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Customer Discussions > Cycling forum

Bike for a heavy person

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 18, 2012 9:43:01 AM PDT
Wonza says:
I'm 6ft and weigh 240lb and I'm really struggling to decide which bike to get.

I'm toying between: GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike and Diamondback 2012 Sorrento Mountain Bike (Satin Black, 20-Inch/ Large ) and Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike, 700c, Black/Yellow, Large/57cm Frame

I'm only wanting it to ride to/from work about 2 miles. There's a smallish hill and quite a few curbs, which I'm thinking a MTB would be better than a road bike (which I've never had before).

The last bike I had was a Diamondback, which I liked but the tires seemed to deflate with my weight all the time.

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 2:56:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 18, 2012 3:26:48 PM PDT
B. Kaufman says:
Your weight is not a factor (in air loss), but bike tires do need daily attention, so get a small bike pump. and keep them aired up. Low trire pressure can be a cause of certain classes of flats, as well as wear and tear on your running gear.

That said, a mountain bike tire is better for you as you are are at the upper limit of most narrow road bike rims. 26x2.35 is what I'd suggest, Mountain bike, cruiser, or an upright Dutch bike so you can fit a rim into the fender/brakes that will support you for a long time. IF you get the right rims, and have an experienced wheel builder lace them for you, you should be fine for a longtime (before your wheel turns into a taco).

If you find some wheels from a tandem bike, snap them up -- 40/48 spokes will hold up much better than 32/36 spoke rims and hubs --get 36 spokes minimum for you, and at least 3-spokes cross laced, try to get hand-laced not factory machine-laced wheels. Have them trued (early and often), if you can't afford hand-laced wheels.

Wider tires are more comfortable, as you can get by with lower pressures and softer more compliant ride. You can find tires as wide as 3-4 inches, for Downhill competitions.

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 7:20:17 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 18, 2012 7:21:32 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 10:04:11 AM PDT
Bubba says:
Your weight can be a factor in the wear of your drive train. I weigh in at 250 on a Trek 7300 hybrid on stock 700x35c tires, stock alloy front hub, stock Shimano RM30 rear hub; stock Bontrager 750 32-hole alloy rims. The thin tire size helps with daily commutes. Thinner tires make an easier road ride. Just as any long distance rider or road racer.

The issue I come across is chain stretching and gear and cassette wear. The chain and the cassette generally get replaced every 2-3 years and I have it professionally tuned up every year. Keep it dry and clean and spot check it before every ride and you should have no problems.

Enjoy and have a great ride.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 10:47:30 AM PDT
Tires leak for various reasons, but it isn't because of your weight. Check tires before each ride. Once you get a good feel for squeezing the tires between your fingers to get an approximate pressure reading, you can check tire pressures faster and without a gauge. You probably had a small leak in your tubes that was causing accelerated loss in air pressure. If you put a new tube on but didn't look for the cause of the leak, you may run into the same problem again.

I went road bike for my commuter. I inflate the tires to 125psi on the first day of the week and it may go down to 90psi at the end of the week. Because road tires are low volume, you'll lose pressure more rapidly, but that's the tradeoff for efficiency. The road bike you linked is a single speed and hills will be more difficult initially, but a ratio of 44/16 should be fine to climb. I do about 1000ft of climbing on my 10 mile commute and can easily do my whole ride on 50/17.

My Trek road bike has a weight limit of 300lbs. My Specialized mountain bike has a weight limit of 240lbs. Both are carbon fiber. So many factors determining weight limits on bikes.

Posted on Apr 22, 2012 12:25:28 PM PDT
I am 5'5

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 3:07:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 27, 2012 3:10:56 PM PDT
Dave Angus says:
240 isn't that bad; I've carried people on the rear rack of my mountain bike and road bike more than once, so that was easily 300+ pounds. And I've hauled a battery for my truck, and even a transmission on that rack, with no problems.

I wouldn't expect rider weight to be an issue with drivetrain where, unless you're in good enough shape to climb long hills out of the saddle.

Kona builds (or built) the Hoss, which is a hardtail mountain bike intended for larger riders. But that's really overkill for a 2 mile commute, unless money is no object. Still, it's a decent mountain bike once you get the urge to go offroad.

I used to go with road tires for commuting, but I came back to knobbies. Knobbies are much better in the snow, and when you do take it off-pavement. And I rationalize that extra rolling resistance is a good thing, since I get more exercise. Plus the tires make cool noises when slaloming around joggers who are illegally occupying a bike lane.

Hit some yard sales on the weekend, and you may find an older bike in excellent shape that's only been ridden on Sundays around the park.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2012 2:13:30 PM PDT
Nelraymit says:
Have you thought about a recumbent trike? Look at Terra Trike for a comfortable ride

Posted on May 1, 2012 10:15:29 AM PDT
That is an odd assortment of bikes to be looking at. For commuting you don't need a dual suspension mountain bike. As a new rider you will also probably not favor the challenge of the single speed road bike. Of those three, the Diamondback hard tail is your best choice.

I would recommend you look at commuter/city/hybrid bikes within your price range. They will provide a faster, comfortable, and more efficient commuting ride. Many come with rear racks and fenders built in which you will eventually want, anyway.

Your weight was not causing your tire to lose air--you had a slow leak in your tube.

You are also not remotely too heavy for any road bike frame or wheelset. I am 6'-2" and weighing in heavy at 240, working my way back down to race weight of about 210. I have trained and raced for 15 years and never broken a frame. I have cracked some of the lighter-weight wheelsets but that's after about 10k miles and mostly from climbing, I believe.

For the best advice and assistance, you really should visit your local bike shop and buy a bike there.

Posted on May 1, 2012 9:54:31 PM PDT
EvilOzzness says:
I'm 240lbs also and I fully recommend the Diamondback Response line of mountain bikes (bought the 2011 Response Sport -disk brakes- earlier this year). All I can say is that double-wall rims with large 2.10" thick tires and a tube with a max capacity of 65PSI makes all the difference for us heavier riders, at least I truly believe so. I merely sat on a low-end box store bike for maybe 5 minutes and the tubes flatted out and I was sitting basically on nothing but rim... (I noted every bike they had was a maximum PSI of 40, thin 1.75" wide standard 26" tires too with cheap, flimsy rims) I was not impressed and that's how crap most bikes from those type places are for just about the same cost as a entry-level, good brand bike. And anyway, 240lbs isn't even that heavy at all and IMO all adult bikes regardless of brand and price should be able to handle a 350lb rider let alone a 240lb rider.

So long story short, after being disappointed by all the cheap box store offerings with this same pinch-flat issue, I went to my LBS to get some recommendations and they pretty much told me that there isn't a weight limitation on good brands like Diamondback, Giant, Trek etc. etc. etc. and they turned out to be totally correct on that point because the bike I wound up buying, I'd not filled the tires more than 30PSI owing to not having a gauge and even so, they did NOT pinch-flat on me and my LBS put the full 65PSI in for me during the recommended inspection). So I have absolutely no regrets about buying my 2011 Response Sport here at Amazon (closeout under $300 from the $500 MSRP the LBS was going to charge). Also, the Diamondback Response without the disk brakes (which I see are around $400 here right now) have the exact same rims, tubes and tires as my Response Sport so it will also hold your 240lbs no problem, even read about 300lb+ riders hailing these bikes for this same thing. But I wouldn't try doing anything crazy on these bikes, like jumping or real rough riding. Even $2,000+ bikes can barely handle that at the best of times, can't even tell you how many people talk about fracturing their frames or deforming their rims...

Also, stay away from 'full suspension' bikes for commuting/street riding (especially the cheap ones). That rear shock absorbs far too much energy/torque to be practical for such uses and I speak form personal experience here. You will be better served with a hard tail and front suspension only. If you are really concerned about comfort on the rear end of things, find a nice seat or get a seat cover. Or better yet, pick up a pair of good cycling shorts with a chamios pad. Hell, you could opt in for all three for maximum comfort and you won't even miss the rear shock at all while still being able to deliver 100% of your pedaling to the rear wheel rather than the rear shock sucking up 50% of your efforts.
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Discussion in:  Cycling forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Apr 18, 2012
Latest post:  May 1, 2012

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