Fat man bike; long time rider, but not ebikes

msrpwr

New Member
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USA
65yo, 360lbs, 6'4". Precovid (330lbs), 100 miles a week. Now, hardly any.
Current bike; Specialized 29 disc bought new in 2007. Rebuilt all of the components with Deore XT and XTR about 3 years ago.
Wants: throttle, seems like that rules out Bosch and others; step through would be nice but not required; mid drive; Deore + component level (never had SRAM, but not against them)
Style: Mostly country roads, dirt/gravel roads, some single track around the lake.

I'm having a problem finding any large frame bikes. Being my first ebike, I haven't wanted to spend R&M kinda money, but I want something with decent components. I've been watching the Biktrix bikes for quite a while; Ultra 2 and 3, and FS Pro, but the 17" is they have had for a long time. I do some touring with a Bob Ibex and have broken a few skewers, so I'd prefer the 12mm thru Ultra 2. But, I'm getting tired of waiting.

I like the looks, and design of the Eunorau Specter ST, but I'm told they don't have a good reputation, don't know why. I would prefer to buy from an LBS so I can test ride and have work done more easily, but I haven't been successful finding anything in the Tulsa area. Seems like QuietKat is about all anyone has that will hold me weight.

Any suggestions?
 
In the past the blix packa has advertised gross weight 400 lb. Now they are advertising 200 lb cargo. Call them. https://blixbike.com/products/packa-electric-cargo-bike
2.4" tires which should have the capacity at 60 psi. Stretch frame biases rider weight to the front tire, which avoids the rear heavy situation of vertical seating. Note fat tires, 2.8" up, usually have a 30 psi maximum pressure.
Packa will not climb steep hills with a 750 w motor. Sounds as if you are in a flatter part of the country. Blix is sold by internet, so if you want service you'll have to ante up to a reise & mueller stretch frame bike with the bosch motor, ~$6900 last time I read court's review.
Some electric bike brands with long lists of problems on the brand forum, use the same quality of parts on $200 bikes sold at the discount store. Grey metal spokes & rims instead of real steel & aluminum. Lots of that junk on the market, and country of origin does not screen out the garbage. Gauge of spoke doesn't matter if steel is made of car batteries & copper wire. I ride 14 ga spokes at 330 lb gross weight, from DT Swiss (made in USA last box I got). Last I checked blix had one complaint on brand known problems thread after 14 years in business.
 
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In the past the blix packa has advertised gross weight 400 lb. Now they are advertising 200 lb cargo. Call them. https://blixbike.com/products/packa-electric-cargo-bike
2.4" tires which should have the capacity at 60 psi. Stretch frame biases rider weight to the front tire, which avoids the rear heavy situation of vertical seating. Note fat tires, 2.8" up, usually have a 30 psi maximum pressure.
Packa will not climb steep hills with a 750 w motor. Sounds as if you are in a flatter part of the country. Blix is sold by internet, so if you want service you'll have to ante up to a reise & mueller stretch frame bike with the bosch motor, ~$6900 last time I read court's review.
Some electric bike brands with long lists of problems on the brand forum, use the same quality of parts on $200 bikes sold at the discount store. Grey metal spokes & rims instead of real steel & aluminum. Lots of that junk on the market, and country of origin does not screen out the garbage. Gauge of spoke doesn't matter if steel is made of car batteries & copper wire. I ride 14 ga spokes at 330 lb gross weight, from DT Swiss (made in USA last box I got). Last I checked blix had one complaint on brand known problems thread after 14 years in business.
Grey metal...wasn't even thinking about that on the bikes. Thanks. That's the reason I got the Bob. Cheap skewers and metal were standard on the Asian versions.
 
Does your current bike fit you ? Have you considered putting a mid-drive BBSHD on your current bike?

It would cost around $1000-1500k
BBSHD and 52v battery would turn your bicycle into a pseudo motorcycle of fun , you can still ride it on level assist 1 and it will still feel like normal bicycle as well.
Since you built your bike out with good components , slap on mid-drive and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If your handy you could even do the install yourself. Full youtube walk throughs available.

 
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Have you checked out the FLX line of bikes? They're generally a pretty expensive bike, but they announced an inventory reduction sale that make the pricing in line with quite a few others....


I'm 6'1/300/71
 
In the past the blix packa has advertised gross weight 400 lb. Now they are advertising 200 lb cargo. Call them. https://blixbike.com/products/packa-electric-cargo-bike
2.4" tires which should have the capacity at 60 psi. Stretch frame biases rider weight to the front tire, which avoids the rear heavy situation of vertical seating. Note fat tires, 2.8" up, usually have a 30 psi maximum pressure.
Packa will not climb steep hills with a 750 w motor. Sounds as if you are in a flatter part of the country. Blix is sold by internet, so if you want service you'll have to ante up to a reise & mueller stretch frame bike with the bosch motor, ~$6900 last time I read court's review.
Some electric bike brands with long lists of problems on the brand forum, use the same quality of parts on $200 bikes sold at the discount store. Grey metal spokes & rims instead of real steel & aluminum. Lots of that junk on the market, and country of origin does not screen out the garbage. Gauge of spoke doesn't matter if steel is made of car batteries & copper wire. I ride 14 ga spokes at 330 lb gross weight, from DT Swiss (made in USA last box I got). Last I checked blix had one complaint on brand known problems thread after 14 years in business.

Does your current bike fit you ? Have you considered putting a mid-drive BBSHD on your current bike?

It would cost around $1000-1500k
BBSHD and 52v battery would turn your bicycle into a pseudo motorcycle of fun , you can still ride it on level assist 1 and it will still feel like normal bicycle as well.
Since you built your bike out with good components , slap on mid-drive and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If your handy you could even do the install yourself. Full youtube walk throughs available.

I have never really considered that. Thanks for the video, it is...compelling. Gonna have to look at this.
 
Have you checked out the FLX line of bikes? They're generally a pretty expensive bike, but they announced an inventory reduction sale that make the pricing in line with quite a few others....


I'm 6'1/300/71
Have you checked out the FLX line of bikes? They're generally a pretty expensive bike, but they announced an inventory reduction sale that make the pricing in line with quite a few others....


I'm 6'1/300/71
Jeez, that Blade 2 is the best price I've seen for a Rohloff, belt, Magura MT-5, etc. It says it is only rated for 275 though. Thanks for the response. It's good to see there are some older big guys riding. My wife used to ride with a group. She said compared to them I look like a circus bear on a bike :)

I have figured that given my size, I need the power of the Bafang Ultra. What do you think is the best bike with that motor?
 
Personally, speaking for myself, not real concerned about a bike's weight rating.

Ultra's, man, what a can of worms. The early ones (known as UART based) were able to be dialed in (by the owner), to be gentle giant gorillas on steroids. Huge torque monsters that are very forgiving regarding gear selection. The new versions (known as CANBUS based) have had ALL adjustability removed from them. No more customizing available. Prior to considering a new Ultra based bike, you really need to do some research so you can see what you are getting into. That said, somebody wrote in recently after buying a Blade 2 that HIS new bike came with one of the older motors. THAT might make that bike an awesome buy.

Here's another one to ponder. My most recent purchase was an Evelo Atlas, another pretty unique bike. It's more of a city bike, but it does pretty good at light off road. No problem with your weight here. They'll be more than willing to give you an hand there. More difficult may be it's size. It might be on the small side for your needs....


And one more-
If you like the idea of an Ultra, this one is a pretty good size bike-

Or maybe a step down from the Ultra power, nearly the same bike with a Bafang BBS02 power (that's UART based/programmable).
 
For weight it is all about the wheel build. Components can be swapped on any bike.
Abso-freaking-lutely. A proper wheel build is essentially a given on any bike I put together. It has made a world of difference on the cargo bikes I run. The lead engineer at Larry vs. Harry has gone on record to say the 400 lb weight limit on their bike is because the bikes run out of wheel capacity. Its not the frame that gives out. On my Surly, I changed out the already-good factory wheels for carbon fiber deep dish (triangular profile) wheels rated to 200 kg each. Then on top of that, Sapim Strongs and DT hubs upgraded with a steel cassette body and a sturdier-but-still-awesome ratchet engagement mechanism. I have had that bike to 565 lbs on Costco runs.

For a big rider I would argue for fat tires on smartly built wheels - not ebike factory machine-made chinesium wheels. With a strong hub, strong brass-nippled spokes and a serious rim, you can take advantage of all that weight-supporting sidewall a fat tire offers. They may only be able to go to 20 psi, but 20 psi at that size is a rolling rock (still comfortable to ride) that will be able to take on more than just smooth pavement that has no bumps or potholes.

Fat tires aren't for everyone. Some people hate them. But I've found if you do them right (and particularly find a set of tires that do not self-steer) they are a great option. I built this one in 2016. Its still seeing use today. Same phat carbon fiber deep dish rims as my cargo bike. These hubs were from Amazon (Quanta, made in Taiwan) with steel internals. The frame is a rescued Motobecane Lurch (chromoly) I got for $200 on Ebay. Stripped it and powder coated. It can take one hell of a beating.

img_20180728_090110[1].jpg


You know what is a very commonly done cheap conversion bike? A Mongoose Dolomite. Low end components throughout, but a strong chromoly frame that you can beat the hell out of. You can get the whole bike on Amazon for $260 and upgrade stuff from there. Its perfect for a 160 Nm BBSHD.

 
A big drawback about building a bike for some people is that you can't whine. I find it empowering. Big guys should get cargo bikes. They are all set for heavy duty.
 
I missed the boat , FLX had that BLADE 2.0 for $4600 recently , he was running an ATCOST coupon code.

I really wanted one , but funds are a little tight.
 
Something like a used Boda Boda is super sturdy, lightweight, not too big and mid-step. Then convert it with any level of components you want. Look at this axle, hub, and spokes.
 

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Abs o-freaking-lutely. A proper wheel build is essentially a given on any bike I put together. It has made a world of difference on the cargo bikes I run. The lead engineer at Larry vs. Harry has gone on record to say the 400 lb weight limit on their bike is because the bikes run out of wheel capacity. Its not the frame that gives out. On my Surly, I changed out the already-good factory wheels for carbon fiber deep dish (triangular profile) wheels rated to 200 kg each. Then on top of that, Sapiens Sarongs and DT hubs upgraded with a steel cassette body and a sturdier-but-still-awesome ratchet engagement mechanism. I have had that bike to 565 lbs on Costco runs.

For a big rider I would argue for fat tires on smartly built wheels - not e bike factory machine-made chumminess wheels. With a strong hub, strong brass-tippled spokes and a serious rim, you can take advantage of all that weight-supporting sidewall a fat tire offers. They may only be able to go to 20 psi, but 20 psi at that size is a rolling rock (still comfortable to ride) that will be able to take on more than just smooth pavement that has no bumps or potholes.

Fat tires aren't for everyone. Some people hate them. But I've found if you do them right (and particularly find a set of tires that do not self-steer) they are a great option. I built this one in 2016. Its still seeing use today. Same phat carbon fiber deep dish rims as my cargo bike. These hubs were from Amazon (Quanta, made in Taiwan) with steel internals. The frame is a rescued Motorcade Lurch (chromosomal) I got for $200 on Bay. Stripped it and powder coated. It can take one hell of a beating.

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You know what is a very commonly done cheap conversion bike? A Mongoose Dolomite. Low end components throughout, but a strong chromosomal frame that you can beat the hell out of. You can get the whole bike on Amazon for $260 and upgrade stuff from there. Its perfect for a 160 Nm BBSHD.

That bike gives me all the right feels. I'd say a great choice. Keep an eye on Craigslist too , you might find a good fat tire for on the cheap.
 
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Yeah you!!!Fatman.
Try test rides full suspension Emtbs.
You won't regret it. I bought a hard tail when put on extra 30 pounds during covid it wasn't the correct ebike for me.
Get one with Bafang m620.
You won't regret it.
At your age you should have $7k of disposable money.
 
Sadly we watched scores of customers use the Dolomite without any upgrades. Scary!
Yeah I've seen 'em too. They make up for it by using 6 feet of lamp cord to get from the rack battery to the motor, and duct tape to hold it down. I'm of the school of thought that they should just be frame donors, but my Envoy's wheels never gave me any trouble and the steel cassette held up under the BBSHD for several months. Apparently the Dolo's wheels are similarly workmanlike.

Interestingly, at one point a couple years ago I was contacted by the designer of the Envoy (as a result of the series I had written up on it), and he told me he also was involved in the design of the Dolomite. Interesting insights gained on both. As far as I am concerned both bikes are well worth what you are paying for them if all you keep is the frame and fork.

I was surprised to see Dolo's have almost completely gone back to their pre-covid price point. $260 now. Was $199 originally and grew to over $500 recently. I've been sitting on this pic for years for reference someday if I build one, which looks like never now. Notice anything unusual? :D

Dolo gemoetry.jpg
 
Thanks everyone.
It has been so long since I actually thought about what I wanted in a bike that I have forgotten much. Your responses have refreshed my memory and goals.

Weight: The first few years of riding the Specialized 29er, I was blowing spokes. I am frugal...until I learned that being so is not always the best thing to do. I eventually bought a new set of wheels with 36H and heavier spokes. Haven't blown a spoke since. The disc's have been marginal due to my weight. I think I figured out long ago that the frame isn't really the important weight component but had forgotten that. Thanks for the enlightenment.

Cost: At 65, I can afford an expensive bike considering how much I used to bike, and how much I plan to bike after retirement in December. I've been frugal to get the kids through college without debt, and I will have a federal pension; so, what the hell?

Chinese bikes: You guys got me scared on those. I really liked the Eunorau Specter ST until people mentioned reputation and grey metal. I bought two or three single wheel trailers for extended trips that were Chinese stuff and they all broke on the very first trips. I haven't had a problem after I bought the Bob. So, now, you guys reminded me that I need to be leery of the Chinese made imports.

I love everything about the Riese and Muller Supercharger Touring, with the 1250 battery option for multiday type trips, but it doesn't have a throttle. I've done environmental law enforcement for 41 years, mostly around mining operations, and have developed COPD from breathing in all that s*it. I'm thinking the throttle may be necessary at some point when I hit steep stretches (opinions?). You guys have me wondering how much do I really need that 160nM from the Bafang Ultra. It's not like I'm going to be riding like I did when I lived in NM and CO. So, I am open to the Bosch Performance CX now.
Awww, hell, I'm more confused than ever :)
 
Sadly we watched scores of customers use the Dolomite without any upgrades. Scary!
Notice anything unusual?
I just saw them for $339 on eBay including shipping. Obviously it would need the fat BB extension or a Fat HD. I would change everything including the headset. As for unusual I am not sure. The overall frame length is nearly twice the reach? The freewheel is a 14-28 on an off-road bike? The tennis ball for snow?
 
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