About bike shops for big people?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
random37
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Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 4:41pm

About bike shops for big people?

Postby random37 » 15 Jun 2019, 6:31pm

Hi

I've noticed in the past week two posts from people who are overweight but want to get out cycling.
I don't feel much of the advice has been helpful, but that is by the by.
It's made me think seriously that there may be a gap in the market for people who want to buy a bike but aren't being served by the cycling industry.
Does anyone know of companies that offer bikes specifically for big/heavy people?
Specifically, I can think of https://zizebikes.com/ but they're in the US and prohibitively expensive to move over here.
Is there any sort of company making anything similar in the UK/Europe?

brynpoeth
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby brynpoeth » 15 Jun 2019, 6:46pm

There could be an opportunity but there are relatively few people over say 190 cm, 120 kg, many of those would not be willing to pay more than smaller people. Many can manage with robust standard wheels, long seat posts etc

I am quite glad to be about average height + weight
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irc
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby irc » 15 Jun 2019, 6:48pm

Probably too small a market. The Surly Long Haul Trucker has a max rider weight of 300 pounds or 136kg. The number of cyclists heavier than that must be tiny Too small for a viable market?

pwa
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby pwa » 15 Jun 2019, 6:55pm

It occurs to me that as Thorn Cycles make tandems for the weight of two adults plus baggage, they should be able to make a solo bike for one heavy adult using the same wheels. If it were me, I'd ask them.

They happily supplied me and the Missus with a tandem that carries my weight (14 stone?) plus that of my better half (8.5 stone) plus 4 full panniers, with 26 inch wheels that have 32 spokes each (36 would be possible) and a Rohloff internal gear hub. Unless their solo frames and forks are substantially weaker I would expect them to be able to put together something strong enough for a very heavy rider, though not in a wallet-friendly way.

reohn2
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby reohn2 » 15 Jun 2019, 7:13pm

irc wrote:Probably too small a market. The Surly Long Haul Trucker has a max rider weight of 300 pounds or 136kg. The number of cyclists heavier than that must be tiny Too small for a viable market?


I agree,the market isn't large enough to sustain such a business.
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Mike_Ayling
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby Mike_Ayling » 15 Jun 2019, 10:23pm

pwa wrote:It occurs to me that as Thorn Cycles make tandems for the weight of two adults plus baggage, they should be able to make a solo bike for one heavy adult using the same wheels. If it were me, I'd ask them.

They happily supplied me and the Missus with a tandem that carries my weight (14 stone?) plus that of my better half (8.5 stone) plus 4 full panniers, with 26 inch wheels that have 32 spokes each (36 would be possible) and a Rohloff internal gear hub. Unless their solo frames and forks are substantially weaker I would expect them to be able to put together something strong enough for a very heavy rider, though not in a wallet-friendly way.


As a Thorn owner I agree that one of their singles would do the job easily but they are not cheap/

Mike

thirdcrank
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Jun 2019, 10:28pm

What about Evans? (Sorry, this is canteen humour and so, inevitably in poor taste. :oops: )

reohn2
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby reohn2 » 15 Jun 2019, 10:37pm

thirdcrank wrote:What about Evans? (Sorry, this is canteen humour and so, inevitably in poor taste. :oops: )

He said he'd be gone for some time......
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gbnz
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby gbnz » 16 Jun 2019, 7:32am

reohn2 wrote:
I agree,the market isn't large enough to sustain such a business.


True, but surely it'll get bigger and bigger? (NB. Can't help but think of the increasing size of huge 4/4's on the road, with an invariably bigger and bigger driver sitting behind the wheel)

thirdcrank
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby thirdcrank » 16 Jun 2019, 7:43am

gbnz wrote: ... True, but surely it'll get bigger and bigger? (NB. Can't help but think of the increasing size of huge 4/4's on the road, with an invariably bigger and bigger driver sitting behind the wheel)


Unlike the car trade, the more successful a bike business is selling bikes to those built for comfort rather than speed, the more it would tend to diminish it's consumer base by converting them into racing snakes. (That's the theory, but observation says it ain't necessarily so, eg my own case :oops: )

francovendee
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby francovendee » 16 Jun 2019, 8:02am

reohn2 wrote:
irc wrote:Probably too small a market. The Surly Long Haul Trucker has a max rider weight of 300 pounds or 136kg. The number of cyclists heavier than that must be tiny Too small for a viable market?


I agree,the market isn't large enough to sustain such a business.


That's something that may change in time with the upward trend in the numbers of over weight people. I sincerely hope this trend stops and we see less very large people about. It would be good for everyone but mostly those who carry lots of surplus weight.

pwa
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby pwa » 16 Jun 2019, 8:12am

In the meantime if you are very heavy and you want a bike that is likely to take your weight, you probably have to pay more than you would otherwise. A Thorn with a Rohloff hub would probably cope pretty well if the individual elements are chosen carefully. Even the saddle would need consideration. But you would be having to think of a budget of something like £2k or more. Not cheap.

Having once been involved in the purchase of a trike for a disabled person, I know that having minority requirements costs a lot.

Mike Sales
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby Mike Sales » 16 Jun 2019, 8:57am

thirdcrank wrote:Unlike the car trade, the more successful a bike business is selling bikes to those built for comfort rather than speed, the more it would tend to diminish it's consumer base by converting them into racing snakes. (That's the theory, but observation says it ain't necessarily so, eg my own case :oops: )


That occurred to me, but maybe the analogy is with gyms and slimming businesses. These show no signs of putting themselves out of business.

random37
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby random37 » 16 Jun 2019, 10:31am

francovendee wrote:That's something that may change in time with the upward trend in the numbers of over weight people. I sincerely hope this trend stops and we see less very large people about. It would be good for everyone but mostly those who carry lots of surplus weight.

We've had two posts on this forum in the space of a week who have specifically asked about bikes for overweight people. I don't see that trend changing.
Something needs to be done to help these people, and it's obvious that most shops don't have relevant knowledge or even the correct attitude.
thirdcrank wrote:Unlike the car trade, the more successful a bike business is selling bikes to those built for comfort rather than speed, the more it would tend to diminish it's consumer base by converting them into racing snakes. (That's the theory, but observation says it ain't necessarily so, eg my own case :oops: )

I don't know if that's the case. The modern cycling industry is predicated on getting people to do constant upgrades, and buy extra accessories. It doesn't care if you actually ride the bikes or not; if I was more cynical I would suspect many bikes that are sold today are not really expected to be used. It strikes me that you could have a shop that encouraged a healthy, active lifestyle and a supportive environment. It's obvious from some of the jokes in this thread that they aren't going to get this from their local cycling club.
Mike_Ayling wrote: Maybe the analogy is with gyms and slimming businesses. These show no signs of putting themselves out of business.

Exactly! People want to lose weight, but with cycling it seems that for some people the task is too complicated to start. The cycling industry has advice on people training to do 100 mile rides, but little on people who want to get to the shops, or ride to the park for an ice cream with their kids.
I wonder if you could be accepted for GP referrals?
pwa wrote:A Thorn with a Rohloff hub would probably cope pretty well if the individual elements are chosen carefully. Even the saddle would need consideration. But you would be having to think of a budget of something like £2k or more. Not cheap.

Actually, Thorn Rolhoff models are all rated at 100KG maximum for rider and bike apart from the Sherpa.
I think you could have a much less sophisticated machine. Weight would not be an issue, nor would lots of gears or a frame made of esoteric materials. Those are the domain of bike nerds like us. You have to be REALLY big before you need to look at a special frame. And there is no need for gears if you stop to push up hills, as countless old CTC films from when most bikes had Sturmey hubs show. Really unfit people aren't able to ride up steep or even moderate hills with any gear, no matter how low.
I think I might get into the shed.

gbnz
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby gbnz » 16 Jun 2019, 10:49am

thirdcrank wrote:
gbnz wrote: ... True, but surely it'll get bigger and bigger? (NB. Can't help but think of the increasing size of huge 4/4's on the road, with an invariably bigger and bigger driver sitting behind the wheel)


Unlike the car trade, the more successful a bike business is selling bikes to those built for comfort rather than speed, the more it would tend to diminish it's consumer base by converting them into racing snakes. (That's the theory, but observation says it ain't necessarily so, eg my own case :oops: )


True, I hadn't thought of that :oops: . And have to admit to following a two week bakery product eating binge, I've set a target to drop a couple of hundred grams by the 30 June - diet starting tomorrow, NOT today :D