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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 06-10-13, 12:15 PM   #1
JackStrat
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New Clyde here on the forum. Here's my setup.

Been reading for a long while, but wanted to post more. To introduce myself I'll list my setup that I've found is pretty amazing for me, in hopes that it may be useful to others.

Body Size: 250lbs. My ideal weight is about 215ish. I've played football and rugby for years, and recently have cut about 30lbs with another 35 to go. I've ridden for years at all weights.

Diet: Ketogenic. I've lost about 30lbs this year on it already, and I have plenty of energy. I'll probably jump to a paleo when I get closer to my target weight. Used this diet over the years while playing sports and it is the most level way to feel energized, for me, while also cutting fat/weight. My energy feels really even, especially when riding, and I have little hunger. But that's just me.

Point of View about Cycling: I'm a really, really big believer in minimalism and simplicity. I'm not religious about it at all, but I like to try and boil things down to their essence and biking is a type of non-religious "zen" for me. So I try really hard NOT to add gear to my bag or bike, if I can help it. I want the simplest setup that helps me to be completely present in my riding. Too many hobbies I've had that could break the bank and be more about the gear than the experience, and I really don't every want biking to be that way for me. It's such an amazing sport in terms of just being out in the world.

Riding Style: Commuter mostly. Used to be mountain and would ride Moab and etc. But now it's mostly commuter and city trails. My commutes are no longer than about 5 to 10 miles per day, and sometimes I'll double that on the weekends just having fun. Sometimes I ride 7 days a week, sometimes 3.

Bike: A hybrid--the Specialized Sirrus. Been great for me for my needs. Thousand things I might still tinker with on it, but all in all it doesn't need anything.

Tires: Standard from factory. Two years on it and never a broken spoke, and I've had one flat total (but I do check tire pressure before every ride).

Saddle: Selle Anatomica Titanico X. I like the one that came with the bike, actually, but the SAA is just very comfortable and is a great clyde saddle.

Commuter Gear: Back rack with a kind of custom basket. I trimmed down the metal on the basket to give it a more aggressive look, and I have a sealine dry bag I put in there with my briefcase or etc. I have a few paniers I'll hang if I need, but I find the basket/drybag combo to be extremely adaptable and variable. No way I could ever do a backpack as I'd sweat it out in a heartbeat and look like I took half a shower on the ride.

Clothing: A short or long sleeve polo--depending on the weather--from one of the makers of the "dry" technology lines. Looks good, dries quick, and can wash in a sink if needed and have dry in 1 hour. Under Armour and Nike and few golf brands.

Also, no shorts. Not ever. And that's not a cosmetic thing as I look fine enough in shorts. I got "tapped" from behind at a stoplight one time by some 17 year old girl who was texting and not paying attention. Ever at her slow speed, and mine, I skidded across the pavement in shorts and ended up going to a hospital and had to have gravel removed from my skin with a wire brush. Never again. Jeans would have saved me all of that pain. Mostly I ride in jeans, even when it's 100 degrees outside and it's never been too rough on me. The Levi Commuters work okay in the 505 cut for me, though a little narrow, but I get discount levis and etc from outdoor stores at about $25 a pair and they'll last a few months apiece.

If I ever go back to Moab, or if I get back into road distance, I'll probably get back into racing wear but I still need to find a way to keep my legs covered. That pavement memory is still a little brutal.

The other benefit to always being in a polo shirt and jeans as a clyde is that you don't get off at a coffee shop or meeting site looking like a ridiculous sweaty mess. I get a lot less sideways glances than when I'd wear my shorts and racing shirt.

Shoes: The best all around commuter shoe I've found is, believe it or not, the Adidas Samba shoe. I dress for work in leather shoes and barely own or wear any trainers, but the Sambas have been amazing. They look good enough, but are comfortable. And they're bulletproof. I rode on one pair for about 8 years before they wore out, making them the single piece of gear that lasted the longest.

Finally: For any new clydes out there, never stop riding. Don't get off, don't get discouraged. Keep calm and peddle on. The humming birds around you might look at you funny sometimes, but in general I've found the bonds of the cycling community are stronger than others and if you're riding--there's camaraderie there. Mostly you FEEL like you stick out more than you actually do.

The most I ever get is the question from other clyde riders, "so, you got a DUI too, huh?".

Last edited by JackStrat; 06-10-13 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-10-13, 02:03 PM   #2
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Welcome!

If you don't want to wear shorts, why not try tights? They have the advantages of cycling shorts (except feeling the wind on your knees and calves), while leaving your legs covered. I sweat enough that I can't ride in jeans unless I'm going at a commuting pace (i.e., not working up a sweat). A lot of tights are made for cooler weather, but the lighter ones shouldn't be any warmer than jeans.
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Old 06-10-13, 02:56 PM   #3
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Jack,

Welcome! Nice write-up, and it seems like you've put some though into your gear/ride decisions. You make some insightful points.
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Old 06-12-13, 07:25 PM   #4
digibud
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Congrats. Gotta add that if jeans work well for you that's all that counts but if you build your endurance and ever want to go on a 50, 80, or 100mile ride I'll be a buck fifty you'll be wearing shorts of some kind. Somewhere there's somebody that does long rides in jeans but ...ouch...I'd love to try a Selle Anatomica sometime but from what I've read I don't think it's super easy to return them if you don't like it.
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Old 06-17-13, 09:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by digibud View Post
Congrats. Gotta add that if jeans work well for you that's all that counts but if you build your endurance and ever want to go on a 50, 80, or 100mile ride I'll be a buck fifty you'll be wearing shorts of some kind. Somewhere there's somebody that does long rides in jeans but ...ouch...I'd love to try a Selle Anatomica sometime but from what I've read I don't think it's super easy to return them if you don't like it.
Definitely. I've done 50 mile rides before, and you'd better believe I was in shorts and would be again. My point was only that you don't have to be in some crazy state of alternative dress if you're in shorter commuting distances. And for me, it's almost preferred.

But absolutely on longer rides you're right, and there's also no shame in "kitting out" if that's what you prefer.
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Old 06-17-13, 09:01 PM   #6
Rollinrock
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Hey JackStrat, loved your intro and welcome by the way. I have a question. Does the Ketogenic diet give you enough energy to ride hard and long? I was on Adkins diet a few years ago, which I think is the same thing, and I actually felt like I had no energy. Just wondering, maybe I was doing it wrong I don't know.
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