Best Bikes For Heavy Riders 2018 – Complete Buying Guide!
Everybody deserves the right to feel the joy and fun of cycling nevertheless his weight. That’s the reason why I have decided to write this article and find out which are the best bikes for the big guys. Commuting with a bike is the easiest and cheapest way of moving from one point to another. Not to mention that this is the most enjoyable way of losing weight. As we know cycling can be a very good way of training for losing weight for the summer season.
Unfortunately, most of the bikes you can buy online or even on a professional bike shop are not suited for heavy riders. They are not rigid enough and they will break apart after a very short period of usage. The reason for that is most bikes are designed for riders below 225 lbs, and this is a huge problem for the overweight people.
The good news is that if you look in the right place you could find a good, reliable hybrid or even a road bike which is suitable for over 250 lbs riders.
Regardless of the reason why you have decided to enter into the cycling world, I can assure you that riding your bike every day will change your life forever. You will have so much fun while doing it and also as a bonus, you will save the planet, not to mention the health benefits.
What to consider when choosing the best bike for heavy riders.
You have to consider a few things before starting the journey of choosing a bike for you. The biggest issue is that weight limits are not always visible to buyers. It involves guessing and contacting customer support which can be a very frustrating experience. Or in some cases reading real customers reviews to find out if a bike can hold a specific weight.
Looking for components which are suitable for heavy riders is the most important thing to do. And the most important component of every bike is the frame. It has to be built especially for this case or at least to be tested with a heavy biker.
Another advice I can give is looking for a bike with 29-inch wheels instead of 26 inches. Most mountain/hybrid bikes are fitted with 26”, but the 29” are faster, more durable and generally speaking more suitable for heavier riders.
You need to consider that some bike types are more suitable for heavy riders than others. For example, road bikes require being hunched forward which is very uncomfortable for some people. Some riders prefer the more upright position which is possible only on a hybrid or a mountain bike. They can also allow more space for a larger belly. The so-called cruiser bikes are even more comfortable and they are a very good choice for a heavy biker in general.
Definitely, avoid department store bikes. These bikes are cheap, shiny but not reliable at all. They are produced in China and they are assembled by the people who work in the department store who know nothing about bikes.
You can also upgrade some of the parts after you buy the bike. My general advice is to change the wheels and the seat. There are some very good extra-wide seats which are very comfortable and good for big guys. Another component which you might need to upgrade is the tires. They are often cheap, and not suitable for overweight riders.
Spoke number of the wheels is another very important aspect you should definitely consider. Look for wheels with at least 24 spokes for a rear wheel. Front spokes matter less. In some cases, you should even go for 32 or 36 spoke wheels. So if you buy a stock bicycle with less than the recommended 24 spokes, please upgrade your local bike shop.
So let’s dive in into the world of plus size bicycles.
Best Bikes For Heavy Riders
Diamondback Overdrive 29er – A great mountain bike for heavy riders!Check Current Price on Amazon
I’m really a big fan of the Diamondback brand, but this is especially true for the Diamondback Overdrive 29″. It’s one of my favorite mountain bikes and the reason is very obvious. The Overdrive is very well made, the components used are very good, it’s reliable, and the price is normally very good on Amazon. It’s fitted with 29-inch wheels which are rigid and durable enough to hold big weight.
The aluminum frame of the Overdrive has a warranty for up to 300 lbs, and the tires are warranted for up to 225, but I can assure you that it can hold safely up to 250 lbs – 275 lbs without any issues. If you upgrade the tires probably this bike could hold up to 300-320 lbs riders without a problem. So this makes the Diamondback Overdrive a very good choice for overweight riders who want to ride casually or even in the mountain. I can even crown the Diamondback Overdrive 29er the best mountain bike for heavy riders!
For the price which is normally below $600, you get good quality components including Shimano drivetrain, reliable disk brakes, and great frame geometry for heavy riders. If you want to read more about this bike, you can check our dedicated review here.
Mongoose Dolomite 26” Men’s Fat Tire Bike – Awesome fat tire bike for up to 350 lbs riders.
Another very interesting option I can recommend is to try a fat tire bike. At first, it may look odd to you but ride a fat tire bike can be really very fun. The Mongoose Dolomite 26″ can hold riders which weight up to 350 lbs ( as per the many happy customers’ reviews on Amazon ). If you can’t find a hybrid or mountain bike suitable for your weight, maybe you should start with the Dolomite.
It’s fitted with huge super-sized 26″ X 4″ tires which are made for all-terrain riding. The braking is guaranteed by alloy 4″ wide wheel disc brakes which means that this bike is really well prepared for heavy riders. Another great feature of this fat bike is the frame which is cruiser styled and makes it very comfortable for overweight bikers.
But the most impressive thing of the Dolomite is the price. On Amazon, you can find it for around $250, and sometimes even below $230 which is crazy for such a good bike. My only recommendation before buying a fat bike online is to try one in a local bike shop just to check if you like the ride. Another small negative is that to inflate the tires you will need an electric or mechanical stand pump. In a conclusion, I can say that the Mongoose Dolomite is a great fat bike for a big guy. You can have a lot of fun riding it while losing some weight. The Dolomite is one of the best bikes for heavy riders in my humble opinion.
Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike (700C Wheels)
Schwinn Discover is another great choice, and definitely one of the best bikes for over 300 lbs riders. It’s a hybrid bike made for comfort and leisure. Schwinn is known for its quality bikes which are very durable, and cheap. The Discover is a very good choice for commuting and training. It has a classic look, but uses some very modern components including Shimano twist shifters, Shimano read derailleur, ally front, and rear linear brakes.
With a comfortable frame made for city commuting, and front suspension fork you will get a very smooth ride. Schwinn Discover is suitable for overweight riders because it’s sturdy and durable enough. You also get some features like fenders and rear rack which is handy. This bike is made for daily commutes so it can easily be your mode of transportation around town.
What I really like about this bike is the seat which is extremely comfortable and very good for heavy riders. I know that this is not the best looking hybrid bike, but you get a multi-purpose plus size bike for your money which will serve you for years. Please note that the bike is not intended for heavy riders, but a 300 lbs person can easily ride it without any issues. I would recommend assembling the bike at your local bike shop despite the fact that it would cost you around $20-$30. You won’t regret it!
Raleigh Bikes Tristar 3-Speed Trike
This awesome adult tricycle made by Raleigh is a great option for people up to 300 lbs. ( as per the manufacturer ). It gives really a different perspective on cycling and I know many people who enjoy the comfort and the safety of the tricycle. These bikes are especially good for seniors because the risk of falling is minimal.
Raleigh Tristar 3-Speed trike ( or tricycle ) is a super stable, 3-speed bike which won’t disappoint you. It’s fitted with 24″ front wheel and 20″ rear wheels for extra stability and comfort. Despite the fact that it has two wheels in the rear, the trike is still very narrow to fit through an exterior door or between the cars in the traffic if needed. The front fender will keep you clean and the huge seat will be very appreciated by the heavy riders.
Another great feature which I like about the Tristar is the rear basket which is huge. It can hold groceries which weight up to 45 lbs. I do recommend the Raleigh Tristar for everybody who wants to get the freedom of the bike but with extra stability and comfort. It’s perfect for a neighborhood cruise or a run to the local farmers market, or maybe a nice ride in the park. If you are up to 300 lbs. I do recommend though to assemble it at your local bike shop due to the complexity of the bike.
The only downside I can note of the Tristar is that it has only 3 speeds which and it is hard to pedal uphill. So maybe if you live in a very hilly area with a lot of hills you should look elsewhere. If you want to check other recommended tricycles read our extensive review for the best adult tricycle.