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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 01-20-10, 07:17 AM   #1
garethzbarker
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does bike fit change as you lose weight?

It seems like bike fit should change as you lose weight b/c less belly will change your center of gravity while leaning forward right?

I wonder b/c I'm 99% sure I need to change out my stem but wonder if I should keep it for when I lose more weight and can bend over easier or sell it. I know that when I got my 1st bike I could barely lean over enough while riding without pain. I lost close to 40lbs and now I find myself leaning over the bars sometimes. I have another 40 or so lbs to lose.
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Old 01-20-10, 08:00 AM   #2
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Yes, it does. It also changes the more you ride and the more flexible you get.

When I first started riding I rode more upright and had my stem angled upward slightly. My bars were about even with my saddle height. I had to have it that way because if I bent over any further I couldn't breathe.

Now that I've lost some weight (not at my goal yet, though) I am more comfortable riding in a lower position. My stem is angled down, and my bars are about 2" lower than my saddle. I have no problem riding 5-6 hours in that position.
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Old 01-20-10, 01:19 PM   #3
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Yes, it does. It also changes the more you ride and the more flexible you get.

When I first started riding I rode more upright and had my stem angled upward slightly. My bars were about even with my saddle height. I had to have it that way because if I bent over any further I couldn't breathe.

Now that I've lost some weight (not at my goal yet, though) I am more comfortable riding in a lower position. My stem is angled down, and my bars are about 2" lower than my saddle. I have no problem riding 5-6 hours in that position.
+1 that and would add that I've also raised the saddle height. Not sure if it's because I'm carrying less built in saddle padding or my legs are more flexible.
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Old 01-20-10, 01:59 PM   #4
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As your fitness increases, you can tolerate a wider variety of bikes sizes and styles.

I'm not sure your ideal bike-fit changes much. The bike that fit you properly when you were starting to ride should still fit now. Your ability to adapt to a more aerodynamic position has increased, and if you want to update the fit, go ahead.
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Old 01-20-10, 02:02 PM   #5
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IMO, no! I just think one is more comfortable with less weight on the saddle for along period of time. Never had a problem with flexibility though, that's more ride time related.

But why not swap stems? Why not go for most comfort possible. Losing some gut won't make that much of a difference.

Take a look at my bike, pretty upright. Does that mean other riders with a step stem race setup will be faster or climb better? Nope! Only diffreence I see is that I will be more comfy on a century riding my bike than I would if I were riding it with a long steep stem.

BTW, stems are pretty cheap. Why not keep both?
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Old 01-20-10, 07:08 PM   #6
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Well, "loosing weight" covers a lot of situations, doesn't it?'

But if you mean you are overweight and have a big gut, buy a bike, enjoy riding it, then drop some serious weight and watch the gut shrink, then:

No, it just becomes possible for you to ride in the drops a lot better/easier. This is assuming your position on the hoods is ideal. Then you loose weight, and find you can tolerate the drops longer, and then even keep your power output up in the drops. Before you loose weight, the drops are miserable. At least that was my experience.

I have three road bikes. Two professionaly fit. One bought and fit by myself. The two pro fits started out miserable for me in the drops. The bike I bought and fit myself I made the saddle position the same as a pro fit, but the reach and handlebar hieght I chose based purely on comfort. The self fitted bike has a longer reach, and higher handlebar height. I dropped a bunch of weight (40 lbs?), and now the drops on the self fitted bike are doable for long periods heading into the wind. On the pro fit bikes, I can still only do it for short stints.

My height hasn't changed, nor my leg length, nor my arm length. Jus the amount of gut that interferes with getting lower and more aerodynamic has changed, and for the better. I can't say for certain ift after another 40 lbs weight loss that I might be able to switch to a racer fit, but that is not what I am after right now.

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Old 01-20-10, 08:18 PM   #7
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here's why i think the way i do: at the moment I am experiencing the very common 'numbness' in hands. It's probably due to too much weight on them. It it very doubtful it is due to flexibility. since the weight of the body is unevenly distributed and I packing a bunch of upper body weight it seems like as I lose upper body mass there should be less pressure on my hands. seems like fit is not only a function of proportions but also weight distribution. know what i mean? it might not be a big deal for most people but for people packing over 50 lbs of belly it could matter.

btw mr beanz did you see that guy with the dog again?
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Old 01-20-10, 11:06 PM   #8
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btw mr beanz did you see that guy with the dog again?
Nope not yet, it's been pouring here and we only ride the trail on weekends!
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Old 01-21-10, 06:25 AM   #9
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It might but not by much i'd think.
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Old 01-21-10, 07:30 AM   #10
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It does in regards to flexability.
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Old 01-24-10, 08:59 PM   #11
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here's why i think the way i do: at the moment I am experiencing the very common 'numbness' in hands. It's probably due to too much weight on them. It it very doubtful it is due to flexibility. since the weight of the body is unevenly distributed and I packing a bunch of upper body weight it seems like as I lose upper body mass there should be less pressure on my hands. seems like fit is not only a function of proportions but also weight distribution. know what i mean? it might not be a big deal for most people but for people packing over 50 lbs of belly it could matter.
It could be weight. Or it could be you are stretching too far, and need to raise the stem, or adjust the saddle.
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Old 01-26-10, 01:57 PM   #12
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The only discussion I'm seeing here is flexibility and gut talking.

What about the tickness of your ass? I mean some asses have a few inches in thickness of fat depending on size... if you lose it, then you are now sitting 1-2-3 inches LOWER... that ruins your fit IMO.

I know that I had to lower my seat a bit when i got my first set of padded bike shorts earlier last year. I had been fitted without padded bike shorts. Same applies to changing bike shoes, the pedals won't move but the thickness of your shoe/clip mount can affect your fit.

Cheers,
Roby!
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Old 01-26-10, 09:12 PM   #13
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My weight really only impacts saddle and handlebar height. Generally, the heavier I am, the lower the saddle goes (extra "me" padding), and the higher I tend to want to put the handlebars (prevents...gut mashing).

Weight does nothing for how far forward or backward I place my saddle or handlebars. Although...when I'm in really, really good riding shape, I tend to want to stretch forward just a little bit more. But I think that has more to do with abdominal strength and efficiency, than weight.
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Old 01-26-10, 09:24 PM   #14
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The only discussion I'm seeing here is flexibility and gut talking.

What about the tickness of your ass? I mean some asses have a few inches in thickness of fat depending on size... if you lose it, then you are now sitting 1-2-3 inches LOWER... that ruins your fit IMO.

I know that I had to lower my seat a bit when i got my first set of padded bike shorts earlier last year. I had been fitted without padded bike shorts. Same applies to changing bike shoes, the pedals won't move but the thickness of your shoe/clip mount can affect your fit.

Cheers,
Roby!
I say yes (see #3 in this thread). I've moved my saddle up between two and three centimeters over the course of losing ~40#.
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Old 02-03-10, 12:11 AM   #15
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The more fit I get the tighter geometry I want.
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Old 02-04-10, 07:16 AM   #16
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The progression of my bike geometry has followed my weight. Three years ago, at 260# my seat was lower, my handlebar even with the seat and I could not ride in the drops.
Now, at 220# the handlebar is lower than the seat, the seat is up and I ride in the drops when needed, such as into the wind or in a sprint with some of my riding friends.
I think this is a "natural" progression.
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Old 02-04-10, 09:53 AM   #17
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I haven't changed it yet and I've lost 15 pounds since I started. I thought bike fitting was based on height? I should go get refit.
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Old 02-04-10, 01:56 PM   #18
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The progression of my bike geometry has followed my weight. Three years ago, at 260# my seat was lower, my handlebar even with the seat and I could not ride in the drops.
Now, at 220# the handlebar is lower than the seat, the seat is up and I ride in the drops when needed, such as into the wind or in a sprint with some of my riding friends.
I think this is a "natural" progression.

Same here.
Although I lowered my seat a bit, had overly tight calve muscles that I've mostly sorted now.
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