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Too big for carbon?

sah682sah682 Posts: 33
edited January 2014 in Road buying advice
Hello all,

I am after a bit of advice on a new bike purchase.

I currently riding a Specialized Allez 16 2012. Cost me £500 new and has some miles on ( approx 5000). Along the way I have put a full 105 groupset on and there are some Ultegra 6700 wheels due for delivery via Santa post on the 25th. I will be looking to cover around 3000 + miles next year and complete 4 or 5 sportives with entries already done for the KTG Mercia and Etape Cymru.

Summer 2014 will see a new bike budget around the £2500 ish mark and I currently have my eye on the below -

http://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3295

http://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3243

Question is at 6 ft 4 and weighing in at 16st 11 (106 kg) at present aiming to be down to max 16st (100 kg) by April, am I too big for a carbon frame and should be looking to buy aluminum? May sound a silly question but will a carbon frame be strong enough for a fat lad.

I would also be interested in people's experience as taller riders and if there is certain brands that suit the bigger rider better.

Thanks

Steve
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Posts

  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    The frame will cope but the wheels, well you are getting aways with your current wheelset so you may getaway with the new ones too. Time will tell though, I hope you get away with it for a long time. The frame though will not be an issue.

    The question you should be asking does the frame suit your propertions. Total effective top tube length is the one to get right above all other dimesnions.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • I'm 6ft and 94kgs. I ride a Cannondale Supersix Evo (56) or a Pinrello Dogma 60.1 (54). I've ridden 9,000kms this year. I mix and match wheels according to where I'm riding and my mood. I have had no trouble pairing the following wheel sets to my bikes:

    Campagnolo Bora One
    Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR's
    Fulcrum Racing Zero

    The Evo - Mavic combo has a limit of approximately 120kgs . . . but no problems for me. The Boras have never missed a beat in 2 years. The Fulcrums are bullet proof and most LBS near me recommend them for big riders (I'm told by other big guys that the Racing 5's have the right combo of price and strength) . I have a 6'4" friend who also rides an Evo. He was concerned about weight limits when he first changed from Specialized Allez (coincidence?) to an Evo so had a heavy duty wheel set made for him that still came in at 1500g's with extra spoke count etc. He's now under 90kgs (down from 105'ish), so its no longer a problem for him. He has had some problems with his headset which he had to keep tightening. The dealer suggested that big guys of his height really put a lots of pressure on the setup due to arm leverage . . . kind of made sense to me???? He substituted out the Cannondale Evo SI Expanding Compression Wedge/Top Cap for an FSA unit with a bigger compression wedge surface area and has had no problems since.

    The only wheels I ever had problems with were Easton EA 90 SLX's (2012). The spokes kept breaking. I had them fixed under warranty and eventually gave them to my sister-in-law (60kg) and she also had some failures until they were completely rebuilt. The Eastons were originally meant to be an upmarket training wheel, but clearly just because they're aluminium doesn't mean they will do the job any better for a heavy rider.

    I hope this helps. :)
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    edited December 2013
    I bought a 2nd hand 2002 Spesh S-Works alu frame and it was absolutely great until some numpty in a car hit me and I didn't really trust it again. If I could get my 2002 S-Works back right now, I'd jump at it. By all means get a carbon frame but I don't think you'd be missing out if you got a good alu frame if that was a better choice to suit your weight. I believe the trick in getting the most out of your cycling and enjoying it is to strive in getting fitter.....it really isn't about the bike at all.

    I'd also suggest getting a set of wheel which are more suited to your weight; functional and not solely based on looks. If you find you are in the position of going through spokes, the hassle of replacing them will be a turn off and take the gloss of the cycling.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Carbon is stronger than aluminium so there is no need to ask that question.
    I guess an individual frame could have a weight limit but that would be because of how it is made, not what it is made from.

    Please ignore anyone that comes along telling you to lose weight rather than buy a carbon bike :wink:
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    Carbonator wrote:
    Carbon is stronger than aluminium so there is no need to ask that question.
    I guess an individual frame could have a weight limit but that would be because of how it is made, not what it is made from.

    Please ignore anyone that comes along telling you to lose weight rather than buy a carbon bike :wink:
    Is it a given that carbon is stronger than aluminium? Is the strength of a carbon frame not also dependent on the weave, design and bonding of the carbon so each frame model has to be taken on its own merit?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Top_Bhoy wrote:
    Carbonator wrote:
    Carbon is stronger than aluminium so there is no need to ask that question.
    I guess an individual frame could have a weight limit but that would be because of how it is made, not what it is made from.

    Please ignore anyone that comes along telling you to lose weight rather than buy a carbon bike :wink:
    Is it a given that carbon is stronger than aluminium? Is the strength of a carbon frame not also dependent on the weave, design and bonding of the carbon so each frame model has to be taken on its own merit?

    Did you read the text that you quoted?

    In reality I would say that any carbon bike the OP is looking at is stronger than any aluminium one he is looking at, and even if not both will hold him up fine.

    What are 100kg+ people going to do when all road bikes are carbon?

    It sometimes seems as though people that have aluminium bikes are trying to dissuade anyone from buying a carbon one lol.
    The really funny thing is that they say stuff like 'I think it might be nearly as good as a carbon frame'.

    How many shops even have a £2500 ish aluminium framed bike for the OP to buy?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Carbonator wrote:

    How many shops even have a £2500 ish aluminium framed bike for the OP to buy?

    Had a quick look on a couple of sites where I know you can filter frame material.
    wiggle goes up to £1700.
    Evans seem to have a few but when you look at it there is only really one that gets near the criteria.
    The £2500 GranFondo GFO (should be GFO2) is a cyclocross bike, the cannondale is 2011, and the S Works is way over budget.

    Even the one that nearly meets the criteria is a sale 2013 bike that is still seriously stretching the 'ish' of the OP'S £2500'ish budget
  • poppitpoppit Posts: 926
    I'm 6ft 2 and 104kg, tried a few bikes but decided on the Merckx EMX-3 with Fulcrum 5 wheels. It's a strong and stiff frame built for someone like Eddy and the Belgian cobbles, everything's been really good so far. I also looked at the Ridley Fenix as it seems to have been built along the same lines.
    Eddy Merckx EMX-3
    Dolan L'Etape
    Cougar Zero Uno
    Genesis Core 50
    Planet X TOR
  • gimplgimpl Posts: 269
    I'm 6'4" and used to weigh 18 stone - now down to 15.5 thanks to cycling.

    I have a composite Giant Defy 1 - bought at 17 stone, which is absolutely amazing and a very comfortable ride even on 100+ milers. Within weeks of me getting mine two mates of mine bought one too. At your price point you could easily get the Advanced frame which I believe is even stronger and you may get di2 as well.
  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,424
    Carbonator wrote:
    Top_Bhoy wrote:
    Carbonator wrote:
    Carbon is stronger than aluminium so there is no need to ask that question.
    I guess an individual frame could have a weight limit but that would be because of how it is made, not what it is made from.

    Please ignore anyone that comes along telling you to lose weight rather than buy a carbon bike :wink:
    Is it a given that carbon is stronger than aluminium? Is the strength of a carbon frame not also dependent on the weave, design and bonding of the carbon so each frame model has to be taken on its own merit?

    Did you read the text that you quoted?

    In reality I would say that any carbon bike the OP is looking at is stronger than any aluminium one he is looking at, and even if not both will hold him up fine.

    What are 100kg+ people going to do when all road bikes are carbon?

    It sometimes seems as though people that have aluminium bikes are trying to dissuade anyone from buying a carbon one lol.
    The really funny thing is that they say stuff like 'I think it might be nearly as good as a carbon frame'.

    How many shops even have a £2500 ish aluminium framed bike for the OP to buy?

    Your second line wholly contradicts your opening line. Have you not got splinters from sitting on the fence? :D

    Your putting a context to my words which weren't even hinted at. At no time did I try to dissuade from carbon.....only to consider other alternatives which may be as or better suited. Big difference.

    The cost of an alu bike will have came down in price now but around 2004 the S-Works E5 frame alone was selling for near a grand. It was at the top of its class then and it would be an absolutely fantastic frame now. I'm assuming to an extent here but given the advances in technology and designs, you could probably get as good an alu frame as that (or close to it) a great deal cheaper than near a grand. Don't confuse price with quality and functionality to suit the intended purpose.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    What does price have to do with it? The OP has about £2500 and wants to know if he is too heavy for the Canyons or a similar bike.

    If an aluminium one is more suitable for him then which actual bike (and from where) would be the recommendation over the Canyons?
  • Ooooh, get the first one, the stealth bike! Even if you think you're too big for it, just get it!! It's gorgeous!

    Honestly, if looking at this bike doesn't motivate you to lose weight, then nothing will. You'll be down to racing snake dimensions in no time!

    Good grief, I'm getting excited for you... :D
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I started out on a decent Alu bike, and last year grabbed one of the CR1-SL frames Westbrooks were selling off, so now I have a carbon bike too :D The CR1 is noticeably more comfortable over broken surfaces than the Alu Racelight Tk (but I know it's not a very fair comparison)

    If I was forced to have just one bike it would be a carbon frame but with clearance / mounts for full mudguards with 25mm tyres.

    To the OP I'd say go with carbon at that price, and if you're happy with skinny tyres, tight clearances and no mudguards, the world's your lobster!
  • pastey_boypastey_boy Posts: 2,083
    The Canyons may well carry your weight but how durable will the wheels be and how much will the bike flex under you. A few years back I had a Boardman Pro Carbon which flexed like mad underneath me at 115 kg yet many lighter riders raced on them and found them to be stiff. Personally I would go for the CF SL option with the slightly more substantial wheels .
    Viner Salviati
    Shark Aero Pro
    Px Ti Custom
    Cougar 531
    Sab single speed
    Argon 18 E-112 TT
    One-one Ti 456 Evo
    Ridley Cheetah TT
    Orange Clockwork 2007 ltd ed
    Yeti ASR 5
    Cove Hummer XC Ti
  • pastey_boy wrote:
    The Canyons may well carry your weight but how durable will the wheels be and how much will the bike flex under you. A few years back I had a Boardman Pro Carbon which flexed like mad underneath me at 115 kg yet many lighter riders raced on them and found them to be stiff. Personally I would go for the CF SL option with the slightly more substantial wheels .

    Please don't give advice when you don't have a clue what you clearly don't have a clue what your talking about.
  • Question is at 6 ft 4 and weighing in at 16st 11 (106 kg) at present aiming to be down to max 16st (100 kg) by April

    First off, you're fairly heavy for road bikes, but of course that's no problem, just something to be wary of when choosing equipment.
    sah682 wrote:
    Ultegra 6700 wheels due for delivery via Santa post on the 25th

    Why why why? 16spoke front, 20spoke rear!!!!!!! They won't support your weight, they will work fine for the first few thousand miles if you're lucky, then they will break. They are not strong enough for someone of 100kg, let alone 115kg!
    I will be looking to cover around 3000 + miles next year and complete 4 or 5 sportives with entries already done for the KTG Mercia and Etape Cymru
    Summer 2014 will see a new bike budget around the £2500 ish mark and I currently have my eye on the below -
    http://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3295
    http://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3243

    I would also be interested in people's experience as taller riders and if there is certain brands that suit the bigger rider better.

    Those carbon frames are easily strong enough for you.

    However, the wheels on those bikes, forget it.... You'll break them in under 3000 miles. Believe me or not, it's up to you, I didn't believe people telling me that I'd break Kyrsium Equipes and guess what, 4000miles later, the rear rim cracked and a spoke popped out, the wheel was fit for the bin as replacements are just as expensive as buying a new wheel.... And I weigh 15.5 stone (95kg), which is currently 20kg lighter than you (not to be-little you in any way, but 20kg is a lot of extra weight considering I at 95kg broke a set of these wheels).

    You need to have 32spoke wheels, I'd advise handbuilt something like Open Pro rims are very strong, they won't break and they will last you forever (if you only do 3k a year).
    I use Open Pro's on 105 rims, they are cheap, they are strong, they are fairly light. I can tell you now being 100% honest and having now covered over 3000miles on them compared with 4000miles on the Ksyriums that I cannot tell a blind bit of difference between the two, you're not going to find hills easy being 100kg+, they never will be. Buying a super light bike isn't going to make them easy. Riding them regularly isn't either, you'll just find you'll get up them faster.

    If you do buy the superlight CF SLX in my opinion you're wasting your money, you would be better off buying something like the Ultimate AL SLX with Ultegra Di2 for £2000, then sell the wheels and buy a set of 32spoke handbuilts. It's hardly as if the AL SLX is heavy, the entire bike comes in at 7.3kg!!!! And seriously, you're not going to notice any difference between this and the lighter CF SLX at 6.7kg.

    You don't need a race bike, you're someone looking to ride sportives, you don't need carbon rims, you don't need race wheels, you don't need something with racy geometry, you need something comfortable, fast when it needs to be and reliable..... If you're dead set on carbon frame, get it, the CF SLX will be strong enough for you, just you won't notice any difference between riding it and the alu.... And you can take my word that the Ultimate AL is a very very comfortable bike.
  • pastey_boypastey_boy Posts: 2,083
    pastey_boy wrote:
    The Canyons may well carry your weight but how durable will the wheels be and how much will the bike flex under you. A few years back I had a Boardman Pro Carbon which flexed like mad underneath me at 115 kg yet many lighter riders raced on them and found them to be stiff. Personally I would go for the CF SL option with the slightly more substantial wheels .

    Please don't give advice when you don't have a clue what you clearly don't have a clue what your talking about.
    Please elaborate. I have had a go on a 2013 CF SLX with Ksyrium SLS wheels and found a lot of flex when I stamped on the pedals. I guess in your world, actual user experience counts for nothing.
    Also, before you try to come across as a super awesome know it all, it may help if you got your facts right. The OP is 11kg heavier than you not 20 as you state and please send me a link to these "105 rims" your going on about. It may help also if you read back your initial reply to me and try and make sense of it.
    Viner Salviati
    Shark Aero Pro
    Px Ti Custom
    Cougar 531
    Sab single speed
    Argon 18 E-112 TT
    One-one Ti 456 Evo
    Ridley Cheetah TT
    Orange Clockwork 2007 ltd ed
    Yeti ASR 5
    Cove Hummer XC Ti
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Bicycle failures happen most frequently in the wheels, the fork and the seatpost. Frame failures are quite rare and usually attributed to manufactuting flaw rather than the weight of the rider.
    You might be advised to steer clear of very high end, ultralight frames which cut material to the min. Std factory, midrange frames from respected brands are all strong enough for the US market, where you would not be considered heavy.

    Cannondale used to have a rep as a big-guy's bike (they even made jumbo size) but they now look the same as everyone elses.
  • LegendLustLegendLust Posts: 1,022
    What's making the OP opt for carbon?

    Why not go for a Titanium bike (Genesis Equilibrium for example or the Kinesis Gran Fondo Ti) or even steel?

    Lets' face it, at 100kg in a hilly Sportive, the OP is going to be in the saddle a long time. A lighter frame aint gonna make that much difference - so opt for a comfortable frame. The Genesis can be had for £1800 http://www.tweekscycles.com/Product.do? ... tAod33YA8Q

    Which means you have some money left to get some handbuilt wheels made specifically for your weight and power.
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    before this descends onto everyone pitching every material know to man as a p!ssing contest to answer the question so many have failed to even entertain. YES a Canyon will hold your weight. Carbon or Aluminium both are great bikrs worth taking a look at. Wheels are something you should be more wary of at your weight. these will have problems if too light. hand built with more spokes would make a difference. All modern frames are stress tested to weights and impacts far greater than you sitting on it.
  • pastey_boy wrote:
    Please elaborate. I have had a go on a 2013 CF SLX with Ksyrium SLS wheels and found a lot of flex when I stamped on the pedals. I guess in your world, actual user experience counts for nothing.
    Also, before you try to come across as a super awesome know it all, it may help if you got your facts right. The OP is 11kg heavier than you not 20 as you state and please send me a link to these "105 rims" your going on about. It may help also if you read back your initial reply to me and try and make sense of it.

    My mistake, I thought I'd posted that on a completely different thread....

    However, to reply to "105 rims", it's "Mavic Open Pro Rims" and "105 hubs". Not the lightest wheels around, but dependable; far stronger than the lightweight options, and a lot cheaper too.... For a bigger rider, the tiny amount of extra weight (we're talking a few hundred grams at the most) isn't going to make a blind bit of difference; I've not noticed.

    Open Pro's / 105 wheels weigh in about 1.8kg, cost £200 (check merlin - or find a wheel builder)

    Krysium Equipe S weigh in about 1.6kg, cost £350 (made from cheese if you're 90kg+)
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Slightly off piste but I agree with the comments about the folly of someone weighing 115kg and going for 16/20 spoke factory wheels. Now, back to the slanging match about frames...
  • If it helps i know a guy whos 6ft 3 and weighs nearly 24 stone riding a carbon fiber bike, with Easton wheelset, not had a problem with either of them in over a year and now weighs 21 stone. Doubt you will have a problem with most decent bike brands.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Note to self............ Do not buy a set of used Easton wheels from Essex.
  • sah682sah682 Posts: 33
    Thanks for all the reply's

    In short a carbon frame should be fine but the wheels that the bike comes with may not last that long.

    I am not dead set on a carbon frame just starting to look at what my bike options are and wanted to confirm that I didn't need to rule carbon frames out of the search.

    I'm not looking at a carbon frame because I think it will give me massive performance gains and make me lots quicker. If I wanted big gains quickly I would be on google looking for Spanish doctors :wink:

    Thanks

    Steve
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    At 100kg you just need to be careful about the wheels and brakes. Most road bikers are fairly light and not as strong as someone of around 100kg. This means you will put the wheels under more strain and potentially they will wear out faster especially if you ride hard on rough roads. The open pro's suggested would be fine with the higher spoke count rims as would most wheels with higher spoke counts. The carbon frames are normally rated to around 275lbs if you checkout manufacturers websites.

    Also check the brakes out at speed and ideally in the wet. Rim brakes will stop a 100kg rider easily enough but not that quickly if not setup properly. The tektro brakes on my bike were appalling and the 105's that replaced them were a lot better in the dry. In the wet they were very poor until I put on some swisstop green pads and now they are OK in the wet not great but perfectly rideable.

    The most important part is the bike fits well and is setup properly for the type of riding you do. Good luck :)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    sah682 wrote:

    I'm not looking at a carbon frame because I think it will give me massive performance gains and make me lots quicker

    Quite right, it will not give you massive performance gains, it will give you only marginal performance gains and that may not be enough to justify the extra cost but ................

    ............. not having pig ugly welds and/or filled/sanded welds (which are even worse IMO) is priceless :P

    Last three bikes that came into our garage have been aluminium, and they will be the last (unless I find a Cannondale six 13 alu/carbon Borg jobbie)!
  • Hey OP, I apologize for all the silly fighting by people above, some of whom don't really know what they're talking about.

    Carbon or Alu or Ti will be fine for you, you're not that heavy. And no material is "better" for larger riders. Design matters more.

    For wheels, get something with more spokes (32 ideally), but Open Pros would not be my first choice, they're narrow - you need a wider rim for good tyre support - check out the Race 23 or Race 24 from Wheelsmith in Scotland. I think you can get a pair for £400. Forget fancy spokes like aero or butted, just get straight gauge spokes (they're cheaper too).

    Please promise us you'll ride the bike a lot, you've caused quite a stir :)
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • sah682 wrote:

    I'm not looking at a carbon frame because I think it will give me massive performance gains and make me lots quicker. If I wanted big gains quickly I would be on google looking for Spanish doctors :wink:

    sah682 if it is fast gains PM me i know a guy from the Chester, and although i don't condone the use, the last few times i have used his help i have placed or won.

    also 100kg is nothing as long as you power to weight and a good set of breaks. most people just over complicate things and talk rubbish.

    happy riding
  • but Open Pros would not be my first choice, they're narrow - you need a wider rim for good tyre support

    :? good tyre support!? What are you chatting about!?

    ...If you did manage to brake a Mavic Open Pro rim (which would take some doing), it's all of £20 for a new one, plus the cost (say another £20,£30) to get it rebuilt, it's really a no brainier for heavy riders, hence why I use them.
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