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  1. #1
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    Does anyone have REAL DATA for component strength?

    OK big guys. There are an awful lot of 'these parts are not made for us' tales of woe on here. An awful lot of 'look at my raw power, I break things' but there are not a lot of facts and figures.

    Does anyone have actual numbers regarding strength of materials, components etc used in the construction of our beloved bikes? There are some failures out there due to quality control, some due to misuse, but nobody has yet convinced me that parts are not strong enough for 'us'. The claim that 'they are made for lighter people' might be valid - but I've not seen any numbers other than when a manufacturer puts a max weight limit on something.

    Wippermann release data:

    http://www.connexchain.com/data-live...ier_080306.pdf

    This isn't a witch hunt. This is a pursuit of proper facts and figures to educate all of us. Can you add to this?

  2. #2
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    I think that for the most part, majority of bikes and parts are suitable for us bigger riders. A lot I think has to do with how they are used and maintained. I know a lot of people seem to bust seats and seat posts but I've never had an issue with either, even riding in the rough at 320 pounds. Wheels, no issues other than going out of true, frames never a problem...only thing I've ever busted was a chain and a chainring. Different bikes, same very short insanely steep climb that takes loads of power to do. Those two times I honestly believe that it was an overload of power that caused the failure. That and with the chainring, partially due to a poor design.

  3. #3
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    Funny you mention the chain - as that is the only thing I have - see the link. Converting Newtons to lbs works out to be in the region of 2000lbs breaking strength on a chain (please check my maths) - and 2000lbs would be one hell of an overload of power (again - anyone with any figures?).

  4. #4
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    There are far too many figures that come into play on the strength of parts. Static tests (the only ones you may find) offer limited data. Metal fatigue, maintenance, use, abuse, accidents, improper form even, etc.... all these things will alter any findings of static tests.
    Fat guys need bikes too.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for that.

    How about ANY actual test data then? Of course there are variations, but something is better than nothing.

  6. #6
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    Companies rarely release that kind of data and the average joe doesn't have the test rigs and instrumentation to accurately perform failure tests. Your just gonna have to roll the dice every time you turn a crank.

  7. #7
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    We're frankly not worth worrying about, when you crunch numbers.

    I have no scientific data, only experience - and my experience is I bend and break a LOT of stuff unless I over-spec. I taco wheels, crack cranks, rip hub bodies from the shells, break spokes, bend saddles, crack stems, bend seatposts, bend pedals... and a couple of those specific things more than once.

    I know some folks in the design side of things, and they mostly spec for 150-180 pound riders. That includes the over-engineering for safety. If we weigh double the spec, and ride anywhere near as hard, we'll bring forces to bear that parts were not designed to take.

    So, in the absence of data, I just buy one 'step' up and don't worry about it. My bikes are somewhat heaver, but nowhere near heavier proportional to my weight, so I'm OK with it. And I'm not afraid I'm gonna die nearly so often.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnee View Post
    I know some folks in the design side of things, and they mostly spec for 150-180 pound riders. That includes the over-engineering for safety.
    What does that mean then? Especially give that the average American male weighs 195.5lbs

    FASTSTATS - Body Measurements

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    What does that mean then?
    Your bike is a ticking time bomb ready to self destruct at any moment. You must destroy it before it destroys you!

  10. #10
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    And for the love of God don't ride carbon. I heard those things explode like an A-Bomb if you weigh more than a buck fifty or get water on them.

  11. #11
    Oh, the huge-meh-nity
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    Your math is reasonable--1 newton is something like .22 pound.

    Wish there were more facts out there, but once they release that then you have a reason to expect a replacement--plus, anything from a 200mm crank to a 20T granny crosschain to an 11T cog can make that straight line breaking load totally irrelevant.

    +1 Nubster, not quite as heavy but I have put a lot of miles on stuff that's really too light for me and only rarely break parts. Out of the couple thousand trail miles and 15K or so on the road in the last five years that I've been keeping track of, broken two chains, but were both overdue for a change. Know people who are 2/3rds my weight who can break something just about every ride.

  12. #12
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    Yeah, I think most breakage comes from poor maintenance and improper use. Sure, we are harder on components, no doubt about that, so IMO that makes it more important to try to ride within the limits of the bikes and components even though that's not always as much fun. Ride enough and you'll loose the weight. Loose weigh and you can ride harder, both because you're able to and because the equipment will allow it. Otherwise, plan your budget to replace broken parts.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooTallUK View Post
    OK big guys. There are an awful lot of 'these parts are not made for us' tales of woe on here. An awful lot of 'look at my raw power, I break things' but there are not a lot of facts and figures.

    Does anyone have actual numbers regarding strength of materials, components etc used in the construction of our beloved bikes? There are some failures out there due to quality control, some due to misuse, but nobody has yet convinced me that parts are not strong enough for 'us'. The claim that 'they are made for lighter people' might be valid - but I've not seen any numbers other than when a manufacturer puts a max weight limit on something.

    Wippermann release data:

    http://www.connexchain.com/data-live...ier_080306.pdf

    This isn't a witch hunt. This is a pursuit of proper facts and figures to educate all of us. Can you add to this?
    What do you mean by component strength ? Most components mostly fail due to fatigue and you can't put a number on it easily. Some kind of ultimate tensile load which makes a little bit of sense with a chain, would make absolutely no sense with majority of the components and likely gave you false sense of its strength.
    You can get most numbers for materials used (except for composite it wouldn't be easy), but again - that's even more meaningless, as its design that matters, not quite the material alone.
    Study fatigue - especially low cycle fatigue is not an easy phenomenon to predict or analyze mostly due to essentially unknown loading - everybody rides differently and has different weight.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    And for the love of God don't ride carbon. I heard those things explode like an A-Bomb if you weigh more than a buck fifty or get water on them.
    Funny, but I said nothing of the sort, and the person I got that 'stat' from is one of the premier carbon designers, he told me that while we were both riding carbon bikes.

    XC is very weight weenie. I broke the crap out of XC racing gear when I was a measly 230, and it's worse now that I'm fatter. I stand by what I said.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Yeah, I think most breakage comes from poor maintenance and improper use.
    Also known as 'blame the victim'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Sure, we are harder on components, no doubt about that, so IMO that makes it more important to try to ride within the limits of the bikes and components even though that's not always as much fun. Ride enough and you'll loose the weight. Loose weigh and you can ride harder, both because you're able to and because the equipment will allow it. Otherwise, plan your budget to replace broken parts.
    Or, you buy slightly stronger stuff, and ride to have fun.
    Last edited by schnee; 08-13-2013 at 11:54 AM.

  16. #16
    Oh, the huge-meh-nity
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    Comparing an unwillingness to read or follow instructions to rape? Wow dude.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, my analogy was in really bad taste, and I got rid of it.

    I'll say it again another way. It's called 'blame the victim'. Find any reason to make the wrong person at fault.

    If a big rider breaks a weight weenie bike, 'oh they were doing it wrong' is the wrong answer. They bought the wrong stuff.

    Saying 'you may not have as much fun oh well' is the wrong answer. There's plenty of equipment out there that's clyde-worthy, buy it and have fun.

  18. #18
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    I'll try one last time - how about the actual tests that bikes have to pass beforethey can be sold? There are tests to failure on frames etc.

    I don't break stuff through being a clyde - never have done. So this isn't for me really - it was just supposed to be a bit of a talking point and an effort to understand what standards things are built and tested to.

  19. #19
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    For your (TooTallUK) reading pleasure:

    https://law.resource.org/pub/de/ibr/...766.e.2006.pdf

    This is for companies that must (or if they are not selling in the area governed, but choose to test to these standards) test to these standards. Many products sold in the USA are tested to these standards because they are also sold in Europe.

  20. #20
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    jeff - thank you very much. I shall digest at my leisure.

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