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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 06-22-09, 09:52 PM   #1
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Newbie to biking

Hello everyone, I am a newbie to the forums and to biking. I already have learned quite a bit just from browsing. I have a few things I was hoping to get some help with. As some background Im 23 years old, 6'1 and 285lbs. I have gotten a physical and have been given the green light to bike. So I got a old bike given to me as I cant afford my own right now. Its a pretty decent bike, its a Schwinn Frontier but it has road wheels on it.

I went out for my first trial ride and was able to do 2 miles ok, however my quads seemed to be turning to jello. My first question is, does anyone have a schedule kind of thing to build up my mileage? Something like to slowly build up my mileage each day gradually?.

Next was a problem that Im afraid is going to hold me back. I was in terrible pain after riding. My butt was SO hurt. Actually more in the perineal area. I have a gel seat cover over my seat and that still didnt help.

Ive done some searching and noticed that Brooks seats are quite recommended. What makes them so different? Also at my bike shop I noticed 2 kinds of cheaper seats. The first was a pretty large Very thick padded seat. Would a wider seat help alot? Even if wanting to ride faster?

The second was a seat that was more of a pad just for your butt, and didnt have the horn. it said that it was doctor recommended and a best seller. How would this kind of seat work? I hope these arent to odd of questions but the seat was killing me and after only a half a mile! I hurt so bad.

Hopefully someone can help me out. Im just trying to get started so I can lose some serious weight!
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Old 06-22-09, 10:50 PM   #2
Tom Stormcrowe
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Start with what you can tolerate, and remember to rest, and keep hydrated, especially in the Sumer heat. You'll find out pretty quickly that you are getting stronger faster than you think you will. At first, especially, don't overthink it, just get on the bike at every opportunity for a short ride at least, to establish the habit.

First investment should be a set of padded shorts. Look here:

If you feel too modest to wear Lycra in public, you can get Mountainbike baggies, or wear exercise shorts to wear over the Lycra. I recommend the Lycra, personally, because it has a better chamois pad, and helps support your muscles and circulation.

Now, too wide a saddle, and you can do damage to your sciatic nerve, and too cushy a saddle and the padding flows into your sensitive area......that's a good part of what the adding is for in the shorts, to provide padding and wick moisture. Too narrow, and you are supporting your weight on soft tissue, which becomes very painful ad can hurt you. The ideal saddle width is the minimum width needed to support your Ischial Bones (Sit Bones). The necessary width can be determined at a Specialized dealer with their Butt-o-meter (Not kidding!). Trek Dealers also generally have this thing, too, by another name.

Also, over time, your butt will toughen up, too.

As to the noseless saddles.....well, YMMV. I use the nose of the saddle to help me control the bike. You'll understand what I mean if you ever try the noseless saddles.
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Old 06-23-09, 04:26 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! I will look into the shorts for sure. If there are any other suggestions, please bring them my way!
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Old 06-23-09, 05:59 AM   #4
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Welcome Rkinne02. Since you are new, my first suggestion would be to make sure the bike fits. Since you don't sound like you have much experience my suggestion would be go to a bike shop and ride similar bikes in different sizes. You may also see if someone at the LBS (or experienced riding friend) would be willing to look at your riding position and give thier opinion or suggestion.

Also, don't worry about distances to much when you get started, make sure you are comfortable at first. Given time you will build up to longer and longer rides. Don't over do it at first but maybe look to add a mile every week or so, and take time off from cycling when needed.

I would also check the tilt of the saddle if you are having problems with the perineal area. Start with a level saddle, get used to riding in that position, then change as necessary. Depending on your riding style you may prefer a wider saddle particularly if your handlebars are even with your saddle, or are slightly above.
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Old 06-23-09, 10:37 PM   #5
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Sometimes when you're building muscle (and if your quads are jello you are) it helps to take a day or two off between rides. Gives you time to recover. Every week increase your mileage a little bit. When you're not feeling so wobbly on that schedule you can start riding every day. And pushing the mileage a little more. It won't take long before you're up to a good long ride and getting faster.

I second (or third) the idea of taking your bike into the shop and checking fit and riding position. Being in the right position and a good saddle are essential to keeping with it. Bigger and softer is not necessarily better in saddles. I haven't tried a Brooks yet but I'm considering one for my touring bike.
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