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  1. #1
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    Is this gift used bike safe for a very heavy new rider?

    Hello everyone. I've decided to use cycling as a way to lose weight and try to improve my health. I am currently 330 pounds, 6'5". A friend gave me his used bike to help with my goals and I'm concerned about whether or not it is appropriate for my weight. It is called a Giant Defy Advanced bike. It has a flat bar with the shifters on it rather than the ram's horn handlebar it originally came with. The wheels are 32 spokes in the front and back.
    My main concern is that the frame is made of carbon fiber. Before I was given the Giant, my plan was to purchase a Steel framed bike. My question is this, would I be better off purchasing a steel framed bike to use until I lose the first 80-100 pounds of weight? Or does the current set up seem okay to use from the beginning?

  2. #2
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    Many manufacturers do place weight limits on CF framesets. For example, IIRC Specialized has a limit of 220 lbs. I'd advise you to check with Giant on that. You'll probably need the model year and/ or serial number.

    Just as an aside, most weight limits imposed are to provide the manufacturer with an out on warranty coverage in the even of frame failure. Yours being used has no warranty, but still, you don't want to suffer a failure and crash.. or worse.

  3. #3
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    PJ352, thank you for the good advice. I will visit the local Giant Dealer and see if I can get some information about weight limits.

  4. #4
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    I'd be more concerned with the tire size. The Giant Defy will not fit tires which should be more appropriately sized for your weight.

    I'd recommend a mountain bike or hybrid bike with no suspension front or rear, and tires anywhere from 1.5-2" in width. You can evolve to a bike such as the Giant as your weight comes down.

    The Giant was a gift, so there's no harm done if you break it in the process of riding. And I highly doubt if the frame broke it would be a catastrophic failure leading to injury, even at your weight.

    It would be sort of uncool to not ride the bike as it was a gift intended for your benefit, said Ann Landers ;-)

  5. #5
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    At your weight, the primary consideration is wheels and tires.

    The major problem in using the gift bike is that it appears not to be possible to fit a tire wider than 25 mm.

    At a weight of 330# + 20# for the bike, the recommended tire pressures for 25mm would be 127 psi front and 195 psi rear. Clearly impossible.

    OP, you need a frame capable of taking 40mm tires minimum. At your weight the inflations would be around 60 psi front, 85 psi rear which would likely be within the range of recommended pressures for that size tire. (my 40 mm Clement MSO's are marked 55-90 psi).

    As @peter suggests, this is going to be a cyclocross frame or rigid MTB. Wheels will need to be very sturdy, probably built with 36 spokes minimum.

    Bicycle tire pressure calculator

    Anyone know the weight limit of the giant Defy Advanced? - Bike Forums
    Last edited by bikerjulio; 08-23-2016 at 05:15 AM.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  6. #6
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    Thanks to everyone for taking the time to share your thoughts. I will hold on to the Giant for my leaner cycling days. I am looking at a steel Kona Roadhouse bicycle. I've been assured that my weight will not be an issue and I can have wider tires and strong wheels installed. I've read some nice reviews that mention the Kona's weight, which with my mass won't make much of an impact. If anyone has some thoughts on this bike I would like to hear them. Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    I haven't seen pictures of you, but looking at the Kona Roadhouse, I don't think it would be a good choice for you.

    I'll guess you have a lot of girth, which may prohibit you from reaching over comfortably to the handlebars on a road bike, which are typically lower than a hybrid or mountain bike.

    I'd suggest a hybrid or mountain bike with a rigid fork.

  8. #8
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    Pretty solid specs on the Roadhouse. On paper, at least, it looks to be a good choice, IMO.

    Of course, test ride before deciding, but (as one example) the Spec Roubaix's frame stack is ~2 CM's less than the Roadhouse, so with some tweaking to fit, the Roadhouse should lend itself to a more upright/ relaxed riding position.

  9. #9
    Off the back
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    A fellow rider in my parts was about your size, before he began cycling. He lost a good 120 lbs! And that was 25 years ago! Powerful cyclist who's won masters category races and put the hurt on us many times at the lead of our huge group rides.

  10. #10
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    I see that the standard tires are 30 mm. Too small for you. Get them swapped for 40 mm as part of the purchase.

    KONA BIKES | ROAD | STEEL ROAD | Roadhouse
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post
    Thanks to everyone for taking the time to share your thoughts. I will hold on to the Giant for my leaner cycling days. I am looking at a steel Kona Roadhouse bicycle. I've been assured that my weight will not be an issue and I can have wider tires and strong wheels installed. I've read some nice reviews that mention the Kona's weight, which with my mass won't make much of an impact. If anyone has some thoughts on this bike I would like to hear them. Thanks again.

    Good idea to wait until you are leaner before you use the Giant. If it's carbon, that was an expensive gift and you don't want to ruin it. Most road bikes have a weight limit of 250lbs. or less. You will get there, so be patient.

    I don't think the Kona Roadhouse would be a good bike for you. This is more of a gravel/adventure bike, probably not a good choice. The stock tires are only 700x30c which are too narrow for you. The wheels are a low 24 spoke count, light weight road type and will not last very long for you. The frame itself appears robust enough to handle your weight, though I am very concerned about the carbon fork.

    A complete steel touring bike like these would be a better choice:

    Long Haul Trucker | Bikes | Surly Bikes

    520 | Trek Bikes

    These are touring bikes, so they are designed to take a lot of weight. They also have 36 spoke wheels which is what you should be riding. Another plus for a touring bike is that you will get much better low gearing (26/36/48T triple crankset) which will allow you to ride up hills easier. With the Kona's 34/50T crankset, you will be walking up those hills.
    Last edited by Lombard; 08-25-2016 at 06:04 AM.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  12. #12
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    I'd suggest getting a cheap hybrid or even beach cruiser type.
    One of two things will likely happen. you don't stick with it or you lose a bunch of weight, decide you'll get serious and in the process learn what type of bike suites the type of riding you want to focus on and what type of bike fit would be best. With your weight you really can't ride what's a good bike bike for the person you may become even if you were to guess correctly on fit and style correctly so either way there's no point in investing much at this point.

    A lot of serious and talented riders got there from getting a hybrid and the snowball effect. Even when you advance beyond typical hybrid riding it's still nice to have on for running to the store and stuff like that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Good idea to wait until you are leaner before you use the Giant. If it's carbon, that was an expensive gift and you don't want to ruin it. Most road bikes have a weight limit of 250lbs. or less. You will get there, so be patient.

    I don't think the Kona Roadhouse would be a good bike for you. This is more of a gravel/adventure bike, probably not a good choice. The stock tires are only 700x30c which are too narrow for you. The wheels are a low 24 spoke count, light weight road type and will not last very long for you. The frame itself appears robust enough to handle your weight, though I am very concerned about the carbon fork.

    A complete steel touring bike like these would be a better choice:

    Long Haul Trucker | Bikes | Surly Bikes

    520 | Trek Bikes

    These are touring bikes, so they are designed to take a lot of weight. They also have 36 spoke wheels which is what you should be riding. Another plus for a touring bike is that you will get much better low gearing (26/36/48T triple crankset) which will allow you to ride up hills easier. With the Kona's 34/50T crankset, you will be walking up those hills.
    ^ this advice is better than mine. I hadn't looked at the wheels on the Kona. You need as a minimum 36 spoke sturdy wheels, with wider (24 mm) rims, and 40 mm tires.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post
    I am looking at a steel Kona Roadhouse bicycle. I've been assured that my weight will not be an issue and I can have wider tires and strong wheels installed.
    To those voicing concerns re: wheels/ tires, it's already been addressed by the OP above.

    OP, there are a wealth of choices out there. You just need to settle on exactly what will best keep you motivated to ride... consistently.

    Personally, I think there's a lot to like about the Roadhouse, but would suggest spending a bit less and consider the Wheelhouse... assuming it'll accommodate your anatomy and wider tires.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    To those voicing concerns re: wheels/ tires, it's already been addressed by the OP above.

    OP, there are a wealth of choices out there. You just need to settle on exactly what will best keep you motivated to ride... consistently.

    Personally, I think there's a lot to like about the Roadhouse, but would suggest spending a bit less and consider the Wheelhouse... assuming it'll accommodate your anatomy and wider tires.

    OK, he did mention that wheels and tires could be swapped out.

    I am still concerned about a carbon fork for a 330lb. person. I still think a touring bike would be a better choice.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    OK, he did mention that wheels and tires could be swapped out.

    I am still concerned about a carbon fork for a 330lb. person. I still think a touring bike would be a better choice.
    Understood. I'm not trying to stifle discussion, just point out that the wheel/ tire concerns are a non-issue. Most any reputable LBS will swap those out.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Understood. I'm not trying to stifle discussion, just point out that the wheel/ tire concerns are a non-issue. Most any reputable LBS will swap those out.
    They are the main issue.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  18. #18
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    I am truly thankful for all the replies and advice offered here. Thank you. Later this afternoon I am test riding some of the Kona bikes and, if I have time, will try to explore the hybrid and Trek bikes mentioned as well.
    I don't intend to be the guy with the bike with one ride in the garage. I'm looking at bike riding as a new adventure that I can incorporate into my day to day life. In fact, I'm hoping to add many years to my life by cycling my way to a level of fitness I lost after College, many many years ago.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    They are the main issue.
    Then by all means continue to dwell on wheels/ tires, despite the fact that the OP stated the LBS will swap them out.

  20. #20
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    I'm impressed with Kona's current line-up, but it's a good plan to branch out and test ride other makes/ models.

    I think at this point you're savvy enough to know what questions to ask of LBS's and what to look for in bikes.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post
    I am truly thankful for all the replies and advice offered here. Thank you. Later this afternoon I am test riding some of the Kona bikes and, if I have time, will try to explore the hybrid and Trek bikes mentioned as well.
    I don't intend to be the guy with the bike with one ride in the garage. I'm looking at bike riding as a new adventure that I can incorporate into my day to day life. In fact, I'm hoping to add many years to my life by cycling my way to a level of fitness I lost after College, many many years ago.
    Cool. Good luck. I have a bike that's very similar to the Kona you linked to and it's just an awesome bike to have. Big tires I hit trail, medium tires for gravel roads, then skinny tires for road races. It's like the swiss army knife of bikes.
    Don't force it though......if it doesn't feel right and you think you need something less racy (which is a definite possibility) go with that.

  22. #22
    Shuffleman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post
    I am truly thankful for all the replies and advice offered here. Thank you. Later this afternoon I am test riding some of the Kona bikes and, if I have time, will try to explore the hybrid and Trek bikes mentioned as well.
    I don't intend to be the guy with the bike with one ride in the garage. I'm looking at bike riding as a new adventure that I can incorporate into my day to day life. In fact, I'm hoping to add many years to my life by cycling my way to a level of fitness I lost after College, many many years ago.
    If you were to address the wheels/tires the Roadhouse is a nice bike. I just bought a Kona Honky Tonk frame. I saw the Roadhouse at the shop where I got mine. They are really nice bikes.If the carbon fork is an issue check out the Honky Tonk, it comes with a steel fork. I am not sure what size tires it will take though. I remember hearing up to 30 but I could be wrong. I only put 25's on it so I was not concerned.
    Regardless of which bike you purchase, I think that it is great that you have decided to start riding to lose weight and have fun. Keep us posted on your progress.

  23. #23
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    I spent Saturday visiting some local LBS but did not end up purchasing a bike yet. A problem I encountered was lack of inventory in my size. I don't blame the shops for not carrying the largest frame sizes as they focus on more popular fits. But test riding a bike that is too small is hard for me to make a decision from. In the meantime, today I did something that may be considered dumb but left me with a smile on my face.
    As I mentioned before, I have a gifted Giant Defy now. However, due to my weight I've been reluctant to try and ride it. Well, this morning I desperately wanted to ride so I took the Giant out for a short spin. It is a size XL. I don't know how that translates into cm but the fit felt more comfortable than the 56cm and 58cm bikes I tried yesterday. I started pedaling with the intent to just ride around the block a couple times. But the breeze on my face, the movement of gliding along in the sunshine was too nice to stop so soon. I ended up riding on a paved bike path for about 2 miles before I returned home. My butt was very sore from the small seat, but it was worth it! As I stepped off the bike, I realized it was my first bike ride since I was a teenager on my Schwinn Pea Shooter back in 1972! I can't describe how happy this short ride made me feel. I imagine most of you who are nice enough to read my post know what I mean.
    I will still purchase a steel bike in the next week or so to knock off these way too many pounds. I know riding the Giant wasn't smart, but it was so much fun!

  24. #24
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    Great story, and the beginning of an even greater one.

    Are the bike shops going to get bikes in your size to try?

  25. #25
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    Any good bike shop will bring in a bike in your size to try without a commitment to buy. Keep looking untill you find what you want.

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk

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