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Best frame for heavy rider

Old 04-04-23, 11:57 AM
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Best frame for heavy rider

Hi all! I started riding recently, less than one year ago. Im 6 ft tall and 230 lbs. I'm currently riding in a specialized 2004,56 cm (I know, is small). I need recommendations of aluminum frames that I can use to start building my own ride. I currently have a Shimano 105 groupset that I can use in the build. I heard good things of the Cannondale Caad 10 but I would love to hear from you. Any help is appreciated!
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Old 04-04-23, 12:09 PM
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I would be surprised if there are mass produced aluminum frames that can't handle a 230# rider.
Most every company has a stated max for their frames...granted thars really just listed so if one breaks and the person is heavier, the company can say it isn't their fault.
230# just isn't excessive.

There are a lot of wheels that have a 100kg max, so call it 220#, but there is also an endless number of wheels that can easily handle 230#.

Look up what local shops sell, read up on offerings from those brands, and try a few out.
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Old 04-04-23, 12:16 PM
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As above, unless you find some exotic mega-light frame with a ridiculous weight limit, just about any frame will work.
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Old 04-04-23, 12:18 PM
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I'm the exact same weight as you and regularly ride on four aluminium frames including a CAAD12 with no problems at all. Similarly, I ride on Shimano factory-built wheels (mainly low-end) and have never had a single issue.
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Old 04-04-23, 01:08 PM
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To echo the above...230lbs is not excessive, unless you're chasing something at the extremely lightweight end of the spectrum. Pretty much any regular frame from a reputable manufacturer is going to serve you fine.

EDIT: When I got back on my bike after a 15 year hiatus, I weighed 225. My bike was almost 20 years old and crabon fiber. It didn't aspolde.
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Old 04-04-23, 03:55 PM
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Yep, I know guys that big and bigger who just ride regular frames.
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Old 04-04-23, 05:34 PM
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I've ridden at 220, sometimes more, and I've had a couple aluminum Cannondales and they are quite sturdy. The biggest issue I have is wheels.
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Old 04-05-23, 02:47 AM
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A Columbus Max frame steel or a Reynolds 708 classic frame would be ideal for you
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Old 04-05-23, 04:34 AM
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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.
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Old 04-05-23, 04:49 AM
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The original poster asked for aluminum frame suggestions. To head off the apparently inevitable parade of suggestions of other frame materials, here's a page with some factual information about the fatigue characteristics of well-designed aluminum frames (as well as others). Most of us have seen this information before, but that doesn't stop people from ignoring the data.

Quoting from that page:

This ground-breaking article, first published in a German magazine, compared the resistance of aluminum, carbon-fiber and steel frames to fatigue failure. Damon Rinard considered the article so important that he struggled mightily to prepare a translation of it. It deserves a new translation, which appears here.

What is so important about the testing this article describes? Even the testers were surprised to find that the high-quality lightweight aluminum and carbon-fiber frames they tested were more resistant to fatigue failure than heavier, high-quality steel frames. A caveat, though, is appropriate: the results hold for a frame which is ridden hard but not damaged or abused: corrosion, nicks, dents, scratches and stresses due to incorrect installation of components could alter the results, as the article itself notes.
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Old 04-05-23, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by georges1
A Columbus Max frame steel or a Reynolds 708 classic frame would be ideal for you
Interesting. Thanks for mentioning 708. I can't remember whether I ever even heard of it before encountering mentions on Bike Forums, and I've been a fan of Reynolds bikes since I got my first 531 bike, a Helyett, in 1964.

Just did a search and found a blog post speculating on why 708 is so rare that even most bike enthusiasts don't know of its existence.

Quoting:

I can think of one other possible reason why, not only did so few people buy bikes made from 708, but why, apparently, so few (comparatively, anyway) bikes were made from it. A butted frame tube has the same thickness through the circumference of the tube. This means that whether the builder or manufacturer brazes or welds the frame tubes together, and whether or not lugs are used, a consistent level of heat can be maintained around the circumference. In contrast, ribbed frame tubes have thick and thin sections, which makes it more difficult to maintain consistent heat levels. An area that is heated more loses more strength than one that is heated less. Thus, I imagine that it would be more difficult to make a strong joint with ribbed than with butted tubes.
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Old 04-05-23, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
The original poster asked for aluminum frame suggestions. To head off the apparently inevitable parade of suggestions of other frame materials, here's a page with some factual information about the fatigue characteristics of well-designed aluminum frames (as well as others). Most of us have seen this information before, but that doesn't stop people from ignoring the data.

Quoting from that page:

This ground-breaking article, first published in a German magazine, compared the resistance of aluminum, carbon-fiber and steel frames to fatigue failure. Damon Rinard considered the article so important that he struggled mightily to prepare a translation of it. It deserves a new translation, which appears here.

What is so important about the testing this article describes? Even the testers were surprised to find that the high-quality lightweight aluminum and carbon-fiber frames they tested were more resistant to fatigue failure than heavier, high-quality steel frames. A caveat, though, is appropriate: the results hold for a frame which is ridden hard but not damaged or abused: corrosion, nicks, dents, scratches and stresses due to incorrect installation of components could alter the results, as the article itself notes.
Good link, thanks! Do we have any idea how Ti does in this type of test??
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Old 04-05-23, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas
Good link, thanks! Do we have any idea how Ti does in this type of test??
They seem to have tested two titanium frames: a Merlin and a (Russian-built) Schmolke. The Merlin didn't last very long in the testing, failing earlier than most. The Schmolke did much better. (The testers put the frames through 100,000 cycles at one level of stress and then another 100,000 at a higher stress level. The Schmolke made it to 160,000 cycles. A Cannondale aluminum frame, a Trek OCLV carbon frame, and a Principia aluminum frame were the only frames that made it through all 200,000 cycles.)
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Old 04-05-23, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by NewB21
Hi all! I started riding recently, less than one year ago. Im 6 ft tall and 230 lbs.
Howdy, Lightweight. As a mega-Clyde, I can assure you that any frame in any material can support you. Also, ignore the folks who say you need 36- spoke wheels. Find a bike you like and maintain it well and it will last decades.

My most-ridden bikes are built around a pair of budget Chinese CF frames, followed by an aluminum Fuji with a carbon fork. Two of the three have 105–great group.

Forget your weight—- build what pleases and/ or excited you.
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Old 04-05-23, 07:47 AM
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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.
I've broken 3 steel frames and only 1 aluminum frame.
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Old 04-05-23, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
To echo the above...230lbs is not excessive, unless you're chasing something at the extremely lightweight end of the spectrum. Pretty much any regular frame from a reputable manufacturer is going to serve you fine.

EDIT: When I got back on my bike after a 15 year hiatus, I weighed 225. My bike was almost 20 years old and crabon fiber. It didn't aspolde.
I have checked the Trek Domane SL 5 and the Emonda but I read that both bikes have "entry level" carbon frames.
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Old 04-05-23, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by NewB21
I have checked the Trek Domane SL 5 and the Emonda but I read that both bikes have "entry level" carbon frames.
I'm not sure what they mean by "entry level". I expect either bike will suit you just fine, if that's what you want.
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Old 04-05-23, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
... a Trek OCLV carbon frame...made it through all 200,000 cycles.
This doesn't surprise me at all. Those old OCLV frames are notoriously tough. I'm still beating on an OCLV MTB frame that is old enough to legally drink.
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Old 04-05-23, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
I'm not sure what they mean by "entry level". I expect either bike will suit you just fine, if that's what you want.
Might be worth a live chat with a Trek rep to find out. It might mean that an entry-level frame is not going to be one of their cutting-edge lightweight frame and that the design goal had more to do with durability instead. Just guessing, though.
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Old 04-05-23, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
I've broken 3 steel frames and only 1 aluminum frame.
My stats are about the same, although I also have a cracked Ti frame in my garage waiting to hear back from a Ti framebuilder about a repair.

NB. THis doesn't mean steel is weaker or worse than aluminium or Ti or carbon, but I believe it proves the claims of steel being automatically superior to be nonsense. The life span of a frame is based on the design, construction, and level of use/abuse.
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Old 04-05-23, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ClydeClydeson
My stats are about the same, although I also have a cracked Ti frame in my garage waiting to hear back from a Ti framebuilder about a repair.

NB. THis doesn't mean steel is weaker or worse than aluminium or Ti or carbon, but I believe it proves the claims of steel being automatically superior to be nonsense. The life span of a frame is based on the design, construction, and level of use/abuse.
True. I like a good steel frame as much as other frames but when people say they "last forever" or always "ride smoothly" I have to disagree.

The stiffest, most bone jarring bike I ever had was steel.
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Old 04-05-23, 06:51 PM
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At one point in time, I was in excess of 300, rode a Specialize Allez on some mavic wheels and running 23's at 110 psi. you will have no issues with whatever to go with unless, as mentioned, you go with some weight type thing that has a weight limit of 50 lbs.
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Old 04-06-23, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Interesting. Thanks for mentioning 708. I can't remember whether I ever even heard of it before encountering mentions on Bike Forums, and I've been a fan of Reynolds bikes since I got my first 531 bike, a Helyett, in 1964.

Just did a search and found a blog post speculating on why 708 is so rare that even most bike enthusiasts don't know of its existence.

Quoting:

I can think of one other possible reason why, not only did so few people buy bikes made from 708, but why, apparently, so few (comparatively, anyway) bikes were made from it. A butted frame tube has the same thickness through the circumference of the tube. This means that whether the builder or manufacturer brazes or welds the frame tubes together, and whether or not lugs are used, a consistent level of heat can be maintained around the circumference. In contrast, ribbed frame tubes have thick and thin sections, which makes it more difficult to maintain consistent heat levels. An area that is heated more loses more strength than one that is heated less. Thus, I imagine that it would be more difficult to make a strong joint with ribbed than with butted tubes.
Peugeot , Follis and some other framebuilders used the Reynolds708 not without reason. Peugeot top of the line steel frame for years 1991-1993 was made of Reynolds 708 classic


I have a Peugeot Prestige in Reynolds 708 classic and it is the bike I own since 1996 , it rides wells and it is a secure and comfy ride.An interesting article of the same bike than mine

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Old 04-06-23, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by NewB21
I have checked the Trek Domane SL 5 and the Emonda but I read that both bikes have "entry level" carbon frames.
I ride the Emonda ALR 5 (aluminum), along with other carbon bikes, in the past I've owned bikes of steel and old aluminum. I was about 210# when I bought the Emonda... so a smaller Clyde.

Caveat - I've not owned really expensive bike frames, so I can't compare. But compared to what I've owned and ridden - the Emonda ALR is flat out awesome. Compared to my CAAD 3 R800 - night and day. The Emonda is stiff where it needs to be but has zero of that road buzz/harshness of the R800.

The bike is smooth and comfortable - and I'm not shy about saying my opinion that good aluminum frames can be as good or better than cheap carbon. The Emonda is much better than both of my lower tier CF frames.

Wheels - when I started riding again I picked up a used bike with an aluminum Dura Ace wheel set. I weighed in at 240# at that time, and grenaded both wheels in a hurry. First, I kept blowing out spokes on the rear wheel, then I cracked the front wheel, and the rear wheel cracks showed up later. A expensive set of wheels thrown in the bin...
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Old 04-06-23, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
Caveat - I've not owned really expensive bike frames, so I can't compare. But compared to what I've owned and ridden - the Emonda ALR is flat out awesome. Compared to my CAAD 3 R800 - night and day. The Emonda is stiff where it needs to be but has zero of that road buzz/harshness of the R800.
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.

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