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Weight issues

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Weight issues

Old 04-30-13, 01:44 AM
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Weight issues

Hi everyone!

I'm going on a northern European cycle tour around the Easten sea, come July, up to the North Cape.
I have built myself a wonderful Surly Trucker Deluxe, size 62, with all the trimmings, it's a real beauty.

I'm a pretty big guy, and I just wanted to get some of your thoughts on some weight issues I have been thinking about. Here are the specs.

- I'm 6 feet 5 inches/198 cm, and currently weigh in at 215 pounds/98 kg

- The bike with racks weighs 40 pounds/18 kg

- I would like to bring 40 pounds/18 kg of equipment.

- I have 36 spoke, 26 inch wheels (front and back), with Shimano Deore LX hubs, DT Swiss Alpine III spokes, and Mavic XM 317 rims.

Surly recommends that the load on the frame does not exceed 136 kg/300 pounds.
Does anybody know how much weight these wheels can take? If I add it together it sums up at 295 pounds/134 kg.

Am I being unrealistic? Is it to much for the wheels? I will try to lose about 12 pounds/5 kg of body weight before I take off. How worried should I be?

I would love to hear your opinions on the subject!

Thank you so much


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Old 04-30-13, 04:28 AM
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You may be ok, it depends if the wheels are machine built, you may suffer spoke breakage.

The components of the wheel are fine. I would have the wheels hand rebuilt by a good bicycle mechanic and then you should have no problems as the tension of the spokes in the wheels will be good.
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Old 04-30-13, 06:25 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much. Properly tensioning and stress relieving the wheels isn't a bad idea. That said it also probably wouldn't be hard to lower the weight of that 40 pound gear load. It is possible to be quite comfortable with a lot less. When you really think about what you need it can be surprisingly little. Obviously everyone is different in their packing style though.
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Old 04-30-13, 06:51 AM
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Kristian, I also vote for having the wheels hand tuned.

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Old 04-30-13, 07:34 AM
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It's 3 months until July when you leave and it's never a bad thing to lose weight (unless one is already underweight).
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Old 04-30-13, 07:56 AM
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I think it will help to use the fattest tires your bike can handle. Fat tires need less pressure than skinny tires, but a heavy load requires more pressure.

With your total load, you'll probably want to go about 50% higher pressure than this chart:


So e.g. for 50 mm tires you might try 65 psi.

Anyway, fatter tires give some suspension which reduces the stress on all the components.
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Old 04-30-13, 08:14 AM
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WIW, I am about 215 lbs. I have toured with a good deal of weight, including a 6.25 lb. tent, on a LHT riding the stock wheels that came with the bike. I did have them hand trued/stress reieved by a shop that serves touring cyclists. Tires were the stock Conti 37c, which I understand actually measure 32c. Even done some very rough, unpaved roads. I have never broken a spoke or needed the wheels trued.
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Old 04-30-13, 08:31 AM
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Thank you, for your very helpful advise.

I've just contacted the shop where I bought the wheels. They said that the wheels was threaded by hand, tightened on a machine, then controlled and retensioned by hand. Would you still recommend taking it in for a hand tune?

The shop offers a ten year warranty on their wheels if a spoke is broken. How do you feel about this statement?

This is what the website says:

"You have a 2-year warranty on all components and we will, within 10 years and free of charge, repair spoke breaks occurring in relation to Xtreme wheels or wheels that we have assembled according to your specifications (not standard series wheels"

(I ordered my wheels to specifications)

Thanks again

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Old 04-30-13, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim Kukula

Anyway, fatter tires give some suspension which reduces the stress on all the components.
This is what I was going to say : )

Some people talk about "riding style" as well... whether you "float" over bumps by coming out of the saddle and lifting the bike a bit, or just thump over them like a cow (or a freshman on a walmart biking cutting through campus) No evidence, but as with cars, the harder you ride it, the quicker it will die.

Having said that I have seen pictures of many people riding bikes that are loaded with 90+ lbs and do fine.

You could consider a trailer, which would be a shame to load only 40 lbs onto, or later down the road a tandem wheelset. I really wouldn't worry about the frame itself, the trucker is a pretty beastly frame. Though I suppose not as beefy as a fargo or other such "adventure" touring bikes.
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Old 04-30-13, 09:08 AM
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Regarding weight limits, if you can avoid the potholes and sudden bumps, you should be ok. I usually tour with a total weight of me, gear and bike of about 300 pounds and I did not even know that Surly had a weight rating. I have a LHT from the first year of production.

Even if you lost 12 pounds, that is less than 5 percent change in total weight, not much of a change. That probably is less critical than if you hit a big bump at a speed that was 5 percent faster.

Losing 12 pounds over three months, it is doable. You need to cut your caloric intake by about 500 calories per day to achieve that. You may need to buy some new clothes for the trip if you lose a couple inches around the waist.
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Old 04-30-13, 09:28 AM
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The wheels will be fine. Get top of the line touring tires - say 35+ mm wide.
On a trip you've got worry as a companion, for you're always concerned about what happens next and sticking to an itinerary. . . . on a journey you never have to worry. Something always happens next.

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Old 04-30-13, 09:46 AM
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Being a common wheel anything major, you just buy another wheel when required.

My choice was overbuilt wheels I built myself .. 88 spokes 40/48..
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Old 04-30-13, 10:14 AM
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I am 6'05" 240; I need to lose weight, you definitely don't. You will lose enough weight on your tour and any weight you lose between now and then won't be significant enough to make any difference plus I don't think it would be healthy for you since you are already height weight proportionate.

I carry about the same amount of gear as you do and seldom if ever have wheel issues. Your components are more than fine. Just have the wheels tensioned before you go.
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