If you consider your body size to be bigger or heavier than average, you might have passed on the opportunity to get on a bike, fearing the curious looks from strangers on the road. Or probably because you assume the bike won’t be able to handle your bulk.
Well, no more worries about that; it’s time for you to join the party! You’ll be glad to know that there are bike models that can comfortably bear your weight.
In this post, I will review the best bikes for heavy riders that you can choose from. Keep on reading to find out what’s best for you!
In a hurry? The test winner after 25 hours of research:
Diamondback OverDrive 29
Why is it better?
- Supports up to 300lbs of rider weight
- High-grade components
- Amazing price
- Up to 6f4" rider height supported
Last Updated: October 30, 2019
By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding bikes for heavy riders available for those who are interested cycling while having the bigger body mass. The top 7 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best bike for a heavy rider currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Best Bicycles for Overweight Riders: Buyers Guide
Regrettably, most of the bicycles being sold online and in bike stores are not designed for plus-sized individuals. They are just not strong enough and may break apart the moment you decide to mount them.
Generally, most bikes are meant for riders under 225lbs, which can be a huge challenge for a heavier rider. Nevertheless, this should not stop you from searching; you will find a nice fit if you look in the right places.
When we talk about the material of a bike, we are mostly referring to the frame. The frame is the heart of the bike, and it should be sturdy enough to sustain the weight of a rider. This fact cannot be overemphasized, especially in the case of overweight adults.
Generally, there are three common types of frame material that you’ll find on most bikes today:
- carbon fiber
All these come with their unique advantages and are suited for different situations.
However, if we are talking about bikes for heavy people, I suggest that you choose a metallic bike frame. In this case, you’ll be wise to ignore a carbon fiber frame and opt for either an aluminum or steel frame.
Yes, carbon fiber frames are getting stronger and better, but to be sure, go for either of the metallic frame options.
Another crucial aspect to take into account when shopping for a bike is the nature of the wheel. Some wheels are more suitable for heavier individuals than others. In this case, you want to consider the:
I wouldn’t blame you if you were tempted to go for the biggest wheel. After all, bigger the body - bigger the wheel, right?
Not quite, larger wheels tend to be weaker than smaller ones. It’s simple engineering!
This means you might have to compromise your plans of getting a 29” wheelset and opt for 26” instead. Smaller wheels are more compact and therefore stronger, just what you need to be fitted on a bike for overweight adults.
The width of the wheel you choose for your bike is also crucial. For a heavy person bike, the rule of thumb is that the wider the wheel, the stronger it is. Wider wheels also provide more traction to ensure that you have a stable ride and enhanced rider confidence.
You should also consider the nature of treads on the bike tire. These help to improve traction and give you more control of the ride, especially on sharp turns. Heavy riders need to balance their need for speed with their need for grip.
If you are buying a mountain bike, choosing knobby tires, as opposed to slick or semi-slick ones would be the right move for you.
Normally, the bike size will dictate the size of wheels to install on your bike. So, before you choose a certain bicycle frame size, you want to make sure that it is compatible with the ideal size of wheels for heavy riders.
However, you also want to be comfortable when riding a bike. Other factors such as your height will have to be taken into account. It is important that your feet easily touch the pedals when you are sitting on the bike.
The number of spokes you have on your wheels will affect the stability of the ride. Preferably, you should look for a bike that has at least 24 spokes on the rear wheel. But to be on the safe side, I suggest that you go for between 32 to 36 spokes on the wheel.
So, if you own a bicycle with less than 24 spokes, it would be wise to get an upgrade at your local bike shop. Steer clear of wheels with 16 or 18 spokes. These are only suitable for lightweight bikers.
Nothing can make a heavy rider more uncomfortable than a small saddle. It goes without saying that if you want to be more relaxed with plenty of sitting room, a wider saddle should be the choice for you.
It is also important that you look for a soft saddle design with good cushioning to remain comfortable even after hours of riding. This also supports an upright rider position.
If you have a small saddle, consider upgrading it to the right size. Ensure that the seat has been tightly fastened when you leave the bike store to avoid turning and slipping while riding.
When you ride a bike, you exert pressure on the brakes, and for a heavy person, this pressure is increased and can make it unsafe to move between gears. Bike brakes for big guys need to be very effective.
Generally, you may have to choose between mechanically operated, disc, and hydraulic brakes. You should perform sufficient due diligence before deciding which set of brakes will be good for your bike.
I suggest going for disc brakes as a priority!
Suspension helps to make the ride more comfortable by absorbing shock on any bumpy terrains you ride through. Heavy riders increase the sag on the suspension, which will require regular check up and servicing to maintain them.
If your weight is more than the average rider, you may have to spend on top-notch suspension to keep the bike from falling apart. The only thing is that it will cost you more to buy one and the maintenance is also higher.
Unless you are willing to spend on a high-end bike with full suspension, you can settle for a comfortable hardtail bike with a decent fork suspension. There is no need to waste the extra cash, especially if you won’t be riding the bike too often
Best Bikes for Heavy Riders
Now that you know the features to look out for when shopping for a bike suitable for overweight persons, let us delve into the individual bikes that fall into our list of top 5 bikes for big men.
#1: Diamondback Haanjo 2
– Best Road Bike for Big Guys –
- Aluminum alloy frame with endurance geometry for durability and all day riding comfort
- DB gravel disc steel fork features fender and low-rider rack mounts
- Reliable shifting performance courtesy of Shimano Claris 2x8 speed drivetrain
The Diamond Haanjo 2 is a true definition of a commuter road bike! It employs a mixture of efficiency, speed, control, and durability to provide you with a road-ready bike that will bring a whole new experience when it comes to conquering city streets and sidewalks.
There are so many great features that will make you fall in love with the bike. First off, the meticulous design of the bike jumps off the page for any avid enthusiast. A nice blend of red/gold on the frame and black on the handlebars and tires will leave you in awe.
The bike is fitted with a high-grade frame and fork, which is formidable enough to carry as much as 300lbs of rider weight! Furthermore, it is available in four different sizes that will suit users between 5’4” to 6’4” tall; critical features that make it a favorite among big-bodied riders looking to get a taste of road biking.
The geometry of the bike is impressive and supports a relatively upright riding position, despite the drop-bar design. There is ample room on the frame triangle to mount racks for water bottles and other accessories.
An aluminum front fork makes the bike lightweight and ensures that it steers precisely. The bike has no suspension, but then again it’s a road bike; I wouldn’t consider this to be much of a takeaway.
Diamondback chose to go with a Shimano Sora 2 by 9-speed drivetrain, which is just what you need for a long ride on the road. You have all the gears necessary to adjust the momentum at different stages of the ride.
The Tektro Lyra Flat Mount disc brakes provide great stopping power that comes in handy when speeding down the highway. For a heavy biker, this should provide enough confidence to hit the road without worrying about the prevailing conditions.
The Haanjo 2 is fitted with WTB Riddler Comp 700c wheels that handle well on gravel and other bike paths. Its 37mm-wide tires with 28 spokes provide great traction on the slippery road surface and leave you with full control of the ride at all times.
Furthermore, the tires feature a reflective strip to make you more visible to motorists when riding in low light. In case you want to ride in wet conditions, mudguard racks have been included at the front and rear for easy upgrade.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
When it comes to road bikes for big people, it doesn’t get better than the Haanjo 2. It is a versatile bike that you can use for your travels or casual recreational purpose. Commuting in the city will be an experience to look forward to with this bike.
#2: Addmotor MOTAN
- Best Electric Bike for Overweight Guys -
- MOTAN M-560 P7 Power Plus Electric Bicycles With Rear Rack and Fenders 2019 New Design Fit For 5'10"-6'6" And It Can Carry Adults Weighing Close...
- Using 750W Motor Power Only-Faster If You Also Pedal With Level one assist.The Max Speed Can Go to 23MPH And Distance Up to 40-55 Miles Per...
- Latest Stiff And Strong Mountain Bike Frame Design,Streamline Arc,Hidden 48V 11.6Ah Lithium Battery,With A Powerful And Quiet 48V 750W Brushless...
If you need a little bit of help when riding your bike, the Addmotor MOTAN is just the ideal e-bike to give you the boost you’re looking for. The Addmotor MOTAN electric bike features a formidable 6061 aluminum alloy frame that can support heavy riders of up to 300lbs. The compact frame has a curved top tube sloping downwards and maintains a lightweight profile at only 67lbs.
The unique design of the frame allows the rider to easily rest their feet on the floor when the bicycle is at a stop and makes quick work of extreme trails. Strong suspension forks enhance the stability of the bike and provide a smooth cruise on bumpy backcountry terrain.
This bike comes with a 30cm quick-release seat post that will comfortably suit overweight riders between 5”6” and 6’8” tall. This further helps to reduce the strain of long-distance adventures on the bike.
The Motan is equipped with a Bafang brushless motor that has been attached to the bike’s rear hub. This powerful motor can produce between 1,000W and 1,250W, which allows you to plow through mud, snow, and gravel without breaking a sweat.
The allows you to reach a maximum speed of 30mph, which should be enough to take on any steep ascends on hilly terrains. The motor’s powerful torque enables you to scale the steepest of slopes, climbing up to 60-degree gradients.
This electric bicycle runs on a high-capacity 48V 11.6Ah lithium battery that offers a range of about 40-50 miles on pedal-assist mode. This is enough time to make the most of your adventure before the battery runs out of power.
However, you will require about 4 hours of charging to get the battery back to full power. The battery has been placed on the downtube of the bike and it is also removable for your convenience when you want to charge or store it.
A set of Tektro Auriga hydraulic brakes has been fitted on the front and back wheels with 180mm rotors. These powerful brakes will bring the machine to a stop on a dime, ensuring that you don’t lose your way in wet and slippery conditions.
The bike has 26” with 32 spokes that add to its stability on tricky trails while offering you full control of the ride. The 4” wide Kenda fat tires have knobby threads to enhance traction with the ground without making your ride bumpy on smooth surfaces.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
The Addmotor MOTAN electric bike comes with all the features you'd find in the best fat-tire e-bikes. It is a versatile off-road monster that enables you to explore all sorts of terrains without stressing your body.
#3: Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike
– Best Hybrid Bike for Heavy Riders –
With its fresh, all-white finish, the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike will earn admirers everywhere you take it. It feels way more comfortable than it looks and demonstrates its convenience with removable cargo racks that will come in handy when you visit the grocery store.
This bike comes with a 17” city frame that will be suitable for riders between 5’6” and 5’10” tall. The aluminum frame can support a rider weighing up to 350lbs, which should be comfortable for many overweight riders.
The Schwinn Discover has a comfortable geometry with soft grips, a padded seat, adjustable stem, and swept-back handlebar to keep you from straining your arms and back during a ride.
Its step-through design also makes it easy for users to get on and off the bike; something that any plus-size biker will appreciate. And a front fork suspension ensures that po-holes on the road won’t be a pain for you.
The saddle is wide to provide enough wriggle room when the rider wants to adjust his position. It is also richly padded to enhance comfort throughout the ride, even on uneven trails.
The Schwinn Discover has a 21-speed SRAM drivetrain that provides more than you’ll need to tackle all manner of terrains. Its left twist shifter controls the 3 speeds for the front derailleur whereas the right shifter is for the 7-speed back derailleur.
The Shimano REVOSHIT shifter system makes it easy to switch between gears, even for newbie riders. A simple twist using your thumb and index finger is all you need to do! Dual-diameter construction makes for a firm grasp on the shifter for all hand sizes.
On the rear cogs, you get 14 to 28 teeth that are close to one another, making shifting between gears as smooth as you’d like. Linear pull brakes on the front and rear wheels may not provide the best stopping power, but on the bright side, they don’t take much to maintain.
This bike is fitted with 700c by 1.5” tires that offer enough stability to give you the confidence to navigate obstacles. However, there are only 24 spokes, so you might want to upgrade. The quick-release front wheel mechanism allows for easy repairs when you experience any issues.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Ultimately, the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike offers a good bang for the buck! It is sturdy, fast, and has the looks to turn heads your way in admiration. One of its strong points is that it delivers a smooth and comfortable ride performance.
The bike does have some manufacturing flaws, but it’s nothing close to a deal-breaker. Otherwise, this is a great bike that will be a practical choice for any city dweller looking for a comfortable way to commute.
#4: Schwinn Bonafide Mountain Bike
- If you need a smaller mountain bike -
- The Schwinn bonafied mountain bike features an aluminum mountain frame and a powerful Schwinn suspension fork that soaks up bumps and thumps to...
- 24 speed Shimano EZ Fire trigger shifters and front and rear Shimano derailleurs make gear changes easy and smooth
- Front and rear mechanical disc brakes provide crisp all condition stopping out on the trail; Durable Schwinn alloy cranks provide steady gearing...
If you think the Diamond Overdrive is too large for your height and are considering something smaller that fits you more comfortably, then look no further than the Schwinn Bonafide. This MTB promises to take you on unforgettable runs in the woods and down the trails.
The Schwinn Bonafide is easy on the eyes - you’ll fall in love with its unique design the first time you catch a glimpse of it. The matte black body blends in well with the red flashes on its frame and wheels.
This hardtail is constructed with a sturdy 17” aluminum frame to go with a powerful Schwinn fork suspension that will make going over bumps and rocks a breeze. However, its small frame is best suited for riders below 250lbs.
Its suspension fork not only ensures durability but also absorbs all the shock, allowing you to enjoy a fun riding experience wherever you go. Forget bumpy roads, pavements, or (medium) holes - with this fork you won’t feel those anymore!
The low-lying frame provides enough room for your gut, as well as your knees when pedaling. Thanks to 24-speed Shimano EZ-Fire trigger shifters, you get enough leavay to tackle all sorts of hills.
Its front and back Shimano derailleurs and Schwinn alloy cranks offer a wide gear range and smooth shifting to deal with any trail. And when you want to bring the bike to a stop, you can count on the mechanical disc brakes on both wheels for seamless all-condition stopping.
The Schwinn Bonafide will serve you diligently on various terrains. Whether you are riding through deep mud or a foot of water, this amazing bike for big guys will provide the stability needed for such treacherous conditions.
The bike is fairly fast and will get you to speeds of 28mph in the right conditions. It is equipped with 29” double-wall alloy rims with 32 spokes that remain durable and keep the ride stable on rough trails. Wide 2.25” knobby mountain tires help to make this bike the backcountry warrior it is.
If ever you want to make adjustments on your bike for a custom ride experience, the Schwinn Bonafide is easily upgradable. Any issues that don’t live up to your preferences can be readily rectified with a few slight alterations.
Unlike the Overdrive 29er, this bike is not delivered preassembled. You’ll have to do the assembly by yourself or contact a professional if you aren’t up to the task. Luckily, the precise instructional manual makes the whole process easy and worthwhile.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
The Schwinn Bonafide offers great value for money! It will spice up your sedentary life by injecting a new sense of adventure when you take down the trail.
Just ensure that you are under 250lbs!
#5: Diamondback Overdrive 29er
– Best Mountain Bike for Heavy Riders –
- Lightweight 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame with forged dropouts
- SR Suntour XCT fork provides 100mm of supple coil-sprung suspension
- Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes increase your control
If you are looking for a great mountain bike for heavy people that you can rely on to take you on unforgettable rides on the trail, the Overdrive 29er is the perfect bike for you. It boasts a slew of exciting features that were designed for overweight cycling.
It comes with a strong aluminum frame that will easily support any heavy rider under 250lbs. It is just what you need to carry your plus-size weight while taking on those unforgiving backcountry terrains. Furthermore, it is lightweight enough to keep you mobile and provide smooth cruise down the trail.
This bike is a hardtail, meaning it has no rear shocks. However, the 80mm Suntour suspension fork keeps your ride comfortable on a rocky and bumpy road. Both the frame and fork provide sufficient room for larger tire clearance in case you consider such an upgrade.
This bike is equipped with a Shimano drivetrain, a brand reputed for its top-quality. The 8-speed Acera shifters allow for smooth gear changes that will ease the task of climbing hills and tackling all kinds of terrains.
You also get front and rear disc brakes that will stop the bike on a dime anytime you wish to. This should give you enough confidence on descents and any meandering trails.
The Overdrive features 29” wheels to help you roll over rocks and obstacles with ease. The double-wall alloy wheels are formidable and come with 32 stainless steel spokes to enhance their stability, as well as a quick-release front wheel.
The bike’s smooth-rolling 2.25” wide MTB tires are ideal for both on and off-road adventures. They are thick enough and well-treaded to improve traction and offer you a stable ride. The saddle is strong and long-lasting, although you might find it to be slightly thin, and to an extent, uncomfortable.
Fortunately, you can always upgrade the seat and find something with the right dimensions to ensure a comfortable riding experience. The Overdrive 29er is delivered “ride ready” and 85% assembled. The few parts that need to be put together such as the handlebar, front wheel, and pedals will take a matter of minutes.
Some customers have also complained about the brakes and gears on their new bikes not being properly aligned. If this happens to you, get a professional to finish off the assembly and make sure everything is in order.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
If you are serious about taking up mountain bike riding, the Diamond Overdrive 29er doesn’t discriminate against weight or size. It promises an exciting time on the trail and will provide you with a new hobby to renew the spark in your dormant life.
Now that you have a good idea of the best bikes for heavy people, you must always try to stay safe if and when you decide to acquire one. Getting on a bike and hitting the trails might be an exciting experience, but it also comes with its own share of risks.
So, to prevent any undesirable incidences, you want to take note of the following safety tips:
Brakes are an essential feature on your bicycle and could be the difference in what would have otherwise been a nasty collision. Unfortunately, brakes are prone to wear and tear, and as a result, tend to functionally deteriorate down the line.
To be safe, you need to check up on them regularly and make sure that they are in the right shape. If you notice any worn out parts, be sure to replace them whenever necessary for effective performance.
Tire Pressure for Road Bikes
The tire pressure is another essential feature that goes a long way to determine the comfort of the ride. For a plus-size rider, it is recommended that you inflate the rear tire to the upper maximum pressure while for the front tire, inflate it to a few psi less than the rear tire pressure.
For instance, if you weigh 250lbs, you can try riding on 110psi on the rear tire and 105psi on the front tire and see how the ride feels. The difference in pressure helps to imitate your weight distribution at 60/40, providing you with a comfortable posture as you ride.
Best Bikes For Heavy Riders
- Frequently Asked Questions -
What Should I Do to Improve my Biking Experience?
Buying a bicycle with the right features doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a positive biking experience. There are a few adjustments that you can make to enhance the whole ordeal and achieve absolute bliss on the trail. Consider the following expert tips:
Choose the Brand Wisely
Always go for a reputable brand that specializes in the type of bike you are looking to buy. If you want to buy a mountain bike for heavyweight people, there are specialist manufacturers who will sell to you the appropriate product.
While there may be other well-established brands, they may, unfortunately, miss out on a few features that will mess up the whole experience for a plus-size individual.
Steer Clear of Department Store Bikes
Even though the bikes you come across in a department store may look attractive, they usually lack the quality you’d want in a big guy bike. In fact, the majority of these bikes are put together by people with limited knowledge of bike assembly, resulting in a product with a short shelf life.
Upgrade the Components
More often than not, you won’t find all the attributes and features you are looking for in an individual bike. As a result, you might be forced to spend extra to fully customize your newly acquired bike.
Whether it is the pedals, saddle, tires, or gears, your local bike shop can upgrade all the parts necessary according to your preferences. It is also possible to conduct the upgrades on your own if you have sufficient technical knowledge, but I suggest consulting an expert bike mechanic, just to be sure!
After All is Said & Done, We Recommend:
Diamondback Overdrive 29
Why is it better?
- Supports up to 300lbs of rider weight
- High-grade components
- Amazing price
- Supports Riders up to 6 foot 4 inches tall
Last update on 2020-01-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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