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Road bike for heavy rider


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#1 pushinwind

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 08:57 PM

I have a friend (really, its not me) who is about 6' 2" and 280lbs.  He would like to get back into road riding and apparently did some about 20 years ago, but is quite out of shape now.  Does anyone have any recommendations for frame material that will not fail for such a big guy?  Cost is not a huge issue.  I ride a Trek Madone and I love it but I didn't want to recommend it until I got some input because I'm concerned he may trash a CF frame (I weigh 100lbs less than him).

 

Thanks!















#2 SierraSlim

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:18 AM

Hi, Wind!

 

Since I've already humiliated myself on this site by confessing my weight, lol, I guess I can't do any more damage by replying.  I'm nearly 60 years old and weighed 285 when I started bicycling back in July of this year.  In my ignorance about bikes, I had no idea that that would be an issue, and just bought the prettiest cruiser I could find, since I hadn't been on a bike since my single-speed when I was 12 and had no idea how derailleurs worked!  I bought an Electra Hawaii 3-speed beach cruiser with a steel frame and fork, and started riding. 

 

I ride on paved streets/bike paths nearly every day.  I'm up to 7.5 miles a day now, and increasing by 1-2 miles a week.  It's fairly flat terrain, so I don't know if anything would change were I going up and down hills, but so far my bike shows NO signs of problems with my weight, other than the spring beneath the seat squeaks occasionally (in protest, I imagine, lol).  I've never even had a flat, which was the one thing I did worry about due to my weight, but stuck with the tires that came with the bike. 

 

Tell your friend that according to my bariatric physician (the kind that specializes in weight problems), bicycling is the greatest exercise an overweight person can do, because it's easy on the joints, unlike walking, tennis, football, etc., and you don't have to be a speed demon to do a lot of good.   I've lost 30 pounds by biking and eating healthy foods to fuel the energy needed, and continue to lose weight.  More than that, I feel so much better on the days I bike, after I've recovered from the exertion, that I really MISS the riding on days when I can't -- like today, when it rained all day. 

 

Tell him for me that the first day I rode, I went about 1/2 mile, VERY slowly, and thought I would die -- went home and had to lie down, lol.  But I stuck with it, going just a little further each day, and now  I do my 7 miles now at 12-14 mph, and it doesn't seem that hard at all, so I'm working at increasing both distance and intensity.  Cycling has given me the confidence that I can finally GET this weight off, once and for all, doing something that's actually FUN and doesn't hurt.  I hope it helps him do the same.

 

I wish him luck. 

 

Sierra



#3 pushinwind

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 06:44 PM

Thanks Sierra.  Steel always seems to be the safest bet.  Congrats on your progress!  Keep up the good work!


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#4 davereo

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 07:32 PM



Originally Posted by pushinwind View Post

I have a friend (really, its not me) who is about 6' 2" and 280lbs.  He would like to get back into road riding and apparently did some about 20 years ago, but is quite out of shape now.  Does anyone have any recommendations for frame material that will not fail for such a big guy?  Cost is not a huge issue.  I ride a Trek Madone and I love it but I didn't want to recommend it until I got some input because I'm concerned he may trash a CF frame (I weigh 100lbs less than him).

 

Thanks!



This would be a good bike for him to check out. Steel frame with a good components for the price.  A little wrenching will be required to assemble and adjust.  But thats what friends are for.   http://www.bikesdire...sor/tourist.htm 



#5 majchers

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 02:45 PM

To 'pushinwind' :

Try www.pinkbike.com - select 'buy-sell' pulldown and then type 'Calgary' in a 'keywords' window, then pickup either your preferred group - say road bikes or XC/all mountain e.t.c. They have some amazing deals sometime there.

I would be careful with the road bike style in your case (weight). Even touring models such as 'Windsor' model advised above is at the edge. You need a cross cycle type or something like this: http://www.cube.eu/e...ey-silver-blue/ and size 58 or 60 cm (or 22" min.).

 

To 'Sierraslim' :

No, your doc is not right. Cycling is not that great for your joints (wrists and especially knees!). But if you are careful and set your bike properly you can avoid a lot of damages. But he is right if it comes to the weight loss.



#6 SierraSlim

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 03:46 PM

Hi Majchers!

 

All I know is what the doc said (who has way more education about that stuff than I do, lol.)   He suggests cycling for ALL his patients.  And he's not a hack; he's one of the chief teaching physicians at UC San Francisco. 

 

But I also personally have a really bad knee that will eventually need to be replaced; it's about 50% bone-on-bone now, and the time is coming.   And cycling is the only exercise than doesn't make it hurt; in fact, it eases the stiffness.   Just speaking from experience here.  (I weigh 250 pounds, and my wrists don't hurt biking; maybe I just don't lean all my weight on them.)

 

Anyway, just didn't want to discourage any heavy people from riding.  In my experience, it has been WONDERFUL. 



#7 davereo

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:12 PM

My wife is a PT.  All her knee patients rehab on stationary cycles. Slim your post was correct you posted that cycling is "easy on your joints".  It is compared to other forms of excercise. Your doctor is not a hack look at your results.


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#8 cycleheimer

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:38 PM

May sound crazy, but how about an older Schwinn Varsity or Continental to start out with (1 to 20 mile rides).  Tires can be a bit of a hassle to locate (Niagara Cycle Works, however, may have something ... and inexpensive, too), but they are easy to work on and are nearly indestructable.  They are not that impossible to find, and can be purchased relatively inexpensively.  Those old 27" x 1 1/4" wheel sets will hold up much better than the newer lightweight alloy wheel sets with 700 x 23 tires.  When he gets down to about 225 he can switch over to something less "bomb proof".  On the other hand, he could try some type of hybrid set-up or cyclocross bike with beefier 700 x 38 tires and a few extra spokes here and there...touring bikes usually have a few extra spokes in the rear wheel to hold up better when fully loaded.    



#9 majchers

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 02:08 PM

SierraSlim and others:

My comments regarding knees and wrists were based on many, many, many (MANY!) hours spent on cycling forums. Not counting my own experience (and I bike a bit I might say). On the other hand, yes, your doc is right: cycling IS good for you, for your joints e.t.c. - in general. As avery actvity - it has its grey areas too. Just apply common sense and everything will be fine! Good luck to all!

~~~ ~ _O
~~ ~ _- ,
~~ (*)/ (*)



#10 kdelong

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 05:11 PM

About the only exercise that is better for you and does not stress your joints is swimming. But then a bike is a lot less expensive than a swimming pool, and most 200+ lb people look a lot better on a bicycle than they do in a bathing suit.


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#11 SierraSlim

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 11:01 PM

KD,

 

You crack me UP!!!     I weigh about 3 tons, and that was still really funny.

 

Of course, I didn't find it so funny yesterday when I was riding my bike, and a carful of idiots drove up beside me to make sure I could hear them when they shouted what a fat a$$ I have.  I wanted to say, "Oh, really???  I didn't know!"  Why do these people think I'm SWEATING down that bike path?!?  People....

 

Originally Posted by kdelong View Post

About the only exercise that is better for you and does not stress your joints is swimming. But then a bike is a lot less expensive than a swimming pool, and most 200+ lb people look a lot better on a bicycle than they do in a bathing suit.





#12 i12ride

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:25 AM



Originally Posted by SierraSlim View Post

KD,

 

You crack me UP!!!     I weigh about 3 tons, and that was still really funny.

 

Of course, I didn't find it so funny yesterday when I was riding my bike, and a carful of idiots drove up beside me to make sure I could hear them when that shouted what a fat a$$ I have.  I wanted to say, "Oh, really???  I didn't know!"  Why do these people think I'm SWEATING down that bike path?!?  People....

 


 


At least yours is in the right place..."people" like you encountered have asses for hat racks and sit on their own face................the other mutant form of that type has head in right spot but likes to stare at their own intestines constantly...................shit for brains either way. 



#13 SierraSlim

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 07:42 AM

Thanks, I12ride!

 

I have never understood those who insult a total stranger and take delight in it; but you may have just helped me see them perfectly, lol! 

 

Sierra



#14 majchers

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 01:31 PM

 

There are some good charts at the bottom of this link's page regarding bike sizing...

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/lp2/bike-fit-guide.html



#15 pTricky

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 03:44 PM

You probably don't have to worry too much about any well-built frame, but you probably want to avoid carbon because it is rather expensive and doesn't make much sense execpt for very serious cyclists.  That said, other components--notably the wheels--will need to be fairly beefy.  Other things to look for would be powerful brakes and a wide gear range, so a bike designed for loaded touring, like that Windsor or the Trek 520 would be a good bet.



#16 i12ride

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 06:09 AM


Very cool! I have an Electra Revil that was 3 speed but made them swap out to be single speed when buying & also an Electra Jeremy that I scored 7 speed Nexus hub out back and scored Nexus generator hub for the front and laced them to the factory rims. Also did sealed bearing bottom bracket on it. Love my cruisers for neighborhood barefoot rides with the wife but those won't do for any harder core rides than that. Went about 20 miles on the Jeremy chopper thing and it got uncomfortable after 15 or so even with the big springy seat. Here's a stock pic of the Jeremy but mine doesn't look quite like this any more tho......

jeremy.jpg
 

Originally Posted by SierraSlim View Post

   I bought an Electra Hawaii 3-speed beach cruiser with a steel frame and fork, and started riding. 

 

 



#17 SierraSlim

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 10:31 AM

Wow, i1.

 

That's just plain sexy.  I like it, I like it!! 

 

My cruiser is candy apple red and so cute I wanna pinch her cheeks, lol.  It's interesting now trying to find a good road/hybrid that I think is both dependably functional AND pretty.  I may have to compromise a little on the pretty, at my price range, but not before I put up a good fight about it. 



#18 frbock

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 06:20 PM

Hi,

My 1 cents(newbie..no full vote). I'm 6' 240lb, and I'm cruising around on a 1993 Univega Via Carisma. Even when I stand on it on the hills, the flex is minimal. My old (1971) Motobecane Mirage was pretty whippy even when I weighed 150 lb, but it was built to do that.

I suspect that any modern frame above the big box store version is going to handle the weight just fine. Better bikes have to design for the person with the massive quads pumping 1kw of energy into the frame. Weight is something after the decimal point in this case.

Buy what fits you, just don't buy the $100 special at the toy store.



#19 bigaussie

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 08:12 AM

Pushwind

 

I disagree with a some of the comments in this thread.

 

You and he would be better off in the Clydesdales section of this forum.  He is a similar build to me - I am 6' and 250 lb and in my mid-50's

 

If he has been a road bike in the past be will get tired of a $1,000 tourer or hybrid very fast.  I started off that way, and then got back on my 1992 Eddie Merckx but now know I need some 21st Century technology.

 

You are riding a Madone and know the difference a good bike makes, and assuming you will be riding together he will want something comparable. 

 

I would point him to the 'plush' or 'endurance' or 'comfort' range of quality road bike.  The immediate thoughts are Specialized Roubaix & Cannondale Synapse but there are many others. Some of these are available in both aluminium and CF

 

Some manufacturers, e.g. Cannondale post recommended weight limits.  With others you have to play detective to find the max weights.  I was looking at 2nd hand 2008 Specialized Roubaix S Works SRAM Red and only after a lot of searching did I find the following "Roval wheels are made to be lightweight, and are not suitable for all riders and all possible uses. If the rider is approaching 250 pounds in weight (i.e., 240 pounds, etc.), Specialized recommends against use of this wheel. Failure to follow this warning may result in a catastrophic failure of the wheel, causing serious personal injury or death.".  One of the better wheels for the bigger rider is the Mavic Aksium.

 

If cost isn't critical, get him to buy a second hand cheaper bike just to get back on the road and then buy the good bike he will need to do serious miles.

 

Good luck to him.

 

BigAussie



#20 vjbknife

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 07:22 PM



Originally Posted by bigaussie View Post

Pushwind

 

I disagree with a some of the comments in this thread.

 

You and he would be better off in the Clydesdales section of this forum.  He is a similar build to me - I am 6' and 250 lb and in my mid-50's

 

If he has been a road bike in the past be will get tired of a $1,000 tourer or hybrid very fast.  I started off that way, and then got back on my 1992 Eddie Merckx but now know I need some 21st Century technology.

 

You are riding a Madone and know the difference a good bike makes, and assuming you will be riding together he will want something comparable. 

 

I would point him to the 'plush' or 'endurance' or 'comfort' range of quality road bike.  The immediate thoughts are Specialized Roubaix & Cannondale Synapse but there are many others. Some of these are available in both aluminium and CF

 

Some manufacturers, e.g. Cannondale post recommended weight limits.  With others you have to play detective to find the max weights.  I was looking at 2nd hand 2008 Specialized Roubaix S Works SRAM Red and only after a lot of searching did I find the following "Roval wheels are made to be lightweight, and are not suitable for all riders and all possible uses. If the rider is approaching 250 pounds in weight (i.e., 240 pounds, etc.), Specialized recommends against use of this wheel. Failure to follow this warning may result in a catastrophic failure of the wheel, causing serious personal injury or death.".  One of the better wheels for the bigger rider is the Mavic Aksium.

 

If cost isn't critical, get him to buy a second hand cheaper bike just to get back on the road and then buy the good bike he will need to do serious miles.

 

Good luck to him.

 

BigAussie


I have to disagree with one part of your post.   The Mavic Aksium wheelset with 20 aero spokes is not a better wheel for a 250 pound rider.   32 Spoke 2.0 or butted 2.0 / 1.8 and higher should be a minimum for riders of that weight.






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