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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 02-24-11, 09:17 PM   #1
prompterbob
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Lost 63 pounds and want to get a bike

Last August, my ignored type 2 diabetes caught up with me. After a night in the emergency room for high blood sugar and screwed up electrolytes, I decided it was time to finally take care of my health. I was sent home on insulin at 335 pounds (497 blood glucose 13/A1C). Now 6 months later I'm now 272 with normal blood sugar (5.6 A1C) and no more insulin. On 1500 calories a day I'm still losing about 2.5 pounds a week and I feel terrific. A month ago, I started to ride 30 minutes a day on my recumbent exercise bike. I would love to get a real bike for my 58th birthday next month to ride around the streets and paths of my little NJ town. I don't plan on climbing mountains or racing down the highway (at least not right now.) Any recommendations for a sturdy bike that would carry my weight? I would like a comfortable bike (I have back issues) with an upright position. Some good gearing wouldn't hurt to take me up the occasional hill or incline. Any suggestions would be appreciated. BTW, I've enjoyed reading your stories. They're very inspiring and I want to join my brother Clydesdales on the road.

Take care.

Bob
Harrington Park, NJ
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Old 02-24-11, 09:19 PM   #2
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Great weight loss. How low do you want to go?
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Old 02-24-11, 09:36 PM   #3
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Hi 10 Wheels...

I would love to get down to 225 or below. I jokingly tell people 185 and they think I'm crazy. Maybe so. I've never been this "thin" in about 30 years. It was a real milestone just to get under 300. Shooting to get into the 250-260 range by my birthday on March 28th. Reading about everyone's biking experiences just makes me even more eager to actually get out there and bike. Getting tired of the view of my basement on my exercise bike. I've wasted too much time on the couch. Time to enjoy life.
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Old 02-24-11, 09:40 PM   #4
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I am stuck at 215 lbs. Would like to see 175 lbs someday.
I ride road bikes, so will let others help you on a bike choice.

Most of us with back problems prefer the forward lean of a road bike.
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Old 02-24-11, 09:49 PM   #5
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Depending on your distance goal, you could look at the hybirds. You could check into electra, townies, since they have that flatfoot technology, combined with an upright position. I use my wife's, when she is not looking. I changed my mtb to an upright position, and really enjoy it for the most part.

So the questions might be:
What type of riding, road, or dirt
What type of Distance:

Since a road ride over 25 miles, would rule out a townie.
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Old 02-24-11, 09:54 PM   #6
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Hi Timmythology! I'd be riding on paved roads or paths. No real long distances planned or speedy riding. Just a leisurely hour or two tooling around the surrounding towns.
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Old 02-24-11, 09:56 PM   #7
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But doesn't leaning forward put a lot of pressure on your hands?
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Old 02-24-11, 10:08 PM   #8
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I just picked up an old rigid forked Mountain Bike for my in town travels. I ordered a set of combo road/offroad tires and a brooks saddle, kind of making my own personal Hybrid bike.

Congrats on removing your cranium from your sphincter and getting your health under control!
I had a recent BG scare myself, and decided to do the same!
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Old 02-24-11, 10:12 PM   #9
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Congratulations!

I'm not very experienced, but I can tell you that I love my Jamis Coda Sport. It's a steel frame "flat bar road bike." It seems to handle well under my 280 pounds.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:13 PM   #10
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But doesn't leaning forward put a lot of pressure on your hands?
If you have a proper fit, there's not as much pressure on your hands as it may look.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:15 PM   #11
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Good for you. Too many idiots like myself don't take diabetes seriously until it's too late. Now I call myself a "born again diabetic." BTW, you can read my story at bornagaindiabetic.com. A hybrid bike sounds like a good idea. I have some good LBS's in my area. I'll have to start shopping around and see what they have.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:17 PM   #12
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The Jamis looks like a nifty bike. I never heard of that brand, but then I don't know much about bikes. Thanks for the suggestion
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Old 02-24-11, 10:18 PM   #13
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Guess I should open my mind up a bit about a forward leaning bike vs. a comfort bike.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:20 PM   #14
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Welcome prompterbob I had an A1c of 12.4 so I know where you've been. Last test 4.8 only taking minimum dose of Metformin now. As far as bikes I'd recomend you look at a Trek Fx series. I bought a Trek 7300 and don't care for the front suspension. Make sure they measure you for any bike. Don't trust a salesman that says you need a certain size frame by just looking at you. Another suggestion is working on your core strength. The stronger your core the more comfortable you'll be on a bike. I was amazed at what 2 months of pilates has done for me.
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Old 02-24-11, 10:23 PM   #15
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Guess I should open my mind up a bit about a forward leaning bike vs. a comfort bike.
Get out to your LBS and test ride everything that strikes your fancy. Try some hybrids, some "relaxed fit" road bikes, some flat-bar road bikes. You'll figure out what you like. Enjoy!
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Old 02-24-11, 10:29 PM   #16
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Great A1c Jethro... Right now the only med I take is Onglyza. I hope to get off of that after my next endocrinologist visit in April. I'll check out the Trek Fx. How do they measure your sit bones?
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Old 02-24-11, 10:32 PM   #17
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Hi John. As soon as the weather get's a bit better here in NJ I'll definitely go my LBS for some test rides. Just hate dealing with salesmen.
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Old 02-24-11, 11:00 PM   #18
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Hi Prompterbob, when you get a bike, let me know, and we'll arrange a ride. I've not been riding in NJ in a while.
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Old 02-24-11, 11:36 PM   #19
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Great weight loss Bob, keep it up.

As far as the bike thing goes, I would suggest a couple of things,

1.) familiarize yourself with the different groupsets and whether a triple crankset or a double would suit your needs best.
There are lots of resources on the web as well as here on the forums. This is just one : http://www.chainreaction.com/triples.htm Given the content of your original post I suspect that a triple crankset might be something to look at.

2.) get a sense of the tire options available, width, ride characteristics etc. and what the pros and cons of each might be given your circumstances. This has more information than you will probably ever need, but, it's worth a visit.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html

As others have suggested, get thee to the LBS and take as many test spins as you can handle.

Good Luck
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Old 02-25-11, 03:33 AM   #20
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Hi Neil. A ride sounds like fun. I visited your blog and you also have a very inspiring story. I had no idea there was such a great community of big guys and gals who love to bike. Good stuff. Keep up the good work. We'll both be down to 200 in no time.
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Old 02-25-11, 03:38 AM   #21
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Hi Seve... Thanks for the encouragement. Like any new passion, I have a lot to learn. I don't know much about bikes. I always had one as a kid growing up in The Bronx. We just hopped on and rode and patched up the occasional flat. Thanks for the links. They'll help with my education.
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Old 02-25-11, 04:15 AM   #22
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Great A1c Jethro... Right now the only med I take is Onglyza. I hope to get off of that after my next endocrinologist visit in April. I'll check out the Trek Fx. How do they measure your sit bones?
The Way I measured mine was I took a sheet of cardboard. Put it on a hard surface. Sat down hard. Measured between centers of indentations. This may very well cause another war, but just buy a Brooks B17 Saddle and join the cult.
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Old 02-25-11, 05:05 AM   #23
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And the split in that saddle, narrow as it is in my mind, is what does the trick? Wow... I've always thought the bigger the the seat...the bigger the saddle. I'll check it out.
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Old 02-25-11, 05:25 AM   #24
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The Jamis looks like a nifty bike. I never heard of that brand, but then I don't know much about bikes. Thanks for the suggestion
I never heard of that brand before I started riding either! It was actually recommended by a friend of mine to at least try. Here's a few brands I test rode:

Jamis (which I bought because I liked it the best--my preference after riding.)
Scott
Trek
Specialized
Raleigh
Cannondale
Marin

There's a lot more out there too! Seems like I find a new brand almost every day (exaggeration--sort of....) when I'm looking at what my wife refers to as "bike porn" online.

Hey, what can I say, I like to learn as much as I can about the stuff that interests me!!!1

Quote:
This may very well cause another war, but just buy a Brooks B17 Saddle and join the cult
I'm fighting for Jethro56's army on this one! I just put a B17 Imperial (with the hole in the seat to help prevent numbness) and I love it! It'll be fabulous when it's broken in!
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Old 02-25-11, 05:40 AM   #25
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Looks like I have a lot of homework to do...but it will be a lot ofun to learn. What do you mean about breaking in the saddle?
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