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  1. #1
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    I am new here and I'm interested in getting a bicycle. I don't know which to get.

    Here are my stats:

    Female
    5'2"
    190 pounds (need to lose the weight)

    No heart problems (just had a life test done)
    High chloresterol

    Like I said, I need to lose the weight and get into shape. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Oh! I just joined a gym and do strength training with a trainer three times a week. I want to do more.

    Thanks!
    cajuntexusa

  2. #2
    Castiron Perineum Bockman's Avatar
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    Hi Cajun,

    Do you have a bike? I'll presume from your posting here that you either already have one or are strongly leaning towards getting one.

    At this point, I would recommend thinking of your bike training in terms of 'time in the saddle' vs. 'total number of miles per ride'. Starting with a moderate time interval of say, 20 minutes per ride, try increasing it slowly week by week-- most folks recommend 5-10% increase in length per week.

    Dave
    The best libertarian podcast on the internet! freedomainradio.com

  3. #3
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    No I don't have a bike. I want to get one and start riding to help in losing the weight. I just don't know which one to get to fit my frame. I have a friend that rides a mountain bike. I will give him a call and perhaps he can help me locally.

    Time in the saddle sounds good to me.

    Thanks for your input.

  4. #4
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    I have lost 40 pounds in the last 10 months. I did it the only way I know that takes the weight off; namely use more calories at the end of the day than you take in. I would suggest that you get a heart rate monitor. Figure out your "fat burning" zone (65 to 75% of your max heart rate) and exercise. In the begining it might be just walking. Then maybe almost running. You can throw in the bike of course, but watch the heart rate monitor. Bikes let you coast and that makes the heart rate go down. It must stay in the proper range or your effort will be wasted. Too high and you burn the gulcose in your legs and not the fat. Too low and your time is wasted. Don't diet. Just eat a little less. Hope some of this helps....

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Planner bpohl's Avatar
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    Go to a bike shop and talk with the folks there. They can fit you onto a bike that's right for you. A well-fit bike will go further than anything in keeping your motivation to ride. I kept a spreadsheet for every single ride I did (time, miles, avg, speed, etc.) and that helped me gauge my progress. It also kept my motivation sky high, as I saw the pounds flying off.
    Good luck! You can do it!!! Everyone here is pulling for you!
    Don't waste your breath to save your face when you have done your best.

  6. #6
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info everyone. You have offered a great advise and I do appreciate it all. I am no longer going to be a couch potato. I want to live a long and healthy life.

    I'm impressed with your fitness training and I will take your advise.

  7. #7
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    Hi! I am in the same boat as you-- I need to lose some weight and am on day 3 of a bike I bought at a really good local shop. I am 5'4" and ended up on a Trek 7300 hybrid bike. I am comfortable on the bike, and that is what you'll need to find-- a bike on which you are comfortable. As stated before, the fit of the bike is important. Mine feels great, even though it will take some work to increase my time in the saddle. It's a rough road getting back into shape! I'm new at this, too. If you'd like to exchange e- mail addresses, do you want to compare notes each week? It would help me with motivation. Best of luck!

  8. #8
    NEVER WALK A HILL cycleprincess's Avatar
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    I don't know how well this will go over with the "roadies" but my introduction to cycling came by way of the indoor cycling class (spinning) at my gym. I had lost some weight, but not until I started spinning did it start to melt off. A heart rate monitor is a must...I totally agree. Get one that tells you the calories burned...mine is a Polar and I picked it up for around $100, totally worth it. It was after spinning for about 6 months that I got the bug to get a road bike. Bought a nice touring bike...Bianchi Volpe (03) and I love, love, love her. I kind of wish I had looked more at a racing bike since now I ride a lot of rallies and would love to catch a draft. But you have to keep up with them to draft them! But for the money my Bianchi was just what I needed. Anyway, I have lost a total of 92 pounds and I feel better than I ever have!! Definately stick with the resistance training, it is the key! I lost most of my weight by cycling four days a week, swimming two days a week and lifting two to three days a week. It's a lot of time in the gym, but it worked for me. And if you can find a Pilates reformer class, poke your head in there. If you can get into it, I promise it will re-shape your body. I lost 80 pounds and went from a size 26 to a 20, but after I started doing Pilates (took about 6 months) I only lost 12 pounds but I went from a 20 to a 14. Huge shift in body composition. Ok, enough about me. I can't give much advice on what kind of bike to get (I'm a bit on the tall side) but I know Trek has some nice women spec bikes. All I can say is YOU GO GIRL and keep up the efforts...in no time you will be feeling and looking awesome!
    Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

    T. S. Elliot

  9. #9
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    Hello Loveit! I would very much like to keep in touch with you on your progress and my progress. I am leaving for vacation next week but I plan to get started the minute I get home. I will go and buy a bike so that we can monitor this together. It would give me encouragement to continue on. I also want to get my husband involved. Write to me anytime at cajuntexusa@charter.net.


    Hello Cycleprincess! I am so impressed with your progress. I will looked into spinning at my gym. It sounds like you have made great strides in your fitness program. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing.

    Everyone has been so helpful and I'm glad that I found this site. I'm going to get one of those heart monitor devices.

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
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    One of my friends was about your height and weight, and a couch potato. She took up cycling, just riding to work and getting around town. Within 6 months she thought nothing of doing a 70 mile ride. I wont say it turned her into a slim supermodel, but she was a much fitter and happier big gal.
    Dont under-spend on a new bike. There are plenty of wannbe bikes, but a sensible fitness and general purpose utility bike is going to cost maybe $250+.
    You can adapt your lifestyle to do more cycling. I do all my local transport and shopping on the bike, it pretty much pays for itself, and saves me time compared to other ways of travelling.

  11. #11
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    Ummm i dont know the anwsers to your questions but wanted to encourage you so
    GO GIRL! God bless you

  12. #12
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    Thanks MichealW. Never been to England, perhaps one day. I am off to a good start and I can't wait to get that bike and start recording my progress. I about 30 miles from where I work so perhaps I can build up to that 70 mile mark one day.

    Thanks Arnie! I need all of the encouragement I can get.

  13. #13
    My own worst nightmare
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    Cajun, the stats you provide will determine what size and "duty" of bike is right for you. But the bigger, and more primary, question, is what category of bike (road, hybrid, mountain, recumbent) you want. And that has little to do with your stats. The first questions to answer are: what kind of riding do you want to do? How much? Where (wrt. both surfaces and places)? For what other "purposes" (if any, such as commuting, shopping, communing with nature, etc.)

    Any thoughts on those questions?

  14. #14
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    A lot of thoughts! I'm a beginner so I think I need something to be able to do a lot off street riding. I have read that some of these bikes can run into some money (not a problem). I want something that will let me commute with nature. I live near Nashville, TN so the landscape is not too difficult to look at. I have seen plenty of parks that support bike riders. I'm just not sure which one to look at or should I look at them all?

    I would also like to get with a club once I get into shape and can keep up. I don't want to hold anyone back.

  15. #15
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    As an overweight female, I'd like to ask you a few questions. Where do you carry your weight? Is it all over, or hips/legs or are you shaped like an apple. Do you have a lot of extra weight in your waist and breasts? Are you real flabby or do you have a muscular build. The reason I ask is that I have a short torso and am overweight. If a "male" bike shop is sizing you, ask them specifically if they have any experience with overweight women. I went with a longer top tube, because my arms have to stretch out to accomodate a large gut and breasts. I know it would be easier to loose weight, but I have been a size 14 most of my life. (sometimes going down to size 10 or up to a size 16). It may be easier to start off on a hybrid where your weight is on the seat and not on your arms. Many cyclists go down that road. Once you loose some weight and develop lung capacity, you will probably want to buy a road bike. If you start out with a club. Tell them you are only riding 3-5 miles and then you will turn around and come back on your own. You can make arrangements with the ride leader to come look for you if your car is still in the lot or if you haven't left a note that you returned from the ride. Most club rides are slower for the first couple of miles so you make be able to keep up for a couple of miles. Look for a touring club, not a velo club.

  16. #16
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outashape
    As an overweight female, I'd like to ask you a few questions. Where do you carry your weight? Is it all over, or hips/legs or are you shaped like an apple. Do you have a lot of extra weight in your waist and breasts? Are you real flabby or do you have a muscular build. The reason I ask is that I have a short torso and am overweight. If a "male" bike shop is sizing you, ask them specifically if they have any experience with overweight women. I went with a longer top tube, because my arms have to stretch out to accomodate a large gut and breasts. I know it would be easier to loose weight, but I have been a size 14 most of my life. (sometimes going down to size 10 or up to a size 16). It may be easier to start off on a hybrid where your weight is on the seat and not on your arms. Many cyclists go down that road. Once you loose some weight and develop lung capacity, you will probably want to buy a road bike. If you start out with a club. Tell them you are only riding 3-5 miles and then you will turn around and come back on your own. You can make arrangements with the ride leader to come look for you if your car is still in the lot or if you haven't left a note that you returned from the ride. Most club rides are slower for the first couple of miles so you make be able to keep up for a couple of miles. Look for a touring club, not a velo club.
    I carry my weight all over. I think I am a pear shape. I am real flabby. I have a short torso. I am in a size 16. I used to be a size 10 after my hysterectomy (sp). Looks like the hybrid is the bike of choice. I know that its not all about weight loss. I am eating with nutrition in mind. I will take pictures and monitor my progress. I think I am ready. I have a book, a trainer and going shopping for a bike.

    Thanks again for all of your advise.

  17. #17
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    Cajun--
    I'll drop you an e-mail-- we can help monitor one another in this quest for fitness and weight loss! This will be great! It's always easier doing these things with someone else! I am excited for the progress we are about to make!

  18. #18
    Senior Member ChiliDog's Avatar
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    Congrats on your goals and welcome to the joy! So many choices out there...I would recommend looking at as many bikes as you can in the following categories:
    road bikes (racing, recreational, comfort)
    hybrid bikes (mountain bike wheelset, road bike wheelset)
    mountain bikes (hardtail, full suspension)
    comfort bikes
    recumbent bikes (short wheel base, long wheel base, compact long wheel base)
    recumbent trikes (tadpole, delta)
    cyclocross/touring bikes
    semi-recumbents

    You can see there are a bunch! Some are better for pavement, some for off-road, some for a combination, some for long distance riding, some for tooling around the neighborhood. The more you get into it, the more you see that there are SO many styles meant for different uses. A good first choice is a hybrid as it might offer you more versatility...pavement, mild off-road.

    But make a list of all your local shops and hit them all and check out the bikes...test ride them...as many as you can. See what you like. Make sure it fits, that it's fun to ride, that it's the color/look you want, that you can add accessories that you want, etc.

    Browse the internet at manufacturer's websites to read some more details. It's a blast just trying to settle on one first bike. In time, you may come to realize that more than one bike is ok and necessary...i.e., mountain bike, road bike, whatever. I never thought I would, but since I've "gotten into it" in 2001, I now own: mountain bike, road bike, 2 recumbent bikes. I think my limit is 4, but it doesn't hurt to look!

    Have fun!
    Ride like a kid again...out the door, not a care in the world~

    2005 Trek 7300fx; 2010 Fuji Saratoga 1.0 crank forward

  19. #19
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    ChiliDog: I love your enthusiasm!

    You all are great at inspiring us newbies! Thanks!

  20. #20
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    I'm 5'8'' and was 205 most in the gut. On July 6 I purchased a TREK 7200 (ladies frame). I had fenders installed and a cateye5 installed. There have been only 5 days I haven't ridden my bike. I have put on 485 miles on my bike and taken off 15 pounds. I'm still fat but I'm still riding. For me that is a minor miracle as I have very little lung capacity due to sarcoidosis (see my intro).
    The number one thing about getting a bike (I think) is make sure it is comfortable and fun to ride! Prior to my TREK 7200 I had a HUFFY. It was comfortable but not fun to ride that much. I nearly bought a GIANT until I tried the TREK. Test ride them all and get one you love to ride. GOOD LUCK and BEST WISHES!

  21. #21
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    ChilDog, I am copying and pasting your recommendations. I have a lot of homework to do and I'm glad that I came here first.

    Kathleen you are doing great, keep it up. I reached 200 pound prior to joining a gym and doing strength training. I am walking again and I'm up to 30 minutes a day. I used to walk 5 miles a day and got down to 170, had a setback and gained the weight back. I find walking rewarding but I would like to try a bike.

    Looking forward to hearing from you Loveit. I'm up to the challenge.

  22. #22
    Gerbil of Doom blonde's Avatar
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    There's some excellent female specific advice at:

    http://www.myra-simon.com/myra/bike/tips.html

    Especially good is the 'petite bike test' and the articles on fitting - read this before you go into a bike shop and you'll know what to look for to get a good bike.

  23. #23
    NEVER WALK A HILL cycleprincess's Avatar
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    Excellent job Kathleen!! Please don't think you are fat though...I am just your height and I hang out around 198-203, and I think I look great! Granted I was darn near 300 pounds two years ago...so I feel pretty good about myself. Bottom line ladies...fitness comes in all shapes and sizes, the mere fact that we are on the road and not on our couch speaks volumes to our charachter and commitment. So let's face it...WE ROCK. We are strong women who deserve recognition for our accomplishments.
    Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

    T. S. Elliot

  24. #24
    NEVER WALK A HILL cycleprincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajuntexusa
    A lot of thoughts! I'm a beginner so I think I need something to be able to do a lot off street riding. I have read that some of these bikes can run into some money (not a problem). I want something that will let me commute with nature. I live near Nashville, TN so the landscape is not too difficult to look at. I have seen plenty of parks that support bike riders. I'm just not sure which one to look at or should I look at them all?

    I would also like to get with a club once I get into shape and can keep up. I don't want to hold anyone back.
    p.s. my family lives in Nashville...well Brentwood and I love it there! I would love to bring my bike sometime and ride in the area. BTW...they haven't seen me since dropping nearly 100 pounds so I am very much looking forward to Christmas!! Good luck on finding a bike, I think you will find it to be the best investment you ever made! Be warned...addiction is just around the corner. But what a sweet addiction it is!
    Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

    T. S. Elliot

  25. #25
    Member cajuntexusa's Avatar
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    Cycleprincess, I work right next door to Brentwood. It is a wonderful area. I am sure they will love to see the new you. That is incredible!

    Your words of encouragement will keep us going.

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