Bike Load Limits

Blobby

New Member
Region
New Zealand
Have had a quick look but can't really find something as direct as this :)

I'm 'not a small' person and like the idea of an e-bike to help get around, reduce reliance on cars (petrol) etc etc.

It's not something I want to throw a tonne of money at but if I end up enjoying it then would probably upgrade.... I just know that I'd be annoying spending $4k+ and not enjoying it vs. $2.5k and enjoying it.

Anyway, I'm wondering about how people feel about the load limits and big people riding bikes, well over the limit (maybe 25%).

I've got a non electric bike which isn't used often, and it was never a consideration - but electric bikes are publishing the info which tends to smack you (well, me) in the face when looking at specs :)
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Some brands quote load limits. https://surface604bikes.com/products/2022-rook
Many brands don't. Cargo bikes tend to. Stretch frame cargo bikes transfer the weight of the rider to the front wheel, for better balance than cruiser or mtb posture bikes allow. Drop handlebar flat back posture bikes are balanced already, but 32 mm tires are not likely to carry extreme loads. 2.1" to 2.4" tires are if rated 55 psi or higher. Fat tires (3" up) rated at 20 psi are not heavyweight carriers.
Not sure it is available in your market, but look at blix packa . Other stretch frame cargo bikes, xtracycle, yubabike (mine shown left) pedego stretch, m2s, magnum, giant momentum, euronau. Expensive Reiss & mueller. Tiny wheel cargo bikes for the toothless, tern.
Note geared hub motor bikes can overheat if you try to climb 333 m in an hour. Which could happen in NZ. Mid drive bikes, you're limited to patented batteries, no throttle, fancy displays, single front sprocket (except momentum) and frequent (1500 km or so) chain maintenance.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
I'm not at all shy about admitting my weight. At 6'2"/315, I'm one of the bigger guys you're going to come across while riding a bike. I have/have had several e-bikes, most of which were not rated for my weight. I AM a little shy of the step through designs at my weight. Conventional/diamond designs should be no issue. If there are a lot of pretty good size hills where you will be spending most of your time, the amount of power and geared hub vs. mid drive designs are also an issue. Our fat butts takes more to get up a hill than somebody weighing half as much!

The other thing is spokes, especially rear ones. These will be running near capacity and MUST be tightened properly, or they're going to start breaking on you 50-100 miles out. Somebody able to check these out on your bike will be a big help. If you are even reasonably mechanically inclined, it's something that can be learned without too much difficulty.

That stuff in mind, I say go for it! Happy to help further if I can. -Al
 

Roamers

Active Member
Region
USA
Agree with the spoke issue. Nothing like the ping of a spoke popping as you're rolling down a hill. A ping is usually followed by several more if you dont stop pretty quick.

Although I've lost a bit (not enough) of weight, a LBS has been great at modifying my rear wheels with lace pattern and spokes that have reduced my ping rate.
 

Blobby

New Member
Region
New Zealand
Since you have a bike that fits, consider a Bafang mid drive kit and 52V battery big guy.
You won't be sorry.
:D

Never considered a conversion - is that something achievable by someone not at all familiar with EV bikes, or best to pay for shop to install?

(assume this would be a conversion!)
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
I view mid-drive conversion as involving some special crank tools and special skills. I don't have those, and I've hub drive converted 2 bikes. If you have the budget, buy a bike rated for your weight. Being at the end of the supply chain (NZ), getting everything in one box should really simplify things. Especially if the warrenty comes from some real company, not a web address and a phone #.
If you're going to climb NZ mountain roads, you need a mid drive. I climb 80 hills in 3.7 hours with my hub drive, but not 333 m total.
Lots of grey metal spokes in the lower end of the market. People brag about the gauge, when they should be inquiring about the alloy. Of course the alloy can't be measured. 2 brands of spokes that are real steel are DTswiss and sapum. Really only way to check quality of spokes used on a built bike is to check the brand forum "known problems & solutions" thread for spoke or rim complaints. The brand I'm riding has zero such complaints. Several popular internet brands have dozens of such posts.
 
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
Hi, For big guys it is mostly about wheels. Take a look for local listings of little used cargo bikes. Many of them are capable of caring 220Kg on the rear rack 50Kg on the front rack with a 125Kg rider. Again, much of that is dependent on the strength of the wheels. What happens is that a couple will buy a cargo bike when tots are small and they are young. In a few years they give up. It is far to much of a pain to carry bigger kids without a motor. And by six the kids want to ride their own bikes. Electric cargo bikes are worth $4400 pounds. Lightly used non-electric ones are worth $440 pounds. There is this thing I read an article about, it is called "YouTube?" The article said that there are some DYI videos there. If that were true than you would be in good luck.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Hard to believe you couldn't find much.
https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/heavy-rider.46764/
 

dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
I have a Trek Verve +3. I’m a little over 6 feet tall and weigh 250. The bike is about 50 pounds. They rate it 300 pounds which includes the bike weight. I’m probably exceeding the limit but by less than 10 pounds. If you weigh 20 or 30 pounds more than me, your probably ok on a bike like mine. More than that and I’d hunt for one with a higher rating.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
What @PedalUma said.

Fat tires inflated to max/20 psi are exactly the ticket for heavy 'riding systems' for the same reason taller sidewalls and wider tires are better for heavier loads on automobiles. Increased volume = increased load capacity. Air pressure dictates sidewall strength which was something I was taught by tire engineers at Hoosier when running my own amateur race car in a previous life. Where is the weak link, then? Its the wheels, and this is universally true regardless of whether the tires are far or thin. Your typical Chinese production bike has adequate wheels, but no more.

My Surly Big Fat Dummy cargo bike is rated from the factory for a total system weight of 400 lbs. It now has custom wheels (Nextie carbon deep dish) that are there because of their increased load capacity, which is 250kg per wheel. Spokes are suitably uprated DT Swiss with 16mm brass nipples also there to ensure max strength. I've had this bike running 575 lbs with 4.8" tires. Without that big volume and sidewall you can forget that load capacity.

My mid tail runs darn near indestructible SunRingle MTX39 rims with a nice wide 30mm-ish internal width and Sapim Strong spokes. I'm running 2.8" tires and those big poofy tires aired fully up let me get up over 400 lbs on that bike. Larry vs, Harry have recently confirmed their Bullitt cargo bikes are weight-constrained not because of the frame but the strength of the wheels, as well.

And if you want to build a mid drive ebike conversion, check this out. It is not brain surgery but it does help to have a road map. When the 11-part series is done sometime around the middle of next month it will cover the entire process from conception to post build tinkering. As it is right now there's already a lot there including a complete tools list, detailed tips on parts needed and project management.

 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
@m@Robertson, I love this quote, "Lets call this a Mission Statement: DIY Does Not Have To Mean Half-Assed." I have a Mundo with a dead BionX that I got for $400 including a spanking new regular Mundo rear wheel for it. When the project is completed it will be worth a good $2250 to someone.
Check this out: I milled 10mm Boda dropouts to fit an extra-strong Mundo rear wheel with a 14mm axle. Now you know how. If I only had half-an-ass to spare?
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PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
@m@Robertson, Since you liked that stunt here are two more. The front basket liner was thrashed and faded. I restored it with a DOT 5 formula. Next check the wires on the HB by zooming in.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
DOT 5??? You mean you used it to dissolve away the paint on purpose? Thats a new one on me. Clever. Usually I am trying to keep that stuff as far away from paint as possible (actually, don't you mean DOT 5.1? DOT 5 is silicone fluid and as I understand it that stuff is not harmful to paint). I am missing the boat on the handlebar wiring. I recolor my cable housings with colored 2:1 heatshrink as needed. is that it?
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Have had a quick look but can't really find something as direct as this :)

I'm 'not a small' person and like the idea of an e-bike to help get around, reduce reliance on cars (petrol) etc etc.

It's not something I want to throw a tonne of money at but if I end up enjoying it then would probably upgrade.... I just know that I'd be annoying spending $4k+ and not enjoying it vs. $2.5k and enjoying it.

Anyway, I'm wondering about how people feel about the load limits and big people riding bikes, well over the limit (maybe 25%).

I've got a non electric bike which isn't used often, and it was never a consideration - but electric bikes are publishing the info which tends to smack you (well, me) in the face when looking at specs :)
I'm a heavy rider as well and frequently had spoke issues with my conventional bikes. To avoid potential wheel problems, I opted for an e-bike with mag wheels. Some brands, including Pedego, offer mag wheel options with weight limits up to 400#. They add $$ to the bottom line but well worth it IMO.

If you're a DIY'er, mags can also be added to many mid drive bikes to increase weight carrying capacity and eliminate spoke issues.

As pointed out above, there are also a variety of spoked wheel e-bikes out there with a capacity of 300# or more.

Don't forget to add cargo weight. With an e-bike, you're going to ride farther for longer periods which can lead to carrying extra gear including spare batteries.