If you are a truly Big & Tall rider – we’re talking 6′ to 7′ & upwards of 400lb – it’s not possible to get a properly fit, reliable bike off the shelf. But Clydesdale Bicycles is looking to change that, starting with the titanium framed Draft and Team road & gravel bikes in five huge stock sizes with size-specific components developed for big performance riders.
The start of Clydesdale Bicycles for the Big & Tall
If you are a large & serious cyclist you probably know Lennard Zinn’s name. For years (decades, really) Zinn Cycles has been designing & building custom bikes for riders of any size. But custom gets super pricey fast. In the past he worked with KHS to get large affordable bikes to market, still in KHS’s catalog. Now together with long-time partner Nick Wigston, the two have created a new bike brand called Clydesdale Bicycles that will develop a range of high performance stock bikes for the really Big and Tall rider market.
Nick tells us there are a growing number of clydesdale and tall cyclists. Those cyclists are often crossing over from other sports – think pro athlete cross training, but most brands are reluctant to build bikes for those larger riders partly because it requires a nuanced approach rather that simply scaling up frame & component sizes, and because it remains a relatively small segment of the overall market place.
Clydesdale Bicycles Draft & Team titanium road & gravel bikes
But this is where Clydesdale Bicycles comes in. With decades of experience working with bigger riders, they are making it their mission to create “durable and great performing bikes for Big and Tall men and women”. The first bikes they are offering are a pair of modern road & gravel bikes that share the same titanium frame, available in two complete builds – the Clydesdale Draft & Clydesdale Team.
Clydesdale Draft & Team road & gravel Big & Tall Geometry
Getting huge riders on a properly sized bikes is a bit more difficult than it sounds. Not as easy as just scaling up, those stretched out tubes often aren’t stiff enough and you get sketchy if not dangerous handling. You also don’t want a monstrously heavy frame. Plus you need a fork stiff enough and long enough to get the handlebar up where it belongs for a proper fit. That’s where Lennard’s experience really comes in, putting together a five stock size range that is larger than any we’ve seen before, starting at L up to 4XL.
Clydesdale Draft & Team road & gravel – Tech Details
Clydesdale builds with titanium both to create bikes to last a lifetime for riders up to 450lb/204kg. But it also allows them to use large diameter tubing that offers the strength they need for larger riders without getting too heavy or harsh riding.
The Enve Gravel Road fork is a key component of the bikes as well, since Enve builds it with an extended 400mm long full carbon 1.5″ tapered steerer tube that fits the giant headtubes on the Clydesdales. (Interesting note: that 400mm Enve steerer is longer than the fork legs, which are only 382mm.)
The ti frames get modern gravel bike touches throughout, with a T47 threaded bottom bracket, flat mount disc brakes, and 12mm thru-axles. The headtubes are straight 44mm internal to work with tapered forks, and the frames get internal cable routing.
Full rack and fender mounts on the frame give the bikes light touring capabilities, and the Gravel Road forks include Enve’s clip on front fender. Tire clearance for the bikes is 40mm, or 35mm with fenders.
The bigger the frames get, the components get larger as well. So the bikes get alloy Andel cranks that start at 180mm and grow up to 215mm long. Handlebars also start at an already wide 460mm and go to 480mm to fit wider shoulders. All of the bikes get in-house hand-built wheels with 36 DT Competition spokes, brass nipples, Velocity Dyad alloy rims, and alloy Clydesdale hubs rated for 450lb riders.
Clydesdale Draft & Team road & gravel Complete Bike Spec & Pricing
The new titanium road & gravel (even light touring) bikes are available in one of two complete builds, sharing the same frame & fork. The Draft is the more affordable option at $4450 complete with a Shimano 105 2×11 groupset and 105 hydraulic disc brakes, and hand-built wheels.
The Team is a bit more premium build at $5950 with electronic Ultegra Di2 shifting and hydraulic disc brakes, Thomson stem & seatpost, and otherwise the same components as the Draft.
But this is only a first step. After building custom bikes for a long time, Clydesdale already says that stock complete mountain bikes, road bikes, commuter bikes, e-bikes, and more are all in the development pipeline. Big riders: Stay tuned!