commuter bike for a big guy (~340 lbs)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    commuter bike for a big guy (~340 lbs)

    Only got one response in the Clydesdale section, so I will try posting this here:

    I am in the process of tuning up an old mountain bike for a buddy at work. It's an old Nishiki Apache (circa 1995 or so), complete with six speed, centerpull brakes, quill stem, and various low end parts. As I have gone over this bike, component by component, I realize that it may not hold up worth a damn for any length of time.

    I know he is hesitant to invest too much money in a bike this old, so does anyone have advice on an inexpensive commuter that can withstand a 340 lb rider? Nothing fancy - just a tough bike. No disc brakes required - it's pretty flat here in Winnipeg. Single speed maybe an option, but multigear is fine. No suspension required. It's basically for riding the streets to and from work, and maybe for pulling a trailer with his young kids in it. It won't see any trails, from what I was told.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I'd go with steel, and I'd have him read this: http://www.active.com/cycling/Articl..._on_a_Bike.htm
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Cool story, CB.

    Bikedreamer, I can`t say for sure, but my speculation is that an older mtb frame designed for a 180lb rider to thrash on ought to hold up at lest for a few years of street cruising with a 340lb rider. This guy doesn`t ride at all as of now? If that`s the case, I`d try not to scare him off with the price of a whole new bike. A stout wheelset sounds like a good investment, though- 36 hole Rhinolites on whatever decent hub you can find on as prebuilts, plus a set of 2 inch slicks would probably do the trick for a relatively small price. If the guys tries it out and likes it, maybe start thinking new bike next year. If it ends up gathering dust in a garage, not too much money down the drain. Also, especially if the bike has been sitting for a while, new cables and housings, along with a hyperglide style freewheel (yes, they still make them and they aren`t expensive) will make for nice smooth shifting with the original derailler and shifters unless they`re REALLY crappy. Nishiki might have had some total crap bikes on the market, but I`ve never run into one that wasn`t at least decent. Good luck and keep us posted.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I'd go with steel, and I'd have him read this: http://www.active.com/cycling/Articl..._on_a_Bike.htm
    That's pretty remarkable about that guy losing that much weight. Good for him.

    While he's not in great shape, Drake is mostly muscle. Used to play rugby, and can still outsprint guys half his weight. That's what I was concerned about - he'd stand up and mash on the pedals, and have the bike disintegrate underneath him.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikedreamer
    While he's not in great shape, Drake is mostly muscle. Used to play rugby, and can still outsprint guys half his weight. That's what I was concerned about - he'd stand up and mash on the pedals, and have the bike disintegrate underneath him.
    Sounds like valid concerns.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Cool story, CB.

    Bikedreamer, I can`t say for sure, but my speculation is that an older mtb frame designed for a 180lb rider to thrash on ought to hold up at lest for a few years of street cruising with a 340lb rider. This guy doesn`t ride at all as of now? If that`s the case, I`d try not to scare him off with the price of a whole new bike. A stout wheelset sounds like a good investment, though- 36 hole Rhinolites on whatever decent hub you can find on as prebuilts, plus a set of 2 inch slicks would probably do the trick for a relatively small price. If the guys tries it out and likes it, maybe start thinking new bike next year. If it ends up gathering dust in a garage, not too much money down the drain. Also, especially if the bike has been sitting for a while, new cables and housings, along with a hyperglide style freewheel (yes, they still make them and they aren`t expensive) will make for nice smooth shifting with the original derailler and shifters unless they`re REALLY crappy. Nishiki might have had some total crap bikes on the market, but I`ve never run into one that wasn`t at least decent. Good luck and keep us posted.
    I'll try not to scare him away from riding. If he's gentle on it, it should be okay. We'll see how it goes for him. Ironically, he was the one that got me riding to work. He mentioned it one day, and I got to thinking "Why the hell not?". Turned out to be a good idea, saving both time and money.

    Can't go wrong with Rhynolites - pretty much the only mtb wheel I've used for the past 6 years. I've gotten a pair of them for as little as 110.00 bucks, with Deore hubs. Pretty tough, and rarely had one go too far out of true.

    As for the hyperglide, believe it or not, it is actually a freehub and cassette. I was kind of shocked,. but pleased, to see that. Time will tell if it is still in good shape.

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Now that I think about it, if he gets new wheels, they won`t take 6-speed anything anyway. If the bike doesn`t have friction mode it`ll be a new set of shifters added to the bill. It can still be done easilly for under $300- just a question of whether it`s worth laying down the money if the frame is going to self destruct. I THINK it would hold up, but....

  8. #8
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    Supersized Cycles

    http://www.supersizedcycles.com/inde...uct_detail&p=7

    At $699 with shipping, this may be more than he wants to spend, but it's rated for 330lbs and has 3 speeds. The company is from VT & was featured on the local news.
    http://www.supersizedcycles.com/inde...edcycles_media

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    A lot of those old bikes were near-bombproof. I'd just tune up the existing bike and see what breaks. Make sure to show him how to do a good preride check that'll cover the safety bases.

    I'd anticipate that it'll be things like the bottom bracket and the pedals, maybe the saddle rails. Obviously the wheels are going to be taking a pounding, although that can be mitigated by sticking with 2.1" tires at first. You might consider building some heavy-duty rims onto the existing hubs, or at least the existing rear hub, if you're trying to avoid replacing the drivetrain.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
    weirdo
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    EDIT: nevermind- I figured it out myself

  11. #11
    Underskilled
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    I like that website for the heavier guy.

    I forgot how much of a problem I had with saddles, I would crush the rails on most in a ride. This is until I borrowed my wife's ultralight girls saddle, no issues at all!
    weird huh.


    Spesh BG saddles may be comfy but the rails are not clyde suitable.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaveGiant
    I like that website for the heavier guy.

    I forgot how much of a problem I had with saddles, I would crush the rails on most in a ride. This is until I borrowed my wife's ultralight girls saddle, no issues at all!
    weird huh.


    Spesh BG saddles may be comfy but the rails are not clyde suitable.
    Do those BG saddles have a break in period? I've never understood how so many folk find them comfortable - to me they feel like sitting on a cinder block.

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