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6'5" and 360 lbs. Where to start and what bike?

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.

6'5" and 360 lbs. Where to start and what bike?

Old 02-17-14, 06:02 PM
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6'5" and 360 lbs. Where to start and what bike?

A little history. I used to ride my mountain bike a lot. My favorite trip was a 30 mile round trip ride to Lake Pueblo and back. The bike was a basic Trek and it was one of the activities I loved to do to stay in shape. Fast forward 15 years, a hamstring injury, desk job plus kids and I am 100 lbs heavier and need to get things moving again. I have lost 50 lbs so far but still have at least 80 lbs to go.

I have read the posts and have seen people my weight but not many that are my weight and my height. I need help on what size bike to start looking at and what makes for someone as big as me. Pueblo has a lot of off road trails to ride and not many paved trails. Lake Pueblo also has a bunch of trails which is why I am leaning towards a mountain bike again. I saw the posts on Specialized, Giants and Treks. Any other bikes to look at? Typical nature of mine is to want to spend $1500 on a Kona but that make no sense if I don't ride it or my needs change. I ride a stationary bike at home but that gets old fast and I need something to keep me motivated. Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-17-14, 06:58 PM
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Well, right out of the gate - DON'T BECOME DISCOURAGED!!!

You're definitely on the right track. Given your truly Clydesdale size, one of the hard-tail quality mountain bikes (as you already know - Giant, Specialized, Trek et al.,) from the late 80's through mid-90's would be a perfect ride.

Simply ensure it's a tall enough frame size for you and that it's in good mechanical condition and I believe you'd have a great platform toward achieving your goal.

Sometimes we already know the best path ahead - it's just helpful to have others confirm the good idea we have.
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Old 02-17-14, 07:42 PM
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Finding a frame your size is going to be more difficult than finding a good bike. A 22" frame is going to be your minimum and bigger would be better. The rigid chrome-moly steel MTBs from the 1980s-early 90s are plentiful and a good value. IMHO something with a 700c wheel is going to be better for a guy your size and will look more proportionate on a big frame. The stock wheels on most MTB of that era were decent 36-spoke setups, but at 360# you might want to invest in something like custom built wheels. On a budget, 36 butted spokes on a Deore hub with double-walled, eyeletted touring rims should hold up pretty well. If you can afford a bit more, 40 spokes on a tandem hub with a touring rim for the back wheel will give you a bullet-proof setup. 40 spokes can be done up front as well but is probably overkill.

One Clyde to another, I find that the Deore or Deore LX (now SLX) is a good balance of performance and durability for big guys. The price point is upper entry/lower enthusiast range but spending more money won't get you a tougher groupo and the Deore performance is quite acceptable until you get into competitive riding. Higher end components get lighter and better looking but not stronger. One price point down is Alivio which is tough and serviceable. Stay away from anything below Alivio for major components. IMHO.
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Old 02-18-14, 09:30 AM
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My best suggestion is to go to as many local bike shops as possible and see what they offer. If no shops in your area, then contact some of the on-line shops and tell them your situation and let them recommend what may fit you. With your size, it's probably like clothing, you can't just buy off the floor, but it's better to spend a little more and have a bike that fits you than to spend a bunch and not have a bike you can ride. I assume you want a mountain bike, but don't forget to check out the Cyclocross and Gravel bikes too for options. Also, don't miss the benefits you'll get from a good bike fit. Contact some fitters in your area and see what they may recommend for a bicycle too as they may have experience with someone your size and can save you time.
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Old 02-18-14, 06:18 PM
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My suggestion would be to go to the MTBR forums and scour through the Clyde section. It's been a while since I looked there but I did heaps of looking a couple of years ago, but then went away from the mountain bike idea. I recall seeing riders taller than you comparing different size frames from different makes as well as plenty of other good information. You may get more specific help with what you're after over there.

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Old 02-21-14, 09:46 AM
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Thanks for all of the tips. I am going to hit up the LBS and see what they have. Keep the posts coming as I love to learn.
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Old 02-23-14, 05:58 PM
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Since you mentioned Kona, their "Unit" single speed looks nice. Put some really fat tires on it for a little suspension and you're good to go. I would definitely go used to begin with.

The difficulty is as you said, you are just getting back into it and aren't sure if you want to ride a lot. I usually recommend people just buying anything as their taste will change as they ride more. The problem as I see it with you is a safety issue. You can't really just use "any" wheels at your weight and you don't want "just any" cheap fork. Maybe the answer is getting an old steel or aluminum bike in the largest frame you can, then have a set of wheels built. There are plenty of 40 & 48 tooth touring and bike polo hubs out there and something like a Sun Rhyno Rim or Velocity Chukker. BTW-I wouldn't get caught up in "that wheels too heavy...." line of thinking. The people making those comments weigh as much as you legs do...You're a big guy, it will take a big bike.

If you have an REI near you, you could try the Novara Safari. They sell for $899 and are a touring bike. The XL might just fit you. They come with a nice entry level equipment and will take 2.00"+ inch tires. If you buy an REI membership you'll get $90 back in store redeemable credit.

Sorry for the long post. You got stream of consciousness. I have a brother in law your size and was thinking of what I would say to him as I typed.

Good luck.
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Old 02-26-14, 07:58 PM
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Here is another thread about the same topic. Bikes for Big and Tall...
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Old 02-26-14, 08:15 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

You are not alone. 6'5" 250-260lbs here. But, have been riding when as heavy as 300#.

The challenge is finding frames tall and long enough. Cannondale and Trek both used to make some pretty big frames. There are others. Look for hardtail in the 23-34" size by conventional measuring standards.

If you can find one sufficiently modern to have disc brakes thats would be a bonus.

Unfortunately I'm not aware of there being an MTB equivilent to the KHS Flight 747 that is mentioned in the thread linked above.

The biggon's are coming out of the woodwork this week.
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