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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 11-12-11, 10:56 PM   #1
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Trying to get back into riding

I've been reading here for several years now, finally signed up.

I'm 6'4" tall and 300lbs or so.
I used to ride extensively but haven't for 25 years or more.
Both work and a few injuries to both knees, one ankle, and years of back strain have put off me getting back onto a bike.
I need to do something for some exercise, especially since my job lately has put me behind a desk most of the time.

I used to ride a 64cm frame road bike, but these days I'd say my proper fit is more in the 60-63cm range, depending on the bike.
Years ago, even at a much lighter 240lbs and in good shape, I had issues with both crank arms, frames, and wheels giving out. I seemed to destroy front cranks and wheels the fastest.
I cracked two frames, both were upper end models, one was a cracked bottom bracket shell, the other frame's chainstays separated from the bottom bracket.
Both were upper end road bikes from the late 70's/ early 80's. It was recommended to me that I avoid higher end tube sets.

I need to find or build a decent bike to slowly get back into riding, even if I only ride a few miles a day, I want a bike that's better suited for a big guy.

I prefer the common road bike layout and would love to find something from back when I used to ride.
A few trips to local bike shops pretty much told me that they really don't make anything suited for big people these days, one shop told me that they don't make big frames anymore. One told me to buy a cruiser.

The frame should be steel, the wheels need to be somewhat stout both for my size and weight, and to tolerate the roads these days. I'd most likely run heavy tires and tubes at the very least. I like a longer frame, something more relaxed than a full on racer. I used to ride a Panasonic DX2000, and before that a Motobecane Grand Jubile, and a Raleigh Super Grand Prix.
They were all good bikes, but I sold them years ago. On each bike, I had custom wheels built and ran only forged cranks.

I'm looking for suggestions. I've got my eyes on a few on CL but still have to go see them in person.
I'm open to suggestions on building up a bike that will hold up under 300lbs.
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Old 11-12-11, 11:58 PM   #2
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i am 6 foot 4 inches and weight 324 pounds and ride a giant defy. Got it when I was 365 pounds. Upgraded tired to 36 spokes. Solid bike.

Where in PA do you live? There are a few bike shops I can recommend that have been great to me... D & Q in cherry hill, nj is one of them. If you would like, I can introduce you to the two guys that fit me. Wonderful people and when you get a bike from them, they give you so many perks it is amazing.

In my opinion, dont worry so much about the frame per say but rather the rims and number of spokes. Learn to spin more versus mash, which will be easier on your knees anyway.

Would love to ride with you someday. Great people on this forum.
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Old 11-13-11, 02:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by bigbikes View Post
I'm open to suggestions on building up a bike that will hold up under 300lbs.
If your budget allows a new bike, Trek has several rated for 300 pounds.

From the Trek web site:

Is there a rider weight limit for Trek bikes?
Yes, we have the following weight limits on our bikes:
  • Max rider weight of 50lbs:
  • Trikester, in our Kids collection.
  • Max rider weight of 80lbs:
  • All other bikes in our Kids collection.
  • Max rider weight of 275lbs:
  • Road bikes, triathlon bikes, and cruisers.
  • Max rider weight of 300lbs:
  • All other bikes, including hybrids, urban, commuter, fitness, Ride+ electric assist, cyclocross, and all mountain bikes.
  • The Transport and Transport+ can also support an additional 220lbs of cargo, distributed as 20lbs on the front rack, 100lbs on the rear rack, and 50lbs on each side load rack.
  • Max combined rider weight of 550lbs:
  • Tandem bicycles.
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Old 11-13-11, 05:43 AM   #4
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Welcome! I'm with RobertL. I also ride a 60 cm Trek 4.5 Madone. I'm 6'2" 225 lbs. I'll assume if you haven't ridden in 25 years you're also nearing 50. I thought I wanted a bike like you described and looked at a Surly Long Haul Trucker first. I wouldn't worry about frame materials and just ride as many bikes as you can. Take your time deciding what's right for you. In the mean time walking is an excellent way to begin a fitness program. I've lost over 200 lbs and weightloss is more about eating than exercise. Keep the post coming we love to hear about your progress.
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Old 11-13-11, 06:21 AM   #5
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I agree with jethro 56, ride as many bikes as you can, and see what works for you now. I finally settled on a Ross Signature, after many years of trying other Classic and Vintage bikes. I'm right about your size, was about 400 once. Take your time, and do it right. This forum was lots of help to me (lurked for 5 years or so) and this forum can answer almost any question you might have. Keep posting, keep us posted..
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Old 11-13-11, 06:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by bigbikes View Post
I'm open to suggestions on building up a bike that will hold up under 300lbs.
Bicycle frames are ridiculously strong. I like steel, but the truth is you'll probably be fine with any material.

The trick is the wheels. Get them custom made, 36 spoke double walled, get a touring or tandem rim. The wheels are usually the first thing to break for a clyde if they're not up to quality.
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Old 11-13-11, 11:11 AM   #7
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6'4'' 245 down from 335+.

A Surly LHT or Cross-Check frame set built up with components to suit you would be a reasonably affordable option with good resale value (for when you move on to something else (and you will)). Or buy used steel bike of good quality and upgrade wheels and cranks as appropriate.

I had trouble with cranks because I pump out some enormous watts (very inefficiently) - my solution was Campy Ultra-Torque cranks with the hirth joint makes for a clyde proof crank experience. I used these on 20 - 30 year old willowy tubed steel frames and they tightened up the whole BB shell and made for a great ride.

Good Luck - see you out there!

Last edited by redvespablur; 11-13-11 at 11:17 AM. Reason: clarity
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