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I'm pretty heavy (~150kg/330lbs) but being fond of cycling in the past, I decided to buy a bike, and maybe try to lose a few kilos with it. I didn't have too much time for looking around, so I bought a used (but in excellent shape) Scott Aspect 20 from some guy living close by.

Now I'm wondering if the tires/wheels can hold me, and what pressure should I pump the tires to.

The rims are Alex TD17 32H and the tires are Schwalbe Hurricane 26x2.0 (2.5-5.0 bar). I'm planning to ride within the city (so mostly paved surfaces, maybe a few unpaved sections here and there).

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    You're right that bikes do have weight limits. Have you checked Scott's site? Might be worth trying to find your bike on there, making sure the wheels you state are the wheels it shipped with, and seeing if you can find the weight limits. If your wheels aren't the "factory" wheels, worth chasing them instead since its really the wheels that have limits. – PeteH Mar 29 '14 at 16:06
  • On a bike the wheels and fork are the weakest bits. Frame can handle this no problem. Get stainless spokes / more spokes, more durable rims, and when going downhill brake not abruptly as you might break the crown of your fork. You want to run higher psi in tires and fork. – Jerryno Aug 3 '15 at 15:41
  • you should start jogging or swimming first (or any other sport where your weight doesn't directly effect the integrity of the exercise equipment) for a while so that once you lose enough weight you can then start riding the bike – maxwell Aug 3 '15 at 22:09
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    So this question is 2 years old now. Want to post a followup and tell us how its gone ? – Criggie Jul 13 '16 at 11:39
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Offhand, that bike looks pretty good for your needs, aside from the front suspension and the 32H wheels. The tires are good and wide, and if you keep them well inflated (above 4 bar) they should handle your weight OK.

The front shock has lockout, so if it sags too much you can just keep it locked most of the time. Of course, you will be stressing the wheels and tires, in particular, beyond what's "normal", so you may experience broken spokes and the like. But since you won't be going offroad and probably won't jump too many curbs, you shouldn't do too badly.

You may find the seat not to your liking, but give it a try, and then shop around for something that looks better.

It's not a bike that will last 20 years with a 300lb rider, but you can probably get 2-3 years out of it, by which time you will be down to 80 kg and in the market for a carbon racer.

  • Thanks Daniel, your comment is encouraging. I don't plan to do any off-road or wild rides with it, so i hope it can hold Ok at least for this season.. in my experience, i can drop about 20kg/3mts with a good diet and reg. exercise so i'll be closer to weight specs. Saddle def. needs changing.. my but hurt for a day after only an hour ride. ------- off-topic, it seems i can only take one answer as accepted, but i appreciate both equally, so thanks guys and happy rides. – user10730 Mar 29 '14 at 22:27
  • @user10730 - Re the "butt burn", a little secret is that much of that is due to the hairs down there getting pulled out by the roots from friction. Eventually they're all gone (this is what really "toughens" your butt), but you can sidestep the issue a bit by (carefully!) shaving the area. – Daniel R Hicks Mar 29 '14 at 22:55
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According to the people at Scott, the general weight limit for a rider is 110 kg. You are significantly above this, so the manufacturer doesn't necessarily support you on that. The wheels durability depends a lot on who built them and how well they were built and if they have taken any damage.

You are in a YMMV (and at your own risk) range by sticking with that bike and wheelset (I'd probably go for more spokes), but you may want to go to a bike shop and get the bike tuned up to make sure the wheels are in good condition and what not, and hope for the best (and do repairs as spokes break and what not, if they do). It helps if you don't ride like a hooligan as well (like not dropping off curbs and what not). I think this is a good article.

Trek specifies the max rider weight on most of their bikes to be around 300 lbs, which is probably closer to more comfortable than that.

Finally, fit is arguably more important for big riders than small riders.

The realistic thing to do (all at your own risk of course) is get the bike checked out to make sure its in good condition, and ride and replace things as they break. Avoid road hazards and be careful. Many bigger riders exceed their quoted weight limits on their bikes, but the factor is usually not around 35-40%. You may also want to look at some bike forums for big riders riding similar bikes.

Some other things to consider are recumbent bikes/trikes. These may be a bit more comfortable as well. There are also some manufacturers which build heavier rider-oriented bicycles (e.g. Worksman Cycles, which coincidentally today I found is the oldest bicycle manufacturer in the US, stocks things which can take up to quoted 500 pounds [though, your bike shop probably knows some bikes which have worked for heavy riders in your area]).

  • Good answer @Batman, +1, you put some research into this that I wasn't prepared to do (hence my comment to the OP). Worth noting also that a telltale sign of "rider too heavy" will be broken spokes, especially at the rear - although that doesn't preclude other (worse) things from happening. – PeteH Mar 29 '14 at 17:40
  • Well, the failure modes in decreasing likelihood are probably broken spokes, rim damage or taco'd wheel, frame failure probably in the seatpost area (since heavier riders are less effective at unweighting). This thing also has a fork which will probably bob with a 150kg rider. I thought of a few things at lunch which I think I'll update the answer with. – Batman Mar 29 '14 at 18:26
  • Thanks on the info Batman. Damn, wish I had posted this a few days ago.. can't believe those weight limits are that low. Had a no-name Chinese crap "full suspension" MTB some 12+ years ago (ofc, i was a bit lighter then, ~120kg) hold up just fine for nearly a decade (exept for the suspension which kinda sucked since start) As far as this bike goes, seller told me he changed only the tires, factory were more for off-road. I've heard about Worksman but haven't seen anyone sell them around here (SE Europe) – user10730 Mar 29 '14 at 22:12
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I'm 345lbs, 5'10", 32in inseam (hence why I need a bike, walking on these knees ain't gonna happen, lol). I did research and went with a Specialized Sirrus Elite Alloy which is rated at 300lbs. I keep the air near the 95psi limit and ride only on the streets. No issues after a year so far. It's had one full checkup & adjustment and all was well. Just mentioning this for readers my size that are looking around. The Specialized Rockhopper MTB w/29" wheels is also a good choice and rated 300lbs. If you are big like me, carbon frame is OUT, you need aluminum.

  • Welcome to the site! Another point about carbon is that, the heavier the rider is, the less gain you get from a lighter bike. With, say, a 150lb rider, saving a pound from the bike is about 0.6% of the total weight (which still isn't much); with a 350lb rider, it's only about a quarter of a percent so paying top dollar to shave a few pounds off the bike wouldn't gain much at all. – David Richerby Oct 16 '18 at 7:42
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I ride at 275lbs (125 kg) and haven't had problems with good quality older steel frame so called 10 speeds. I upgrade the old freewheel systems to the newer cassette systems. Even at 185lbs (84 kg) I used to bend rear freewheel axles. Cassette hub design does away with that problem.

I break a rear sprocket side spoke every 2 to 3 years using 14 gauge stainless spokes.

The gentleman commenting about buying a lighter bicycle not providing the performance gain you wanted is in my experience true. In the 1970's I rode in the Davis, CA, Double Century one day ride and there was a guy riding a stock Schwinn Varsity who rode the ride up near the front all the way to the end. His bike was 10 to 15lbs (4-7 kg) heavier than all the race bikes and I don't recall him wearing cleated shoes either.

Wheels should be made with 36 spoke rims and hubs with 13/14 gauge spokes. If they break consider 12 gauge spokes or 40/48 hole hubs. Rims for 40/48 holes are much harder to come by and selection is very limited. Electric bicycle shops deal with 12 gauge spokes and they are not hard to get. 12 gauge spokes do necessitate drilling hub and rim holes a small amount bigger. I've done this in the past and had good results. Be mindful of your front fork when ploughing into potholes and other obstacles. Be careful with the front brake so as not to bend the fork back. Older all steel chromoly MTB's with non suspension steel forks are great frames for heavier riders. Good luck

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