Is this because of my massive weight or was it mainly bad luck?

thistler

Veteran
After a long on-and-off illness, I am now massively overweight at 120kg. I've already managed to lose a bit of weight through diet but want to get back into shape and I love cycling. I have a Dawes Galaxy and recently started riding again, I want to do some touring but my first priority is getting this weight off. I hit a medium sized pothole today and the front wheel bent and jammed. I crashed but aside from a few scrapes and my slightly bruised dignity, I am fine. I do have another set of touring wheels bought from Spa cycles about 10 years ago that I can put on the bike, both them and the ones currently on the bike have 36 spokes.

I am assuming my weight contributed to the wheel damage but it got me wondering about how likely it is to happen again. Should be riding a mountain bike or even just walking until I get my weight down to a more reasonable level? Or is it more likely that it was just the pothole that caused the damage? I can't afford new, stronger wheels. I can't really even afford a mountain bike but might be able to pick up something very cheap in the local ads.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice!
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I'm afraid it's likely the pot hole - they can't half wreck wheels - done a fair few myself, as have others here.

Tyre pressure may have been a bit low, you'll want at least 100 PSI if they are fairly skinny. My commuter, despite being a light bike, always had heavy panniers on, so I'd have to be careful of tyre pressure as you couldn't always avoid holes with traffic.

I'd pop the other wheels on. It's likely that the pot hole threw you off the bike. 36 hole wheels are pretty strong.
 

gcogger

Active Member
I was ~130kg when I started cycling last July, on a hybrid bike with 32 spoke wheels. A couple of months ago I switched to a gravel bike with 28 spoke wheels, and I'm still 117kg. The only wheel problem I've had was when I ran into something (OK, that 'something' was the back of my wife's bike :rolleyes:), and needed a very minor buckle fixed. So I'd say to carry on and don't worry about it - just try and avoid the potholes!
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
35mm will be better, all else being equal, if they fit, but some potholes will eat anything. What do you think is "well inflated"? With 120kg rider and maybe 20kg bike+luggage, I think you should be running 32mm at something like 80psi front 100psi rear, which may be more than the maximum for some tyres (so fit wider).
 
Location
Cheshire
35mm will be better, all else being equal, if they fit, but some potholes will eat anything. What do you think is "well inflated"? With 120kg rider and maybe 20kg bike+luggage, I think you should be running 32mm at something like 80psi front 100psi rear, which may be more than the maximum for some tyres (so fit wider).
Agree psi sounds about right. 90/80 for me, 2 stones lighter, no luggage, 9kg bike.
 
OP
thistler

thistler

Veteran
Thank you all, you've put my mind at ease. Cycling is the only exercise that I actually enjoy and have kept up long term in the past.

I inflated the tyres to the maximum that it said on them mjr, I think it was 80psi. I'm not carrying any luggage at the moment, I'm just going out for some exercise. When I do start touring I'm going to use my old Yak trailer until I'm at least several stone lighter.
 
Location
Cheshire
Thank you all, you've put my mind at ease. Cycling is the only exercise that I actually enjoy and have kept up long term in the past.

I inflated the tyres to the maximum that it said on them mjr, I think it was 80psi. I'm not carrying any luggage at the moment, I'm just going out for some exercise. When I do start touring I'm going to use my old Yak trailer until I'm at least several stone lighter.
Good luck to you :okay: Kudos on that classic bike too ^_^
 

HMS_Dave

Grand Old Lady
Location
Midlands
I was over 25 stone when i started riding. It was a fat bike with 26 inch wheels that are approximately 4 inches wide. I did avoid every kerb, pot hole, bump as much as possible and i checked, very roughly, how true the wheels were very frequently and i didn't have a single issue. There was another guy called gaz (39 stone cyclist) who rode a stock hybrid with 700c wheels at 28 stone https://theamazing39stonecyclist.wordpress.com/am-i-too-heavy-for-a-bike/

The key is to be extra careful when riding and you'll be OK.
 
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