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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 02-10-13, 07:50 AM   #51
Rhodabike
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...That style of bike is also very limited in scope of use. I do want to state that I am a big supporter of bike share programs for green reasons and general public health concerns, but how many people would choose those public share bikes for daily personal use?
By bike share, do you mean public rental bikes such as Velibs? The Velib bikes in Paris get used by Parisiens every day. I saw men and women in suits, pedalling off to the office on them. They don't want to lug a bike downstairs from their apartment every morning or worry about it being stolen while at work, so they just buy a yearly subscription card and use the nearest Velib station.
Come to think of it, those bikes would probably work quite well for the O.P.s purposes. Strong frame, deep step through, easy enough to add gears in the form of a hub gear. If I were going to recommend a bike to someone who hadn't ridden in years and was intimidated both by gearing and by getting on, something like this would be on my list. Especially the hub gearing. Very easy to use, especially in traffic, so less intimidating to complete novices.
The Breezer Uptown LS comes closest to this design.
http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/de...uptown_8_ls_us
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Old 02-10-13, 09:42 AM   #52
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Unless university level projects have changed a lot since I was in school (think quill and ink) practical application is a significant part of the final analysis and grade. After all, the purpose of university study is to prepare you for a career in the real world.

You are absolutely right about the bike share programs though. Most of them are geared toward college students and other short distance commuters which has limited crossover to the morbidly obese looking for a way to improve fitness. That style of bike is also very limited in scope of use. I do want to state that I am a big supporter of bike share programs for green reasons and general public health concerns, but how many people would choose those public share bikes for daily personal use?
While bike share bikes certainly aren't ideal to race in a tour de france, without a doubt, they are designed to be durable because the not so nice general public will be using them. The ones that come to mind off the bat are the ones in Washington D.C. they are step thru frames and the ones that are going to be launching here in NYC are also going to be step through frames. These bikes are designed to be tough and to last, not only so they don't have to be replaced often, but also for liability purposes i'm sure. While it would be nice to be able to take a bike that looks just like the latest and greatest Cervelo and say "here you go morbidly obese person, your perfect bike" it's simply not feasible. At some point the morbidly obese do need to swallow some pride and acknowledge that the ideal bike to get them moving and improving their health, may not be the coolest looking thing out there. Form follows function, not the other way around. Things like internally geared hubs are also a great option for keeping the bike simple and is something that ALL people new to cycling could potentially find useful.

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Old 02-10-13, 12:13 PM   #53
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The idea of being able to rent or lease a bike why you lose weight is not a bad one. Then when the rider has lost the weight they can return the bike and get a better one, that matches there riding better.
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Old 02-10-13, 12:25 PM   #54
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Greetings Bike Forum’s members:
Our goal is to design and build a better bike for largely obese individuals(Upwards of 350 lbs). We are a group of 3 undergraduate students at the University of Colorado Boulder working with Prof. Rodger Kram. We call ourselves the “BIG BIKE” project. We need all the help we can get from real life people who have experienced the hassles of riding a bike unintended for obese riders. Here are some of the issues we need your opinions, complaints, and experiences to create the best bicycle possible:


1) Strength of the bicycle (all aspects)
2) Seat comfort
3) Gearing
4) Brakes
5) Tires/Wheels
6) Aches/Discomfort/Pain associated with riding


FYI, I am an avid bicyclist and hope to go into the profession of Physical Therapy post graduation. Any contributions or opinions about these issues are greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,
Gabe Kowalsky (gabriel.kowalsky@colorado.edu)


May I suggest starting with the tires.
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Old 02-10-13, 03:03 PM   #55
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Let me offer up some additional comments:
1) In additional to dealing with weight variations, you have height variations. It may not be obvious, but if you're, say, 5'-10", you can go down to Walmart and buy a bike and it'll fit you reasonably well. And if you're 6'-2", it just won't. So to complicate the supply of frames, you have deal with larger/smaller frames as well.
2) If you are actually designing the bike, you'd want to establish an upper bound as well. That may be limited by something mundane like the available seatposts, cranks, pedals, or brakes. Or may be limited by finding out that nobody weighing over, say, 600 lbs, has ever ridden a 2-wheel bike (I'm just guessing at what that limit would be, I haven't taken a poll.) However, that maximum weight will determine a lot of the design parameters for the product.
3) Bikes aren't normally built for 400-lb people, but they are quite commonly built for 400-lb teams, so research tandem wheels as a source of additional components. (Main difference: I think tandem rear wheels are wider, so you build the frame wider to handle them.)
4) A question to consider is how many people weighing over 350 lbs have put a lot of miles on a bike at that weight? I'm sure it's been done. But I would guess most riders of that weight range either don't ride very much, or they give up riding, or they lose weight and fall out of that weight range. So something along the lines of a bike rental program may make more sense that actually designing a bike. And designing a $2,000 bike may be very limited in returns due to those kinds of issues.
5) You can make a bike from steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, whatever, and make it as strong or as weak as you'd like. One consideration you may want to look at, though, is your available labor and materials. When I was in college, our ME lab had guys there that could weld. Could they weld aluminum, titanium, anything you put in front of them using any process whatever? I kind of doubt that, they were skilled, but not skilled in every conceivable way. Then also, how available is oddball gauge titanium tube? Or do you have the means to heat-treat a frame after welding? Working out what is and isn't feasable for materials, labor, and processes may vastly simplify the choices of what to use. For a production bike, you'd need to visit with the people in Taiwan that build production bikes.
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Old 02-11-13, 02:09 PM   #56
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Thanks for your response! You have a great point
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Old 02-11-13, 02:12 PM   #57
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This is exactly what we were thinking. Nobody wants to stand out, we will keep that in mind- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:15 PM   #58
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This is a great point. Right now it is a hot topic weather a person would rather be seen struggling to mount a double diamond or be seen riding a step through. Aluminum may be the way to go. Thanks for your time- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:18 PM   #59
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Thank yo for your response. This is just the king of feedback we were looking for- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:19 PM   #60
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This is true! We are a school project. Thanks for seeing our vision- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:21 PM   #61
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Thank you for your input. The last thing we want to do is offend anyone. I'll check out the podcast. - Gabe
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Old 02-11-13, 02:25 PM   #62
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I was 6'5" and 400 + when I started lurking here and riding my Huffy Cruiser around looking for a better bike . 2-3 guys in my club started out the same way, so I never felt alone in my endeavor to lose weight riding a bike. I'm down in the 290's now, by no means finished but much better than before . I'll have to modify a lot of diet and exercise issues to get lower, but I have to. My case does not seem to be an exceptional one . I think your research , Gabe, can do a lot of people a lot of good . Keep up the good work , get some wheels under this project. Engineering, marketing and research are all good directions for you to explore at this juncture.
Thank you so much for your response. We hope this project will end up doing good for a lot of people- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:30 PM   #63
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Thank you for your response. This is exactly what we are looking for- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:30 PM   #64
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keep us up to date, don't forget about us, some interesting stuff you guys got going on here!
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Old 02-17-13, 09:03 AM   #65
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May I suggest starting with the tires.
Aw, you beat me to it. I was looking at a Surley Moonlander yesterday and thought of this thread.
In many ways this is the perfect bike for the purpose, apart from price perhaps.
  1. Very wide bottom bracket means the cranks are far apart - great for preventing chafing between the thighs
  2. With a tire pressure of about 9 psi, can be ridden over practically anything without worry
  3. Not a bike that they'd outgrow, as it's extremely versatile and would still be useful long after the weight was lost.
I'm thinking of trading in my commuting bike for one, as we have few paved highways surrounding the city and it would greatly increase the number of cycling routes available.
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Old 10-25-13, 01:58 PM   #66
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Hi,

I'm 6ft 2, 588lbs and very mobile/agile for a person of my size/weight.

I would buy one of your BIGBIKEs - I've currently got 1000.00 burning a hole in my pocket because nobody seems to have the right idea of what kind of bike I can buy - any ideas?
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