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  1. #1
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    I have lost close to 200 LBS but still have a long way to go. At just under 300 lbs..

    Dear all,


    I have been blessed with good genes and have avoided the whole "pre-diabetes and high BP," even at 470+ lbs. That said, it seemed like everything hurt, I was breathing hard, and never felt "good" anymore. Furthermore, I was so easily fatigued.

    Fast forward, after a year on a hospital sponsored diet that a friend calls "Atkins for Navy Seals and lots of swimming (low impact), I am finally under 300lbs and feel like I am feeling great.

    I want OUT of the gym and want to hit the "road." I used to own a "Cilo" and have been thinking about having my LBS do an overhaul and build some custom wheels, but i think I want a new bike.

    My question is, after a long intro, am I relegated to a mountain bike for now? Are there road bikes out there that will serve me well?

    I assume that I will bust up lightweight build outs and that strength and durability rule supreme, yes? Steel frame? Carbon? Scandium?

    Is there a component "group" that is uber-clyde friendly? If so, what is it?

    While I don't want to pay 5K, I think I deserve a bike that I will enjoy and want to ride. Furthermore, as I continue to lose weight, I can upgrade components due to wearing them out or ready to "go light."

    Thanks in advance for your time, attention, and willingness to share your experience and expertise.

    TG

  2. #2
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    There are folks here with much more experience than I and can give yo better advice. I just wanted to say congratulations and keep it up. Simply outstanding!!!!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by lechwe View Post
    There are folks here with much more experience than I and can give yo better advice. I just wanted to say congratulations and keep it up. Simply outstanding!!!!
    x2!!

    Well done!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shepp30's Avatar
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    WOW…nice job, stay with it…

    As far as the bike goes, sounds like you have been working out and though you still weigh a fair amount, you are probably getting pretty fit. I rode a rigid front fork mountain bike with road wheels during a much of my weight loss. When I got to 230 or so I jumped on a true hybrid bike. Now that I am 195ish I have road bikes and ride them from time to time but still favor the hybrid type ride.


    I have a couple 300ish pound friends who ride…one rides a new Trek Hybrid – maybe a 7300?? (I would suggest a rigid front fork bike unless you need suspension.) The other friend rides an old lugged Schwinn World Sport. He complains a bit about sore shoulders, arms and neck and what not from time to time. However, neither have had weight/bike issues, other then the one who rides the Schwinn has mashed a couple of wheels.


    Really though, after reading the forums here for the last 8 months or so, I have never read a post, that I recall, where a bike had been damaged by the weight of the rider, other then wheels and maybe a pedal or two.


    Consider however, if you buy a new bike now to handle your weight and to feel safer etc. you might very well be into another style of bike next spring after you’ve lost another 30 or 40. Just food for thought.


    The “performance” hybrids are nice bikes – Trek FX, Jamis Coda’s, Fugi Absolute, Specialized Sirrus etc. Check those out.


    If you haven’t looked at road bikes in while, as in my case, the relaxed geometry of some of “sport or fitness” type bikes are similar if not identical to those performance hybrids; they just have drop bars rather then straight bars.


    So I guess what I’m saying is go look and ride as many as you can then choose. lol

  5. #5
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    Oh yes. As someone who has lost more than his body weight several times over (if you add it all up) I agree, well done.

    Now, as to the bike. At your weight (at my weight, too) the weight of the bike isn't all that important. When you are accelerating from a stop, or going up hill, the difference between a 15lb bike and a 25lb bike isn't really all that important. I think that what you want is a bike that can not only handle the weight but that can handle the force that you can apply with your weight. I think that means, for all practical purposes, steel and not light weight steel. Something like the Surly Long Haul Trucker, or comparable steel touring frame, would seem to be most appropriate. You can get pretty fat tires on one of those things, too.

    But, another consideration may be what you can get comfortable riding and maybe a MTB would be better in that respect. I can't speak to that as I have absolutely no understanding of all these springs and discs and hydraulics that modern MTBs seem to be adorned with.

    For wheels, modern wheels are better than the old ones, I suppose, but being a sort of retro person of a certain age I have a natural affinity for something like a Sun CR18 or Mavic A719 laced to a decent hub like a Shimano 105 or Ultegra. a 135mm hub might be best for you, depending on the bike, in which case a comparable MTB hub would work. I understand that Shimano Tiagra hubs are durable and function well. Any moderen SS spokes (14 ga, 14/15/14ga, 13/15/14ga) would be strong enough and durable enough in a well-built wheel.

    The thing about a bike/frame that was designed with touring in mind is that it is designed to be durable and strong and to carry more weight than just some 145# skinny kid. Without all the touring paraphernalia, it's not that much heavier (depending on how you define 'that') than a normal road bike, but it can carry heavier loads and accomodate wider tires.

    Anyway, that's my suggestion -- investigate touring bikes with preference for steel (though not all good candidates are steel).

  6. #6
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    I am riding a Bridgestone T700 with old wheels. Front is a small flange 36 hole and the rear large 36. I've had to hit them with a spoke wrench once in the past six months. I weighed in at 295 Monday and ride some rough pavement and gravel/dirt road here in West Virgina. If you pick up a decent steel frame with good wheels w/appropriately sized tires and stay on top of them you'll be OK. At least that's my experience.

    Oh. And congratulations on the hard work paying off.
    I owe-therefore I am.

  7. #7
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    First of all congrats on the weight loss! That is a great accomplishment. I have 3 bikes: a "fitness" hybrid, a "comfort" hybrid, and an old steel MTB. All three support my weight just fine, and I weigh just under 300 lbs. as well. All 3 have 36-spoke wheels and I have never broken a spoke, except for when I tried true my wheel by tightening a seized one. I've gone through a few pairs of cheap pedals, but since I switched to quality, sealed-bearing ones I've had no issues.

    The only reason I don't have a road bike now is financial, not because of my weight. I just bought my fitness hybrid but I do plan to eventually buy a road bike. I like steel models by Jamis (Aurora, Quest), Raleigh (Sojourn, Clubman), Rocky Mountain (Sherpa), and Masi (Speciale). The one I am considering most seriously is a build up of a Soma Double Cross DC frame with 105 components. IMHO any of these bikes would easily support my weight with the right wheels.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  8. #8
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    First off, my hat is off to you~! My prayers that the weight stay off you have been said.

    My story is different than yours, save that I still weigh more than you right now.

    I have just over 500 miles on my "Comfort" bike - a 2010 Giant Suede DX. The only issue (like I am sure you have read) is at 300 miles I started popping spokes on the rear wheel. As my LBS knew my starting weight, and has been in the same building selling the Giant brand for 20+ years, he replaced *both* wheels with new 36 spoke "DT", etc... FREE
    My Bicycle out the door with tax, fenders, upgraded tires, etc was right at $600 bucks.

    A few thoughts if I may offer???

    Most here believe in the formula of "N+1" Where "N" = the current number of bicycles you own. The idea is that, where you are today? And what will work best for you *today* most likely will NOT be what you want/need/drool over a year from now...

    I hope to one day have a LHT - but last OCT, or, even now, I would not be happy or comfortable on a LHT. I fear if that were the only bicycle I owned, I may not have gotten anywhere near 500 miles on it to date (Quick back-story: had not ridden in roughly 30 yrs, eight knee surgeries, in pain MGNT, topped out at 409, health issues, heart issues, and more - found a DR willing to do a TKR - Total Knee Replacement with Recission - I came to BF asking the question, can A fat guy ride a bike, and can I find a bike I won't kill? After getting the answers, I had the TKR - the Suede is my reward - amazing life change for me - not much weight loss - but much better heart health, out of pain MGNT, and daily doing better, but I digress...)

    My point I can not stress enough - do not buy your *dream* bike YET~! Rather, buy a starter bike. something that is *comfortable* to you right now, that when you look at it you want to ride...get 6-12 months of riding under your belt - see that you *will* ride most every day (regardless of 1 mile, or 40) - my first ride was some 400 feet. Then, once you know where your heart lies, buy or build that bike that will become your primary ride~!

    Mine, someday, will be a Surly Long Haul Trucker, but, built as more of an upright riding position - possibly with 'trekking bars' on a higher stem? With my gut, while I *LOVE* drop bars, I simply can not ride that way anymore, and may never be able to do so - but I so love to ride~!

    A few people to seek out are "Tom Stormcrowe" and "The Historian" - both have lost many, many pounds and have been riding for some time.

    I talk a LOT - and am here viam post, PM, email, or cell anytime you'd like to chat...

    Lastly, welcome to the herd
    Last edited by Peter_C; 08-11-10 at 11:00 PM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member mtalinm's Avatar
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    Peter_C's advice is brilliant, as is your story. hurray!!

    i got back on a bike at 302# (now 272). I started out with what is called a "comfort bike", which has a very upright set of handlebars so you don't have to lean over too far. This bike (Giant Cypress) served me well. I got the version *without* the suspension fork and seatpost because I found that my weight pushed those down anyway.

    after a couple of months on the comfort bike, I started loosening up a bit and was able to lean forward a bit more. so I got a Trek Soho commuter bike, which is basically a jazzed up all-aluminum hybrid like the Trek FX 7 series. These are all rated for riders up to 300 pounds, and I have never had any trouble with it weight-wise.

    recently I got interested in doing longer rides, so I picked up a used road bike on CRaiglist. it is a Specialized Roubaix, very light and comfortable. I absolutely love it and ride it whenever it's not foul weather. contrary to what some people say, I find that the lightness of the bike makes a difference -- at least in my head -- as to how quick I feel. and it is *extremely* comfortable - 60-100 miles on this full carbon frame is easier than a 25 mile commute on my commuter bike. the one problem I had with the Roubaix was breaking spokes on the rear wheel, but my local shop built me a custom wheel for less than $200 so that is no problem anymore. (road bikes generally come with wheels designed for lighter folks)

    my suggestion to you would be to get a comfort bike to start, something where you don't have to lean over too far. then, when you feel a bit more flexible, get a road bike with a wheel designed to support more weight. I would not concur with those who suggest a mountain bike because you just don't go as fast, and then you feel slow/fat (at least in my experience). ymmv

    good luck and check in often!
    Trek Domane 4.5 (commute/distance), Specialized Roubaix (climber), Xootr Swift (winter/travel), Trek Soho (around town)

  10. #10
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    If you want a road bike get a road bike. I weight 268, started riding at 295. I am currently riding a trek 2.1 (it has a decent component group 105 cost about 1300). It has the dreaded low spoke count wheels with paired spokes. well i can tell you i beat the snot out of them and they are fine. trek gives the original owner a 5 year warranty on the rims and a lifetime warranty on the frame. the bike is rated for 275 lbs, the guys at the local bike shop said it can and does hold much more. it is all about what you want, but don't believe you can't get a road bike because you are 200+ or close to 300. I am a fan of buying a bike that will keep you satisfied for a while so you don't buy new bike after new bike.

    congrats on the weight loss that is awesome.

  11. #11
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    Is there a component "group" that is uber-clyde friendly?
    I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that you are officially out of the uber-clyde group (300+ lbs) and are now in the Clyde group. The good news is that virtually any bike out there is going to work for you. Go out and do some test riding and see what feels comfortable to you. Popular options here include "relaxed geometry" road bikes, rando & touring bikes, mountain bikes with lockable forks & hybrid/cruisers. You'll want a qualified person to really go over the wheels carefully... that is the primary failure point for most clydes.

  12. #12
    Non sibi sed patriae thestoutdog's Avatar
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    Thegreekone, congrats on your weight loss! This is pic of the bike that I picked up off the fleabay a few years ago for about $400 shipped.



    It does a great job of hauling me and other stuff around as needed and the wheels have held true. It isn't fancy, but Big Blue (bike's name) is kicking my butt regularly now. Just like Peter_C, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

    Sorry, its my first attempt to post a photo here.
    Last edited by thestoutdog; 08-12-10 at 03:58 PM.
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  13. #13
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    I just wanted to take a moment and thank EVERYONE for sharing their expertise and especially their support. I was worried "roadies," Clydes or not, would give me a lukewarm reception. I am beyond ticked and hope to cross paths with some of you soon.

    Yo, Peter_C, I am in Cleveland. Let me know when we can get together!

  14. #14
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thegreekone View Post
    Yo, Peter_C, I am in Cleveland. Let me know when we can get together!
    I am nowhere near a 'roadie' at all - I tend to do MUPs and the like and average between 10-12MPH (closer to 10-11 unless pushing) - but yes, as soon as I am allowed back to riding (torn rotator-cuff surgery 3 odd weeks ago) I would like to meet up for some miles~!

    Have only done the towpath down sout of Akron, and am wanting to see what it is like around Cleveland - and you just gave me a great reason
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  15. #15
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    When I specced this bike, I was in the high 200's, and used Velocity Deep V's that were hand built. They are 36 spoke wheels, and bulletproof. I've got 3 years of very hhard riding into them and they are still true as the day I put them on.

    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  16. #16
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thestoutdog View Post
    Thegreekone, congrats on your weight loss! This is pic of the bike that I picked up off the fleabay a few years ago for about $400 shipped.



    It does a great job of hauling me and other stuff around as needed and the wheels have held true. It isn't fancy, but Big Blue (bike's name) is kicking my butt regularly now. Just like Peter_C, feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions.

    Sorry, its my first attempt to post a photo here.
    This photo shows (IMO) a great Clyde Bicycle~! Note the more upright seating, with the handlebars as high, or higher than the seat? Makes for a more relaxed ride, more comfortable, and easiser to stop and start as one that may not be quite as *agile* as one used to be.

    I chose to go with 2 inch (width) tires - good ones - Marathons as I wanted a bit more security under me, and felt at the time that I might be too big for narrower tires (know now that I was wrong) - but I personally would (at my current riding level and style) not go below 1.5 inch high pressure tires of good quality (think 1.5" = 40mm??) As I ride both pavement and gravel and have yet to have a single flat (knock wood). I do agree with the earlier comment about pedals~! I killed the stock ones within 250 miles...

    Again, look to what looks and feels great to you *right now* - rather than what you *may* want down the road.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_C View Post
    This photo shows (IMO) a great Clyde Bicycle~! Note the more upright seating, with the handlebars as high, or higher than the seat? Makes for a more relaxed ride, more comfortable, and easiser to stop and start as one that may not be quite as *agile* as one used to be.

    I chose to go with 2 inch (width) tires - good ones - Marathons as I wanted a bit more security under me, and felt at the time that I might be too big for narrower tires (know now that I was wrong) - but I personally would (at my current riding level and style) not go below 1.5 inch high pressure tires of good quality (think 1.5" = 40mm??) As I ride both pavement and gravel and have yet to have a single flat (knock wood). I do agree with the earlier comment about pedals~! I killed the stock ones within 250 miles...

    Again, look to what looks and feels great to you *right now* - rather than what you *may* want down the road.
    The real key, a lot of people put off buying a bicycle, because they don't think they are able to ride the kind of bicycle they think they would like. Lots of people look at a road bike and think they couldn't possibly ride it, I think a 200kg uberclyde can ride a road bike, it just needs to be properly setup for them.

    Some of the setup is the bars, with a threadless stem, you need to have the steerer left long and use spacers so that the bars are above the saddle, you need a frame and wheels that will accommodate a 40mm tire with fenders(1.5 inches is 38.1mm actually), wheels should be built 3 cross with 36 spokes and bomb proof rims, properly tensioned and tuned. The transmission should have a triple up front, with anything 9 speed or more in the back, and a nice low 20 gear inch low end. Fenders are a good idea because there are fewer weather excuses. 2 or 3 bottle racks, are a good idea, big guys need a lot of water. Thinking about this, the perfect road oriented bike for an uberclyde is a touring bike as they are often setup this way.

  18. #18
    I am the Snail~! Peter_C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    The real key, a lot of people put off buying a bicycle, because they don't think they are able to ride the kind of bicycle they think they would like. Lots of people look at a road bike and think they couldn't possibly ride it, I think a 200kg uberclyde can ride a road bike, it just needs to be properly setup for them.

    Some of the setup is the bars, with a threadless stem, you need to have the steerer left long and use spacers so that the bars are above the saddle, you need a frame and wheels that will accommodate a 40mm tire with fenders(1.5 inches is 38.1mm actually), wheels should be built 3 cross with 36 spokes and bomb proof rims, properly tensioned and tuned. The transmission should have a triple up front, with anything 9 speed or more in the back, and a nice low 20 gear inch low end. Fenders are a good idea because there are fewer weather excuses. 2 or 3 bottle racks, are a good idea, big guys need a lot of water. Thinking about this, the perfect road oriented bike for an uberclyde is a touring bike as they are often setup this way.
    +1
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  19. #19
    Senior Member spooner's Avatar
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    Build yourself a commuter out of a Surly Big Dummy and ride everywhere. Do everything possible on that bike. Shop, go to the video store, just ride it.

    surly-bike-dummy&#4.jpg

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