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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 10-29-10, 10:16 AM   #1
wunderkind
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Is weight all that matters?

I notice the central theme in this section of the forum is about weight. However what if the fat that was lost were replaced by muscle fibers instead?
Would you consider a heavy weight boxer a fat person? Yeah if you want to get beat up.
I'm sure there are lots of athletic Marines that are over 200lbs but I doubt they would be considered as fat.
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Old 10-29-10, 10:22 AM   #2
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I notice the central theme in this section of the forum is about weight. However what if the fat that was lost were replaced by muscle fibers instead?
Would you consider a heavy weight boxer a fat person? Yeah if you want to get beat up.
I'm sure there are lots of athletic Marines that are over 200lbs but I doubt they would be considered as fat.
I think 200+lb guys with very low BMIs still call themselves "Clydes".
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Old 10-29-10, 10:44 AM   #3
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That is our hope, to replace the jiggly white mass with firm red muscle fibers.

In the cycling world clydes get a different treatment not only for weight, but for "size." I ride an XL 21" frame. My center of gravity is higher than a 135 pounder riding a 16" frame. I ride MTB 90% of the time. Think Porsche vs Monster Truck. I probably have more horse power than smaller riders, but I drag 220 pounds up hill. I also tend to be more clumsy. But mile for mile, I enjoy myself as much as anyone, and I have the scars to prove it.

This month I did pickup a better bike (F/S, XT Group, 5 pounds lighter) that is 1" taller than my previous HT. The speed difference surprises me, but it does handle differently being 1" taller. that also surprised me.

I'm gonna post pics as soon as my BFI drops into single digits.
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Old 10-29-10, 11:22 AM   #4
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Power/weight ratio is what matters, if you're talking about performance. And the ideal physique varies between sports, and between sub-divisions within sports. Track sprinters need very different physiques from road cyclists. American football players have loads of power, but they're carting so much weight about that they'd be hopeless at the 1500 meters, let alone the marathon.

Road cyclists need to be light, because the emphasis is on aerobic fitness and the ability to maintain high speeds over long distances. Your 200+ pound marine may be superbly fit, but the 140lb skinny cyclist is going to waste him every time on the climbs, just as the skeletal distance runner is going to waste him over 10k. There are different sorts of fitness.
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Old 10-29-10, 11:35 AM   #5
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Bike weight, or rider weight?
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Old 10-29-10, 11:52 AM   #6
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I notice the central theme in this section of the forum is about weight. However what if the fat that was lost were replaced by muscle fibers instead?
Would you consider a heavy weight boxer a fat person? Yeah if you want to get beat up.
I'm sure there are lots of athletic Marines that are over 200lbs but I doubt they would be considered as fat.
Um...what is the point of this thread?

I'm 5'8'' 210lbs. I have a 34'' waist and 47'' chest, I haven’t measured my arms recently but I can bench 335lbs raw (no shirt, belts, or wraps of any kind) in strict competition form. My BMI is 32, ergo, I am obese. I may be my own sharpest critic, but I don't consider myself fat. Heavy, but not fat. I'm not sure where I was going with this...Ooo look! A squirrel!
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Old 10-29-10, 12:05 PM   #7
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Like the previous poster said, a 200+ pounder may have lots of power, but going up those hills is brutal with the extra weight. On the plus side, going down the hills a Clyde can go much faster than a skinny little runt (all other things being equal).

To answer the OPs question, it isn't all about weight, but the definition still stands.
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Old 10-29-10, 12:29 PM   #8
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Weight affects aerobic performance as well. More tissue to oxygenate, whether muscle or fat, has an effect. For the purpose of these forums, it also affects our equipment purchasing decisions. Regardless if weight is fat or muscle, riders at higher weight dont use the same wheels, same frames, and other stuff.

I dont sweat it much. I'm 6'1" and 230. I will likely never weigh 175. I have always been naturally muscular. I dont ever expect to be a competitive cyclist - I'm just not built right to be seriously competitive. That doesn't stop me from having a great time on my bike though and trying to rid myself of the excess fat.

I dont think the term "Clyde" is negative. Its not necessarily something everyone should strive to rid themselves of. Even if I reach what I think is a fantastic fitness level, I will still likely fall under the "clyde" category - nothing wrong with that.
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Old 10-29-10, 01:49 PM   #9
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It is not necessarily the weight, but rather what makes up that weight. I'm a clyde and am not obese or have the health problems that others have endured. Yet the fantastic thing about this forum is people of all shapes and sizes are willing to help others who are struggling with whatever.
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Old 10-29-10, 01:58 PM   #10
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its a very valid question. Quite frankly, sometimes I think there need to be 2 separate forums one for obese and one for athletes over 200lbs. I know I run the risk of some people taking this the wrong way but it's not my intent. It's just that in the road forum they don't have a lot of performance/equipment knowledge specific to being a heavier rider. And in this forum it's often geared towards morbidly obese people.

I agree with the OP's thought that the bulk of stuff in this forum is related to supporting peoples weight loss goals as opposed to performance by riders over 200lbs. One of the few exceptions are pretty much any post by Mr. Beanz.
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Old 10-29-10, 02:03 PM   #11
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I don't think weight is the most important thing. I'd rather be 250 pounds of muscle than 200 pounds of fat. As it stands, I'm 250 with a load of fat with a goal of reaching 200 pounds, but I do not want to achieve 200 pounds by losing muscle along with the fat. And some of the Clydes here are posting some impressive numbers. I hope I'll get to that point one of these days.
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Old 10-29-10, 02:17 PM   #12
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This thread is for support and knowledge for larger riders. At 225 pounds I'm not the least bit over weight. But then I'm 6'4. I'd be a Clyde either for height or weight and I come here for the information about larger bikes and parts. Well that and to support my fellow Clyde's.
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Old 10-29-10, 02:43 PM   #13
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[FONT=Verdana]Um...what is the point of this thread?
I was wondering the same thing!

In cycling yes, weight matters to a point. As far as being an athlete, heeeel no! Being skinny does not equal "good athlete".
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Old 10-29-10, 03:00 PM   #14
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The focus on weight and fat is really only a reflection of the people who post here at this point in time. Many, perhaps most, perhaps not, are concerned about those things, so that's what you see here. It's not the only theme central to being a Clyde or an Athena, though, and someday the forum demographic may be entirely low-BMI, muscular brutes who still happen to meet the weight and/or height definitions of Clyde- and Athena-hood. I know we have some now, and I admire them greatly. But I suspect they may be in the minority.

We are who we are, and so is the forum, for better or worse.
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Old 10-29-10, 05:46 PM   #15
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its a very valid question. Quite frankly, sometimes I think there need to be 2 separate forums one for obese and one for athletes over 200lbs. I know I run the risk of some people taking this the wrong way but it's not my intent. It's just that in the road forum they don't have a lot of performance/equipment knowledge specific to being a heavier rider. And in this forum it's often geared towards morbidly obese people.
I respectfully disagree. While the weight loss discussions are not necessarily aimed at the tall muscular clydes among us, there are certainly many issues we all have in common. A 320 lb rider working on fitness probably stresses a drivetrain similar to a powerful 250 lb racer, and the racer with more miles under his wheels will have some great insights into what will hold up (and what might crumble) for all big riders. 6'5" riders and 280 lb riders will all have trouble finding performance oriented clothing to fit. And, even though many of us are in denial, saving twenty grams on a fancy new brakeset is actually a negative to both muscular and out-of-shape 250 pounders if the braking performance suffers.

Also, where would someone like me fit in if there were two forums? I am about 270 pounds, but I could stand to lose 30 or 40 lbs to better fit the muscular clydesdale frame underneath all my... ummm... insulation.
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Old 10-29-10, 09:56 PM   #16
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its a very valid question. Quite frankly, sometimes I think there need to be 2 separate forums one for obese and one for athletes over 200lbs. I know I run the risk of some people taking this the wrong way but it's not my intent. It's just that in the road forum they don't have a lot of performance/equipment knowledge specific to being a heavier rider. And in this forum it's often geared towards morbidly obese people.
If you don't see threads on subjects you want, then start them.

As for subdividing the forum, why? Simply so you don't have to skip threads you don't want to read?
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Old 10-29-10, 10:02 PM   #17
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I notice the central theme in this section of the forum is about weight. However what if the fat that was lost were replaced by muscle fibers instead?
Would you consider a heavy weight boxer a fat person? Yeah if you want to get beat up.
I'm sure there are lots of athletic Marines that are over 200lbs but I doubt they would be considered as fat.
The Clydesdale/Athena Forum was started by Tom Stormcrowe nearly five years ago to support male riders over 200 pounds or six feet, and females over whatever the standards are for Athena. While Tom's intention was to have it focus on weight loss, it's expanded to cover all matters related to larger cyclists.
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Old 10-30-10, 02:08 AM   #18
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I'm 6'3". My weight currently hovers around 200lbs. If I made the effort I keep promising myself, and got down to the 185 I weighed when I was 30 and really fit, I'd qualify as a Clyde only on height. But I don't see there being any problem about our falling into different categories. It's natural that a forum devoted to the bigger rider should tend to spend a lot of time on weight loss, and if I want to indulge my inner roadie or fitness nerd I can post in the road forum, or training and nutrition. Being a clyde doesn't define us. Forums overlap, and each of them is a pretty broad church.

And to go back to the OP, if we're talking about what matters in respect of being competitive as a road cyclist, then yes, weight matters a lot. And in some circumstances it doesn't much matter if it's fat or muscle - carrying 6lbs of pectoral muscle up a hill takes just as much effort as carrying 6 lbs of fat, and there's no guarantee that the heavily-muscled individual is any more aerobically fit than the one who is a couple of stone overweight. Weight is weight, and while the heavier rider is at only a modest disadvantage on the level, s/he will soon enough notice the difference on a hill.

However, not everyone aspires to be a competitive cyclist, I'm glad to say. Most people are competing not against others, but against some goal they have set themselves. And some, amazingly, are just riding a bike to have fun. Some - me included - are doing all of these things at different times; except the fun part, which is a constant. There's room for everyone, and like the Historian says, all it takes to have a conversation about something that interests you is to click on the "post new thread" button.
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Old 10-30-10, 08:57 AM   #19
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I notice the central theme in this section of the forum is about weight. However what if the fat that was lost were replaced by muscle fibers instead?
Would you consider a heavy weight boxer a fat person? Yeah if you want to get beat up.
I'm sure there are lots of athletic Marines that are over 200lbs but I doubt they would be considered as fat.
The central theme for me in this section is the (now have to pick the right word) politeness/civility/sincerity of this forum. (Geez, I just couldn't come up with one word to describe this place that fit, not sure I got the right one).

I post here when I have questions regarding size issues. I try to answer questions here based on my experience and size. When someone is at a weight larger than I've been and asking about a bike or clothing I let others who have experience answer it.

When I first came here I was my primary goal was to lose weight. Now I want to go faster, but to accomplish this I have to lose weight. See slightly different mindset. Even with all the threads about weight loss I find inspiration. Heck, some of the accomplishments the people in this thread make are awe inspiring. If they can do the things they set out to do I can achieve my goals too

If I want to be snarky I can go to other threads and post.
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Old 10-30-10, 09:26 AM   #20
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Is Clyde a negative thing? Clydesdales aren't bad or out of shape or fat horses; they're powerful, have lots of stamina, but certainly aren't fast. They were originally bred, I think, to carry big, heavy, muscular, but not generally fat knights wearing heavy armor, and also make great plow horses. Not a bad thing, although they definitely aren't thoroughbreds, nor should they be.
I be interested to find out why the word Athenas came to be used with a similar meaning. Was the goddess of wisdom fat from sitting around thinking too much?
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Old 10-30-10, 09:33 AM   #21
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If you don't see threads on subjects you want, then start them.

As for subdividing the forum, why? Simply so you don't have to skip threads you don't want to read?
I do start.threads as needed. As for subdividing, I feel like anytime I have a performance based question I should just take it over the road forum because nobody here seems interested in performance, everyone here wants to say "uck just ride.for fun" I suspect the other clydes like me often do the same thing. The forum is overwhelmed with weight issues which is fine. The road forum has a racing specific subforum.
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Old 10-30-10, 10:41 AM   #22
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I be interested to find out why the word Athenas came to be used with a similar meaning. Was the goddess of wisdom fat from sitting around thinking too much?
See Tom's sticky at the top of the forum. Pallas Athena was the goddess of war as well as wisdom, and is traditionally depicted as a big - but certainly not obese - woman, as you can see here.
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Old 10-30-10, 11:08 AM   #23
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I do start.threads as needed. As for subdividing, I feel like anytime I have a performance based question I should just take it over the road forum because nobody here seems interested in performance, everyone here wants to say "uck just ride.for fun" I suspect the other clydes like me often do the same thing. The forum is overwhelmed with weight issues which is fine. The road forum has a racing specific subforum.
Lots of people here are interested in performance. They aren't interested in squabbles with someone who wants everyone to agree with him.

Incidentally, didn't you come here because people on the Road Forum disagreed with you?
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Old 10-30-10, 11:27 AM   #24
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The forum is overwhelmed with weight issues which is fine.
I see fifty threads on the front page of the Clyde/Athena Forum. Depending on what you think "weight issues" are, there are only five to ten threads on that subject on the page. My count:

- Fat person mentality?
- Before and after photos (a Sticky)
- the stubborn last few pounds
- the weekly weigh in thread
- riding to lose weight
- I ride many miles and never seem to lose weight.
- "Is weight all that matters"
- Sayre's "Year one - done" thread.

How many of these are "weight loss issues" is debatable. This thread, for instance, is trolling. Sayre's "Year One" isn't about weight loss, but setting goals afterward.

But let's assume that all eight I listed are "weight loss issues" threads. And say I missed a couple. That means out of 50 threads on the front page, ten of them are on "weight loss issues." So 20 percent of the threads on the front page of a forum for larger than average cyclists discuss "weight loss issues", and a 235 pound roadie finds that "overwhelming."

I think we can all wake up and smell the coffee, folks. That's not java, that's sour grapes.
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Old 10-30-10, 11:42 AM   #25
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It's not the only theme central to being a Clyde or an Athena, though, and someday the forum demographic may be entirely low-BMI, muscular brutes who still happen to meet the weight and/or height definitions of Clyde- and Athena-hood. I know we have some now, and I admire them greatly. But I suspect they may be in the minority.

We are who we are, and so is the forum, for better or worse.
As I stated above that would be me. At 6'4 I will always fall into this category even if I was to get under 200 pounds, which for me would be very very skinny.
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