We are currently making a Rambler step through for a customer out of state who is getting into cycling as a way to loose weight. This got me thinking about the challenges of "heavier" riders (I know its subjective but the rider is 5'7" and 250lb).
Factory built frames are usually overbuilt and can be used by a wide range of cyclists. While handbuilt frames are developed to enhance and balance the ride and feel of the bike, adjustments may need to be made for body type.
We have adjusted the size and stiffness of the tubing we use use to give more stability and evaluated the components for the heavier loads - specifically larger seat and wider gearing range. What else should we consider?
Just like the Extra Small size, we are looking for real world input into what "heavier" riders find challenging or appreciate in the setup and construction of a bike.
The bike should be ready next week, and if there is anyone in the same heigh/weight range as our customer that would be willing to do a comparison, let me know. Otherwise, questions and comments are always appreciated.
I weigh 250 to 285. In general, I say to buy up in the strength on any part.
I have worn out both axles and replaced them with heavier gauge axles. The chain, too. Use a stronger chain. Not sure why drop handlebars are needed, I'd suggest straight ones for reasons given above. Not sure if tires matter here, but I get a lot fewer flats riding on Bontrager hard case tires with heavy duty innertubes.
A bike that is comfortable and sound will inspire you to extra miles any day, while an uncomfortable bike will wear you out, blunt your spirit and tempt you to turn homeward.