Fat Guy Biking

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Albert N. Mouse, May 5, 2003.

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  1. Hi all....

    My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    (~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love to start going along, but I'm a little afraid of
    what I would do to the poor bike.

    I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as soon
    as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then* sink
    the big $$.

    Anyone have any feedback? Thanks in advance for the posts.

    A Nony Mouse
     
    Tags:


  2. Look at getting a big, simple beach cruiser bike. Big fat tires, beefy frame, big seat and big broad
    handlebars means a big heavy dude can ride without looking too 'funny'. Simple design with
    single-gearing means you can have decent quality at a cheap price and also you'll burn more calories
    per mile than almost any other bike type.

    Once you've shed a few pounds you'll want to get well-fitted at a bike store for something more
    specialized, efficient and expensive.
     
  3. Tapicah

    Tapicah Guest

    I suggest you visit your local Trek dealer, when looking for a bike to best fit your size and needs.
    Most people have problems with bicycles because they are not properly sizes for them. A Trek
    tricycle can hold 700 pounds and that directed towards small children. If you are seriously
    interested in getting a bike, I suggest you visit a dealer. Their bikes range from $200-$6000. They
    will help you find the appropriate bike.

    "Albert N. Mouse" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi all....
    >
    > My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    > (~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love to start going along, but I'm a little afraid of
    > what I would do to the poor bike.
    >
    > I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    > handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as
    > soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then*
    > sink the big $$.
    >
    >
    > Anyone have any feedback? Thanks in advance for the posts.
    >
    > A Nony Mouse
     
  4. Most good bikes are plenty strong enough for your weight.

    "Albert N. Mouse" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all....
    >
    > My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    > (~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love
    to
    > start going along, but I'm a little afraid of what I would do to the poor bike.
    >
    > I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that
    have
    > frames/tires that could handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is
    > going to fall apart as soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a
    > couple years and *then* sink the big $$.
    >
    >
    > Anyone have any feedback? Thanks in advance for the posts.
    >
    > A Nony Mouse
     
  5. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >Hi all....
    >
    >My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    >(~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love to start going along, but I'm a little afraid of
    >what I would do to the poor bike.

    Many bikes are more than strong enough to handle your weight. However, it is important that you
    start with a decent bike that is properly assembled and fits you properly.

    >I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    >handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as soon
    >as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then* sink
    >the big $$.

    That $100 Walmart bike is more likely to fail under your weight than a somewhat more expensive bike
    that is properly assembled and fits you correctly.

    You need to give yourself the best chance of getting a solid start in cycling and in my mind that
    means getting a bike that will be reliable and comfortable.

    You should be able to find a decent bike for somewhere around $300.

    My suggestion is that you do some shopping and find a local bike shop that is friendly and willing
    to help you choose the right bike for your needs. A good shop will spend some time with you are show
    various options as well as take the time to make sure the bike is properly setup.

    The most important factor will be that wheels are properly tensioned and stress relieved.

    My recomendation would be to start with a MTB and switch the tires to road tires so that the ride is
    smoother. But stay with large tires, probably 2.0x 26s would be my recomendation. Larger tires
    smooth out the ride and make it easier on both the rider and the bike.

    Best wishes and have a good ride.

    jon isaacs
     
  6. Glenn D.

    Glenn D. Guest

    I suggest a steel frame mountain type bike with 26 inch wheels. The wheels are the weakest link when
    it comes to heavier riders. A real mountain bike will have wheels that can handle your size with no
    problems. Deal with a bike shop not a sporting goods or department store so you can be assured the
    wheels are properly tensioned. They won't be when they come out of the box.. They will probably be
    willing to swap out the knobby tires it will come with for more street friendly tires for no
    additional charge. Get the biggest ones that will fit. See if they have a return policy for seats.
    Most people go through a few before they find one they like and it can get expensive if you can't
    take them back and try another one. Don't bother with front or rear suspensions. It adds cost to the
    bike and is not needed for fitness riding or neighborhood cruising.

    Glenn "Albert N. Mouse" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all....
    >
    > My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    > (~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love
    to
    > start going along, but I'm a little afraid of what I would do to the poor bike.
    >
    > I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that
    have
    > frames/tires that could handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is
    > going to fall apart as soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a
    > couple years and *then* sink the big $$.
    >
    >
    > Anyone have any feedback? Thanks in advance for the posts.
    >
    > A Nony Mouse
     
  7. On Mon, 05 May 2003 13:24:11 +0000, Albert N. Mouse wrote:

    > Hi all....
    >
    > My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    > (~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love to start going along, but I'm a little afraid of
    > what I would do to the poor bike.
    >
    > I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    > handle a larger person riding?

    Yes there are. Check out "Bluto"'s follow-ups that will appear on this thread. He may well outweigh
    you, and seems to do quite a bit of riding.

    > don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather
    > spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then* sink the big $$.

    If you don't invest something in the bike, it won't last, even a couple years.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | I don't believe you, you've got the whole damn thing all wrong. _`\(,_ | He's not the kind
    you have to wind-up on Sundays. --Ian (_)/ (_) | Anderson
     
  8. Londo

    Londo Guest

    "Albert N. Mouse" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi all....
    >
    > My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    > (~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love to start going along, but I'm a little afraid of
    > what I would do to the poor bike.
    >
    > I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    > handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as
    > soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then*
    > sink the big $$.
    What you want its the Schauff "Sumo. It's a BIG bike made for BIG people, everything extra
    strong and it's rated to 200kg (400lbs) by the manufacturer. Costs about $2000 but according to
    the comments is really worth it. For that lot of money you get disc-brakes, a nifty speed-hub
    (as opposed to the usual switch-gear) and a lot of fun. Check this web site: http://www.schauff-
    .de/schauff2002.de/index.php?language=d&action=fahrrad&typ=XXL%2FXXS&id=17&jahr=2003
    (unfortunately in German).
     
  9. On Mon, 05 May 2003 15:01:26 +0000, Tapicah wrote:

    > I suggest you visit your local Trek dealer, when looking for a bike to best fit your size and
    > needs. Most people have problems with bicycles because they are not properly sizes for them. A
    > Trek tricycle can hold 700 pounds

    No disrespect meant against Trek, but they are not magic. Any decent brand will do nicely, but only
    if properly prepared. The wheels are key. They need to be well-built and properly stress-relieved.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Enron's slogan: Respect, Communication, Integrity, and _`\(,_ | Excellence. (_)/ (_) |
     
  10. Pureheart

    Pureheart Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Albert N. Mouse <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Hi all....
    >
    >My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    >(~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love to start going along, but I'm a little afraid of
    >what I would do to the poor bike.

    Hi, Albert. I'm right there with you. A lot of the big guys here affectionately (hopefully) call
    themselves "Clydesdales" and I would have to count myself among them at around 280.

    >I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    >handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as soon
    >as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then* sink
    >the big $$.
    >
    >
    >Anyone have any feedback? Thanks in advance for the posts.
    >

    As you'll find by other posts, it's more the wheels.

    I ride 40 spokes in front, 48 in back. Mavic Mod 4 rims, Phil Wood hubs and whatever comes out of my
    LBS's spoke cutting machine.

    I built them using Jobst Brandt's book and have had no problem with them the last five to
    eight years.

    I put about 1,500 miles/year on this bike commuting to work and one bike tour a year.

    I also put the same mileage on my Moutain bike. It has 32 spoke wheels, but it seems to be okay.
    Also Jobst wheels but no touring on this one.

    Bottom line: I'd try to go w/ at least 36 spoke wheels that are well-built and I would not expect
    many problems barring mishaps.

    pH
     
  11. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Pureheart wrote:
    > ... I ride 40 spokes in front, 48 in back. Mavic Mod 4 rims, Phil Wood hubs and whatever comes out
    > of my LBS's spoke cutting machine.
    >
    > I built them using Jobst Brandt's book and have had no problem with them the last five to eight
    > years....

    "The Bicycle Wheel" is rightly considered the authoritative text on spoked bicycle wheels, but I
    believe that a truing stand and spoke wrench would be more useful for actually building wheels. ;)

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  12. Iain Lang

    Iain Lang Guest

    .
    >> My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    >> (~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love to start going along, but I'm a little afraid
    >> of what I would do to the poor bike.
    >>
    >> I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that
    >> could handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart
    >> as soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and
    >> *then* sink the big $$.

    I'm 260+ lbs and had the same concern. I was given a 30-year-old bike from the back of someone's
    garage; I just got on it and got it on. It all works fine. Every time I wonder about maximum
    weights, I think of those films I've seen of people in places like India, where entire families seem
    to locomote on yer aver'ge bike, and I relax a little bit. I know nothing of the Walmart product but
    the idea of taking the cheap initial option attracts; after all, a couple of months' cycling may
    make you decide that you don't actually *like* cycling. In that case, a several-hundred/thousand
    purchase would start to look embarrassing. Yooors,

    Iain.
     
  13. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Albert N. Mouse" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    > handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as
    > soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then*
    > sink the big $$.

    Your best bet is probably to spend around $300 and get yourself an entry-level mountain bike or
    hybrid from a real bike shop.

    A good bike shop should be able to set you up correctly, and be there for you if you have need for
    post-sales support. Because of your size, these two issues are important.

    Even after selecting an appropriate bike, the wheels should be carefully set up -- tensioned and
    stress relieved. This should be done for all bikes, but is critical for your weight, otherwise
    you'll likely suffer many problems from breaking/loosening spokes.

    Consider that an entry-level mountain or hybrid bike is pretty easy to sell if you decide that
    cycling isn't your thing. On the other hand, if you become an enthusiast, it makes a good backup for
    the fancier bike you'll probably want.
     
  14. Albert N. Mouse <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    > handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as
    > soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then*
    > sink the big $$.

    To agree with some other posts, you wont have a problem with most decent bikes (i.e. non-walmart).
    It is defintiely worth it to get a bike at the LBS, even if a low end bike.

    Just to add: Any bike in the $200-$400 (and sometimes higher) range usually has a cheap seat and
    pedals (or at least, not really sufficient for someone my weight). On almost every bike I have had,
    getting a good seat and replacing the pedals has increased my comfort level on a bike greatly.

    - jeremiah
    --
    http://www.fluoroscopickid.com its electro-math! http://www.io.com/~jti/ its drivel!
     
  15. Bluto

    Bluto Guest

    "Albert N. Mouse" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    > handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as
    > soon as I sit on it.

    My experience is as a rider who started at age 18, 6'9", and 280 lbs. I pedaled my way all the way
    down to 220 lbs. or so, and back up to my present 360 lbs. over the course of quite a few years now.

    In the process I learned a lot about building a bike for a heavy load. Having gotten into
    engineering and machining, I now make a lot of my own stuff to suit my purposes. Almost all my bikes
    have in common 48 spoke wheels and pinch-bolt BMX cranks, neither of which are normally used on road
    or mountain bikes.

    If you are not very tall, then I expect you could have a much easier time getting equipped for
    cycling than I have.

    I agree with the above respondents who say that a mountain bike-- more specifically, a fat-tire 26"
    wheel bike-- is the way to start. I would add that you should avoid any sort of suspension devices
    as these are rarely adjustable enough to work properly for someone our size.

    The upside is that it is difficult to spend very much on a mountain bike with no suspension at all,
    and such bikes represent very good value. Until and unless your weight returns to a more average
    level, get used to the idea of spending a little money and effort making a "standard issue" bike
    work better for you.

    First, seek out a shop with a good and prolific wheelbuilder. You'll want the shop's wheelbuilder to
    thoroughly tension and stress-relieve your wheels before you take delivery of the bike. It's best if
    these wheels have 36 spokes rather than 32, and double-wall rims are better than single-wall rims at
    any given rim weight.

    See if there are any available bikes with internal gear hubs-- the 7-speed variety of these hubs
    offer a wide range of gears and build into *much* stronger rear wheels than 8/9 speed cassette hubs
    do. Wheels for derailleur bikes can be built strong, but start with a distinct handicap in the form
    of extreme dish.

    If you get to the point of riding hard at a heavy weight, you face the possibility of breaking the
    normal square-taper type of crank spindle. This has caused me serious debilitating injury, which is
    why I no longer use this type of crank. It's probably OK to start riding with a crank of this kind,
    but if you find that you are doing vigorous riding regularly, consider switching to a crank with a
    stronger spindle, for instance one designed for downhill racing.

    If you are uncomfortable with your saddle as equipped (which is likely), you should replace with one
    of a more generous proportion. Though many larger "comfort" saddles are equipped with springs, you
    should avoid these for the same reason that you avoid suspension forks: They will probably not work
    correctly under your weight, and are likely to bottom out frequently, fall apart, and/or pinch you.
    An exception to this general rule is Brooks sprung leather saddles, which feature very stiff springs
    and have worked well for me.

    The front and rear linear-pull brakes you are likely to get by default should be fine for you,
    unless they have been neutered with "anti-lock" devices. Do whatever you must to be rid of these if
    your bike is so afflicted.

    If you plan to ride only upon pavement or smooth gravel trails, consider switching to the smoothest,
    most treadless tires you can find, like Ritchey Moby Bite or Avocet Fas-Grip City 1.9. Such tires
    give you the smooth ride and wheel-protection benefits of their fat casings without slowing you down
    buzzing knobs on the ground. The difference is noticeable. You will of course need to keep your
    tires aired up; 60psi in a 2" wide tire is a good starting point. Adjust to suit your taste and
    surface conditions.

    Pedals and seatpost are likely to be cheap items that may bend in use. Replace as necessary with
    better quality parts and the problem will not be chronic.

    There are some bikes, intended for jumping, that have been upgraded throughout for strength. A bike
    like the Kona Scab would need no structural upgrades regardless of how robustly you intended to ride
    it. http://www.konaworld.com/2k3/2k3_scab.cfm So even though it costs more than an entry-level MTB,
    it is more of a "turn-key" approach to your situation.

    Chalo Colina
     
  16. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Jon Isaacs wrote:

    > >I know nothing of the Walmart product but the idea of taking the cheap initial option attracts;
    > >after all, a couple of months' cycling may make you decide that you don't actually *like*
    > >cycling. In that case, a several-hundred/thousand purchase would start to look embarrassing.
    > >Yooors,
    > >
    > >Iain.
    >
    > If one spends a $100 on a bike at Walmart that one will quit in a few months because it is unlike
    > that the bike will fit properly and the bike will have been manufactured and assembled properly so
    > that a heavy rider will actually enjoy cycling.
    >
    > It does not cost "several hundred" to get a good bike, it costs a "few hundred" and I believe it
    > is a wise investment to start with a decent piece of equipment.
    >
    > Besides helping select a good sturdy bike, a good bike shop will provide support and encouragement
    > as well as make sure the bike is doing what it is supposed to do.
    >
    > If the fellow is serious about giving cycling a try, then I say give a good try, not just a half
    > hearted one.
    >
    > jon isaacs

    I agree completely Jon. I don't own the stable of bikes like yourself, but the little old rigid
    frame mountain bike that saved me from couch potato hell was old when I bought it for a happy $65
    CAD. I rode it back to health TWICE. That's a simple fact. It sat for seven years, then got
    re-lubricated and re-tired, and away I chugged! (again)

    I still ride it's current incarnation. My point is, it was a decent cycle to start with. It is
    durable enough that today I am still willing to buy a new pair of pedals, bottom bracket or what
    have you, because the original bike was of at least middling quality. Any department store bike
    would be on the junk heap by now.

    I'm not mentioning brand names because this is about buying decent enough quality, and making it
    work for oneself. Remember your cycle must fit, then it must fit. Also, don't forget, make sure it
    fits!!! <me?> I'd never buy a bike on-line. Cuz I'm a tad paranoid about FIT. Keep smiling! Best
    regards, Bernie
     
  17. Dan

    Dan Guest

    I've got an old bridgestone rb-1 steel frame bike, run 26mm tires, and it's put up with years of
    abuse by my ~240lbs and is in great shape still. This was a ~$1100 bike that I got for $700-800
    closeout if I remember, ultegra level components. I've replaced the rear rim, and the front could
    use work. Everything else is fine. It'd even run larger tires if I wanted. I also haven't killed a
    couple cannondales yet.

    I worked with a >300lb guy that commuted every day on a normal bike running tubulars. There are some
    ultralight parts you'll want to stay away from, not use the smallest racing tires you can get, use
    wheels with more spokes rather than fewer spokes, stand up over hard bumps to help the wheels out.
    For the most part bike stuff (especially decent quality level bike stuff) can stand up to a lot of
    abuse. It's not like all of the sudden the whole bike becomes trash and you have to start over. If
    you break a part, replace it, and keep going.

    Personally, a $100 walmart bike would be aggravating to me. I'm pretty cheap, but there's a level
    for me below which things are too annoying. There's some "you get what you pay for", and many times
    trying to cheap out too much leaves me dissapointed because it fails or needs replacing, and I end
    up buying what I should have bought in the first place.

    You might try finding a bargain used bike, or closeout. I've seen some real bargain barely used 10
    year old bikes on ebay-I guess having 7 speed downtube shifters or not being made out of the latest
    unobtanium makes them undesireable to most people.

    Dan

    Londo wrote:
    > "Albert N. Mouse" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    >>Hi all....
    >>
    >>My wife has started biking along with some friends and our young son in tow... I'm a big guy
    >>(~290lbs) thanks to some thyroid issues. I'd love to start going along, but I'm a little afraid of
    >>what I would do to the poor bike.
    >>
    >>I'm assuming this is a silly question: Are there bikes out there that have frames/tires that could
    >>handle a larger person riding? I don't want to invest in a bike that is going to fall apart as
    >>soon as I sit on it. Or, I'd rather spend $100 for a WalMart Special for a couple years and *then*
    >>sink the big $$.
    >
    > What you want its the Schauff "Sumo. It's a BIG bike made for BIG people, everything extra strong
    > and it's rated to 200kg (400lbs) by the manufacturer. Costs about $2000 but according to the
    > comments is really worth it. For that lot of money you get disc-brakes, a nifty speed-hub (as
    > opposed to the usual switch-gear) and a lot of fun. Check this web site: http://www.schauff.de/sc-
    > hauff2002.de/index.php?language=d&action=fahrrad&typ=XXL%2FXXS&id=17&jahr=2003 (unfortunately in
    > German).
     
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