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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 07-16-11, 10:15 AM   #1
aplcr0331
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New Rider, Fat-Ass, Quick Questions

I am 80 pounds overweight and just purchased a cheap bike. I live very close to work but I plan on riding the bike for my commute. 5 miles roundtrip everyday at a leisurly pace (let's face it, who's in a hurry to get to work) probably will not help me lose any pounds. How much more riding should I do? 10 miles? 15? My goal is to lose enough weight so that I can start to run some more (my knees hurt to badly now). I would also like to tone my legs up, as they rub together a bit now when I walk (sorry to gross people out). Will riding a bike help to tone the upper/inner thigh area?

Thanks,
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Old 07-16-11, 10:55 AM   #2
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Hi aplcr0331,

Welcome to BikeForums.net (often abbreviated BF in posts). In bicycling you've chosen a great way to get low-impact exercise.

There is a sub-forum dedicated to heavier riders. It is called Clydesdales and Athenas. Why don't you post there? The people who frequent that forum have a lot of expertise in matters of weight management and you will probably get some really helpful advice there. Good luck!
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Old 07-16-11, 11:00 AM   #3
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I'm in kinda the same boat...100 pounds overweight but just lost 25 from riding everyday. Good luck to us and see you in the Clydesdales forum.
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Old 07-16-11, 01:30 PM   #4
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I'll go check it out, thanks.
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Old 07-16-11, 10:09 PM   #5
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Thread moved to the Clydesdale/Athena forum.
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Old 07-17-11, 06:08 AM   #6
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Welcome!

First, there is no magical distance where the weight will start coming off. The number is different depending on your weight, intensity, terrain, etc. So we can't really tell you how much to bike in a day; that's up to you to find out after fiddling around seeing what you can do. I myself just biked 300 miles this month so far, and have finally broken the large plateau I was on for a long time.

As for toning, well that's difficult to answer as well. I assume your legs rub due to fat on the thighs. In which case biking may not help immediately. There's no such thing as spot-training, so if you exercise your legs more, you aren't guaranteed to have more fat come off the legs. Your body chooses where to take the fat from (usually in the reverse order of where it put the fat in the first place). So take me for example; when I started biking my thighs got much larger. My muscles grew, and my body still hasn't taken much fat off the thighs, so their circumference grew a few centimeters, which may have the opposite effect of what you were hoping for.

But eventually your body will get to the fat in the legs, as long as you keep it up long enough.
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Old 07-17-11, 08:01 AM   #7
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I am 80 pounds overweight and just purchased a cheap bike. I live very close to work but I plan on riding the bike for my commute. 5 miles roundtrip everyday at a leisurly pace (let's face it, who's in a hurry to get to work) probably will not help me lose any pounds. How much more riding should I do? 10 miles? 15? My goal is to lose enough weight so that I can start to run some more (my knees hurt to badly now). I would also like to tone my legs up, as they rub together a bit now when I walk (sorry to gross people out). Will riding a bike help to tone the upper/inner thigh area?

Thanks,
To lose weight you should eat less and better, and exercise.
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Old 07-17-11, 08:35 AM   #8
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I think you need to think of it in terms of time and intensity, not miles. An hour at an energetic pace but where you can still hold a conversation (somewhat broken) while riding -> you will see results.
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Old 07-17-11, 09:24 AM   #9
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if your disciplined and willing ..within a year you will not be 80 lbs overweight .... like neil said eat better and exercise(RIDE)!!! for leg rubbing buy cycling bibs they will help loads .... i ride my bike to work almost every day tis the rainy season now so it makes it difficult but its also about 5 miles round trip chill ride on the way in man and then wear yourself out getting home .... within a few weeks you'll notice a big difference distance will come with better cardio/strengthening just dont get discouraged and give up i started out at 290 6 months ago ... im down to 255 and dropping steadily GL man .....

p.s. the pain is worth it ...
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Old 07-17-11, 09:46 AM   #10
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To lose weight you should eat less and better, and exercise.
The eleventh commandment.
Ride till you feel a bit tired and then turn around and go home. You will
find after a week or so, the distance will get greater. Ride every chance you get.
To the store, the library, what ever, just ride.
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Old 07-17-11, 09:47 AM   #11
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I think you need to think of it in terms of time and intensity, not miles. An hour at an energetic pace but where you can still hold a conversation (somewhat broken) while riding -> you will see results.
/l\
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Old 07-17-11, 06:23 PM   #12
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Bike shorts/bibs will help a lot with motion control/flappage. Be warned that flappage can get worse after losing fat due to loose skin. Wearing compression shorts when running will help too.

Bike riding doesn't seem to work the upper inner thigh muscles. You can do some weight lifting at the gym to improve muscle tone but not promote spot loss of body fat.

Measure your exercise in time, not miles. MPH varies tremendously.

Exercise is great, attention to diet is crucial to lose weight. Personally I lose weight the fastest when I do intense exercise a few times a week (1-2 hours) with other exercise at a brisk pace 1-2 hours. It curbs my appetite and when I do get hungry it is for healthy foods not junk.
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Old 07-18-11, 09:18 AM   #13
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Like Neil says:

Ride more and eat less!
OR
Ride for fitness and diet for weight loss.

No amount of miles will make you lose weight.
Well, I guess you could ride 200 miles a day, EVERY day, and lose weight, but that takes a lot of time!
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Old 07-18-11, 10:21 AM   #14
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Be warned that ramping up your bike mileage will increase your hunger. If you then crank up your eating to match the increased hunger, you won't lose any weight. Biking with the intention to lose weight means creating a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit means you're going to be hungry at times. Knowing this going into the battle will help you better deal with it when it happens.

Admittedly, this is where I struggle. I'm constantly hungry when I eat at maintenance calorie levels. When I attempt to drop weight, my hunger becomes nearly all-consuming. To the people on TV that claim, "I lost weight and never felt hungry!", I want to slap them into next Tuesday.
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Old 07-18-11, 10:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
I am 80 pounds overweight and just purchased a cheap bike. I live very close to work but I plan on riding the bike for my commute. 5 miles roundtrip everyday at a leisurly pace (let's face it, who's in a hurry to get to work) probably will not help me lose any pounds. How much more riding should I do? 10 miles? 15? My goal is to lose enough weight so that I can start to run some more (my knees hurt to badly now). I would also like to tone my legs up, as they rub together a bit now when I walk (sorry to gross people out). Will riding a bike help to tone the upper/inner thigh area?

Thanks,
I don't think you can sensibly put a number on it. A lot will depend on the intensity of your training, what you're eating etc.

As a general rule if you spin your pedals fast you move the load to your heart and lungs, if you turn them slowly but more powerfully you move the load to your legs and knees. If you want legs like tree trunks and your knees will take it (which they may not, from what you've said) go for speed in a high gear. If you want to lighten the load on your joints then look to spin the pedals faster.

Even if you arne't in a hurry to get to work you can always push yourself a little on the way home, or perhaps take a slightly longer route, or even choose a route that takes you up and over a local hill. There's one hill near me that I'll go around rather than over most times (the distance is much the same either way) but every once in a while if I want to push myself a bit I'll take the route over the top of it.
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Old 07-18-11, 10:37 AM   #16
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A 5 mile commute is probably about a 20-30 minute workout, depending on how fast you ride.

Ask your doctor if two 25 minute aerobic workouts, 4-5 days per week will help you lose weight.


I commute 6.5 miles to work. My advice? Take it slow and easy going TO work. Sweat on the ride home.

When the ride home seems too short, take detours.
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Old 07-18-11, 12:24 PM   #17
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I appreciate it. I went on a 6.6 mile ride this weekend, it was not too bad. I was sore when I got off the bike but later in the day it went away. I'm might avoid the ride to work as it is all busy with commuter traffic and try and stick to longer less traffic-y rides in the evening.

Bought the bike off of Amazon. I did not realize the universal disdain for Denali bikes, but it was what I could afford. Once I took the stickers off it has a pretty clean look.

Here's the bike: Click on picture for bigger view.

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Old 07-18-11, 12:32 PM   #18
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I bet once you lose the weight you will NOT take up running..............YUCK!

Don't know a thing about a Denali bike, but if works it is a great bike.

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Old 07-18-11, 12:57 PM   #19
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Biking with the intention to lose weight means creating a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit means you're going to be hungry at times. Knowing this going into the battle will help you better deal with it when it happens.
QFT.

Now, IMO, just go ride. Don't worry about time, speed, distance, weight loss or if you're on the "right" bike. Just ride.... and keep doing it. Make it a habit and the rest will come in their own time.

And, whatever you do, don't get wrapped up in keeping up with the Joneses on the internet. If you take too seriously the internet gurus who can spend $10k for a back up bike or ride 25mph for 200 miles... well ya might wind up a wee bit discouraged. Just ride and enjoy it.


oh P.S. I'm down 20 lbs over the last six weeks and riding is my main exercise. ;-)
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Old 07-18-11, 01:03 PM   #20
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No amount of miles will make you lose weight.
Well, I guess you could ride 200 miles a day, EVERY day, and lose weight, but that takes a lot of time!
I lost 35 pounds eating as much pizza, ice cream, beer, as I wanted and as much of my wife's killer cassoulet (with bacon and duck fat) as she'd make me.

Six hours (about a hundred miles) totaling 3400-3700 kilojoules is still half a pound a week after you eat more to accommodate the added hunger.

Not eating more would double that but not be nearly as much fun.

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Old 07-20-11, 12:40 PM   #21
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I did not realize the universal disdain for Denali bikes, but it was what I could afford. Once I took the stickers off it has a pretty clean look.
If it's a GMC Denali, there's a couple threads about them. There's a small number of fans of the thing, seems like. It's a Walmart bike with a touring/road frame (it's sold as a "road bike" but it's been noted that the geometry is closer to a touring bike), fat-ish 700c tires and drop bars, priced somewhere around $150. It gets panned; some points in the discussion were valid and some I think are goofy. Points included:
1: Brakes are cheap. The brakes are OK (not great but you could do worse), but by all reports the brake shoes are hideous, get new ones ASAP for your own safety.
2: "omg shifters". I don't understand the bile here. In order to make price point, it uses cheap grip shifters by the stem. That seems like a slightly awkward but functional shifter setup to me; assuming like quality, I don't see anything worse about slightly awkward grip shifters on the stem than I do with slightly awkward thumb shifters on the stem, awkward stem shifters, or awkward bar end levers. Brifters would obviously be best, but those cost a lot, and the price point here was very restrictive. The shifters are reportedly pretty average quality for Walmart, in that they work but are a bit sketchy in performance and will do occasional annoying things simply because the worksmanship is too shoddy to have the accuracy needed for spot on performance. However, you can ride them a decently long time putting up with its flakiness. (The last person reporting on one rode it awhile, then saw a good deal on some decent stem shifters and upgraded happily, but the shifters worked OK up till that point.)
3: "It's Walmart". The gist of the review was that the frame was really surprisingly nice (if a bit heavy - but for heavy people, we really need to focus on engine weight first), the guy was going on regular rides with people on good road bikes and keeping up in the front half of the group. He tinkers a lot, and every time he saw a good deal on a new part, he'd swap it out and notice a significant improvement, simply because all the stock parts are cheap.
By what i'd read there by the people who ride them, it sounded like "You get what you pay for, and that thing is scandalously inexpensive for a bike with drop bars, but it's a good buy for what it costs".
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Old 07-22-11, 07:16 AM   #22
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losing weight is a simple formula..... calories in and calories out. Throw any type of excersise in there and you burn more. If you have a reasonable deficit (calories you eat minus what you burn) then you should lose weight. Eat right.
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Old 04-04-16, 11:06 AM   #23
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Update;
Sold the Denali.
Moved back to my hometown.
Gained more weight up to 295lbs.
Started counting calories (MyFitnessPal).
Walked some, walked some more.
Dropped down to 275lbs.
Started running, quit drinking coke and eating fast food.
Run a little more, still watching what I eat.
Bought a new road bike recently (Ghost Nivolet 105) ride more, run more, eat less (for the most part) and now down to 235lbs.

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Old 04-04-16, 11:24 AM   #24
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Update. Sold the Denali. Moved back home. Gained more weight up to 295lbs. Started counting calories (MyFitnessPal). Walked some, walked some more. Dropped down to 275lbs. Started running, quit drinking coke and eating fast food. Run a little more, still watching what I eat. Bought a new road bike recently (Ghost Nivolet 105) ride more, run more, eat less (for the most part) and now down to 235lbs.
Wow, what an update!!
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Old 04-04-16, 11:42 AM   #25
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you are doing great and going in the right direction...keep it fun and keep it up.
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