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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 04-20-12, 02:46 PM   #1
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Bike Wheels Related to Weight; help?

I know there are tons of threads on this already, but this is a little different, and with the search function being weird it's just easier to ask.

I'm getting this bike once I've paid off the layaway:
Schwinn Voyageur World 21 Commuter

I'm in love with it, it rides like a dream, comes in my size, and has a rack on it. Now, the big question. I'm around 190-200 pounds(at 5'1") so I know it will hold me. But based on its wheel specs, which I don't know how to read, how much more than that will it hold as is? I'm a new commuter, so I'll need to carry things with me a lot.

(Also, my significant other is 300lb, and was considering getting the matching men's bike to ride with me for fun. Would it hold his weight do you think? The wheels and most other specs are the same as the women's.)
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Old 04-20-12, 04:46 PM   #2
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I think in your case how much you can carry on the bike will depend on the rack capacity, which it will say somewhere on the rack or in the manual. The rack on my husband's bike looks a lot like that and it's max is 55 lbs.

Schwinn actually puts a weight limit on their bikes, at least some of them. I bought a Schwinn Suburban, took it home and read the manual, and it had a maximum of 300 lbs. I was a little over that...but the real reason I took it back was that it was just too tall for me at 5'3". I have a bunch of metal in my leg and I have broken bones in that foot just from taking a wrong step, so I had to be able to touch the ground when I stopped, without leaning over sideways.

About getting matching bikes, my husband loves the idea of matching bikes, but I don't...90 percent of the time I am not riding with him, I am not picking my bike according to what he might like. I got something comfortable that appealed to me. (He took what was left in the bike budget and bought a bike at Goodwill ) You should ask at the bike shop about weight limits on the bike he likes...but the suspension fork is often not comfy for heavier riders.
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Old 04-20-12, 06:15 PM   #3
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The Schwinn you have in the link says Weinmann ZAC 19 700c rims 32H. Those are fairly beefy double wall rims with a reinforced center ridge near the spoke holes. As to how much they can hold really depends on how the wheels were built and quality of spokes they used. Usually, these bikes come with machine laced and tensioned wheels and some generic spokes. So if you're lucky, the wheel lasts a long time, and if you're not lucky, you may have some break. Almost all spokes will not be sufficiently tensioned on machine built wheels, which may add to the tendency for spokes to break. You may ask the shop if they are willing to check spoke tension on those wheels.

I have no personal experience with ZAC 19's but the competing rim which is not a full double wall is the Alex ZC1000. That one easily supports equivalent of a 300 lb person and gear in the back with the 700 x 35c tires. I have also builit and ridden Weinman AS23X rims in 700c which are half the price of the ZAC 19 and are slightly narrower albeit in 36H. Those have held up to mild cyclocross riding in messy conditions with 32c tires. Sidewalls on them seem to wear fast under gritty conditions, but so do most rims. But functionally just as sturdy as any older Mavic MA-40 box rims I've built, only the finish wasn't as nice.
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