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Bike Weight limits

Old 01-06-19, 06:52 PM
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Grey_Lady333
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Bike Weight limits

Hi there!

So I'm still learning the whole 'how do bikes work?" thing, having never had one in my 37 years on this earth. A stumbling block I've only just learned of is weight, as in, the bikes I'm looking into have listed weight limits, which I admit I didn't know was a thing. I'm 270 pounds, 6'3, and a lot of the bikes I'm looking at have listed weight limits of 200-240, or 'not for you.' Do I need a specialty bike for my weight? Where would I find such a thing? I'm a little perplexed by this turn of events, and could use some clarification, if possible. Thank you for your time.
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Old 01-06-19, 07:04 PM
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That is a consideration. Most parts for the mass public will take 270#. That is too heavy for the exotic light stuff, but many bikes will take that. My Cannondale will.
A lot depends how you ride. I am very easy on wheels and north of 220#, my son at 130# broke more stuff as he just road over everything, where I would steer around.
I'm using a stock ENVE fork on my tandem - 350#-400# with 24 spoke rear and 20 spoke front wheels. They are heavier.
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Old 01-06-19, 07:08 PM
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Avoid lightweight, low spoke count wheels. Solid 32 or 36 spoke wheels can handle more.

You may find useful info in this subforum for bigger riders.

https://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdal...-200-lb-91-kg/
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Old 01-07-19, 12:06 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Grey_Lady333 View Post
Hi there!

So I'm still learning the whole 'how do bikes work?" thing, having never had one in my 37 years on this earth. A stumbling block I've only just learned of is weight, as in, the bikes I'm looking into have listed weight limits, which I admit I didn't know was a thing. I'm 270 pounds, 6'3, and a lot of the bikes I'm looking at have listed weight limits of 200-240, or 'not for you.' Do I need a specialty bike for my weight? Where would I find such a thing? I'm a little perplexed by this turn of events, and could use some clarification, if possible. Thank you for your time.
Welcome to my world. There are plenty of bikes that can carry our size/weight and even more. My stable is mostly steel with an occasional visit by an aluminum bike every so often. Every major brand makes something that will fit our size and weight. Best to focus on a robust, quality wheelset with a 36 spoke rear and 32 spoke front. You won’t find a bike spec’d like that on a showroom floor, but a hand tuned set of 32’s will get you a lot of riding time while you sort out something for the long run. Check out Surly, Salsa, Kona, Jamis, and perhaps Rivendell (if you’re into that sort of bike). We’re XL at a minimum and sometimes XXL, depending on the make/model.

Also, do check out the Clydesdale sub forum.


-Kedosto
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Old 01-07-19, 12:14 AM
  #5  
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I am around an eighth of a ton and I regularly ride low-spoke-count wheels ... but i try hard not to smack stuff ... unweight a bit when I can. I still don't break many spokes.

As for frames ... I have CF, Al, and steel ... no problems.

Most new bikes are rated at somewhere around 270 pounds max load, which means they are good for a good bit more ... no bike manufacturer is going to rate a bike for 270 pounds in 273 is going to break it---the person could show up in court weighing 265 and win a lawsuit.

If I were you (and save for a few inches height, i pretty much am) i wouldn't buy anything designed for racing, but most endurance-frame bikes, particularly with disc brakes, seem to have 28-32-spoke wheels which ought to be fine unless you like hucking off three-foot drops. Whatever your size, it is good to get into the practice of getting up on the pedals and out of the seat when you are about to hit an obstacle ... that lets the knees, hips, arms and back all act as shock absorbers which helps both bike and rider.

Not that I would discount what everyone else is saying ... but what i do works for me. Your mileage is guaranteed to vary.
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Old 01-07-19, 02:03 AM
  #6  
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As a Clydesdale I can weigh anywhere from 230-260. I have snapped 2 frames on steep climbs and had both frames replaced no questions asked and upgraded both times. I did go with Trek and they were marvelous honoring their ORIGINAL OWNER warranty. NO QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT WEIGHT. They look at the damage and decide whether or not it was a mfg failure or crash. As long as you don't crash the bike, you're good.

I did go with the big mfg'ers for that reason, lifetime warranty as I have always torn up bikes as a child as well and yes, I ride light.
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Old 01-07-19, 08:35 PM
  #7  
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I'm just under 6 ft and 240. I picked up an older aluminum framed Specialized Hardrock Sport for an eBike project. What impressed me was how beefy the frame is in all respects. The rear triangle is reinforced near the drop-outs and the tubes are large hydroformed units. Lots of area where it's welded, well executed wide weld beads, etc. Mine is a large frame and it's plenty roomy. The area where the seat stays come up to the seat tube is wide enough for at least 2.50 rear tire.

There are tough wheels out there for cargo bikes, so that should not be an issue ... I agree with Kodosto in 36 spokes as a minimum for the rear wheel and a double walled rim is a good idea. Neither is out of the ordinary, but may not be a "stock" item on most bike models ... I'd just plan on having a wheel built and wrapping a 2.50 cross-section tire around it. The larger air volume will hold all off the ground better and give you "room" to run over stuff w/o getting a pinch flat.

I dumped the cheezy oem RST fork and replaced it with a Manitou R7 Elite air fork. That took 2 1/2 lbs off the bike and made it much livelier up front. For more rider weight, just add more air

Should be able to find a used bike like this for less than $150, and modify as needed

I'm prolly into it about $600, before the ebike kit ... So that ought to be doable on your end.
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Old 01-07-19, 09:09 PM
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If you are really concerned about it, contact a company that makes singles and tandems.
www.co-motion.com
would be a good choice.

My comment would be that bigger tires and tough wheels matched with a strong metal frame should carry your weight - for normal road riding.

edit: above comment not a slam on carbon fibre, it should be OK as well, just not my first choice.

Last edited by Wildwood; 01-07-19 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 01-07-19, 11:05 PM
  #9  
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Unless you're going for a super-light carbon-fiber racing bike, the frame is usually not the weakest link. Most 'entry level' bikes (the $500-$1000 range) with metal frames (whether it's steel or aluminum) will be sufficiently strong for your needs.
I ride with some 'Big Dogs' and they're hardest on the wheels. Stock wheels on a $1000 bike are, generally, adequate, but not Great. I'd ride them until they start giving you trouble, then upgrade to a heavier-duty wheel. There are several online vendors and individual craftsmen, who deal in specialty wheels. Replacing wheels, is also not a very difficult thing to do.

I would suggest, though, when you're looking for a 'better' bike to move up to, is to go to a bike shop (or two, or three, depends on your town) 6'31'
Bikes in department stores and sporting goods shops are 'one-size-fits-all' and at 6'-3" 270# you're sort of outside the window of people that kind of bike is intended for. A bike shop will be able to better fit a bike to your needs.
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Old 01-08-19, 03:42 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
I'm just under 6 ft and 240. I picked up an older aluminum framed Specialized Hardrock Sport for an eBike project. I dumped the cheezy oem RST fork and replaced it with a Manitou R7 Elite air fork. That took 2 1/2 lbs off the bike and made it much livelier up front. For more rider weight, just add more air Should be able to find a used bike like this for less than $150, and modify as needed I'm prolly into it about $600, before the ebike kit ... So that ought to be doable on your end.
If you can do basic bike work, this is probably your best bet. Old hardtial or rigid MTB frames are workhorses ... you can base any kid of bike off them, and haul any kind of load. Most of them are built to take a 200-pound rider dropping six feet onto rock, so a 300-pound rider hopping a curb would be nothing.

But be like @BrocLuno and get a real fork.
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Old 01-08-19, 10:03 AM
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I ride a bike built for loaded touring on the theory that I am a load. Many of the hybrids are rather overbuilt for straight road riding, so one of those might do well for you. Go to your Local Bike Shop (LBS) and ride some.

As noted, many wheels aren't built to last for heavier riders. Three of the last four bikes/wheelsets I bought needed to be properly tensioned and stress-relieved. While you're there, ask at the LBS if they can do this. If they tell you it's not necessary, on a bike under $2,000, they don't know how or can't do it, and you may need to look elsewhere.
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Old 01-08-19, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Grey_Lady333 View Post
Hi there!

So I'm still learning the whole 'how do bikes work?" thing, having never had one in my 37 years on this earth. A stumbling block I've only just learned of is weight, as in, the bikes I'm looking into have listed weight limits, which I admit I didn't know was a thing. I'm 270 pounds, 6'3, and a lot of the bikes I'm looking at have listed weight limits of 200-240, or 'not for you.' Do I need a specialty bike for my weight? Where would I find such a thing? I'm a little perplexed by this turn of events, and could use some clarification, if possible. Thank you for your time.
In general you want to avoid saving weight on equipment. Most bikes will support your weight. Since you don't mention the type of riding, its tough to say what will be suitable. As a clydesdale at 6'5 and 270 to 290 at any given time, I generally have to get more burly parts. When I got restarted in mountain biking I was riding a Trek Fuel Ex 27.5.. awesome bike but the rear and front suspension just couldn't support my weight, the rear wheel was low spoke count and I kept snapping spokes.

I had to move to a bigger bike with stronger parts. I ended up buying a Norco Range A1 which suited my size, and my riding style.

So short answer is yes, you will need to adapt. But yes there are lots of options. You just need to decide what and how you want to ride.

There is even a hard tail company out of colorado building very very large bikes for the exceedingly tall. Titanium so quite pricey but meant for riders up to 400 pounds. They have offered to send me a demo to review on my youtube channel. Might be an option depending on price range and type of riding. Clydesdale Bike | Big and tall bicycle | XXL Bicycle | Clydesdale Bicycles
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Old 01-08-19, 10:45 AM
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The Clyde sector seems to have a lot if heavy riders wanting to ride light carbon frame bikes... replacing the low spoke count stock wheels is always an option,

As is frequenting the shop and checking the spokes are all tensioned and so acting as a whole..







....

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-08-19 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 01-08-19, 12:43 PM
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This does come up a lot in the Clydes/Athenas forum from time to time. I started a thread a while back where I asked what people were riding. I was surprised that most riders over there are just riding "normal" bikes.

What are you riding and how much are you pulling?

I'll second the advice about the wheels. I broke spokes on the stock wheels that came with my bike, but after I upgraded to sturdier wheels, I haven't had a problem.
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Old 01-08-19, 12:55 PM
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Of course a used bike is the best value, but if you want a new bike, the cheapest way to get an overbuilt bike is to get an inexpensive touring bike like this:

https://www.performancebike.com/shop...e-2018-31-8654

It's all set to carry extra weight right out of the box.
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Old 01-08-19, 02:50 PM
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As mentioned before, wheels are the weak point. I've ridden at weights between 230 and 275, and raced at most of those weights. I have a classic steel roadie, started on AL, have a TI endurance bike, but the bike that sees the most miles is my super nice high end high mod full carbon dura ace race geometry wonderbike. The key to all of them? Good wheels. I destroyed 4 sets in my first 2 years road riding. Since then, I have invested in a good set of handmade AL clinchers from ROL wheels (they have options SPECIFIC to big dudes, and the owner, Sean, will do any kind of custom work you want, and the AL wheels wont break the bank) and a nice set of deep carbons from HED (the deeper the rim, the shorter the spokes, less chance of breakage. Not cheap though.) The frames and componentry, from low end to high has all been just fine with no more work needed than my skinny ass friends gear
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