Rider weight on carbon

Mr&MrsSmith Posts: 5
edited February 2014 in Road buying advice
A mate is looking at getting a decent Italian carbon racer after receiving an inheritance payment. He's pretty heavy. I'm sure he must be close on twice my weight so around 140kg give or take on a 6' 5" frame. Using standard wheels do I need to be putting him off from a safety POV?

Bianchi Infinito CV
Colnago CLX 3.0


  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    I can't find the manufacturer's recommended weight limit for the frames, but he's more likely to have issues with the wheels. At that size he'll tear through the stock ones. Needs 36h handbuilts.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • The weight limits are usually on wheels and carbon components such as bars etc rather than frames themselves - but - he would be crazy to buy anything without finding out exactly what weight limits there are on the complete bikes. Check the manufactures sites or email them directly - don't buy anything until you get a clear written reply showing that he is under the weight limit for the part of the bike that has the lowest weight limit. If they don't reply or won't be clear move on to the next manufacturer.

    If he buys something he is heavier than the weight limit for:

    Worst case scenario it breaks and he ends up dead ,
    Best case scenario it breaks, he stays alive, but gets no compensation or warranty cause he was too heavy for what he bought... :shock:

    Ok outside possibility for Best Case ... :

    He buys it rides it for ever, loves it and never has any problems :D

    Call me a pessimist but I know what I think is most probable :!:

    If you find he as to buy a bike sell bits such as wheel or lightweight bars etc keeps the frame to build it up with separate components and handbuilt wheels so what ... ?

    FWIW _ I know Specialized have no weight limits on any of their frames - only have limits on some carbon components - so it's easy to get a complete bike off the shelf that he will be within the limits on. Buy from a Spesh dealer tell them exactly what you weigh and escape any future worries - that's what I did at well over 100kg and since I've been using handbuilt wheels it's been a pleasure.

    PS- Just seen Grills post and he's spot on. The main reason my initial experience was not a pleasure was cause I destroyed the OEM wheels and several warranty replacements in no time. Eventually sold the last warranty replacement set I got when still new and got a set of handbuilts from Harry Rowland - 5-6k miles later no problems at all.
  • Tell 'your mate' to loose some wait
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    Tell 'your mate' to loose some wait

    5 out of 7 ain't bad... :P
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • W12_Lad
    W12_Lad Posts: 184
    Grill wrote:
    Tell 'your mate' to loose some wait

    5 out of 7 ain't bad... :P

  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Wheels will be the problem and so will narrow tyres. At 140kg the pressures needed in 23mm tyres will exceed the safe limit or run 110 psi and be under the required pressure for the riders weight. At that weight I would ignore racing frames and get something with clearance for 30mm+ tyres that will mean a more touring orientated frame. It may not be what he wants but your mate will be get better service from this sort of bike.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • kajjal
    kajjal Posts: 3,380
    You need to be sure of his weight and not guess it is about twice yours !

    140kg is the best part of 310lbs. Road bikes top out at 275lbs and even mountain bikes top out at 300lbs. Above that you are beyond the warranty but it is likely within the safety limit bike retailers build into their bikes max weight limits for hard tail mountain bikes.

    Probably best to just eat less for a while and do some light exercise to get some weight off first.
  • Titanium might be an avenue you could research, probably stronger than steel and a more forgiving material comfort wise.
  • patrickf
    patrickf Posts: 536
    Sounds like thecycleclinic has some good advice. Perhaps buy a suitable bike now and save the rest of the money for when the weight comes down. Then he can treat himself to a carbon road bike.
  • At that weight, should he not start with a touring/hybrid bicycle and then move to a road bike when he gets closer to 100? It's a lot of weight and a road bike can be pretty uncomfortable
    left the forum March 2023
  • I am surprised no one has mentioned that he should head to a Local Bike Shop and talk to them. They should know weight limits, be able to offer advice, and there will be no doubt about the purpose for which a bike is being sold.

    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • northpole
    northpole Posts: 1,499
    Tell 'your mate' to loose some wait

    I'm still waiting for the weight punch line.....

  • northpole
    northpole Posts: 1,499
    As others have suggested, the most sensible route forward would be with a touring (possibly hybrid) bike with robust wheels. If it were me I would try and get a second hand bike, with the intention of (i) ascertaining if biking was for me; (ii) lose weight to allow replacement with a decent road bike if/ when the weight comes down. Assuming both are achieved/ confirmed, he won't lose a shed load of ££ in depreciation on the 'temporary' bike.

  • Skip the off the peg options and just go full custom, it'll probably work out cheaper. Particularly given the requirements for stiffness for guys of his weight.