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  1. #1
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    Clyde in need of a bike

    Hello all,

    I am currently faced with a dilemma that has most likely been shared by many others before me. I am 6'1" 240 lbs and I am suffering from a herniated disc in my lower back. My doctor told me that I need to lose weight and he suggested swimming, but I am not too fond of swimming. I want to try riding to and from work everyday because it is only about 6 miles each way. I thought about a road bike because I used to have one, but I am not sure if that riding position will make my back worse. I visited my LBS and they suggested the 2015 Giant Escape 3 because it is in my price range (~$400). Does anyone have any experience with this particular bike or have any ideas on what might work for me? I appreciate any input you can offer!

  2. #2
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    You can always fit a road bike with flat bars, if that's your key concern. The narrower tires and lower weight of a road bike will really make a difference long term. You'll feel like cycling more and will be able to do better in terms of speed, hills, etc. on a road bike. You'll also have a bike that can "grow" with you.

  3. #3
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    That would be a good bike for a 6 mile ride. That has more of an upright riding position which may be more comfortable for your bike. The bike shop will most likely let you test ride it. Go for a 2 or three mile ride and you will know.

  4. #4
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    you can always put a different stem on a road bike to give you a more upright riding position. I did this with my road bike and after a few hundred miles I gave the bike to my oldest and got a bike with a little less angle to the stem (a more stretched out position) as I have lost weight and gained flexibility. Since Sept 2014 I have ridden over 500 miles and lost 40 pounds.

    Giant make good bikes, you may want to ask him about the components on the bike as some are better than others. Also you might ask if he has last year or the prior year's model as he might cut you a deal on a bike that while has never been ridden is two years old (I got my Orbea Orca at just above cost due to this... a $2500.00 bike for $1700.00). Also you may ask him if he has any used bikes that would work as you can buy one of those and upgrade the components (no don't try to put lipstick on a pig, but you can get a good used bike and make a couple upgrades for your budget).

    Good luck,
    Dave

  5. #5
    Senior Member KraneXL's Avatar
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    For an FYI, if you're trying to lose weight you won't do it by cycling. You just can't ride far enough or long enough for it to really matter. Weight loss...true weight loss happens at the meal table. Cut the calories, and you'll lose weight. No exercise needed.

    That said, aerobic exercise is great, and part of an overall healthier lifestyle. The bike mentioned is a good one (I considered getting that one myself), and you should be able to ride comfortably for 5x the distance mentioned.

    You should also realize that hybrids are lighter and faster than they've ever been, so you won't have to do much to them to get them up to 80% road bike capacity. All I did on my Cannondale, was upgrade my tires. I also changed out the set and tube for good measure, and a better fit.

    For the record, I also have chronic back pain too, but its in my upper back. Even so, I can get in a good 4 hour ride before it really becomes an issue. In fact, my sit-down is likely to give out before my back does.
    Last edited by KraneXL; 03-06-15 at 08:26 PM.

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot for all of your info! I might just go back in and see if they have older models. Are you guys opposed to buying from BD?

  7. #7
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    I agree with you Krane, I am currently transitioning into a healthier lifestyle starting with my meals. I'll admit it is pretty tough due to the fact that I got used to being able to eat whatever I wanted and not gain anything, but I'm working on it!

  8. #8
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    Bikes direct has many satisfied customers. That said I don't think they are for someone who doesn't know how to properly set a bike up. Also you have to know what you are buying from them as many of their offerings are five plus year old technology (not that their is an issue with this).

    Getting a bike, even a used bike, from a bike store and having them fit the bike to you gives you a relationship with the store, in many cases some price discounts on bikes, repairs, gear, clothing, et al, and gives you a place where as you grow with your riding you can upgrade components and bikes. My bike store asked me to come in and be the test fit dummy so that one of the employees could learn how to fit a bike, and that got me a free bike fit, advice on tires and components, and a riding partner. Also that relationship got me the "hey come in and check out a bike, we can cut you a severe deal on it" as it was my size (I am tall at 6 foot 3 inches) and ended up with an Orbea "Orca" with a 105 groupset for just over their cost.

    As to diet, count your carbs and you will lose the weight

    Dave

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
    For an FYI, if you're trying to lose weight you won't do it by cycling. You just can't ride far enough or long enough for it to really matter. Weight loss...true weight loss happens at the meal table. Cut the calories, and you'll lose weight. No exercise needed.
    I'm sick of hearing this parroted on here. I lost 40 lbs last year cycling and making no change to my diet. Could I have lost more if I dieted? Sure. But to tell people that adding exercise into their daily routine won't lead to weight loss is a gross misrepresentation in my opinion. How exactly can't you cycle long enough to loose weight? Weight loss is simple: calories in vs calories out. If exercise didn't lead to weight loss, why bother?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dagray View Post
    Bikes direct has many satisfied customers. That said I don't think they are for someone who doesn't know how to properly set a bike up. Also you have to know what you are buying from them as many of their offerings are five plus year old technology (not that their is an issue with this).

    Getting a bike, even a used bike, from a bike store and having them fit the bike to you gives you a relationship with the store, in many cases some price discounts on bikes, repairs, gear, clothing, et al, and gives you a place where as you grow with your riding you can upgrade components and bikes. My bike store asked me to come in and be the test fit dummy so that one of the employees could learn how to fit a bike, and that got me a free bike fit, advice on tires and components, and a riding partner. Also that relationship got me the "hey come in and check out a bike, we can cut you a severe deal on it" as it was my size (I am tall at 6 foot 3 inches) and ended up with an Orbea "Orca" with a 105 groupset for just over their cost.

    As to diet, count your carbs and you will lose the weight

    Dave
    Thanks Dave, I don't know anything about all of the different bike parts, so I will probably feel more comfortable going with a bike from my LBS. I just want to make sure I get a bike that will last for a while until I can actually afford a nicer bike (and learn more about the different parts).

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by msuj View Post
    Thanks Dave, I don't know anything about all of the different bike parts, so I will probably feel more comfortable going with a bike from my LBS. I just want to make sure I get a bike that will last for a while until I can actually afford a nicer bike (and learn more about the different parts).
    And that is exactly why one goes to the LBS and builds a relationship. Buy your bike, get it fit to you, ride for a while, upgrade a couple parts and spend some time hanging out at the bike shop (feed them once in a while.... I took my bike shop pizza one day) and you will find that even when they are busy they will do some minor repair for you so that you can keep riding. I have had to have rims trued, spokes tightened, minor adjustments made to the bike fit (it will change some as you limber up and lose weight).

    Also I can bounce ideas about tires or other parts off of them. My bike shop has invited me to join the heathens when it warms up for a breakfast ride on Sundays. And we are getting one of the cateye cameras so that we can record our rides for use with our trainers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
    For an FYI, if you're trying to lose weight you won't do it by cycling. You just can't ride far enough or long enough for it to really matter. Weight loss...true weight loss happens at the meal table. Cut the calories, and you'll lose weight. No exercise needed.

    That said, aerobic exercise is great, and part of an overall healthier lifestyle. The bike mentioned is a good one (I considered getting that one myself), and you should be able to ride comfortably for 5x the distance mentioned. .
    Quote Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
    I'm sick of hearing this parroted on here. I lost 40 lbs last year cycling and making no change to my diet. Could I have lost more if I dieted? Sure. But to tell people that adding exercise into their daily routine won't lead to weight loss is a gross misrepresentation in my opinion. How exactly can't you cycle long enough to lose weight? Weight loss is simple: calories in vs calories out. If exercise didn't lead to weight loss, why bother?
    +1
    Lost 40 pounds in 4 months by cycling hills for an hour every morning, coupled with cutting out the sugar and simple carbs. Also walked 45 minutes every evening. You burn calories when you bike, and continue burning calories after due to increased metabolism.

    The other benefit of cycling in the morning is that is makes it easy for me to say no to junk food at work. When they offer me a doughnut, I think "I'm not going to destroy all my morning's hard work by eating that very tasty but bad little treat".

    As for the bike choice, Giant's are great. I lost most of my 40 lbs on a Giant Roam with 32c slick tires. The Roam has front shocks and I added a seat post shock as well. Very comfy. I call it my Lincoln Continental bike.
    Last edited by Paul W.; 03-07-15 at 06:08 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member KraneXL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
    I'm sick of hearing this parroted on here. I lost 40 lbs last year cycling and making no change to my diet. Could I have lost more if I dieted? Sure. But to tell people that adding exercise into their daily routine won't lead to weight loss is a gross misrepresentation in my opinion. How exactly can't you cycle long enough to loose weight? Weight loss is simple: calories in vs calories out. If exercise didn't lead to weight loss, why bother?
    You do realize that you're contradicting yourself? In any event, what did you weigh when you started? 400 pounds? I'm pretty sure if you lost 40 pound you adjusted your diet somewhere.

    Losing weight is 90% a product of diet; and that much is incontrovertible. So if you're looking to exercise to lose weight you're taking the wrong path.

    Exercise shapes, firms, tones and improves you overall physical well being. But its not the road you should consider if your want to lose weight. Maybe 5 pounds, but that's about it. If you want to lose weight, serious weight, adjust your diet! That's how you lose weight. Then exercise if you want to accelerate that process.

    One more thing just for clarity. I'm referring to someone who is overweight or obese. Not someone who is an athlete and already fit. These are the people who can burn a lot of calories cycling.
    Last edited by KraneXL; 03-07-15 at 06:44 PM.

  14. #14
    Let's Ride! Jimbosays's Avatar
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    Rode a Giant Escape 2 from #350 -> #300 finding it very comfortable and no weight capacity issues . . . Then moved to road bike for most faster/farther rides these days.

    Still have the Escape and enjoy taking it for an occasional spin with friends who don't have road bikes or for a quick pedal to the store to pick up a few things.
    Work Some - Play MORE!
    "The value of good equipment is usually worth more than the cost."

  15. #15
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    You might also take a look at a recumbent. Lots of people think they're much easier on the back.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I ended up going with the escape 3 from my LBS and I am pretty pleased with it thus far. My commute is about 6-7 miles (depending on which way I take) each way and it is downhill in the morning and uphill after work so I am definitely getting a workout! I think I need to get a shorter stem because I feel like I am leaning and it strains my back a little, but other than that it feels pretty good! Plus my LBS offers lifetime servicing on most parts for free so that helps me out a lot since I wouldn't even know where to start. I will try to update my progress in hopes that I am losing weight!

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