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I want to get a bicycle that can sustain more than 120KGs. I know most of the bikes can sustain a maximum of 120KGs, but how can I maximize that limit? What components should I change in order to make the bike more rigid and not prior to breaking underneath me?

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  • Quite often the wheels are the weakest part. So the first thing would be to get strong, properly built wheels with 36 spokes. For the frame, seatpost, stem, handlebar etc. you’ll have to look at manufacturer recommendations.
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 15:10
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    Some of the information here may be helpful: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/79203/…
    – MaplePanda
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 18:23
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    I'm not sure where you're getting this: "most of the bikes can sustain a maximum of 120KGs." I looked at three different Treks and their maximum weights were all 125-136 kg. Surly doesn't even put specific weight limits on their bikes, but they test them all up to 136 kg. I know that's not a huge difference, but that's just a somewhat random sampling of what's available. I wasn't even searching for the burliest bikes that can be found.
    – jimchristie
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 19:28
  • If you are in/near Germany, perhaps contact Rennstahl/Falkenjagd, most of their bikes feature high load capacity, they might be able to offer you a configuration that suits your needs. Perhaps think about whether a MTB is the right kind of bike for you; perhaps a gravel or all-road bike might be better. The gravel bikes by that manufacturer are also designed for touring and therefore high load capacity.
    – Erlkoenig
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 9:35

2 Answers 2

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Are you planning to buy a mountain bike if you're into mountain biking (i.e. riding at very high speeds on bad terrain) or because you think that due to your weight, a mountain bike would be the best kind of bike?

If you're planning to buy a bike to get from place A to place B or just to enjoy riding on roads, you should really consider a loaded touring bike and not a mountain bike. Stay away from so-called "road" bikes because they are only intended for featherweight riders. They should instead be called racing bikes.

The thing about loaded touring bikes is that if you buy one that can withstand 12kg + 12kg dual panniers on the rear and 8kg + 8kg dual panniers on the front for a 100kg rider, it means equivalently that it can withstand a 140kg rider. That's plenty for your weight. With your weight, it also allows 20kg load, i.e. you can use it for grocery shopping too.

A mountain bike isn't the ideal kind of bike on roads. If you really start to do mountain biking, I expect that 99% if not 99.9% of mountain bikes sold on the market that are intended for lightweight riders are insufficient for genuine mountain biking for 120kg rider weight. However, if you ride very carefully then it may withstand 120kg weight, but having to ride very carefully may remove the enjoyment from mountain biking.

Any wheel for your weight should have no less than 36 spokes. If the wheel is poorly built (unequal and/or low tension and/or not stress relieved), you may need to have it retensioned by a competent wheelbuilder. There's no reason why a competent wheelbuilder couldn't tension a 36-spoke wheel to be durable for 120kg rider weight. Any less than 36 spokes and the likelihood of the wheel surviving even with a perfect build are lower.

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    “Stay away from so-called "road" bikes because they are only intended for featherweight riders. They should instead be called racing bikes.” I agree that “road bike” is misleading, maybe they should be called “drop-bar road bike”. You don’t have to be a featherweight, generally they work reliably up to ~100kg rider weight. At which point you’d have to be taller than 2m to have a normal weight BMI while still exceeding those 100kg.
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 16:36
  • The thing is, my previous bike, which was a mountain-bike, worked just fine for about 2 months, after which the rear wheel gave up. Don't know if it was my weight that caused that. Now I could repair it, but I'm afraid that the same thing will happen, so what's the point of repairing it if it happens again? That's why I thought about getting a new bike. What do you think?
    – Roby
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 17:41
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    @Roby: Depends on how good and robust the bike and rear wheel are. If spokes or nipples broke: The skill (and thoroughness) of the wheel builder makes a big difference. Unless the parts are very low quality or weak I’d repair it.
    – Michael
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 19:12
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    @Roby wait - so you have a good bike with a broken rear wheel? Sounds like all you need is a better wheel. No need to go all Consumer and replace the whole thing.
    – Criggie
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 19:30
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To maximize the limit, buy a bicycle with the biggest limit found in the shop. Do not buy a bicycle with no limit specified. Do not try to guess from specific features as it is difficult to name the weakest part. If the wheels can support lots of load, maybe the frame cannot. If the frame would be OK, maybe the brakes are not adequate.

Why it should break, if you and your cargo together weight 120 kg and the bicycle is rated for 120 kg? You are using it appropriately.

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  • The thing is, there is no cargo and I weigh 120+ KG.
    – Roby
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 21:38

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