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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 11-07-09, 09:40 PM   #1
boy scout 161
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Question about taking breaks.

I have found that after riding for about an hour my butt gets a little sore and my hands and feet get a little numb...nothing major. If I stop and do a little stretching for one or two minutes, I am good to go.

Is this normal?

How often to you stop and get the blood flowing?
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Old 11-07-09, 09:45 PM   #2
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Practice standing to coast.
Then go to a high gear and pedal while standing.
Increases blood flow everywhere.
Learn to drink and eat while riding.
42 miles for me before stopping.
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Old 11-07-09, 09:51 PM   #3
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Just have fun, stop when you need to.
You will get stronger every week that you ride.
I had someone train me for long distance riding.
He once rode 100 miles non stop.
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Old 11-07-09, 10:19 PM   #4
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100 miles is long distance 10 Wheels?

Boy Scout, if your hands and feet are going numb, you are not fitted on your bike properly. If you continue to increase your mileage without fixing your fit those problems will get worse. Your hands are going numb because you are putting too much pressure on them. It could be because your bars are too low, too far forward, the wrong shape for your hands or a number of other reasons. Same goes for your feet. You don't say what kind of shoe/pedal combos you are using. Usually numb feet are caused because your contact patch is too far forward on your foot. If you have have cleats on your shoes, move them as far back (towards your heal) as you can . That should help. Your butt may or may not be a problem. If the soreness is just that (and not numbness) you may just have to spend some time in the saddle to "earn" your butt. If you have a padded saddle, that could cause problems as well. Padding causes friction and friction causes a sore butt. It may be worth your while to stop in a bike shop and get fitted by someone who knows what they are doing. It's worth the time/money. A pro fit should be in the $75-$150 range and is well worth it. They will do a better job with you than we can over the internet.
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Old 11-07-09, 11:08 PM   #5
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Everything Homey said. Also, as others have suggested, take a brake when you feel you need to. Listen to your body. Some days will be great and some days not so. I had a pretty intense week. Felt great the whole way through. Went out for a ride and could not give any more than the slow paced hour I did. I even stopped a few times and goofed around on a dirt trail I found. Nothing wrong with taking it easy when you need to.
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Old 11-07-09, 11:53 PM   #6
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Is this normal?
No, not normal at all. On an organized century, the rest stops are placed about every 20 miles. So it should be more like every hour and 15 minutes. One hour? There is something definitely wrong!


Seriously, my usual rides are about 50 miles. I like to stop after 10 miles and stretch for a minute or two. Makes the remainder more enjoyable. Often times when I ride with others, most times they will not stop so I can ride without a little stretch but I prefer it.
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Old 11-08-09, 08:43 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. Sounds like I need to call my LBS and arrange a time to set up the bike. I wonder if being 6'1" - 260 might be an issue with my hands getting a little numb after an hour and as I continue to lose weight this will become less of a problem.

Shoe / pedal combo is basic. Stock pedals and New Balance X-trainers. I am riding a Schwinn Mesa MTB.

I do have a hydration pack that I take with me. In my opinion it is the next best thing to sliced bread.
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Old 11-08-09, 09:25 AM   #8
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Hopefully things can get better when you get your fit checked out with the bike. Other than that, remember that there's nothing wrong with stopping and resting for any reason. The show of progress, though, is that they tend to happen much less frequently as time goes on and you mentally recognize what your body can handle.
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Old 11-08-09, 09:38 AM   #9
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I've had some of the same issues. Shouldn't happen. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with stopping for a minute or two ever once in a while, either, whether going numb or not.

On the hand pressure, moving your hands around periodically should help, rather than always in the same position.
On the foot numbness, a stiffer sole might also help, if you're currently using a fairly flexible shoe.
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Old 11-08-09, 10:59 AM   #10
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I have found that after riding for about an hour my butt gets a little sore and my hands and feet get a little numb...nothing major. If I stop and do a little stretching for one or two minutes, I am good to go.

Is this normal?

How often to you stop and get the blood flowing?
Does this bike have flat handlebars?
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Old 11-08-09, 12:12 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advice. Sounds like I need to call my LBS and arrange a time to set up the bike. I wonder if being 6'1" - 260 might be an issue with my hands getting a little numb after an hour and as I continue to lose weight this will become less of a problem.

Shoe / pedal combo is basic. Stock pedals and New Balance X-trainers. I am riding a Schwinn Mesa MTB.

I do have a hydration pack that I take with me. In my opinion it is the next best thing to sliced bread.

As your weight comes down it should help a bit. You need to get in a good position on the bike first. Are you using toe clips? I'm sure those NB shoes aren't giving you enough support whether you are using toe clips or not. They are more of a running shoe. On the bike you want the stiffest shoe (sole) possible for what you are doing and you want the contact patch with the pedal to be behind the ball of your foot. Cycling shoes/peddles would be a good investment if you are going to be riding the bike on a regular basis. Mtn bike shoes/pedals would be good if you want to be able to walk around.
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Old 11-08-09, 12:36 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice. Sounds like I need to call my LBS and arrange a time to set up the bike. I wonder if being 6'1" - 260 might be an issue with my hands getting a little numb after an hour and as I continue to lose weight this will become less of a problem.

I am riding a Schwinn Mesa MTB.
Those paid for pro-fit sessions are all based on methodologies designed for drop bar bikes, which have very different ergonomics to an MTB. A store will take your money if you offer it but you shouldn't expect any benefit.

You don't say how long you've been riding. Your ass has to be conditioned to withstand long periods of pedalling! If it doesn't get happier then try some alternative saddles. Saddle choice is very personal but the WTB Speed V is very popular with a wide range of MTB riders and reasonably priced.

Re your hand numbness: get Ergon grips. Read up on them in the Hybrid forum. And wear cycling gloves with gel inserts.
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Old 11-08-09, 01:32 PM   #13
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Those paid for pro-fit sessions are all based on methodologies designed for drop bar bikes, which have very different ergonomics to an MTB. A store will take your money if you offer it but you shouldn't expect any benefit.

You don't say how long you've been riding. Your ass has to be conditioned to withstand long periods of pedalling! If it doesn't get happier then try some alternative saddles. Saddle choice is very personal but the WTB Speed V is very popular with a wide range of MTB riders and reasonably priced.

Re your hand numbness: get Ergon grips. Read up on them in the Hybrid forum. And wear cycling gloves with gel inserts.
That's not true at all. Fitting on a mtn bike is a little different but it isn't rocket science. Any skilled fitter can do it. If you pay for a fit you should expect it to be right and if it isn't you should go back and have them make it right and if they can't you should get your money back. Simple as that. Padded gloves are a bandaid for poor fit...
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Old 11-08-09, 01:43 PM   #14
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Man I am glad I found this Forum!!! Good stuff!!!

Meanwhile: I bought my bike about 8 years ago. Road a lot the first year and then daughters 3 and 4 came along. Haven't rode in 7 years. Put on weight (280lbs). Started riding again 3 months ago. I have lost 20 lbs. The funny thing is my endurance in three months is about where it was 7 years ago. I haven't figured that out. Anyway, my average speed is 12.5 mph on dirt roads. I am up to riding 12 miles M,T,TH,F and I try to ride double that on Saturdays. Sunday I might take a leasure ride.

Richard: My handle bars have about an inch of rise (eyeballing it).

Homey: I think I want to stick with platform pedals. I ride mostly country roads that are sandy and rutted. The bike can get a little squirrely at times and I am not comfortable with my feet locked into something. What type of shoe would be good in that situation? Maybe a skateboard shoe that is stiffer?

Thanks guys.
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Old 11-08-09, 04:06 PM   #15
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Tip the nose of you saddle up or level the saddle.

Skateboard or cross training shoes are good for platform shoe riding. However, do look into clipess to help with the foot pain. The cleat will keep your foot in the right place, and the ability to pull up on the pedal and do one foot pedaling will help with foot and knee pain.

Like everyone said, get fitted to your bike better.
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Old 11-08-09, 07:12 PM   #16
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...The funny thing is my endurance in three months is about where it was 7 years ago. I haven't figured that out...
Homey: I think I want to stick with platform pedals. I ride mostly country roads that are sandy and rutted. The bike can get a little squirrely at times and I am not comfortable with my feet locked into something. What type of shoe would be good in that situation? Maybe a skateboard shoe that is stiffer?

Thanks guys.
You stayed in condition chasing little girls around!
As far as the pedals go, use what you are comfortable with. As you get more comfortable on the bike you might want to think about shoes and pedals. You will be much more comfortable in the long run with proper shoes and pedals...
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Old 11-08-09, 08:47 PM   #17
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You stayed in condition chasing little girls around!

With 4 daughters my wife and I stay pretty busy keeping up with them. They can make you kind of crazy, but we wouldn't trade them for anything. I just want to be around to see their children...you know. Hence getting back into biking.

I have been doing some web surfing regarding mountian bike fit. Suprisingly my bike fits me pretty well. I am going to mess with the seat position. I adjusted the brake levels down so my wrists are in a more neutral ergo position. Looking at a little bigger platform pedal from Nashbar.

Thanks for all the advice everyone.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:03 PM   #18
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Do you use shorts with a chamois, riding gloves? Stiffer shoes will definitely help, it will spread the force of the pedals across the entire foot and not just the contact patch of the pedal. A stiff mountain bike shoe will be good on the country roads. Using riding gloves has padding in the palms will help with some of the numbness. Using road bike handle bars allows for more had positions and reduces the numbness. If the bike has mountain bike bars then get some bar ends, this will add some more hand positions. Cycling specific shorts will have a chamois and reduce the pain in the rear and chalfing, if you don't want to where skins then get some mountain bike shorts. Notice that the only places that are a problem is the contact points with the bike? Also since you haven't ridden in a while it may just take some time to toughen the butt.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:06 PM   #19
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Taking breaks is fine, it depends on your fitness level. I typically don't take breaks but that's me. your body knows best so if you need a break, take it.
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Old 11-17-09, 07:15 PM   #20
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I have been wondering about bar ends. They don't look expensive so that might be worth a try.

I have bike shorts with padding and chamois. I have started powdering the twins. It seems to help.

I have been looking at shoes, but haven't bought any yet.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 11-21-09, 11:14 PM   #21
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For me, powder causes more chafing. Seems like it turns into some sort of abrasive rubbing compound when it gets a little sweat mixed in with it. I use and recommend chamois butter or some other friction reducing creme or gel. I use it liberally on me and on my chamois and have great results.
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Old 11-22-09, 01:26 PM   #22
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Bar ends are fabulous. They not only offer several more hand positions, but depending on the style, they can allow you to change your whole upper body position. Positioned properly they make it easier to climb hills and inclines and accelerate. I am especially fond of these bar ends. They are fatter than most and fit my hand much better than the more commonly found type.

Hand numbness can often be the result of poor hand position or putting too much weight on them (which in turn can be a result of improper seat position, bar height etc). However, most stock grips are just terrible. Something that works very well for me are oversize gel grips. They fit my hand better and the gel is very comfy on long rides. So much so that I typically now only use gloves when it is very hot or on the last third of a longer ride (>40miles).

Shoes are also great, but they are something you can 'ride into'. I dont think they are essential on breaking the 15mile ride barrier. But once you can do 20-25 miles easily you should consider getting some to make the overall ride easier. That said, if you are considering a skateboard shoe or similar, why not bite the bullet now and just get cycling shoes? You can get dual purpose pedals so that you can still use tennis shoes etc when you want.
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Old 11-22-09, 02:09 PM   #23
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Maybe a new saddle or cycling position is needed.. One hour, some spend 8-10 hours in the saddle while on tour... you have a good set of cycling shorts.. I believe in breaks every 3-4 hours. Not because of a butt ache, but to give the muscles a 10 - 15 minute rest and to stretch...
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Old 11-22-09, 04:22 PM   #24
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Maybe a new saddle or cycling position is needed.. One hour, some spend 8-10 hours in the saddle while on tour... you have a good set of cycling shorts.. I believe in breaks every 3-4 hours. Not because of a butt ache, but to give the muscles a 10 - 15 minute rest and to stretch...
8-10 hours...I can't even sit in a Lazy Boy for more than 2 hours.
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Old 11-23-09, 10:47 AM   #25
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Agreed that if your hands are numb repositioning of something is needed. That happens to me if my saddle is too high and I have to lean forward the wrong way.

Butt is another issue, your butt will be sore for the first few weeks of riding at least. It took me a month to get to the point where I could ride every day and not be sore.

When my bike is adjusted properly to fit me, an hour in the saddle is nothing.
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