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I'm getting back into the swing of riding again. Currently, I'm riding a 20+-year-old RockHopper with big ol' knobbies. I plan to keep it as my urban bike for local neighborhood blasts and to get a road bike for the longer, faster rides in the country.

I'm quite taken with the Cannondale R700. It's about the max I can spend and is a frame that can be built upon, so I am told. I reckon the Giant OCR 1 is similar and maybe the Specialized Roubaix is more or less in the same ballpark.

My question has to do with my weight, currently ~215, and these lighter frames. I can see losing 20 lbs. if I keep the riding up. I'm wondering if the frames simply are not meant to handle heavier riders and may flex too much. Cannondale makes no bones about it that when you go with something like a CAAD8, you are trading longevity and durability for performance.

Purchasing advice seems to be "buy the most you can afford" to have a good platform. But is there a point of diminishing return for the heavier rider?
 

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You are asking the right question...

I am 6'5", 240lbs, and have ridden some pretty light equipment (mostly because I wanted to "have the best" and was stupid). A LOT depends on your riding style. Some people are really hard on equipment and break things. I don't, so I can get away with things.

Generally, most frames are strong enough to hold you, but the ride a clydesdale might experience could be MUCH different than a flyweight. The Cannondale R700 is more than strong enough. Cannondale frames are very light but built like tanks. Can't speak to the Giant frameset as I have never ridden one. Plenty of clydesdale buddies ride them, though.

The big thing you need to avoid are "stupid light" components, like super light, low spoke count wheels, ti-spindle pedals, super light saddles, bars, stems, etc. Of course, you will find plenty of people your size riding these, but for a few grams savings why take the chance? Especially on the wheels. Last thing you want to have is the thought you should have a more durable wheelset as you break a front spoke on a fast descent!

I became a convert to handbuilt wheels some time ago, so will always recommend them. However, the key recommendation is to make sure and keep the spoke count higher, even with pre-builts.
 
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