Need help for a very tall (and heavy) rider

Alby

New Member
Region
Europe
Dear all,

first post here. Like many of us, I fell in love with (e-)bike during the covid-19, due to... literally the absence of possibility to do anything else. :)
I got a second-hand ebike which was converted using a kit by the previous owner.

As I am slowly discovering the beautiful countryside of Germany, I am looking for some recommendation to pick an e-bike which would be fitting me the most.
I am 200 cm tall (6'6 tall) but have a relatively low inseam for my height (85cm / 33 inches). Sadly , I am not a feather weight and weight ~120/125kg.
I am a little bit hesitant on what kind of frame to get given my large upper body and relatively small legs. My back is also not the best (ex-rugbyman) and what I am privileging is comfort.

In term of needs, I would like to get a bike which could support me to do 60km (~40 miles) maximum per day. (I dont mind bringing the charger along).
Ideally, i would use it for either daily commuting and multiple-day trip (120km spread over the week end).

Would you have some recommandations ?

Many thanks all !
 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
Dear all,

first post here. Like many of us, I fell in love with (e-)bike during the covid-19, due to... literally the absence of possibility to do anything else. :)
I got a second-hand ebike which was converted using a kit by the previous owner.

As I am slowly discovering the beautiful countryside of Germany, I am looking for some recommendation to pick an e-bike which would be fitting me the most.
I am 200 cm tall (6'6 tall) but have a relatively low inseam for my height (85cm / 33 inches). Sadly , I am not a feather weight and weight ~120/125kg.
I am a little bit hesitant on what kind of frame to get given my large upper body and relatively small legs. My back is also not the best (ex-rugbyman) and what I am privileging is comfort.

In term of needs, I would like to get a bike which could support me to do 60km (~40 miles) maximum per day. (I dont mind bringing the charger along).
Ideally, i would use it for either daily commuting and multiple-day trip (120km spread over the week end).

Would you have some recommandations ?

Many thanks all !
So are you looking for something you can get in Germany?
 

Alby

New Member
Region
Europe
that would be easier for me as I could try in a shop there.
If not, I would order online if the answers all point to the same "perfect" bike :)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Alby,
Not that simple. For most of quality e-bikes, the "technically permissible maximum laden mass" is 136 kg (300 lbs). Now, the typical weight of a good Euro e-bike is some 24 kg. Add your 125 kg and we're outside the limit. Not that a Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Cube, Canyon etc e-bike would collapse under your weight but if it did, you might meet issues with honouring your warranty.

I am not in the position to give you any advice. Only two things: Disregard any suggestions of buying an e-bike that is not available in Europe. And I also hope Riese & Muller owners chime in (I only heard R&M e-bikes were durable but don't own it). (@David Berry, @Alaskan: Could you please check the total permissible mass of your R&M e-bikes?)

Yet I have tried to acquire some positive information for you, and called a Specialized dealer in my area. The Specialized Vado SL just weighs 15 kg. Adding 125 to 15 makes 130 kg, and you might be within the total permissible weight limit. The dealer promised to return my call and tell me what the limit for Vado SL is. Could be interesting.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Alby,
Not that simple. For most of quality e-bikes, the "technically permissible maximum laden mass" is 136 kg (300 lbs). Now, the typical weight of a good Euro e-bike is some 24 kg. Add your 125 kg and we're outside the limit. Not that a Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Cube, Canyon etc e-bike would collapse under your weight but if it did, you might meet issues with honouring your warranty.

I am not in the position to give you any advice. Only two things: Disregard any suggestions of buying an e-bike that is not available in Europe. And I also hope Riese & Muller owners chime in (I only heard R&M e-bikes were durable but don't own it). (@David Berry, @Alaskan: Could you please check the total permissible mass of your R&M e-bikes?)

Yet I have tried to acquire some positive information for you, and called a Specialized dealer in my area. The Specialized Vado SL just weighs 15 kg. Adding 125 to 15 makes 130 kg, and you might be within the total permissible weight limit. The dealer promised to return my call and tell me what the limit for Vado SL is. Could be interesting.
Good advice Stefan.
Don't forget to add the weight of any gear you may carry in a backpack, panniers or a rear rack bag. The weight of tools, spare parts, locking devices, clothing and even a second battery can add up.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Hello Alby

Yes covid also got me back on a bike more often and led me to doing an eBike conversion... which in itself, the work was a remedy for the pandemic.
Curious.. What were the details of your first eBike, and what are you looking to improve upon?

Picking up an ebike online has its downside as you are unable to test ride, but it does give you more options.
The Frey CC might be something to consider if only to understand what is available out there.
Reviews here are positive and most comment on how well it is built.
You'd have to consider what is legal in your area, but I do believe that they offer 500w/750w/1000w versions.
I don't know your time frame... But one drawback is production/shipping time as to the USA it seems to be around 4 - 7 months depending on time of year and holidays.
Good luck in your search.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
A couple other contenders you might like to test ride are the Raleigh Kent 10 XXL and the Kalkhoff Endeavour 5.B Advance + Both are available in the diamond frame style in an extra large size and are weight rated to 170kg. Both use the Bosch Performance Line motor and 625wh power tube battery.
 
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theemartymac

Well-Known Member
the "technically permissible maximum laden mass" is...
African or European? 🙃

(Sorry, had a Monty Python flashback there for a minute)

But I think he's spot on. There are many US bikes (Chinese made) with 350-400lb weight limits, but if you can't get them from your local dealer, you are potentially looking at maintenance headaches assuming you can even use it widely over there with the local regulations.

I'd add however, that most of those bikes aren't using magical heavy duty parts, they are just cheaper manufacturers accepting more warranty risk to compete in the marketplace. The parts are all pretty common industry name components when you get right down to it, and the loads placed on a cross-country or enduro bike by a 200lb rider easily exceed those of a 300lb rider on smooth gravel and paved roads. If you can find a local shop owner who is sympathetic to your needs, they certainly understand this and may be willing to help you out. After all, if warranty is required and you have purchased it locally, it's the LBS that will be submitting the claim details anyway. If you 're hitting the wall with weight limits when shopping, I'd suggest potentially talking to smaller local shops where the owner is accessible, vs large chains where the staff are required to "follow the rules" so to speak.
 

Alaskan

Well-Known Member
Most popular models of Riese & Muller have a maximum gross weight (bike+rider+cargo,etc) of 140 kg (309 lbs.) The Supercharger 2 has a max. gross weight of 160 kg.

If I lived in Germany Riese & Muller Bikes would be near the top of my list of recommended bikes, especially for a large, heavy rider. They have a more robust build quality than most other brands. For a heavier rider returning to bike riding, especially daily commuting, the Supercharger with model with its built in dual 500 watt batteries is comfortable, road friendly front suspension, good fenders with integrated racks, front and rear and road worthy light package would like be a bike that would well suit @Alby

R&M currently is showing quite a few demo bikes on sale in Germany:
rieseandmuller-supercharger2-gt-touring-warm-silver-matt-disclaimer-1440x900.jpg
 
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john peck

Well-Known Member
Dear all,

first post here. Like many of us, I fell in love with (e-)bike during the covid-19, due to... literally the absence of possibility to do anything else. :)
I got a second-hand ebike which was converted using a kit by the previous owner.

As I am slowly discovering the beautiful countryside of Germany, I am looking for some recommendation to pick an e-bike which would be fitting me the most.
I am 200 cm tall (6'6 tall) but have a relatively low inseam for my height (85cm / 33 inches). Sadly , I am not a feather weight and weight ~120/125kg.
I am a little bit hesitant on what kind of frame to get given my large upper body and relatively small legs. My back is also not the best (ex-rugbyman) and what I am privileging is comfort.

In term of needs, I would like to get a bike which could support me to do 60km (~40 miles) maximum per day. (I dont mind bringing the charger along).
Ideally, i would use it for either daily commuting and multiple-day trip (120km spread over the week end).

Would you have some recommandations ?

Many thanks all !
I have the same issues. For me it has been largely about the right tires more than the bike´s weight
capacity. It´s easy for guys our size to bottom out tires & pop spokes. I´m currently on a cheap but rugged
bike from a German Co. It has served well since tires with with thick sidewalls & high psi. I like this
bike, stock 40/50 mi. range pedal assist, climbs very well. NCM moscow, or the fat version NCM aspen.
(their bike are all named for cities) Not bad for a frugal choice. P.S. (bear in mind the bike is 500w set to
U.S. limits)
PICT0017.jpg
PICT0017.jpg
 
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indianajo

Well-Known Member
If Surlybikes has dealers in Europe, you should check them out. They have steel frames and cater to big people & heavy load campers. www.surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker
They have a dealer locator that should answer that question in 10 seconds. It will pick up your location and find suitable dealers there, not for me here 150 miles from the headquarters. If I were you I'd go for bigger tires than 2.1", say 2.5", but not fat tires that are limited to 30 psi max.
I found an unpowered bike to suit me and added a geared hubmotor on the front later. I'm very short & small, the opposite of you. I didn't like any of the mid-drive options I was being offerred in 2017. Bosch mid-drives that had proprietary batteries (expensive) patented connections, & drug like boat anchors unpowered. Installation of a power wheel with hub motor takes a vise, a drill, a hack saw, terminal crimp tool, safety glasses, some stock aluminum & SS screws with elastic stop nuts. To mount things like controller & battery. A plus of a conversion, messy wiring inhibits thieves. Messy doesn't mean unreliable - I've had zero electrical problems in 6500 miles & 3 1/3 years using industrial crimp terminals instead of ****ese bicycle garbage. ***** displays, I couldn't see mine in the sun anyway. Waste of $120. My throttle did rain out twice; I dried it with a hair dryer. Now I wrap it with a grocery bag in the rain. Advantage of aftermarket power wheels, they are not watt limited the way built up bicycles are by the governments. My current one is a Mac12t @ 500 W. The prevous one had 1300 w consumption, but really no more torque than the Mac12t. That one cost only $221 with wheel, controller, throttle, pas pickup, brake handles, display, and wore out @ 4500 miles. Took 2 afternoons & 4 hours to change out to the mac12t that cost $740 with controller, throttle, power wheel, cheap tire.
If you're going to cross the Alps you need a mid drive, but north of Switzerland or Italy passes you should be fine with a geared hubmotor.
 
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Alby

New Member
Region
Europe
Dear all,

I had the feeling that this community was active but I wasn't expecting to receive so many comments to my question in such a short period of time.
I would like to, first, thank you all for sharing experiences and proposing some advices. (and a Monthy Python joke is always welcomed ! :D )
I read all of your messagers and have been looking at the different suggestions that were brought.

I really wasn't aware that the max weight corresponded to my weight + bike + additional satchels and bags attached to it. I really thought that it was just my body weight.
As all of you stated it complexifies the problem drastically as I get the feeling that e-bikes for abnormally tall and heavy riders remain a niche for the time being.
I thought my height of 200cm would be the main problem and didn't expect my weight to become the focus point of the discussion, haha.

The models that you are proposing are very interesting and I will need to look a bit more closely at them, given that they are sensibly higher investment than what I initially thought.
I would have a follow up set of question for all of you.

- what do you think of a fat tires ? Could it somehow be better in my position? (as far as I understand they allow to spread the weight more evenly)
- The topic was raised but what about kit to convert a bike into an e-bike ? Do you think it would allow me to have better options ? are they reliable / easy to change / comparable to the "classical" e-bike?

Feel free to continue to send propositions tho ! I am amazed discovering that the e-bike options are much wider than what I initially thought !

Many thanks all of you for your very quick and instructive answers !
Regards

Alby
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Brwinów (PL)
Fat tires will make your e-bike even heavier and less manoeuvrable. It is not the tyre that makes the issue but spokes popping, and rims bending under your weight. Also, the frame might crack. A kit? Would you replace a manufactured e-bike of known properties with something it's hardly trust? No-no.
 

Alby

New Member
Region
Europe
That makes sense.
Many thanks Stefan.

Would you have any opinion on the Kreidler Vitality ECO 6 Sport ? (link here). I have never heard of this brand and there are interesting discounts on this one, while checking all the boxes discussed.

I would also would like to go back to a big question.
I am 200cm tall but am having short legs (85 cm inseam). What kind of frame would be optimal for someone with my kind of body shape (I am starting to have the feeling that I am weirder and weirder haha).

Alby
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
Fat tires, 3" & up, have limited pressure rating. ~30 psi I believe. So they do not increase weight capacity, just allow normal weight to ride on powder snow or fluffy sand. There are some 2.5" that allow 60 psi. I occasionally bang the rim with 2.1" tires & 80 lb supplies, 330 lb gross. So 2.5" might be more use to you. Note the long haul trucker from surly was limited to 2.1" tires. Surly is selling bosch mid drive for watthour addicts.
I did a conversion, I didn't want a bosch mid-drive. I ride unpowered if there is no bad headwind. My $221 power wheel kit got 4500 miles before wearing out a gear. As it pedals unpowered without drag, I pedaled it 37 miles back home without trouble. Worn out it would not push backwards. Big deal. I hope the Mac12t power wheel that cost $740 lasts longer. My battery has lasted 6500 miles, 3 1/3 years and no issues. The connector is generic & not patented by bosch to force me to buy their expensive batteries. Note after hub motor wearout I didn't have to haul the bike to a shop, or wait weeks for a tech to look at it or for some special part. I had a replacement hub motor kit in storage and was back on the road in 2 days. Would have been one afternoon had not short wires on the mac12t controller forced me to make a new mount.
With 33" legs you might need a medium frame, 19" or 21", instead of a tall man's 23". multiply by 2.5 for cm. Whether you ride head forwards or upright is a choice, not based on size. I view flexing the neck to extremes by "road bike" riders is a risk to the neck disk, but thousands do it. It is more aerodynamic & faster with less energy. The payoff if a disk ruptures could be pain every second of the rest of your life as my Mother suffered. Head forwards does put more weight on the front tire for a more balanced load. OTOH, riding with a straight back, I've never hit the top, side or back of my head when spilling off. Always my chin & arms. The e-room surgeon that stitched up my chin warned me how dangerous bicycle riding is, causing brain damage frequently. I view riding head forwards accentuates the chance of that injury. Now I have found a ventilated helmet that has a chin guard. Couldn't find one before that last accident.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
I really wasn't aware that the max weight corresponded to my weight + bike + additional satchels and bags attached to it. I really thought that it was just my body weight.
That's because it's not always true... and manufacturers use different terms such as Maximum Combined Weight or Riding Weight. The manufacturers not incorporating the bike mass into their calculation and final specification I find rediculous. Typically the bike weight limit is additional weight that the manufacturer states that the end user can add. Rider + Cargo.
IMG_20210505_081927_415.JPG

From Trek owners manual, which to me makes common sense.
IMG_20210505_091536_280.JPG
As far as a kit, that will depend on your mechanical skills. If you are inclined to make your own repairs and maintenance, then you can easily find a sturdy comfortable bike and add the "e". Many have done it successfully and it's not rocket science, but does require the proper research to match components.
Esthetically manufacturered eBikes are nicer and if you don't care to or are unable to service things yourself then having an LBS handle things is well worth the extra cost.
Me personally.. I don't care for fat tire bikes. Their intended use is snow and sand and IMO, that's where they should be used.

Research is your friend so if you have the time, it's time well spent.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
First, I'm 6'2" and weigh 315lbs. I feel that the weight ratings on the e-bikes are pretty conservative. I've been riding one for 4 years now, with a weight rating of 275lbs, and have never had a failure of a component that could possibly be weight related. I have/have had 2 other e-bikes with the same experience. That said, I ride for pleasure only and carry no extra cargo. Point being, as long as you ride the bike in a sane manner, I seriously doubt you'll have any structural issues.

2nd, regarding fat tires. I bought a "fatty" recently to see what the big deal was, primarily interested in the ride. As my riding is mostly pavement with a little "packed trail", I'm not going to make that mistake again. Fat tires are for those that like the look of them, or for those that actually need the flotation they provide in loose snow and sand. That's it. They DO NOT have any other redeeming features. A change to street tread from the knobby type that come on them introduced me to "self steering". That's no fun! The bike just kind of heads of in a direction you hadn't planned on out of the blue! There's that, and the big tires make the bike feel big and heavy with a lot of rolling resistance. I'm in the process of converting this bike to 27.5" wheels with something in the 2.3"-2.8" tires - an expensive lesson learned.... -Al
 

soyabean

New Member
Region
Canada
So are you looking for something you can get in Germany?
Why not the NCM Moscow Plus 29" from Hanover, Germany?

It's not just the wheels. I've had the Prague 29" and it had a massive frame.

Like the other responses in this thread, weight isn't much of an issue as long as you don't throttle-button all the time from dead stop or make a habit of climbing 20° grades. EV owners have been doing this for decades.

If you can do most of the legwork and pedal accelerate your ebike to speeds, then have the motor take over to keep velocity.

And to give your motor an even easier time, maximum psi in those low resistance city slicks. There's a reason why some road bikes roll with 100 psi in tires barely over an inch. That means no mountain tires, no hybrid tires, and without a doubt no fat tires.

For example, when I swapped from Schwalbe Smart Sam Plus to Schwalbe Big Ben Plus tires, I got a couple of more km/h and longer battery times.

However, if you are looking for a moped and never pedal your poor ebike ever, then more motor watts and more battery wh (watt hours) will be your friend.