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  1. #1
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    Bents...mountains...and heavies

    I posted in the +50 forum that I am currently riding a mountain bike to lose weight (325) and plan to reward myself with a bike at 275. (Years ago I used to race and do triathlons.....oh well)

    I am intrigued by the recumbent but have concerns as well. First, I live in WV....mountains. I find that I am spinning in my lowest gear on most climbs (heart rate 160+, when I had my EKG I got my heart 190+ and the doc was really suprised...) and wonder if a recumbent would be even more difficult to climb in.

    How do they hold up with heavier people?

  2. #2
    sch
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    You would want to stay away from LWB bents. Some SWB bents limit the weight to around
    275 max, but others have no limit posted, not that there isnt one. With a SWB bent and
    wide tires: (1.75 or 2.0") should be no problem If you do succeed in weight drop below
    275 then almost any SWB or CLWB bent should do, avoiding skinny tires. Hills are another
    matter, as 98% of bent riders do go up hills more slowly than on a road bike, for me depending
    on the steepness and length, 2-4mph slower. That is if I went up the hill at 10mph on a DF, I
    would be between 6 and 8 mph on the bent. Slowest I have gone is 3.8mph, steering gets
    shaky below 4mph. Spinning helps but is an acquired skill. W Va could certainly give one pause,
    as 0.5 miles would be a short hill when traversing the ridges
    and grades are not even car friendly in places. I am at the other end of the Appalachian
    chain where elevation changes are 300-700' max locally, perhaps 1000' in the NE areas,
    but the valleys are broad. I spend about half my time on an LWB bent. How about a trike?
    Steve

  3. #3
    hmBldr
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    You may want to consider a trike instead. They are somewhat sturdier and it doesn't matter how slow you go, they won't tip over.

    Darren

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimo
    I posted in the +50 forum that I am currently riding a mountain bike to lose weight (325) and plan to reward myself with a bike at 275. (Years ago I used to race and do triathlons.....oh well)

    I am intrigued by the recumbent but have concerns as well. First, I live in WV....mountains. I find that I am spinning in my lowest gear on most climbs (heart rate 160+, when I had my EKG I got my heart 190+ and the doc was really suprised...) and wonder if a recumbent would be even more difficult to climb in.

    How do they hold up with heavier people?
    Kimo, you might want to talk to Kelvin at AngleTech Cycles. He's built LWB Tour Easy recumbents for cyclists in your weight range. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member geebee's Avatar
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    Trikes are definately slower uphill than DF's but as long as the gearing is low enough you can climb anything (I live in the foot hills of a mountain) and it doesn't matter how slow you go as the trike will track perfectly.
    Downhill oh boy do they move and cornering what a hoot.
    In my case I find on a route I regularly take I am faster than my MTB overall and slower than my Road bike, neither of which ever get used now days. YMMV
    I have had the trike for about 6 months and am still improving.
    It is fun having a DF slowly pull away going uphill only to fly past like they are standing still going down the other side.
    Greenspeed GLR trike
    JC-70 trike
    Avanti Atomic Disc mtb
    Custom electric chopper

  6. #6
    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    Keep on riding, no matter what you have, and you will lose weight.
    WWW.TOURDEPANTS.COM
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

  7. #7
    Dominatrikes sbhikes's Avatar
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    I have a SWB recumbent that weights 30# (before I added all my crap to it.) I don't have trouble going up hills. It's about as arduous as it was on my mountain bike. I chose my recumbent because of the reputation it had for hill climbing, and I haven't been disappointed. Sure, I'm slower than all the fit guys on their road bikes, and some of the day laborer guys on their Huffies, but I would be anyway. Also, it takes a bit of getting used to until you are up to your old speed.
    ~Diane
    Recumbents: Lightning Thunderbolt, '06 Catrike Pocket. Upright: Trek Mountain Bike.
    8.5 mile commute. I like bike lanes.

  8. #8
    A New Creation! Ritz's Avatar
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    I ride a 40 pound recumbent, and have no problem with hills. It's a technique issue, Gear down and spin like a demon possesed Tasmanian devil! Even so, I am still slower than many upright riders, not all of 'em, but many. WWW.TOURDEPANTS.COM
    "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the de@d , you will be saved." Romans 10:9 NIV

    VIVA LA PANTS!

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    kimo: I 'm a big fella too...310 lbs and 6' 4". I just bought a Sun EZ Sport CX with the Cro-Mo frame. I emailed one of the Sun customer service reps and he said the model I bought had a weight limit of 275 lbs., but they were actually designed to handle quite a bit more weight than that...product liability and all, you know. Considering I was riding an old Huffy cruiser bike and it held me up quite well, I figured the EZ Sport CX would handle my heft much easier. Of course, if you break a frame and you're over the published weight limit, then you're on your own as far as the warranty goes. I figured the risk of remaining obese was much higher than a broken bike, even a possible crash.

    The bike weighs in the neighborhood of 40 lbs. with the fenders and rack, but seems to me to pedal much easier than the published weight would indicate. Some get really obsessed with bike weight, and to a point I can agree since climbing hills is about nothing but weight. Still, I figure that me losing 100 lbs. will have much more effect on my climbing ability and comfort that a pound or two on the bike. Don't get me wrong, when I finally wear out a component, I'll upgrade to something better, but not at the expense of reliability and durability. The only change I may make is to some Aerospoke wheels with disc brakes when I'm in good enough shape to tour.

    As far as my climbing experience goes with the CX, I've got some small hills in my neighborhood and one pretty good one. The climbing isn't difficult, you just have to have a different approach than on the DF since you can't stand over the pedals. You just have to get into that low gear and work your way up the hill in a good spin. I find that on the hills I ride, I can spin up the hill pretty well at 90 to 100 RPM. Not so fast that it's hard to ride clipless and not so slow that the quads start to burn from pushing too much. I REALLY like the bike I bought. I haven't had this much fun in years. Good luck with whatever you get. BBJ

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