Finding The Best Bike For Big Guys & Ladies [Heavy Riders Up To Over 500 lbs]

If you’re overweight and looking to take up cycling, then you might be wondering how to find a bike that’s rated for heavy people. Well, the bad news is that bikes typically are not rated by how much load they can support.

However, there are some things that you can look for to make sure that you get yourself a bicycle that can handle your weight – whether you’re around 350 pounds or over 500 pounds.

With that in mind, we’ve got some tips on what you should look for in a new bike with a high weight limit, as well as some recommendations that should meet your needs.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick look at our recommendations:

  1. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 Bike
  2. Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 Bike
  3. Firmstrong Bruiser Men’s Seven Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle
  4. Cannondale Trail Tango 3 Women’s Bike
  5. Zize Bikes A New Leaf 3.0

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How To Choose A Bike For Heavy Riders

When you’re overweight, the most important thing to consider when shopping for a new bicycle is finding one that can support those extra pounds. Unfortunately, this means that ultra cheap bikes are probably not an option for you.

While we’ve got some solid recommendations for you below, we understand that you might want to do some shopping and price comparisons on your own. With that in mind, here’s a few things for you to consider as you shop around.

Strong Frame

Any bike that you’re considering buying should have a strong frame. This is important because you need something that can safely support your weight while you are riding the bike.

But at the same time, you don’t want to end up with a super heavy bike. So, you need to find that perfect intersection of a strong frame and a lightweight frame.

Riding on pavement will be easier on your bike frame than on rough terrain.

Comfortable Saddle

If you’re hoping to make cycling a new habit, then it’s important that you end up with a bike that has a comfortable seat (saddle). You don’t even need to be overweight for bike seats to be uncomfortable – just have a big butt (like me) can make many saddles uncomfortable on rides.

The best bike saddles for big people are both padded and wide. If you find a bike that you love, but the saddle doesn’t meet these requirements – don’t despair because you can replace the saddle.

Strong Brakes

Y’know how it’s harder for big, heavy vehicles to come to a stop on the road? Well, the same applies to heavy riders on bikes, which means that you need a bicycle that has high quality brakes on it.

Disc brakes are a better choice for heavy people than rim brakes, so make sure any bike you buy has disc brakes.

Sturdy Tires & Wheels

If you’ve taken a look at most bikes for sale, then you’ve noticed that the norm is skinny little tires. Well, those little tires aren’t gonna work for people who are carrying around a little extra weight.

You need tires capable of supporting extra weight and wheels that are stronger and more durable than the norm. And you need tires that won’t lose air due to the extra weight.

This is why you see a lot of overweight people riding fat bikes since they have bigger, stronger tires.

What Are Some Good Bikes For People 350 lbs, 400 lbs, and 500 lbs?

We’ve checked out the stock of the major bike stores and brands to find the best options out there for heavy people. So, if you’re a big and tall woman or man, then one of the bike below might be just what you’ve been looking for.

We recommend buying at REI for their incredible return policy.

1. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 Bike

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 Bike

The Co-Op Cycles from REI are some of our favorite bikes here at Active Weekender, and this DRT 1.2 model is a great choice for heavier riders. It is a hardtail mountain bike, but you can ride it on the pavement as well as the trail.

  • Weight limit it’s ideal for? Up to 350 – 400 lbs (on pavement)
  • What you should know: The saddle sucks and you’ll want to replace it with something more comfortable.
  • Why we recommend it: Affordable cost under $1,000, durable and high quality

2. Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 Bike

Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 Bike

This is basically a higher end version of the DRT 1.2, with a higher price tag and a few more bells and whistles. It is worth the extra cost? 

Heck yeah it is! But only if you intend to stick with cycling – if you’re new to it or just doing this for fitness, then you’re probably better off with the cheaper model.

  • Weight limit it’s ideal for? Up to 350 – 400 lbs (on pavement)
  • What you should know: The saddle still sucks and you’ll want to replace it with something more comfortable.
  • Why we recommend it: Smoother shifting than the DRT 1.2, higher quality components

3. Firmstrong Bruiser Men’s Seven Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle

 Firmstrong Bruiser Man Seven Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle, 26-Inch

This cruiser bike isn’t going to win any awards any time soon, but it sure is easy on the wallet. And, it can support a higher weight limit than your average bike.

  • Weight limit it’s ideal for? Up to 350 – 400 lbs (on pavement)
  • What you should know: It’s not the highest quality option out there and it’s super heavy at 43 lbs.
  • Why we recommend it: Ultra cheap low price makes it very affordable + saddle is very comfortable

4. Cannondale Trail Tango 3 Women’s Bike

Cannondale Trail Tango 3 Women's Bike

Designed specifically for a woman’s body, this hardtail mountain bike from Cannondale is an awesome choice for heavier women. Plus, it has an affordable cost making it a great value for the money.

  • Weight limit it’s ideal for? Up to 350 – 400 lbs (on pavement)
  • What you should know: The saddle sucks and you’ll want to replace it with something more comfortable.
  • Why we recommend it: Affordable cost under $1,000, durable and high quality

5. Zize Bikes A New Leaf 3.0

zize bikes A NEW LEAF 3.0

If you’re looking for the best bike for people up to (and over) 500 lbs, then this right here is really your only option. If you’ve never heard of Zize Bikes, they specialize in making bikes for heavy people.

But they’re not cheap. In fact, they are rather expensive.

  • Weight limit it’s ideal for? Up to 550 lbs
  • What you should know: The seat is comfortable and the quality seems to be good, but it has a high cost.
  • Why we recommend it: The only bike rated for people over 500 pounds

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are several different options available for heavy people who want to take up cycling. The bikes above are not the only options available to you, but they are the models that we feel comfortable recommending at this time.

Here’s a quick recap of our recommendations:

  1. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 Bike
  2. Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 Bike
  3. Firmstrong Bruiser Men’s Seven Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle
  4. Cannondale Trail Tango 3 Women’s Bike
  5. Zize Bikes A New Leaf 3.0

top image credit: US Air Force

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