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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 08-23-09, 09:07 AM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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Why Call us Clydesdales and Athenas?

Why a Clydesdale? The term actually comes from the Triathlon World, for a male athlete over 200 pounds and/or over 6 feet tall. This was never a derogatory term, though. The Clydesdale is a massive and powerful charger, bred for battle originally; not hauling around a beer wagon, to carry an armored knight into combat. They were the time periods equivalent of the M1 Abrams Tank.....large, fast, and unstoppable.


Why an Athena? Look at Greek art, and the idealized form. The Greek culture portrayed the Goddess Athena as, well......statuesque. To be an Athena, you are not going to be a skinny little stick girl. Athena was the Patroness Goddess of Athens, and was not only the goddess of the gift of wisdom, she was a warrior Goddess, portrayed as a large, well muscled, strong and athletic woman that embodies the ideals of wisdom, knowledge, beauty, and strength. This term also comes from the Tri world, and is given to women over 150 pounds and/or 5'10".
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Old 08-23-09, 10:48 AM   #2
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Beats the heck out of: "CHUBBA and CHUBETTE"
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Old 08-28-09, 12:29 AM   #3
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Sure is a nicer term than the other things i have been called.
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Old 08-28-09, 06:22 AM   #4
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I'm rather proud of the Clydesdale title. Though I am an Uber Clyde or whatever the term for 300+ is, aside from my belly, I embody the triathlon definition. I am 6'2", broadshouldered and especially for my size am becoming a powerful rider. I swim fairly well and I'm in the midst of the transition from walking to running.

As a cyclist, it gives me a definition, but I don't let it fully define me either. I may always be a clyde due to the size of my frame, but I won't let it stop me from being an athlete, and becoming the athlete I want to be.

Even at my heaviest (380#), while I was self-depricating about my weight, and more insecure than I ever let on, I never let it stop me from doing what i wanted. I was the only guy in my hockey league close to 400#, but I played anyways, and actually had a 10 goal season (avg about a goal/game that season).

Sure there are limitations to being a big person. You have to have a whole seat to yourself on roller coasters, you aren't comfortable in airplane seats, you get winded more easily. But if you don't think of yourself as a big person, and you do what it takes to make sure you can do what you want, you can do ANYTHING! Especially with the support of family and great friends like the peeps here at BF!
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Old 09-01-09, 10:51 AM   #5
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When I was a kid I loved to sketch and look at the stars. I decided I wanted to know all the constellations, especially the goddesses. I started a sketch booklet ...decided to learn them by sketching them alphabetically. I started with Andromeda... and got as far as Athena (little did I know that this would portend my future as a starter of many unfinished projects!).

Anyway... I think it's fitting. I've always heard of "Clydesdales", esp. in the Tri world; only recently heard of "Athenas".

Still have those sketches.... somewhere....
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Old 09-01-09, 10:55 AM   #6
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wow. i had no idea athenas were so tiny. i thought the 200 lbs or 6' rule went for both sexes. i am slightly disappointed now. lol
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Old 09-28-09, 03:01 PM   #7
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Not all Athenas are "tiny". On our Saturday club ride in St. Petersburg,FL, I don't think there are more than a few male cyclists who are larger than I am. Those rides draw 100 to 200 people. In sports, I've jokingly complained about the lack of weight classes in racewalking, cycling and running. We need "Super" and "Ultra" categories.
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Old 10-03-09, 11:15 AM   #8
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Being no fan of Budweiser, I'd prefer to be a Percheron.

Kevin
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Old 10-03-09, 12:03 PM   #9
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Being no fan of Budweiser, I'd prefer to be a Percheron.

Kevin
Budweiser stole the Clydesdales from the Scot Cavalry, though.
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Old 10-04-09, 07:00 AM   #10
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i'm rather proud of the clydesdale title. Though i am an uber clyde or whatever the term for 300+ is, aside from my belly, i embody the triathlon definition. I am 6'2", broadshouldered and especially for my size am becoming a powerful rider. I swim fairly well and i'm in the midst of the transition from walking to running.

As a cyclist, it gives me a definition, but i don't let it fully define me either. I may always be a clyde due to the size of my frame, but i won't let it stop me from being an athlete, and becoming the athlete i want to be.

Even at my heaviest (380#), while i was self-depricating about my weight, and more insecure than i ever let on, i never let it stop me from doing what i wanted. I was the only guy in my hockey league close to 400#, but i played anyways, and actually had a 10 goal season (avg about a goal/game that season).

Sure there are limitations to being a big person. You have to have a whole seat to yourself on roller coasters, you aren't comfortable in airplane seats, you get winded more easily. But if you don't think of yourself as a big person, and you do what it takes to make sure you can do what you want, you can do anything! especially with the support of family and great friends like the peeps here at bf!
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Old 10-14-09, 09:03 PM   #11
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Why is 200 lbs + automatically considered fat or over weight?
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Old 10-18-09, 06:24 PM   #12
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I just found this forum from MTBR.com. My name is Todd and at 6'4" and 350 pounds I am definitely a Clydesdale. I am glad I read this thread. I feel like having a t-shirt made up proudly proclaiming on the front "I am a Clydesdale" and the description "Large, Fast, and Unstoppable" on the back! LOL!
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Old 10-19-09, 11:04 AM   #13
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wow. i had no idea athenas were so tiny. i thought the 200 lbs or 6' rule went for both sexes. i am slightly disappointed now. lol
It does seem kind of small. I was quite thin when I was 150 lbs (at 5'-8"). I'd consider myself slim again if I could get back to 165, which was my fittest weight ever. I got a few top-three placings in cross-country ski and weekend stage races at that weight.
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Old 10-19-09, 05:52 PM   #14
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I'm not sure that this definition fits the consensus on the term (if a consensus exists).

I'd never call someone a Clydesdale just because they were 6 feet tall. There are guys out there that are 6 feet and 130 pounds. I don't quite think they belong in the same group as someone who is 6'6" and 280 pounds.

Weight (at least in my opinion) almost solely defines the term Clydesdale.


Although I'm not sure what we do with the extremely tall, extremely skinny people. At 7'6" and 210 pounds, Manute Bol would hard to call a Clydesdale. Maybe we need another category for them thats more flattering than "beanpole".
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Old 10-19-09, 05:57 PM   #15
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Why is 200 lbs + automatically considered fat or over weight?
It's not, it's the fact that at ~200 pounds, you wind up at a competitive disadvantage, even at peak fitness, against a 150 pound runner. You are carrying 50 more pounds than he or she is, and burning more O2, even at your basal metabolic rate, even.
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Old 11-05-09, 12:57 AM   #16
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I think there should be a separation of the 'fat pony' dialogue to their own forum and have the Clydesdale forum relating to things for big/taller cyclists. I don't like that they get jumbled together into one forum.
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Old 11-24-09, 11:42 AM   #17
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I think there should be a separation of the 'fat pony' dialogue to their own forum and have the Clydesdale forum relating to things for big/taller cyclists. I don't like that they get jumbled together into one forum.
The reason they're lumped together is that many bike manufacturers make bikes for a certain range of heights and weights. It's relatively easy to find or modify bikes for people on the smaller end of that size range. On the larger end you need to have longer or taller frames, and stronger frames. Heavy and tall people are both inadvertent casualties of the idea that 'athletes' must all be small and light people.

So are you embarrassed to be associated with the fat ponies? Poor thing.

P.S. I prefer to be a Clydesdale Mare rather than an Athena.
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Old 12-29-09, 08:33 AM   #18
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Just to add some perspective. People come to cycling for all kinds of reasons, I was a pretty serious gym rat before finding cycling, I hated cardio, but I was a weightlifter, and loved the challenge of upping that weight every two to four weeks. I got to a 360 1 rep max at one point, and at my strongest I was repping starting at 315 and going up to 335 then back down. I mention this because my body is a body type that puts on muscle quickly, and when it came to strength I was rapidly hitting the top end of my ability. Perhaps in a stroke of good fortune, I had a knee injury, and to rehab that I took up biking. I LOVE it. I've been on the bike since 2006, and I live in PA. I have racked up over 13000 miles since starting, I ride to work every day, I am as fit as I've ever been.

Where is all this going? Well, I weigh in at 263 right now. I have gotten as low as 229, and I am planning to get back down as I want to compete this year in several tri's (did my first Duathlon last year and loved it). Having a metabolism that puts on muscle easily also means I can put on fat easily as well. When I first got on a bike I was 290, and my resting heart rate was over 100, now even being back up to 263, my resting heart rate is in the 50's.

I bike because I love it. I bike because it makes me feel good. I bike because I'm an addict. And I'm a Clyde largely due to genetics, and I have a sweet tooth that conspires to undo me as well, but it doesn't make me less competitive, no less than when I was under 360lbs pressing it to the sky for no reason other than just beating that weight.

Joe
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Old 12-30-09, 10:43 PM   #19
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I'm a 58 yr old, 6'5", 212#. Didn't hit 200 until I was 52. Am one of those folk who amaze people with how much I eat & gain next to nothing. When I was 38 or so & playing basketball & running & doing some weight work & riding & doing aerobics because the court wasn't available until the class ended, the aerobics instructor did the class's body fat content & I came in in single digits, 7,8%. Weight was 197 back then. Coinciding with that I was randomly selected for a AHA heart/fitness survey & test. Had to go up & down 3 steps to a metronome, pulse rates, etc. Anyway point of all this was at 6"5"', 197 lbs & nil body fat it was determined that I was overweight.
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Old 02-05-10, 04:22 PM   #20
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Why an Athena? Look at Greek art, and the idealized form. The Greek culture portrayed the Goddess Athena as, well......statuesque. To be an Athena, you are not going to be a skinny little stick girl. Athena was the Patroness Goddess of Athens, and was not only the goddess of the gift of wisdom, she was a warrior Goddess, portrayed as a large, well muscled, strong and athletic woman that embodies the ideals of wisdom, knowledge, beauty, and strength. This term also comes from the Tri world, and is given to women over 150 pounds and/or 5'10".
The classical greek goddesses were quite slim (Venus de Milo), but those portrayed from the 1400s thru the 1600s, such as Botticelli's Venus arising from a seashell, were more generously proportioned.
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Old 02-19-10, 01:10 AM   #21
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Hello! im 5.7 feet and 183 lb. people call me overwieght!! is that true?!

Last edited by behnam1982; 02-19-10 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 02-22-10, 10:37 AM   #22
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No! What's more important is how you feel - are you healthy? I would suggest going by Body Mass Index, but BMI is a hopelessly flawed tool that cannot give you an accurate measure. By BMI you are 'overweight', but it doesn't take into account muscle mass or bone structure at all. If you are healthy, then you are not 'over' any weight. If you suffer symptoms that are associated with being your weight, then maybe they'd have a case.
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Old 03-19-10, 12:09 PM   #23
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It isn't! It's just that 200 lbs + is unusually large for a cyclist.

Many people who are over 200 are trying (successfully, I might add) to lose weight, but many others are just built that way.
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Old 03-20-10, 02:38 AM   #24
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Hello All... Im now at 241lbs, but with the coming warmer months I plan on losing more weight and hopefully move on up to thoroughbred... lol
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Old 03-26-10, 08:03 PM   #25
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Good thread ... I'm 5'9", about 220 lbs, though admittedly I haven't been all that physically active in recent years. I know (sort of) a few people in the general area who cycle a lot, but they're usually probably 160-170 max. One guy I know is more to the tune of 6'4"/140! I could stand to lose a fair bit of weight, but since I was 170 when I was 15 and in rather decent shape, I'll be shocked if I get much below 190 in the future.
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