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  1. #1
    Junior Member katzrealm's Avatar
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    New rider....needs help!

    Hello everyone ! I'm new here and I am really wanting to get my life back. I'm 500lbs and I have finally decided to start with bike riding . I went online to look at bikes and it was quite daunting to see how bikes broke under weight😩 I really Cnt afford more that $500... I would prefer a beach cruiser ...can anyone help me as to how I can alter it to make it sturdy enough to hold me... I'm 6ft tall and will be riding in streets and bike to paths only . I welcome any suggestions and advice 😄Thank you in advance !

  2. #2
    Senior Member ChrisZog's Avatar
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    Hardest part will be wheels, especially a rear wheel. I bet at 500+ you're looking at a really strong mountain bike wheel or a tandem bike wheel. Other than that, stick with steel frame and comfortable. Look at the top banner of the forums. That is an admin of the forums that managed to go down from 581 lbs to dropping a few hundred pounds and getting into really long distances like 160 miles. His old blog probably has some great stuff.

    The Amazing Shrinking Man!

    Just Googled and this site seems to have some affordable options for 500+. Hopefully other posters can help.

    Cargo/Cycle Trucks 3 Wheel Industrial - Walt's Cycle - Sunnyvale CA


    I can say that once you start getting into the low 300s you'll have more options. Trek Shift 4 was a pretty comfortable bike with a 350 lb weight limit. I managed to get it as far as 28.27 miles in about 2 and a quarter hours before changing to a hybrid. Hybrid and heavy duty road bikes with sturdy rear wheels also work in the low 300s. So start saving money. Maybe plan to buy used at around 300-350lbs and then around 250-275 you can reward yourself with a nice road bike!
    Last edited by ChrisZog; 04-19-15 at 11:38 AM.

  3. #3
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    I was riding when I was over 400 lbs. I broke my rear axle and had to replace the back wheel. That was really the only problem that I had. I always check tire pressure before riding and I swapped out the tire tubes for thicker ones because I seemed to lose air pretty fast with the thinner tubes. I also went through a lot of pedals before I bought metal ones. Speed and riding far distances shouldn't be your main focus at first...look at riding as an exercise rather than a sport for now.

    Most of your weight loss will come from your diet rather than your bike riding, so you'll want to look at changing what you eat along with adding the exercise. If you haven't been to the doctor in a few years, go get a checkup to see if there are any issues that could be corrected to make weight loss easier. I lost 175lbs last year by eating low-carb, counting calories, and exercising...I lost the first 100lbs while not being able to exercise at all because of health problems.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ChrisZog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi View Post
    Most of your weight loss will come from your diet rather than your bike riding, so you'll want to look at changing what you eat along with adding the exercise.
    Definitely this. I figure that I burn about 500-600/hour from moderate riding and probably ride 4-8 hours per week. That is 2000-4800 calories per week burned from exercise. From dieting I'm attempting to drop at least 2 lbs per week. 1 lb of fat represents about 3500 calories so I'm eating about 7000 calories per week less than what it would take to sustain my weight. So my weekly calorie deficits are 7000/wk from dieting and 2000-4800/wk from exercise aka about 59-78% calorie loss from just eating less. The remaining 22-41% comes from exercise. The exercise is for fun. It is why I drop weight not how I drop weight.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
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    I cannot relate to being that big exactly.

    That said I used Myfitnesspal for intake, and I pretty much rode the bike EVERY day, if you do those two things I think your life will change a LOT, I logged around 3lbs a week loss from 304 down to the 200 range, so you could drop a LOT between now and January 1 :-).

    I would encourage you to set a 90 day, 6 month, and January 1 goal, and I would think you will beat them :-).

    Start a thread on your progress, come on in here and fill a water bottle or coffee cup, grab a seat and keep us posted on how your doing :-),we have a long standing reputation for success here, and your welcome to add to it :-).

    EDIT: The other opinion I will share, is do not eat back ANY exercise calories to begin with....I never did and I did not die :-)......finding the exact burn number can be tough, let your weight loss show you how many calories you burned :-).

  6. #6
    Junior Member katzrealm's Avatar
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    Thank you everybody ....I will look into all these suggestions. I was always a normal weight until I had twins and my thyroid pretty much stopped working . I'm alrdy working on eating better and now its time to kick my metabolism into gear again. Its been an internal battle because of being so heavy now I was embarrassed . As I started researching though I realized I'm not alone. This forum I find so inspiring and I appreciate the feedback 😁 I will most definitely keep posting my questions and progress😊

  7. #7
    Junior Member katzrealm's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your health issues but the fact you took control of your eating habits and exercise is awesome. 😄 I'm hoping I can share this kind of positive story in the near future !

  8. #8
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Having a under active or non functional thyroid will play havoc with weight loss. Don't give up. Unfortunately the thyroid issue adds one more hurdle/obstacle. I take thyroid meds as I have hypo-thyroid and I struggle to lose weight. Just don't let the scale define you As that could lead to frustration. This is a life journey.

    Welcome me to the forum. And congrats on the twins!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    This may sound strange response on a BIKE FORUM, but with such a limited budget have you thought about simply walking. Congrats on the twins, assuming they're still young, pushing a stroller for two can be just as much of a workout as pedaling a bike at your current state. With eating sensibly which you said you had started doing already, you should cut some weight and have more saved up for a decent bike for heavy riders in a year. I'm not saying it'll be impossible to find a bike that will suit you now, but at such a low budget its something to reconsider. Best of luck!

  10. #10
    Junior Member katzrealm's Avatar
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    I did consider walking but due to a knee injury and the weight that exacerbates the initial injury I'd be doing more damage . I did find a bike though from a post from above that will suit me perfectly so I'm quite excited with that 🙌

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by katzrealm View Post
    Thank you everybody ....I will look into all these suggestions. I was always a normal weight until I had twins and my thyroid pretty much stopped working . I'm alrdy working on eating better and now its time to kick my metabolism into gear again. Its been an internal battle because of being so heavy now I was embarrassed . As I started researching though I realized I'm not alone. This forum I find so inspiring and I appreciate the feedback  I will most definitely keep posting my questions and progress
    This doesn't have anything to do with cycling, but make sure you see your ob/gyn once a year at least...I had no idea, but being extremely overweight makes us much more likely to get endometrial cancer. I always avoided that kind of doctor after I had my kids, because I was embarrassed and because some of them seem to have so much trouble examining larger patients, but it caught up with me and I had a lot of health problems...the only symptom I had was a period that wouldn't stop. I went to the doctor after bleeding for 6 months and I had endometrial hyperplasia, which turns into cancer without treatment. That's why I've been busting my butt to get rid of the excess weight. My biopsies have been clean for the last year and my doctor says it's probably because of the weight loss.

    My endocrinologist says the most a woman can eat and lose weight is 1400 calories a day. Since you're so tall, that might be too little for you, you might have to adjust. I try to keep my carbs below 30g for each meal, that helps a lot with hunger and with having less cravings for carbs.

    One other exercise that I've been doing is hula hooping. I had to build my own hoop because the ones they sell for adults were too small for me. There are tutorials you can find on making the hula hoop. My kids and I hula hoop together...we put some music on and it feels more like play than exercise. It took a few tries (over several weeks) before I could keep the hoop going.

    I saw that someone suggested walking...that might work for you but personally, when I was at my heaviest, walking more than a block put such a strain on my lower back that I couldn't manage it, and then I'd be sore for several days after that. When I started riding the bike, it felt like freedom, to be able to move faster than a slow hobble, and to be able to move like that without hurting. But my first bike was a cheap Huffy bike and it came apart...I fixed it every weekend and rode it every week, until it got to the point where I couldn't fix it anymore. Then I bought the Townie, which is not going to win any awards for speed but is definitely comfortable. I can ride more than 20 miles on it without even feeling tired. Since you're taller than me, it should be easier for you to find a bike...I'm 5'3" with really short legs, but too big for a kid's bike.

  12. #12
    Junior Member katzrealm's Avatar
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    I will most definitely set up an appointment. Thank you ..😊 I think the most difficult aspect of this is the alienation I get from people when I express my interest in trying to get back into shape. Especially knowing that at one point I was an endurance runner and extremely active. That lead to depression and isolation. Now I've accepted what I need to do....I'm still nervous but what you said about freedom is so true! I can't wait to feel the wind on my face as I go about this new life changing endeavor! I really appreciate your time... I feel like I can be 100% here about my anxieties and not feel shunned . Thank you thank YOU!

  13. #13
    Senior Member ChrisZog's Avatar
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    Embarrassment is rough. My wife loves to run so when I offered to try cycling (tendonitis so I can't run and even hiking can be rough) she was completely in favor. When we started we just did our own thing but getting me outside was hard for her. Even 1 or 2 days a week was probably like pulling teeth.

    Eventually I got over it, got some kit (clothes) that fit and helped and started trying to get to know the cycling community in my area. That helps so much. Don't rush into fancy clothes, gear, accessories, etc when the budget is tight. But for me it feels good to get into my kit and get outside.

    Everybody I've met has been helpful. In fact I spent much of today getting help from someone in my riding group. I damaged my rear wheel yesterday and he gave me loaners from when he was a super clyde (300+). It was a 10 speed wheel and my bike is 9 speed so he also loaned me a 10 speed cassette (rear gear). Had I kept to myself, I would've been: 1) Breaking down and buying a new bike. 2) Having at least 1 new wheel built which would be rough because I'm buying a new bike in 3-9 months depending on weight loss and budget. 3) Been unable to ride for a while.

    I've found that these forums accurately describe cyclists as a whole. Everyone wants to help, encourage, and applaud success. I've never been passed by a cyclist that didn't offer to help when I was fixing a chain or a tire. I've never heard any insults or jokes except playful jabs from friends or my wife (and I'll dish them right back out). And I've developed a relationship with 2 stores including the owner of my local Trek shop who has helped maintain my hybrid bike while I'm working my way towards a road bike. Even passing teenagers on the road walking home from school leave me alone. The only critic I have is my dog. She does not like my hybrid bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi View Post

    My endocrinologist says the most a woman can eat and lose weight is 1400 calories a day. Since you're so tall, that might be too little for you, you might have to adjust. I try to keep my carbs below 30g for each meal, that helps a lot with hunger and with having less cravings for carbs.
    My wife is down to 282 from about 310 and she eats over 1400 calories a day. I think something like 2200. We both use a smart phone app called lose it. We use the free version which allows you to enter your gender, age, and weight, and your goal. You then select how much weight you want to lose per week and it gives you a calorie budget, and an estimate of when you'll reach your goal. As you lose weight you log your weight loss and as you lose your calorie budget is adjusted. It's not a magic bullet, but it is a tool. A decent one. But I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose weight if I had an untreated thyroid issue, because it's hard enough with a so called normal metabolism.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
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    I was walking at first but at 304 down to 280 it really beat up my knees, I do 10,000-15,000 steps at work and up to 100 flights of stairs, adding MORE was not great for my body at that weight

  16. #16
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
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    Cycling on the other hand was zero knee impact :-)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by katzrealm View Post
    I did consider walking but due to a knee injury and the weight that exacerbates the initial injury I'd be doing more damage . I did find a bike though from a post from above that will suit me perfectly so I'm quite excited with that 
    Along the same lines is swimming. It would be lower impact on you than walking. The problem there is finding a pool. If you do find a pool, then even some resistance walking through the water would be good for a start.

    Also, with the thyroid problems, is it possible to take a medicine to replace what your thyroid was producing?
    Good luck with the bike that you found. I just got back into biking myself, as I NEED to lose 50#, and it wouldn't hurt me to lose another 35-50 after that. I've been taking short rides, but gradually going a little further. Set reasonable goals so you don't get disappointed at your progress. We'll be rooting for you. You've taken the first step towards losing that weight. And really, at first, try not to concentrate on the weight, but the goals of how far you want to ride (or swim or walk). Think about your fitness level.

    GH

  18. #18
    Senior Member bassjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willbird View Post
    Cycling on the other hand was zero knee impact :-)
    If the bike is set up properly... Bad fit can cause a LOT of knee problems. As can "mashing" pedals instead of spinning.

  19. #19
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post

    Also, with the thyroid problems, is it possible to take a medicine to replace what your thyroid was producing?

    I can answer this. YES. However even with synthetic thyroid hormone replacement weight loss is still challenging. I speak from experience having been diagnosed hypothyroid in late 1997 and have struggled mightily to lose the weight that I gained before I was diagnosed. The thyroid meds are not a magic pill unfortunately that gets your metabolism working properly.
    http://www.tofighthiv.org/site/TR/Events/AIDSLifeCycleCenter?px=2914622&pg=personal&fr_id=1770

  20. #20
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColaJacket View Post
    Along the same lines is swimming. It would be lower impact on you than walking. The problem there is finding a pool. If you do find a pool, then even some resistance walking through the water would be good for a start.

    Also, with the thyroid problems, is it possible to take a medicine to replace what your thyroid was producing?
    Good luck with the bike that you found. I just got back into biking myself, as I NEED to lose 50#, and it wouldn't hurt me to lose another 35-50 after that. I've been taking short rides, but gradually going a little further. Set reasonable goals so you don't get disappointed at your progress. We'll be rooting for you. You've taken the first step towards losing that weight. And really, at first, try not to concentrate on the weight, but the goals of how far you want to ride (or swim or walk). Think about your fitness level.

    GH
    Go with Armour Thyroid...I take 90 Mg a day. AT is the magic pill.The man made stuff is a No.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassjones View Post
    If the bike is set up properly... Bad fit can cause a LOT of knee problems. As can "mashing" pedals instead of spinning.
    Yep and being three time a cyclist I had a "leg up" in those two areas, I knew to spin, and knew how to get the seat height right. Those on their first time a cyclist should ask for help :-). No such thing as a dumb question :-).

  22. #22
    Junior Member katzrealm's Avatar
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    So much information you all offer for which I'm thankful! For now I'm going without any medication and using diet to boost my metabolism. I've had horrible experiences in the past with various thyroid meds that have me extremely hesitant to try yet another. I can only blame a portion of my weight gain on my thyroid to be honest. As I gained weight in the beginning I was so frustrated and depressed that I found solace in all things carb. Combine that with almost zero exercise I really put myself in a bad situation. Thankfully my heart is in great shape and no other health issues other than psychological ones. I developed social anxiety due to the new found weight and that's been a battle . I now have it under control and decided to put my super woman cape on and conquer obesity. I was never a cyclist per se but I was a person who found joy in spending hours just riding. So I'm looking forward to it once again. I will have many questions because already some of the lingo in these forums is so odd Lol. I had to Google what some people were talking about with the cycle terminology. The saving grace in all this is I'm not bed ridden ...people actually don't believe I weigh as much as I do...I don't walk miles but I don't struggle to do every day tasks. I just know I can do better and healthier. I look forward to reading about your journeys as they are inspirational to me. I admire those that have gone and done what they have and take time to reach out to other people in similar situations...thank you 😊

  23. #23
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katzrealm View Post
    So much information you all offer for which I'm thankful! For now I'm going without any medication and using diet to boost my metabolism. I've had horrible experiences in the past with various thyroid meds that have me extremely hesitant to try yet another. I can only blame a portion of my weight gain on my thyroid to be honest. As I gained weight in the beginning I was so frustrated and depressed that I found solace in all things carb. Combine that with almost zero exercise I really put myself in a bad situation. Thankfully my heart is in great shape and no other health issues other than psychological ones. I developed social anxiety due to the new found weight and that's been a battle . I now have it under control and decided to put my super woman cape on and conquer obesity. I was never a cyclist per se but I was a person who found joy in spending hours just riding. So I'm looking forward to it once again. I will have many questions because already some of the lingo in these forums is so odd Lol. I had to Google what some people were talking about with the cycle terminology. The saving grace in all this is I'm not bed ridden ...people actually don't believe I weigh as much as I do...I don't walk miles but I don't struggle to do every day tasks. I just know I can do better and healthier. I look forward to reading about your journeys as they are inspirational to me. I admire those that have gone and done what they have and take time to reach out to other people in similar situations...thank you 
    Joy in spending hours just riding just about defines being a cyclist :-).

    I remember my first road bike back in 1992 felt like FLYING :-) not riding :-).

  24. #24
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Please see your doctor about your thyroid as untreated can lead to some long term problems that might not be treatable like peripheral neuropathy.

    Hypothyroidism Complications - Mayo Clinic
    http://www.tofighthiv.org/site/TR/Events/AIDSLifeCycleCenter?px=2914622&pg=personal&fr_id=1770

  25. #25
    Senior Member ChrisZog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willbird View Post
    Joy in spending hours just riding just about defines being a cyclist :-).

    I remember my first road bike back in 1992 felt like FLYING :-) not riding :-).
    Just a few weeks ago my wife and I went from comfort bikes to hybrids. I remember test riding a Sirrus Elite (2015 because we were debating by new bikes at the time). Felt like the darned thing was about to fly out from underneath me after spending a few months on a comfort bike. I can barely wait for my roadie. And hopefully the timing lines up where I hit my road bike weight around the same time that 2015 models go on sale as the 16s come out!

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