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My Advice: Heavy Rider Frame/Tires/Wheels

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.

My Advice: Heavy Rider Frame/Tires/Wheels


Old 06-07-08, 10:27 AM
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My Advice: Heavy Rider Frame/Tires/Wheels

In 2004 I searched the forums for advice on a new road bike and didn't find much. I've posted this note for heavy riders perhaps new to the sport and not sure of considerations necessary for heavy riders. These are my experiences, opinions etc etc.

At 42 I had rediscovered biking on my equally aged Fuji and was ready to upgrade to a bike in the $1,500 range. At 6'6" and 275 I needed a bike that was cool and fast (relatively speaking) but would hold up to my weight. In the hopes of providing info to someone else in the same situation I'm posting a brief synopsis of my story.

I didn't want steel: I had steel bikes as a kid and desired something new. Ti was too expensive and carbon, expensive as well, just didn't seem durable enough (although that was just my perception at the time). That left aluminum.

I bought a 63 cm Cannonade CAAD 5 bike. Many bike makers don't make stock sizes this large. That helped narrow the pick. The bike felt great and help up like a champ for 3 years and 7k miles. The bike held up fantastically. I pounded it hard, road a lot of hills and completed two sprint Triathlons on it. It also slogged through 3 completions of the RAIN ride (Ride Across Indiana- 160miles in one day).

The only problem was in the beginning I snapped many spokes on my rear wheel. Ultimately I had my LBS restring the wheel with high quality (DP) spokes and that solved the problem.

I ride narrow tires and am prone to flats. I've found, I believe because of my weight, the non-fording wire bead tires flat much less often than foldable tires.

At the start of the fourth season a spoke caught the derailleur and smashed it into the seat stay causing a crack. I replaced the frame with a CAAD 9.

The CAAD 9 seems just as strong for a heavy rider as the CAAD 5. I don't like it as much though as the chain stays are much shorter and the wheel closer to the seat tube. This seem (my perception) to put a higher percentage of my weight on the rear wheel. I can feel the heavy load (BTW on the same wheel I took from the CAAD 5.

Bottom Line: If you're heavy you may not need a touring bike but carefully consider frames with short chain stays. Use non-folding tire and get your wheel restrung as soon as you bike a stock set in this price range. I'm going to assume the stock wheels were machine made.
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Old 06-07-08, 10:48 AM
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good info. thanks
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Old 02-18-09, 11:11 PM
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good info. I'm 6'5'' 200 lb and bike shops keep discouraging me because they think I'll just ruin any wheel after a few long rides.
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Old 02-18-09, 11:26 PM
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We have an index thread here in Clyde's that covers a huge body of knowledge for buying, speccing and fitting a bike for a Clyde. Visit it, and I think you'll be absolutely stunned at the depth of information.

. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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