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  1. #1
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    Big boy keeps bike breakin

    I am 6'4'' 260 , former college football player; Im not a fatass I'm just a big dude, I just started getting into mountain biking but I keep on breaking my bike (pedals, crank, bottom bracket, and recently rear axle/hub?) . I ride a 26'' Giant Boulder, still in College, funds are low. All the guys I ride with are lighter guys and never have these problems so Im just asking for any input on how to keep my bike from breaking all the time; is it my weight that is the problem? maybe the components of my bike? combination of both? breaking my bike every time I ride it is getting frustrating, I love the sport and want to keep at it, any input is welcomed.

  2. #2
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    It could be a number of things, but your size has little to do with it. There are a lot of guys on here who are about your weight (me included) and others who are heavier. Some people break stuff, some don't. It can come down to how you ride, how you change gears, are you riding beyond what the bike was designed for etc?
    Pedals - most will run for years with little more than a bit of grease in the bearings. Are they plastic or metal pedals you broke, and how?
    Crank - possibly one of the toughest components on a bike - how did you break that? Bottom brackets can wear out with use but they are a well-designed part of the bike (mostly). Again, lack of maintenance and / or poor installation is the enemy here.

    Tell us a bit more about where you are riding, how you ride and how these parts broke. Then we might be able to help out and give you some pointers. The Giant Boulder is a low spec bike and that isn't going to make it the most durable and able to resist repeated batterings.

  3. #3
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    Low spec bike, heavy weight, and very powerful rider is the perfect formula for broken bike parts. Unfortunately the only thing that will fix the problem is money as I assume you aren't gonna shrink anytime soon. Look for downhill parts (crankset, seatpost, handlebars, stem, pedals). There are some stout (heavy) parts out there for pretty good prices. Rear hub/axle will be the most expensive as you'll have to grab a strong hub and build a wheel with strong spokes and rim. Low end bikes just aren't meant to hold up under heavy/powerful riders who ride hard.

  4. #4
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    Hey TooTallUK thanks for the response. I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan so most the trails I ride are out here. I love mountain biking/trail riding that sort of thing. Yeah I know the bike is a little low end but I am still in college so funds are low, this bike I was hoping could float me until I have the money to buy a nicer one.

    OK I guess that makes sense to me. The pedals were plastic that broke so I knew that was gonna happen eventually, when I got the new pedals installed I rode no more than 2 miles before the threads completely ate up the female threads on the crank (not installed properly probably Im guessing?) so I needed to replace that..then my crank kept on coming unscrewed so the guy told me the only thing he could think is that the bottom bracket is worn out so I replace that..
    The one that mostly confuses me is how I broke the rear axle. I mean it heard is snap when I was climbing a hill so obviously it was because too much force

  5. #5
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    I just figured it was meant to withstand a great deal of force regardless so I didnt a little extra would make that much difference. Thanks Sasquatch141 for the advice. So you think I should just try and build a stronger back end? Is downhill a brand?

  6. #6
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    Downhill is a type of riding that entales flying down a hill with lots of rocks, roots, drops, jumps, etc. High speed with rough obstacles which call for strong parts to hold up. Certain brands have certain lines of products designed for downhill riding. For example, Race Face (brand) makes a set of cranks that are bombproof called the Chester. Very heavy but will hold up to about anything. If low price and strong is key, the sacrifice you make is weight.

    For Example:
    Race Face Chester 68/73mm Crank 2013 > Components > Drivetrain > Cranksets | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

    You could use this if the rings are removable from your existing crank, may not be though.

    Race Face Ride cranks are also a good choice. Cheap and strong but heavy.
    Race Face Ride 3X9 Crankset 2013 > Components > Drivetrain > Cranksets | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

  7. #7
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    Awesome Sasquatch141 good advice. Yeah I mean Ill just have to save up or deal with it breaking all the time haha

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Nelson View Post
    I just figured it was meant to withstand a great deal of force regardless so I didnt a little extra would make that much difference. Thanks Sasquatch141 for the advice. So you think I should just try and build a stronger back end? Is downhill a brand?
    The Boulder is a really low end, entry level bike. Consider the bike industry builds for the "average" height/weight and you are far outside of that "average" at your height and weight. In fact, you are nearly 100 pounds over the average weight that the industry targets. A lot of high end components have weight limits of 175, 180, 185 etc..., and even a lot of wheels have weight limits in the 220-225 pound range.

    Yes, buying something more solid for the big and tall is going to cost quite a bit more than what you paid for your entry level Boulder - but such is life for being big and tall. Wheels can be designed and built to fit your size, and choosing key components that don't have weight limits would be key to a durable bike. A fork can be chosen that handles your weight. Solid seatpost, cranks, pedals, etc.... can all be found to build a purpose worthy bike to handle a rider in the 250 - 275 pound range. Ventana does big and tall well, but is more expensive. Zinn Cycles does big and tall right, but is more expensive.

    You might want to talk to the LBS and see what they could do for your size and getting a bike that fits, and is durable.

    On another note - at your height, you are a shoe in for the larger wheels (29"er). And there are some solid entry level bikes that are designed for your weight, but they will be selling for a bit more of a premium price.
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  9. #9
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    Yeah unfortunatly its part of life being big on a budget. As far as a rear wheel, you'll probably have to upgrade at some point. The cheapest you are gonna get a good strong rear wheel for would be $250-300 unless you can find something used.

  10. #10
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    Re: Big boy keeps bike breakin

    I'm 270 and ride a trek marlin 29er. Only part that I had issues with and replaced because of it was my forks. I've done many other upgrades since then and i bought good platform pedals day one of owning the bike.

    Bb got changed not because it was needed, but because I went to hollowtech crankset.

    Yet to have an axle fail, I now have slx hubs on Alex dp20 wheels and they are holding up awesome. Stock wheel set is still in perfect shape as well.

    I know the budget thing well so i replace what I know is weak but beyond that i ride in a careful manor to minimize extra stresses on my bike cause with baby on the way money for repairs is difficult at best.

    Repair what's needed till you can afford a new bike but ride so ur body dampens as much stress as possible. Also try to take it easier on pedaling power on climbs, go for spinning over pure force as much as possible. You won't be as fast at climbing but make up for it on flat and down sections, will save damage to rear sections in the mean time.

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