 10-10-07, 05:36 AM   #2
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No worries at only 212-215. I started riding at 280 and am now 225 and havent had any problems.
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Old 10-10-07, 05:43 AM   #3
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Hi there,
I'm half looking into purchasing a roadish type bike and I've been reading through the stickies suggestion thread.

So, my question is, how heavy do you have to be to need more heavy duty equipment?

Or in other words, I am about 212-215, if I bought an entry level roadish bike (this description includes tourers and maybe cyclocross), would I need to change the wheels out? Would I need to go steel or is aluminium and maybe a carbon fork going to be strong enough?

Thanks there.
The fork should be fine. The frame material should be fine (you could even do cf, scandium, or ti). The wheels are a maybe -- it depends on the wheels and it depends on how much power you put out.

My current steed came with Real Design Superspheres. Even though I was only 195 when I bought it, I broke 3 spokes (2 on the same century, dammit!) within the first few weeks and ran into several other people who had the same problem with those wheels (and one guy was only about 150). After saying "eff it" I picked up a set of Ksyrium Elite's and haven't looked back.

Having said that, you'd probably be fine with open-pro's, ksyrium anythings, or aksiums. I'd probably stay away from the super low spoke count bling bling wheels though.
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Old 10-10-07, 08:02 AM   #4
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That's my weight range and I specced my Allez with hand built Deep V wheels to handle torque and rough road conditions.
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Old 10-10-07, 08:17 AM   #5
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I'm on my way down to that range (not much more to go now!) and I've been asking around about frames/wheels/etc. Unless you're riding really crummy roads and hopping curbs all the time, the general concensus seems to be that any frame/fork material is OK, and you can go for lower spoke counts (like 24, not those insane low counts like 8 or 12) if you spend the money on good wheels. I see a lot of praise for the Aksium and Ksyrium wheels for lower spoke count, and the Open Pro and Deep V for 32 and 36 spoke bomb-proof wheels.
The guy I was talking to at the LBS is 6'3", 220 pounds, and rides a full carbon frame/fork with Ksyrium Equipe wheels. He said that even standing and hammering on the hills he's never run into any problems.
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Old 10-10-07, 05:08 PM   #6
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A couple of relevant points haven't been mentioned here, I think One is your riding style--if you jump curbs, crash potholes and ride down stairs, you're going to have trouble, Otherwise, assuming decent quality parts, I think you'll be OK.
The other is the build quality of the wheels. They'll probably be machine made, and might benefit from a professional truing. If you start breaking spokes, take the wheel to a shop to have them replaced and ask them to true the wheel. If the spoke tension is right and equal, the wheel will be stronger.
You can easily learn to replace spokes yourself, by the way, but a pro mechanic with lots of experience can do a better job of tuning up a built wheel.
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Old 10-10-07, 09:00 PM   #7
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At 215 you need to value strength and durability over weight and performance. Just don't buy something that's ridiculously underbuilt. I always suggest steel for a variety of reasons but I myself ride a carbon/steel frame. Whatever you do, make sure you buy something that has a lifetime warranty and keep the receipt somewhere safe.
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Old 10-10-07, 09:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by damnable View Post
Hi there,
I'm half looking into purchasing a roadish type bike and I've been reading through the stickies suggestion thread.

So, my question is, how heavy do you have to be to need more heavy duty equipment?

Or in other words, I am about 212-215, if I bought an entry level roadish bike (this description includes tourers and maybe cyclocross), would I need to change the wheels out? Would I need to go steel or is aluminium and maybe a carbon fork going to be strong enough?

Thanks there.
An entry level roadish bike built for touring or cyclocross is probably going to have 32 spoke wheels. I have 32 spoke 700x23c wheels. I've ridden off of curbs and ridden offroad with no problems. My weight has been around 250-260 for all of this. (But it's 245 now!) Learn to stand with knees and elbows bent before you take a shock, and everything will be fine. I'm tempted to call this a non-issue.
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Old 10-10-07, 09:43 PM   #9
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I'm around 270. Before it was stolen, I had my $100 mountain bike. I took it offroad twice, both just on fairly slow rides across unpaved trails or pastures, and both times, got a bent wheel out of the deal. It appears to me that riding on pavement, those wheels would probably last indefinitely. Hopping over curbs, watch out. In other words, "It Depends". With right conditions, practically anything would work.
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Old 10-11-07, 02:31 PM   #10
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Hi there,
So, my question is, how heavy do you have to be to need more heavy duty equipment?
On my Surly LHT, I kept breaking a spoke or two a week. Riding on country lanes, chipseal pavement, around potholes, over asphalt patches. I'm 6'4", 225 lbs. Finally I had a tandem rim built up for my rear wheel. Evidently my riding style (not lifting out of the seat often enough) and the condition of the roads around here was enough to exceed the capacity of my rear wheel. No problems since then.

I would suggest just riding and see what happens. Riding style & conditions have a lot to do with the range of acceptable equipment that will work for you.
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Old 10-11-07, 02:38 PM   #11
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I should probably add:

When I bought my first bike-shop quality bike, the guy took about ten minutes, and gave me some simple tips. One of them was to periodically try to strum the spokes. Listen and feel for looseness and rattles. If the spokes are loose or rattle, you're going to have a weaker wheel - fix it, or get it fixed.
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Old 10-13-07, 04:10 AM   #12
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So..it seems general consensus is that stock everything should be OK except maybe the wheels.

I think I will see if I have problems first and then if I do have a look around. I had a quick look and those Kysium's cost almost as much as an entire lowish end bike for a pair. Gah!
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Old 10-13-07, 11:52 AM   #13
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So..it seems general consensus is that stock everything should be OK except maybe the wheels.

I think I will see if I have problems first and then if I do have a look around. I had a quick look and those Kysium's cost almost as much as an entire lowish end bike for a pair. Gah!
Good plan! For example, the deep V's on my bike, hand built, were around $350.00. Worth it though
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