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I'm considering a new trekking bicycle. I have the following requirements:

  • My weight is 115 kg and sometimes I carry a 20 kg kid, so maximus allowed weight should be around 160 kg (with bicycle)
  • Hardtail
  • 1x12 gears (might be 1x11)

It looks like such a bicycle doesn't exist in the market. I don't mind some little modifications (I mean an easy replacement of some hardware). I have the following thoughts and questions.

First of all, I would like to ask, how strict weight limitations are and how can I adjust the bike to carry more weight: for example, rear wheel and/or fork replacement?

Currently I'm using B’TWIN Hoprider 500, and it works, but I have replaced the rear wheel (the old one had cracks, probably because of the overload). Probably it's ok to carry more weight if replacing rear wheel to a stronger one?

There are some XXL bicycles in the market (for example, fahrrad-xxl.de website allows to filter these), what are main differences from the regular bikes: wheels, frame or something else?

Secondly, should I consider a custom build from scratch? Where should I look for a frame in such case?

Probably, I could just buy new gears and replace gears, chain and switches in my current B’TWIN Hoprider 500?

I found some bicycles which I like, but their maximum loaded weight is about 135 kg which is ok for me, but I cannot take much luggage or passengers:

Would be grateful for any comments. Thanks!

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  • Did you consider the Decathlon Riverside Touring (520 - flat handle bar or 920 - drop bar)? It seems to tick the boxes (rated at 170kg).
    – Rеnаud
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 15:03
  • Thanks for the option. Unfortunately it has rigid fork while I'm looking for a hardtail. While changing the fork might be possible, not sure that it's the best way to go (as discussed in this question in bicycles.stackexchange.
    – ololoid
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 15:21
  • The suspension is probably one of the components that is "responsible" for the "low" max admissible weight. To my knowledge, only one is rated for 170kg: the Fox 34 AWL, that is proposed on top of the range e-bikes, and use a different steerer tube than the NCX proposed on the bikes you linked to.
    – Rеnаud
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 15:38
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    Hi, welcome to bicycles. I'm afraid this question is a bit problematic because you have several different questions listed here, ranging from should you upgrade your bike, to what should you look for, to a comparison of different bikes. It's going to be very hard to get a single complete answer to all this. Since recommendations are off-topic (because they go out of date very quickly), perhaps you should focus this question on upgrading your rear wheel.
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 16:24
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    Does this answer your question? Ultra durable MTB for heavyweight rider (370lbs)? - this along with several other questions will help you narrow things down.
    – mattnz
    Commented Aug 15, 2023 at 0:34

1 Answer 1

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Weight limits for bikes are usually given for the "weakest" component, some components can handle more, but saying which one is of course difficult to say from our perspective.

From a pure normative point of view: kids seats are often rated up to 22kg, and the permissible weight of the rack is also important in that case.

As you already noticed, the rear wheel will probably the first one to fail, as it carries most of the weight.

Otherwise a few thoughts:

  • Front suspensions are a mixed bag: avoid the coil ones, as they are designed around a coil that is dimensioned for lighter bikes/riders (some adjustments are possible, but within limits). With air-sprung ones, you can adjust them by changing the pressure, but they do require more maintenance to run smoothly. If you mostly ride on rough pavements, quality supple tires at lower pressure will do much more than the suspension for your comfort (to my opinion suspension helps mostly on trails to keep control, but are over-rated for comfort - for comfort you need small fast adjustments, not large sudden ones, and suspension have much more internal frictions than tires do).
  • Another argument against front suspensions: with a big kid on the rack, from a handling point of view, it would better to add the extra stuff that you may carry in the front. Adding front racks with a front-suspension is possible, but bikes without suspension rated for higher weights can often take a front rack — because most non electric bikes meant to carry heavier loads are touring bikes.
  • Seatpost suspension are in the same bag as front suspension: the basic telescopic ones are designed with a rated weight in mind and adjustability too far from the design spec is limited. The more advanced "parallelogram" ones (like Canecreek) have a rubber block that you can physically replace depending on the weight.
  • For the gearing, I'd stay away from 12 speeds: Shimano presents it as the "performance" range, and has developed a "durable" range, originally for e-bikes (called Linkglide/CUES), where reactivity is traded for durability and shifting under tension. It's hard to find bikes with Linkglide, but it's an easy upgrade to do — and the cost is limited if combined with a worn cassette/chain replacement. Only problem, the majority of freehub bodies meant for 12-speed are not compatible with Linkglide: the tip is to look at the smallest sprocket, if it has 11 teeth, you're fine. If you take a bike with 12-speed, you may need to change the wheel as well - in this segment a wheel change is often cheaper than a hub replacement. A lot of changes is expected in this segment in the short term (CUES range, announced but not available in the short term), so if you need the bike soon, it may be a better strategy to buy the bike now, but also to ensure that it will be compatible with these upgrades. You can then combine the upgrade when replacing worn cassettes/chain.
  • You can have a look at the specs cargo e-bikes to see which components work well under load.

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