Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: bobbirob22 on August 01, 2008, 11:25:36 pm

 
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 01, 2008, 11:25:36 pm
im a big guy, 6ft tall and weigh over 350 lbs. is there a bike than can support my weight. im interested in bike touring and all i can find are bikes that hold 250lbs and 300 lbs, any imformation would help a lot, if you can e mail me some links.. thanks.. oh yeah and the kind of bike im most interested in is a mountain bike style or a hybrid.

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 01, 2008, 11:30:56 pm
and im also looking to spen less than $1,000.

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: whittierider on August 02, 2008, 03:32:41 am
I believe it was Co-Motion that made a bike for very heavy people. They called it the "Bison". You might want to call them up and find out what happened to it since I don't see it on their website right now. I might be doing a search for the wrong name though, because I think they changed the name somewhere along the line. I don't remember if "Bison" is the latest name or not. Anyway, Co-Motion is one of the biggest tandem makers, so they're well qualified to make a strong bike for the big fellas. If you do contact them, let us know what you find out.

Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 02, 2008, 02:46:50 pm
i emailed co motion and asked about the bison, but from what i seen co motion only makes road bikes and tandems. i also requested a catologue. maybe i will find something here.. thanks for your post.

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: cyclesafe on August 02, 2008, 08:46:31 pm
This is the bike you're looking for.  It's the Mazama.  Not cheap though.

http://www.co-motion.com/single_bikes/mazama.html

Alternatively, if I were you I'd find a cheap used mountain bike that fits you, then upgrade with custom wheels.  You might then stay under $1000.  I'd go with 36 hole Sun Rhyno Lite rims with XT hubs, 14 guage DT Swiss spokes, and brass (not alloy) nipples.  If you have money left over and all the functional bits of the bike are working, buy a comfortable seat.  Then when you decide you're addicted to cycling you can buy the Mazama frame and use your new wheelset.

Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 03, 2008, 06:19:07 pm
thanks,, ill check it out,, but do you think any mtb frame would hold my weight??

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 03, 2008, 06:21:53 pm
a little pricey but ill think it over a while, if i cant find anything else i guess it would be worth the money. at least it would come with a good warranty!!!

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 03, 2008, 06:29:53 pm
im also considering purchasing a bicycle trailer to carrt my camping gear. I prefer a trailer over panniers and im looking for something to take with me on and off road.. ive done a lot of searching on the net and by the comparisons between a one wheeled trailer and a two wheeled, i know the one wheel would be the right choice for me. as of that, ive fixed my eyes on the bob yak or bob ibex trailer. have any of you ever used these trailers and are they worth the purchase?

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: cyclesafe on August 03, 2008, 09:08:10 pm
Robert,

I didn't think through sufficiently what I said in my post above.  The Mazama likely has 145mm dropouts which would be too wide for any wheel you'd build to fit on a mountain bike.  Also, unless you get a 29er, most mountain bikes are 26" which would also be incompatible with the 700c Mazama.  What was I thinking!

You'd be ecstatic with the Mazama.  It's made tandem-strong so 350 lbs is fairly typical for that application.  The first things to give you grief on an overloaded bike are the wheels, but the ones that come with the Mazama are up to the task for sure.  A typical mountain bike frame should not break under your weight, but you'd have to get better wheels (see my post above) than what is usually on offer.

With the Mazama you have eyelets and braze ons to mount racks so you have a choice here.  Panniers allow you to climb faster and a trailer allows you to fight a headwind (or zoom downhill) more effectively.  I have used both and I prefer panniers simply because of easier portage.

I have used a Yak and with a fat underinflated tire (Schwalbe Big Apple) the Ibex isn't necessary.  The latter at 19 lbs also 3 lbs heavier than the Yak.  If I were to get another trailer, however, I'd consider an Extrawheel which can use a 26" or 700c wheel so you don't have to carry an extra tire and tubes like you'd have to do with the BOB.  Plus the larger tire rolls over stuff much smoothly than the BOB's 16 incher.

As for economics, look for sales.  Performance and REI are good places to start for the BOB.  The Extrawheel seems only available at the Bike Tailer Shop.

http://www.biketrailershop.com/catalog/620-extrawheel-cargo-trailer-options-wheel-bags-etc-p-230.html

This message was edited by cyclesafe on 8-3-08 @ 5:10 PM
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 03, 2008, 09:51:32 pm
thanks for the post cyclesafe.. it really helps a lot. i think a good mtb frame with some custom wheels  like you suggested is what im gonna go for :) then after i save the money up i can get the mazama. i just dont need an aluminum frame as its not as sturdy as steel so ill keep that in mind as well. think ill just buy the biggest frame i can find and that should do the job.                                            thanks also for your post about the trailers. ive considered the extra wheel as well as the bob and i think the design of the bob would be much better to hold my gear as i have larger dimensions on each piece so it would fit better on a bob. but who knows, before its over ill probably buy both so i can personly test them and then sell the one i dont want or find someone who rents them nearby. but one way or the other i will try them both because ive heard a lot of good things abouth the bob and extra wheel trailers. thanks again for taking the time  to read and reply to my post, your imformation is very helpfull.

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: whittierider on August 04, 2008, 12:27:07 pm
Quote
i just dont need an aluminum frame as its not as sturdy as steel so ill keep that in mind as well.

Be careful-- the steel in recent years has gotten frightfully thin in order to compete weightwise with the other materials.  In a road-bike frame-breakage test done in the 1990's, the steel frames broke first.  Although there was a spread for each material, the order was generally that the steel frames fatigued and broke first, then titanium, then aluminum, and the carbon did not break at all, except one that broke at an internal aluminum lug which I don't think manufacturers are using anymore.  The only frames that got all the way through without cracks were a Cannondale aluminum one and most of the carbon-fiber ones.  I can't find the URL right now.

Also, recognize that the reason for chosing the tandem 145mm dropout spacing on the Mazama (if indeed it uses it) is that that can give you a much stronger and more-durable wheel than 130 or 135 can.  The tandem world is much bigger than most people realize, and in the unlikely event that you ever need another wheel, they are available from plenty of sources.

I'll be on vacation for the next week, unable to comment further.

Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 04, 2008, 02:03:48 pm
thanks for your post whittierider, makes me nervous about steel frame lol, i think i need to do a little more research to find what frame would be best....                                   i just recieved an email from LANDRIDER and they said their new heavy duty bikes will hold 450 lbs, however all their bikes have autoshift. has anyone ever used autoshift and does the auto shift work properly up and down hills??

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: whittierider on August 05, 2008, 02:47:42 pm
Well, our vacation plans are up in the air since one of our sons broke his collar bone yesterday, so I'm back.
Quote
however all their bikes have autoshift. has anyone ever used autoshift and does the auto shift work properly up and down hills??

I've never tried one, but I can't get excited about it.  The transmission needs to be matched to the engine, and even how the engine (you) is feeling at various times.  The designers can't possibly know that.  I expect it is also made for non-cyclists (cyclists know how to manage the gears) who want extremely low cadences that are unsuitable for serious riding.  The efficiency is probably poor too.

Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 05, 2008, 03:11:32 pm
sorry to hear that about your son, hope he gets well quick.             thats what i was thinking about the autoshift, seems kinda unbelievable that there even is such a thing i mean the bike cant tell if you want a low gear or high gear.. kinda hard to believe that a system like that would even work. think ill keep looking, i do love to be able to change gears when it suits me and not the machine.. theyre just trying to reel in noobs like me who dont know the difference lol,, bstds.. they can keep the autoshift ill pass.

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: JayH on August 05, 2008, 04:27:16 pm
I believe the only weight limits I've seen in cycling is mostly on carbon fiber road bikes and/or front forks. I don't recall what the usual weight limit is, but needlesstosay, I would stay away from anything carbon fiber for the clydesdales out there. The thing with CF is that you can get microcracks that are almost invisible leading to catastrophic failure and shearing of the fork/frame.  Not a nice thing to have when just riding along.

Jay

Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: whittierider on August 05, 2008, 05:18:50 pm
Quote
I believe the only weight limits I've seen in cycling is mostly on carbon fiber road bikes and/or front forks.

I've only heard of weight limits on aluminum, and I've heard first-hand from several 350-pounders on these forums on carbon fiber, with no issues.  The new Boeing jetliner is mostly carbon fiber and grosses at about a half a million pounds; so it's definitely up to some serious load-carrying capability.

http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/articles/3270.1.html has some info on carbon forks' strength and durability.   When asked about the strength and durability of their CF forks, Reynolds responded, "...Our fatigue testing would indicate that well built composite forks are far superior to metal forks with cycle counts running hundreds of thousands of cycles rather than tens of thousands.  These tests are also run at much higher loads than metal forks can withstand further demonstrating the durability of composite materials."

True Temper says about their carbon forks, "...But our production forks are stronger than that, often going into the 20-25K range and beyond at loads 0f 360-405 lbs."

As an anecdote, the only fork I've seen broken on the road was an aluminum one.  The 180-pound rider hit something at 20mph and broke both fork blades clean off.  Our son's broken collar bone yesterday came from hitting a car at 25mph that failed to yield on left turn in front of him.  Although we will have the carbon frame and fork thoroughly inspected, so far it looks undamaged.

Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 05, 2008, 05:35:31 pm
thanks jay ill keep that in mind. im a noob when it comes to bicycling but on my exstensive search of the net ive found most bikes do have weight limits mainly 250 lbs and 300 lbs capacity. i weigh over 350 so i need a very sturdy bicycle. ive found one at landrider that can hold 450lbs but has the auto shift mechanism which i dont like at all. ive read many threads in other forums on a similar topic as mine and most ppl just say to get any mountain bike frame with wide tires. think thats what im going to do since i cant afford the mazama. as for carbon fiber bicycles i dont know anything about those  but im glad you told me about the cracks, makes sense , that could lead to serious injury especially on a donhill slope going 30 or 40 mph and having the frame break into pieces. nightmare!! but because of my weight i would chance facing the same event on any bicycle which is why i need the toughest frame i can find. that would make some people think steel frame but like whittierider said the steel frames have become thinner in recent years in order to compete with other lightweight frames. ill keep searching the net and emailing them to try to find a bike for my weight but im not having much luck and the ones i do find are anywhere from $3000 to $8000 way to exspensive for me at the moment.

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 05, 2008, 05:51:42 pm
I've heard first-hand from several 350-pounders on these forums on carbon fiber, with no issues    

thats what im seeing a lot of to on other forums and in my net searches.  maybe thats the direction i need to go.
 
The thing with CF is that you can get microcracks that are almost invisible leading to catastrophic failure and shearing of the fork/frame.

however this does worry me some but by testimonies ive read most agree that carbon fiber is really tough and rugged material lighter than steel but just as strong if not stronger. a micro crack as he says can occur anywhere on any bike especially in weld seams leading to breakage. that a chance that all bicyclist face no matter what the frame type. all i know is most of the big guys out there are going with carbon fiber and i havent seen a complaint yet.

ROBERT JENKINS
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: whittierider on August 06, 2008, 02:57:40 am
Quote
The thing with CF is that you can get microcracks that are almost invisible leading to catastrophic failure and shearing of the fork/frame.

Such "microcracks" however will come as a result of impacts and abuse, not mere fatigue like what killed my nice steel frame.  There are things you can look for in your constant vigilance, such as the cleaning rag getting snagged when you wipe a part of the bike that should be smooth and glossy when you clean it.  In the link I gave above, Easton says, "Most of the time any damage to a fork from a crash will be visible. Cracks can be seen."  About their Alpha Q forks, Bill Hull of True Temper writes, "The failure mode is not catastrophic.  A broken fork will crack near the crown and allow more movement.  It will feel "soft" because it will flex more under braking.  The rider will see cracks on the outsides of the crown.  The rider can ride home and remove the fork without danger."  I couldn't tell you from experience, but my research gives me confidence you won't get from hearsay and from the myths left over from the early efforts of carbon that were almost laughable.

For the heavyweights however, you also need to be careful about handlebars, stems, and maybe seat posts as well.  Handlebars, especially aluminum ones, can break, and that's never pretty.  A very bike-knowledgeable man I have frequent contact with, who's a racer and a dealer, recommends replacing aluminum bars after any crash.  Race Face used to have a handlebar test article on their website showing the carbon bars to be far less likely to break.  They've revamped the website and now I can't find the article.

This message was edited by whittierider on 8-5-08 @ 11:06 PM
Title: weight limits on bikes
Post by: bobbirob22 on August 06, 2008, 12:16:08 pm
thanks for all your posts youve helped a lot! i dont know much about bicycles and i think the last time i rode one was about 8 years ago, your imformation has been very helpfull.

ROBERT JENKINS