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What components are more prone to wear because of weight?

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.

What components are more prone to wear because of weight?

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Old 05-09-12, 06:59 PM
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adefeatedman
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What components are more prone to wear because of weight?

Hello all-

My bike is new, but as I have been racking on the miles, I have been concerning myself with maintenance and general upkeep of the bike. This got me to thinking, what wear items on the bike are more prone to wear because of our clyde/athena status? Is there any additional maintenance to be aware of? At this point, I fill up my tires to 120psi and ride, and that is all really. Is there anything crucial I'm missing?

Sorry if this topic has been covered already. I tried a search to no avail.

-Jake
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Old 05-09-12, 07:26 PM
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120psi is probably too much for your tyres and possibly not very comfortable. http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#pressure

Wheels seem to be the biggest issue for most of the folks here. Factory wheels, often with lower spoke counts, don't seem to hold up for the 100kg/220lb + riders.

I found that some standard/cheapo brake pads were not 'confidence' inspiring when going downhill - big guys take a lot more stopping!
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Old 05-09-12, 07:27 PM
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Hi mate,

Biggest thing i got told off for by my local Bike shop , was not cleaning my chain .

Other thing, not sure on your weight but if you are a heavy bloke consider taking you wheels in a bit more often for a true and check, cost like 20 bucks at my LBS well worth it .
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Old 05-09-12, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
120psi is probably too much for your tyres and possibly not very comfortable. http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#pressure

Wheels seem to be the biggest issue for most of the folks here. Factory wheels, often with lower spoke counts, don't seem to hold up for the 100kg/220lb + riders.

I found that some standard/cheapo brake pads were not 'confidence' inspiring when going downhill - big guys take a lot more stopping!
Um, the link to Sheldon's site that you've provide would suggest that most average clydes would want 120psi or more in their 23-25mm tires.

Personally, at 115kg, I'm running 120 as well, in 25mm tires.
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Old 05-09-12, 08:07 PM
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First and foremost, wheels and even spoke tension. It's worth spending more time on than most shops will bothered with or have the expertise for.

Second, cleaned and lubed chain. I've broken a few over the years. Thankfully, when they fail, it doesn't seem to be as abrupt as some other failures. They are a good reason for "wiping" your chain with a reasonably thin rag after lubrication. On more than one occassion I've found a side plate that was seperating from it's pin.

Third, freehubs and freewheels. Not so much just weight, as combination of weight and climbing. I've stripped pawls in both. Watch out for any that are particularly light or made from aluminum instead of steel. The most recent victim was a specialized freehub on a Camber. On a demo ride I locked the thing up tight and had to ride out of the woods in Queenstown and back to town without the benefit of coasting. Or, risk tearing the rear deraileur off the bike. I've also done in Shimano, Sachs, Regina and Suntour units.

Pedals, I've not broken a spindle, but, have broken various pedal bodies.

Bottom bracket spindles, I've broken one and bent a second. Avoid the really light stuff and you should be fine.

Aluminum frames. Simply put, if you ride hard enough (causing it to flex), long enough (high number of repetitions), you will eventually suffer a failure. Most likely somewhere around the bottom bracket. The most common failures being: right side chain stay just behind the bb, downtube just ahead of the bb and seat tube just above the bb. Steel can also suffer from failures in these areas, but, seems to have a longer cycle life. Aluminum appears to work harden and crack. But, at least the failure mode is "usually" only that, a crack. Not an :-) assplossion :-) like carbon fiber. (guys, you know I'm taking the piss) right?

Pinch flats, but, we've already cover tire pressure.

Saddle rails. I've bent a few. I'm sure others have good luck with the lightest of hollow ti rails. Not me. Steel seems to work for me. Everything else, except carbon, has failed me one way or the other. A good post that offers generous clamping surface and width can go a long way to helping ensure saddle rail integrity. Thomsons are one popular example. There are others.

What am I missing?
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Old 05-09-12, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
What am I missing?
Tires--especially the rear--will wear out more quickly with heavier riders. Maybe invest in some durable ones or at least be watching them.

If you move around alot, standing, sitting, the seatpost can take a beating. Watch it and the frame area right around there for cracks or other damage.
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Old 05-09-12, 08:49 PM
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It doesn't appear anybody mentioned servicing the wheel bearings more frequently.

That would be one of my main priorities, since it's mostly a weight issue.

On A GOOD wheel, having it properly tensioned BEFORE you start popping spokes will go a long way to prevent popping spokes.
Once that has been done, you shouldn't have any truing issues for a long time, barring accident etc.

A STRONG rider will also put more wear on ALL drive train parts, vs a "casual" rider.
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Old 05-09-12, 08:59 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. I probably should have wrote more about me and what I ride. I'm about 220 pounds and my bike is a Giant Defy 1 which has an aluminum frame, but carbon fork and seatpost.

I will read up on tire pressures. I always figured to go higher because of my weight, but I'll try dropping a few pounds up front, as that chart suggests about 100 up front for me, and about 120 in the back. The stock tires actually look quite worn already and I'll probably be replacing them within the next couple months anyway. I'd rather replace it early then have to deal with a flat on the anyway.

I think what worries me most is the crank rings and the rear cassette. I'm already seeing some broken and worn teeth on my rings. I've been wiping down the chain and greasing it every so often or after a rainy ride.

The spokes on the wheels are all tight, but I'll have it checked out next time I bring my bike in for service.

Thanks guys.
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Old 05-09-12, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
It doesn't appear anybody mentioned servicing the wheel bearings more frequently.

That would be one of my main priorities, since it's mostly a weight issue.

On A GOOD wheel, having it properly tensioned BEFORE you start popping spokes will go a long way to prevent popping spokes.
Once that has been done, you shouldn't have any truing issues for a long time, barring accident etc.

A STRONG rider will also put more wear on ALL drive train parts, vs a "casual" rider.
By this do you mean having the spokes properly tensioned? I generally am far from a casual rider, as I tend to live around some steep hills and try and keep a fast pace when I ride.
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Old 05-09-12, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by adefeatedman View Post
I think what worries me most is the crank rings and the rear cassette. I'm already seeing some broken and worn teeth on my rings. I've been wiping down the chain and greasing it every so often or after a rainy ride.
You shouldn't see "broken" teeth on either the cogs of your cassette or chain rings, unless they've been struck by something. Since it's a raod bike we're talking about, the chances of rock or root strike are low. Has it suffered some other trama?

With regard to wear. Clydes shouldn't experience any noticably greater wear of the chain rings. Perhaps, a bit more on the cassette cogs. Both tend to wear evenly and should last through many chains, as long as they (the chains) are replaced regularly.
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Old 05-09-12, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
You shouldn't see "broken" teeth on either the cogs of your cassette or chain rings, unless they've been struck by something. Since it's a raod bike we're talking about, the chances of rock or root strike are low. Has it suffered some other trama?

With regard to wear. Clydes shouldn't experience any noticably greater wear of the chain rings. Perhaps, a bit more on the cassette cogs. Both tend to wear evenly and should last through many chains, as long as they (the chains) are replaced regularly.
100% the bike has experienced no trauma. I did have some trouble shifting with the front derailleur when I first got the bike, but I soon realized I needed to push my lever farther than I did for the rear deraileur. Certainly no trauma though.
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Old 05-09-12, 11:51 PM
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A photo of the teeth in question?
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Old 05-10-12, 01:01 AM
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Bigfred - initially we didn't know how heavy the OP was or what tyre size he was running, so I think my "probably" is still valid. 120psi is either too high or an indicator that you need bigger tyres.


Adefeatedman - are these teeth broken or are they just not as tall as the others? Some teeth are designed to be shorter/funny shaped to help with gear changing.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
120psi is either too high or an indicator that you need bigger tyres.
I'm curious, what line of reasoning leads you to that conclussion?
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Old 05-10-12, 05:54 AM
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Tire pressure is fine at 120psi, i have run that for years with no ill effect. I have nothing else to give, I'm so anal about keeping everything in tune and cleaned I just don't have many issue's. Oh I did have a shifter break last year but that was use not weight.
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Old 05-10-12, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
I'm curious, what line of reasoning leads you to that conclussion?
This is one of those contentious issues these days. Ever since Sheldon's article started making the rounds about how lower pressure is better. So far, I think, the jury's still out.

Originally Posted by adefeatedman View Post
...The stock tires actually look quite worn already and I'll probably be replacing them within the next couple months anyway. I'd rather replace it early then have to deal with a flat on the anyway....
Ummm... If they look worn, I'd replace them now. Taking a "couple months" is not replacing them "early".

And the issue isn't just flats. If they're worn, you could lose grip in a corner and slide out. Or with a sudden flat, same thing: slide out in a corner or going downhill.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
I'm curious, what line of reasoning leads you to that conclussion?

If you are lighter and you are running 120psi you are going to rattle your fillings out and not have a good contact patch. For eg I run 23mm tyres at about 95psi (fine for my weight, 90kg), but going to 120psi for me would be silly and detrimental to the handling of the bike.

Conversely, if you are heavier and you need 120psi to make the tyre work safely (eg heavier than me so you might need 120psi to safely run a 23mm tyre), then my thought is you should probably be running a 25 or 28 (if your frame will take it) at a lower suitable psi.

So, with the above in mind, if you are running 120psi you are either doing it wrong (and booking a trip to the dentist) or you should really get a bigger tyre (to allow safe riding/handling at a lower psi).



Also...If you have a flat on the road and need to fix it, good luck trying to get your too narrow tyre up to 120psi with most frame pumps. Now you are short a spare tube and are under inflated to such a point that you are also a very high risk of another flat real quick.



The science is correct. You may not agree with why I suggest it though.
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Old 05-10-12, 06:52 AM
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Tire pressure calculator, with explanatory links: http://www.dorkypantsr.us/bike-tire-...alculator.html
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Old 05-10-12, 07:11 AM
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It does appear there is a pattern to the "worn teeth." I didn't know that some teeth were shorter by design.

I think I'll have to consult my LBS about the tire pressures. They didn't say what to bring the tires up to, but 120 never really felt like it was rattling my fillings out. I don't mind swapping tires though for something akin to gatorskins like I have on my fixie in 25mm, but I my LBS didn't really show that was necessary for my weight. They did, however, for my buddy on his Defy 5 who is 6'6" and about 270 pounds.
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Old 05-10-12, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
Tire pressure calculator, with explanatory links: http://www.dorkypantsr.us/bike-tire-...alculator.html
I ride 23's. The top calculator said I need to pump them to 289psi. Something's not kosher.
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Old 05-10-12, 08:31 AM
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Goldfinch - great link.

Adefeatedman - you can see the ramps and pins for shifting in the side of the chainring there too. I suspect the shape of the teeth we see is by design, but with a bit of wear. Hard to tell how much wear from that pic and without seeing a new chainring of the same type (also the wear of the black finish might make it look worse than it really is).

220 is not huge by Clydesdale standards, so your LBS is probably right not to have highlighted it. Your heavier friend is another case. 120psi is fine for those tyres and won't feel too hard for your weight, but I'd still (in my opinion everyone else!) suggest a wider tyre at a lower pressure would be better.
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Old 05-10-12, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by adefeatedman View Post
It does appear there is a pattern to the "worn teeth." I didn't know that some teeth were shorter by design...
This may also be true of the cassette. For instance, my SRAM cassette's look like they're missing a tooth entirely. Very disconcerting until I got used to them.
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Old 05-10-12, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
I ride 23's. The top calculator said I need to pump them to 289psi. Something's not kosher.
That's for one wheel of the entire set up (ie rider on bike) so you divide your weight in half to get a meaningful answer.

Had me wondering for a second too!
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Old 05-10-12, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
That's for one wheel of the entire set up (ie rider on bike) so you divide your weight in half to get a meaningful answer.

Had me wondering for a second too!
That seems to make sense.

Except, my 145-lb co-worker has a total of 154psi. That gives a 61psi front & a 95psi rear. I can't imagine anyone using 61psi in their front 700x23 tire!! It would be dangerous.
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Old 05-10-12, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by adefeatedman View Post
By this do you mean having the spokes properly tensioned? I generally am far from a casual rider, as I tend to live around some steep hills and try and keep a fast pace when I ride.
I love my giant defy! What color did you get? Post a pic please!
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