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  1. #1
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    Newbie with questions

    Hi Everybody!
    I am really happy to be here! Just found this site 2 days ago. Where do i begin? About me, i am a male. 46 years old, almost 6 foot tall and weigh, 261 pounds. I started researching bike riding 2 days ago, thursday, i actually stayed up all night just researching.

    I am over weight, i know that. I thought it was funny what my doctor told me. She said, "your not overweight, your obese". OK, thank you. I have been on many diets, lost some but gained back. I am 9 pounds away from being at my heaviest. That is not good. I have had depression and everything else lately.

    I lost my job 6 weeks ago due to cutbacks, ever since that, i have gained 10 pounds! I do not have a car, i would walk to the bus stop every day, at work i was always on my feet. One hooby of mine is metal detecting, that has helped me.

    My last diet, i was on for 10 days, and only lost 1 pound. I ate all the good foods, but did not exercise. Starting a new and better plan for march 1st. I think bike riding will lose more calories than me walking. I don't plan to run yet until i lose more weight.

    Like others who have posted here, i need your help and advice on how i can make bike riding a regular daily activity, advice on how to lose weight, how to exercise etc.

    My mom has diabetes, and afraid i will too if i don't jump start my butt. I am really excited about starting a new and improved lifestyle, but need help as to how to go about it.

    I can not afford a bike right now, but will be able to in a month. After doing some research, i am liking the Trek 7100 right now. Money is an issue since i just applied for unemployment for the first time in my life. All this time on my hands, i want to do it trying to improve my life and health. I want to get out everyday and do what i must to make changes.

    My plan was to go to wally world and buy that $99 beach cruiser, after reading for 2 days, i know that is not for me. With my weight, the spokes will break etc. Please advise me on the bike i stated, will that be good for me?

    Sorry for the long post people, i just wanted to explain myself, and what i want to do, and what i need to do. Please reply back with any help and advice you can give me. I want to lose at least 60 pounds and get under that 200 level. Even at 46, i am a very energetic person since not having a car for 8 years.

    Thank You for having me here, i look forward to your replies and e-mails. Oh Ya, i guess i should mention i LOVE beer! Guess that is not good. Thanks!!
    George

  2. #2
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    I'd honestly recommend looking for a used bike from your local bike shop, craigslist, thrift stores, or garage sales. Either a mid 70's on up touring road bike, an 80's/90's mountain bike, or even a hybrid like you're looking at. You should be able to find a decent used bike for under $100 that will be built with 36 spoke wheels and will be in good working order if you look around. Save your dollars until you're certain that you're going to commit to cycling long term. Buy a new bike once your finances allow it and you figure out what you want in a bike that's different from the used one you've been riding for a while.

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I started on a $15 bike from Craigslist.
    Got in shape riding it 1,000 miles.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  4. #4
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    The 7100 is not a bad bike. Just make sure you get it from a local bike shop--they'll know what they're doing much, much more than a W-Mart.

    But, dehoff has some sound advice: instead of jumping into the deep-end and finding out you don't like cycling and wasting all that money, try it with a small investment and see if you like it. Then, you can go to a local shop, tell them what you do and don't like about the bike you're trying.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Oh, and remember: you ride to get healthy. You watch what you eat to lose weight.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dehoff View Post
    I'd honestly recommend looking for a used bike from your local bike shop, craigslist, thrift stores, or garage sales. Either a mid 70's on up touring road bike, an 80's/90's mountain bike, or even a hybrid like you're looking at. You should be able to find a decent used bike for under $100 that will be built with 36 spoke wheels and will be in good working order if you look around. Save your dollars until you're certain that you're going to commit to cycling long term. Buy a new bike once your finances allow it and you figure out what you want in a bike that's different from the used one you've been riding for a while.
    Very good ideas. also look at a bike co-op for a low cost bike or earn a bike by in exchange for your time. You can learn mechanical skills at the same time.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  7. #7
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    Oh, and remember: you ride to get healthy. You watch what you eat to lose weight.
    +1

    I bought a Trek 7300 in a 20" size last Oct. I'm 6'2" and was 270 when I bought it. If I had to do it over again I would look at a Trek Fx Series bike in a 22" size. I ride mainly rural country roads and the inability to lockout the Suntour Nex 4110 forks limits the versatility of the bike. I haven't got into trail riding yet so maybe I'll like them in that situation. For the riding I do the front suspension adds nothing. As far as moving from a 20" to a 22" size, I've worked on my core strength and feel much more comfortable stretching out. I do have rather long arms (37" sleeve lenght) and I feel cramped in a 20" size. It is my opinion that hybrid bicycles like the Trek 7000 series are for casual rides of short duration in a mixed road and light trail setting at slow speeds by older out of shape riders. That statement described me almost perfectly (I wasn't out of shape exactly. I was just fat with inadequate core strength.) Now that I know the kind of riding I want to do ( daily 25 mile round trip commutes on rural roads) The compromises of hybrid bicycles are no longer the best choice for me.

    So now you know how I feel. That really isn't your question is it? I believe your question should be "How should I go about buying my first bicyle as an adult?" The very first question is "What kind of riding will I be doing?" Next question "What size frame in the type of bike I need?" Third question "How mechanically inclined am I?" The reason for the third question is that if you have some basic mechanical ability a used bike is a pretty good deal. Especially if you live in a area that there are many used bikes for sale. What you can do is flip them if necessary. At a little under 6' tall there should be a good market for your size frame. You could buy that used upright style bicycle, ride it for a while, fix minor problems and sell it for what you have in it. Find that next bike that better fits your needs now that you better understand what they are. Enough for now.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Spudd's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else who says get a used bike. A used bike off Craigslist should run you around $100 and a tune-up (if it's not tuned up already) would be another $50 or so. A lot less investment than buying a brand new Trek, and it'll let you get out there riding and learn what you really want/need in a bike.

    When you start looking, you can post the ads up here you're looking at and get people's advice before going to see the bikes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    If you have diabetes in your family, you should be especially careful with processed carbs -- sugar, white pasta, polished rice, potatoes, candy, soda pop, etc. I personally don't subscribe to the low-fat approach, but have no desire to get in a war about it. However, for diabetics and pre-diabetics, there's not much argument anymore that you have to carefully monitor your carb intake. Personally, I find the approach of Gary Taubes to be more in tune with what I'm able to do diet-wise. You can find his books in the public library, too.

    As for exercise on the bike, do it not so much to lose weight as to improve your overall health and perhaps to raise your HDL levels, which is a much better indicator of your heart health than overall cholesterol or LDL. A lot of health food stores have blood test days, where for less than $20, you can get a full cholesterol reading (overall, HDL, LDL, and VLDL), as well as fasting glucose. If your HDL is less than 40, then you know you've got some work to do. If your fasting glucose is over 100, you need to start monitoring your carb intake much more carefully.

    Until you can afford a heart rate monitor, you might try to mix in some higher intensity interval training at least two times a week. You can do that on the bike or in the gym. Start slow, with 4 or 5 30 second intervals at 85% to 95% of your maximum effort, and gradually build up. Don't do intervals on two consecutive days.

    Alternate your training so you're giving your muscles time to rest. Remember, you build strength when your muscles are repairing themselves, not while you're exercising. So if you go really hard one day, ease up the next, or better yet, do some strength training with muscles you don't use for cycling. You're not out to win the TDF, so you don't need to look at upper body strength training as your enemy.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    Wookie Fred chewybrian's Avatar
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    One more vote for the used bike. It's never about the bike. Lots of people have a Bowflex in their garage, and weak, flabby arms, right? If you stay committed, you'll discover the kind of riding you like best, and be able to get the right bike for the job down the road.

    As far as diet... I would focus on a permanent lifestyle change, rather than worrying about target wieght loss, and time spent losing it. For me, severely limiting sugar was the answer. You can stay within your calorie budget and have just about all the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat you could ever want; you don't have to be hungry. However, if you try to sneak in some high-sugar 'treats', you will only be hungrier faster.

    Flip the package--if it says over 12g sugar per serving, consider it poison (If there is no package, you probably know--donut bad, apple good). This may sound harsh, but to me it's very easy. To do otherwise is like limiting yourself to 5 cigarrettes a day. Then, all you are thinking about is that next cigarette.

    Good luck with everything. You'll find this sub-forum is a great resource and a good place to get support.
    Campione Del Mondo Immaginario

  11. #11
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    You mentioned that you used to be on your feet and walk a lot. If it will be a while before you buy your bike why don't you just start going for a brisk long walk every day? It sounds like you have the time. This way you will get some exercise while you are doing your bike buying research. Also, you will continue to keep your legs exercised which can only help your cycling. If you walk at a fast pace for one hour each day, or even 3 - 4 days a week, that will help a lot.

  12. #12
    Neil_B
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    Another vote for a used bike.

    Also, since you have a lot of time now when you aren't conducting a job search, try to keep up with the walking. It's good for both keeping your weight down and controlling depression.

  13. #13
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    I'd go with an older bike also. I put 1500 miles on a 1983 schwinn last year and it barely cost me a thing. As for the weight loss, biking is an awesome way to lose weight in my opinion. That's if you like doing it anyhow.. Any exercise that you enjoy will help you reach your goals so much easier! I started last year at 220. I sit now at roughly 170, and feel much better physically and mentally. I attribute it "all" to riding that old schwinn! When I started noticing weight loss, I actually changed the way my whole family eats. No more fast food, very little if any snacks, and fruits/veggies every day, pretty much all wheat products, and more fish/bird meat, and the red meat is always lean with the juice drained out after cooking. Everything together netted a healthier family lifestyle that we've managed to maintain, and hope to continue with for the long term.

    Good luck to you! If you find an old bike, you can get lots of help here with how to work on it, where to get parts/tires cheap, and encouragement. Don't forget your LBS is a great resource, but sometimes the internet shopping nets such a savings it's hard to beat depending on one's situation.

    I agree with above too.. Try and keep walking. It's good to do more than one type of exercise and expose different muscle groups to extra work too. Having a job that is on your feet all day, walking, whatever.. your body gets conditioned to that. So the body needs walking, running, cycling, swimming, WHATEVER is over and above what it normally does everyday and is used to, for it to get a workout.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
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    Thanks Everybody!

    To each of you who replied, i Thank You. I am excited to get started on everything. When i start, i will weigh myself once a week.

    I will be going out and walking everyday until i can get a bike. I may do it more than once a day if i get too bored. Will also buy some hand weights and work with them.

    And of course, will be eating better. I will take the advice you have gaven me and will look for a used bike. Meanwhile, i will continue to do research, and will come here to post questions when they arrive. On the used bike, should i look for a hybrid? Or a mountain? Remember, i am 260 pounds. Thanks again!

  15. #15
    Neil_B
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    Hi George,

    It's not "when I start." It's "I'm starting now." Just do it.

    As for the type of bike, it doesn't much matter if it's a hybrid or a mountain bike as far as your weight goes. Either should be good for you.

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