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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 09-14-11, 06:48 AM   #1
luv_to_cycle
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Good morning everyone

Hi All,

It happened. June I realized I was getting old (older :-) ) with my 40th coming up. I then realized I was getting closer to 300 than 200 sitting at 257 lbs. Even had one weigh in at 260 but not sure it counted cuz it was later in the day...anyway back to the point.

I started riding my mtn bike with my little ones and remembered how much I like riding. Since then, I have been riding ever since. I started with riding my mtn bike on the city streets here in Salt Lake and eventually found my old slicks. That made a great difference. I am now up to 5 to 6 days a week.

I have developed an affinity to climbing hills. Gives me so much adrenaline. I also have got my old road bike going. I like how fast it can go.

BUT I am a little frustrated and could use some ideas. I am down to 231 lbs and feeling great. But I am slow on my road bike. I keep reading that 17 - 18 mph average is good on a roadie. But I am usually 16.2. Had 1 day at 17.

I know it is the hills. I do not have a lot of money to go buy a new bike. I have a 54, 39 up front and 11-24 on the back...here where we live we have hills every where I ride.

I need to go faster. I want to go faster. What can I do? I am thinking about just attacking hills once or twice a week. Picking some really good hills. Should I do that only once a week or twice? And can I tell you how week I fill pushing the 39x24.

I can not change the cassette in the back. It is so old. It is not a modern cassette. so I think it is up to my legs. But man I hate feeling so slow on my road bike. I felt fast on my mtn bike.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Shawn
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Old 09-14-11, 07:14 AM   #2
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Hate to have such a short reply but there is only one word if you are going to stay with the setup you have on the road bike and that is practice.

Don't worry what everyone else says about average speed. Each person is different. I have been off of the bike for over a year now. When I used to ride I would commute to work which was 7 mile one way. I managed to get to averaging 17 - 18mph on the commute. I went for a 30 mile group ride and our goal was to hold 12 mph average and we ended up with a 13.5 mph average and I almost bonked. Terrain, fitness and bike all play a factor.
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Old 09-14-11, 07:23 AM   #3
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I want to add that I am in the same boat with hills on my road bike as you are with close to the same gearing: 39/53 12-23. When I was riding I was able to spin on the hills but some of the longer steep hills required more mashing or standing up. If they are short steep hills you can try to just keep it in the gear you were in before the hill and stand up to get over it quicker and recover on the other side.
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Old 09-14-11, 12:23 PM   #4
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Thanks George. I think you are right. I think I have decided a plan of attack. Twice a week I am going to seek out some decent hills and just stand up and attack them. I will let you know how it goes. I also think I have been to focused on how fast I can go. I am going to just focus on how I feel for a while. A year from now maybe I will have some different news...

I think for now I am keeping the current set up. I don't have tons of money to buy a new bike and the old cassette is hard to find replacements. But I am thinking about possibly doing a new crank set and putting a compact in there. But if I do that will probably wait for a couple of months. I am going to see what pure determination does for me first.
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Old 09-14-11, 12:41 PM   #5
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Maybe I'm crazy for saying this, but I thought you were doing great considering your weight, age and riding a mountain bike!! Buy a road bike and watch your average speed go up 3 maybe 4 mph. I think you are a very strong rider, just keep practicing. As far as money goes towards a purchase of a road bike just keep your eye on Craigslist, Goodwill type of places, and garage sales, you can find all sorts of deals but you have to respond fast, and make sure you test ride before buying. Any older 80's lugged steel mid to high end Japanese made road bike with 36 spoke rims are very strong and will hold your weight with no problem and their fast, and with constant searching you can find them very lightly used for under $250. Then after several years if you want you can invest in a new bike, personally I don't care much for newer bikes especially CF and AL road bikes, but that's just my opinion not shared by many so take it for a grain of salt.

If you do go used first go to this site to check on the brand: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/vrbn-a-f.html then after that simply do a web search for year, brand and model and sometimes a web site with the makers catalog will appear and you can check the catalog to see where that model fits into the level of bikes offered by that manufacture that year. Others will show forums of owners and will provide an indication of level of bike, some may be a site that just talks about it and are very informative. Posting here is great too...but by the time you get a response the bike will be gone. Level of components is a good judge of the bike's level. Familiarize yourself with the older 80's era brands like Campy (though difficult to find these on Craigslist and not typically found on Japanese bikes), Suntour, and Shimano groupsets, this will tip you off real fast as to how good the bike is; this info is available on the web.

I've purchased the following bikes for $100 or less on Craigslists over the past 2 years and their all mid level racing bikes from the 80's: 86 Nishiki Olympic with Shimano SIS 105; 85 Schwinn LeTour Luxe with Suntour Mountech (a touring bike but very strong bike and can be made to be a decent fast road bike with narrower rims and tires, but I'm using it for touring); and a 84 Fuji Club with Suntour ARX (newer models have the better Suntour Cyclone system). The Nishiki was in average condition, the others are in mint condition with less then 250 miles! Their out there, hanging in peoples garages for years after only riding sometimes for one season!

Maybe you have no desire to go that direction I mentioned, but I just mentioned in case.

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Old 09-14-11, 01:37 PM   #6
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Where does this average speed come into play? Why does everyone say it should be 17 - 18 mph? That is a good fast pace for a club rider doing short distances (20 - 30 miles). If you can maintain 17 - 18 for a century, you are one strong rider. In addition, those speeds relate to your average cyclist... someone 5'6" 135 lbs. I am taller than that and much heavier as are you. If I can maintain 15 - 16 on long distances, I am pushing it really hard, especially if there are hills involved.

Stop worrying about speed and work on endurance. If you think a bike is going to help you go faster, well you maybe be right alittle bit, but its more about you and what you are capable of. If speed is a big issue to you (rather than distance or hills) than learn how to do interval training and work on stroke and technique. There's lots published on the internet about this. In time, you speed will improve. You also need to do some research on size and speed. It is a fact, someone weighing 135 lbs will climb a hill faster than you. Nothing you can do about that except... blast passed the little guy on the way down. That's all I "buy back" all the distance i lose climbing. Fat folks do have some advantages!
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Old 09-14-11, 01:38 PM   #7
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Hi rekmeyata. Thanks for the information. I just switched to including riding my old road bike. You are right most of my miles have been on my Mtn bike with slicks. I have started riding my road bike. This is my second week. On the route that I have been riding my road bike. So far I have done it 4 times. I have averaged 16.2 to 16.4 mph. With one day of a 17. While doing that route on my mtn bike I felt fast. I would average 14 to 15 mph.

I like my road bike. I think it is a pretty bike. It is an old Phillipe. It has columbus slx tubing. The main triangle is a i think you call it poweder pearl type color. The fork and rear triangle are columbus tubing as well but polished chrome. It has etchings on the front fork. It has a dura-ace front derauleur and and sante in the rear.

I love that Sheldon Brown site. A fellow rider introduced me to it a few weeks ago. I may be misunderstanding how fast a road bike is. I almost thought by default I would be about 5 mph faster. Maybe that is just unrealistic.

Its funny after talking about it on this forum I am starting to think I am focusing on the wrong numbers. I think instead of focusing on MPH I am going to focus on number of rides a week and how many quality miles I go.

I think I am much slower on my road bike on the hills since I can not spin it... So I am going to try and put it in a stiffer gear and try standing up. Next year if I am not seeing a faster MPH I will post on that piece again...

Well thats the plan for today anyway...

For now I am just looking forward to my ride tomorrow!!!
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Old 09-14-11, 02:08 PM   #8
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Not that 16mph isnt a good average (cause it is) but the best way to bring your speed up is to focus on cadence and not mph.
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Old 09-14-11, 02:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by gunner65 View Post
Not that 16mph isnt a good average (cause it is) but the best way to bring your speed up is to focus on cadence and not mph.
I agree

A Phillipe? That's a rare brand, I had to look it up on the web, sounds like a really nice bike, but I couldn't find any info on the older vintage ones, not even an image! If you have a camera you should post it on the internet (have no idea how this is done) so that it will appear when someone presses the image tab, it would be great for collectors or people just wanting to see how they looked.

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Old 09-14-11, 03:52 PM   #10
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You are so right and am taking your advice to heart. It is amazing how posting it and reading it and everyone's responses has really helped me get past that stupid number..I think it was just an easy number to get attached to since it is so visible on on the apps etc...

I can keep a good cadence on flat roads even rolling roads. I just really need more muscles on the up hill...I did get a good compliment while riding my mtn bike. I was 18 miles into a ride on a fairly flat section and got passed by a group of 3 roadies. As they passed one of the riders actually complimented me on the pace I was riding on my mtn bike.

Some day I will get that on my road bike...In the mean time I am going to just sit back and enjoy the rides and start attacking more hills.
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Old 09-14-11, 03:54 PM   #11
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Yes. The research I have found, after coming across the bike about 8 or 10 years ago. was that the brand is still being built in France. However the father original built the bikes so the person building the bikes is not the same person. If the information I have is correct they were hand built. Either way I have not parted with it cuz I think it is a pretty bike. I will some day get a picture on here. Only thing is that I recently wrapped the bars with some different tape and man does it not fit on the bike and I did a bad job.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:48 AM   #12
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So I am in a great mood today. I decided to go climb a hill. Now it wasn't a big hill but still it was a hill that I have been afraid to ride. I did it. I think it is just going to take some practice figuring out what gears to be in when I stand up. But I did it and it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Tomorrow will be a more flat ride. But Sat I am going to throw in 2 hills
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