Unbreakable Bicycles for Big and Tall Riders

Cyclists who are big, tall, or both have always had a problem finding comfortable, durable, and lightweight bikes that deliver the smooth quality ride they want while accommodating their unique proportions. To meet the needs of this niche community, Lennard Zinn and Nick Wigston wanted to start a brand with a mission to make high-quality, affordable bikes for big and tall people. In 2017, Clydesdale Bicycles was born — a brand that specializes in building semi-custom bikes that are built tough and in a wide range of sizes to fit big riders, tall riders, or big and tall riders. 

Where We Got Our Start

Since 2006, Lennard and Nick have worked together at Zinn Cycles. Here, they focused on developing bikes for anyone that had trouble finding the perfect fit. From the very short to the really tall, Zinn Cycles crafted fully custom bikes for people of any size.

Inspired by their work at Zinn Cycles, Lennard and Nick decided to take their ideas a step further at Clydesdale Bicycles. They plan to add more styles and types of bikes to the inventory each year until there are a full line of bikes for tall people. 

Who we are

Clydesdale Bicycles was started in 2017 by Lennard Zinn and Nick Wigston with the mission of making great affordable bikes for big and tall guys everywhere. Lennard and Nick have worked together at Zinn Cycles since 2006, and have made it their mission to make cycling more available to everyone, including those who have a hard time finding a bike that fits and won’t break. Zinn Cycles specializes in extremely high-quality and fully custom bikes for all sizes of people, from the very short to the extremely tall. They started Clydesdale Bicycles to offer a great quality, great fitting, and durable titanium bicycle for the big and tall market at a more affordable price than a custom bike. The goal of this great new brand is to continue to add more types of bikes to the lineup each year until we have every type of bike big and tall guys want to ride. So keep an eye on our website, join our newsletter, follow us on social media, and email us anytime you want to keep up to date on what we have to offer. We have some great bikes in store for the future!

Our Design Philosophy

Lennard Zinn has been designing and building road bikes for tall people since 1982, in addition to crafting designs custom to shorter riders. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, he’s one of the few craftsmen in the world that has dedicated his entire career to delivering more durability and performance with his unique bike designs.

You might be thinking that creating road bikes for tall people is easy — just make them bigger! Unfortunately, there are many more factors than just scaling up the bicycle to creating designs for the big and tall. Some of the problems that Lennard had to overcome included:

  • A decrease in stiffness from scaled-up tubes for the frame
  • High-speed frame shimmy from less sturdy frames
  • A heavier bike because of a larger frame
  • Discomfort for cyclists reaching for too-low handlebars
  • Average length cranks make the rider feel like they’re pedaling a kid’s bike 

Our design philosophy, developed by Lennard, addresses all of these struggles and resolves these issues. How do you keep large bikes light? Why with a titanium frame, of course! How do you prevent shimmying at high speeds? With larger diameter tubing for greater stiffness and strength!

Any bike designed at Clydesdale Bicycles is comprehensively proportional to the rider and delivers comfort, performance, and durability that’s superior to anything they’ve ever ridden before. We guarantee it.

Our design philosophy

Lennard Zinn has been designing and building great bikes of all types for big and tall cyclists since 1982 at Zinn Cycles. He is one of the few bike designers in the world that has dedicated his career to improving the performance and durability of big and tall bikes. There are many more factors to building a big and tall bike than most people understand. It is not as simple as just scaling up a “normal” sized frame and calling it good. When you do that, several things happen to the bike. First, the stretched out tubes become less stiff, which results in high speed frame shimmy. This is a scary by-product of a poorly designed bike. Second, the added material makes the bike heavier, especially if the builder tries to solve problem number one with just using bigger heavier tubes. Third, without a fork with a long enough steering tube, the handlebars will be far too low for the tall cyclist causing discomfort in the back, neck, wrists, and arms. Fourth, building a bike for a tall rider with average length cranks will make the rider feel like he’s pedaling a kids bike while sitting up very high. Lennard has developed great frame design concepts to address and solve all of these issues and more. A bike designed by Lennard Zinn will be stiff and strong, while remaining lightweight. It will never shimmy at high speeds, and all of the components will be proportional to the rider. Fit, performance, comfort, and durability will all be superior on a Lennard Zinn designed bike than a big and tall bike from any other designer out there. We guarantee it.

Why a Titanium Frame?

Titanium has always been the obvious solution to Lennard. It’s half the weight of steel and can flex three times further than aluminum and twice as far as steel without permanent damage. With this material, we can deliver a larger frame without the added weight. We’ve also compensated for scaling up the design of a smaller bike with larger diameter tubing that ensures more stiffness for greater power transfer without compromising compliance and comfort. With the fatigue resistance of titanium, feeling road buzz and small bumps is a thing of the past. Our bikes won’t beat up your body over a long trek.

With the performance, weight, and comfort of our scaled-up designs resolved, Lennard turned his focus to the other benefits of titanium. Unlike other metals, titanium never corrodes. That means it can be left bare for a natural titanium finish and you can also paint or powder coat it your favorite color. 

We prefer titanium road bikes for tall people, and once you discover our bikes, you will too! Explore our selection to find a bike that can literally last you for the rest of your life.

Why Titanium

Titanium is half the weight of steel, so we can build bikes for big and tall guys with larger diameter tubing with a frame still lighter than steel. Larger diameter tubing provides greater strength and stiffness for greater power transfer, yet still with amazing compliance for a comfortable ride that doesn’t beat up your body over a long trek.

Titanium has enough strength and fatigue resistance to avoid the need for extremely oversized tubes, providing a compliant ride on rough surfaces that smooths out and absorbs road buzz and small bumps. Steel frames, with their smaller tubes, can be almost as compliant, but aren’t quite as comfortable.

Titanium can never corrode, unlike other metals. It can be painted or – unlike steel or aluminum – can be left without paint, powdercoat or plating, so you never need to worry about scratches. Internal cable routing is simple because the insides of the tubes are naturally impervious to rust and corrosion. Unlike aluminum, titanium has a fatigue limit, so as long as the tubing is not stressed beyond this limit or damaged, it will never fatigue. Titanium can also flex three times further than aluminum and twice as far as steel without permanent damage. Carbon fiber is very vulnerable to crash and notch damage, after which it may fail catastrophically. The epoxy matrix also degrades over the years with exposure to the UV in sunlight. A titanium frame can literally last the rest of your life, and longer.

Contact Us

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have about Clydesdale Bicycles. If you don’t see the type of bike you are looking for, email us and let us know what types of bikes you would like to see in the Clydesdale line up. We will be adding new models every year until we are covering every corner of the big and tall bicycle market.