For most people, the quest for a bicycle of the correct bike size focuses on frame dimensions. But now that so many of us are as supersized as our cars---and looking for ways to safely exercise to start changing that---finding right-sized bicycles also means finding those that can safely carry weights of 250, 300 or 350 pounds or more. Your local bike shop is the best place to start your search, but speciality retailers can help too.
- Skill level:
Visit several bike shops to "get fitted" and to look at different bike styles. Every bike model has a suggested weight maximum, and most come in various frame sizes, so someone who's well-informed about what's available through various manufacturers is in the best position to advise you. Deciding on the right bike also depends on how you'll be riding it. Your personal needs---whether you'll be training for road races, commuting to work, pleasure riding or exploring trails and back roads---make all the difference.
Research mountain bikes of various styles and made by different manufacturers. If you're concerned about bikes standing up under extra strain, a rugged mountain bike may be your best bet. It's simple to replace those knobby off-road tires with slick street tires if you won't be riding off-road.
Also look into hybrid bikes, which combine the structural strength and ruggedness of mountain bikes with the greater efficiency of road bikes. There are drawbacks---the vertical riding position can be tiring on long rides---but most of these bikes are quite sturdy.
Contact speciality bike companies. In 2010, Super Sized Cycles was the only company dedicated to making bikes for people who weigh over 90.7 Kilogram (up to 249 Kilogram). Custom-built Super Sized bikes feature steel frames, wide tires, wide rims with 36 spokes, wide metal pedals and wide, well-padded seats. The My Size USA website offers supersized bike seats as well as heavy-duty men's and women's "bike trucks" that were originally designed for kids carrying heavy front loads while delivering newspapers.
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