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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-16-06, 08:57 AM   #1
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Clydesdale/Athena Index Thread - read before posting and ALL the old Stickies linked

Updated: 7-31-08

If you're asking a question for the first time skim the topics and discussions below - it's very possible we've talked about it. You may still have a question but this may help to be more specific so we can help you ("Which bike between ___ and ___ would be good for me" is better than "What bike should I get" without any sort of possibilities). The more information you can give us the better we can help you. Don't forget to try searching too.

The first part are some great conversations that put what factors Clydes and Athenas should concentrate on, below those are threads divided up into topics. Happy reading!

The old sticky thread (and introduction thread) - some great information in there which should be copied here:

Some general posts from that sticky that I thought were important:

Bike Parts vs bike (took this main post from Hambone and added a few comments from others):
Originally Posted by Hambone
I've written this several times and in several ways...

The make of your bike should be about frame fit! If you are going to be riding for exercise or for transport get a road bike. The dropped position is a little awkward for some people at first. But give it a few days and you will get over that. The way you get in shape riding a bike is by gettig on and spending a fair amount of time spinning the pedals. You won't do that as well with a mountain or a hybrid. It is really that simple.

Hybrids are the worst of both road and mountain bikes not the best. They are slower and less efficient than road bikes and no where near as bullet proof and comfortable as mountain bikes.

If comfort is your primary concern, build that into which road bike you choose. You may sacrifice a little performance but you can address this down the road when you are shopping for a new bike.

Here are the items I think clydesdales should focus on:
  1. wheels (upgrade before you get your bike. If the shop won't work with you find another shop.)
  2. tires (gotta take high max psi)
  3. pedals (if you ride light (another of my diatribes) your pedals take serious abuse -- splurge for good ones.)
  4. seat (especially on compact frames)
  5. shorts
  6. gloves
(probably in that order....

* Good gel bibs do soooo much to take pressure off the parts that contact the seat...
* A good seat is invaluable. It helps keep the tingley dingley from getting too bad. I have a Specialized with the Minkoff Wedge. I like it a lot. Others like other designs.
* Wheels -- I am down to from about 350 pounds. When I started riding my 36 spoke Mavic Open Pro Rims on Ultegra hubs -- they were perfectly round. Almost 2,000 miles and about 75 pounds later, they are still true. Excel in Colorado built my wheels. My understanding is that who builds your wheels can be as important as whet they are built with/from. Either way, the higher the spoke count the stronger the wheel.
* I shredded a cheap pair of pedals. Lets be honest, none of those spindles are made to hold up 300+ pounds. Get a decent pair, pay attention to them...
* Tires. If I knew then.... I built my road bike with a nice pair of Continental tires. They were rated for 120psi. I ran them bald faster than I thought they should have gone. So I switched to "commuter tires" but they had a lower psi. Big mistake. Tried several different tires. None of them as good as the Conti's. I have a new pair on order now!

Just to be clear. I love my mountain bike. If I can, I take it to the trails near my family and I cover it in mud. I ride it hard and I smile the whole time doing it. But the reason I have lost 75 pounds over the last nine months is diet and my road bike. Period.

Buy the bike that 1. fits you the best and 2. you think is sexy. Buy the bike that when you see it in the store it just tugs at your guts and makes you want to ride. When I saw the frame of my road bike (a GT Edge Aero) I had a reaction to it. I still look at that bike and want to ride... fast.
Response after some posts and questions
Originally Posted by Hambone
Wow, I didn't expect this much reaction.

(First, I'm not an expert -- just a guy with an opinion and a fair amount of time in the saddle. Take what I say here with a healthy dose of scepticism!)

I ride from Brooklyn to Harlem every workday. (Give or take...) I get on/off the West Side bike trail via 125th Street fairly often which means I am going over cobblestones. NYC streets are not real tire friendly but I have only had two flats in four months of commuting by bike in NYC. I ride hard but -- I think for a big guy -- I ride pretty light. On the weekends I put in longer rides when possible. Sometimes with my kids in the trailer, sometimes just getting out there and riding. I average about 500 miles/month.

If you (Air) are concerned with too much frame flex, look into an aluminum frame. It is much more rigid and at the entry level price points it will be lighter. But that ridgidity takes a toll on your nether region. Aluminum is a harsher ride. (My current road bike is an aluminum frame. I love my bike but if I could go back in time, I'd get a steel frame. Opposite is true on my mountain bike.)

Superslomo raises an interesting option. Touring bikes are beefier "road" bikes. For a "clyde" it might be the best of both worlds. Many commuters (who are putting in lots of miles in adverse conditions) opt for these. You can also look into cyclo cross bikes. (Cyclo cross is a European dirt riding. The bikes are drop barred and somewhere between road and mountain as far as the components. I have no knowledge of makes or models. Sorry.)

Cypress..., as I said, I'm no expert. And truth be told, a good bike is one you sit on -- a bad bike is one that leans against a wall somewhere. If you enjoy your bike and ride it... it is a good bike. No offense intended.

Texas, funny you use that analogy. I have used the same about several things -- including losing weight. (Weight Watchers is sailing, Gastric by-pass is power boating...) Use your SPDs. Road pedals may be a little more comfortable on the bike (I ride SPDs exclusively) BUT they suck to walk in.

Air, in reference to MTB wheels vs. Road wheels -- I wouldn't bunny hop a log at 15 mph on my road bike but the last time I did that on my mountain bike, well I was ten years younger and that cost me a rim, too. The reality is that road wheels are less sturdy than mountain bike wheels. You should ride differently on a road bike period. But the part of the NYC Parks Dept. Greenway near Rockaway Blvd that somebody mentioned, I do that on my road bike. Get in a higher gear and spin and you'll be fine.

You will get more flats on a road bike if you ride it like a mountain bike.

Maxrep, again, I'm no pro. If you were my brother and I had no way of really gauging road vs other, I'd probably say get a used mountain bike (like from Craig's List) and put slicks on it. Ride that for a year and see from there.

(But if you were my brother, you'd have gotten the hybrid anyway and now we couldn't go ride the gnarley trails near your house with me on my mountain bike because you have a hybrid; and we wouldn't go out for a long ride in wine country because you find it too cumbersome. OK, I admit I am not a fan of hybrids. But I'm not a bike snob. It is just that if you are going to get a hybrid, I say go the extra step and get the MTB. Then you can beat the crap out of it in the dirt, too.)

Finally, I find I get a better work out and I enjoy my ride more on my road bike. If I'm just around town I'll grab my mountain bike sometimes. But for sweating or getting somewhere, it is the road bike. Period.

One more thing... (my boss distracted me for a minute) if you can, why not rent a bike? Rent a mountain for a day and a road the next.
Building up a bike spending less than $1000 when you already have the frame:

Originally Posted by Air View Post
Look to spend $250-$400 on wheels that you won't have to worry about. Still cheaper than massive dental work.

Pedals -$25

Tires - $70

Seat - The Brooks are highly recommended but take a while to break in. Also, if you're going to go with a Brooks you really need to get padded shorts or bibs. ~$100

Gloves are tough - a few lbs' have plenty of gloves that are really expensive. I've gotten a few pairs from Performancebike or Nashbar and they shred by the end of the season. I'd say keep trying pairs on sale till you find ones you like, I'm finding I really like the Cannondales. Between $20-$40.

For a seatpost I'd recommend Thompson. Really, really strong and a seatpost up the arse is as much fun as massive dental work without the Novocaine.

Now you got the safety stuff out of the way you're left with about $300. If you really want to skimp you can get go to your lbs and get:
- cheap top mount shifters
- front and rear deraileurs from the used bin
- used brake calipers
- brake & deraileur cables and housing
- used crank set (I'd go with a triple and check out a fitting site for the right length, when I went up to 175 I felt a HUGE difference (I'm 6-1") from the 170s - I'd never go back) and:
- have them install a sealed bottom bracket so you can have them worry about the right spacing based on the cranks
- ($10 shifters, $40 deraileurs, $25 for brakes, $25 brakes and housing, $25 for bb, $25 labor, $25 crank set, $20 for gently used chainrings laying around (or could spend $60 for new ones there, get steel they're much stronger (I've bent the aluminum ones))).

brake handles ($15)

cassette ($20) and chain ($10 - 6/7/8 are all the same size and are thicker than 9 and 10 speed (which I tend to snap).

Total on the 'group' - $215.

Another option is to buy a 'group' which will be all those things together and better shifters that will probably start around $400.

Lastly the fork, headset ($40ish), and handlebars. Some people love carbon and some people you wouldn't pay enough to put it on - you can read the threads for yourself to decide. Maybe $100 though probably could go cheaper especially if your lbs has one laying around used. Use a fitting site to get the right width for your handlebars - that will make a huge difference. You can go drops, flat, or treking or touring (which I have and love - $25). If you do the treking bars treat yourself to some grips (3 pairs for the trekking bars) and THEN wrap grip tape over the top ($20).

So, my estimate there is $1100. You might be able to find a used bike on CL and strip the deraileurs and brake calipers off along with the cranks and chainrings so there's a little wiggle room but that should get you started.

Now, threads that go into more depth:

Community: - How to Post Pics
Post a Photo - Go on a ride, post a pic - Clyde Ride Thread - Original Clydes Thread / Welcome Thread - Clydes Flickr Pool - Weight Loss Success - Before and After Pics - Clydes, post yer pics to lure Athenas in - Athenas, post yer pics to lure Clydes in - Clyde Riding Buddies - Where is everyone - Specialized Ride Pics - How old is everyone?

Athenas ('Woman Clydes'): - Athena Introductions [new 08/29/07]
athena shorts - Athena shorts
Road Bike Recommendations - Female 44yo, 215, 5' 7" $700 - $1000 - Bike and questions

Bikes and Riding:,6...6883-1,00.html - Climbing
Going from 27 1/4 to smaller - 27" --> 700c difficulties - Riding Lighter - How to properly ride a bike
I will be doing my first metric century this weekend any advice? - First metric century - Centuries and Double Centuries [new 5-12-07] - Gearings for Clydes [new 1-5-07] - Touring on a Vintage Road Bike - Single Speed [new 1-30-07] - Fixing up and restoring an old bike [new 5-5-07] - UberClyde on a HardRock [new 5-12-07] - Riding on Crushed Limestone - Pressure for road to offride riding

Bike Buying: - Clyde Friendly Bike Shops - ***Road Bikes under $700*** - Fatigue test of CF, Al, Steel - Bike Buying FAQ
How Much Did You Pay For Your Bike? Clyde Version - Clydes Rides - how much did you spend? - Cracked Al Lemond frame - Cracked Al frame - What type of Bike? (Some CF discussion) [new 5-12-07] - Large Framed Clyde looking for Cheap Commuter [new 5-12-07] - Specialized Hardrock for UberClyde [new 5-12-07] - What type of Bike, UberClyde [new 5-12-07] - New bike after 25 years of not riding [new 5-22-07] - Trek 520 for UberClyde - Trek 520 for UberClyde [new 5-12-07] - Jamis Coda Sport for UberClyde [new 5-12-07] - Carbon Fiber for Clydes? - Lemond Reno - Beginner - Mountain Bike - Road Bike - Beginner Road Bike - Worksman Industrial Bicycle Report - Building up a Clyde bike from a frame

General Differences between Cyclocross / Touring / Hybrid / Road / Mtn Bikes: - Hybrid discussion [new 1-5-07] - Touring Bikes vs Racing Road Bikes (great comparisons here) - Newbie guide to touring - Triple vs Double vs Compact

Fitting Threads (mostly wrist):
Getting the perfect fit video - How to video - Lower back pain - Wrist issues - Knee savers [new 08-30-07] - Dialing in a roadie [new 1-22-07] - Crank Length [new 3-12-07] - Changing from drops to flats [new 3-12-07] - Wrist pain from T & V [new 5-14-07] - Specialized Seat Bone measurer - Saddle and handlebar adjustments

Fitting sites: - Knee pain
The Almighty Clyde FAQ || Northeast Index
eTrex Vista References || Road Reference

It's the year of the enema!

Last edited by Air; 11-13-08 at 01:19 PM. Reason: Updates
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Old 06-06-08, 12:25 PM   #2
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Wheels | De-Evolution of a Wheel | Hubs | Tires | Saddles | Seat Posts | Frames & Forks | Pedals | Helmets | Clothing
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Wheels: - Deep V vs Dyad vs Mavic Opens [new 10-3-07] - Mavic A719s - Deep V vs Dyad [new 10-3-07] - Deep V 1000 report - Touring Rims, Dyads, Mavic A719s, Deep Vs. - Peter White Rim specs - Peter White Velocity and Mavic wheels - Peter White on Spokes - Weight Weenies
Mavic Aksium for a Clyde? - Mavic Aksiums for a Clyde? - Bargain Wheel thread [new 10-3-07] - Wheel recommendations [new 10-1-07] - 27" Rims - Clyde Wheel Thread - Wheel Concerns - Clyde Disc Wheel - Wheel Builder, Mike Garcia in Florida - Clyde wheel spoke discussion - Strong wheel for super Clyde. - Wheels for a 240 Clyde - Spoke breakage - Wheel Killer recommendations - Open Pro vs CXP33 - Tires vs Wheels - When to replace a rim

De-Evolution of a Wheel, From Warnings Towards Solution: - First Roadie - Dialing in a Roadie - How many broken spokes are dangerous [new 5-5-07] - Rear deraileur rubbing - bad tension? [new 5-14-07] - Bombproof 27" Rims [new 9-10-07] - Spokes Rant [new 9-10-07] - Shot Rims and Clyde Recommendations? [new 10-1-08] - Deep V vs Dyad vs Mavic Opens [new 10-3-07] - Friction Shifters - Hubs - ****Hubs for Clydes from the Mechanics forum****
Mavic Aksium for a Clyde? - Mavic Aksiums for a Clyde?
Holy Canoli - Clyde does 146 miles! Ride Report - Penn Station --> Montauk Ride Report
Ride, rebuild, or replace this wheel? - Ride, rebuild, or replace damaged Aksium rim

Hubs: - ****Hubs for Clydes from the Mechanics forum**** - Clyde Hubs - Hubs for touring - Shimano XT / XTR / Chris King - Clyde Hub breakage? - Campy Hubs - Hugi hub breakage - 130 to 135 mm spacing - Axle length with incompatible frame spacing - 7 Speed Cassette on 8 or 9 speed hub - Freehubs and Cassettes explained - Peter White Hubs and descriptions


Saddles: - Brooks Saddle Failure - Saddles for Uber Clyde - Keep breaking saddles, setback seatpost solution
Fit to be tied - Relacing a Brooks

Seat Posts: - Reinforcing seat posts - More on seat posts [new 3-19-07] - Keep breaking saddles, setback seatpost solution

Frames and Forks: - Carbon Forks [new 01-30-07]

Cheap Clipless setup to sample? - Clipless suggestions
pedals for a clyde? - Good links for a variety of options
clips vs. clipless vs. platforms, help - Clips vs Clipless vs Platform

Helmets: [new 4-6-07]

Clothing: - Carry up to 4x sizes, good local business [new 6-12-07] - WIDE shoes [new 01-30-07] - Winter Pants - Winter Riding Clothes - Winter Riding Plans - Shorts - Riding gear for bigger folks - Clyde Bibs - Shoes [new 01/09/07] - Shoes [new 01/09/07] - Collection of sites
The Almighty Clyde FAQ || Northeast Index
eTrex Vista References || Road Reference

It's the year of the enema!

Last edited by Air; 07-31-08 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 06-06-08, 12:26 PM   #3
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Weight Loss Issues | Weight Loss & Nutrition | Food & Recipes | Weight Loss & Exercise | Health & Exercise | Motivation | Ride Reports
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Weight Loss Issues: - Yo-Yoing weight - Plateau-ing [new 5-7-07] - Enablers
Weight loss, surgery v. lap band - Surgery

Weight Loss & Nutrition/Food: - Clyde Nutrition and Weight Loss - Smaller meals more often? - Artificial Sweeteners may cause weight gain - Fats - How to get fat without really trying - Training with a Heart Monitor - Fitday Desktop vs Online [new 09-11-07] - Tracking sites [new 7-25-07] - Hydration [new 7-13-07] - Eating on long rides vs losing weight [new 6-11-07] - Eating during Centuries [new 5-23-07] - Calories and weight gain [new 01/30/07] - A calorie is just a calorie [new 01/30/07] - Vegan Overnight - Diet and Weight Loss

Food & Recipes:
Salads - yuck! - Salads - Granola recipes - Potato Substitute - Recipes - 100 Calorie Snacks [new 10-23-07] - Breakfast foods [new 7-25-07] - Supplements

Weight Loss & Exercise: - Dieting and Commuting - When to exercise - Fat burning [new 7-24-07] - Heart Rates in training [new 5-8-07] - Riding and weight loss [new 5-8-07] - Losing weight, exercising vs food [new 1-31-07] - Spinner Miles 2007 [new 1-5-07] - Muscle Mass - Tom's Spinner Report - Tom's Spinner Report Graph - Weekend Ride Report - Spring Challenge 2007 - Spring Challenge 2008

Health & Exercise:
Does anybody here do leg stretches before riding? - Preride Stretching? Great resource here
Do you have Asthma? - Asthma - Weight loss, gym or bike? - Max Heart Rate - Sleep Apnea surgery and CPAP [new 5-4-07] - Core strength [new 6-11-07] - More Core Exercises - Stretching - Diabetes - Cholesterol

Motivation: - More awesome stories - Few awesome and quick stories - More great before and afters - Kudos & Bragging [new 09-08-07] - Motivation [new 4-5-07] - The Google 15 [new 09-08-07] - Ride Buddies [new 08-29-07] - bdinger's Triumph [new 5-12-07] - Weight Loss Blog (Tom Stormcrowe) - Slipping and getting back [new 1-22-06] - Plateau'd no More [new 5-12-07] - Weight Loss Success - Before and After Pics - Weight Loss Progress, log and discussion. Come be motivated! - Riding in Alaska - Tom's Photo Journal - Enablers

Motivation - Ride Reports and Accomplishments
Post some Ride Report links here! - Collection of links
Shake, Rattle and Roll - The Neils on Wheels Pittsburgh/DC Tour Thread - Neils on Wheels Pittsburgh to DC
Holy Canoli - Clyde does 146 miles! Ride Report - Air's Penn Station to Montauk trip
self-supported century complete! - Adrien's unsupported (first) century
The Almighty Clyde FAQ || Northeast Index
eTrex Vista References || Road Reference

It's the year of the enema!

Last edited by Air; 12-09-08 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 06-06-08, 12:45 PM   #4
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Touring Advice | Mechanical Issues | Destructive Clyde Power | Wheel Building Threads | GPS Units | Random Stuff
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Touring Advice: - Bikes - Bikes - Building a Tourer - Bike advice - Newbie guide *** - Touring Guide 101 - Vegabond touring - Outfitting a touring bike - DIY Trailer - DIY Trailer - Washing clothes - Touring Advice - Touring with a Racing Bike - Trek 520 for UberClyde - General road biking advice but good for touring too - Know your local gangs - Cheap chain whip - One Bag Packing [new 01-02-07] - Hubs

Mechanical Issues:
Sliding #$!@$~! seatpost! - Sliding seat post - Truing bladed spoked wheels - Biodegradable degreasers [new 9-11-07] - Clyde breaking spokes [new 7-27-07]
Am I too fat? - More Clyde breaking spokes - Pumps? [new 5-22-07] - Caged vs Loose Balls [new 5-14-07] - Hub overhaul - Grease - Pinned Chainrings - Lube - Rack and Fender installation - Measuring a bottom bracket
- Front DR adjustment
- Easy way to put on a rear wheel

The Destructive Power of the Clyde
Post some Ride Report links here! - Destroyed crank
catastrophic wheel failure - why? - Mavic wheel failure
Best ever crash stories - Crashes
Have you ever trashed your frame/Fork? - Front Fork destruction

Wheel Building Threads: - Dishing - Tensioning and other questions - What should be the tension - Tension Meter - Spoke debate - Lateral Tolerance - Spoke length and tension - Physics and Principle - Tension vs Truing and Dishing - Critique a wheel build for a Clydesdale, good 'basics' thread - Oxidation on spoke nipples - Breaking spokes and tensioning - Building a wheel on the frame - Tensioning - Breaking nipples - Buying spokes - More Buying Spokes - Even more spoke buying resources - Retensioning or replacing old hub/wheel - Flat spots - More spoke buying recommendations - Cheap spokes
loose spokes, left side, rear wheel - Spokes loosening up, good notes on Mavic rims by SB

GPS Units: [new 6-6-07]
The Garmin eTrex Vista Thread - Most of my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx research - Garmin review [new 3-12-07] - More Garmin - Handlebar mounted GPS units - GPS for touring - GPS CSX vs Edge - More GPS discussions - Gpsr

Random bike stuff:
Crash course - what are the basics? - How to ride a tandem - Road Rash Aid
Fuji road bike - Fufi serial number code - Build a cadence monitor for <$12
Batteries: Replace or Recharge - Rechargable battery for GPS
Best Rechargeable Batteries?? - More on rechargables DIY Custom Frame Kit - Physics of forks
The Mauna Kea bike - Cool DT mods - Rotating the handlebars on a DT
42 minutes, 30 seconds and time to go Downtube! - Folding a DT for a suitcase - Riding tips [new 3-12-07] - Amtrak Policies for folding bikes - Flat fix by tying a knot in the tube - dealing with rust - Wrapping Bar Tape

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Update your Windows boxes -now- - Windows security
Windows 98 question for major COMPUTER GEEKS!!! - Old drivers (scroll down) - jpgs to movie freeware - Photography filters
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Picking an Opensource language... - Open source programming platform (PHP, VB, Python, Ajax, etc...)
The Top 50 Proprietary Programs and their Open Source Alternatives - Open Source Alternatives
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The Almighty Clyde FAQ || Northeast Index
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It's the year of the enema!

Last edited by Air; 02-23-09 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 06-06-10, 12:35 PM   #5
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