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  1. #1
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    I think I'm too fat for my tires?

    I am completely new to all this, my wife and I both wanted eagerly to get into biking. I really need to lose weight and thought it would be much more fun then walking. So far, no matter how sore we both are we love it. And our kids love being dragged about in the trailer! Since I didn't do enough research "before" we purchased our bikes I ended up buying 2 walmart specials. Actual bike here some reason I was sold on the aluminum frame and "hybrid" tires. I also read a review of said bike on Ridemonkey, which was glowing for such a dirt cheap bike. (ok sorry trying to make excuses)

    Anyways after riding a few times I noticed the tires at the recommended PSI would bulge way more then I would of expected. So much so that it feels as if I am more or less riding through mud non-stop. I guess my question is, since "dirt" tires seem to be rated for 40-50PSI in many respects and road tires seam to be rated much higher. Would it benefit me to change them to something that can take a higher PSI? Would that help make the ride easier? Trying to find out the optimal resistance setup for me weight, 240lbs. (guess that's the right way to put it)

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member degnaw's Avatar
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    Consider posting in this forum: http://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdales-athenas-200-lb-91-kg/

    Higher pressure tires will definetly make the ride easier, but at the expense of comfort.

  3. #3
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    I didn't even notice that existed! Sorry about that, I don't want to double post now though.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    To answer your question, without knowing weights, YES, higher pressure tires, of the "slick" variety, will be much more efficient. What size tires are on there now? 1 1/4" (32mm) - 1 1/2" (38mm)wide slicks, are considered wide. 1 3/4" would be about 45mm, and super wide.

  5. #5
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    I really was stupid to post the question without the exact tire information! I am going to write it all down tonight when I get home and post it up. Hopefully you guys can just say , here go buy this tire. Yes I know I am fat and new but I got a feeling this hybrid squishy tire might not be the best for my size.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleforge View Post
    Anyways after riding a few times I noticed the tires at the recommended PSI would bulge way more then I would of expected. So much so that it feels as if I am more or less riding through mud non-stop. I guess my question is, since "dirt" tires seem to be rated for 40-50PSI in many respects and road tires seam to be rated much higher. Would it benefit me to change them to something that can take a higher PSI? Would that help make the ride easier? Trying to find out the optimal resistance setup for me weight, 240lbs. (guess that's the right way to put it)

    Thanks!
    A tire swap is about the easiest way to improve a bike or change its capabilities, and you can bet the tires on a Walmart bike are junk. If you're riding mostly on pavement, a change to a road or combination tire (works pretty well on both pavement and dirt) that you can pump up to 75psi or so would certainly help.
    You don't mention the tire size or brand that's on there now, but bike shops generally have dozens of tires that would be a step up. At your weight, I wouldn't go much smaller than 26x1.5 (or 700x35, if you have 700 rims), and you don't need knobby tread unless you'll be riding in loose dirt--the tread design has virtually no effect on pavement except that knobs slow you down. You might have the shop look at your rims to be sure they're safe for higher-pressure tires. I believe all new wheels have "hooked bead" rims to hold more pressure, but you never know what Walmart will do.
    The tires you have now will have a pressure rating on the sidewall. Try running them at the max pressure or SLIGHTLY above (they may blow off the rim if you exceed the rating by more than 25 percent or so). Really, though, there's a big reduction in rolling resistance if you swap to something you can run at 75-85psi. On the other hand, you're riding for exercise....

  7. #7
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    Thanks Velo,

    I will for sure find out the brand and information tonight. And your right, I'm riding to help lose weight and I need to just suck it up. However going with my family I would like to jump right into a little longer rides as soon as I can. Especially since I'm dragging the kids behind me in a trailer. Figured less resistance would just help over all with the experience and not make it so grueling. And for some reason I just think my tires are making the experience less enjoyable from the start, like I said its like I'm in 3 inches of mud and I don't really even coast well.

    We mostly ride and plan on riding on paved and packed dirt trails. Nothing rocky or extreme at the moment.

  8. #8
    I make stuff up
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    Tires are part of the story here. "Dragging" a trailer with 2 kids is also a big part of it. Once you have new tires you'll feel like you're in 2 inches of mud.
    It's around here somewhere . . .

  9. #9
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    Well ya I understand that situation, however I should of left that out as it feels that way without the trailer. Trailer was only making it worse, hence why I was thinking I might need higher PSI tires to help. After I posted I knew people were going to be like "you idiot your pulling a trailer".

  10. #10
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    Would that help make the ride easier?
    You would have less rolling resistance to pedal with, but at the same time, since the pressure would be higher, the tires would be harder and the ride would be harsher too. So it depends what you want.

    Not to belabor the point, but you really should think about getting a decent hybrid bike from a good bike shop. A good bike makes cycling a lot more enjoyable. A relative got a Walmart bike once, a pair of them, like you. That idea didn't last long. Even new, not much that was supposed to be straight or true on those bikes was.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Look on the sidewall of the tyre and see what the highest "Recommended" tyre pressure is. 50 psi does sound low as a max- but I ride a Tandem and we normally go 10% above the max psi on these things. 240 lbs and I would take 50psi as a bit on the low side- especially if Pulling a trailer.

    Just face it- Pulling a trailer is going to be hard work. Before buying a better tyre that will take a higher pressure- try putting 60psi in the tyres. This will improve rolling resistance a bit- so if this improves the bike- then start looking at a high pressure slick tyre that is wide enough to keep the comfort that you will not want to lose. I have several 26" slicks and they range from high pressure 1.4 tyres that take 120psi to 1.75 that only take 80 psi as a max. The higher pressure narrow tyres roll better but can give a bit of a stiff ride.
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  12. #12
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    At your weight also probably worth taking the bike to a good bike shop and having them true the wheels and retension the spokes as wheels on Walmart grade bikes are not known for their build quality. They can also check for wheel bearing adjustment and make sure that there is no binding in the drivetrain which may be adding to the resistance you feel. At the same time you can get a new pair of more appropriate tires.

    If you have not done so already get a tire pump and high pressure gauge and keep the tires properly inflated too. Soft tires and a chuckhole can lead to wheel failure.
    Last edited by tatfiend; 06-08-09 at 02:21 PM.
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  13. #13
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    You would have less rolling resistance to pedal with, but at the same time, since the pressure would be higher, the tires would be harder and the ride would be harsher too. So it depends what you want.

    Not to belabor the point, but you really should think about getting a decent hybrid bike from a good bike shop. A good bike makes cycling a lot more enjoyable. A relative got a Walmart bike once, a pair of them, like you. That idea didn't last long. Even new, not much that was supposed to be straight or true on those bikes was.
    I am sure I will be upgrading eventually, I look at it that I will appreciate a better quality setup when the time comes. I wasn't educated enough to make the realization I could get a used good bike from shop relatively cheap. I now know, hoping this one can get me until next spring thought as I am very tight on money.

    Stapfam,

    Thanks for the information, I am going to head out there now and check it out and write it down. Hoping 10 PSI can make things a little better. Good thing, well I guess is the bike has shocks which seem to dampen the ride well enough. Maybe they will make up for some of the extra tire stiffness?

  14. #14
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    Ok my tire says,

    (52-559) 26 x 2.0 Inflate to 40 P.S.I

    I have them both at 40 P.S.I
    Last edited by Aleforge; 06-08-09 at 01:59 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    That is awfully low - high quality equivalent tires (say, Schwalbe Big Apples) tend to have a range - 30-70, 40-80, 45-90...something like that...that you can chose from on any individual tire.

    Big Apples are very nice tires, and I would recommend them...but they're sort of pricy ($30 per tire, more or less), so if you want something cheaper, try to find something with a similar range.

    (And, to be fair, almost any tire you buy from an LBS will be decent).

  16. #16
    Gear Hub fan
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    Part of your problem I bet is the sheer weight of the bike. A full suspension Walmart bike is probably close to 40 pounds in weight, possibly a bit more. Combine that with cheap wheel bearings and low presure semi knobby tires and rolling resistance will be high.

    Lift each wheel off the ground and give the wheel a spin. Spin the rear in the direction it rotates when the bike is being normally ridden. Do they spin freely? If not then there may be problems with the wheels or with brake drag due to misadjustment which could add to the rolling resistance you feel.
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  17. #17
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    Ya its around 38 I believe, and that's being the aluminum. It seems to roll ok, I did make sure it was all tight, the wheels were in alignment etc before shoving off. I don't think there is a drop of lube on anything though at least not visible? I was thinking the chain and gears should have "Something" on them.

    I'm going to check out the "Big Apples" and try to pick up the higher PSI set.

  18. #18
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    You're lucky aleforge, I'm too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it hurts.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  19. #19
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    Sorry Word that flew right over my head!

  20. #20
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleforge View Post
    Sorry Word that flew right over my head!
    Think about the thread title and it'll come to you.

    Hint
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  21. #21
    Serious Newbie Aleforge's Avatar
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    Ah I get it, haha.

  22. #22
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    Advice

    That is your problem to begin with: Buying a Bike from "Wal-Mart" try stopping by your friendly professional bike shop, so they can both have yourself and your wife properly fitted for the type of riding and sizes you both are. It may be a little bit more money, if you are concerned about costs, but saving your body from unwanted aches and pains due to IMPROPER FIT are the results of aches and pains for a large number of riders, also realizing as your wife and yourself are beginner riders in the cycling world. Aches and soreness applies to any beginner of the world of sports of your liking as far as for recreational and or personal interest until your body is used to the change of event in your lifestyle. Best suggestion for soreness: STRETCH A DAY BEFORE RIDING, DIET-HEALTHY EATING, DRINK BEFORE YOU ARE THIRSTY AND DON'T FORGET TO REPLENISH WITH LIGHT SNACKS OR SPORTS GEL, ETC AND DRINK OFTEN WHEN RIDING. WHEN YOU ARE DONE RIDING, IF YOU RODE FOR A LONG TIME, I MYSELF, ENJOY A HARD RIDE ON OCCASSION TOO, FILL THE TUB WITH WARM WATER AND POUR SOME EPSON SALT IN IT AND SOAK FOR A WHLE.-I am sure there are other inexpensive remedies for muscle soreness besides my own advice.

  23. #23
    Mrs. DataJunkie Luddite's Avatar
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    I actually think an ice bath is a better after-ride "treatment" it's what runners are "supposed" to do. Heat I think would increase swelling or something, though hot baths feel awesome.

  24. #24
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    To be honest, I don't think the tires by themselves will make a vast amount of difference. I suspect it's a combination of tire construction, tire pressure, bicycle style, weight, and fitness.

    If you're considering replacing the tires, you might try running them at 45 or so and see if there's really any difference.

    Also, double-check your gauge. I use a digital gauge from the auto parts store, and it's several PSI different from the built-in gauge on my Walmart floor pump.

    Also check your seat height, which can make a big difference in ease of pedaling for any distance. You want your leg to be almost straight on the downstroke.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  25. #25
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    I'm no expert, but I doubt your Wal-Mart bike is a terrible bike. I have seen that one and have liked the looks of it. I had a chance to sit one once and it felt like a nice comfortable bike. Try running tires at maximum pressure. I have found even with old balloon tire bikes that a few pounds of pressure can make a big difference in how they ride. Also might try adjusting seat position and see if you get better leverage. That can help too. Is it like that even when peddled with wheel off the ground? If so I would take it to a shop and see what they say.
    Last edited by tornado60; 06-18-09 at 01:04 PM.

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