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  1. #1
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    Hey Everybody... Couple Quick questions from a Fat Guy.

    I am 6ft. 1in. and as of starting last week was 309 I am down 9lbs in the first week riding as much as I can. My legs are killing me and my lower back sucks... lol. But I am really committed to the bike. After having once been 165 lbs. when I was in the army its hard to not be able to run but the bike has been a godsend. Am really hoping you guys have some advice for a fat guy getting started in cycling.

    1. fat guy bike shorts? cant seem to find any...

    2. take a look at my bike and offer any advice...

    3. anything i can do to not feel like my seat is beating me to death? I feel like i just escaped a russian prison.

    4. There are alot of cyclists in my area but im nervous to seek them out until I feel like my fitness will allow me to not be a hinderance if we ride together.

    5. any fitness drills, etc. that i can do when off the bike to help my performance on.

    6. Any recommendations in general to help me out... I know alot of people see a new guy to riding (especially a fat one) and assume they are not going to see it through but I am committed to this and would appreciate any help you can give to alleviate some of the pain upfront.



    I never would have dreamed that there was a group of people out there specifically talking about big guys trying to cycle... Thanks in advance for taking a couple seconds... - J.T.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    :-)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    5 mile rides to start with.

    I use these.

    Nashbar S2 Shorts - Lycra Cycling Short
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  5. #5
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    If you want help with position, best to post a picture from the side, preferably with you on it. Your seat looks abnormally low from the picture. As a starting point, try getting it to a height where your leg is completely straight at the bottom when your heel is on the pedal. Then it will be bent slightly when pedaling normally with the ball of your foot on the pedal. To stop at a traffic light or whatever you need to slide forward off the seat so that you can easily get your foot on the ground; inexperienced cyclists often mistakenly think you are supposed to be able to stop without getting off the seat. On the seat you should only be able to maybe get a toe down.

    For the saddle comfort fix the height first, then experiment with tilt & fore-aft position. Initial point is with saddle level. Moving forward puts weight more on your arms, rear more weight on your rear. Sometimes nothing works and you have to switch saddles, trying something with a different width (dependent on the width of your sit-bones of your hip, not affected by your current girth, you want wide enough that the sit bones are supported, not so wide that you get chafing), and/or a cutout, or firmer/softer padding. Take a look at A Comfortable Bicycle Saddle

  6. #6
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Check out love2pedal.com ... for shorts. Lots of people here have had good experiences, myself included.

    re: your seat, seats with lots of padding often result in pain oddly enough ... a pair of bike shorts will help some in that regard, but seat time will also. You'll develop "butt calouses" in time.

    What size frame is that? Is your seat too low? When you're at the low end of your pedal stroke, with the crank arm in line with the seat tube and the ball of your foot on the pedal spindle, your leg should have a slight bend to it.

    Re: other cyclists, ride solo if you prefer. Many of us do. You can also look to things like meetup.com to find organized rides that cater to many different fitness levels. Don't jump into an organized ride (especially "fast" rides) until you think you're ready, and even then, you might want to wait. It can be demoralizing to join a group ride and get dropped from the outset.

    Drills to do when off the bike? Put the fork down and push the plate away. Track your calories in. You can't outride a bad diet (and I personally have a VERY hard time with this drill!).

    General advice? Listen to your body. If you're in pain, take a break. You can "override" in your eagerness, but remember, our bodies need time to heal as well as time to work. Learn to spin rather than mash (some will disagree with this -- but it works). Wear a helmet. Don't give up when you get discouraged. Ride.

  7. #7
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    1. Aerotech designs has several options for larger riders. I prefer bibs as a large guy, you may have different preferences.

    3. Saddles are a very personal decision. Trying different models may help, but as for me, I almost always hurt for the first few weeks of a new season. Saddle position can help as well.

    4. Ask the bike shops if they know of any groups with slow rides. If you are in my area, check out the link in my signature We go slow and easy.

    5. I haven't found much that works as much as time in the saddle... and REST. Most people shouldn't be riding every single day... Take a day or two off to recover.

    6. Progress at your own pace. Challenge yourself to improve based on your own performance, not the performance of others. We all progress at different paces.

    In general, your comfort can be influenced by minor changes in the saddle (fore/aft and tilt) If you are having hand pain, I have found that oval grips like the Ergon grip help me a lot, there are some that work just as well, but I don't recall the brands I've used. I am also a big fan of bar ends so I can sit up a little with time.

    I have also found that if I take an anti-inflamatory analgesic (I use Naproxin Sodium/Aleve) at bed time, it helps my body to recover better after a hard day. I sleep better, and feel better in the morning. I wouldn't suggest using them every night, but it does help me occasionally.
    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

  8. #8
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    JT, I noticed your user name. You know Hobie Alter passed away last week. The world's going to miss that guy! I once owned the 3rd 16' cat he ever made. Drab green and all hand laid.

    Okay, back to bikes. I'd work on slowly building endurance. That means not injuring yourself by going too far/fast too soon. You should be able to recover from a ride by the next day. If your legs are sore after that you went too far.

    Saddles are very personal. My experience is you don't need to spend a wad of money but you do need to find the right one. Many local bike shops (LBS) have an exchange program where you can demo saddles. Also it takes some time to toughen up your sit bones, frequent riding will take care of that.

    Most important thing I've learned on my weight loss / fitness journey: Weight loss in won in the kitchen, fitness on the bike. You can't out ride a bad diet.

    Enjoy your ride!

  9. #9
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Oh, one more thing. You'll find out bike fit is a big deal. With only knowing you're 6'1" that bike looks WAY too small.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
    Oh, one more thing. You'll find out bike fit is a big deal. With only knowing you're 6'1" that bike looks WAY too small.
    Had that same thought ... hence the question about the bike size.

  11. #11
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    1. Bike. At 6'1", that bike looks very small indeed. It looks like it would fit someone 5'7 to 5'10" and even then, the seat would be up quite a bit. How does it feel to you? Cramped? Hunched over?

    2. Shorts. Concur with the Nashbar rec. They aren't the best shorts, but good value for the money. Imagine you would take an XXL or 3XL, depending on the model.

    3. Saddle. That is very personal, but work on getting the bike to fit first, if that is possible. The widest, squishiest saddle isn't always the most comfortable.

    But if you are riding a bike that is much too small like I suspect you are, I don't doubt your legs, butt, and back hurt.

  12. #12
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    Thank you so much for the quick replies... trying to process everything. Due to budget im locked into this bike for at least a couple months... when the wife gets home tonight ill take a couple pics of me on the bike and post to this thread... soreness in legs is a big factor. But should hopefully improve with more time in the saddle. I find that my tolerance for pain is a little higher than most after the army and I tend to push too far. Iguess I just have to qccept that im not 20 anymore and go slow. In your experience with daily riding how long does it take for butt to toughen up. Its a major factor at the moment.

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    Bbeasley... yeah I heard. A true pioneer and a personal hero. A sad loss. I raced a mid 70s hobie 16 in the open class and crewed on a j24 ensign 24 and a beneteau 40. Thats so cool on the boat. Do you still have it?

  14. #14
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Good luck on your cycling... keep at it.

    About riding with others... don't push that until you are ready. Best to keep riding by yourself until you feel confident enough to push with others. Nothing worse (I know 'cause its generally me) to be the person holding others back - no one enjoys the ride. That said, I understand having a partner to ride with helps motivation. Seek others out through Craigslist, the local bike shop or riding club. Many clubs have a newbie group.

    All the other stuff - you will figure it out with time. Most important thing about riding a bike is "fit". Too small, too big, wrong size saddle, wrong handlebar width, wrong crank arm length... so many variables that need adjustment. When you have the money, get a fitting. It will be worth while especially if you want to stay with the sport.

    PS - if you can sit on the saddle and put both feet on the ground - the saddle is too low and/or the bike is too small... takes practice; but you need to learn to dismount off the bike properly. When I am stopped, I can't put either foot on the ground if still on the saddle... I have to dismount (pulling forward off the saddle and then down) and put a foot down - this is why people think your saddle is low and bike too small.
    Last edited by Pamestique; 04-08-14 at 12:43 PM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isailhobies View Post
    Thank you so much for the quick replies... trying to process everything. Due to budget im locked into this bike for at least a couple months... when the wife gets home tonight ill take a couple pics of me on the bike and post to this thread... soreness in legs is a big factor. But should hopefully improve with more time in the saddle. I find that my tolerance for pain is a little higher than most after the army and I tend to push too far. Iguess I just have to qccept that im not 20 anymore and go slow. In your experience with daily riding how long does it take for butt to toughen up. Its a major factor at the moment.
    Only if the leg and back soreness is because you are out of shape. If the bike fits poorly, you might hurt yourself. I too small bike might be made to fit with a longer seatpost, and maybe longer stem to get the handlebars both farther away from you or higher. The problem with riding a bike that is too small is, to get the legs in a proper position relative to the cranks, you need to raise the seat quite a bit. But now your handlebars are too low and too close to your body, hence the back pain. Additionally, because you are carrying extra weight around the middle, you can only bend your back so far, and then to get your hands low enough, you need to rotate your entire pelvis, putting pressure on your perineum. And as a man, that is not a good thing as too much pressure there can cut off blood to the penis.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isailhobies View Post
    In your experience with daily riding how long does it take for butt to toughen up. Its a major factor at the moment.
    We all (well most of us) understand budgetary constraints, but there's ways around that too. Used parts (in this case a longer seat post/handlebar stem) might be a quick fix, or you could consider buying a used bike that fits better when you're financially able to.

    As far as how long it takes for the butt to toughen up, as with all things YMMV, but I think for me personally it takes about a month and a half or two months. But for me that's only riding every other day or so. This year, for example, I started riding indoors in late January, every other day, and I'd say it was mid to late March before I noticed the butt soreness was gone. Be wary of saddle sores too ... that'll set you back off the bike completely.

  17. #17
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    We all (well most of us) understand budgetary constraints, but there's ways around that too. Used parts (in this case a longer seat post/handlebar stem) might be a quick fix, or you could consider buying a used bike that fits better when you're financially able to.

    As far as how long it takes for the butt to toughen up, as with all things YMMV, but I think for me personally it takes about a month and a half or two months. But for me that's only riding every other day or so. This year, for example, I started riding indoors in late January, every other day, and I'd say it was mid to late March before I noticed the butt soreness was gone. Be wary of saddle sores too ... that'll set you back off the bike completely.
    Once fit, saddle and shorts issues are taken care of, I would say you should notice improvement within a couple of weeks, provided you ride regularly.

    I ride a Brooks B17 saddle for two years now and I must say, I am a believer. The first season was about adjusting to it and breaking it in, as was, perhaps, the first month of last year. I got on my bike a few weeks back after being off it since the end of October and it felt like an old friend. My early rides have been short, like an hour to an hour and a half, but not noticing much butt soreness at all.

    Not saying you need to get a Brooks, but it is worth considering.

  18. #18
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isailhobies View Post
    Bbeasley... yeah I heard. A true pioneer and a personal hero. A sad loss. I raced a mid 70s hobie 16 in the open class and crewed on a j24 ensign 24 and a beneteau 40. Thats so cool on the boat. Do you still have it?
    Well sorta. It's living out it's retirement in the loving care of my Dad's best friend. He keeps it in a covered shed near the beach about 50 clicks north of Ensenada, Baja California Mexico. I told him he could use it as long as he promised to sail it in the surf occasionally. He's ~75 and still uses it. He's the guy that taught me to surf and sail back in the 60s.

    We lived in San Jaun Capistrano, just a few miles from Hobie's original shop. That's how I ended up with it back in the 70s.

    BTW the ~75 y/o that has it is an avid cyclist, I guess that's why he's still able to surf/sail a cat.

  19. #19
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    I don't have much advice in the way of equipment but something that's helped me is joining Strava. It is pretty cool seeing your mileage build up. Friendly competition between friends is fun too. Definitely has kept me motivated.

    If you do end up joining, look up Kevin Porchia.

  20. #20
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    Well... wife didnt make it home before dark so no pics until tomorrow. With the seat in the same position as the pics my leg fit is pretty close to what ive read it should be. Still have roughly 3 in. Of seat post travel though so can go up if needed. Will take some pics and post tomorrow for some feedback. Unfortunately with budget constraints being what they are its gonna be a couple months until I can afford to invest in anything other than a pair of shorts (like a proper fitting)... I dont want to quit riding though until then though so your help is appreciated more than you know. Thanx guys!

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    Bbeasley youre a better man than me... dont know if I could let go of something like that. Even if it seems that it found a perfect spiritual home.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by isailhobies View Post
    With the seat in the same position as the pics my leg fit is pretty close to what ive read it should be.
    Still kind of hard to believe unless the picture is deceiving us. Try this:
    1. Straddle a thick book or something and measure your inseam from floor to crotch without shoes.
    2. Measure length from top of saddle to the center of the crank, along the seat tube.
    This saddle height most of us use is around 88-89% or so of the inseam length.

  23. #23
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    OP, first of all congratulations on your efforts at achieving fitness.

    Your bike's seatpost has a quick release. You can adjust the height up and down till you fell comfortable while riding your bike.

    You may want to look into a quick tune-up for your bike. Things like cleaning and lubing the chain and adjusting/greasing the hubs can make riding the bike easier and more fun.

    Find a group of riders and don't worry about slowing them down. Most local clubs have riders of all abilities.

    Have fun, don't overdo it. Riding should be fun, not a chore.

    Be safe!
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
    2012 Bianchi Infinito (Campy Record 11s)
    2012 Colnago C59 in PR99 color scheme (Campy Record 11s)

  24. #24
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Shorts:
    I have performance (same company as nashbar, but offerings may differ). The performance ones are ok.

    Aerotech are marvelous and quality for quality less $. Customer service is marvelous.
    Big Man Bike Shorts, road bike shorts, MTB shorts

    Saddles:
    I love this one.
    https://www.serfas.com/products/inde...les/rx-saddles

    I had it's great grandpa from the early 90's and had to replace due to crash damage. Was very concerned about finding same or similar. The new one is even more comfortable and low to no pressure on the precious nerves and blood supply.

    Can you ask someone to take a few pictures from the side of you riding bike?
    Post them here and people will help determine if bike fits, and how to improve fit regardless.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    Shorts:
    I have performance (same company as nashbar, but offerings may differ). The performance ones are ok.

    Aerotech are marvelous and quality for quality less $. Customer service is marvelous.
    Big Man Bike Shorts, road bike shorts, MTB shorts

    Saddles:
    I love this one.
    https://www.serfas.com/products/inde...les/rx-saddles

    I had it's great grandpa from the early 90's and had to replace due to crash damage. Was very concerned about finding same or similar. The new one is even more comfortable and low to no pressure on the precious nerves and blood supply.

    Can you ask someone to take a few pictures from the side of you riding bike?
    Post them here and people will help determine if bike fits, and how to improve fit regardless.
    I bought one of those Serfas saddles for my old Schwinn LeTour Luxe to replace the original saddle. It was more comfortable than the saddle that came with the bike, but I didn't love it. I put it on my Bianchi Milano my wife was riding at the time and she loved it. So much so she moved it over to her Jamis road bike.

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