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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 08-14-12, 12:58 AM   #1
DecadentDashes
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Question about bike and wheels

Hey everyone. I'm very -very- new to biking. I've spent the evening browsing through other threads but all the brands, names, sizes, acronyms, etc. have made me very confused about everything. I haven't ridden a bike since I was about 12 (29 now). I've been wanting to give biking a try to help me shed some weight by riding around my neighborhood and city trails. I'd been looking at bikes for heavier people but was put off by the high prices I was seeing. My mother, as a late birthday present, just bought a bike for me. She didn't really take my size into consideration though and just bought one that was a color she thought I'd like and was on sale.

It's a Trek Navigator 2.0; everything stock

Frame: Aluminum
Wheels: Alloy hubs; Bontrager 550 36-hole alloy rims
Tires: Bontrager H5, 26x2.0"

I'm really worried these wheels/frame will not be able to withstand my weight, so much that I'm afraid to even get on it and go for a short ride. The tires feel very squishy when I sit on the bike and are rated at 60-80psi. Will over-inflating them a little bit help, say around 90psi? Should I get new tires and/or wheels? If I need new wheels, what are some economical options? Would it be better for me to just park it in the garage until I lose weight? I apologize for being redundant, but I've had some difficulty finding information geared towards my specific equipment and I'm not quite sure how to take information from other bikes and apply it to mine. Any advice is appreciated!

Last edited by DecadentDashes; 11-23-12 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:31 AM   #2
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Assuming the bike fits, I'd say ride it. Inflate the tires to the top end of the range but not over and don't worry about it! Pay attention to maintenance (ie keep the drive train clean and lubed, and monitor the wheels for trueness) and enjoy your bike.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:40 AM   #3
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I agree with TrojanHorse. Pump the tires to max air pressure allowed on the sidewall. Now, with that said, I'd TRY to avoid big bumps, potholes, etc. Beyond that, get out there and enjoy the ride. First, make it around the block and see how you feel. Next, do it twice. Next.....you get the idea. In April, my 300 lbs wife had a hard time with 5 miles. Now, she's down 30 lbs and we do 30 miles on a regular basis. And honestly, that 30 lbs has come off with very limited riding due to our busy schedule.
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Old 08-14-12, 09:44 AM   #4
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First of all, if you have not been on the bike, I myself might return to the shop to find out if it is the correct size. That would be step 1 imo.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:11 AM   #5
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First off, I think your mom is great! Giving you a gift that can help you
get around and get fit. I agree w/ Mr. Beanz that you should find out if
this bike fits you. What's your inseam/height and what size is the bike?
It may be possible to exchange it if it's not the right size. Tires will always
give/fatten a bit when you mount a bike, I ride on 120 PSI tires and I can
see them squish when I mount my roadbike. Once you get the size sorted
out, just go out and ride. Don't worry you won't damage that bike just
spinning around the neighborhood



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Old 08-14-12, 10:36 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input. The only pressure gauge I have only goes up to 60psi, so I plan on going out and getting a different one today, and a bicycle pump and hope the tires are just a bit low and pumping them up improve things. I called my LBS this morning and they told me the Navigator 2.0 is pretty sturdy and that I should be able to ride it with the tires up at 75/80psi, which made me feel better about it. Hard to find enjoyment in riding when you are afraid of cracking/bending a rim.

As for the fit, I got pretty lucky with that. The numbers fit perfectly for my height/inseam as far as I can tell. its 18 1/2 inches and I'm 5'9 with a 31" inseam. It feels a lil bit on the high end but not uncomfortably so and at this point I'm just attributing it to being fat and out of shape, lol.
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Old 08-14-12, 10:53 AM   #7
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You got 26 wheels so you should be good for a while. But with your weight, I would take the bike back after 200 miles or so (or 3 months whatever comes first) and have them check the tension on the spokes. If they work loose during the break in period, having them tension readjusted will prolong the wheel life. Especially important with your weight.
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Old 08-14-12, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DecadentDashes View Post
Thanks for the input. The only pressure gauge I have only goes up to 60psi, so I plan on going out and getting a different one today, and a bicycle pump and hope the tires are just a bit low and pumping them up improve things. I called my LBS this morning and they told me the Navigator 2.0 is pretty sturdy and that I should be able to ride it with the tires up at 75/80psi, which made me feel better about it. Hard to find enjoyment in riding when you are afraid of cracking/bending a rim.

As for the fit, I got pretty lucky with that. The numbers fit perfectly for my height/inseam as far as I can tell. its 18 1/2 inches and I'm 5'9 with a 31" inseam. It feels a lil bit on the high end but not uncomfortably so and at this point I'm just attributing it to being fat and out of shape, lol.
I started out on a Navigator and weighed about 290lbs at the time. As Beanz said keep the tires up and the chain clean and lubed and you'll be fine. You can get a pump with a gauge built in fairly reasonable. The wheels will eventually be a problem for not for a few thousand miles. After you lose a little weight you may want to look at something a little be faster but I still use my Navigator to commute and go through the park where skinny tires aren't an advantage and after 4 years and 10,000 miles the only thing I've replaced is the rear wheel. You may still want to go to the Bike Shop and ask their help in saddle height and bar adjustments but that bike is bullet proof
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Old 08-14-12, 11:33 AM   #9
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When I started bicycling again this spring, a floor air pump with a guage was one of my first purchases. It is one thing I use several times per week. You can probably find a reasonable one if you shop, as RedC said. This is the one I have:

https://www.serfas.com/products/view/44/refererroducts%7Cindex%7Cpumps%7Cfloor-pumps

Just so you can see what one example looks like. I like it, it has served me well so far. There may be better models or bargains out there...

Good on both you and your Mom for getting you into bicycling!
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Old 08-14-12, 11:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bluish Green View Post
When I started bicycling again this spring, a floor air pump with a guage was one of my first purchases. It is one thing I use several times per week. You can probably find a reasonable one if you shop, as RedC said. This is the one I have:

https://www.serfas.com/products/view/44/refererroducts%7Cindex%7Cpumps%7Cfloor-pumps

Just so you can see what one example looks like. I like it, it has served me well so far. There may be better models or bargains out there...

Good on both you and your Mom for getting you into bicycling!

I don't know how that smiley face got into that link I posted, but oh well... user error on my part, I guess...
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Old 08-14-12, 01:00 PM   #11
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You'll be fine, don't over think it and just ride! If something breaks, you fix it, if it breaks again, then you fix it again, but if it breaks a third time, you replace it.

Do NOT under any circumstances park it in the garage and wait until you lose weight. You wanted a bike to ride, you have a bike, now ride it and have as much fun as you possibly can. Know it's going to get a little getting used to, but you will. Get some decent riding gear, shorts and so on. Take a picture before your first ride, make a mental note of how long and far you rode, then compare that to your ride 6 months from now. I guarantee you that you will have a big ole cheesy on your face.
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Old 08-14-12, 02:31 PM   #12
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Haha..don't worry about the smiley face, the link still works. I just got back from my LBS and picked up a bike pump pretty similar to that one. After a bit of cussing figuring out how to use it, i managed to get it hooked to my tires. They were inflated to about 60psi...i pumped them up to about 80 (hopefully D and they are much firmer. The rear tire still flattens some when my full weight is on it but not as much as before. Tonight will hopefully, schedule permitting, be my first bike ride in over a decade!. Thanks for all your encouragement, and as was suggested I will definitely take some 'before' pictures before I head out.
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Old 08-14-12, 03:10 PM   #13
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My advice is to go for a ride as long as you feel comfortable. If you are anything like me (and we are the same weight) after about 2km your ass will hurt, your legs will be on fire and you will be out of breath and feeling you will be about to die. But keep at it and just try and do a bit more every time you ride. After a few months I do 10km every morning without a problem and sometimes I do a 20km round trip to work.

As for the bike, it sounds good but if you break a spoke don't just get it replaced, get a new really strong wheel and see if you can find a bike shop that will warranty the whole wheel including the spokes.
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Old 08-14-12, 03:35 PM   #14
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Thanks for the advice, cdonges. I plan on starting out fairly slow. Eventually I'd like to ride daily but I don't want to overwhelm myself to the point where I talk myself into giving up...so at first i'll do small trips around the block or so...just sticking in the neighborhood and fairly close to home and gradually increasing the number of trips and distance. I figure at my weight any exercise is better than no exercise, even if its just for 10 minutes!
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Old 08-14-12, 08:48 PM   #15
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Because you all took the time to help me out, I figured I'd give an update. Just finished my first ride! The rear tire squished a wee bit more than I would have liked, but i heard no creaking, groaning, or cries of protest from the frame or the wheels and everything went smoother than I expected. Well other than being a bit wobbly at first, but for my first ride in a decade, and being so big, I thought I did pretty darn good. It was a quicky. I went about around a mile, avg speed at 6mph and highest at 10.3. I actually waited till it started getting dark to go, mostly because then less people would see my fat ass on a bike..and also less chance of someone seeing if something should go wrong. All it took was 2 seconds on the bike for me to think, "What the hell! This is awesome! Why did I wait so freaking long to get on a bike??" I would have liked to have gone a bit longer but my feet above anything else were screaming in protest. I couldn't find my sneakers so threw on a pair of flip flops and went for it. Zero support for my feet is NOT going to work. Looks like I'll have to find those sneakers or invest in some biking shoes. A big thanks to everyone, without your advice and encouragement I might have never gone for it, and I'm so glad I did!
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Old 08-15-12, 09:21 AM   #16
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Congratulations on your first ride back! It sounds like you are going to be hooked.
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Old 08-15-12, 09:32 AM   #17
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Way to go, getting started is the hard part. I hope you find the same enjoyment I do.

Last edited by epiking; 08-15-12 at 09:33 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 08-15-12, 07:35 PM   #18
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Yup some harder soled shoes and have at it. Glad to see you are enjoying it. Keep it up.

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Old 08-15-12, 07:51 PM   #19
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Welcome. Keep us informed of your progress.

If you're going to be riding at and around dusk, invest in a flashing LED tail light & headlight. Make yourself visible. Too many people are distracted, old, drunk or just bad drivers.

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Old 08-15-12, 08:54 PM   #20
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Congratulations on your first ride! My spouse has a Navigator. The tires do bulge out a bit but it is partly just because they are big tires. His has been durable and the only issue he has had is that the seat post would slowly slide down into the seat tube. So, I would check that if riding starts to feel off. He ended up having a more heavy duty bolt put on the seat post and now it stays put.
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Old 08-15-12, 09:07 PM   #21
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Just had my second ride tonight! It was short again, as it has been raining all day and even though i have wide grippy tires, I didn't want to chance it too much as I'm still pretty inexperienced. Went about 1.5 miles this time...averaged around 7mph...with my highest being 20. Wore tennis shoes this time! Unfortunately still had a foot issue. My left food started aching right away from the ball up through the arch. Not sure if it is a shoe problem, if I'm doing something wrong or if I just need to ride more so I'll have to figure that out. Still just going around my block a couple of times but I'll definitely look into getting some lights for my bike. Better safe than sorry.
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