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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A friend of mine is having a custom bike built and has asked for my advice. He is a good recreational cyclist and is a blast to draft behind because he's 6'10" and weighs a good 280 pounds. He regularly pulls pacelines at 20+ mph. It is kinda like following a tandem - fast on the flats, faster on the downhills, but slows going up hills. Presently, "Freight-Train" is riding a way too small 64cm Cannondale.

Anyway, I suggested he look to Zinn, Spectrum and Seven to have a custom frame built. He has also asked me about wheels so I suggested 36 hole Velocity Deep V rims laced to Ultegra hubs.

I think he is leaning toward a steel Seven.

I'd be interested to know whether you would make any additional suggestions.
 

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Zinn's the man!

SteveD said:
A friend of mine is having a custom bike built and has asked for my advice. He is a good recreational cyclist and is a blast to draft behind because he's 6'10" and weighs a good 280 pounds. He regularly pulls pacelines at 20+ mph. It is kinda like following a tandem - fast on the flats, faster on the downhills, but slows going up hills. Presently, "Freight-Train" is riding a way too small 64cm Cannondale.

Anyway, I suggested he look to Zinn, Spectrum and Seven to have a custom frame built. He has also asked me about wheels so I suggested 36 hole Velocity Deep V rims laced to Ultegra hubs.

I think he is leaning toward a steel Seven.

I'd be intereste to know whether you would make any additional suggestions.
What makes Leonard Zinn special is that he has made a specialty of making custom frames for tall people. I think that he's in the 6'5"+ class himself. I have a personal friend who is 6'7" (also an outstanding draft provider). A few years ago I helped to hook him up with a Zinn frame. As far as I know, he has been well satisfied with it.
 

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Arrogant roadie.....
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FWIW, Cannondale does make 66cm frames, but only on special order. The lower number caad frames have always been quite rigid in the larger sizes.

As for wheels, unless he wants to get a really heavy duty wheel (Phil Woods hub, 48 or 40 spoke, who-knows-what rim), he ougth to consider using heavy spokes-probably 14/15 db, full-tangential lacing on the drive (4x, most likely), and a good, strong 3x lacing up front. I'd suggest that he run 25mm tires, too.
 

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Waterford

My Dad, who started out at 6'9" 260 (now 240 ish) has put more than 10,000 miles on his Waterford RS-22 after breaking a series of frames. He also has had good luck with Bontrager Clyde (tandem rims) laced 36 hole to record hubs, and cxp-33s laced 32 to record. Like your friend he is a very strong rider who consistantly averages over 20mph for 40+ mile solo rides, so he is one who really tests a frame, and so far the Waterford has been money.
 

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Every little counts...
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Phil wood hubs for sure. Sun or some other touring or tandem (this guy weighs as much as two small people) rims in 36 or 40. Don't skimp on wheels.
 

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BS the DC
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Here's a picture of my friend's Seven. He's 6'6" and about 200 lbs. I think it's a 66cm or 68cm. He's tall and skinny. He loves it. He's joined the Seven cult. He'll explain how enchanted dwarves labored for centuries to custom draw each of his tubes to his exact specifications.

Custom wheels: I'd consider Speed Dream Wheels (www.speeddream.com). Dave Thomas will custom build some wheels that strong and reasonably light. Off the rack tandem wheels may be overkill, even for him.

I love drafting him. I can sit straight up. But he's not slow on the climbs.
 

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Ironbutt
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Big bikes for big cyclists

I'm 6' 7" and 200 pounds, so I don't stress my bike nearly as severely as a rider who weighs 280 pounds. I am completely satisfied with both of my road bikes, a Litespeed and a Waterford. They both fit to perfiction,and are a joy to ride. Waterford can and will tailor the entire bike's construction to the rider's requirements, and do it well. Four years ago at the start of the Cross Florida ride I encountered a guy who I was just shoulder height to. He was riding a Waterford with two top tubes, one six inches or so below the other. He stood 6' 11" tall, and welghed over 300 pounds. His wheels were Phil Wood 36 hole hubs laced 3x with 700c tandem rims. He said that they were the only rims that withstood his weight and power, that he had destroyed every other standard rim he had tried.
 

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SpeedDream Wheels

I will second the nod for Dave's Speeddream wheels. A friend of mine has a set from him and they are great! Everyone i have talked to that has them or has heard about them raves :D
 

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Skinny Legged XC MTB geek
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Titus has a fair amount of experience building frames for tall riders

They just built one (the FCR model) for a local guy who is about 6'10". I haven't seeen the bike, and don't know what wheels he set it up with.

http://www.titusti.com
 

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Go Zinn in this case

Spoke Wrench said:
What makes Leonard Zinn special is that he has made a specialty of making custom frames for tall people. I think that he's in the 6'5"+ class himself. I have a personal friend who is 6'7" (also an outstanding draft provider). A few years ago I helped to hook him up with a Zinn frame. As far as I know, he has been well satisfied with it.
While hard to beat Seven normally, I think Zinn is a much better option for someone that big, as his knowledge of super long cranks and frame issues associated with someone that big and strong are unmatched.
 

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Miggity Mac Daddy
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Serotta

Also check out Serotta bikes. The largest frame they have made is a 73(!!) they often make frames in the 64-68 range. Just letting you know there are more options out there.
 

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Calfee all the way ....

i would suggest calfee for a couple of diff reasons. (1) frame material. the carbon can be built up to be extra stiff for his weight, while still comfortable. because you can orient the strands of cf and add extra cf to certain areas, think b.b, the ride should be sufficiently stiff and still comfortable; (2) warranty and service. craig calfee will help out with the design of the bike himself. i work at a shop in ny which sells calfees, and craig happened to be in the city visiting relatives. he drove the 45 minutes to our shop just to say hi. while there, a customer of mine who is 6'8" and 300+lbs walked in and wanted to look at road bikes. craig took the time to talk to this customer about all (whether steel or ti or crank length, etc ...)his options, even though the customer was just browsing. def. check them out. it just so happened that particular customer ended up getting a steel guru from us with special deda tubing usually reserved for track bikes.
 

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Strong Frames has the experience...

Carl has built many frames for large people, and other "people of unusual sizes." He is currently building a frame for a guy over 7' tall, who is 260 pounds.

It's certainly worth an email to [email protected].

Best,

Michael

SteveD said:
A friend of mine is having a custom bike built and has asked for my advice. He is a good recreational cyclist and is a blast to draft behind because he's 6'10" and weighs a good 280 pounds. He regularly pulls pacelines at 20+ mph. It is kinda like following a tandem - fast on the flats, faster on the downhills, but slows going up hills. Presently, "Freight-Train" is riding a way too small 64cm Cannondale.

Anyway, I suggested he look to Zinn, Spectrum and Seven to have a custom frame built. He has also asked me about wheels so I suggested 36 hole Velocity Deep V rims laced to Ultegra hubs.

I think he is leaning toward a steel Seven.

I'd be interested to know whether you would make any additional suggestions.
 

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Tall bike - strudy wheels

Fuji makes some very nice looking bikes in 64cm - if you want to avoid the cost of a custom

I understand that VeloMax wheels are very strudy and hardly ever break a spoke
I hear you can get them for about $400 nd they hold up very well
 

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CF Bike Frames in trainers

Please Ring In

I just purcahsed my first trainer, and i own a trek 5200 that i really love to ride.

Will riding the 5200 in the trainer affect the frame in any fashion ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for the suggestions

My buddy has placed his order with Seven. Some of the other builders had too long a wait from start to finish. Seven was able to accomodate his need to have the bike built up quickly. He's going Axiom Steel. I think its a good choice.

As for wheels, I think he's looking for something that his local shop can build up relatively inexpensively. Tandem rims are a good suggestion. In fact, I think that is what he uses currently.

Thanks again for all your good suggetions. I especially liked seeing that picture of the Seven. Man, that is one big bike. I'm looking forward to drafting Freight Train again this spring...
 

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Squirrel Hunter
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Wheels

Spunout said:
Phil wood hubs for sure.
Our tandem, fully loaded with riders, tips the scales at just under 300#. We have been running Velocity Deep V on Phil Woods hubs for the last 3 years. This combination has been bulletproof for us. Strong with a little bit of aero thrown in.
 
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