Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    11

    New question here. Is a 29er Better Than a 26 For a Heavy Rider?

    Is a 29er better that a 26" wheel for a heavy rider?


    WEIGHT: 340 lbs
    I weight 295 and I ride with a rack and panniers that typically carry 10-20 lbs of stuff but occasionally up to 40-50 lbs.

    WHERE I RIDE: City
    I ride mainly on Brooklyn, NY streets, and sometimes commute to Manhattan.

    I currently ride a road bike and my average speed is 6 mph. (I'm pretty much the slowest person on a bike on the road.) I have trouble going up hills as the road bike isn't geared low enough for me, so I'm looking for another bike.

    FLATPROOF TIRES REQUIRED
    No doubt due to my weight, I used to flat at least once a week on regular road tires. I now use kevlar "flatproof" road tires that cost about $45-50 and have only flatted once in the last year. I definitely need flat-proof tires. Are they available for 29ers?

    SUSPENSION
    I don't need a suspension bike, but I wouldn't rule out getting one if the price was right. Maybe if I get one I'll start riding up and down stairs. Currently, I have to carry my bike up and down stairs.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Lopaka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    311
    I do not foresee any advantage in a new ride. Any frame and wheelset that can hold up under the stress you are demanding is clearly a winner for you. Invest in a mtb cluster to gear down for your climbs. Good luck.
    Consciousness, that annoying time between bike rides.

  3. #3
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,212
    I agree with lopaka...there is some benefit riding off road, or if you are tall, but the smaller wheel should be stronger which is the main point for you. You need to tell us what gearing you have to see if it is too high for you. Are you currently riding 26" with 25c tyres? Possibly a 26" mtb may suit you over the 26" road bike, if that is what you have. It'll take your weight and be geared much lower, and mtb slicks will be tougher.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    588
    As others have said...I'd think a 29er may be a better fit for a taller xc rider...not so much a heavier rider. I think it's def worth at least test riding one and seeing how it feels...but not mandatory for someone like yourself. If you read through the threads, you'll hear shorter, sub 150 lb riders claiming to feel flex in a 29 inch wheel...it is one of the drawbacks.

    Maybe you would be a good candidate for a fat tire bike? Never ridden one but they look extremely burly with rims almost as wide as some motorcycles wheels. Again, I think 29ers are worth looking into but you'll need a heavy duty build. For me, 6'1 and 200 lbs I feel more comfortable on the bigger wheels...which is probably more mental since its proportionate to my body size. Always felt goofy on smaller wheel bikes but never had a problem pedaling them around.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2
    First, all else being equal, a larger diameter wheel will be weaker than a smaller diameter one.

    Second, I agree with Lopaka: if your bike is working for you except for a too-high low gear, all you may need to do is get a cassette with a 30T or 32T large cog if you don't already have one. And if your bike has the older road standard size chainrings (39/53), definitely switch to a compact double (34/50) or even a triple with a 30T small ring.

    But if you would rather get a new bike, know that the mountain bike 29" diameter is exactly the same as a road bike 700c diameter (both have an ERD--effective rim diameter--of 622mm). If you have a set of road wheels that are working for you, then similarly-robust 29er wheels will work just the same. And since tire size is the same, a wide "road" tire will fit a narrow 29" mtb rim. If you want stronger wheels, think: tandem-worthy. Loaded down, you're weighing roughly the same as two people on a tandem. Tandem wheels are built beefier to account for the extra load and are certainly nothing new; you shouldn't have any problem getting a set of 700c/29" wheels that will support you and your gear. No need to drop to a 26".

    Now, if you already have a road triple and a low-geared cassette and are struggling with that, then a 26" wheel, especially with the even-lower mtn triple gearing, may be your best bet.

    Another nice thing about considering a new bike is that you could get something with disc brakes; not a bad idea for whoa-ing 300+ lbs!

  6. #6
    Underskilled
    Reputation: CaveGiant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,109
    A 29er would essentially be a stiffer road bike, so not a bad idea. Wheel size isn't really that relevant for weight. I love 29ers and I am a big guy, wifey loves them too, she is size 0, 5'6.

    For road riding doesn't matter until you start hitting higher speeds.

    All you really need to be considering is stiffness, everything else is secondary.

    I ditched my road bike and now road ride on my 6/7" travel mountain bike as the frame is so stiff I can put the power in, wheras road bike flexed.

    The issue with being a big guy is that the whole market concentrates on low weight, trust me, with your size bike weight will not matter at all, even slightly.

    A FS bike will be more comfortable, and will let you ride further will less pain, therefore more exercise.

    It all comes down to budget.
    Unless you have a few thou floating around and you are sure you are in to this biking thing I would take it 1 step at a time.

    You can fit mountain bike cranks and cassette on your road bike (probably, depends on a few things) which will drop your gearing.

    Then once you get fitter you might want to go in for a good quality mountain bike that is designed for abuse (stiff frame).

    1st step is go over to the clyde forum here. That is the big guy racing catagory, you will get better advice than in a general forum. Normal peeps think too much about bike weight to offer great advice.
    I am faster on my 45lb FS bike than on a road bike, a lot of people have trouble getting their heads around this.

    Just to drum it in for the fourth time, you need a REALLY stiff bike at your weight, bike weight is irrelevant.

    If you are doing this for fitness weight loss there are some very inspirational stories on the clyde forum too.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  7. #7
    Underskilled
    Reputation: CaveGiant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,109
    for the 29er flat proof, I had fun with the 2.55 scwalbe big apple tyres, they can take abuse.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  8. #8
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
    Reputation: bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    5,174
    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant View Post
    for the 29er flat proof, I had fun with the 2.55 scwalbe big apple tyres, they can take abuse.
    Not all 29ers are going to fit that tire though. ;^(

    +5 on the gearing change though. If the gearing for getting up the hills is really your big deal right now OP then just change the gearing, it'll be the least costly thing to do. Sounds to me like you're happy with your bike otherwise.

    You didn't say what you're getting flats from though, from pinching the tire/tube between rim and road or from debris on the road (glass, nails, whatever). Depending on what the problem is there will be different solutions.

    I'd actually advise against an MTB in this case - mostly - because they don't address his central issues - flat-resistance and out-n-out bike strength. I'm sorry, but for a bike to carry 340-390# total mass is *not* in the design envelope for mass produced bikes.

    I'd think that something truly targeted for urban use may be more appropriate.

    One example, but not the only out there to be sure ...

    http://www.mydutchbike.com/bicycles/...-and-opafiets/

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    690
    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant View Post
    A
    I am faster on my 45lb FS bike than on a road bike, a lot of people have trouble getting their heads around this.
    If you're talking about riding on the street, up and down hills, I don't buy this for a moment.

  10. #10
    R.I.P. DogFriend
    Reputation: jeffj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,621
    If you currently ride a road bike and have not destroyed the wheels, then I see no reason why you would have trouble with 29er wheels since the use the same diameter rims, but are generally beefier/stronger.

  11. #11
    Underskilled
    Reputation: CaveGiant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    4,109
    Quote Originally Posted by OneBadWagon View Post
    If you're talking about riding on the street, up and down hills, I don't buy this for a moment.
    See what I mean!

    Is a 29er Better Than a 26 For a Heavy Rider?-roaf%25u00252520wfo.jpg


    This is my bike set up for road riding.
    i have a custom spring stack for the front which lowers the front end and removes all bob. CVA bikes pedal amazingly, so the back end can be set with no bob (but I set up a 1cm wobble as it is easier on my arse).

    The wheels are carbon, and those are fancy scwalbe tyres (cant remember the model). Aero bars are there for road rides, but left on all time for comedy value.

    That bikes pedals perfectly, all the power goes to the road. My road bike under my power flexed at the bottom bracket (a lot of bikes do, where they would be stiff for a normal guy). This wastes a LOT of energy.

    So the energy wasted through the BB flex was more than the energy lost by the extra 20lb in weight.

    The MTB is more fun to as I can huck stuff on my commute.

    This however highlights my point perfectly, even experienced bike shop guys would not realise the amount of torque a big guy can produce. I've ridden 3000 carbon bikes that felt like a noodle to me.

    If you are a 140lb racer, then yes 20lb bike weight might make a difference. As a 240lb guy, the 20lb bike weight is small compared to the extra power i can produce. The extra stiffness and efficiency that extra 20lb of metal in my bike makes a difference. I could even ghost shift a few bikes by pushing down hard. The whole frame would flex enough to make the chain move ring.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    690
    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant View Post
    See what I mean!...
    This however highlights my point perfectly, even experienced bike shop guys would not realise the amount of torque a big guy can produce. I've ridden 3000 carbon bikes that felt like a noodle to me....
    I'm a big guy, and I'm well aware.
    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    That bikes pedals perfectly, all the power goes to the road. My road bike under my power flexed at the bottom bracket (a lot of bikes do, where they would be stiff for a normal guy). This wastes a LOT of energy.
    Sure, I'll buy that. However, your initial statement was :
    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    I am faster on my 45lb FS bike than on a road bike, a lot of people have trouble getting their heads around this.
    You said "a road bike" was too flexy. It would seem that *your* road bike was too flexy. Have you done back to back trials to evaluate your "faster" claim? Have you considered that an appropriately built road bike for your size would probably be "faster" than your WFO?

  13. #13
    Spring! Spring! Spring!
    Reputation: bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    5,174
    Quote Originally Posted by OneBadWagon View Post
    Have you considered that an appropriately built road bike for your size would probably be "faster" than your WFO?
    +1

    In '06 I was still pushing well over the lower Clydesdale limit and ended up getting a new road bike because my old one was stolen. The new one was a full-carbon bike (frame, fork, steerer, seat post) with decent Ritchey Logic alloy stem and bars, and very conservative wheels (mavic cxp-21, 32 spoke, on Campy Veloce hubs). That bike was both dramatically more efficient yet more comfortable to ride than my previous "stiff" Cannondale alloy machine. It was also one of the earlier full carbon machines intended for riders in the 250# weight class. I can flex the h-bar/stem easily enough, but not the frame. That thing is just silly overbuilt if you ask me. Rides I had previously rolled 60-70 miles on, I was rolling 85-100 miles on in the same elapsed time.

    The big bit, I think, is "appropriately built" - whether done road or trail or in between - and for people further outside the center of the bell curve (either from riding habits, area, or physique) I think that becomes more important and less simple to achieve.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    239
    Your weight won't be a factor on which bike fits and works for you as much as your height and riding style is. I ride with a guy who is 6'8". His 29er looks normal. The head tube is a normal length, the top tube looks right. Stand next to it, or put it in a rack with 26" bikes and it looks massive...

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Osco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    69
    Dude Unless your seven feet tall loose the weight It will KILL YOU.

    Gear down and spin, cut the sodas out completely !

    Drop 50 pounds and you will be faster, drop 100 and you will get to grow old .....

Similar Threads

  1. Advice for a heavy rider
    By mattinatx in forum 29er Components
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-26-2013, 10:15 PM
  2. SJ vs Camber for heavy rider
    By roee in forum Specialized
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-15-2012, 10:41 AM
  3. Steel fork for a heavy rider
    By henryhb in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-18-2011, 03:47 PM
  4. shock for heavy rider
    By blkcheerio in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-22-2011, 08:22 PM
  5. air fork for heavy rider
    By codename47 in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-12-2011, 06:14 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •