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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 10-29-08, 03:06 PM   #1
mikesixty4
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New here - need help on what and where to buy

Hello all,

I am 5'11'' and to say I am overweight would probably be an understatement. Now I have used every excuse in the book as to why I don't currently exercise and why I don't need to but I decided to buy a scale after I received an email from my father stating how concerned he was about my weight. I was completely shocked to see that I weighed 300 pounds. I decided that there are no more excuses and I need to start exercising so I started walking each morning for an hour and now lift 3 times a week.

2 months later, I now weigh 287 pounds and have been feeling great but I am quickly getting bored of walking and never really liked it to begin with. Now as a kid one of my favorite pastimes was just riding my bike. So I figure what better way to exercise then to buy a bike. I love the outdoors and nature so most likely I will eventually want to buy a mountain bike as I see that being what I will really want to do.

For now though I think the best thing for me is to buy a hybrid bike of some sort for just daily exercise. and hitting the easy gravel-dirt trails on the weekend. Have been searching the forums for the past few days and I think I might have gotten my decision down between the Giant Cypress DX or the Giant Sedona DX. I was wondering what people think about these two mikes that have either owned or rode one of them?

Also, I currently live in Owings Mills, MD and was wondering if anyone knew of a good shop that I would be able to goto that would love to help out a beginner? Also for anyone who lives in the area, Are there any really good trails in the area to ride on? I am not looking for anything advanced...I know about the NCR Trail and that will most likely be something I will start doing on the weekend but I am looking for something a little more close to where I live where I can ride in the morning.

Thanks for any help that you can give I really appreciate it and sorry for the long post.
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Old 10-29-08, 04:01 PM   #2
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It sounds like you're off to a good start and cycling can definately help you along with boredom-free weight loss. I'd suggest a non-suspension mountain bike as a good place to sart. With your weight, any shocks will just bottom out and add weight (like you need more of that ). You can change the knobbies out for road slicks to make it more street-friendly. Keep it up and the miles will fly by as the weight drops off.
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Old 10-29-08, 04:30 PM   #3
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I was at the same point you are a little over a year ago. A had walked my way from 285 to 250 and got stuck there for 2 years. Then about a year ago a bought a Giant Cypress DX.It saved my life. It took some effort on my part but I lost another 65lbs cycling. Its been great! Biking is the perfect exercise to lose weight.
The Cypress was a good bike for me to start on. I would disagree with CACycling about the non-suspension bike. When you weigh +250 the suspension on the Cypress helps reduce shocks to your body.
However as you lose weight you may end up on a road bike.
Whatever you get just ride as much as you can. At first it will it will be can do to go 3 miles. Sooner then think 15 miles will be a short trip.
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Old 10-29-08, 04:59 PM   #4
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First, Welcome and Congrats on your success to date.

FWIW, go out and test ride, test ride, and test ride some more. Get the bike that seduces you. If you love it , you'll ride it .

just my $0.02 ..............
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Old 10-29-08, 05:21 PM   #5
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I'm about 245 and ride a roadie no problem, even with the 700 X 23 tires. If you'e on it for weight loss, I'd say go roadie. You'll do longer rides. Short rides on a heavy bike are less aerobic compared to doing 100 on a roadie.

Hybrids are cool for short rides. Roaides are great for handposition options contrary to what most beginners believe. Get a roadie and a good strong back wheel.

Losing weight means pushing yourself past limits, effort , distance etc.

I have see some rides kick butt on a hybrid but most end up wanting a roadie in the end. Cut out the middleman!
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Old 10-29-08, 05:50 PM   #6
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First off, congrats on deciding to get started... and for the success you've already had! I'm dieting and riding and it's working for me. I feel much better and look better than I did 3 months ago when I started riding again. (I'm 5' 10" and weigh 224 at this time)

My suggestion is to get a heart monitor wristwatch. Wear the strap around your chest for a while when you start riding to make sure you don't overdo it. I've found that it's easy for me to push myself too hard without realizing it. Rather than riding too hard and wearing yourself out quickly, back off a little and make it a goal to ride longer with a strong but reasonable heart rate.

Keep us posted on what you decide to buy and how you're doing!

Best,
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Old 10-29-08, 05:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I am curious though, why would I want to go with a Road Bike?
While losing weight is one of the primary reasons I want to buy a bike its not the only reason.
Another reason is to be able to go off road on trails. From what I understand road bikes are not great off road.

Also why is a road bike better for exercise then any other bike?
Now this is probably just my lack of experience here but I would think that I will work equally hard on any bike. I understand I could go faster on a road bike but I am not sure speed is what I am going for. I have never been a big fan of road bike handlbars either.

From what I have been researching, it appears as though hybrid bikes are also cheaper then either a pure road bike or a pure mountain bike. I could buy a hybrid cheaper and after that find out which I prefer more either road or mountain.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:00 PM   #8
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Losing weight means pushing yourself past limits, effort , distance etc.
1+ Mr.Beanz
Except I might play down effort (speed) and play up distance to start with.
For me I found that a half hour ride a day is only a break even point. I really did not start losing weight until a started doing about an hour a day.
What ever bike you start with get one that enjoy riding.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:01 PM   #9
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Any bike will work to start with.
Most of us started on mountain type bikes.
Enjoy your rides.
Bike riding is 10% Bike - 90 % motor.
You are the motor.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:14 PM   #10
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I currently walk an hour a day and plan to ride an hour a day as well.
During the weekends though I will be looking to go off road on trails. The plan is to hit the NCR trail in Maryland. It is an old railroad that was turned into a really nice trail for walking or riding. I believe the trail is around 20 miles one way. The goal is me eventually being able to complete that both ways.

One day I would like to eventually be able to ride Skyline Drive in Shenandoah but that is a long ways away and I know that would definetly require a road bike.

Who knows eventually I may have a bike for every occasion though.

Does anyone live in or near Owings Mills MD that would have a good recommendation as to what local shop to go to for help and to buy?

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Old 10-29-08, 06:18 PM   #11
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That trail sounds nice for riding.
Go slow.
You will get stronger each week.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:26 PM   #12
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Also why is a road bike better for exercise then any other bike?
Now this is probably just my lack of experience here but I would think that I will work equally hard on any bike. I understand I could go faster on a road bike but I am not sure speed is what I am going for. I have never been a big fan of road bike handlbars either.
I found a road bike better (and I started on a Hybrid) because:

1) I ride more on road then off. Roads are everywhere no excuses for not riding.

2) "Faster" means further. Longer rides are more fun.

3) Road handlebars have more hand positions hoods, ramps, corners, tops and drops. You do not have to use the drops. Longer rides can really hurt with only one or two hand positions.

4) You really do not want to "work equally hard" on your bike. You want to love riding it. The exercise is just a wonderful side effect. Riding needs to become a life style change.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:34 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mikesixty4 View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I am curious though, why would I want to go with a Road Bike?
While losing weight is one of the primary reasons I want to buy a bike its not the only reason.
Another reason is to be able to go off road on trails. From what I understand road bikes are not great off road.

Also why is a road bike better for exercise then any other bike?
Now this is probably just my lack of experience here but I would think that I will work equally hard on any bike. I understand I could go faster on a road bike but I am not sure speed is what I am going for. I have never been a big fan of road bike handlbars either.

From what I have been researching, it appears as though hybrid bikes are also cheaper then either a pure road bike or a pure mountain bike. I could buy a hybrid cheaper and after that find out which I prefer more either road or mountain.
Dude, don't overthink this - get a bike (any bike) and get yourself on it as soon as possible. When you want something else, pass on your current bike. That's all there is to it.
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Old 10-29-08, 06:59 PM   #14
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Welcome. When I am in your area I found these people really helpful at the Columbia store.
http://racepacebicycles.com/
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Old 10-29-08, 07:28 PM   #15
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I've never really been a big hybrid fan, always road for me. that being said, all the pic post from the members out East with the trail systems available to them have changed my mind.

If I had a trail system to ride like what seems to be prevalent in that area, I would not hesitate to get hybrid. Well, maybe a Cross bike, but the economics between the two make a hybrid much more feasible.

I will say I support the non suspended idea. Unless you are planning on racing off road, the suspension adds weight to the bike, adds another area of maintenance, and seems to add more effort to riding.

Congrats on your success thus far, and best of luck in your bike search. The test ride approach is best. the more bikes you try, the more likely you are to find a bike you really like rather than settling on one. Keep in mind that the you are buying the shop as much as the bike. A few dollars more for the bike from a shop that makes you feel welcome and is willing to work with you on maintenance and warranty issues is a good investment.
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Old 10-29-08, 07:53 PM   #16
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misty I would say skip the hybrid and buy a used MTB. Find one used that fits and is decent shape and as cheap as you can find. You can find a good deal on a used MTB easier then on a road bike. I rode my MTB for a long time figuring an hour ride was an hour of effort, I wasn't going anywhere in particular so it didn't matter how fast I was going. I enjoy my road bike and go faster and further then on MTB. Last week I did a 3 hour ride on my MTB it was a blast more fun then I had on my road bike in a long time.

Then you can add to your bike collection as you get in shape and have a feel for your riding, adding a road bike down the road will give you options down the road.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:21 PM   #17
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I just wanted to thank everyone again for all your help I really appreciate it. It sounds like the best thing for me to do right now is to test some bikes out before I make any real decision.

I have a few other questions though...

I have a 2006 XB, what is the best option to carry the bike around?
Is it better to put it on top or buy a hitch and get a rack for the back?

Also for the really cold days I will most likely be riding inside the house as I would rather get some form of exercise then none at all...what would be a good trainer to get?
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Old 10-29-08, 08:40 PM   #18
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I love my Cypress.
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Old 10-29-08, 08:46 PM   #19
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just to ad my vote.

i bought a raleigh mountain bike first and found that it did ok on the road but it was hard to enjoy being of road i was 350# then. i rode a few road bikes and found i could go farther and climb hilly roads better. well the raleigh was stolen a few months ago and after some savings i bought a specialized sequoia and love it i wish i would have bought this one first.

good luck
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Old 10-29-08, 09:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mikesixty4 View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I am curious though, why would I want to go with a Road Bike?
While losing weight is one of the primary reasons I want to buy a bike its not the only reason.
Another reason is to be able to go off road on trails. From what I understand road bikes are not great off road.

Also why is a road bike better for exercise then any other bike?
Now this is probably just my lack of experience here but I would think that I will work equally hard on any bike. I understand I could go faster on a road bike but I am not sure speed is what I am going for. I have never been a big fan of road bike handlbars either.

From what I have been researching, it appears as though hybrid bikes are also cheaper then either a pure road bike or a pure mountain bike. I could buy a hybrid cheaper and after that find out which I prefer more either road or mountain.
You might find a cyclocross bike a better cross between road and trail. The big advantage to road bars is that you have a lot more places for your hands, top of the bars, the hoods, front of the drop, bottom of the drop, top of the hooks. Flat bars tend to have one position, which is fine for short rides, and most trail rides are fairly short, but that one position is hard to maintain over longer distances.

Cyclocross bikes use cyclocross tires, often they are smooth in the middle, with knobby sides, and tend to be wider then pure road tires. This is not as good on the road as a pure road bike, and not as good off road is a pure mountain bike, but is better at both then a hybrid.
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Old 10-30-08, 05:11 AM   #21
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Hello all,

I am 5'11'' and to say I am overweight would probably be an understatement. Now I have used every excuse in the book as to why I don't currently exercise and why I don't need to but I decided to buy a scale after I received an email from my father stating how concerned he was about my weight. I was completely shocked to see that I weighed 300 pounds. I decided that there are no more excuses and I need to start exercising so I started walking each morning for an hour and now lift 3 times a week.

2 months later, I now weigh 287 pounds and have been feeling great but I am quickly getting bored of walking and never really liked it to begin with. Now as a kid one of my favorite pastimes was just riding my bike. So I figure what better way to exercise then to buy a bike. I love the outdoors and nature so most likely I will eventually want to buy a mountain bike as I see that being what I will really want to do.

For now though I think the best thing for me is to buy a hybrid bike of some sort for just daily exercise. and hitting the easy gravel-dirt trails on the weekend. Have been searching the forums for the past few days and I think I might have gotten my decision down between the Giant Cypress DX or the Giant Sedona DX. I was wondering what people think about these two mikes that have either owned or rode one of them?

Also, I currently live in Owings Mills, MD and was wondering if anyone knew of a good shop that I would be able to goto that would love to help out a beginner? Also for anyone who lives in the area, Are there any really good trails in the area to ride on? I am not looking for anything advanced...I know about the NCR Trail and that will most likely be something I will start doing on the weekend but I am looking for something a little more close to where I live where I can ride in the morning.

Thanks for any help that you can give I really appreciate it and sorry for the long post.
No need to apologize. Welcome to the forum, and if you want someone to join you on the NCR trail, contact me. I've wanted to ride that trail for a long time. I'm in SE PA, 30 miles west of Philadelphia.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:09 AM   #22
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+1 Skip the hybrid, and get yourself a used rigid frame mountain bike. Should be able to get a good one for about $100.

If you want more hand positions (and you will eventually), add trekking handlebars. They can be found at Nashbar for about $20.

Recognize that if you really get into riding, this will just be the first of several bikes you will own. So its not a long term commitment. And any bike you buy now will likely not be the bike you will want a year from now. So save some bucks for the next bike purchase, when you will know exactly what you want at that point.
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Old 10-30-08, 07:10 AM   #23
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I didn't see anyone mention possibly purchasing a used bike to start out with. You can check craigslist or Ebay. A couple hundred bucks could get you a nice used bike that you can try out for awhile. If you don't like it, you can probably get most of your money back out of it and try something else. I have a Trek 6500 MTB that I love, but my hands are not happy for anything more than 20 minutes with the flat handlebars. I eventually decided to get a road bike and LOVE it.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:28 AM   #24
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No need to apologize. Welcome to the forum, and if you want someone to join you on the NCR trail, contact me. I've wanted to ride that trail for a long time. I'm in SE PA, 30 miles west of Philadelphia.
Sounds like a plan. It is going to at least until early spring next year before I start riding there.
I need to get my stamina up and buy the proper equipment for my car to get my bike there.

I have also read about another rail to trail in Western Maryland: Rail to Trail

I Found this one as well which I guess you could say would be my everest: C&O Cancel
The C&O Canel is 184 miles long going from Washing DC to Pittsburgh PA.
Although I am a long ways away from being able to do this, it is exactly what I am looking to be able to do.
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Old 10-30-08, 10:29 AM   #25
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I didn't see anyone mention possibly purchasing a used bike to start out with. You can check craigslist or Ebay. A couple hundred bucks could get you a nice used bike that you can try out for awhile. If you don't like it, you can probably get most of your money back out of it and try something else. I have a Trek 6500 MTB that I love, but my hands are not happy for anything more than 20 minutes with the flat handlebars. I eventually decided to get a road bike and LOVE it.
+1. I have a Trek 800 (circa 1993) that I love and works great for short commute (10 miles round trip). I need horns for the flat handlebar, but otherwise it's a great starter bike. It's heavier than a lot of other bikes, but it's steel and a good way to start for a 300+ lb person like ourselves.
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