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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 06-30-12, 10:06 PM   #1
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Need Help With Official Bicycle Weight Ratings

Do bike makers publish weight ratings? I haven't been able to find any. Should I contact the companies directly?

I have been trying various approaches to persuade my wife that not only is bicycling very healthy but also she can do it and there are bikes that will support her weight. She is around 360 pounds, high blood pressure (regulated through meds), and hypothyroidism (also regulated through meds). The hypothyroidism caused her weight issue, and she had given up on controlling her weight long before the hypothyroidism was diagnosed.

LBS where we lived in Puyallup was very helpful the few times I got her in there to look at bikes. She wasn't going to even consider a road bike, hybrid, or commuter. She did warm up to the Electra Cruisers and Townies somewhat. LBS got a catalog in her hand to take home.

She has balked at price. "I'm not spending $800 for a bike that my fat a** is going to break anyway." On this, I was able to at least counter that Cruisers and Townies start in the $200s.

I told her spokes were the main weak spot in a lot of bikes, but the local bike club President is a bike builder and I've talked to him about spokes and wheel building--through the free class he runs out of the LBS where he works. I will take myself out of the equation on the wheels, and just let Bill, the bike builder, build a set of über strong wheels for her.

Anyone been in a similar situation? Any advice you can offer me? Any other bikes I could show her?
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Old 06-30-12, 11:27 PM   #2
Big Pete 1982
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Most bike frames have a lot more capacity than people think. I've seen numbers listed in the 1200 pound range. It's really the wheels you need to pay closer attention to. Depending on your local shop, you might be able to get them to swap out the wheels for something with more spokes. I see you're in my area, I know I've had very good luck dealing with Bike Tech in Olympia. I believe they have a shop in Puyallup as well. You might ask them for some advice.
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Old 07-01-12, 07:21 AM   #3
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I weigh 370 and I rode a Trek 7.2 FX for five years with no problems. That's an aluminum bike with 32-spoke wheels. I'm guessing that if she chooses a bike that comes with 32 or 36 spoke wheels and tires 700 x 35c or bigger she'll get a lot of miles out of it before she starts having trouble with wheels. If or when that happens, she can look into handbuilt wheels.
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Old 07-01-12, 10:58 AM   #4
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Well I started riding my Giant Suede DX at 378lbs. I did switch to a recumbent Trikes last year and I love it!! The TerraTrike Rover has a posted weight limit of 400lbs. May wish to consider one??
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