PDA

View Full Version : Thread for the "big" guys among us...


SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 01:28 PM
Hi all,

I have been thinking about this alot lately (must be bored with my job) and really and truly believe that most of the bike frames-parts-etc, out there are not designed for the "big" rider in mind. (big rider is defined as anyone over 6' 3"and who weighs over 230 lbs).

A few examples of what I mean:

Pretty much any wheelset that is not hand built with 32 spokes 3 cross.
Speedplay pedals
Most Euro bike clothing
Most material other than steel for frames
Most "race" style plastic saddles

By the same token, these are things I have found that just "work" for me: (me being 6' 5" and about 250 at the moment).

32 spoke, 3 cross, straight gauge 14 hand built wheelset
Dura Ace wide platform pedals
Assos TIR Jerseys and DeMarchi XXL bib shorts
Custom geometry hand built steel bikes
Brooks saddles
Michelin Pro Race2 700 x 25 tires.

Of course, this is all very personal and subjective (your results may vary).

I'd love to hear from the other big guys among us and what they have found that "works" and what "doesnt work" for you.

As always, thank you in advance,

Steve

DRZRM
01-27-2007, 02:41 PM
I'm 6'3" and just a few pounds under your cutoff (closer to 220 than 230 most of the year). Both my frames are Ti, (Serotta Legend, and Moots YBB with the heavy weight shock), I came over from Steel (Pinerello SLX, I was probably under 200 when I bought that, and a Fat Chance Wicked, not Wicked Lite). I bought the Legend because of all the Ti frames I rode it felt most like steel at the time, the Moots just felt right, forgiving is some ways stiff in others.

I don't generally buy anything that is extra light (except I'm on a pair of Stella Azzura Guzzo cranks, time will tell how those hold up, but so far they feel stiff enough), but I'm also not very hard on stuff, generally my wheels never need truing unless something goes wrong (I've torn some spokes through rims after misjudging jumps, I do less of that these days than in my youth), and I wrecked a pair of Easton Orion 2s, but I blame that on Boston roads more than the wheels, I don't think any wheel would have rolled away from what I hit. I currently ride Mavic prebuilt wheels on both bikes (Crossmax XL and Kysrium SL). I'm withholding judgment on the SLs as I have not spent enough time on them, but I'm looking for a beefy handbuilt wheel (I just switched from Shimano to Campy Record) so I have backup when something goes wrong.

I also just switched back to Speedplay X-2 pedals after years on Ritchey road pedals, What goes wrong with them? How do they fail?

I'm with you on Brooks, though I still have something plastic on my new Legend, someday I'll get a swift for it, or something lighter than the B-17 I commute on.

Overall, I find that my stuff holds up as long as I don't buy ultralight. The one exception is MTB posts, I've bent maybe a half dozen posts (American Classic, USE, Ritchey, Thompson), and I keep gong back to an old Syncros post that's outlasted anything else. I figure the Moots Ti post will hold up as well if the Syncros ever fails, I just have not gotten around to replacing it in the last few years.

Anyway, I'll be happy to hear what works for everyone else.

ZRM

flydhest
01-27-2007, 02:46 PM
OK, I don't quite qualify as I'm only 6'2" and down below 200 after having been up at 225 for parts of last year, but I do tend to be hard on my toys, so maybe I get an honorary membership?

Why not Ti as well as steel? My Legend has a baseball bat of a downtube. I think Serotta does a great job in Ti for bigger frames. I've ridden other companies "big boy" frames, and I wouldn't recommend them, but someone skilled in designing them--Serotta or Tom Kellogg for example--could do a custom for a big feller that ought to fit the bill. A minor quibble, to be sure, and I agree with the sentiment.

Second, I'd love your take on the Arione saddle. I bought one after TooTall recommended it. (As an aside, he doesn't qualify by the above definition either, as he's too light . . . bastard weighs about the same as the slender version of me while being 6'8".) I'd be curious if you (or other larger riders) have tried them. What I like is that there is a lot (but not too much) real estate to find a place for my booty in all situations--hammering on flats, spinning up hills, sitting in on a paceline. I tend to sit in a different place for those activities and the Arione is good at letting me be comfortable in each.

SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 02:48 PM
I'm 6'3" and just a few pounds under your cutoff (closer to 220 than 230 most of the year). Both my frames are Ti, (Serotta Legend, and Moots YBB with the heavy weight shock), I came over from Steel (Pinerello SLX, I was probably under 200 when I bought that, and a Fat Chance Wicked, not Wicked Lite). I bought the Legend because of all the Ti frames I rode it felt most like steel at the time, the Moots just felt right, forgiving is some ways stiff in others.

I don't generally buy anything that is extra light (except I'm on a pair of Stella Azzura Guzzo cranks, time will tell how those hold up, but so far they feel stiff enough), but I'm also not very hard on stuff, generally my wheels never need truing unless something goes wrong (I've torn some spokes through rims after misjudging jumps, I do less of that these days than in my youth), and I wrecked a pair of Easton Orion 2s, but I blame that on Boston roads more than the wheels, I don't think any wheel would have rolled away from what I hit. I currently ride Mavic prebuilt wheels on both bikes (Crossmax XL and Kysrium SL). I'm withholding judgment on the SLs as I have not spent enough time on them, but I'm looking for a beefy handbuilt wheel (I just switched from Shimano to Campy Record) so I have backup when something goes wrong.

I also just switched back to Speedplay X-2 pedals after years on Ritchey road pedals, What goes wrong with them? How do they fail?
I'm with you on Brooks, though I still have something plastic on my new Legend, someday I'll get a swift for it, or something lighter than the B-17 I commute on.

Overall, I find that my stuff holds up as long as I don't buy ultralight. The one exception is MTB posts, I've bent maybe a half dozen posts (American Classic, USE, Ritchey, Thompson), and I keep gong back to an old Syncros post that's outlasted anything else. I figure the Moots Ti post will hold up as well if the Syncros ever fails, I just have not gotten around to replacing it in the last few years.

Anyway, I'll be happy to hear what works for everyone else.

ZRM

I picked 230 as the cutoff because that's what Excel Sports cutoff is for using double butted spokes to straight gauge (it wasnt really an exact number)...

I used Speedplays (both X's and Zero's) for thousands of miles. They never failed. I just found that my feet were more comfortable (with less hot spots) with a wider platform. Also, out of the saddle pedaling just feels much more sure footed with the Dura Ace.

Again, everyone's results will vary. Its an art, not a science.

Smiley
01-27-2007, 02:50 PM
Cry Babies :)

What is this a support group for you BIG fella's and since when did the Fly Man make the club, that's a joke ... well I do remember when you where BIG if that's a PC thing to call you :banana:

SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 02:53 PM
OK, I don't quite qualify as I'm only 6'2" and down below 200 after having been up at 225 for parts of last year, but I do tend to be hard on my toys, so maybe I get an honorary membership?

Why not Ti as well as steel? My Legend has a baseball bat of a downtube. I think Serotta does a great job in Ti for bigger frames. I've ridden other companies "big boy" frames, and I wouldn't recommend them, but someone skilled in designing them--Serotta or Tom Kellogg for example--could do a custom for a big feller that ought to fit the bill. A minor quibble, to be sure, and I agree with the sentiment.

Second, I'd love your take on the Arione saddle. I bought one after TooTall recommended it. (As an aside, he doesn't qualify by the above definition either, as he's too light . . . bastard weighs about the same as the slender version of me while being 6'8".) I'd be curious if you (or other larger riders) have tried them. What I like is that there is a lot (but not too much) real estate to find a place for my booty in all situations--hammering on flats, spinning up hills, sitting in on a paceline. I tend to sit in a different place for those activities and the Arione is good at letting me be comfortable in each.

I have owned a few Ti bikes over the years (none custom built for me) and have found that I PERSONALLY prefer the way steel feels. I do love my Hors Categorie and hopefully will also love my incoming Moots, but for the most part, I find Ti to not be stiff enough.

As for the Arione, I have tried almost every saddle out there and for my big fat arse, nothing compares to a Brooks B-17. And its not incremental, its a landslide heads above the rest.

Again, thats just my take. My butt, my experiences.

Your results will likely vary.

SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 02:56 PM
Cry Babies :)

What is this a support group for you BIG fella's and since when did the Fly Man make the club, that's a joke ... well I do remember when you where BIG if that's a PC thing to call you :banana:

Jealous? Start eating donuts and talk to us after you add some weight.

PC? When has ANYONE on this board been PC about anything?

DRZRM
01-27-2007, 03:23 PM
Have you owned a Legend (I'm almost sure that the answer to that is yes, but there are a couple of people I mix up)? I don't actually disagree with you, my decision to buy the Legend was that it was the Ti frame that felt most like my Pinerello. I've come to feel like the Legend is what bikes should feel like, but my test rides were originally finding a bike that felt like steel, not one that felt like Ti (and by Ti feeling I mean the Litespeeds, Moots, and Merlins I rode in the late 90s), they all felt a bit too soft. I don't think I'd ever switch over to carbon, or to carbon/Ti, even if I could afford it.

I have owned a few Ti bikes over the years (none custom built for me) and have found that I PERSONALLY prefer the way steel feels. I do love my Hors Categorie and hopefully will also love my incoming Moots, but for the most part, I find Ti to not be stiff enough.

SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 03:35 PM
Have you owned a Legend (I'm almost sure that the answer to that is yes, but there are a couple of people I mix up)? I don't actually disagree with you, my decision to buy the Legend was that it was the Ti frame that felt most like my Pinerello. I've come to feel like the Legend is what bikes should feel like, but my test rides were originally finding a bike that felt like steel, not one that felt like Ti (and by Ti feeling I mean the Litespeeds, Moots, and Merlins I rode in the late 90s), they all felt a bit too soft. I don't think I'd ever switch over to carbon, or to carbon/Ti, even if I could afford it.

The Hors Cat is a Legend with a DKS rear end. I have also owned an Otrott. Never a "pure" Legend.

I too have found the Ti bikes in general too soft. I have owned a few...

I am hoping my incoming Moots will dispell all that as it has huge tubing (its the largest geo they make) is rated for people up over 300 pounds and just like straight gauge spokes work best for "bigger" people, I am hoping that straight gauge Ti tubing will also work best...another experiment.

Maybe one day I will have enough research to write a book on the subject. A "thin" book (no pun intended) but at least a starting point for the biggins' amoung us...

DRZRM
01-27-2007, 03:42 PM
Yeah, I've looked at the Hors Cat (never ridden one), and I've ridden the Legend ST end and an Ottrott. While I'm sure you will love your Moots--they are beautiful bikes--when one pops up you should look at a stock Legend with the straight seat stays, you can get an older one for a song these days. Mine has the original F-1 on it, but I'm sure the stiffer F-3 would be equally nice, I bet you'd come around.

The Hors Cat is a Legend with a DKS rear end. I have also owned an Otrott. Never a "pure" Legend.

I too have found the Ti bikes in general too soft. I have owned a few...

SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 03:50 PM
Yeah, I've looked at the Hors Cat (never ridden one), and I've ridden the Legend ST end and an Ottrott. While I'm sure you will love your Moots--they are beautiful bikes--when one pops up you should look at a stock Legend with the straight seat stays, you can get an older one for a song these days. Mine has the original F-1 on it, but I'm sure the stiffer F-3 would be equally nice, I bet you'd come around.

Both are great forks...I have an F1 on my Hors Cat and I had an F3 on the Ottrott...

"BigMan" aka Henry (who happens to be just about my size) has an older Legend with an F1 fork and he loves it!

I'll play with my Moots for awhile and see.

flydhest
01-27-2007, 03:59 PM
couple of follow up points.

My Legend feels very different from my Hors Cat, so if you every get the chance to ride a straight Legend built for a full-figured gentlemen (let me know if you're ever in DC) it might be interesting. Of course, your Moots may also be a revelation. I agree, though, that most Ti, as typically built in the plus sizes, are not stiff enough.

Second, and most seriously, I thought the traditional rendering is "biguns" or "big'uns." Before you write the book, this detail must be straightened out. :banana:

SBash
01-27-2007, 03:59 PM
I would like to join the club, but I'm not big enough, only 6'1" / 215lbs. , and probably too old. If I went on a 2 week doanut diet, I know could get to 230. Could I join then? I need to get in a club.

SB

DRZRM
01-27-2007, 04:02 PM
Maybe we could get Serotta Clydesdales jerseys made up. Sized XL-4XL only.

And Sbash, don't be a quitter, set your goals and reach them, 15 pounds should be no big deal.

ZRM

SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 04:34 PM
I would like to join the club, but I'm not big enough, only 6'1" / 215lbs. , and probably too old. If I went on a 2 week doanut diet, I know could get to 230. Could I join then? I need to get in a club.

SB

Set your goals high! I think 250 would be just right for you..banana's, milk shakes and donuts.

DRZRM
01-27-2007, 04:36 PM
Bananas? Weight gain? Really? No wonder I'm fat.

:banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:

Set your goals high! I think 250 would be just right for you..banana's, milk shakes and donuts.

SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 04:36 PM
couple of follow up points.

My Legend feels very different from my Hors Cat, so if you every get the chance to ride a straight Legend built for a full-figured gentlemen (let me know if you're ever in DC) it might be interesting. Of course, your Moots may also be a revelation. I agree, though, that most Ti, as typically built in the plus sizes, are not stiff enough.

Second, and most seriously, I thought the traditional rendering is "biguns" or "big'uns." Before you write the book, this detail must be straightened out. :banana:

Full figured gentleman is almost as good as Swoop's "manorexic".

Thank you for that HUGE correction. By the time the book is published, I'll have all the details worked out...

huey
01-27-2007, 04:53 PM
I'm pretty sure that I qualify, 6'3" and about 245 or so.

I love Dura Ace pedals, they feel so much more secure.
I really like SLR saddles, they seem to work really well for me, and everything works ok! Also, Aireones' too, lots of room to move around on.
I do not use anything stupid light, with the exception of WCS stems, bars, and seatposts. I've never had an issue with them on any of my bikes over the past 4 years. They are all light enough, and are relatively inexpensive compared to their counterparts.
Wheels are another story. I really like handbuilt 32 spoke wheels with either record, or dura ace hubs. They are cheap, easily repaired and just flat out work well. I have raced Mavic Cosmics and Ksyrium sl's with good luck nad no issues at all, even after going down in a crit or two.

huey
01-27-2007, 04:54 PM
I'm pretty sure that I qualify, 6'3" and about 245 or so.

I love Dura Ace pedals, they feel so much more secure.
I really like SLR saddles, they seem to work really well for me, and everything works ok! Also, Aireones' too, lots of room to move around on.
I do not use anything stupid light, with the exception of WCS stems, bars, and seatposts. I've never had an issue with them on any of my bikes over the past 4 years. They are all light enough, and are relatively inexpensive compared to their counterparts.
I really like handbuilt 32 spoke wheels with either record, or dura ace hubs. They are cheap, easily repaired and just flat out work well. I have raced Mavic Cosmics and Ksyrium sl's with good luck nad no issues at all, even after going down in a crit or two.

thosmm
01-27-2007, 05:10 PM
I feel your pain. Just add being 5'6" and 350 lbs to the mix. Being short and stout is good for teapots and not so good for finding bicycles and parts that fit and last.

It's gotten off to a slow start, but I have a website dedicated to big cyclists called Bike Clydesdale (http://www.bikeclydesdale.com)

The site's motto is "Pity the little people". :beer:

One thing to keep in mind is that if you're talking custom frames, there isn't any reason a ti frame can't be what you want, but unless it's a custom with heavier tubing, and you tell the builder you want it 'crisper', you're going to feel like you're riding a noodle.

Tom

SoCalSteve
01-27-2007, 05:44 PM
I feel your pain. Just add being 5'6" and 350 lbs to the mix. Being short and stout is good for teapots and not so good for finding bicycles and parts that fit and last.

It's gotten off to a slow start, but I have a website dedicated to big cyclists called Bike Clydesdale (http://www.bikeclydesdale.com)
The site's motto is "Pity the little people". :beer:

One thing to keep in mind is that if you're talking custom frames, there isn't any reason a ti frame can't be what you want, but unless it's a custom with heavier tubing, and you tell the builder you want it 'crisper', you're going to feel like you're riding a noodle.

Tom

Tom,

Thank you so much for putting together a website dedicated to the "big-un's" amongst us!

I would love to see more articles geared towards us and what to buy and what to avoid. I am sure you can get many thoughts on this at this Forum.

Good luck!

Steve

ti_boi
01-27-2007, 08:40 PM
6'3"....235 lbs here....After trying a few pedals....I settled on the carbon look...no squeaking even when standing and hammering a hill.....


The XXL Pearl Izumi is just fine.....and that means coverage is great....length is good....and arms are fine...(37" sleeve length)....other Euro fit stuff has been a disapointment.

Wheels are the 32 spoke MAVIC hand mades with the (loud) Chris King Hubs....keep pedaling or suffer The buzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Shoes are size 47 Sidi genius....with after market insoles.

Both seats are Brooks......leather is the most comfortable for the larger gentleman...IMHO


And the Legend Ti was a complete transformation from my cannondale team saeco aluminum frame....I feel like I float over harsh pavement seams and ripples now....LIKE A DREAM IT IS Serotta....like a dream!

big shanty
01-27-2007, 09:27 PM
I barely qualify...6'4", 220 at my sedentary-ist.....normally 205. I've found that 32+ spoke handbuilt wheels are the ticket for me. The B17 is the greatest....I got a Swift on my first custom frame and have not come to fully embrace it yet. "Tall" Assos jerseys and bibs are a godsend. Other bomproof products I like are Phil hubs/bb and 46 cm Nitto heat-treated handlebars.

Marron
01-27-2007, 11:33 PM
The ultimate big guys bike. I always felt I was underutilizing mine at 6'2" and 160 but that would have been on the large side for a classics rider in the day. If you have the strength to get it up to a decent speed I can't think of anything better.

SoCalSteve
01-28-2007, 01:05 AM
I barely qualify...6'4", 220 at my sedentary-ist.....normally 205. I've found that 32+ spoke handbuilt wheels are the ticket for me. The B17 is the greatest....I got a Swift on my first custom frame and have not come to fully embrace it yet. "Tall" Assos jerseys and bibs are a godsend. Other bomproof products I like are Phil hubs/bb and 46 cm Nitto heat-treated handlebars.

He gets it!!! :banana:

pretty pony
01-28-2007, 09:56 AM
6'4" 240ish, 37, trying to think and ride like a bike racer. (down from around 260 last Christmas!)

Best bike frame so far....I'm riding an old Jerk frame, an aluminum (Altec2) Cyfac which is a few years old but seriously kicks a s s. Stiff, lightish, solid, fits and looks pro. I am pretty much sold on Aluminum.

I have only ridden four carbon bikes that would work for a big rider....the Colnago President, an older C50 (before they shortened the lugs and used a lighter carbon), Cervelo r3, and a Madone, though not the fancy one. The Cervelo was definitely the sharpest feeling bike I have ridden. It is so fast feeling. It just jumps and has so much snap. The only down side to that bike is that it really is a pro bike in the sense that you need to have a follow car with three other bikes on it to feel secure you'll make it home. Madone is an awesome bike and a real sleeper. The new Colnago Dream looks like a terrific bike this year. I haven't ridden a Ti bike that I felt was stiff enough in the rear stay area or the bb to want to buy one, though I have heard that an Ultimate is plenty tuff.

Nicest stem is the TIME, but am ridding a Deda Arimo which is fine. Deda round and deep bars.

Went through about 15 saddles last summer and settled on the Arione. Then had the unfortunate task of putting one on all of the bikes...yikes! Butt I also like the Regal, though only if the pads in the shorts are not too fat.

Wheels are something else all together. I have been building wheels for years as a professional mechanic, and always rode my own builds. 32 hole 3x on any hub seemed to hold up for a while. Fronts are always fine, and I can ride a 28 hole wheel no problem, rear is another story. I decided last year to ride prebuilt/aftermarket wheels and really liked the Bontrager Aero, though the rear spokes started to pull out of the rim right as the cyclocross season started so I bought a pair of AC Hurricanes for the CX bike. Great wheels but started breaking spokes last week in the rear, for no apparent reason, so I am rebuilding it with new spokes. THE BEST WHEELS I HAVE RIDDEN SO FAR ARE THE MAVIC COSMIC CARBONS. Bombproof, aero, lightish, bombproof, fast and bombproof. Absolutely the best for the larger rider and not the most expensive either. However I would love to ride a pair of Campy BORAs or the new Bontrager Aeolus. These are just a little too precious for my shrinking wallet. :beer:

samtaylor1
01-28-2007, 12:45 PM
I am 6'7" 280 (should be 270). I had a great steel bike, sold it ang got a ti. Tell you the truth I can't really feel that much of a difference- both ride great.

I do think the bigger you are the more important quality components are.

Custom wheels work well, although now I have some Bontrager X Lite disc and they seem to work great. They build there stuff prety beefy.

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM THOUGH IS CLOTHING-

Bibs must be fixed
Haven't found a jersey that isn't too small
And shoes, don't get me started on shoes
AND winter bike stuff is even worse

obtuse
01-28-2007, 01:06 PM
anyone over 220 should make it a habit to only wear white bib shorts. beluga style is the the new heroin chic imho.

obtuse

ti_boi
01-28-2007, 03:34 PM
anyone over 220 should make it a habit to only wear white bib shorts. beluga style is the the new heroin chic imho.

obtuse


Your entire family can draft offa my left cheek..

thosmm
01-28-2007, 04:37 PM
Tom,

Thank you so much for putting together a website dedicated to the "big-un's" amongst us!

I would love to see more articles geared towards us and what to buy and what to avoid. I am sure you can get many thoughts on this at this Forum.

Good luck!

Steve

Thanks! I'm looking through the archives to see what I can find. My background is mostly mountain biking, but I'm seeing more bigger folk on this and other custom bike forums than I do where stock bikes are mostly what's discussed.

I'm working with my bike shop for a Size-Cycle fitting to adjust my current bike as well as getting numbers for buying a custom mountain bike this year. He mentioned that we could do a fit for a road bike at the same time and he would see what he could do to get me into a road bike.

I've looked at road bikes before, but my personal geometry doesn't work very well with the stock bikes I've tried.

Tom

tv_vt
01-29-2007, 02:47 PM
Well, I really don't qualify - 6'2", but 180. But I can relate to this thread just fine.
Downers: knickers that come down to about the middle of my knees, Sidi shoe sizing, superlight stuff, a lot of sunglasses that are too small or narrow, frames with short headtubes and seat angles greater than 72.5 in the large sizes, carbon dropouts on forks, the day Time quit making their Equipe Pro fork with the steel steerer in 1 inch diameter, no compact cranks in 177.5 or 180 length (major bummer),...

Good things: the FSA setback seatposts (SL-220 aluminum and K Force), my Merckx-speed Titanium and Fondriest Top Level aluminum frames, Sapim CX-Ray spokes - makes handbuilt wheels into something amazing, fizik pave gel seats, Carnac shoes - sized a bit bigger than Sidis, Craft bibshorts, 45mm fork rake for larger frames - what a difference that made in my Merckx from the 43mm rake fork that was on there,...

Thom