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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 02-12-09, 09:36 PM   #1
dalava
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Helping a mega clyde friend

My friend really wants to get into cycling to lose weight and improve fitness but he's afraid that he's too big for it. At present, he's 6"4 and 340 lbs. I really want to help him get started. I am an avid cyclist myself and a bit of wrench, so I can help him put a bike together if necessary. Budget is of concern and he would like to stay under $1000. I would love to hear some ideas from you guys:

1. Should he go for a complete a bike? If so, any specific brand/model that will be good given his height/weight?
2. If build one is an better option, please suggest some brand/models for frame/fork/wheel/seat/etc.
3. Is there an hybrid option, meaning replacing key components on an complete bike? Would that be cost effective?
4. What should I pay attentions to when I go bike shopping with him?
5. Is there a clyde friendly bike shop around the Washington DC area?

I did some search already on the forum and couldn't quite find all the answers. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-12-09, 09:56 PM   #2
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Here's where the complete Surly Long Haul Trucker fills the bill!

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Old 02-13-09, 06:24 AM   #3
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Just about any hardtail mountain bike will be fine for him. Spend 500 or so on the initial purchase, swap the fork out for a ridgid one, then spend the remainder on some beefy 36 spoke rims laced to XT hubs with DT Swiss spokes and a set of gatorskins.
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Old 02-13-09, 06:33 AM   #4
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Most any road or hybrid bike will be strong enough, as long as it has good sturdy wheels. If you are on a budget, I'd look on ebay for a used bike, something like a Cannondale or Klein aluminum wwould be ideal, since they are super stiff. You should be able to get something maybe 5 years old in good shape with 105 or Ultrgra level components for well under a grand, perhaps as low as $500. Look for one with enough steerer tube left so he can run several spacers for a higher handlebar position, and also get a 17degree rise stem. Us bigger guys have too much in the middle to bend down comfortably in a racer's position. You may get lucky and find a bike like a Specialized Roubaix or Cannondale Synapse which are "comfort road bikes" which are made with a taller head tube for that higher handlebar position. For wheels, the best thing for really big riders are deep section rims {aero** with 32 or 36 spokes. Run at least a 25c tire, or a 28. 23's don't have enough air volume for his weight. And make sure they are properly inflated before every ride. Lastly, encourage your freind to read these clyde threads, he'll see that he is not alone. I'm close to 300lbs myself, and I rode 3400 miles last year, and have been an avid cyclist for over 20years. Oh, and one more thing. When he starts riding, find a nice flat course, maybe 5 or 10 miles max. Nothing will kill his enjoyment more than killing himself on a tough hill the first time out.
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Old 02-13-09, 01:28 PM   #5
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i am 6 inches taller and 4 lbs lighter..i ride a giant terrago with xl frame...wanted a knoa hoss but,too much for first bike but, will get one this year...both sturdy bikes
cheers
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Old 02-13-09, 02:43 PM   #6
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Wow, I was 10 pounds short of being a "Mega Clyde", and never knew it. I did lose the weight, so Tokyo is safe, I guess...

Used is often a better value, if you have the patience to find the right bike. Finding a big frame is tough, too. You can do what you call "hybrid", by getting a donor bike, with solid components, and finding a frame that fits. Good luck.
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Old 02-13-09, 03:31 PM   #7
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Hard tail mountain bike (or similarly a "comfort bike") or touring bike has done me well. I have weighed between 300 and 350 and have ridden a Giant Sedona (a $350 bike) and a 1986 Schwinn Voyageur (a touring bike) built up with modern components including stout 36 spoke wheels, and both have held up well.

Almost any non-elite frame will hold up to the weight... Actually it is probably an area where more expensive may not be better. However something that allows an upright position since his gut may be an issue would be great. The handle bar on my tourer is actually a little bit above saddle height.

Just to add to a comment above, my first ride was 1.5 flat miles, and I thought I was going to die. But, within a couple of months I was riding 20 miles regularly, and have since then ridden a couple of metric centuries. I am a long way from my peak now, but I know what I am capable of, and some day your friend will be too... just let him know that improvements will be incremental.
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Old 02-13-09, 04:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nccyclust View Post
Oh, and one more thing. When he starts riding, find a nice flat course, maybe 5 or 10 miles max. Nothing will kill his enjoyment more than killing himself on a tough hill the first time out.
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
Just to add to a comment above, my first ride was 1.5 flat miles, and I thought I was going to die.
5-10 may be too many miles the first time out.

It took me a while to get on good terms with the saddle. My first rides were less than 2 miles to re-acquaint myself with the bike. Next was a 5 mile roundtrip for lunch, stopping at a nearby LBS, then riding home with several long stops at intersections. I was really proud of riding so far, enjoyed the ride, and I was pretty wiped out from that 2+ hour adventure. Fast forward, within 6 months I was riding about 300 miles a month and had accomplished a 50-mile ride. Now I'm nursing a few issues from progressing a little too fast, so I've been off the bike for about 3 weeks recuperating. One way or another your body will let you know if you've overdone it. At least I have gotten hooked on the bike so I'm mentally ready to get back on it when I'm physically ready.
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