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Which frame/wheelset for heavy rider?(5 posts)

Which frame/wheelset for heavy rider?diatome
May 1, 2002 9:23 AM
My friend is a heavy rider, around 240 pounds. He needs a new bike which can stand his weight. Which frame/wheelset would you recommend? The price is not important!

Thanx.
re: Which frame/wheelset for heavy rider?SnowBlind
May 1, 2002 10:24 AM
You did'nt say what kind of riding so I am assuming the ussual mix of occational commuting/tooling around, fast club rides, and the scattered century.
You also did'nt say if he had problems with a current bike.


I started at 265, and had no problems with any of the steel bikes I looked at. FWIW, I ended up with a Bianchi Veloce with a steel fork.

Can't say too much for Al, I found it too harsh at my weight. Carbon was too flexy for me, although it should plenty strong.
Ti was out of my leauge, so I can't really say much there.
Remember: fit, fit, and fit are the three most important things here.
The real gotcha is carbon forks, which are becoming standard fair, almost all of them are rated at about 200lbs max. AlphaQ makes a tandem fork rated for ~300 combined pilot/stoker. Kinda pricy, but it was well worth the money.
A steel fork should be just fine for strength.

For wheels, if he wants a bomb proof set, get CXP33 with 14 guage tripe cross 36 hole. I've got open pro's with 14/15 butted 32h triple cross and they require occational truing, about one every 1000 miles. I end up getting them trued by the LBS once a year.
The key point here is that you don't want to go with a super light bike, nor does he need to. Most people don't benifit from a bike that is less than 10% of their body weight. So he has 24lbs to play with, or a little less if he is planning to lose weight.
Steer clear of the lightest framesets/materials that are available off the rack. You want a straight gauge or double butted (may end up losing some riding comfort) frame, made by a reputable company, LeMond, LiteSpeed (for Ti), or Trek, for example.

Second peice of free advice: get a used bike, or a reasonable new one (i.e. $800-$1000). Ride it for two to three years. Figure out what riding you really like, what your style is (masher/spinner/whatever), what you like and hate about your current bike. Go see a custom frame builder, and drop the cash for the perfect fitting bike and Record/DA.
ex-260 pounder agrees w/just about everythingretro
May 1, 2002 11:09 AM
I'm down to about 220 now, but I rode for several years at 250-260, and with one exception (the cheap junk that came on my Allez), wheels were never a problem. I wouldn't go below 32 spokes (I ride 36, but 32s stood up OK w/occcasional truing); otherwise any well-built wheel should work.
Like the previous poster, I thought aluminum was too harsh even at my weight. I don't have much experience with either carbon or titanium, but I prefer steel anyway, for the strength and nice ride.
A possible problem you didn't mention is frame size. I'm 6'4", and many frames I would have considered don't come bigger than 62cm, which is too small no matter what the dealer says. My height has always been a bigger problem than my weight in buying bikes, and you can search the classified ads for months without seeing a 64cm used bike.
What about something like an Atlantis or Rambouillet, from Rivendell (www.rivendellbicycles.com)? I love my Atlantis, and I've used it for everything from fire roads to centuries.
He needs a steel bike, try LeMond Zurich (nm)Qubeley
May 1, 2002 3:25 PM
re: Which frame/wheelset for heavy rider?bigcat
May 2, 2002 5:08 AM
Depending on what type of riding you friend will be doing will determine what price point of bike he should get. I myself am getting a custom steel frame but am 6'2" 350lbs and ride 4-5 times a week between my current road bike and mountain bike. He should look at steel or alumium from Cannondale, Trek or Klein. I feel that he should stay away from European Alumium frames, I think they are just to light and don't have the type of warrenty some body of his size is looking for.
If he is tall and heavy he should really look at a custom frame. Depending on where you are you get custom frame fairly inexpensivly. If you are in the US you can check Anvil bikes or Tom Teasdale. Our if you are looking at higher end their are any number on builders out their (Serotta, Seven, and IF) With these brands he will get the ride of his life that will last a long time.
Wheels he sould go with 36 spokes, high quality V-section Rim, and a really good wheel builder. It is the wheel builder that will make the most difference. As a person becomes bigger the rules change when looking for bikes.
If he looking at gettinga lower end bike in price he shouls check out Lemond or Jamis as they both make nice steel frames at nice price points.