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  1. #1
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    400+ pounds - ANY hope for me?!

    My wife uses our shared vehicle for her 40+ mile commute to work every day. Since I don't have a means of transportation my lifestyle has become very sedentary for the past 18 or so months since I've been unemployed and my weight has really ballooned. I've always been heavy but I'm at my heaviest now, over 400 pounds. I've been thinking about bicycling to both try and drop some weight and potentially have a means of transportation. But I'm worried I am too heavy. Are there bicycles that will support a VERY heavy person?! Any advice, tips or links would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Hi,
    Yes there is hope for you. While I never got over 400#, was over 300# before loosing 120. I am also unemployed at this time but have managed to keep the weight off even though weather has kept me off my bike most of the winter. Every time I want to eat, I go out riding instead.

    I recommend you work with your local bike shop (LBS) to find a bike. They can help you identify a sturdy bike and ensure the bike fits you well which will be important to carry your extra weight. Good luck, I look forward to hearing bout your success.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    Welcome Kcabtaf. Yes there are may bikes that will bear your weight. I used to be 352 now through biking and a complete lifestyle
    change in my diet I'm 215. This forum has many wonderful helpful people who go through the same challenges that you and I face.
    Welcome again.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    A buddy of mine was probably near 500 lbs when he started his weight loss journey. He 'officially' weighed 464 lbs when he joined Weight Watchers but had been losing weight before then. He used diet and exercise, no surgery, to get under 250 lbs in a couple of years.

    As far as exercise, he walked at first then started jogging. Next came running. He got up to running half marathons. He also did low impact machines at the YMCA.

    He bought a bike when he got under 300 lbs. He bought a hybrid with only two changes: a 36-spoke rear wheel and a solid seatpost. I think that the wheel was overkill and 32-spokes would have been enough. The original seatpost was a shock-absorbing, suspension post which failed after a few months.

    I'd recommend a hybrid or comfort bike without suspension. It might be hard to find as most such bikes come with suspension. I don't know why except it's good for sales.

  5. #5
    Senior Member REDBEARD_WS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KcabtaF View Post
    My wife uses our shared vehicle for her 40+ mile commute to work every day. Since I don't have a means of transportation my lifestyle has become very sedentary for the past 18 or so months since I've been unemployed and my weight has really ballooned. I've always been heavy but I'm at my heaviest now, over 400 pounds. I've been thinking about bicycling to both try and drop some weight and potentially have a means of transportation. But I'm worried I am too heavy. Are there bicycles that will support a VERY heavy person?! Any advice, tips or links would be appreciated.

    There are quite a few bikes out there that will hold you. I am 400lbs and ride a specialized hardrock (msrp $580) and a giand sedona st (msrp $400) they have held up great. You said you are currently unemployed so im assuming money is tight (I spent the last year layed up on workers comp so I feel the pain) but these bikes are pretty entry level price wise. For commuting/casual riding the sedona is much more comfy. Just remember not to reeat all your calories when u get done a ride. Drink lots of water and have fun

  6. #6
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    Thanks for joining in at the Clydesdale's forum!


    Of course there is hope, lots and lots.

    as far as bike choice:

    I would looks for a "worksman" brand bike, I think you may be able to find something suitable. All of the models might not be a good choice, but there is definetly something that is right.

    also, I have seen a type of recumbent trike that was especially capable of handling a heavier rider. Sun, EZ-3 USX HD .

    I saw one offered local to me, and was interested in it. I've read it is not a particularly good ride, but it's redeeming quality is it can accommodate a heavy rider. Maybe that could work for you.


    Walking is a great way to lose weight, and cheap too! If you can't find the right bike, walk off some weight and then look again. Might be a good "carrot on a stick" for you.


    Scooby's Workshop | Home Fitness & Bodybuilding Workouts has some really great information on it, and I bet it can be helpful.

  7. #7
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    one of the admins here on this forum has an amazingly inspirational story

    while his blog is a bit of a pain to navigate (as all blogs seem to be) he started out to the point of making you look like a small guy @ 568lbs back in '05... he had bariatric surgery essentially forcing a proper diet, that along with LOTS of riding he's down to a fraction of his original weight (going based on memory here but around 200# these days I think)

    in the early days he even had to ride with an oxygen tank... so it certainly can be done

    The Amazing Shrinking Man!: March 2005
    mtbr clyd moderator

  8. #8
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Do yourself a favor and skim the sticky posts at the top of this forum, this one in particular:

    Weight Loss: Post Your Before and After Pics here!

    There are PLENTY of big fellas that ride bikes, and a bunch of them have even lost impressive amounts of weight and kept it off.

    Riding a bike is not a panacea for losing weight. You need to take an honest look at the rest of your life and evaluate your diet. As an immediate measure you can certainly start walking daily until you figure out what kind of bike you want.

    Keep the TV off, ditch the bad food in your house, stop drinking soda... I'm sure you know the drill. Being unemployed sucks but it can be a great time to make a sea-change in your lifestyle.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    In February last year, I was 405 pounds. Today I am 288 lbs. How?

    LoseIt smartphone app (calorie counting) + bicycling

    Still dropping. It works.

  10. #10
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums. Others have given great advice so I've got nothing really to add other than I'm glad you found this forum as the encouragement, support and information are some of the best you will find online.

    I was unemployed for a year and I rode my bike 4000 miles in 2013 as a result of the free time. I managed not to gain weight while stressed out due to unemployment but I also didn't lose it despite all the riding...thus what @TrojanHorse says is true...riding itself is not a magic weight loss solution. Now that I am back to work and commute in So Cal traffic 37 miles each way (meaning I'm in traffic for on average 1 hour each way sometimes a bit more and sometimes a smidge less)...I have gained a few pounds because my riding during the week has been severely curtailed. I bought a trainer but have yet to USE it.

    Keep us posted and ask questions. The folks here love to help others on their journey.
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

  11. #11
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarrett2 View Post
    In February last year, I was 405 pounds. Today I am 288 lbs. How?

    LoseIt smartphone app (calorie counting) + bicycling

    Still dropping. It works.
    Holy crap. Where's the clapping smiley anyway? Well done Jarrett.

    ^ Here's your perfect example fatback (although that seems awfully fast!)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    It's been about 58 weeks. 58*2=116. So not too bad. Although I was losing more than 2lbs a week in the beginning.

    Here's a pic from when I was around 400 and around 310 or so:



    I've dropped 30lbs since then, but I think I still look about the same. It's doable. Just have to watch the calories in and out.

  13. #13
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    Scott Cutshall's story is a good one too.

  14. #14
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KcabtaF View Post
    My wife uses our shared vehicle for her 40+ mile commute to work every day. Since I don't have a means of transportation my lifestyle has become very sedentary for the past 18 or so months since I've been unemployed and my weight has really ballooned. I've always been heavy but I'm at my heaviest now, over 400 pounds. I've been thinking about bicycling to both try and drop some weight and potentially have a means of transportation. But I'm worried I am too heavy. Are there bicycles that will support a VERY heavy person?! Any advice, tips or links would be appreciated.
    I only have one thing to say to you: YOU CAN DO IT!
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  15. #15
    Big Boned Biker IAMAMRA's Avatar
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    Right here! I started at close to #450 with the bike listed under my name. The only thing I have had to replace is the back wheel after about 500 miles. I put on an extra heavy duty one and have had zero issues with it since.969793_323276411135761_1036354889_n.jpg

    The real key though is diet, you can never out train a bad diet. I really really really love weight watchers, and have lost about #180 with it. Feel free to read my blog, i have been documenting my journey since I bought the bike.

    Big Boned Biker | My Journey into a new and Healthier lifestyle
    www.BigBonedBiker.Wordpress.com

  16. #16
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    What a great place we have here. This forum I mean. Awesome support and knowledge.

    Bike suggestions have been given in this thread. I just want to tell you that you CAN do it. You can. It's not easy and you will have some days you slip but you can do it. I want to make sure that you learn to do it in a HEALTHY MANNER. Forget dieting. Work towards a lifestyle change which includes changing your diet (but not dieting). Make changes and improve as you go. Remember you DON'T HAVE TO BE HUNGRY. BEING HUNGRY WILL LEAD TO FAILURE.

    Use us to lean on. We are a social crowd and some here will have experienced what you are going through at any given moment. Look a few of us up on Facebook and use that as well.
    http://www.280dude.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Michael.R.Henry

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    This is a great forum for sure.

  18. #18
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    Deff not a lost cause. Look into getting a bariatric sleeve

  19. #19
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KcabtaF View Post
    My wife uses our shared vehicle for her 40+ mile commute to work every day. Since I don't have a means of transportation my lifestyle has become very sedentary for the past 18 or so months since I've been unemployed and my weight has really ballooned. I've always been heavy but I'm at my heaviest now, over 400 pounds. I've been thinking about bicycling to both try and drop some weight and potentially have a means of transportation. But I'm worried I am too heavy. Are there bicycles that will support a VERY heavy person?! Any advice, tips or links would be appreciated.
    How are you?

  20. #20
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    You can do it!!

    lasy year I was 382. Could not walk 1/4 mile without severe pain from old injuries. My wife is incredible with her love and support and while she is an athlete , triathlons and Ironmans , I was a couch potato and gaining weight. I started walking with a goal of walking a mile without stopping and after 6 months have lost 60 lbs and now weight train twice a week, walk minimum of 4 times a week 2-6 miles each walk and today purchased my first bike in over 20 years with goals of riding 3 times a week. I want to work up to two 15 miles and a 30 mile ride each week. What a lifestyle change but fun.
    The excerise gets you stronger but the diet will get you thinner. Getting started was the worst, or at least it was for me. But after 2 months each week I was able to do more than the week before.
    i still can not run or my knee will put me back on crutches but at least now I do see I can do it and so can you.
    good luck. Wish nothing but the best for you

  21. #21
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    Dr. Jack Kruse was like 350 pounds and lost 140 pounds in 11 months on his Leptin reset. He has a blog and has written books. I was not that generous of girth but following some of his principles, I have lost a significant amount of weight since the beginning of the year with a total target weight loss of 70 pounds in 6 1/2 months. I am on target. The best thing is no joint soreness and being stiff getting out of bed each morning.

    Of course, there is hope but hope never got er done. It takes unwavering commitment. I'd love to have some foods that would ruin my metabolism for several days. An ice cream is not worth a few days setback.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    Yes commitment; when I feel like eating something that's not on my food plan I just say to myself "Stay on the path"

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  23. #23
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    Checkout Surly Bikes! http://surlybikes.com

    If cash flow is a problem, just get the Beast from Uncle Wally!

  24. #24
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I didn't read the whole thread, but yes, there is hope for you... I weighed over 421 at my peak, and even though I was down to 365 when I started cycling, that is where things turned real good as far as my fitness (for as long as I persisted). I have had a few off years because I never quite got myself going in the spring, but so far, I am out there, and not doing real well, but I have started the season, and I expect it to be a good one.

    Don't be concerned if things start slowly. I was just telling the guy I rode with today the story of my first ride in quite a while when I got my bike. I rode around my block, the odometer read 0.6 miles, and I was so tired that I laid the bike on the lawn and went in and rested before I could put the bike away. If you are interested in improving, improvement is in your reach.
    Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

    People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  25. #25
    Senior Member moose67's Avatar
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    I started riding at #450 +. I got off track and let things slide. I stopped riding. My health got bad and because I wasn't taking care of myself with my diabetes and blood pressure I ended up in the hospital last June after getting a severe infection in my foot after stepping on something. With the help of my wife i had to get things going again. We threw out everything white in the house and cut out the fried stuff. Since June of last year I've lost #127 and my A1C is 5.9. I'm chomping at the bit to get back on my bike.
    A comfort or hybrid style is best. Definitely ditch the suspension seat post. I found I bottomed it out all the time and it made it hard to get on the bike. Bike shorts are a definite must. Made my riding so much better. As far as the wheels that's one place you definitely need to upgrade. I've broken numerous spokes on my wheels and have had the wheel start to flex a little. Talk with your local bike shop. The good ones will work with you. If nothing else they'll help you find something the right fit. If money is an issue look on Craigslist. If you find the right size bike for the right price then you can upgrade at least the rear wheel. Double wall rim and strong spokes. They put what is essentially downhill spokes on mine.l They've held u but the rim is the weak part of it now. If I can get the strength back in my legs I'm going to start riding again. Walking is the first step, no pun intended.
    With size comes difficulty on a bike but don't get discouraged. I HATE hills but sometimes you don't have a real choice. Be patient and if you have to get off and walk then don't feel bad. I walked a lot when I first started riding. Even small hills kicked my but. After a while they got easier. Don't get discouraged. Even when I was riding regularly I hadn't changed my diet. My best ride was 14 miles. You can do it. Be patient with yourself and don't be too hard on yourself. You can do it.
    Specialized Carmel 3 26
    'A thought that often makes me hazy, is it I or the others that are crazy?'

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