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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 12-20-06, 12:03 AM   #1
paralegal1973
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Muscle Pain & Fatigue

I'm 5' 9" and 280lbs. I've been commuting about 4 miles one way to work each day and because I've had such harsh inner thigh muscle fatigue, in the evening I've thrown my bike on the bus and cheated most of the way back home (the incline is slight, but I'm using the easiest granny gear I have and still struggling!). Oh yeah, my hands are killing me too! AND, in the morning, my lower back has been so sore that it is difficult to even get out of bed. Does all of this eventually go away?

How long before you other clydes got your bodies used to riding? Any tips? Motivating stories?

Thank You.
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Old 12-20-06, 12:22 AM   #2
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Sounds like the fit may be off on your bike. 4 miles should be a piece of cake after a week or so of riding every day. Do the wheels of your bike spin freely?

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Old 12-20-06, 07:42 AM   #3
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What type of bike? How long have you been riding "each day" to work?

4 miles can be a big hurdle when starting out, especially on a slower bike like a mountain bike. Additionally, if you haven't been active in awhile, your body will take some time to adapt to the exercise. Maybe alternate days for the first few weeks; ride in on M/W/F, take the cage on T/H.

And start stretching! I spend 15 minutes stretching every morning (followed by an ab-workout - crunches, yum!); hip flexors, hamstrings (toe touches), calves, psoas, lower back, quads all get stretched.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paralegal1973
I'm 5' 9" and 280lbs. I've been commuting about 4 miles one way to work each day and because I've had such harsh inner thigh muscle fatigue, in the evening I've thrown my bike on the bus and cheated most of the way back home (the incline is slight, but I'm using the easiest granny gear I have and still struggling!). Oh yeah, my hands are killing me too! AND, in the morning, my lower back has been so sore that it is difficult to even get out of bed. Does all of this eventually go away?

How long before you other clydes got your bodies used to riding? Any tips? Motivating stories?

Thank You.
Sounds like you have your saddle too low! Perhaps the Top Tube length or stem is too short, so what bike are you riding? I think a pic of you riding will help me see what's going on as far as stance goes. At first there will be some pain, but if it's ongoing then there is an issue of fit.

Second question, are you wearing padded gloves for cycling?

Motivation? Here ya go!
[img][/img]
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Old 12-20-06, 07:55 AM   #5
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Here's one from when I first started back to riding....note the oxygen!
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Old 12-20-06, 08:23 AM   #6
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Does sound like a fit problem. When I started riding, I only did flat 5 mile rides, then graduated to 10, and so on. Don't forget you need rest, too. Lots of good advice above, especially about riding to work alternate days, at least for awhile. Get fitted!
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Old 12-20-06, 08:30 AM   #7
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I agree with Tom, I think your saddle is too low. Your legs should be straight at all times, if your knees are pointing out - your seat is too low. We don't want to be doing deep knee bends.

Having your bike checked out is a good thing - especially to see if it is right for you.

Tom, those pictures are incredible.
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Old 12-20-06, 08:33 AM   #8
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Just a quick note - one month before I had to commute with the bike, I started doing what I called a fake commute. Just riding the distance back and forth. Started off just in the morning, then twice a day. I knew my first days were going to be brutal (I have hills, ugly mean hills with rock and gravel on them, no pavement) and so I wanted to be close to being able to do it.

It still was a couple of months before I was able to not walk some. Walking is not failure. Consider it your granny gear...
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Old 12-20-06, 09:02 AM   #9
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Tom those pics are amazing. That is quite an accomplishment. Certainly an inspiration to us all!

Paralegal -- I would definitely suggest checking bike fit. Saddle height is probably furthest off, but you should also check saddle position as well as the height of your bars. If you don't feel up to the adjustments or where things should be, drop by a local bike shop for some help. Also as you ride more don't be surprised if you need to adjust the position of the seat and bars to match your improved strength and skills. As others have posted remember to start slowly and work your way up to a full ride.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:59 PM   #10
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WOW! Thanks for the pics Tom!

I ride a 2006 Gary Fisher Montare, and after riding several other 29er's, I felt that the frame I chose was the best fit. This bike has the 700cc wheels and I have a fat Kenda Slick Qwick Roller so I roll pretty fast and smooth, except uphill of course. I tried a road bike frame, Bianchi Volpe, and a Kona Jake the Snake, but my stomach being too large was a significant hinderance with the tilted over position (Gastric Reflux problems), so I went with the "Dual Sport" Gary Fisher: Ride on Pavement and/or on the dirt.

My saddle has been pretty high, but not too high to where I have to extend my knee all the way on the down pedal. That's what I was told at the LBS to do to adjust height. I have also been using really cushy GF gloves along with Bontrager grips that have been comfortable until recently: am replacing them both this weekend.

Thanks Tom for the very inspirational pics and the link to your diabetes story I found on this site last night. Thanks to everyone for the advice and ideas! The following link will take you to a picture of my bicycle on the Gary Fisher website.



Thanks again everyone!
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Old 12-20-06, 08:14 PM   #11
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Can you post a picture of your actual bike? If possible some with you on it and off of it. We can take a look and see if something's up - a stock picture of the bike doesn't help.
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Old 12-20-06, 08:37 PM   #12
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This is exactly what happened to me when I started riding. I found the seat was too low as others has said and my thighs would burn with pain and my knees would kill me after a short 20 minutes. I kept moving my seat up until I found the correct spot and painted a ring around my seat post so I knew exactly where the post should be positioned before each ride. Motivation, well I can't beat Tom, but I started riding June 1st and I am down 60 lbs.

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Old 12-20-06, 08:53 PM   #13
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The difference of an inch will make an incredible difference - you wouldn't believe it!!
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Old 12-20-06, 08:58 PM   #14
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Don't be surprised as you lose weight you have to move the seat even higher, as well! As you lose weight, your butt shrinks and you gain apparent leg length as related to your stance on the bike!
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Old 12-22-06, 03:51 PM   #15
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ok, need to check seat height.
starting point: raise the seat so that when you sit on it and put the heel of your foot onto the pedal
you should be able extend the leg straight at the bottom position. From there, if you still feel
a lot of stress in the upper quads, you might start to raise it before the next ride about 1/4 inch to
"dial" it in...

You also might need to add a stem extension
to increase your handle bar height.
I find that I like to have my seat and handlebar even for comfort.
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Old 12-22-06, 03:55 PM   #16
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Tom, those are some pretty inspirational pics!
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