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  1. #1
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    Beginner...Riding is Torture

    Hey all! I was re-directed here from the beginner thread.

    I'm 5'11" 230lbs and want to get into road biking for fitness. I bought a used, modified (Mavic wheels, 105s, right bar end shifter) Allez from an experienced rider 1.5 years ago. I rode it several times but it was very painful. Back pain, neck pain (this was the worst), sharp saddle pain after about 15 mins on the bike and days of soreness after each ride. It just felt completely unnatural in position on the bike, like my butt was higher than my head. I carried it to a shop for a fitting and they only fit on weekdays during working hours (not possible for me). I was also told that being overweight on a road bike was just going to hurt. I think the shop guys had good intentions but I left feeling like they felt I deserved to hurt on the bike because I was fat and making it comfortable (instead of working on performance) was just a work around instead of working on the overweight part. I never made an appointment for fitting. After a month of bad experiences and being embarrassed being a fat guy on a road bike I just gave up. I still want to be a biker. But, I need to know how to start this time so I have good experiences and enjoy it. I was told on the beginner forum that my bike has racing geometry and isn't the best choice for me, but that it should be able to be made to not hurt. My goals:

    1. Stop the pain (1. neck, 2. saddle, 3. back). With previous rides I am constantly trying to mitigate pain and never could focus on anything else. Suggestions?
    2. Increase fitness and lose weight. I want to be able to get up to riding for 1 hour. I won't be riding longer for a while, just hopefully increase speed over that hour. I have a basic trainer as well. Any links or suggestions to starter plans for overweight/out-of-shape bikers?
    3. Find resources for heavy riders to help with gear selection and tips. At 230lbs I'm obese, but until a few years ago I was a 6-day a week, 1.5 hour a day gym guy and at 180lbs (previous normal) I was at 12% body fat so even if I get fit I'll still be heavy.

    I am so envious when I see the guys riding and in my city biking is a big deal and hugely popular. I just want to become one of those guys and enjoy the process.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
    I was told on the beginner forum that my bike has racing geometry and isn't the best choice for me, but that it should be able to be made to not hurt. My goals:

    1. Stop the pain (1. neck, 2. saddle, 3. back). With previous rides I am constantly trying to mitigate pain and never could focus on anything else. Suggestions?
    Unfortunately, I think you're facing an uphill battle! Your race-geometry bike isn't going to make fixing these issues particularly easy... and you're probably going to need help from a knowledgeable bike shop or bike fitter. If you don't have a shop that will help you, look for an independent bike fitter. Or try to hook-up with a local cycling club and get some advice from a more experienced cyclist.

    In order to alleviate neck and back pain, you'll need a more upright seating position. If the steerer tube on your fork has already been cut, getting a more upright position may be a difficult position. You could try using a stem with a more upright angle, or a shorter stem. You might also look into handlebars with a shorter "reach". You may be able to move the shift levers up on the bars, but if you move them too much you'll put your wrists into an unnatural position which will lead to pain or numbness. As a last, potentially expensive resort, you could purchase a new uncut fork and then install more spacers underneath the stem. Hopefully, your fitter can help you decide whether it makes sense to spend money modifying your current bike or if you'd be better off selling it an buying something else (ex: a bike with "endurance" geometry like the Specialized Secteur or Roubaix).

    Fixing saddle pain should be easy in comparison: throw your current saddle in the trash then purchase a replacement from a local shop with a liberal return policy. Try the new saddle for a while and if it turns out to be painful exchange it for a different saddle. With that said, if you haven't been riding recently you may need several weeks before your butt becomes accustomed to sitting on a saddle again. My general rule of saddle buying is: if the saddle is downright painful, it will never become comfortable. If, on the other hand, the saddle is uncomfortable then it might become comfortable over time. Just keep your "return/exchange" window in mind as you're testing. If I'm in doubt about a saddle, I return it; all of the saddles I currently ride have worked well from the start. As you get more accustomed to riding and start doing longer rides, you may find that you need a different saddle. Because of this, I wouldn't spend too much money on a saddle upfront.

  3. #3
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Agreed. Raise the bars and get a better saddle. My local LBS's have demo saddle programs. One charges $15/week, I'm not sure what the other charges. Worth it to try several saddles to find the one you like. Don't give up. I'm 6'2", 235 and ride quite comfortably.

    Can you post a picture of your bike? That may help us help you.
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  4. #4
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    Thank you! It basically sounds like I need to find a LBS that I trust and who can 'work with me' on this instead of 'fix it'. Luckily, our small city has a tremendous cycling community and numerous bike shops. We have one that has been here for 42 years and is known for fitting customers well. I never thought to try them because they don't sell specialized products. Does that matter? If not then I will go there. I really hope I can find a way to make it comfortable. As far as expense, I bought it from a friend and he only charged me $450 for it. I think I could part the frame and wheels out and make more than my money back if I had to.

    I cannot post a pic now. I'm actually up in the Northwest on vacation. But, I will post one this weekend when I get back home. But, the saddle demo program is awesome and I will check to see if we have that around here.

  5. #5
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    One thing that might help would be to get a good, cheap used bike with an upright posture and ride that for a while, while you train your body to ride a bike. The more you ride, the nicer it is to have a spare bike or two...I look for old, dusty Trek bikes on Craigslist, buy them cheap, fix them up, and keep them in the garage as spare bikes so friends can ride with us. At some point my husband will probably notice that my bike collection takes up more room than his pool table and weight machine, but I think I can squeeze in a couple more before we get to that point.

    And yes, finding a bike shop that is supportive of larger riders is essential. Even when I was 400 lbs, my LBS didn't treat me like I was too big for a bike. They just kept repairing it, not charging a fortune for the repairs, and encouraging me to keep on riding.

  6. #6
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    might as well flip a coin if the OEM saddles fit your sit bones. Also has to do with what padded shorts are have, assuming that you are using them. Good saddles cost $100 or so, but find a rental program before you invest. Fix this problem FIRST, from there you can fit and adjust to riding.

    Neck/shoulder pains will go away after a few weeks of riding. your body has to adjust.

    Back pains, might be from the seat being too high causing you hip flexor muscles to rock back n forth causing excessive wear. Hard to say w/o pics or vid of you on the bike.

  7. #7
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    I’m far from a riding expert in comparison to many on here, but I dealt with the same issue. Got a bike from a friend and it nearly killed me at first. I was 6’1” and 225 at the time. I adjusted it enough to help, but still wasn’t great for me. So the few things that helped me that I got from a good bike shop around my area and a coworker that rides a lot…

    -I found a good bike shop to fit me to the bike. Turned out that it was too small by a long shot, so I got a new bike this spring. Turns out that a bike isn’t a bike…. May not be an issue for you but was a big help for me.


    -The seat still killed me so I went back to the good bike shop that had 20 seats set up on a rack that people could sit on. I don’t know why they even make those little plastic things. For looks I guess. They gave me a cup of coffee and told me to hang out for a while and sit on all of them for a while. So I sat on every one of them until I found one I liked. They put it on my bike and hooked it to a trainer and let me ride a little. I’d have paid them 10x the cost for that thing by the time I was done.


    -Adjustments will make a huge differenced, but your body isn’t accustomed to the pressures so do pushups and/or any weight training for your shoulders, chest, arms, and abs a few times a week. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy; just enough to condition them to the point that they are able to hold you up when you lean forward. Don’t shrug your shoulders when you ride either. I still catch myself doing from time to time on long rides, try not to though. That stresses your shoulder and neck.


    -Get padded shorts. Maybe a few of them. And be sure to read the washing instructions.


    -Get padded gloves. Not a huge need, but all the comfort in your hands, runs back the ease on up your arms and shoulders.


    -After your bike is set and you’re good to go, pay close notice to the lower areas that get raw from rubbing. Buy some Desitin and start putting a little on that area before you ride. That stuff is amazing!!!!


    -Download an app to track progress and shoot for goals. Measure what your treasure and treasure what you measure.


    -Talk to a local bike shop about riding groups that may be around. They will have something. Likely a few somethings. This spring I was fighting to hold a 13 mph average on 20-30 mile rides. I got with a small group and got dropped several times early on. We did 21 miles tonight and I stuck with them to the end with a 19.9 mph average. I still $#!t a kitten going up the hills, but I caught them on the downhill side or flats. It progress to be proud of. And chances are, they’ll be able to answer most of the questions that you have and show you stuff hands on. A group is a big plus.


    -And above all… HAVE FUN!!!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
    Thank you! It basically sounds like I need to find a LBS that I trust and who can 'work with me' on this instead of 'fix it'. Luckily, our small city has a tremendous cycling community and numerous bike shops. We have one that has been here for 42 years and is known for fitting customers well. I never thought to try them because they don't sell specialized products. Does that matter? If not then I will go there.
    Most bike shops will fit you to any brand of bike. The only catch is that if they need to alter the bike (ex: by installing a different stem) you'll be limited to whatever parts selection they carry. So if you own a Specialized bike and wanted to make sure you had the Specialized logo on your stem and your handlebars and your saddle, that might be an issue.

    There may also be good independent bicycle coaches or fitters in your area. Since they generally don't sell parts, they're often more willing to work with you over a period of time. In my case, the fitter recommended I swap a couple of parts, try the new ones for 1-2 weeks, then call for a (free) follow-up fitting if things weren't perfect.

    FYI, I agree with jsigone and CourtJester: if you don't have padded cycling shorts, get some. If you don't want to be seen in lycra, consider mountain bike shorts with an internal chamois. You can also wear lycra bicycle shorts or padded underwear underneath any regular pair of shorts you might own. This will make a big difference.

    For inexpensive saddles, I like WTB. Try the entry-level Speed V or Rocket V for around $40.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SammyJ's Avatar
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    A LOT of good information, the only thing I will repeat is:
    Get you bike "fitted" to YOU! This is very very important for long term comfort!

  10. #10
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    First, welcome!

    1. The bike has got to be comfortable or I won't ride it. I have a road bike - an early 80's Fuji. I'm just not comfortable on that bike. The racer's crouch irritates me. I spent a fair amount trying to get the ergo right on it, but that top tube is just too short. And the drops are a pain in the butt for me. That's because I'm fat. When I'm in the drops my thighs beat the heck out of my belly. The obvious solution is to lose weight.

    However, since that might take a little while, a more comfortable bike is in order. That's why I have the 80's mountain bike. Nice, relaxed geometry, but tough as nails. Those bikes have many advantages for a guy like me.

    Your solution might be different. Everyone recommending a fitting is right. The bike you're on might just be too small for you. A properly-fitted road bike might do you fine. If the frame is the right size for you a fittting will probably sort your ergo issues. If the bike is the wrong size your options will open up because you won't be married to a bike that you already have.

    If the bike turns out to be the wrong size, ask around about types of bikes. BikeForums.net is a great resource. You have a broad array of options and a seemingly-bewildering landscape to wander when figuring that stuff out. Don't do it on your own. The end result of research is a happier bike rider.

    2. Fitness: These guys have alot to share with you on this. I'm a fat guy on a bike. Many in here were once fat guys on bikes and now are remarkably fit people boasting 100+ pound weight loss stories. I will defer to their superior experience.

    3. Gear selection will vary w/ intended use. The other subforums here are also a great resource.
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  11. #11
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    Never return to the LBS that basically said deal with the pain because you are too fat and would only fit you when it met their convenience.

    I have met plenty of much heavier riders on really long rides (100+ miles) and they are comfortable, so, do not despair.

    It takes several weeks or maybe a month of riding 4-6 times per week for your rear to toughen up. Find a shop that sells Specialized seats and get fit on the assometer. Bad news, you need to spend around $100 or more on a good saddle. Steer clear of carbon or titanium rails on the saddle, steel is a better choice for your weight plus it is cheaper.

    If the frame does not fit, you will never achieve a balanced and neutral position. It sounds to me as if the frame might be too small with the neck and hand issues.

    If you can buy an inexpensive mountain or hybrid that fits and is comfy, you might consider riding this for a six months until you get back to 12% BF content.

    Also, when you are overweight it is difficult to maintain a road style positiion over the bars because the extra weight puts stress on the back, neck and arms plus your knees can hit your gut. Trust me, been there.

  12. #12
    The Fat Guy In The Back Tundra_Man's Avatar
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    Lots of great advice so far, so I'll just reiterate the high points that I feel would help the most:

    1. Bike fitting. No matter what bike you ride it needs to fit. If the shop won't work with you, then find someone else who will. As someone mentioned above if the steerer is already cut too low for what you need, you may need to replace components to get your Allez to fit you. Also, unless I missed it I didn't see you mention the frame size of your Allez. There is the possibility that the frame is the wrong size and your bike just can't be made to properly fit you. If so, be prepared for that unpleasant conversation with your LBS.

    2. Bike type. I believe the Allez is on the more agressive end of geometry. You may consider picking up a used hybrid with more of an upright position for a while until you train your body to adjust to cycling. Then you can transition back to the Allez. Throw fenders on the hybrid and use it as a rainy day bike.

    3. Training. Even with the best fit, your body is going to hurt a bit as it adjusts to this new activity. The trick is knowing what pain is just "I'm not used to this so I'm sore" and what pain is "something is really wrong here." Even with the best seat in the world your butt is going to hurt a bit until you adjust. Even with the best gearing choice your quads are going to burn until you train them. Even with the best fit your wrists are going to be a little sore until you build up the muscles. You get the idea.

    I'm 6'1" and 250+ pounds. I ride a lot, and I'm not in agony. So have faith that people of our size can ride bikes without torturous pain. You just need to iron out a few things.
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  13. #13
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    Wow. Thanks for all the advice! This is very helpful!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Willbird's Avatar
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    imgur: the simple image sharer

    I just threw down a deposit on this bike, and I can use the picture as an example of how some bikes come new usually.



    They come in many cases with a stack of spacers, and the stem can be flipped up like this or reversed the other way.

    The "cool" thing to do if your an accomplished rider is to throw all the spacers away and flip the stem over.



    Your bike may be a different design and if so I will gracefully admit my ignorance of that fact :-).

    I'm 5'8" and 230 lbs and I can ride that bike in the drops and still breathe, I rode a similar one at 260 a few months back and I could not breathe right in the drops then.

    Bill

  15. #15
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    Get the bike fitted. Is it even the right size for you? 5'11 would be a 56/58cm bike most likely. I'm 5'8 riding a 54cm, and i'm a bit stretched out, honestly. But I can comfortably ride for an hour+!

    Last year i was 230 and 5'8. I'm at 198 currently, and riding is a WHOLE lot easier now. But I never was in pain last year. What size bike? are you too stretched out? Saddle position, stem length all come into play.

    I need a shorter stem I think on my bike, but I can ride for at least an hour comfortably, so its not a huge priority right now
    2012 Diamondback Podium 2 - Ready for spring! :D
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  16. #16
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    I believe it is 56cm. I will have to check when I get back home but I did use the chart from specialized when I bought it to make sure but it's possible I made a mistake. I don't feel scrunched up or stretched out on the bike but with little experience it's hard to judge. Really it's mainly a mixture of my neck fatiguing from such a flexed position and then the inability to sit down after 15 minutes because of the sharp pain. But I will check the size when I get back home.

  17. #17
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    Try a hybrid to start, much more of an upright position. My commuter ( a cross check), has the bars 2" higher than the saddle. Bike shorts and comfortable saddle? Start there.

  18. #18
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    Hi, NickyC - welcome to the big boys on bikes club. I went through something similar to where you're starting now. I was 250 lbs and riding a Cannondale touring bike. This is a relaxed geometry, big ole frame John Deere of a bike. At first, I wanted the handlebars high to avoid neck pain, shoulder pain, and posterior pain, but mostly hand/arm pain. I read a lot of different opinions here and in the last six months, I went through short stems, long stems, slammed stems, stem risers, an adjustable stem, and four different saddles.

    Here's what I wish somebody had told me a long time ago. If you want to lean forward like a road racer and have room to bend your arms, balance your sit bones on the seat, and reduce hand pressure, you need to tilt your hip forward. One way to do this is to lean forward and grasp the drops, drape your booty off the back of the saddle and slowly pull it forward until your sit bones are just on the saddle. For me, this gets my hip rotated in the correct position and reduces hand pressure. (It has the side effect of making me want to ride in the drops all the time, but I'll fix that.) This is how a sporty bike wants to be ridden.

    For me, this required a slight nose-down position of the saddle, in order to avoid scrunching up tender parts. I'm still trial and erroring on finding the best position that lets me rides the drops without wilting the petunias.

    I suspect that you'll follow a similar path. Hopefully you'll get some advice here to ease things along.

    And congratulations for deciding to make cycling a part of your fitness. Go easy when you're really sore, but get back up there when you're just a little sore. One day you'll recline and feel twitching in your legs. That will be the sensation of muscle fibers dividing and multiplying. It's a unique feeling.
    Last edited by Dirt Road; 09-05-14 at 12:23 PM.

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    It sounds like mainly you need to get the bars higher. That should alleviate the neck pain from having to tilt your head up to see the road. Swap stem for something with more rise, perhaps less reach. You can get steerer extenders that insert into the fork to get a higher point to clamp onto, if the steerer has been cut; no need to get an entirely new fork which would be much more expensive. You probably don't need to resort to an entirely different bike if the current one's size is within ballpark which it sounds like it is. Road bikes can be made as upright as a hybrid with the right stem.

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    I'm 5'8, 235 lbs. I ride a 20 year old heavy, steel (well constructed) mountain bike outfitted with slick tires. I have dual rear panniers and routinely bike 2 miles to the supermarket and return home with 50+ pounds of groceries while maintaining 10+ MPH. I can ride 30 miles averaging 12 MPH and shake off any lingering discomfort with a shower and a good night's sleep. I never feel like I'm being looked at or judged for my appearance while riding - believe me, people are too busy texting to notice fat guys riding bicycles. So, being obese is no reason to stay off a bike, especially if it's something that you really want to do.

    1. Stop the pain
    I think that your height is going to be more of a fitting problem than your weight - especially if you have long legs. You didn't mention your bike's size, but if your Specialized frame is a 17 inch, and you need a 20 inch, no amount of tweaking is ever going to make the bike truly fit you. You should consider the possibility that your current road/racing bike is simply incompatible with your (current) body geometry and/or your anticipated biking needs. Mountain bikes are built to withstand more abuse and offer a semi-upright riding position. Switching out the knobby tires for slicks makes then great for road travel - even for rides lasting several hours. Hybrids and beach cruisers provide the most upright riding posture, but they're generally not as robustly constructed as mountain bikes. Plus, they're not as comfortable for extended rides.

    Get a good saddle - one wide enough to support your sit bones (Google ischial tuberosities). The shape, length, and width of a saddle is far more important than its apparent 'cushiness'. Everybody's ass is different - choosing a saddle is very trial and error. Keep in mind that no saddle is meant to be a comfy bike lounge chair. While riding, a good amount of your body weight should also be carried by your legs and arms.

    Padded bike gloves help maintain a good grip on the handlebars and absorb vibrations. Changing your hand position prevents wrist, arm, and shoulder pain. Avoid 'death gripping' the handlebars - one of my early mistakes.

    Dress comfortably for your ride. I wear a wicking tee or polo shirt, and wicking boxer briefs (very important) under cargo shorts. Avoid cotton anything - it will absorb sweat, cause painful chafing, and feel miserably clammy against your skin the whole ride home. I don't think padded shorts are necessary if you're only going to be spending an hour or two on a well fitted saddle, but if I was riding a half century, I'd definitely invest in a pair. Personally, I don't think that Spandex is a flattering look on guys - even on superheroes and professional athletes. It looks particularly ridiculous on my lumpy physique, and I simply won't wear it.
    Unless you have clipless pedals, wear good sturdy crosstrainers or walking shoes. I need to replace my aging crosstrainers because I'm starting to get foot cramps during rides. NEVER wear flipflops while riding - very unsafe.

    2. Increase fitness and lose weight.
    Walking for fitness can be done all year long - even in snow, I try to maintain a 4 MPH pace on flat roads. Walking in snow or loose sand tones muscles in the feet, ankles, and calves. Walking up and down hills and stairs is great for quads and hamstrings.

    Other than that, just get on the bike and ride. It's really about taking it slow and building up your stamina and conditioning - I'm currently more obese than you are, and I can ride for one hour at a 14 MPH average speed without feeling it. Two years ago? NO WAY! I started riding seriously again last year. I rode frequently - several times per week, building up my endurance to 5 mile rides while ignoring my speed. Then I built it up to 10 miles. Then I started tracking my average speed - aiming to keep it above 8 MPH; then 10 MPH; and this year, 12 MPH. Now. I'm pushing to get it to 14, but I know that I will hit a wall at some point because I ride a mountain bike that just isn't geared to be a road bike.

    Buy a cheap bike computer to track speed and distance. I got a Cateye Velo7 for $15 on Amazon. Nothing fancy, but it does everything that I need it to do very well.

    3. Find resources for heavy riders to help with gear selection and tips.
    Use your lower gears, especially when attacking hills. Spin like a madman while moving 3 MPH if you have to - and there's no shame in walking the bike up the rest of the way if you start it and hit a brick wall. I had to take two weeks off from biking last year because I was trying to mash my way up a certain hill using too high a gear. I was suffering lingering pain behind my kneecaps that took days of ice and ibuprofen to go away.

    Oh yes, ibuprofen (some call it Vitamin I) is my post-ride drug of choice. Even if I don't feel particularly achy immediately after a ride, one caplet will ensure that I don't feel achy at all the next day. Just be sure to take it with some milk or food.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickyC View Post
    Hey all! I was re-directed here from the beginner thread.

    I'm 5'11" 230lbs and want to get into road biking for fitness. I bought a used, modified (Mavic wheels, 105s, right bar end shifter) Allez from an experienced rider 1.5 years ago. I rode it several times but it was very painful. Back pain, neck pain (this was the worst), sharp saddle pain after about 15 mins on the bike and days of soreness after each ride. It just felt completely unnatural in position on the bike, like my butt was higher than my head. I carried it to a shop for a fitting and they only fit on weekdays during working hours (not possible for me). I was also told that being overweight on a road bike was just going to hurt. I think the shop guys had good intentions but I left feeling like they felt I deserved to hurt on the bike because I was fat and making it comfortable (instead of working on performance) was just a work around instead of working on the overweight part. I never made an appointment for fitting. After a month of bad experiences and being embarrassed being a fat guy on a road bike I just gave up. I still want to be a biker. But, I need to know how to start this time so I have good experiences and enjoy it. I was told on the beginner forum that my bike has racing geometry and isn't the best choice for me, but that it should be able to be made to not hurt. My goals:

    1. Stop the pain (1. neck, 2. saddle, 3. back). With previous rides I am constantly trying to mitigate pain and never could focus on anything else. Suggestions?
    2. Increase fitness and lose weight. I want to be able to get up to riding for 1 hour. I won't be riding longer for a while, just hopefully increase speed over that hour. I have a basic trainer as well. Any links or suggestions to starter plans for overweight/out-of-shape bikers?
    3. Find resources for heavy riders to help with gear selection and tips. At 230lbs I'm obese, but until a few years ago I was a 6-day a week, 1.5 hour a day gym guy and at 180lbs (previous normal) I was at 12% body fat so even if I get fit I'll still be heavy.

    I am so envious when I see the guys riding and in my city biking is a big deal and hugely popular. I just want to become one of those guys and enjoy the process.
    Sounds like you may have the wrong bike for where you are at fitness-wise currently. Here are some thoughts.

    Neck pain comes from straining to lift your head up. Your head should sit comfortable on your shoulders and neck. You should not feel like your chin is reaching for the sky or have the back of your head touching your shoulders like a down lineman on the offensive line trying to take a look at the defense.

    But pain goes away. Buy some bike pants. They help a lot.

    Bike riding itself is a joy. You should really feel good on your bike. If you do not, something is wrong with either adjustment or size.

  22. #22
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    As some have mentioned.......

    My lower back was in pain and sore until I started to stretch my hamstrings and lower back after riding and then a few times a day other times. Tight hamstrings can make for a tight lower back which can then lead to other parts of your body getting out of whack.

    Not trying to increase your riding time or not giving your body an adjustment period can cause your neck, etc. to have problems. I ride longer rides but when I decide to do a really long ride or several longer ones in a row my neck, back, etc. are not used to that and they complain.
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    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Something as simple as flipping the stem up if it is pointed down or turning the adjustable insert inside the stem may get your bars higher. That is if your Allez has a four way stem.


    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi View Post
    One thing that might help would be to get a good, cheap used bike with an upright posture and ride that for a while, while you train your body to ride a bike. The more you ride, the nicer it is to have a spare bike or two...I look for old, dusty Trek bikes on Craigslist, buy them cheap, fix them up, and keep them in the garage as spare bikes so friends can ride with us. At some point my husband will probably notice that my bike collection takes up more room than his pool table and weight machine, but I think I can squeeze in a couple more before we get to that point.
    Great advice!! This is exactly what I did. I started off at around 230lb (down to 215lb now) and 5-10' and I picked up a used 09 Fuji Roubaix Pro that had flat bars on it and could only ride 3 miles without stopping when I started. Saddle was horrible, but $30 for a new comfortable one and some fitting help found on you-tube the only thing sore were my legs. I rode that for 6 months before upgrading the bike to something with drop bars and again it was an adjustment, but after a few rides fits like a glove.

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    Lots of great advice here. There is a difference in just being sore and pain. You shouldn't be in pain. As long as the bike is the right size, they are pretty much infinitely adjustable. And small adjustments make big changes. A good bike fitter is worth their weight in gold. As you continue to ride and become more fit, loose some weight, your body will obviously continue to change. So will your need to continue to adjust the fit of your bike. Listen to these guys and gals here who have been through it, find a "good" LBS and you'll be fine. Downloading an app to help track your progress is great idea. I use Strava as well as I have a Garmin GPS and they are great tools. Keep at it! Don't give up! I started in April of this year, 250 pounds. I thought I was going to die trying to make it around my 3 mile neighborhood loop. I turned 50 in August and did my first 50 mile ride on my birthday. I am averaging 115 miles/week now. This morning I weighed in at 231.6 and I feel better than I have felt in a long, long time. Good luck on your journey!

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