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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 03-18-14, 08:17 PM   #1
prompterbob
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350 pounds: Is there a bike I can ride?

I have a great hybrid bike collecting dust in the garage because I regained the 100 pounds I lost over the past few years. I miss riding my bike to the point it's seriously depressing the hell out of me. I'm afraid to get on my bike because I don't think it will support my current weight. Now that Spring is here I need to get back on a bike to help me lose weight and control my diabetes (and to feel happy again). Can anyone recommend a readily available bike that will safely carry my 350 pounds? I ride only on paved bike paths (we have great ones here in Bergen County, NJ). I'm willing to spend $1000. I rather invest in a bike than to give it to my doctors. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you.

Bob C.
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Old 03-18-14, 09:06 PM   #2
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Maybe the bike in your garage will work with a decent set of wheels.
What is it?
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Old 03-18-14, 09:10 PM   #3
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Can you take your bike to a local bike shop of maybe wheel builder and see if, maybe they can either order, of build a back wheel that can handle your weight? Of just ride what you have and see if it holds up.

Edit. Looks like your Jamis came with 36 spoke wheels. Sounds pretty sturdy. Maybe just take it to a bike shop to true the wheels.

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Old 03-18-14, 09:15 PM   #4
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I started at close to 450..
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Old 03-18-14, 09:15 PM   #5
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That's a good idea. It's a Jamis Explorer 2.0. It's a pretty sturdy bike. I'll go back to the dealer.

Should I max out the tire pressure?
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Old 03-18-14, 10:08 PM   #6
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That's a good idea. It's a Jamis Explorer 2.0. It's a pretty sturdy bike. I'll go back to the dealer.

Should I max out the tire pressure?
Choose bigger volume tires mid 40's. They will give you more comfort, and will help save your wheels. Maxing out the pressure is a must. Good luck!
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Old 03-18-14, 10:30 PM   #7
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Trek's Shift 4 is rated to a rider weight limit of 350 lbs. If we get heavier riders in the shop where I work, we often point them towards that one as it's both comfortable and durable.
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Old 03-18-14, 10:32 PM   #8
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Don't be shy, don't be self-conscious, dust off that bike and go riding. If you have problems, it's highly likely to be a wheel problem and that $1,000 will go along way to fixing it.

There are people all over this forum who started out bigger than you are now - get in the game! You can do it.
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Old 03-19-14, 04:26 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice. I'll be heading to my LBS tonight and see what they can do for me. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 03-19-14, 08:59 AM   #10
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Getting the spokes properly TENSIONED is the key to long wheel life.
It appears the rear wheel is a rather inexpensive single wall rim with Free Wheel set up.
IF you have to replace the wheel in the future, get a wheel with a Free Hub "system".
Study this link to see the advantages of the FH vs FW-
Freewheel or Cassette?

In the meantime, just get the spokes properly tensioned and you may as well have the bearings serviced while you have the wheel off the bike.
RIDE IT! IF you have wheel problems, you can spring for a better wheel IF that occurs.

The rear wheel takes much more abuse than the front (assuming you don't run into curbs, major potholes etc.)
1/2 the spokes are trying to "unwind" when you pedal. This loosening/tightening of the spoke tension fatigues the spoke in the J bend. IF the spokes are not evenly tensioned, the stresses tend to be more concentrated on just a few spokes, instead of "shared" by all of them.
Butted spokes (thinner in the middle) help "absorb" some of this, resulting in the J bend flexing less.

Another option is just replacing the rear only, IF that time comes.
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Old 03-19-14, 09:45 AM   #11
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Thanks Bill for the sage advice. I have to admit I'm kind of uneducated on bike mechanics, but I'm slowly learning.
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Old 03-20-14, 06:01 AM   #12
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Since my birthday is next week (61), my wife insisted she'd buy me a new bike (who can argue with that), so I got a Trek Shift 4 from my new friends at Cyclesport in Park Ridge NJ. Should take delivery in a few days (doesn't matter because the weather is still cold and wet here in NJ). Hopefully after I lose some weight, I can also get back on my trusty Jamis. After next week, I have 2 weeks off and I'll be out there on the bike paths again. Thanks for all your encouragement. I feel I can see the light at the end of the tunnel again. It's been very dim for a long time.
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Old 03-20-14, 06:18 AM   #13
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Since my birthday is next week (61), my wife insisted she'd buy me a new bike (who can argue with that), so I got a Trek Shift 4 from my new friends at Cyclesport in Park Ridge NJ. Should take delivery in a few days (doesn't matter because the weather is still cold and wet here in NJ). Hopefully after I lose some weight, I can also get back on my trusty Jamis. After next week, I have 2 weeks off and I'll be out there on the bike paths again. Thanks for all your encouragement. I feel I can see the light at the end of the tunnel again. It's been very dim for a long time.
It looks like your Trek has the same drive train as my Trek Verve 3. I have been very happy with my bike putting over 2000 miles on it over the last year. The seating position should help carry your weight comfortably.I think you made a great choice and I hope you get many miles of great riding out of it.

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Old 03-20-14, 06:23 AM   #14
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Nice Clydmobile!

Good luck and never give up.
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Old 03-20-14, 06:59 AM   #15
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Good luck PrompterBob you have a good home here with many wonderful supportive friends. Three years ago
I was 352 pounds drinking 10 beers a day and basically just waiting to die. Luckily I was diagnosed with diabetes
and it scared me enough to make the needed changes in my lifestyle. Today my blood sugar and blood pressure
are normal (no meds) and I weighed 215 this morning.

Charlie
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Old 03-20-14, 08:17 AM   #16
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Good luck PrompterBob you have a good home here with many wonderful supportive friends. Three years ago
I was 352 pounds drinking 10 beers a day and basically just waiting to die. Luckily I was diagnosed with diabetes
and it scared me enough to make the needed changes in my lifestyle. Today my blood sugar and blood pressure
are normal (no meds) and I weighed 215 this morning.

Charlie
Charlie, that's great to hear. I was almost there 3 years ago. After my own diabetic scare in I got down to about 250 through strict diet and exercise, BG was normal and then I blew it. Hope to be in a better place in a few months. Your encouragement is appreciated.
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Old 03-20-14, 08:24 AM   #17
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Since my birthday is next week (61), my wife insisted she'd buy me a new bike (who can argue with that), so I got a Trek Shift 4 from my new friends at Cyclesport in Park Ridge NJ. Should take delivery in a few days (doesn't matter because the weather is still cold and wet here in NJ). Hopefully after I lose some weight, I can also get back on my trusty Jamis. After next week, I have 2 weeks off and I'll be out there on the bike paths again. Thanks for all your encouragement. I feel I can see the light at the end of the tunnel again. It's been very dim for a long time.
Sounds like your wife's heart is in the right place. Now that you have a new bike, you have to get out and ride. But keep in mind that it takes time and it is still mostly about what, and how much you are eating.
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Old 03-20-14, 08:45 AM   #18
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Sounds like your wife's heart is in the right place. Now that you have a new bike, you have to get out and ride. But keep in mind that it takes time and it is still mostly about what, and how much you are eating.
Exercise kills appetite too.
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Old 03-20-14, 09:05 AM   #19
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Exercise kills appetite too.
Uh, not necessarily. I get back from a 30 or 40 mile ride and I am ravenously hungry. Years ago, I also learned the hard way to stay away from sports drinks while riding as it is possible to drink as many calories (or more) than I am burning off.
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Old 03-20-14, 09:08 AM   #20
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Started at 410. Now at 350 and going down.

At 410, I rode a Specialized Hardrock Sport 29er with the front suspension locked out. I had a rear wheel built for me by the local bike shop and put 3,000 miles on that bike (and lost 60 pounds on it) before switching to a steel road bike with a sturdy back wheel.

The hardest part is putting aside the pride/shame and getting going. Nobody cares what you look like, and you're much more self conscious than anyone else is conscious of you. It took me a long time to figure that out, so try to learn from my experience.

Just get started. Once you make it past that initial few weeks, the ride will become the thing you most look forward to each day, I promise. You can, absolutely, do this.
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Old 03-20-14, 09:16 AM   #21
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Uh, not necessarily. I get back from a 30 or 40 mile ride and I am ravenously hungry. Years ago, I also learned the hard way to stay away from sports drinks while riding as it is possible to drink as many calories (or more) than I am burning off.
I guess I'm lucky then
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Old 03-20-14, 09:20 AM   #22
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Uh, not necessarily. I get back from a 30 or 40 mile ride and I am ravenously hungry. Years ago, I also learned the hard way to stay away from sports drinks while riding as it is possible to drink as many calories (or more) than I am burning off.
Right. Actually what gets many cyclists in trouble is when they overestimate how many calories they're burning and "pour it on" after a ride. This is why coaches and nutritionists have for years advocated eating more often than 3 times a day, but doing so in smaller quantities when you eat. People eat themselves out of shape because they overcompensate for the hunger they feel.
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Old 03-20-14, 09:20 AM   #23
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Uh, not necessarily. I get back from a 30 or 40 mile ride and I am ravenously hungry. Years ago, I also learned the hard way to stay away from sports drinks while riding as it is possible to drink as many calories (or more) than I am burning off.
same here on both... when it gets a bit hotter outside (aka all summer long here in TX) i'll carry two water bottles, one with watered down Gatorade and another with just water, only swig the flavored crap every 15 min or so... seems to work for me most of the time without drinking 500 calories in 30 min lol... in general the biggest help for hydration though has been just drinking water all the time, I need to get back into that habit, I've found a coke at dinner turns into 3 or 4 cokes very quickly :-/
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Old 03-20-14, 09:28 AM   #24
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same here on both... when it gets a bit hotter outside (aka all summer long here in TX) i'll carry two water bottles, one with watered down Gatorade and another with just water, only swig the flavored crap every 15 min or so... seems to work for me most of the time without drinking 500 calories in 30 min lol... in general the biggest help for hydration though has been just drinking water all the time, I need to get back into that habit, I've found a coke at dinner turns into 3 or 4 cokes very quickly :-/
If you are just looking to replace some electrolytes, take some potassium tabs or eat a banana, and mix a teaspoon of sea salt, tablespoon of lemon juice, and teaspoon of lime juice(and artificial sweetener if you're into that sort of thing) in your bike water bottle. It's quick, easy, cheap, 0 calories, refreshing and will keep you hydrated. I once participated in an all day(pretty much sun up to sun down) paintball event in the hottest part of the summer, in chicago. It was 88 degrees with probably 100% humidity, people were passing out and being carted off the field. I had 2 gallon water jugs with that mixture and drank all of it, and made it through to the end of the day without becoming dehydrated.

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