Bike for Obese Rider

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by George, May 31, 2004.

  1. George

    George Guest

    Hi all,

    I had a gastric bypass last July and have gone from 450lbs to my
    current weight of 382lbs. I am interested in buying a bike so that I
    can enjoy the warm weather and get some exercise. Are there any bikes
    (reasonably priced if possible) that can handle my weight? Specific
    brands/models or personal experience would be great.

    Thanks
     
    Tags:


  2. On 31 May 2004 20:15:03 -0700, [email protected]
    (George) wrote:

    >Hi all,
    >
    >I had a gastric bypass last July and have gone from 450lbs to my
    >current weight of 382lbs. I am interested in buying a bike so that I
    >can enjoy the warm weather and get some exercise. Are there any bikes
    >(reasonably priced if possible) that can handle my weight? Specific
    >brands/models or personal experience would be great.
    >
    >Thanks


    Dear George,

    It won't be just the bike. You'll likely be looking into a
    saddle built to handle your weight.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd listen politely to anyone who
    replies and then find out what Chalo Colina has to say. He's
    a huge man, has been riding all sorts of bicycles for years,
    and would be well worth listening to about what might break
    and what kind of saddles he's found comfortable.

    Good luck,

    Carl Fogel
     
  3. You might want to look into a Greenspeed Recumbent Trike. They are very
    comfortable and can custom make a heavy duty model that has a wider seat and
    is designed for more weight. www.greenspeed.com.au

    Recumbents give you the exercise, without the pain.
     
  4. Bruni

    Bruni Guest

    Tandem spec wheels ( deep section, at least 36 spokes) are a sensible
    upgrade, otherwise, a hardtail MTB with a rigid fork.
    Tom

    --
    Bruni Bicycles
    "Where art meets science"
    brunibicycles.com
    410.426.3420
    Jonathan Kaplan <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > You might want to look into a Greenspeed Recumbent Trike. They are very
    > comfortable and can custom make a heavy duty model that has a wider seat

    and
    > is designed for more weight. www.greenspeed.com.au
    >
    > Recumbents give you the exercise, without the pain.
    >
    >
     
  5. "George" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I had a gastric bypass last July and have gone from 450lbs to my
    > current weight of 382lbs. I am interested in buying a bike so that I
    > can enjoy the warm weather and get some exercise. Are there any bikes
    > (reasonably priced if possible) that can handle my weight? Specific
    > brands/models or personal experience would be great.
    >
    > Thanks


    Your best bet is to buy an entry level (ie., cheap) mountain bike from a
    local bike shop and pay a little extra for a good set of wheels. 400 lbs is
    not a problem. After all, tandems carry this much weight and more. You
    should be on the road for less than $500.
     
  6. Jim & Meg

    Jim & Meg Guest

    I'm 325 pounds and I have a Cannondale Super v 500. I use a Bi-Saddle seat
    and find it the most comfortable. I have not had a problem with the bike or
    the saddle.

    Regards,

    Jim
    "George" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I had a gastric bypass last July and have gone from 450lbs to my
    > current weight of 382lbs. I am interested in buying a bike so that I
    > can enjoy the warm weather and get some exercise. Are there any bikes
    > (reasonably priced if possible) that can handle my weight? Specific
    > brands/models or personal experience would be great.
    >
    > Thanks
     
  7. Jim Ferguson

    Jim Ferguson Guest

    >current weight of 382lbs.

    Congratulations, George. I wish I had a recommendation on a bike for
    you. I had GBP also at 415, and am now down to 195. I started riding a
    Trek hybrid at about 250 pounds and had no trouble with it at all. I'm
    currently riding a Trek 5200 road bike, and love it to pieces.

    -- Jim F.
     
  8. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    [email protected] (George) wrote:

    > I had a gastric bypass last July and have gone from 450lbs to my
    > current weight of 382lbs. I am interested in buying a bike so that I
    > can enjoy the warm weather and get some exercise. Are there any bikes
    > (reasonably priced if possible) that can handle my weight? Specific
    > brands/models or personal experience would be great.


    I am in the 400 lb. class, give or take, and I've put a lot of miles
    on a lot of bikes, as Carl pointed out.

    You must decide whether you are going to ride a little, and you just
    want a bike that will withstand a bit of easy cruising, or whether you
    are going to rack up some serious or adventuresome miles and therefore
    need a heavy-duty ride.

    The first category of bike can be bought at any bike shop (from the
    "comfort" or "mountain bike" categories), with some intelligent
    upgrades to the saddle and wheels a cost-effective measure to increase
    comfort and reduce maintenance. For the second type of bike, the
    heavy-duty kind, you should have special tandem-type wheels
    custom-built, and consider using a tubular welded cromoly steel crank.

    36-spoke wheels (rather than 32-spoke) are a good idea, and should be
    tensioned and stress-relieved by hand by an experienced wheelbuilder.
    Trying to get by with the marginally built wheels that work OK for
    most folk will have you returning to your bike dealer with annoying
    frequency to have them "trued" (straightened). If you go so far as to
    have custom wheels built, have the builder use 48-spoke hubs and rims
    for the utmost in durability.

    Try to find a bike that uses an ISIS or other tubular-axle crank, as
    the ordinary square-taper type is apt to break if you get too athletic
    with it. Worry about this when you buy, so you won't have to worry
    about it every time you ride. Better yet would be to use a BMX-type
    cromoly crank with an adapter spider. Here are examples:
    http://www.danscomp.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?action=DETAIL&item=451050
    http://profileracing.com/loader.php?load=shop&productid=67

    Narrow saddles have become the fashion for most bikes, and those which
    come standard on bikes in the "comfort" category usually don't pass
    muster under a lot of weight. One readily available exception is the
    stock saddle from Electra:
    <http://www.electrabike.com/miva/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=EP&Category_Code=SE>
    Although you may have to fool around with the springs to make them
    stay put, the shell and padding are very intelligently designed and
    well worth the effort to find. A local hardware or bolt supply can
    furnish you with a stack of large-diameter rubber washers to
    substitute for the coil springs for a hassle-free solution.

    If you are willing to invest a chunk of money for the best big-guy
    saddle available, the English-made Brooks B90/3 is it. Accept no
    substitutes, as they say:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/saddles/brooks-b90-3.html

    Be careful when buying a bike that is equipped with a suspension fork.
    Although a suspension fork increases rider comfort, and saves the
    front wheel and other parts from some of the beating they would
    otherwise receive, not all of them can be tuned to work properly under
    your weight. Be sure that the fork can be made to work for you before
    you buy, or else just get a bike with a rigid steel fork.

    Another issue to consider is frame size. You'll want to minimize
    seatpost extension, to prevent bending. Also, you will need to limit
    the amount of weight you carry on your hands, so you'll have to have
    the bars somewhat above the level of the seat. Both these factors
    will put you on a bigger frame than what most bikemongers will first
    suggest. It's better to get a frame that's "too big" for you, and
    substitute a shorter-than normal handlebar stem, than to cope with the
    ramifications of a fashionably too-small frame. Find a bike with a
    sloping top tube that's tall enough to give you just an inch or so of
    crotch clearance. That will get your handlebars up where you need
    them without resorting to long, flexible stems or weak high-rise bars.
    Swap the stem for a shorty if the forward reach is too much--stems
    come as short as 50mm these days, and shorter equals stiffer. If you
    are much taller than average, you might be best served by a BMX
    handlebar (7-8" tall and reinforced) and stem in place of the stock
    items.

    Many bike dealers are going to want to put you on a bike that has disc
    brakes, because they have a reputation for increased stopping power
    over rim brakes. My experience tells me that disc brakes have good
    lever response, but that the best rim brakes will usually stop you
    harder if you are a super-heavyweight. This matters if there are
    steep hills where you live. Also, disc brake front wheels are dished,
    making them quite a bit weaker than regular front wheels of similar
    construction. Use linear-pull brakes with booster arches and high
    quality pads if braking is important in your particular circumstances.

    Kona's "Hoss" is built for big riders and priced reasonably:
    http://konaworld.com/2k4bikes/2k4_hoss.cfm

    The German manufacturer Schauff makes what is probably the best
    off-the-shelf bike for a heavy rider ("weight allowance 200kg"), but
    finding an importer could be a real problem:
    <http://schauff.de/schauff2002.de/index.php?language=e&action=fahrrad&typ=XXL%2FXXS&jahr=2004&id=227>

    Best of luck!

    Chalo Colina
     
  9. ZeeExSixAre

    ZeeExSixAre Guest

    > Many bike dealers are going to want to put you on a bike that has disc
    > brakes, because they have a reputation for increased stopping power
    > over rim brakes. My experience tells me that disc brakes have good
    > lever response, but that the best rim brakes will usually stop you
    > harder if you are a super-heavyweight. This matters if there are



    Hey Chalo,
    I rode my MTB doing trials today in the rain, and as expected, my V-brakes
    did absolutely nothing for me. I rode a while longer with the rotten
    performance, and as I stopped on campus for a minute, I noticed some fine
    clay mud nearby. Just for fun, I smeared some onto the rim surfaces front
    and rear, and rode with SCEEERRRRKKKKKK the whole time, but noticed a
    dramatic increase in braking power. I smeared more and more mud on the
    rims, and the friction increase a little more.

    The rain had stopped by now, and I had called my friend to come riding with
    us. I wanted to show him my discovery, so I figured that I'd wash off the
    rims in a local display fountain to get them to their crappy performance
    from before. After washing off the mud and scraped-off brake pad material,
    I expected the brakes not to work, but to my surprise, they worked just as
    well as before. The big surprise came when the wheels and pads dried off -
    they're comparable to my disc brakes! They may not be quite as linear and
    therefore more grabby, but they definitely had more power than I needed.

    My theory is that the sheen of deposited rubber on the rim and the glaze on
    the pad had been scraped away by the fine-grit mud and thus allowed a clean
    pad-rim interface.

    So I apologize for my previous assertions of disc superiority and support
    your claim that properly-adjusted *quality* rim brakes and pads are
    sometimes comparable to disc brakes. The vast majority of rim brakes out
    there, however, are total junk.

    For reference, my setup is a 2003 Manitou Skareb (3.4 lbs... too light for
    my taste) with Avid Single Digit 5 calipers, Avid Rim Wrangler pad holders,
    Koolstop OEM black pads, Avid Speed Dial levers, and Salsa brake boosters.
    I'm eager to try the salmon pads.

    --
    Phil, Squid-in-Training
     
  10. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    "ZeeExSixAre" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Just for fun, I smeared some onto the rim surfaces front
    > and rear, and rode with SCEEERRRRKKKKKK the whole time, but noticed a
    > dramatic increase in braking power. I smeared more and more mud on the
    > rims, and the friction increase a little more.

    <snip>
    > After washing off the mud and scraped-off brake pad material,
    > I expected the brakes not to work, but to my surprise, they worked just as
    > well as before. The big surprise came when the wheels and pads dried off -
    > they're comparable to my disc brakes! They may not be quite as linear and
    > therefore more grabby, but they definitely had more power than I needed.


    Aye, that was the principle at work in the old WTB abrasive brake pads
    that tore the rim sidewalls all to hell, but offered excellent
    stopping.

    I'll admit that there are a hundred things that can interfere with rim
    brake stopping power, some of which can be fixed (pads, sidewall
    finish), and some of which must be sorted out from the beginning
    (rigid mounting). But if you nail them all, you wind up wondering why
    anybody would need such aggressive braking!

    I keep waiting for some missing factor that will yield more power from
    my discs. Hard to reckon what it might be, though, since the
    mounting is rigid as can be, and the braking surfaces seem
    self-cleaning by comparison with a rim.

    I will say this for discs-- the hotter they get, the better they seem
    to work. I'm sure that trait has its limits, but my 8-inch Hayes
    mechanical disc does not fade on my 350-foot plummet from home to
    work.

    Chalo Colina
     
  11. On Mon, 31 May 2004 20:15:03 -0700, George wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I had a gastric bypass last July and have gone from 450lbs to my
    > current weight of 382lbs. I am interested in buying a bike so that I
    > can enjoy the warm weather and get some exercise. Are there any bikes
    > (reasonably priced if possible) that can handle my weight? Specific
    > brands/models or personal experience would be great.
    >
    > Thanks


    Since the idea of "reasonably priced" varies greatly, I'll give my
    cheapskate recommendation: Used aluminum or steel bike-store (rather
    than discount store) mountain bike with 7 (preferred) or 8 speed gearing,
    no suspension fork, and make sure the rear hub is spaced for a 135mm wheel
    especially if it is an aluminum frame. If the wheels are 36 spoke, and
    the rear is a cassette (rather than freewheel) have them re-tensioned by a
    good wheelbuilder and ride. If they are 32 spoke, get a good 36 (or more)
    spoke cassette rear wheel, preferably handbuilt with butted spokes from a
    good wheelbuilder recommended here. Some work mailorder, and they aren't
    that expensive. The front is probably fine at 32 spokes, but re-tensioning
    is worth the minimal cost.

    Keep the tires inflated to maximum pressure.

    If you will be road riding, switch the tires to slicks
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Chalo
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Try to find a bike that uses an ISIS or other tubular-axle crank, as
    > the ordinary square-taper type is apt to break if you get too athletic
    > with it. Worry about this when you buy, so you won't have to worry
    > about it every time you ride. Better yet would be to use a BMX-type
    > cromoly crank with an adapter spider. Here are examples:


    <snip>

    Chalo would you please elaborate on this point. Is the design of ISIS
    (or Octalink) BBs intrinsically stronger than square taper BBs? Are the
    square tapers the weak point in the assembly?

    I've never had a (square taper steel) spindle fail yet - both cartridge
    and cup and cone. But that in of itself is not an indication of a
    design's superiority. And I'm 170 lbs. Yet, I've not found a compelling
    reason to adopt the ISIS standard. Does your experience inform you
    otherwise?

    thanks
    luke
     
  13. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    Luke <luc[email protected]> wrote:
    > Chalo <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > Try to find a bike that uses an ISIS or other tubular-axle crank, as
    > > the ordinary square-taper type is apt to break if you get too athletic
    > > with it. Worry about this when you buy, so you won't have to worry
    > > about it every time you ride. Better yet would be to use a BMX-type
    > > cromoly crank with an adapter spider. Here are examples:

    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > Chalo would you please elaborate on this point. Is the design of ISIS
    > (or Octalink) BBs intrinsically stronger than square taper BBs?


    Generally, yes. There are ways in which a manufacturer could weaken
    the basic ISIS design with stress-concentrating features, inferior
    materials, or clumsy machining. An example:
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/fsabb.html

    All relevant factors equal, though, ISIS and Octalink are much
    stronger than traditional square tapers simply by virtue of their
    greater cross-sectional diameters. When strength is a critical issue,
    the ISIS design leaves room to thicken the spindle's walls, where
    there is no such space in the square taper design.

    > Are the square tapers the weak point in the assembly?


    With most current cranks, yes. Older cranks (e.g. Nuovo Record) or
    unusually light cranks of conventional design (e.g. Topline) might be
    apt to fail before a square taper spindle.

    > I've never had a (square taper steel) spindle fail yet - both cartridge
    > and cup and cone. But that in of itself is not an indication of a
    > design's superiority. And I'm 170 lbs.


    I have snapped off two square taper spindles under pedaling force
    alone, without previous damage to the bikes that would help account
    for the failures. One I broke when I weighed about 230 lbs, and the
    other when I weighed about 270 pounds. Both exhibited a spiral
    fracture originating from the root end corner of one of the flats.

    Many riders who are much lighter than I was have had similar failures.

    > Yet, I've not found a compelling
    > reason to adopt the ISIS standard. Does your experience inform you
    > otherwise?


    If you have ridden lots and lots of miles for many years, and have
    never broken a square taper crank spindle, then continuing to do so
    should be fine. ISIS is meaningfully stronger and stiffer, though, if
    either of those things are issues.

    If my only options were to use square tapers or to use ISIS, I would
    definitely use ISIS. My personal experiences with the system have
    been mixed, however, with some chronic loosening of the crank arm
    bolts compelling me to use other kinds of cranks instead. For the
    modest amount of structural improvement ISIS offers, I was unwilling
    to tolerate other tradeoffs.

    I have found that I much prefer a pinch-clamped spline to a tapered
    spline. Of major road/MTB component manufacturers, only Shimano offer
    such a design, and I can buy far more trustworthy and appealing cranks
    from the BMX market for half the price. I use mainly Primo Powerbite
    cranks, but I have had excellent results from Bullseye cranks and
    Redline Flight Group 2 cranks as well. Profile Racing cranks are
    rugged and reliable, but they use a non-tapered interference fit (a
    real PITA) instead of pinch bolts, and in my experience they suffer
    from quality control issues.

    All the BMX cranks I mentioned are available in at least 185mm lengths
    (up to 222mm for Bullseye and Profile), which suits me well.

    Chalo Colina
     
  14. Luke

    Luke Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Chalo
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    <snip>

    > If you have ridden lots and lots of miles for many years, and have
    > never broken a square taper crank spindle, then continuing to do so
    > should be fine. ISIS is meaningfully stronger and stiffer, though, if
    > either of those things are issues.
    >
    > If my only options were to use square tapers or to use ISIS, I would
    > definitely use ISIS. My personal experiences with the system have
    > been mixed, however, with some chronic loosening of the crank arm
    > bolts compelling me to use other kinds of cranks instead. For the
    > modest amount of structural improvement ISIS offers, I was unwilling
    > to tolerate other tradeoffs.
    >
    > I have found that I much prefer a pinch-clamped spline to a tapered
    > spline. Of major road/MTB component manufacturers, only Shimano offer
    > such a design, and I can buy far more trustworthy and appealing cranks
    > from the BMX market for half the price. I use mainly Primo Powerbite
    > cranks, but I have had excellent results from Bullseye cranks and
    > Redline Flight Group 2 cranks as well. Profile Racing cranks are
    > rugged and reliable, but they use a non-tapered interference fit (a
    > real PITA) instead of pinch bolts, and in my experience they suffer
    > from quality control issues.
    >
    > All the BMX cranks I mentioned are available in at least 185mm lengths
    > (up to 222mm for Bullseye and Profile), which suits me well.
    >
    > Chalo Colina


    Thanks for the insight Chalo. Once my crankset/BB meets it's end I'll
    definitely consider your points and take a closer look at the other
    options available.

    I confess part of the attraction of the square taper standard is the
    availability of cheap parts - for the moment anyway. Most
    retailers/manufactures consider it yesterday's technology. It is of
    course, but quite serviceable nonetheless.

    The standard I'll avoid is Octalink. Consider my cynical, but it's just
    Shimano's ploy to separate cash from the consumer and I'm convinced
    that it'll be shortly phased out. The design seems to offer no
    significant advantages - if any at all - over ISIS. The latest DuraAce
    drivetrain incorporates some type of integrated BB and this cannot bode
    well for Octalink.

    thanks

    luke
     
  15. JackBrit3

    JackBrit3 Guest

    I broke my dura ace 7410 bb yesterday on a rail trail it was square taper from
    1996 figure it had about 16,000 miles on it and i ma 230 pounds. It broke in
    the middle of the taper square part.
     
  16. angotja

    angotja Guest

    Zeeexsixare wrote:
    > > My theory is that the sheen of deposited rubber on the rim

    > and the glaze on the pad had been scraped away by the fine- grit mud and
    > thus allowed a clean pad-rim interface.
    > So I apologize for my previous assertions of disc superiority and
    > support your claim that properly-adjusted *quality* rim brakes and pads
    > are sometimes comparable to disc brakes. The vast majority of rim brakes
    > out there, however, are total junk.




    Would anyone agree that well-maintained V-brakes can equal the
    performance of a Mech Disc Brake, but not exceed performance of a Hydro
    Disc Brake?



    --
     
  17. RE/
    >Would anyone agree that well-maintained V-brakes can equal the
    >performance of a Mech Disc Brake, but not exceed performance of a Hydro
    >Disc Brake?


    Somebody has to define "performance"...and I think there are different answers
    depending...
    --
    PeteCresswell
     
  18. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    Luke <[email protected]> wrote;

    > The standard I'll avoid is Octalink. Consider my cynical, but it's just
    > Shimano's ploy to separate cash from the consumer and I'm convinced
    > that it'll be shortly phased out. The design seems to offer no
    > significant advantages - if any at all - over ISIS. The latest DuraAce
    > drivetrain incorporates some type of integrated BB and this cannot bode
    > well for Octalink.


    Octalink has had a single fatal flaw for its entire time on the
    market. Jobst Brandt has addressed this shortcoming in detail, so I
    will simply say that lacking either a taper or a pinch bolt on its
    spline, it is subject to spline backlash that increases until either
    the bolts loosen and the cranks fall off, or the crank spline becomes
    stripped and can rotate on the spindle.

    This is a serious shortcoming, and I believe the fact that Octalink is
    being replaced by a pinch-bolted spline (an expensive and unimpressive
    pinch-bolted spline at that) is because the Octalink design can't be
    fixed through refinement.

    Octalink spindles do not, to my knowledge, break off at the crank
    interface like square tapers do, though. That's the one good thing
    that can be said for them.

    Chalo Colina
     
  19. Chalo

    Chalo Guest

    angotja <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    > Would anyone agree that well-maintained V-brakes can equal the
    > performance of a Mech Disc Brake, but not exceed performance of a Hydro
    > Disc Brake?


    When all conditions are right, linear-pull brakes can provide more
    braking than any bicycle discs of any kind. But that's a moot point
    for most purposes. First, it's difficult to control all the factors
    necessary for a linear pull-brake to provide such powerful braking,
    and second, most riders can't possibly use so much braking torque--
    they just go over the bars.

    So when you limit the braking force in question to the amount that
    will toss an average sized rider over the bars of an average bike,
    then it becomes a matter of how little lever squeeze it takes to
    deliver that much braking torque. _That_ is where hydraulic discs
    excel-- not in absolute braking power. Hydraulic discs are easily set
    up to return lots of braking force for a small force applied at the
    lever.

    When the issue is either maximum braking force or maximum sustained
    braking power, rim brakes prevail. But that's a relatively esoteric
    matter of interest mostly to tandemists and super-heavyweight riders.

    Chalo Colina
     
  20. nebrbiker

    nebrbiker New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
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    Appreciated the info in your post but most of the links were no longer active. Also, any recommendations for pedals?
     
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