A simple calculation shows the dilemma: Including shoes, trousers, shirt, helmet you weigh about 110 kilos, your purchases maybe five, your bike weighs 18 kilos. Makes 133 kilos altogether. However, many bikes can only bear 100 kilos — permissible total weight is the term used by the manufacturers. “If it is exceeded permanently, brakes wear down faster, wheels deform,” says graduate engineer Dirk Zedler, bicycle expert from Ludwigsburg. “And then it gets dangerous. In the worst case handlebars or frame break.” In the event of an accident the insurance company may even certify that you are partly responsible, because you have refrained from using the bicycle properly.”
If you have a relatively new and robust bike and if your weight comes close to the permissible total weight, it may be reasonable to retrofit the bike with wider tyres or hydraulic brakes. “However, due to high costs this is often not worthwhile,” says Dirk Zedler. In most of the cases it is better to buy a new bike. Some bike manufacturers have specialised in overweight people. Get advice in the specialist trade, recommends Zedler. Make a long test ride. Then you will certainly find a model on which you feel comfortable and with which you can roll off safely!
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Author: Birgit Ruf