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So can a 300 lb guy ride only an aluminum bike?

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So can a 300 lb guy ride only an aluminum bike?

Old 09-27-19, 06:04 PM
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tclong03
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So can a 300 lb guy ride only an aluminum bike?

Can a 300lb guy just a ride a aluminum bike for gravel all the time? Or is that asking to much for aluminum?
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Old 09-27-19, 06:11 PM
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You have to ride a bike made out of steel I-beam at 300 pounds.

Actually you probably can ride carbon fiber as I ride my carbon fiber road bike and I weigh 365 pounds.

Gravel shouldn't be too much more abusive to the bike than chipseal or other road surfaces.

Aluminum is a good choice as would be any of the other frame materials.

Your wheels would be the week spot, and those are easily upgraded.
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Old 09-28-19, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tclong03 View Post
Can a 300lb guy just a ride a aluminum bike for gravel all the time? Or is that asking to much for aluminum?
Absolutely. I am 245, and have pounded the crap out of a CAAD10 for 5 years on bad New England and New York roads. Buy a good bike that fits you, and maintain it well. You will be fine!
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Old 09-29-19, 07:17 AM
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a steel frame would be a better bet for clydes. by that i do not mean ordinary CrMo.

i had a bike (until it was stolen) with such an alloy that it had 0.38mm on the downtube wall thickness. columbus ultrafocco. the frame was about 1500g - Scapin EOS 7.
the vulnerability of such thin tube walls being when impacts would occur. the high density makes the material more prone to denting if it is designed to be lightweight. they're also more difficult (expensive) to weld.

aluminum 6061-T6 has fatigue strength a bit under 100MPa, about 1/3 of its yield strength. expensive steels go higher than that. corrosion issues aside... i'd pick a beefy aluminum frame only if good steels aren't available - price etc.

the best steel would be reynolds 953 (dunno if columbus xcr would be an equivalent). it exceeds 2000MPa tensile strength. it's pretty much stainless as well. the bad thing is... it costs a fortune so you need to make sure your bike does not get stolen.
Cycle Tubing & Tube Sets - Reynolds Technology

the advantage of tubes with not very large diameter would be that the resilience (vertical compliance) would compensate for the lower stiffness (lateral and torsional). you don't need frames to be so stiff that the tires need to be run with considerably lower pressure. aluminum needs to be made into high tube diameter because otherwise the stresses would cause it to fatigue. but the stiffness could be too high - too low vertical compliance.
keep in mind that wheels built with high spoke count and high spoke tension have less vertical compliance. the wheels can be made very light and also very strong/durable but the higher the spoke tension (therefore higher wheel strength) the less vertical give the rim provides. something's gotta give. your wrists? if you ride on the saddle then beefy aluminum is not the best thing to have unless you inflate large tires (heavier) with quite low psi.

large tube diameters are useful for bikes with large q factor (MTB) and/or bikes you don't spend much time riding in the saddle if being a clyde.
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Old 09-29-19, 06:03 PM
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If you're just riding gravel paths, so nice and flat and smooth and not much "offroad" style then any frame of any material should be enough to handle your weight. Do shy away from the superlight style frames though. If you're going to be more adventurous, you need to consider the strength of your fork and wheels more so than your frame.
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Old 09-29-19, 11:16 PM
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Which frame material should I buy on my next bicycle. This is such a loaded question with no good real world answer. I've looked all over the internet trying to get a handle on real world durability statistics for the many frame/fork materials out there. Plain and simple they are not available. There is lots of anecdotal evidence of almost any theory you want to support at the moment with no real data about frame and fork failure rates during use. In the laboratory carbon fiber is king when maximum stress cycles are applied to the frames and forks, Aluminum in certain grades beats all steels in maximum stress tests by quite a bit and steel in its many forms is way behind the other two. Yet in terms of everyday real world durability steel seems to perform admirably for decades in most cases with little problem One does not have to go far in these forums to find frame/fork failure stories for all three materials. Carbon fiber frames and forks must be inspected regularly for damage signs. When buying a used carbon bicycle have the frame/fork ultrasound inspected for hidden flaws. One carbon fork manufacturer says the resin used in making their carbon forks is good for 2000 hours of sun exposure then cut them up and throw them away. Because of the lack of transparency in the bicycle industry as a whole there is no real way to proclaim which material is best. The quest for the lightest material has led to components that can be very marginal or even unsuitable for heavier riders. There are large discussions about wheel durability in the Clyde forum because we Clyde's see so much component failure on our wheels. I ride steel because of low cost and enough real world durability for me not to worry about sitting on a steel framed bicycle. I personally have seen a lot of aluminum frames that cracked during real world riding. More than I've seen steel or carbon. I don't interact much with the racer crowd so that explains why I don't hear too many carbon failure stories. I ride two steel bicycles that are 40 years old, they are heavy but very durable and reliable. Good luck with your frame/fork material choices.
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Old 09-30-19, 12:55 PM
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given the same alloy, same weight of two tubes of the same length - one has a thinner wall and the other has a smaller diameter:

the rigidity of the larger diameter (that has a thinner wall) is larger than the other by (D/d)^2.
twice the diameter means 4x the rigidity. it translates to harshness and imposes larger tires.

but the strength is only by (D/d). twice the diameter means 2x the strength.

very large diameter tubes is affordable by aluminum alloys because it does not have to have wall thickness reduced as much as to make very easy denting and also difficulty in welding. rather cheap but not the best riding experience - except smooth roads.

carbon frame is very dangerous if a crack develops because there's the risk of going unnoticed.
titanium is somewhere in between good steel (starting with alloys such as in reynolds 853 etc.) and aluminum but it's not the best choice for clydes.

if i were a clyde i'd try to get a reynolds 853 or columbus ultrafocco frame, lightweight wide rims built with high tension which is afforded with very small tension variance and tires as to be large enough. and in time... i would save for a frame made with reynlods 953 tubing. either second hand - hard to find on ebay etc. for the exact size - or custom made if new. bikes with such tubing are usually custom made to the customer's preferences. this latter kind of a bike can handle smaller tires on the road while being very comfortable and speedy.

as for rather cheap aluminum... a cyclocross frame could withstand a clyde on the road because they are designed with large tube diameters - large dynamic loads when riding.
the most important thing is to have wide rims with large tires, especially for such a case.

and one more thing... handlebars stiffness is more important than fork/frame torsional stiffness when it comes to control. forks are rarely exposed to impacts(denting), same with handlebars. therefore... crabon can be used.

Last edited by adipe; 09-30-19 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 09-30-19, 03:40 PM
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Yes. I have a 2020 Trek Marlin 6 and it holds me just fine. My Specialized Sirrus was also aluminum and it also held me. The Trek is beefy and feels great.
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Old 10-01-19, 11:37 AM
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Yes, you can ride an alum bike. Most Alum bikes have a rated tolerance to handle 300lbs of rider and gear. Reality is they can handle much more.

I used to be over 360 pounds with some gear. I had no problem with my Crosstrails frame. Now the wheels on the other hand......

I would suggest riding with the current wheels and if they break or continue breaking spokes, then to worry about getting a new better set.

Steel is nice, but it's not going to be any better or worse than aluminum for a new rider.
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Old 10-05-19, 11:23 AM
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350lbs.....Aluminum Specialized Roll....ride in gravel trails all the time....wish I had more than 32 spokes but 650b tires (shorter spokes) do help...haven’t broken a spoke yet..
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Old 10-05-19, 11:31 AM
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heck yes!

My line up is: Gravel bike Cannondale CaadX alum.....not one issue, road bike alum spec allez, not one issue, mt bike spec hard rock alum, not one issue! One carbon road bike by Argon 18, not an issue.

I am 300lbs give or take and all I have ever done it put on stronger wheels......

Rice on!!
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Old 10-06-19, 03:44 PM
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I am 330 pound and five - 10
My wife bought me a Specialize roll sport for my birthday in aug
It is build't well with 27.5 tires with double rim construction
go check one out see if that might fit for you, It's a hybrid road and mountain bike
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Old 10-10-19, 12:01 PM
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You can but bear in mind you might break a spoke or two overtime due to the amount of weight on the wheels.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:08 PM
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This might be out of your price range, but take a look:

https://www.velonews.com/2019/10/bik...-riders_500561

A serious road bike for heavy and strong riders. And a lifetime ride if you never shed a pound, just get really strong.

Ben
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Old 10-10-19, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
This might be out of your price range, but take a look:

https://www.velonews.com/2019/10/bik...-riders_500561

A serious road bike for heavy and strong riders. And a lifetime ride if you never shed a pound, just get really strong.

Ben
Interesting that Zinn chose titanium frame tubing. I was aware that titanium had a type of property where it flexes a little and provides increased comfort but I guess I saw that as ad advantage for lightweight riders and those seeking a softer ride. But the mention of the availability of all kinds of oversized titanium tubes really does give the builder the creative control to optimize the frame to take into consideration the needs of the Clydesdale riders.
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Old 10-10-19, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dagray View Post
...

Gravel shouldn't be too much more abusive to the bike than chipseal or other road surfaces.

...
Unless - you hit washboard at the bottom of a fast descent. There is no equivalent on pavement.
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Old 10-10-19, 01:11 PM
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Without a doubt.
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Old 10-12-19, 02:32 AM
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I think steel is always the best material for a very heavy rider not because its stronger but because there are indicators with the material before it fails so keeping an eye on how the bike feels and visual checks makes it the safest material. The most dangerous component to fail is the forks so steel is the ideal material there even if you go for a different material for the main frame. Fatigue is the big issue with aluminium, the frames start off strong when new but always get weaker with time so 4 years of overloading can mean a frame or forks ready to fail. CF is a material that often has flaws in construction and fails without warning and does fatigue in that if you have a internal flaw that can spread with use. However there are so many variables, you can get high end steel frames from Italy that are incredibly weak (and light) and you can get overbuilt frames in aluminium and CF. However for me if you are a heavy rider what is the point of paying huge money for bikes that are 1 or 2 kg lighter when you are 50-60kg over the average cyclist weight it seems false economy especially when you will be prematurely ageing the components. The main focus on many high end road bikes is purely lightness, they might do that by drilling holes in components, butting tubes, using composites and carefully heat-treated hollowed out components costing thousands of dollars just to lose a few kg from the bike weight all of which can slightly compromise the strength of the bike which is not wanted for a heavy rider. One of the few benefits of being a heavy rider is really you don't have to waste money on such engineering, until you have lost your excessive weight when you can reward yourself with such a bike. Overweight cyclists are slow cyclists whatever bike they are on at least up the hills (unless its an e-bike) and seems pointless overspending and achieving almost nothing for that money and actually compromising your safety.

However many cyclists are very brand sensitive they don't want to be seen on a budget bike they like to express their wealth and success with a top brand bike and for those who have that mentality you can't really change their bike desires they are a bike shop's dream customer when they keep coming back for wheel repairs and new components. I certainly think if you are riding beyond the official weight limits of the bike which many overweight people are forced to do then steel is the best material. I also think knowing the material should give you some indication before failure is very re-assuring and confidence inspiring.
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Old 10-12-19, 06:41 AM
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You'd never know it from reading Bike Forums, but steel bikes are a very small part of the market, and for good reasons. Manufacturers predominantly use aluminum because that material enables the design of frames that are light and yet have a low failure rate (making lifetime frame warranties a reasonable proposition from their point of view). Building steel frames that are nearly as light and nearly as durable is much more difficult.

Discussions of frame materials on Bike Forums tend to devolve into increasingly emotional assertions supported by evidence that is anecdotal at best. That's not surprising; given how costly destructive testing of bikes is, there's not much out there in the way of factual evidence demonstrating the real differences in reliability between frame materials.

However, the German bike magazine Tour once ran an article reporting the results of extensive fatigue testing of a dozen high-end steel, titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber frames.

TLDR: all of the steel and titanium frames failed; most of the aluminum and carbon frames survived. (The article is hosted on the website of the late, great Sheldon Brown, source of much invaluable and reliable bike information.)

To read the article, do a search using the following phrase:

12 High-End Frames in the EFBe Fatigue Test

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Old 10-15-19, 03:47 PM
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I say it depends on the frame design.

I have snapped 2 alum frames at 230 pounds.

I have a Cannondale that is solid. Can't count the miles.

I had a Trek that was wimpy at the bottom bracket area, snap! 13,000 miles

I had a Lemond that was a sweet ride but had cutouts at the rear dropouts (to save weight I am guessing). I had never paid attention to that design till it snapped at the aluminum section. Believe it or not, also at 13,000 miles.

I ride carbon now as well as the alum Cannondale.

No problems at all with the full carbon.

If I ever get another alum frame, I will pay close attention to the weight saving cut out design and the flimsy BB area.
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Old 10-15-19, 05:45 PM
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a couple of points IMHO

bike frame weight is a minimal part of the whole bike and is over emphasized by many as the end all be all

aluminum is not automatically lighter than steel across the board nor is it stronger

carbon is not always the lightest, it depends on the design

Any bike of race level weight is going to be more fragile than a bike that is less race oriented.

Light weight carbon bikes take more TLC than Aluminum or steel (many have a warning says don't put on a rack that suspends the bike by the top tube and the nature of carbon is that deep cuts have a large impact in structural integrity) Note some very light aluminum frames with over size tubing have had issues with being crushed by bike stand jaws on the top tube and to a smaller degree some super light steel bikes...that is why clamping by the seat post is best practice

failure mode is different in the 3 materials, which makes a difference if it does have an issue..... steel fails more slowly, aluminum fails all at once, often with some indicators like cracks, and carbon fails suddenly

I have seen more cracked aluminum frames than steel (though my bought new steel bike cracked due to a design issue 29 years after I bought it)

in summary: buy a quality bike, not a cheapy and with good wheels 300 lbs should not be a problem. If you buy carbon be careful with it and inspect it closely on a regular basis.

me I like steel due to ride, looks of bikes built with it, and durability..... I have been riding 20-23 pound steel race bikes at any thing from 285 to current 259 with 32 h wheels with no problems no
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Old 10-15-19, 10:30 PM
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Bicycle frame material statistics

Trakhak and others have quoted well documented destructive frame testing done in Europe. Beyond the testing reported publicly in the European press I can find no data about frame survival or failure rates over a period of time. As Trakhak stated carbon fiber is by far the best material for maximum repeated frame deflections as were carried out in the European stress tests. Aluminum was second in the destructive testing but quite a ways back from carbon fiber and both were way ahead of titanium and steel. But try to get any kind of information about how all these materials fare in the day to day grind of bicycle usage and you'll find nothing. The pages of this Bike Forum are loaded with broken frame and fork stories for all materials. So statements about durability, suitability, and performance tend to be personal opinions based on some sort of personal experience. Until someone points me in the right direction for real believable data about bicycle frame material long term performance I'm very skeptical of any statements about one material being better than another. Both Trakhak and Bonzo Banana express how I feel about this whole materials situation. The bicycle industry is fashion driven completely. This insures that perfectly usable bicycles are put aside and brand new totally up to date fashion wise bicycles are bought. Do you have disc brakes? 12 speed cassettes? Electronic shifting? High Carbon content? If not you are a fashion moron. That is one of the more potent sales pitches for changing out your perfectly good bicycle you have now. I particularly liked Bonzo Banana's last comments pertaining to this "fashion" subject. I only ride reliable older heavier well engineered steel bicycle frames and forks and have bicycles with 40 years of service with no failure. As mentioned above my weight tests all components on a bicycle and I want no failures due to over stressing a bicycle part meant for a lighter person, and there a myriad of components meant for lighter people. A very fun discussion.
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Old 10-16-19, 04:33 AM
  #23  
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Well my Canondale hybrid is rated for 270 lbs, but I've never known a frame to collapse under weight during normal straight and level flight. I'm guessing its not much of an issue since anyone 300+ isn't likely to be doing a lot of bunny hopping.

In any event, its the tire/wheel that should really be of concern. They most definitely will feel the weight and lose their structural integrity under pressure.
Originally Posted by tallbikeman View Post
Trakhak and others have quoted well documented destructive frame testing done in Europe. Beyond the testing reported publicly in the European press I can find no data about frame survival or failure rates over a period of time. As Trakhak stated carbon fiber is by far the best material for maximum repeated frame deflections as were carried out in the European stress tests. Aluminum was second in the destructive testing but quite a ways back from carbon fiber and both were way ahead of titanium and steel. But try to get any kind of information about how all these materials fare in the day to day grind of bicycle usage and you'll find nothing. The pages of this Bike Forum are loaded with broken frame and fork stories for all materials. So statements about durability, suitability, and performance tend to be personal opinions based on some sort of personal experience. Until someone points me in the right direction for real believable data about bicycle frame material long term performance I'm very skeptical of any statements about one material being better than another. Both Trakhak and Bonzo Banana express how I feel about this whole materials situation. The bicycle industry is fashion driven completely. This insures that perfectly usable bicycles are put aside and brand new totally up to date fashion wise bicycles are bought. Do you have disc brakes? 12 speed cassettes? Electronic shifting? High Carbon content? If not you are a fashion moron. That is one of the more potent sales pitches for changing out your perfectly good bicycle you have now. I particularly liked Bonzo Banana's last comments pertaining to this "fashion" subject. I only ride reliable older heavier well engineered steel bicycle frames and forks and have bicycles with 40 years of service with no failure. As mentioned above my weight tests all components on a bicycle and I want no failures due to over stressing a bicycle part meant for a lighter person, and there a myriad of components meant for lighter people. A very fun discussion.
This is really hard to read without the breaks.

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Old 10-16-19, 10:09 AM
  #24  
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Krane XL I've personally broken two steel frames and one steel fork. I've seen friends break multiple aluminum frames. The aluminum frames broke at the headset, rear chain stays, and rear dropouts. I broke both steel frames on the seatpost tube down by the cranks. I have run into many stories in Bike Forum and elsewhere detailing broken frames and forks in all materials. I would like to see an impartial site set up for reporting bicycles frame/fork and component failures. Like you I am a bigger person and have weighed as much as 280lbs. I've had my share of frame and component failures over the years and would love to quantify those failures so others don't get hurt. As an older man I don't beat my bicycles and I ride on them straight. No side loading by leaning the bicycle. I have had no failures of anything for years now. The last things I broke years ago were cassette side rear spokes. Some bicycles are built stronger using design and materials to make it stronger. Some bicycles are built ultimately light and have weight limits. I've found that some weight limits are way too high and have broken components. The unbroken frames and forks I ride were built for durability and have never caused me issues. I've run into people that have opinions about stuff I've broken that run counter to my experience. I think good impartial data would solve a lot of the uninformed discussion on the internet about design and use of bicycles. Sorry for the run on sentences in my first post. It was late at night, far far away, and I was falling aslee.......
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Old 10-16-19, 11:41 AM
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Wilfred Laurier
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Any robust, well built, non-superlight bicycle will be fine. The frame, anyway. The machine-built wheels that come with most bikes might not last forever, but consider them a 'wear item' and upgrade to stronger if they start to fail (broken spokes or cracks in the rim). Generally avoid low-spoke-count (less than 32 spokes) wheels, esp. on the rear.

Some of the advice above is sound, but others less so. Specifically one post that mentions looking for a frame made from a particular heavyweight steel tubeset, or a super lightweight one... this advice is along the lines of "for your next car you need either a Toyota Tundra or a Ferrari Enzo" - opposite ends of the durability spectrum. If you are getting a steel bike, avoid frames made from lightweight, thin wall tubesets like 853 and 953. These are strong but will generally flex more than ideal under a heavier rider. A heavier steel bike like those from Surly and models made for touring are a better choice.

I have been up close to 300lbs at times in my life, and my experience has been better with aluminum frames than with steel, but others have had different experiences.

Although in my experience, if you are not riding abusively (jumps and up and down curbs and crashing through potholes without unweighting the saddle), you will not have frame durability issues for many many many kms, regardless of the material.

Much more important than the material is the 'fit' of the bike - is it comfortable riding for the length and intensity of ride you want to do. A very 'racy' bike will often put you in a stretched out low position that may not be comfortable for most casual cyclists. A fully upright hybrid or comfort bike will be lovely to sit on for a shorter ride, but most people don't enjoy riding for long hours in that position.

And that's all assuming the frame is the right size - an improperly sized frame will wind up having the handlebars way lower than the saddle, or much to close to or far away from the rider, and will result in discomfort. Most people can fit 2 or three sizes in any given model of bike... one 'close to perfect' size, one a bit small but that can be made to work, and one a bit too big that can be made to work. Adjustments are possible to dial in a bike to fit you perfectly, but if you are 2 or 3 sizes away from your ideal size then you will struggle to be comfortable.
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