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Best frame for heavy rider

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Best frame for heavy rider

Old 04-08-23, 08:19 AM
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I'm amazed I missed that old article, thanks for the link.
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Old 05-10-23, 05:57 PM
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My weight has fluctuated between 240 and 270 for far longer than I'd like.

As others have pointed out, wheels will most likely fail before a decent frame. Eight years ago I built up my current road ride. I went with a set of wheels built with Mavic Open Pro 32 spoke 700C rims, DT Swiss spokes and Shimano 105 (5800) hubs - from Velomine. They've held up to everything I've put them through.
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Old 05-10-23, 08:23 PM
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A 56 frame for a 6 ft guy doesn't immediately strike me as too small. Maybe slightly small, but a 58 sounds slightly large.
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Old 05-11-23, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
That's the difference between a race bike with a very short wheelbase (which was fashionable for a few years starting in the mid-to-late '80s)---the R800---and the more modern Emonda ALR, which represents the reversion to designing bikes to be easier to handle and more comfortable.
I've looked this up in the past.

11mm is the difference. 54cm R800, 58cm Emonda. I can't see 11mm making such a big difference in ride quality. Tire width differed by 3mm and 5psi... night and day difference in ride quality between the frames.
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Old 05-11-23, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz
A 56 frame for a 6 ft guy doesn't immediately strike me as too small. Maybe slightly small, but a 58 sounds slightly large.
56cm frame for a 6' guy. Note how much seatpost is showing - couldn't use the stock post because I needed another whole inch beyond the MAX mark, AND I had to run a 135mm stem instead of the stock 90mm.

59 cm frame for a 6' guy:

Note there's less exposed seatpost and a 110mm stem.

Plus, aren't you the guy who asks whether you REALLY have to heed the "Max Height" markings?
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Old 05-11-23, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz
A 56 frame for a 6 ft guy doesn't immediately strike me as too small. Maybe slightly small, but a 58 sounds slightly large.
I made this formula from a population survey of a few thousand bike renters:

Frame size (cm) = rider height (inches) - 14

So a "normal" 6' rider would mostly likely fit best on a 58 cm frame.
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Old 05-11-23, 03:57 PM
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Frame size depends on way more than rider height.
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Old 05-11-23, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I made this formula from a population survey of a few thousand bike renters:

Frame size (cm) = rider height (inches) - 14

So a "normal" 6' rider would mostly likely fit best on a 58 cm frame.
Your formula gets me 55. My frame size preferences have tended to be 53-54. That said, I could probably make a 55 work. For making a quick guess for people with little to zero experience, your formula is useful.
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Old 05-11-23, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
I'm not sure what they mean by "entry level".
This is not a precise definition, but "entry level" generally refers to using carbon fibers having a lower modulus (i.e., less stiffness), so more material must be used to build the frame, thus making the frame heavier compared to building the same frame with carbon fibers having a higher modulus, e.g., Cannondale's Hi-Mod frames.
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Old 05-11-23, 11:43 PM
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As mentioned above, you're probably find on a road bike. Many people will find 28mm, or even larger tires would be comfortable, so don't look for one with super tight clearance.

However, also consider the cyclocross, gravel, and light touring bikes. They would be made slightly tougher than the average road bike, and would be able to take larger tires.
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Old 05-12-23, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I made this formula from a population survey of a few thousand bike renters:

Frame size (cm) = rider height (inches) - 14

So a "normal" 6' rider would mostly likely fit best on a 58 cm frame.
Since I posted this question originally, I switched from the 56" specialized frame to a 58" serotta frame. I would say that the difference is notable, not only because I'm now riding on a better frame, but because of the improved efficiency.
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Old 05-12-23, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I made this formula from a population survey of a few thousand bike renters:

Frame size (cm) = rider height (inches) - 14

So a "normal" 6' rider would mostly likely fit best on a 58 cm frame.
That formula works for me.
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Old 05-12-23, 08:15 AM
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That formula currently works for me. Just under 6’ on a 58 frame.


But bikes vary. My old road bike was a 54 and actually had a longer seat tube.
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Old 05-12-23, 08:42 AM
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Old 05-12-23, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I made this formula from a population survey of a few thousand bike renters:

Frame size (cm) = rider height (inches) - 14

So a "normal" 6' rider would mostly likely fit best on a 58 cm frame.
That is probably pretty close.

I've estimated that around 6' is 60cm, and subtract (or add) about 1cm per inch either way. Then considered a bit of a range of sizes.

Your formula would be 6' for 58cm, then add or subtract about 1cm per inch which is probably a slightly better estimate.
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Old 05-12-23, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
That formula currently works for me. Just under 6’ on a 58 frame.


But bikes vary. My old road bike was a 54 and actually had a longer seat tube.
I think the top tube is more important than whatever size they are calling it. Reach and stack are the numbers to dial in. The formula Terry used puts me on a 60, which could work if I could get the bar high enough. It's a good ballpark number but there are always outliers.

I've had 62, 63, 64, and 65 frames. My Seven fits me even though it measures 65 (virtual seat tube) because it has a shorter top tube and tall head tube.
My CAAD 5 size 63 was a bit stretched out. My 64cm Tesch fit great.

Now we have frames sold as small, medium, large, etc.
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Old 05-12-23, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
I made this formula from a population survey of a few thousand bike renters:

Frame size (cm) = rider height (inches) - 14

So a "normal" 6' rider would mostly likely fit best on a 58 cm frame.
Yep. All the bikes that fit me are in the 57-59cm range. Variations in TT length and HT and ST angles lead to variations in stem length and seatpost height to put things at the same place relative to the BB.
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Old 05-12-23, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Yep. All the bikes that fit me are in the 57-59cm range. Variations in TT length and HT and ST angles lead to variations in stem length and seatpost height to put things at the same place relative to the BB.
Same here at just over 6' tall. I find that most 58 cm bikes will fit me out of the box. I could also fit on most 56 cm bikes with a bit of reach/stack tweaking.
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Old 05-12-23, 09:58 AM
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Old 05-18-23, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo
Aluminium fatigues, so it's less than ideal for a heavy rider - if you keep it long enough, it may break.

What's wrong with steel, or better yet, carbon? A 1.5kg carbon frame is tough as nails.
There are many 80's and 90's Cannondales that are uber strong and stiff. People are still racing on older framesets. By the way, Trek rates the max rider weight of their carbon bikes at 250 lbs (113 kg), whereas their aluminium bikes have a max rider weight of 300 lbs (136 kg). Carbon's weight to strength ratio is higher than aluminum, but manufacturers offset that by using less to make it lighter. So, it's really not stronger overall in it's application, plus it's weakness is still impact. I have owned (and still own) carbon frames and they were and still are great. So is aluminium.
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Old 05-19-23, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by terbennett
There are many 80's and 90's Cannondales that are uber strong and stiff. People are still racing on older framesets. By the way, Trek rates the max rider weight of their carbon bikes at 250 lbs (113 kg), whereas their aluminium bikes have a max rider weight of 300 lbs (136 kg). Carbon's weight to strength ratio is higher than aluminum, but manufacturers offset that by using less to make it lighter. So, it's really not stronger overall in it's application, plus it's weakness is still impact. I have owned (and still own) carbon frames and they were and still are great. So is aluminium.
The older cannondales were handmade in the USA, had better tubing quality and overall better quality finish of welds and even paint was of much higher quality.I have seen also people racing and riding older Cannondales. The trek alpha alumnium slr and klein quantum race were also fantastic alumnium race bikes. The OCLV race frame is one of the toughest carbon frames made by Trek. Regarding size I always chose between a 56-57cm with either a120-130mm stem, my smallest bike is a 52 cm but I managed to make up for the lack of height with a higher seatpost and with a quill stem.
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Old 05-19-23, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ussprinceton
Originally Posted by ussprinceton
Why are you posting pictures of bikes without any context? No commentary at all- just a couple of bike pics. What is the purpose?
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Old 05-19-23, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Why are you posting pictures of bikes without any context? No commentary at all- just a couple of bike pics. What is the purpose?
I was just puzzling over the same thing. No idea.
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Old 05-19-23, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
I was just puzzling over the same thing. No idea.
The same poster did a similar thing in a different thread- added pics of someone(himself? not sure) and they are apparently before vs after pics for weight loss. The before pic is shirtless and the after pic is fully dressed in a loose button down shirt. No context given, just a couple of pics even though nobody asked. The after pic didnt even show a difference due to clothing.
So odd.


Anyways, what I did notice with the bike pics is that second one, the Specialized Aethos, has what looks to be a level saddle and level bar-hood transition, but if you drop the rear wheel the 1" or more its in the air, that saddle will be pointing upward ready to do its best impression of a proctologist.
...at least thats what it seems like to me based on the angle of the picture.
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Old 05-20-23, 04:25 AM
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I was around 220lb and I rode various vintage steel bikes regularly. I bought a carbon SuperSix and put 20,000 miles on it before I sold it to someone else. Frame was great but I did go through a couple sets of wheels. My weight did drop to around 190 but now after covid I ballooned up to 250lb before I tried biking again. I am back on my vintage stuff mostly a 2000 Pinarello
(steel/carbon frame) and a 2022 Trek 920.touring bike. I just built up a Master x Light for some motivation trying to get back down to at least 200lbs. I am 6' tall and have bike that range from 56 to 60 cm. My most comfortable ones are the 58cm (Colnago Master, Bob Jackson, Trek 920) and the least comfortable bike was the 56cm SuperSix I sold.
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