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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 07-06-11, 06:00 PM   #1
thorton
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Almost there...465-235 pounds..need a bike recommendation :)

I came back to post here because I came across Tom Stormcrowe on my Facebook again. It's a funny tale, I joined this site at the lowpoint of my life, I weighed in at 465 pounds. I decided biking was probably the best way to lose it. Tom was an inspiration, I was driven to try. Much advice and help was given by this site and though I didn't take weight loss seriously until 2 years after I first joined this site (in 2008) it still provided and continued to provide inspiration for my journey.

I weigh 235 today (size 62 pants to size 34 pants). 36 pounds off losing my clyde title. I've lost 230 pounds since May 08 and have destroyed many..many bikes since then.

So this brings me to this thread, I need a bike to last me through the last 35 pounds, preferably mountain as I enjoy riding trails now

Anyone have any recommendations and Glad to be back



Taken a few days ago Shirt is L pants are size 34
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Old 07-06-11, 06:07 PM   #2
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Welcome back! You are an inspiration dude! I started close to your weight as well. I started at 450 and am down to 390 so far. The transformation you've had is awesome.
Good luck on getting a new bike.
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Old 07-06-11, 07:02 PM   #3
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Big Grins here. Please tell us about destroying bikes.
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Old 07-06-11, 07:07 PM   #4
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Congrats on the weight loss, awesome!
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Old 07-07-11, 09:05 AM   #5
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Great to hear man. I'm close to your transformation but I still have a ways to go. I just joined the site and started cycling about a month ago and love it.

I'm 6'5" and I'm down to 275. Started at 445 about 7 years ago. I got down to 330 a few years ago and hovered at 330-350 for a few years. This past Christmas I finally got serious about pushing on down with my weight and hope to land around 230-240 by end of summer. As well as working toward riding a century sometime in the future.
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Old 07-07-11, 09:16 AM   #6
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That is outstanding. What was the most difficult obstacle you faced in achieving that?
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Old 07-07-11, 10:03 AM   #7
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Amazing!

Unfortunately I would not be much help for bike recommendations as I have not bought a mtb for 12 years. I weigh about the same as you and have found that my mtb has no problems. I think that any decent bike would be able to hold up just fine.
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Old 07-07-11, 10:34 AM   #8
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Congrats and the obvious question: What did you do to achieve this?
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Old 07-07-11, 01:08 PM   #9
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You ain't half the man you used to be.
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Old 07-07-11, 01:53 PM   #10
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Probably look for a hardtail. I find them very versatile type bikes. My hardtail (99 Jamis exile) is a great commuter with slicks. I suppose with the right tires I wouldn't have any problems on to many trails.
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Old 07-07-11, 02:15 PM   #11
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I can only dream of the day I reach that weight.

Can I ask a somewhat personal question? I've noticed that my skin has... well stretched out a lot due to my maximum weight I reached last year (457, close to yours). I am severely worried that my body is going to look wrecked with lots of gross sagging skin when I reach my target... is that a big concern? If so, how did you deal with it, either physically or mentally?

I'm already depressed about the fact that I was stupid enough to let myself get that big, I am not entirely certain I'll be able to handle the idea of dealing with eternal consequences for it as well... but I guess I should prepare for that possibility.
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Old 07-07-11, 02:29 PM   #12
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I'm partial to the Surly Karate Monkey. Then again I'm pretty partial to Surly's in general
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Old 07-07-11, 03:16 PM   #13
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Wow that is awesome, I would really like to know any recommendations for the bike to start with at that weight. My son is in a very similar situation and he said he would try riding. It would be worth anything to me to see him lose the weight and be healthy and not at risk. I would appreciate any recommendations for a bike that could hold up.
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Old 07-07-11, 08:34 PM   #14
thorton
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Hi everyone Sorry I took so long to respond, let me go through the questions, I'll help anyway I can.

Quote:
jethro56
Big Grins here. Please tell us about destroying bikes.
I remember my first bike at 465 was a blue one from Walmart. I rode it for 3 months and when I took it into my LBS they looked at me in horror, the wheel had actually folded over a bit (well more than a bit) the actual Rim was bent. My first three bikes this happened. I also had a post go through the seat on a bike from the weight, which was pretty painful as you can imagine. Bodyweight stress though kills bikes as well all know on this forum, it's why I've avoided investing a ton of cash in a bike. I have 2500$ saved up for when I hit 180-190 as a present for myself.


@ bgrave

Congrats on your weightloss. It is amazingly hard and I know the work you did to go through it. I have been stuck between 230-265 for a year now. I am determined this summer to get under the "clyde" title. I have a sears free spirit I'm riding now, amazing bike love it, 83 model. I wanted a moutain bike though, missed the trails, but I think the spirit might take me to 190, the name of the bike is fitting I think.

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wphamilton
That is outstanding. What was the most difficult obstacle you faced in achieving that?
When I was first 465 I took my parents dog for a walk. I was determined to get around the block. I did, it took me 3 hours. Then I went home and ate a huge tub of ice cream and passed out. When I woke up I realize what I needed to do was move. The hardest obstacle was actually doing something. We live in a world where we can survive and do nothing, it's too easy not to act.

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Congrats and the obvious question: What did you do to achieve this?
I ate less, a lot less. I calculated my pre-change days calorie intake to be between 7000-12000. I lost a hundred pounds the first year, a hundred the second year and 35 going into the third year. As I mentioned above it was just moving. I remember going to Goodlife and getting on the bike there I would bike 5-10 minutes the first month, than 15 the second, than 25, than 45. Pushing myself was what helped me achieve this. I also had this great photo of a friend here on a bike with an oxygen mask on in my wallet.

Quote:
Mithrandir
I can only dream of the day I reach that weight.

Can I ask a somewhat personal question? I've noticed that my skin has... well stretched out a lot due to my maximum weight I reached last year (457, close to yours). I am severely worried that my body is going to look wrecked with lots of gross sagging skin when I reach my target... is that a big concern? If so, how did you deal with it, either physically or mentally?

I'm already depressed about the fact that I was stupid enough to let myself get that big, I am not entirely certain I'll be able to
Yes, my stomach and arms are saggyish. I have started hitting the gym up to help that and it is tremendously. My legs are not saggy at all, I guess the biking muscles help While biking is amazing for loosing weight and keeping your joints you will get saggy skin if this is all you do (cardio) and you started at a gigantic weight (400+). The skin will be much easier to lose if you stay hydrated and do physical workouts. It will go away on its own eventually or if you get down to under 10% bodyfat (skin is essentially fat).

Quote:
Mothgrey
Wow that is awesome, I would really like to know any recommendations for the bike to start with at that weight. My son is in a very similar situation and he said he would try riding. It would be worth anything to me to see him lose the weight and be healthy and not at risk. I would appreciate any recommendations for a bike that could hold up
Hey Moth,

I sympathize with you greatly, my mom was at wits end with me and I knew the pain I put her through with my weight, trips to the hospital for heart pain @ 23 and the constant worry of where my life was heading. If I could go back and buy a bicycle it would be a steel Kona, 2003-2004 model. You can get them for 200-300$ now and they are very well built for our weight bracket and cheap as hell.

I would also start walking with him, buying him clothes that fit nicely. One of the funniest things that my mother did for me that worked was buy me some nice jeans (size 62 waist!) and a really nice XXXXXXL (6xl) shirts. She helped me feel like I had an appearance and I needed to maintain that. It was what really started the change of mindset from waiting for the invetiable to wanting to change. People have no idea the power of building someones self confidence to overcome things like this.

@ Absenth

I actually saw one of those for sale on kijiji today. I think I'll go check it out.


Thanks everyone and if you have any more questions feel free to ask.

One thing I will add is I didn't follow a diet. I find them useless, I kept calories under 2400 on non workout days and under 2800 on workout days and cut out sugar and processed foods.
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Old 07-07-11, 08:47 PM   #15
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Thanks much for sharing
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Old 07-08-11, 06:37 AM   #16
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Great of you to share your story. One thing that amazes me is how people tell me to stop losing weight. They can't accept the fact that I need to lose more and I am still obese. I guess it's he fact I look so much different now.

I know I'm really doing well when people ask me if everything is ok health wise. Hah
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Old 07-08-11, 07:26 AM   #17
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Inspiring ... thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-08-11, 08:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bgrave03 View Post
Great of you to share your story. One thing that amazes me is how people tell me to stop losing weight. They can't accept the fact that I need to lose more and I am still obese. I guess it's he fact I look so much different now.

I know I'm really doing well when people ask me if everything is ok health wise. Hah
Tell them to do one thing. Get online and do a BMI. While no one would think I was obese, I was. It gets your attention for sure.
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Old 07-08-11, 08:34 AM   #19
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...do a BMI. While no one would think I was obese, I was.
That's been my experience, too. The pounds needed to get from the upper end of "normal" BMI to the bottom of the "obese" classification tend to be more or less invisible to those around us who see us only in our clothes. Yes, you look pudgier than you do at the upper end of the normal range, but not that much so. Plus, if those folks are used to seeing you obese, or even just technically "overweight" (the class between normal and obese), they believe you are dangerously thin when they see you at the proper weight. It's all a game of perception and experience.

Last edited by CraigB; 07-08-11 at 10:20 AM. Reason: subject/verb agreement
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Old 07-08-11, 08:39 AM   #20
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A long time ago, I dropped 80 lbs - going from 265 to 185. It freaked people out; they thought I was dying. So 35 years later I'm at 305, after having lost ~ 40 lbs over the last year & 1/2. My spouse trained for a 550 miler earlier this year, dropped a bunch of weight and made a lot of new friends. My new bike should arrive today, and while I don't give a RA whether I get below 200, getting to 225 will allow me to swim again, probably take me off the diabetes drugs and statin and cholesterol meds.

This forum (Clydesdales/Athenas) is a real inspiration and Thornton's story is great. Thanks folks!
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Old 07-08-11, 09:26 AM   #21
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First, congratulations on your progress! It's a daily/weekly... lifetime job and you're doing a great job.

As to the bike:

1) Buy a well-made bike that fits you well. I'm going to guess that you've been to a shop that has experience with this service. It takes into consideration your height, arm/leg length, torso, etc., so that your position on the bike allows you to be comfortable and efficient as you roll on the miles.

Once you have a frame size that's in the ballpark, you can make finer adjustments with seat height, stem length, even crank arm length.

You don't have to buy a 'custom' built bike. Unless you're well over 6', you can find what you need "off the rack" and tweak it.

2) After an approx. fit, the next thing you need to pay attention to is the wheel set. You mentioned that you'd prefer a MTB/offroad style, so you're two main size options are 26" and the newer 29" wheels. Keeping in mind that you'll have a LOT more choices and availability in the 26" market, that's the direction that I'd suggest. (I hate painting myself into a corner and love options)

If you elect to go with 26" wheels, you'll have a huge selection of bikes/brands to choose from, and you'll also not be bothered by concerns with fluctuations in your weight. A well-made set of 26" wheels (and tires in the 1.5" category) will serve you very well even if your weight bounces from 180 - 280.

3) "Invest" in a well-made frame/bike (new or previously owned) and then spend on a good set of wheels. You'll be less likely to 'break' a good set of wheels, and if they need replacing/repairing due to accident or long-term use, your well maintained, quality bike will be happy to have new wheels.

And buy a couple of good locks & cables! You don't want your inve$tment, which will be pretty attractive, to get "lost".

Wishing you all the best in your continued efforts.
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Old 07-08-11, 09:48 AM   #22
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Bravo, Tyler! Bravo!

And I agree with you about building self-esteem even at a heavy weight. Often the super-obese feel they have no worth. Once a person realizes they are somebody instead of a nobody, the pounds start falling.
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