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Need Advice - I'm a Cow(30 posts)

Need Advice - I'm a Cowmagnum
Apr 24, 2003 4:35 PM
Hello everyone - I've been reading here for some time now.

I'm looking for a road bike (I have always loved to ride). But I'm afraid this club has a weight limit?? I'm fairly large 6'4 (long legs) and about almost 300 lbs (though I truly don't show it). Do they make high quality bikes for guys like me? or no?

and if they do - before you say, you should get this to see if you're going to like this or not, I simply don't want to do that. I have a budget of about 1500 - 2000 dollars for everything (complete bike and shoes etc).

I love to ride so i don't fear not liking it. My job has increased my weight tremendously due to stress and I want to get healthy again and have fun while doing it. I also attend college full time (so there might be communter trips - perhaps).

If you all would ever be so kind as to guide me in the right direction of what to do or where to go, I would be most gracious. I think I'm going to go the a bike shop here in a few days to see about getting fit, although I'm a little embarassed as to what they will say because i'm a big football player type of guy.

Any ideas / comments / suggestions / reccomendations

re: Need Advice - I'm a Cowgtx
Apr 24, 2003 5:05 PM
At your size/weight I'd go with custom steel (frame and fork). Here are two options that should fit your price range:

Of course, there may be someone local to you.

Be sure to go with a solid seat post (maybe Thomson), bars and stem, and quality hand built wheels (36 spokes). You can skimp a bit on other parts (Shimano 105 is fine) and upgrade as stuff wears out.

Good luck and enjoy!
re: Need Advice - I'm a Cowmagnum
Apr 24, 2003 5:17 PM
Are there no production frames that I can use? I have a wacked out metabolism - the last time i just reduced food quanities (little to no excercise) i lost 50lbs in about 2 - 3 months. I know how to stimulate it. So if I could get a production frame rather than a custom one that would be greeeat....... I really like the look of the CADD frams but i dunno.... i haven't sat on any....

I appreciate any further help you all provide... Best Wishes

re: Need Advice - I'm a Cowgtx
Apr 24, 2003 5:49 PM
well, this guy has good deals on C-dales.

At your weight I wouldn't ride a carbon fiber fork, but I'm paranoid (I've stayed with steel forks and I weigh roughly half what you do). I think some have weight limits.

Definitely go test ride some bikes, see what fits, etc.
Pay special attention to the brakes.dzrider
Apr 25, 2003 5:36 AM
Touring bikes are designed to carry heavy loads and frames are stiffer now than they once were. It shouldn't be that hard to find something that will work. A Cannondale 800 touring frame comes to my mind. When I used to tow my kids around in a trailer it was very hard to stop quickly with drop bars, road levers, and side-pull brakes. Me, the boys, and the trailer probably went 290 lbs and we only went out on the road bike once. After that we used a bike with motorcycle levers and cantilever brakes.
re: Need Advice - I'm a CowSteve_0
Apr 25, 2003 7:45 AM
Personally, I wouldnt consider 105 'skimping'. Besides, what does a few grams mean for a 300 # fellow?
re: Need Advice - I'm a Cowslide13
Apr 24, 2003 5:41 PM
I work at a LBS and we have a regular who is about your size. He's on a upper mid level Cannondale road bike (not sure exact model) The only problem he has had has been wheels. He was a big guy and very powerful. He would destroy them! We finally built up some 36 spoke wheels with tandem rims and they have held up fairly well. I'm 265 and am riding a stell Lemond and its doing great for me.
re: Need Advice - I'm a Cowyeah right
Apr 24, 2003 5:56 PM
I started out around 305, i'm 6'4" and like you never showed the weight. I started out on a specialized mtb, but then got a steel waterford which was (and is still) great. although I have some aluminum bikes now that I race on, I still love that waterford. the wheels are the most important thing, make sure 32 holes at least on stout rims. i like mavic cxp-33s.
re: Need Advice - I'm a CowStewartK
Apr 24, 2003 6:20 PM
Other than your weight, you need to consider the length of your legs to decide whether you need a custom frame or not. You say your 6'4' with long legs, which is the same as me. If your legs are as long as mine (36" general inseam/37" cycling inseam) then you're going to need at least a 65cm (c-c) frame to ride comfortably.

Don't know about other frame builders, but TET can definitely get you into a solid steel frame/fork and components for under $2,000.

Good luck.
re: Need Advice - I'm a Cowmagnum
Apr 24, 2003 6:51 PM
my inseem is usually 34..... i guess i'm a little more porportioned than i let on.... but i'm not sure

Caad3 worked for me...seyboro
Apr 24, 2003 6:48 PM
Five years ago, I started road riding close to your size with a caad3, (63 cm R1000, I'm 6'4"), full ultegra, cxp 30 rims with 36/32h, Chris King headset, Time Millenium Carbon fork w/ Aluminum steerer, Thompson seatpost and Flite saddle.
75 pounds later, I have upgraded to a different frame, group and wheelset, but the old Cannondale is still running strong with her second owner.
Nowadays, a caad4 is a nice, proven option and in your price range, you will not be disappointed. Stiff, not too harsh in that size, bombproof, nice paintjobs. You could get a Saeco edition frame through their frame replacement program for around $600. That'll leave a good chunk of change for the options you'd like. Good luck hunting.
Apr 24, 2003 7:00 PM
Run a search for 'clydesdale recommendations'. Myself and others have posted extensively on this topic.
Cool Thanks (nt) Other Suggestions?magnum
Apr 24, 2003 7:02 PM
Cool Thanks (nt) Other Suggestions?wolfereeno
Apr 24, 2003 8:19 PM
LOL (nm)LactateIntolerant
Apr 24, 2003 8:41 PM
Get a touring bikeAlexx
Apr 25, 2003 3:30 AM
You will need a large frame (maybe 64cm, or 62 cm, unless your legs are short), so, I'd suggest getting a Cannondale touring bike. 28 or 32mm tires, 36 spoke wheels, and road bars! Yeah, it's gonna weigh a couple lbs more, but at least it won't break on you (at your size, even 5 lbs isn't much). Also, the cantilever brakes will be better suited for heavy-duty stopping.
Also, look at some of the true cyclocross bikes-these may be a bit lighter, but they are still made for abuse. At any rate, you want nothing less than 36 spoke wheels, 14 gauge spokes, front and back. You may even want to consider a 40-spoke rear wheel, but those are a bit difficult to find parts for....
Agreed. Also consider the Trek 520.Lon Norder
Apr 25, 2003 11:19 AM
Their largest is 25" (63.5cm).
I will have a frame for sale shortly that may workgregario
Apr 25, 2003 4:04 AM
A sales pitch may be frowned upon but I have a ~63cm steel frame with about 1400 miles on it that's in perfect condition that I'm going to be selling as soon as the parts are swapped onto a new frame. The frame in question is a custom made Anvil Chisel made from Columbus Foco steel and has a Columbus Carve fork. I'm sure it would be suitable for you, at least durability-wise. Say the word if you're interested. I'm selling because even though this was a custom build I'm finding that the measurements I took didn't result in a frame that fit as well as I'd like.
By the way...gregario
Apr 25, 2003 4:08 AM
I also may be talked into selling the wheels from this frame, They are Mavic CXP33's 32 spoke with Dura-Ace hubs. Definitely strong rims. Maybe not as suitable for you as they are 32's, not 36's.
:-( You're not a cow. You're a human!Kristin
Apr 25, 2003 6:04 AM
I hate to sound like a ninny, but don't slam yourself like that. You can undermine your goals by depressing yourself. You're making some great choices. Good on ya! That said, I also know how you feel. My scale is always tipping in the wrong direction. As a woman I find it quite embarrasing that outweigh most of the men on this board who are taller than me.

My suggestions:

*Definately buy a bike at a local shop. Don't buy your first bike online. You need to get the correct size and geometry and you'll need help to do that.

*I agree with the other posters who recommend steal. Aluminum is affordable, but AL is also more brittle and will crack under load more readily. An AL frame probably wouldn't fail, but you never know. Titanium and fiber are more than $2000 for a built bike.

*Visit a bunch of shops. You'll know when you've found the right one. If a shop if full of skinny racers or zit faced 16 year olds, or if someone is patronizing you--just walk away. There should be at least one shop in your area that employs a large guy--retired rider--who now sells bikes. There is a shop by me called "The Bike Rack," that services and builds everything wheeled and geared--including wheel chairs. Find a shop like that and they will serve you well.

Glad you posted the questions. Best of luck on your quest.
:-( You're not a cow. You're a human!mgolebiewski
Apr 25, 2003 1:01 PM
I have to agree don't be so hard on yourself. I was 5'6" and 220 I am now down to 165 and falling and just about all of that is from riding with the support of this group.

Keep you head up and keep going. It can be done
Kristin are you from Omaha or is the Bike Rack a common name? nmpnitefly
Apr 26, 2003 8:56 AM
I guess its a common nameKristin
Apr 28, 2003 5:58 AM
I was talking about the one in St. Charles, IL
I have a friend who was about your size...Gregory Taylor
Apr 25, 2003 6:08 AM
...and we got him set up with a Bianchi Volpe touring bike. Good, rugged touring bike with a triple chainring and 36 spoke wheels. Bike, pedals, shoes, clothes, helmet, etc. set him back about $1300 or so. We put him on 28c section tires, and it worked great.

Good luck! Oh, you ain't a cow. Lose that from the lexicon right now. You're just "super-sized". Get some fitness, and you will be "large and in-charge" when you ride. You will crush all those scrawny little 130 lb. climber munchkins beneath your wheels....
That's a tough callColnagoFE
Apr 25, 2003 6:08 AM
You're gonna need a big frame and big frames can be flexy...especially at your weight. I'd look into something like a Cannondale AL frame in your price range. You aren't gonna get top of the line components or accessories at your price point for sure, but I think 'Dale would be the best bang for your buck. You may need to have the LBS make you a set of strong 36 spoke wheels. Trendy boutique wheels will not last long at your weight.
Some Help for a big guybigrider
Apr 25, 2003 6:27 AM
Some good advice above. Here are my suggestions.

If you buy a complete bike and want a nicer bike you have a dilemna and this is why.

Upper end bikes with ultegra or higher components are outfitted to minimize weight which is in direct conflict with holding up weight.

Some lightweight stuff will work well while others will cause you grief. I will list the stuff you should buy that will last in what I feel is order of importance

Wheels buy 36 spoke 3x brass alloy nipple deep dish wheels (cxp33)
You will trash light wheelsets just like I have done.

Don't buy a race weight frame(al, or steel)
The new lightweight steel frames are only guarenteed for a few years.
Go with a frame that has a history of lasting. A good steel frame will work as well as carbon or ti.

Watch out for light components. Get a strong seatpost, strong stem etc.

I think there is an array of steel bikes you can find that will suit your needs. Buy 105 stuff and a triple if you live in hills. It will perform well and your not racing so don't worry about the extra weight or the ever so slight difference in performance.

A 61 c-c Lemond will probably fit you. An Airborne Zeppelin would fit(you can also spec components)

good luck and remember this

cycling is one of the BEST aerobic exercises for large individuals
You can control your aerobic level with gears and there is no pain from impact( such as running)
Apr 25, 2003 6:33 AM
I'm gonna be a knit-pick here. Sorry in advance. But what are you basing your recommendation for a 61 cm frame on? It seems to me that knowing someone is 6'4" and has "long legs," is not enough info. How did you determine a 61cm lemond would probably fit him?
Lemonds have very long TTs usuallyColnagoFE
Apr 25, 2003 8:01 AM
not sure how that translates to a guy who is 6'4" but a 61 is probably in the ballpark...but I'm guessing 62-63+ in most brands is not far off.
Educated guessbigrider
Apr 25, 2003 9:07 AM
If the guy is 6'4" and has a 34 inch inseam, the rest is upper body on his height. This indicates he doesn't have long legs for his height but has a fairly long torso. I have a 59cm Lemond and a 33 inch inseam (long torso ). The 61 would still give him good standover and he could use the tube length of a 61cm Lemond. I could be wrong but I winged an educated guess..

I am gone for the weekend have a good weekend in the windy city
Thanks for all of the suggestions guys! (more)magnum
Apr 25, 2003 3:31 PM
I really appreciate all of the help. I'm going to check out a LBS next week and see if I get laughed out of the place *shrugs* who knows.

I'm starting riding as part of a fitness regiment - that and I really need to get away from the computer and the fridge (hehe). Plus it would be a great stress reliever :)

I really like the looks of the Cdales although that is not reason enough to merrit the purchase of one - it's kind of like my gf saying she likes porsche's because they're pretty - I love porsches because they run through the turns like a beat dog and they're faster than crap - not to mention gorgeous - I think you understand my point.

Do any of you know of any site for larger riders? That would be awesome. Or any other information would be great!!!