I am a Clydesdale. This means my weight exceeds 200 lbs. The exact weight to be considered a Clydesdale may vary and you sometimes even hear different terms, Longhorn or Shamu for example. On the female side the terms are Athena, Fillie or Amazon. Athena is the most common. Women in excess of 150 or 160 lbs would fall into this moniker.

Some cyclists like myself have some difficulty finding cycling kits that fit. I just wear regular street clothes such a jeans or shorts. For tops I look for t-shirts designed for athletic use, generally moisture wicking. These are much more affordable that cycling specific clothes and work for me just fine. I have tried padded shorts and did not care for them, but everyone is different.

As for a bike I can only relate my experience. I ride Giant and have not had any issues with frames. If you are significantly larger than the cutoff you may run into trouble. My experience has been with wheels. The rear wheel caries most of the weight and this is where problems arise. Front wheels are not generally a problem. The first problem is usually breaking spokes. After a time, this gets to be a more frequent problem. The short-term fix is to have the wheel relaced with heavier gauge spokes. Spokes not only come in different lengths but also different thicknesses. This will work for a while but over time the rim will develop cracks.

A wheel with more spokes will help since the distance between spokes will be less. Also, the tension in each spoke decreases since some of the weight is being carried by adjacent spokes. Wheels with 32 or 36 spokes would be a minimum.

Of course, the materials and construction of the hubs and hoop are also important. Consider where you ride. You don’t want to get stranded miles from help, possibly with no cell service. Don’t skimp on quality.

If you are concerned about weight, remember this difference will be a tiny fraction of the total weight of the bike and you. If you still obsess with bike weight you can get tapered spokes. Spokes tend to break at either end. This is where you need thickness and some spokes are made thicker at the ends and thinner in the middle.

Some wheels are specifically made for touring when you carry a lot of gear on the bike with you. These wheels would be a consideration for a Clydesdale or Athena. Another option is a wheel built for a tandem bike. These also are designed for more weight capacity.

If you have the bucks, you can get a bike custom built to your needs. Some companies specialize in bikes for Clydesdales.  Bikeclydesdale/Zinncycles comes to mind but there are others. I don’t have such a bike so you will need to go elsewhere for reviews.

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