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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 05-06-08, 09:36 PM   #1
CarlThibs
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Will my bicycle support my weight?

Hello everyone. I've been looking for a place to ask this question, and this seems like the right one.

I currently weigh 349lbs, and am currently on a strict diet (I started last week, and lost 16lbs already). Long story short, without going into details, I have a genetic disease that severely limits the exercises I can do. Fortunately, cycling is one of those I can do as much as I want . I've been pretty much "fat" my whole life and I decided to do whatever it takes to lose my extra 200lbs or so. Anyway, about my question.

A few years ago, when I was 16 years old, I received a bicycle I never really used. I'd love to start riding around town with it, but I think I might be too heavy right now to use it (I'll post a picture at the end of this message). Right now all I can do is exercise on a stationary bike. If I am indeed too heavy, I'd like to know when I could start riding this particular bicycle. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as well.

Thank you.


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Old 05-06-08, 09:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by CarlThibs View Post
Hello everyone. I've been looking for a place to ask this question, and this seems like the right one.

I currently weigh 349lbs, and am currently on a strict diet (I started last week, and lost 16lbs already). Long story short, without going into details, I have a genetic disease that severely limits the exercises I can do. Fortunately, cycling is one of those I can do as much as I want . I've been pretty much "fat" my whole life and I decided to do whatever it takes to lose my extra 200lbs or so. Anyway, about my question.

A few years ago, when I was 16 years old, I received a bicycle I never really used. I'd love to start riding around town with it, but I think I might be too heavy right now to use it (I'll post a picture at the end of this message). Right now all I can do is exercise on a stationary bike. If I am indeed too heavy, I'd like to know when I could start riding this particular bicycle. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as well.

Thank you.
I'm a very large guy too.
6' and 371 pounds. The best bike for riding is whatever you have on hand at the time. The rear suspension is not ideal (you'll probably max it out)....that being said, don't deprive yourself of the freedom and exercise and fun you will have riding it. If you have at least 32 spokes on your rear wheel you should be okay if you don't go around jumping curbs. On pavement or hardpack dirt you should be okay.

This is My ride, by the way....
and it NEVER gave me any trouble even when I started riding it at 397 lbs.

Don't let your size stop stop you from getting out there!

Also, check out the Clydesdale and Athena section of Bike Forums...Lots of advice and encouragement for those of us who are...ahem...larger.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:56 PM   #3
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Hop on and see. Exercise is vital to losing weight and keeping it off, and nothing in life is more boring than riding a stationary bike. If you restrict yourself to that, you're very likely to burn out. Pump the tires up, get on the bike and ride around the block. Avoid curbs, potholes, big bumps and anything else that's likely to break spokes. I've been as high as 275 lbs, and I rode as much as 350 miles a week with no problems beyond broken spokes if I didn't stick to smooth pavement.
If the suspension on your bike has a pre-load feature, you probably want to tighten it down to stiffen things up--bikes are pretty much designed for people who weigh 150 pounds, and you and I are a load on an average bicycle. Keep the tires pumped to near the maximum stamped on the sidewall, and if you decide to replace them, don't go too small--there are plenty of road tires around 26x1.7 to 1.9 that will hold 85 psi, which is about as low as I'd go.
One more warning from a guy who's been there several times: Take it slow and easy. Weight that comes off fast goes back on the same way, and you can't stick to a diet that peels off 15 pounds in a few days. You're looking at lifetime changes, not just "a diet." Find something you enjoy doing, eat moderately, and be prepared to stick with it for 50 years. Otherwise you're just jerking yourself off.
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Old 05-06-08, 11:01 PM   #4
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I don't know what that's worth exactly, but modern Raleighs are not a high end brand. I wouldn't buy one like that to start on, but given that you have it, try it and see.

My experience with the $100 mountain bike at about 280 lbs was that it was okay on pavement, but I bent wheels when I got on the least little off-road type stuff.
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Old 05-07-08, 12:33 AM   #5
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Hop on, take it slow and easy, and stick to things that are flat and level.

When you've used and abused the bike to the point that it's costing more to fix than to replace, get one that's a little better suited to how you want to ride. But for now, if it rolls, so shall you.
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Old 05-07-08, 06:25 AM   #6
CarlThibs
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Thanks everyone for replying. Very appreciated.

Will definitely try it soon then!
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Old 05-07-08, 06:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CarlThibs View Post
Hello everyone. I've been looking for a place to ask this question, and this seems like the right one.

I currently weigh 349lbs, and am currently on a strict diet (I started last week, and lost 16lbs already). Long story short, without going into details, I have a genetic disease that severely limits the exercises I can do. Fortunately, cycling is one of those I can do as much as I want . I've been pretty much "fat" my whole life and I decided to do whatever it takes to lose my extra 200lbs or so. Anyway, about my question.

A few years ago, when I was 16 years old, I received a bicycle I never really used. I'd love to start riding around town with it, but I think I might be too heavy right now to use it (I'll post a picture at the end of this message). Right now all I can do is exercise on a stationary bike. If I am indeed too heavy, I'd like to know when I could start riding this particular bicycle. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as well.

Thank you.


Sure, use it if the bike fits you. Work to change whatever you need to change, and if you can't make the bike suit your needs, get another one and sell the one you have.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:11 AM   #8
bautieri
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I'd say with a few minor modifications that bike would make a swell companion for you.

My suggestions:


The rear suspension needs to be made as stiff as possible. Right above the coil of the rear shock is a threaded crown, tighten it down as tight as you can practically make it. This will force more of your weight to be supported by the coil. The danger with doing this is that the threads can let loose should you take a large impact. If your mechanically inclined (or have a machinist friend), make a solid post to replace the rear shock with.

You may also want to put a solid front fork on the bike. They usually run about 15 dollars and a bike shop will be able to install it for you for give or take 25 dollars. When you ride any bike with suspension you loose momentum to suspension bob, you'll especially notice this when climbing hills. Alternatively you could get a new suspension fork that has a lock out and pre load adjustment. This is defiantly not cost effective though.

If nothing else get out and ride it for a month. During this time asses the type of riding you do. Do you find that you spend all your time on pavement or paved MUP's, or do you find yourself riding trails out in the woods? Do you see yourself riding a bicycle for your primary source of exercise? Establish a budget for the new bike then let us know the answers to these questions. We would be happy to give a few recommendations.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:56 PM   #9
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Good luck with the plan!

I started at about 390, bought a Cannondale Adventure 5 for 319 at my LBS-- So far it's been great, lost 19 lbs so far in under a month--
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