I would like to get back into cycling again, however over the last couple of years I have piled a few needless pounds on. I currently weight 178kg (392 lbs), would a standard bike frame withstand my weight? I'm hoping to loose substantial weight hopefully by cycling each day as I've never been much of a runner. But do I need to loose this weight before I start cycling. I had been looking at the Carrera Vengeance Mens Mountain Bike 2015 - 22".

  • 2
    Define "standard". Each bike will be rated to a different weight, which will depend on several factors. As you appear to have a specific bike in mind, your best bet would be to contact either the shop or the manufacturer.
    – PeteH
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 9:23
  • The shop that sells this model just basically states their bikes are recommended to 18 stone (to which I'm 25). By standard I meant normal frame not dual suspension etc. But that's all their adult bikes so I'm guessing some are more some are less
    – Bert 85
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 9:43
  • So this is a mountain bike with a max rating of 18 stone. As a MTB, it's expected to be used for MTB trails, meaning the occasional jump and heavy downhill. These put a lot more stress on the bike than simple riding, so if you avoid the rough stuff it should be fine. But we really cannot know for sure.
    – andy256
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 11:24
  • 1
    Plus don't forget that there are various things you can do to strengthen the bike, such as swapping out the factory wheels for something sturdier. But as you'd expect this adds cost. If you do think along the lines of customising the bike, again an LBS is the way to go - there's no substitute for bespoke advice.
    – PeteH
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 11:35
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    The only real limit for a robustly built bike (not a fancy track bike, eg) is the tires and any suspension. You should look for a bike without suspension, or one where the suspension can be "locked out", plus the tires should be about 1.5" (35mm) wide (or wider). Commented May 12, 2015 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


178kg would put significant strain on most off the shelf bicycles. Most critical parts would be wheels, bottom bracket, crank set, and suspension if any.

I would suggest that you go to your local bike shop and have custom assembled bicycle for you with:

  • wheels 26" with at least 36 spokes, best quality double walled rims, best quality spokes and good wheel builder
  • robust steel frame with no suspension
  • wide tires
  • bottom bracket and crank set with external bearings like Hollowtech II, or better
  • I agree, each component needs to be the strongest kind that you can get. I wonder what kind of tires would be best. Bigger/wider tires can carry more load, but you will also need high air pressure and the tires have to be able to handle that. The strongest frame might be a steel mountain bike frame or a touring bike frame (designed to carry touring luggage)
    – Nik
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 21:57
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    I don't think you need an external BB. The 26" particular wheel size isn't important -- the important part is getting a tough wheel built (whether it be 26", 700c, etc.).
    – Batman
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 23:19
  • Yes, but it is easier and cheaper to build strong wheels of smaller diameter. As for BB I am 135 kg, and I find it much easier and cheaper to find lasting BB among external bearing type than cartridge type. And the crank set interface is also much more reliable for heavy man on those. Commented May 13, 2015 at 6:44

Firstly I want to congratulate you on your resolve.

Yours is twice the weight (90 kg x 2) of a normal heavy rider. I see that bike you mentioned is a very cheap bike. For your safety DON'T!!!!.

I can recommend that you do a LOT of searching online about bikes for heavy people, find examples that have worked for people at or above your specific size and weight.

Here is one very interesting blog by someone who lost weight and "reclaimed" health through bicycle riding: http://reclaimingjames.blogspot.com/2013/04/bicycle-recommendation-for-very.html

He recommends a 29er with fat slick tires for road use. It sounds good. You will notice he mentions $5000 to $6000 dollars as a price tag but I think it doesn't need to be that much.

"Surley" (http://surlybikes.com/) is a US company that makes sturdy steel bikes at a reasonable price. (I am planning to get a Surley for my next bike). They have contact information on their web page.

I hope they are as friendly as their website looks, and they would give you the info about what bike would suit your needs. Then you could go to a LBS which is a Surely dealer to get the bike you want and have already confirmed would suit you, who could also help get the details right like the right kind of saddle. I guess you could do it with budget of $2000 US.

I'm 80 kg and I have a scar above my left eye that tells me that "cheapest" does not make sense when choosing a bike. Even more so for you.

Good luck dude!

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