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  1. #1
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    budget cruiser / comuter for 350 lb friend?

    I have a friend who has snapped TWO aluminum framed hybrid frames, both seeming to have initially failed at the downtube weld heatzone. He weighs 350 lbs, and while Marin claims this is not to heavy for thier bikes, I say he needs a steel frame - maybe something like a Steelhead built up as a cruiser!
    This guy is 6'2" and wants an upright seating position, as would be found on your typical cruiser. Any advice? Will any properly sized chromo frame do? I'm an abusive rider myself, and have (ab)used such frames safely, but don't even weight 200 lbs in full gear.
    Finding a used bike is likely possible- there is little rush, and saving cash is important. He also would prefer a ridgid fork, and that seems a good plan given that not many low end forks can be properly tuned for his weight- I suspect that may have contributed to his past frame failures.

  2. #2
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    I ride a GT Outpost and I'm 337. Also the Trek 820 is a nice bike and I think would hold up. Both these bikes are steel and rigid.
    Larry

  3. #3
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    how much is he looking to spend?

    being he rode hybrid I assume they had 700c wheels?... what bike specificly was he having problems with?

    i'm 300# and have put a good pounding on a few steel 29ers... so depends on your answers for me to give feedback on my thoughts
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  4. #4
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    donalson- Not sure how much he's looking to spend. He's mentioned that the Karate Monkey frame I told him about seems a good option, so maybe $1000 as an upper limit. I'd tossed that out as an "ideal solution", when I first heard the problem. Not so sure it is now (given he wants the upright seating) but whatever.

    The bike he had was made by Marin, called a San Anselmo. The problem is he tore two of the frames in half, shearing both the head and toptube. Looking at the second frame, I'm guessing it was a fatigue failure of the downtube in the heatzone where it joins the headtube on the underside; the tubes seem pretty thin (even for butted tubes) and there are no gussets.
    Any idea on steel 29s besides the KM?

    nuggets- Yeah, I;ve got an old GT karakoram frame that I figured would be up to the job myself, as its tolerated a fair bit of ouright abuse. Sounds to me like most any decent midrange (non ultralight) steel frame will do- trick is finding one at a decent price, in a geometry that works.

  5. #5
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    does he still have the bike (in broken form?) did he have any problems outside of the frame itself?...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  6. #6
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    ok did some looking...

    if he still has the marin and isn't planing to sell it... with the replacement frame... then the karate monkey would be about perfect frame replacement... near identical frame geometries, top tube length, and all the real important things, head tube length is a good bit shorter... but he could easily have the fork steerer tube length cut long and use a lot of spacers... ugly but it works... heck even the seat post size is the same... from the looks of it he'd even be able to keep the original cable housings if he wanted to... only thing I think wouldn't fit would be the front derailleur... and thats cheap.... and the fork...

    if he wanted to use the stock fork he geo would be off a bit (fork is a bit shorter then stock i'm sure) but you mentioned he wanted to go rigid and the KM comes with a rigid fork being that

    so i'm going to say... the karate monkey sounds like a winner for him...

    if he's looking to buy/build a complete bike i'd look at the redline d440... add gears up front and some hybrid/cx tires and roll on

    I have both a redline d440 and a Surly karate monkey... my redline is setup more as a hybrid... but its been beaten off road with out a problem

    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  7. #7
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    Showed him the d440 and he seemed pretty happy with the idea- mostly because its a steel frame 29", at a decent price. He was stoked on the KM, but this seems to offer most of the same features. Would you say its an equally durable frame?

    Not sure exactly why he wants a 29", especially as he wants upright seating. Short top tube and 29" aren;t two concepts thaat mix naturally in my mind. Still, its a good starting point. I figure I'll throw him on my 26"s just to get an idea of what that looks like, and a starting point to judge whether the d440 can be adapted as he likes.

  8. #8
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    I understand the 29er thing... a REAL mtb should be a lot stronger then a hybrid... which is good for him.

    ...with the right stem, bars, and steerer tube length he can get that same upright seating position... the ETT's are almost identical between the karate monkey and his old bike size for size...

    the redline should be a great bike for him outside of the gearing up front which could easily be taken care of... but you may need to buy another fork as the factory will prob cut the steerer to short but you may be able to talk to the shop and have a special order with an uncut tube or something... anyway... there's a number of big guys who've put a pounding on them on the dirt with out issue... it rides a bit smoother then my karate monkey and handles a little slower (something I don't like out on tight switchbacks on singletrack but on the road doesn't matter to me)... also double check the warranty info... i believe it's lifetime...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  9. #9
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    Slow handling and lack of gears aren't an issue; the bike will likely see cruiser / commuter duty only.

  10. #10
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    How about something like this?

    Felt Cruiser.

    Solid steel frame and triple crown rigid fork. Not gonna much beefier than that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCinSC
    How about something like this?

    Felt Cruiser.

    Solid steel frame and triple crown rigid fork. Not gonna much beefier than that.
    Good call. I'm also gonna point him at these cool jobs - http://yubaride.com/utility-bicycles-models.html
    Basically its a ready-to-roll version of the Surly's "big dummy" made for the mass market instead of "bike folks". Should be designed for his weight and some, and the 48 13 gauge spokes on each end will solve those wheel issues he'd neglected to mention (shop said they "just happen"). When he had a bike, he mostly used it to commute and run errands, so a purpose built errand runner / cargo bike may be just the ticket.

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