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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 05-08-08, 07:29 PM   #1
kpug505
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400 lbs?

My friends dad weighs in at 400 lbs. We met for breakfast awhile back and when I rode up on my bike he was very excited. He explained he used to be a runner and participated in several tri events in his younger days. He has asked me several times if I think it's possible for him to ride beacuse he loved it. He is actively trying to lose the weight and I'd like to help if possible...........
So is it? I'd love to build him a rig and show up on the porch with it. Where do I start? I was thinking a really hefty steel mountain bike with 40 spoke rims if I can find them. How about saddles?
Any input or advice?

Thanks,
Kelly D
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Old 05-08-08, 07:46 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are off to a good start. I'd use a rigid fork though, rather than suspension. Keep the geometry relaxed, as well for his starter bike.

As to the wheels, yes, 40 spoke would be good. A solid set of hand built would be my recommendation.

40 rear and 36 front.

Saddle: Something supportive and padded shorts (he can wear loose shorts over them), rather than a really cushy and plush saddle. The saddle padding just flows into spots it shouldn't and chafes. The Chamois will also help with moisture management. His bum will thank you.
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Old 05-09-08, 01:05 AM   #3
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Geez.........40 views and 1 response?
Thanks Tom.........
So I have done some research and I'm gonna build him a steel rigid MTB with high pressure street tires mounted on Velocity Deep V's. I will get several saddles for him to try and will use a Thompson seat post as they seem to have a good reputation for being strong.
As far as actual riding is concerned I will go with him a few times and explain the rules of the road and the importance of avoiding bumps and curbs to prevent spoke breakage.
I don't wear cycling specific clothing but I have read here that padded shorts (and the proper saddle)might be a butt saver for the Clyde. I want this to be enjoyable and not a pain. Question is........Where to find plus sized shorts?

Anyone?

Thanks,
Kelly D.

P.S.
Tom.........I have been following the drama lately and I must say I appreciate your patience and sense of humor. Thanks for being a great mod.........
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Old 05-09-08, 01:12 AM   #4
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kpug505,

I am 350#s and I have been riding now for 2.5 years and nearly 9,000 miles. It can be done. I have a set of 40 spoke Velocity deep V's (which are built for tandems) and a Thomson seatpost. I vouch for their quality.

I get my biking clothes at aerotech design

Tell your friend's dad to join our forum and post. We don't bite and we have people here who weigh in at his size.

Good luck.
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Old 05-09-08, 02:01 AM   #5
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I'm not far off that weight myself at 380. I've only been back on the bike for a month or so, so I don't really have much to add on the longevity of components, but I'd definately agree on the supportive but firm saddle. The first week or so is murder but now I'm used to it, it's a joy to ride.

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Old 05-09-08, 02:02 AM   #6
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^^^ Thanks for the info ^^^ I'll pass it on.
I'll also ask him to join here. He his looking for support and after reading posts in this sub_forum I can see it's here.........

Thanks BikeFo for being cool.........

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Old 05-09-08, 03:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpug505 View Post
My friends dad weighs in at 400 lbs. We met for breakfast awhile back and when I rode up on my bike he was very excited. He explained he used to be a runner and participated in several tri events in his younger days. He has asked me several times if I think it's possible for him to ride beacuse he loved it. He is actively trying to lose the weight and I'd like to help if possible...........
So is it? I'd love to build him a rig and show up on the porch with it. Where do I start? I was thinking a really hefty steel mountain bike with 40 spoke rims if I can find them. How about saddles?
Any input or advice?

Thanks,
Kelly D
Cycling is one of the best sports for a man that size because it's not load-bearing. He can use his muscles to move around and not worry about the joint damage from, say, running. Swimming would be even better, but hey, he's gotta do what's fun.

He can totally ride. Follow Tom's advice. Otherwise, nice high handlebars - equal to the level of the saddle or higher - and Ergon ergonomic grips will be great for his wrists and hands. That way, he has less weight on his arms, and the force will be spread out on his hands better.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:26 AM   #8
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Good advice so far, and please encourage him to join up. We'd sure make him welcome.

Other things to keep in mind: As he starts out, he may get discouraged because he remembers what his capabilities used to be vs what they will likely be now......remind him that he CAN get back there. Keep the rides at his pace and be patient.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:20 AM   #9
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What about a bent? or are most rides a MTB style?
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Old 05-09-08, 01:48 PM   #10
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The folks @ Aerotech are wonderful people to deal with. I recently bought a pair of these:
http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/bigsi...bikeunderliner
I used them today for the first time and thought they were great.
Your friend could maybe wear them under his usual shorts and enjoy the padding.
My first 'not standard' saddle was a Brooks w/springs which I still use on my Trek 4300, I really like it.
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Old 05-09-08, 02:34 PM   #11
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I was at ~430 when I started cycling. I was riding a mid-90's Raleigh MTB with 32 spoke wheels and a big-ass Bell seat I got from Wal-Mart. And, I rode the snot out of that bike! Probably almost 1,000 miles on it before I broke a couple spokes and bought my Hardrock sport.

I'm down in the 350's now, and I've put nearly 2,000 miles on said Hardrock. FINALLY the rear wheel is out of true a bit, and I've basically trashed the crank and BB. But hell, $400 and 2,000 miles under my abusive butt? Can't go wrong with that.
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Old 05-09-08, 02:42 PM   #12
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I would like to add an encouraging note, and point out that taking his time is the key up front.

My first ride was around the flat block (about 1km), and I thought I was going to die. I weighed about 365. It could be discouraging, but let him know that capabilities build pretty quickly.
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Old 05-09-08, 02:45 PM   #13
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Also check out Large Fella on a Bike.

Scott Cutshall started out at 501lbs in November of 2005, and with a combination of biking and diet is now down to 214lbs. He can certainly provide inspiration, and probably some useful advice.
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Old 05-09-08, 03:57 PM   #14
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+1 Little Darwin
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Old 05-09-08, 07:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I would like to add an encouraging note, and point out that taking his time is the key up front.

My first ride was around the flat block (about 1km), and I thought I was going to die. I weighed about 365. It could be discouraging, but let him know that capabilities build pretty quickly.
+1 He should know that he will suck so bad at first it's not funny. He will suck so bad he will feel like a fool. But he should ride every day, even if only 1/4 mile. Just getting on the bike is a heroic act. But he should also know something else: inside every fat man is a muscular hunk waiting to get out. Years of being overweight has caused his muscles to become very strong and solid. He's actually been weight lifting the whole time he's been fat. Once the fat's gone he will have a superior physique compared to people who have not suffered being overweight.
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Old 05-10-08, 10:32 AM   #16
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Good responses so far. I wanted to add that in League of American Bicyclists magazine there was a profile a few months back about a woman who runs a little company that specializes in bikes with higher weight limits. They looked like nice sturdy comfort bikes. I don't remember which issue, but I bet if you contacted LAB they could help you out.
Best of luck to your friend's Dad!
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Old 05-11-08, 07:36 AM   #17
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I think the rigid MTB is an excellent idea. You can find them on C/L all the time. I love my lugged Trek 950. Lots of options on tires, smooth, slicks, whatever. A rigid MTB can work for many applications, and be resold later if he moves up to something different. Add trekking handlebars to increase hand position options.

Another thing nice about a MTB, the gearing tends to be very low, small front chainrings (triple front) and relatively large gearing in back (I might be mixing up the term low and high, but you get the point). So it is easier to climb. And if you install slicks, it is plenty decent on the road.
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