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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 07-21-08, 08:45 PM   #1
drnebuloso
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Fat Man needs help!

Hey Everyone,

I am new to these forums, and new to cycling. I was wondering if someone, anyone can offer some advise for a fat man trying to lose some weight...a lot of weight. But I am having major problems with the bike I have.

I had an idea, "I'll buy a bike and ride to work everyday," I thought;

1. Free work out every day, 11 miles to work, 11 miles home.

2. Gas at $4 + a gallon, save $60-$80 a week.

3. Feel better, watch my food intake, all is good.

I weigh about 290 lbs, and I am 6'1'. The doctor said ideally I should be at about 190 lbs. But even as a 17 year old playing football I was never under 220. I am 30 now.

I brought a 3 speed beach cruiser to get started. It's a Phat Cycle (I thought a fitting name) It has a 3 speed internal Shimano Nexus with coaster breaks. Pretty cool looking bike, comfortable, I love it.

3 weeks of riding to and from work, I busted 2 spokes. I took it in for repairs (only because I hear truing a wheel is an art form) and got it back a week later.

I rode for another 4 days, then blew the innertube, then it broke 3 more spokes.

I love the bike dearly, but I dont want it to turn into a money pit.

Does anyone know what can I due to preserve the investment I have already made on this bike (about $400) or am I just to big for the bike...Does anyone know if Shimano makes a flange(?) with the capability for stronger or more spokes? Any advise would be helpful. Thanks!
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Old 07-21-08, 08:53 PM   #2
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At 290 you will need stronger wheels.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:56 PM   #3
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Whats the best resource to find some stronger wheels. And is it possible to modify my bike for the fatty I am, just till I get down to a reasonable weight?
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Old 07-21-08, 08:57 PM   #4
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Yikes, well, when you start breaking spokes like that, it's generally because of a spoke tension issue. Machine built wheels aren't as strong as a hand built and tensioned one.

I'd look at some 14 gage stainless DT Swiss spokes, and I hope you have at least 36 spokes on that hub. Phat cycles don't have exactly top of the line wheels, either, so in honesty, I'd look at a stronger, less flexible rim as well. Maybe a Sun Rhynolyte or other Mountain Bike rim, double walled for at least the rear wheel.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:10 PM   #5
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Tom's got it. You need a stronger, hand built wheel with more spokes. Cruisers put most of your weight over the back wheel so that's where you put your money. Where do you live? Maybe someone can recommend a good wheel builder.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:15 PM   #6
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I have to say that 36hole is overrated if you have well-built and tensioned rims. Case in point, I'm now up to about 200 miles on my bike and no issue yet. Of course, in about 100-150 miles I'll take it in to have the "300 mile overhaul". Sure, 36hole will work, but that's like saying a 20lbs sledgehammer will do what a 10lbs sledgehammer does.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:20 PM   #7
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The solution to your problems will cost you a little bit, but it is pretty simple. Two words for you: Salsa Gordo. That's the rim you need, which is the stiffest rim I've seen. The guys at my LBS had one, and they TRIED to get it to budge, but it didn't. I'm replacing the rear rim on my MTB with one, and will break myself before the rim does.

For spokes, 14ga straight are the ticket. They're affordable and really tough in the length you'll be using. Get that wheel rebuilt - and enjoy it!!
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Old 07-21-08, 09:22 PM   #8
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Man, its great hearing from people that know what they are talking about. Thank you so much. I live in the Orange County Area. Let me know if you can recommend anyone.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:26 PM   #9
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Urban Knight, up in the Pasadena, Ca is one possibility. He's a BF member.

http://www.bikeforums.net/members/urbanknight-49969.html

I'm going to check into another possibility as well. I may get back to ya with another.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:27 PM   #10
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Do you know if those rims are compatible with my Nexus 3 speed internal?

The guy at the bike shop was insisting there is really no solution other than replacing the spokes because of the 3 speed...

What do you guys think?
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Old 07-21-08, 09:30 PM   #11
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The rims will be fine. You'll be using the same hub, and can get the correct number of spoke holes drilled in the rim. Lots of options here. You'll still be able to use the hub, no worries.
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Old 07-21-08, 10:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drnebuloso View Post
1. Free work out every day, 11 miles to work, 11 miles home.

2. Gas at $4 + a gallon, save $60-$80 a week.
$60-$80/week in gas, 22 mile round trip, 5 days/week: 5.5-7.3 mpg. What on earth are you driving? A Unimog?
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Old 07-21-08, 10:27 PM   #13
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LOLOLOL!!!!!!!

Orange County Freeways at 7:30 Am and home at 5:30 PM. Stop and go the whole way home. Plus errands and stuff.....

With traffic, I was getting to work and home faster on the bike then I was in the car...another reason to ride to work.

So Tom, you think the SunRhynolite is the best pick? I took a look at those salsa gordos too. It tough when you have no idea what you are looking for. LOL

Last edited by drnebuloso; 07-21-08 at 10:31 PM. Reason: After thought to Tom
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Old 07-22-08, 12:20 AM   #14
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I'd offer help but I don't know a thing about Nexus Internal hubs. If it were a roadie wheel, no problem!



You will need new spokes at this point and maybe only $40 for the rebuild at a local shop. Eventhough I wouldn't accept a dime,I don't think I could save you any money with the price of gas and the 30-40 minute drive from OC. Plus I'd have to have the bike a day or two to do it right. A good wheel isn't assembled and finished in one hour. Even Sheldon says, walk away then finish the final fine adjustments the next day.

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Old 07-22-08, 09:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drnebuloso View Post
LOLOLOL!!!!!!!

Orange County Freeways at 7:30 Am and home at 5:30 PM. Stop and go the whole way home. Plus errands and stuff.....

With traffic, I was getting to work and home faster on the bike then I was in the car...another reason to ride to work.

So Tom, you think the SunRhynolite is the best pick? I took a look at those salsa gordos too. It tough when you have no idea what you are looking for. LOL
I asked the same question of my LBS, as I had a RhynoLite that was decent. They said, by far, the Gordo is stiffer. It's heavier, but man is it stiffer due to an internal "X" brace. It's a little bit more expensive as well, but if you never want problems again, trust me, spend the moolah .
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Old 07-22-08, 10:16 AM   #16
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Velocity Dyad or Mavic T-520 rims would also work well for you. I don't know how they compare in stiffness to the Salsa Gordo, but I see them on tandem bicycles with full touring loads.
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Old 07-22-08, 01:03 PM   #17
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I looked and in honesty, I'd go with the Salsa....

Quote:
Originally Posted by drnebuloso View Post
LOLOLOL!!!!!!!

Orange County Freeways at 7:30 Am and home at 5:30 PM. Stop and go the whole way home. Plus errands and stuff.....

With traffic, I was getting to work and home faster on the bike then I was in the car...another reason to ride to work.

So Tom, you think the SunRhynolite is the best pick? I took a look at those salsa gordos too. It tough when you have no idea what you are looking for. LOL
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Old 07-22-08, 01:18 PM   #18
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after 4 weeks of riding

did you cut any weight?
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Old 07-22-08, 01:54 PM   #19
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I think replacing your rear wheel with something much stronger is good advice, and it shouldn't be a huge problem to build up a new wheel using your current rear hub. Some shops are reluctant to re-build with a previously used hub, but it just means they need to re-calculate the spoke lengths based off of what rim you pick. I think the Salsa and Sun Rims are also great suggestions. As for your flat tire I'm afraid that's just part of being a cyclist (welcome by the way), but don't worry about that you'll get good at replacing flats. Check around, some of your local bike shops may offer free clinics on such things as flat repair and basic maintenance.
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Old 07-22-08, 02:15 PM   #20
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i'm riding on sun rhino lites built up for my clydeness. Started riding at 325 and have had no issues at all with them.
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Old 07-22-08, 06:09 PM   #21
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I feel your pain. I started out on an Electra cruiser and started popping spokes after the first week. Those bikes are great but the factory wheels are not made for constant use. They're for weekend slow speed runs down the boardwalk. The fix was a Sun doublewide rim with 36 count heavy duty spokes. After that two big guys could have ridden over jumps on it. I eventually graduated to faster bikes and currently ride a Kona Hoss, which was designed for Clydes. I've made some further upgrades but I'm still running on a 32 count rear wheel with only about two spokes out per year. I may switch to a 36 count eventually but by that time I will be lighter weight anyway. From my long and difficult history with wheels it seems like the quality of the rim is paramount, followed by the spoke count. The skill of the builder is also important. Finding someone who can do custom work on your rigs is vital if you're car free and not particularly interested in building up your own bike shop.

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Old 07-22-08, 06:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
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after 4 weeks of riding

did you cut any weight?
LOL you know, I haven't really weighed myself since that time I was at the doc (because the harsh reality sets in and ticks me off all to hell...how did I ever get so out of control). But I can tell for sure, my pants are much looser, a whole belt hole looser (most likely water tho). Plus my energy level is way up, and when I get to work my mind is ready to go.

Salsas huh? There is a shop not too far from my house that is a Authorized Dealer. I will have to go there this weekend and touch base.

Thanks again for all the advise guys, I was really getting discouraged there for a while. Its like I finally find a activity that I am excited about...and want to do all the time, then the thing breaks twice in the first month...It good to know that I have options.

Is the 22 miles a day, x5 days a week too much you think? Should I push to increase my time everyday, or should I just keep going like I am going.... Right now it takes just under 1 hour for 11 miles...
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Old 07-22-08, 06:39 PM   #23
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I asked the same question of my LBS, as I had a RhynoLite that was decent. They said, by far, the Gordo is stiffer. It's heavier, but man is it stiffer due to an internal "X" brace. It's a little bit more expensive as well, but if you never want problems again, trust me, spend the moolah .
For sure I will check them out this weekend. Thanks Man!!!!!
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Old 07-22-08, 06:42 PM   #24
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well, though lighter than you (I was 250 when I started) I just jumped in on 20 miles RT. I think that, if you are comfortable doing it, then rock on! I know that my commute, combined with a good eating plan, is doing the trick for me. When I started, 10 miles took me 48 minutes. Now, my average is probably 36, and my fastest is 32. I sometimes will slow down to drag it to 40 minutes, or just pedal past my road and stretch it out by distance. IMO, it's all good! I kinda knew when I was ready to try pushing longer rides, and just started trying.
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