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New here.. wondering about weight limits for bikes...

Old 10-15-11, 08:31 AM
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paigiebear
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New here.. wondering about weight limits for bikes...

just wondering what the best bike would be to suit my needs? i'm just under 390lbs & looking into buying a bike so I can start riding again & lose all this weight I've gained (from medical issues) but can't find ANY weight limit info anywhere!! I want something that looks nice, rides nice (on the street for now, Then beginner mountain trails after I've lost some) & most importantly, can hold my fat a** lol I don't want to spend an arm & a leg either, Maybe 500$-ish... Can anyone help me find something like that?? I'm located on the west coast of BC Canada if that helps?.. Thanks
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Old 10-15-11, 10:34 AM
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paigiebear, Once rider weight goes beyond 300 lbs. the critical bicycle element becomes the wheel, primarily the rear one. A steel or aluminum hybrid without suspension and equipped with 26" wheels laced with 36 spokes has been the staple of 'first' bikes for many.

A similar bike can be found used locally and they maybe listed as rigid mountain bikes. Regardless if purchased new or used, have a bike shop retension or rebuild at least the rear wheel.

Welcome to the forum.

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Old 10-15-11, 11:33 AM
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It's not easy to give specific advice, because there are many bikes that might meet your needs. It sounds as if you want to do some moderate off-road eventually, so either a mountain bike or a hybrid with a suspension fork might be appropriate. I'd suggest the latter, ideally with a fork that allows you to lock out the suspension when riding on paved roads.

As bradtx says, with this style of bike in an aluminium frame, the weight is an issue for wheels rather than the frame. The best advice is to get to a bike shop, tell them what your budget is and try their suggestions. Is that possible? I really wouldn't recommend buying on-line, you need to talk about your needs and try before you buy.
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Old 10-15-11, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by paigiebear View Post
just wondering what the best bike would be to suit my needs? i'm just under 390lbs & looking into buying a bike so I can start riding again & lose all this weight I've gained (from medical issues) but can't find ANY weight limit info anywhere!! I want something that looks nice, rides nice (on the street for now, Then beginner mountain trails after I've lost some) & most importantly, can hold my fat a** lol I don't want to spend an arm & a leg either, Maybe 500$-ish... Can anyone help me find something like that?? I'm located on the west coast of BC Canada if that helps?.. Thanks
Most bike makers have a design weight limit of 250 lbs max. The only bike maker that goes beyond 250 lbs is Worksman cycles built in NYC, NY. Their bikes have a weight limit of 500 lbs due to their main market being industrial use. They make a "civilian" version that offers many extras not sold to industry.

https://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../cruisers.html

https://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...ml/page63.html

Worksman will build a bike to your order then deliver it to your home.

NOTE: I have over 35 yrs riding Worksman cycles where I retired from. I also own a new Worksman bike and a Workman PAV trike. They are the "Humvee" of cycling!! TUFF AS THEY COME!!
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-15-11, 12:22 PM
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As already said, go for a quality Steel or Aluminum frame

I would prefer steel as alum frames can fail catostrophically Put your money into wheels. 36, 40 or even 48 spoke wheels are available. At 390 you seat should be chosen with care too. A more upright position, although harder on the back wheel will be more comfortable for you; leaning on your arms and hands will tire you quickly and leaning over with your knees banging into your belly is NO fun.

Last edited by Wulf; 10-15-11 at 12:25 PM. Reason: add
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Old 10-15-11, 01:20 PM
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Wheels are the big deal. I ride a Giant OCR2 (road bike) I've had since 2005. My current weight is 330, but I've ridden it over long distances at 350 and above. I've been using the same wheels, simple aluminum rims built at my local shop, since I bought the bike. I couldn't tell you how many spokes they are, but I ride this thing on rough country roads all summer on 700x28 tires and haven't had a problem yet. Had a spoke let go this summer, but I had the wheel repaired and trued at the same shop and was back on the road.
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Old 10-15-11, 05:10 PM
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"Wheels are the big deal." Yes, they are! A very big deal indeed!

On that point......
Worksman makes some of the strongest bicycle wheels on the market bar none. Their rims are "clincher" steel or alloy rims special made for Worksman and all spokes used in Worksman 36 hole wheels are 11 gage same as used in moped wheels.

I know of no one who uses such strong wheels sold to the bicycle markets. No one..........

There are other wheels sets that are strong of that there is no doubt. That said, Worksman wheels will carry more weight so concern over what they will carry is a non-issue.
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I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-16-11, 12:48 AM
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Paigiebear, you'll have noticed that Nightshade is an enthusiast for Worksman bicycles. That's fine, he is entitled to his opinion, but it should be pointed out that comparatively few people share his enthusiasm. These are very heavy bikes that were originally for industrial purposes. Most people would not regard them as being competitive with recreational bikes, and I don't think they'd meet your criterion of looking nice or riding nice on trails.
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Old 10-16-11, 06:41 AM
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Personally, I don't think most people even over 300 (even way over) actually need something purposely overbuilt, except stout wheels with plenty of spokes. I see the niche the Worksman bikes fit into, but we're talking only heavy, overbuilt cruisers and comfort bikes from what I can see. I also picture them as handier in really urban places--they look like they'd fit right in somewhere in NYC. If you're in a more rural place or even a smaller city, and you're going to want to handle more distance, I'm not sure I'd go for that.

On the other hand, they do sound extremely strong, so if that extra measure of strength will give you enough peace of mind to be worth it, that might be what you're looking for. But six years on an aluminum road bike with a carbon fiber fork has convinced me that it can carry me reliably.
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Old 10-16-11, 10:32 AM
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You probably need to just go to your local bike shop and try some bikes. Not every bike is comfortable to every body type.

I've been looking at the Giant Sedona with a steel frame...going to buy it when I get my tax refund next spring. My daughter has a Giant bike and it's great. The guy I bought her bike from said that for a heavier rider (me, not my daughter) one of the things that's most important is keeping your tires inflated and to make sure they had enough air before every ride, to avoid damaging the wheels. I don't know if it's true, but the cheap bike that I was riding had lots of other parts fail, but the wheels were still in great shape when the rest of the bike was ready for the landfill.
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Old 10-16-11, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Gwinn View Post
Personally, I don't think most people even over 300 (even way over) actually need something purposely overbuilt, except stout wheels with plenty of spokes. I see the niche the Worksman bikes fit into, but we're talking only heavy, overbuilt cruisers and comfort bikes from what I can see. I also picture them as handier in really urban places--they look like they'd fit right in somewhere in NYC. If you're in a more rural place or even a smaller city, and you're going to want to handle more distance, I'm not sure I'd go for that.

On the other hand, they do sound extremely strong, so if that extra measure of strength will give you enough peace of mind to be worth it, that might be what you're looking for. (snip)
My point exactly! I'll be the first to admit that Worksman is not an end all be all bike for everyone. It is a heavy duty weight carrying fool that will get the person over 300# back on the road safely with no worries of the bike failing under their weight.

That said, why buy a "normal" bike if you're not sure it will carry you safely when a inexpensive basic Worksman will carry you safely until you loose enough weight to buy that "normal" bike?

I recommend Worksman to all who are really over weight just to get them back on a bike and on the road to better health with a bike that will not give them a reason to stop cycling such as constant breakdowns of a lightweight bike. They can always reward themselves with a new lighter weight bike after they get in better shape.
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 10-17-11, 11:41 AM
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Thank you all!

Thank you all for your advice, I really appreciate it! I guess I will be going to the nearest bike shop before I buy anything.. The worksman sounds good, however not looking for a "cruiser" bike.. I'm 25 yrs old and I want something that LOOKS NICE as well! (no offense lol) Thanks again everyone
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Old 10-17-11, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by paigiebear View Post
just wondering what the best bike would be to suit my needs? i'm just under 390lbs & looking into buying a bike so I can start riding again & lose all this weight I've gained (from medical issues) but can't find ANY weight limit info anywhere!! I want something that looks nice, rides nice (on the street for now, Then beginner mountain trails after I've lost some) & most importantly, can hold my fat a** lol I don't want to spend an arm & a leg either, Maybe 500$-ish... Can anyone help me find something like that?? I'm located on the west coast of BC Canada if that helps?.. Thanks
I started out at the same weight as you. My first bike was a Specialized Expedition nothing special. I held up great not ever a flat tire. I rode it roughly 2000 miles. I lost all my weight on that bike about 130lbs. As a reward I built a Gunnar Crosshairs. Then lots of life issues I had to stop riding for a long time. I gained back about 70lbs. So the Gunnar isn't so comfortable anymore and the Expedition is about worn out. I just purchased my 3rd bicycle its a Specialized Crosstrail disc.
My point is any of my bikes can handle the weight as long as you don't get stupid on them.
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Old 10-17-11, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Most bike makers have a design weight limit of 250 lbs max. The only bike maker that goes beyond 250 lbs is Worksman cycles built in NYC, NY.
???

Cervelos have no weight limit for the rider. They're not going to be in the OP's price range, but ... the red part, above, isn't true. There are plenty of bikes that will support your weight.

Clydes and Athenas sometimes get to be the size they are because of motivation problems. So get a bike you'll enjoy riding.
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Old 10-17-11, 12:49 PM
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Let me ask a related question. What do people think of this, from Zipp's FAQ?

We generally recommend our maximum limit at 275 lbs. That is not to say that every Zipp wheel is right (or wrong) for you. We strongly believe in having the right wheel for the right application. The needs of a 220 lb sprinter are different from those of a 115 lb triathlete. If you are at or above 190 lbs, we strongly recommend you consider the MAX 404 or 808. These wheels have additional spokes that offer better stiffness and cornering confidence for someone at that weight. Keep in mind - this is a guideline. There are very strong riders at 180 lbs who may prefer the MAX, and very smooth-riding 225 lb riders who may prefer the standard wheel. Recommended maximum weight for specific wheels:
  • 190 lbs (86kg) for 202 and 303 tubular
  • 225 lbs (102kg) for Team Issue, 404, 808, and 1080
    • Above 190 lbs (86kg), consider MAX 404 and 808
  • 275 lbs (125kg): Cyclocross, MAX, Track, Disc wheels
Note: Zipp wheels, rims, and hubs are NOT warranted for use on tandem bikes.
I'm in the 205 to 210 range, and have been riding a (borrowed) set of 303 tubulars since Friday. Are they gonna asplode? Should I stop even considering them?
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Old 10-17-11, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Most bike makers have a design weight limit of 250 lbs max. The only bike maker that goes beyond 250 lbs is Worksman cycles built in NYC, NY
That statement is not correct, this is taken directly from Treks site and I am sure more have limits above 250 I just don't care to search for it right now I just bought a trek is why I knew that their weights were above 250 lbs.

Rider weight limit of 275lb:
  • Road bikes with drop type handlebar
  • Triathlon, time trial or Speed Concept bicycle
  • Cruisers with large 26" tires and swept-back handlebar, Bicycles that fold.


Rider weight limit of 300lbs:
  • Hybrid bicycles with 700c wheels, tires larger than 28c, and flat handlebars
  • City bicycles: hybrids with special equipment, cyclocross bicycles: with drop type handlebars, knobby 700c tires, and cantilever or disc brakes
  • Mountain bikes of all types including: standard, race, cross-country, heavy-duty, trail, all-mountain, freeride, and jumping bikes of both the hardtail and full suspension variety.


I have been riding a K2 Zed since 2009 and have been as high as 375 in that time, no wheel issues, no frame issues on that bike at all yet and I must have a couple thousand miles on the bike since June 2009. I will say that I have replaced the BB/crankset and the pedals on the bike due to me breaking them. The pedals were cheapo resin pedals and they broke because of bad technique more than my weight I think (my weight did play a role) and the BB that came on the K2 was a very generic cheapo and I assumed that it would get replaced along the way anyways.

I paid $319 for the K2 and with upgrades/fixing the bb and pedals am into the bike for about $580 as it stands in that second photo (I have an X7 RD that's not installed yet included into the $580 figure) The bike got me back in the saddle and is now upgraded to a pretty decent riding bike that has held up well under my weight and riding.

The day I brought the K2 home


How it stands as of last weekend.



Originally Posted by Don Gwinn View Post
Personally, I don't think most people even over 300 (even way over) actually need something purposely overbuilt, except stout wheels with plenty of spokes.
I agree with this statement, and would even go as far as to say that with care stock wheels will last too, going off of personal experience thus far since getting back into riding again.
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Old 10-17-11, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
Most bike makers have a design weight limit of 250 lbs max. The only bike maker that goes beyond 250 lbs is Worksman cycles built in NYC, NY. Their bikes have a weight limit of 500 lbs due to their main market being industrial use. They make a "civilian" version that offers many extras not sold to industry.

https://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../cruisers.html

https://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s...ml/page63.html

Worksman will build a bike to your order then deliver it to your home.

NOTE: I have over 35 yrs riding Worksman cycles where I retired from. I also own a new Worksman bike and a Workman PAV trike. They are the "Humvee" of cycling!! TUFF AS THEY COME!!
Incorrect.

I appreciate you trying to drum up business for your former employee, but doing it by spreading misinformation is not the best way.

When I was looking for a new bike a couple years ago, I contacted the manufacturers I was interested in - Specialized, Felt, Blue, Cannondale, and Giant. Giant did not reply, but the other four did and they all told me the same thing - they did not put weight limits on their frames. They all said something along the lines of "at a certain point you have to start worrying about wheels and seatposts" but they all assured me that no matter what weight rider, they would guarantee the frame.

I have also talked to several other companies who have told me the same thing since then.

At the NAHBS a couple years ago, I asked at least 15 different builders, and they all said they could (and often do) build bikes with no weight limit.
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Old 10-18-11, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
Incorrect.

I appreciate you trying to drum up business for your former employee, but doing it by spreading misinformation is not the best way.

I never spent so much as a day in the employee of Worksman cycle. I simply like that brand, no more ,no less.
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My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

Last edited by Nightshade; 10-18-11 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 10-18-11, 12:44 PM
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Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .

I started out in the near 300 lb range and had great experiences riding 1990s chrome-moly, 26" wheel, Trek and Giant rigid frame and fork MTBs like the Trek 800 series or the Giant Yukon. You don't have to go nuts pricewise on the wheels, but 36 heavy gauge stainless steel spokes will carry just about anyone. For some extra insurance double-wall eyeletted rims with a deep profile and midlevel MTB hubs will take a lot of heavy use. You should be able to get a good used steel MTB for $100-200. Most come with 36-spoke aluminum rimmed wheels. Ride the stock wheels unless you start breaking spokes (my rule of thumb is three broken spokes on the same wheel means rebuild/replace) and upgrade when and if you need to replace them. When you have a wheel built or trued, make sure it is by someone who really knows wheels, not some new guy who thinks that anything that doesn't drag on a brake pad is true.
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Old 10-18-11, 12:47 PM
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NOTE: I have over 35 yrs riding Worksman cycles where I retired from.
I can see where one could interpret this as that you retired from Worksman Cycles. I'm staying out of the rest of that conversation.
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Old 10-18-11, 01:28 PM
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I bet you a bone stock Surly LHT would carry a 400lb man anywhere anytime with no worries and you dont have to ride a beach cruiser to do so.
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Old 10-18-11, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
I never spent so much as a day in the employee of Worksman cycle. I simply like that brand, no more ,no less.
Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
NOTE: I have over 35 yrs riding Worksman cycles where I retired from.
Gotcha.
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Old 10-19-11, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Let me ask a related question. What do people think of this, from Zipp's FAQ?

I'm in the 205 to 210 range, and have been riding a (borrowed) set of 303 tubulars since Friday. Are they gonna asplode? Should I stop even considering them?
They may asplode, but it's unlikely that they'll explode. A buddy of mine, ex-track sprinter gone to fat, weighs in at about 230lbs, rides his road bike on wheels with a recommended limit of under 200. He has no problems. having said that, he's quite a "light" rider, in that his bike-handling skills are excellent and he takes the weight off the rear wheel in rough conditions, is very slick at hopping potholes etc. Like the Zipp people say, there are people at 180lbs who are hard on wheels and people at 225 who are kind to them.
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Old 10-19-11, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
having said that, he's quite a "light" rider, in that his bike-handling skills are excellent and he takes the weight off the rear wheel in rough conditions, is very slick at hopping potholes etc.
For the most part, my "rough conditions" are cracks and seams in the pavement. But I've been known not to see potholes from time to time, mostly in the rain and dark. And these won't be rain wheels. I didn't want to bunny hop on them, since they're the personal wheels of one of the mechanics at the shop, who was gracious enough to let me borrow them ... it's odd that a bunny hop would be gentler than a pothole, but it definitely feels that way when you do one or the other.
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Old 10-19-11, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
... it's odd that a bunny hop would be gentler than a pothole, but it definitely feels that way when you do one or the other.
When you hop the bike you aren't seated, so the rear wheel has less of your weight. Plus, unless you screw up the impact is with a level surface rather than the sharp edge of a hole or curb.
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09-11-18 12:47 PM
HippieMama
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