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  1. #1
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    overweight female cyclists

    It seems like there are a lot more overweight female cyclists than overweight male cyclists. Or is it just me? I've noticed that most male cyclists are very thin and look like they have very little body fat. Is there something about cycling that makes women gain weight or doesn't allow them to lose weight? It seems like all runners, male or female are thin, but that's not the case with cycling, which I would imagine to be quite similar.

  2. #2
    Videre non videri
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    Could it be that since women have weaker joints, bones and ligaments than men, speaking generally, so that overweight women are recommended cycling as a form of exercise because it renders their excess bodyweight harmless to the knees and other stressed areas of the body. Running, aerobics and other high-impact exercises could be bad for many of them, at least in the beginning.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Or perhaps a lot of overweight men are still sitting on the sofa dreaming about their glory days when they played on their high school football teams ... and meanwhile a lot of overweight women have opted to start cycling to help them lose weight, rather than running, because cycling is generally easier on the knees and joints.

    Speaking as a woman, several years ago I lost 50 lbs cycling ... and during the winter of 2005/2006, I gained quite a bit of weight (that freshman 15??), but lost 18 lbs in about a month in the spring when I started cycling regularly. Each winter I gain a little bit of weight because I know that as soon as I increase the distance I do in the spring, I'll lose all of it and more. Several years, I've ended my cycling season well underweight.

    So no ... there isn't anything about cycling that makes women gain weight or doesn't allow them to lose weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Or perhaps a lot of overweight men are still sitting on the sofa dreaming about their glory days when they played on their high school football teams


    I just want to add that I haven't observed that here. Rather the opposite Women who ride here tend to be in better shape (fewer are distinctly overweight or obese) than most men who ride. And that goes for both commuters and recreational/exercising riders.

  5. #5
    Car-Free Flatlander Stacy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf


    I just want to add that I haven't observed that here. Rather the opposite Women who ride here tend to be in better shape (fewer are distinctly overweight or obese) than most men who ride. And that goes for both commuters and recreational/exercising riders.
    So you don't think these shorts make me look fat

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kris Flatlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdCf


    I just want to add that I haven't observed that here. Rather the opposite Women who ride here tend to be in better shape (fewer are distinctly overweight or obese) than most men who ride. And that goes for both commuters and recreational/exercising riders.
    +1 here too

  7. #7
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    Well, if there's anybody intimidated by being overweight and surrounded by skinny cyclists, they could always go here:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdales-athenas-200-lb-91-kg/

    As you can tell by my username, I'm not exactly in perfect shape right now...oh, and I'm a guy

  8. #8
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Or perhaps a lot of overweight men are still sitting on the sofa dreaming about their glory days when they played on their high school football teams.


    Also, men and woman carry weight differently - men stomach, women hips. Cycling shorts take no prisoners where as relaxed fit cycling jerseys can sort of hide a gut. In our area, I do not observe one gender being more overweight or skinny than the other. I think its great when people get out and exercise.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100
    It seems like there are a lot more overweight female cyclists than overweight male cyclists. Or is it just me? I've noticed that most male cyclists are very thin and look like they have very little body fat. Is there something about cycling that makes women gain weight or doesn't allow them to lose weight? It seems like all runners, male or female are thin, but that's not the case with cycling, which I would imagine to be quite similar.
    Hmm....

    Well, I've noticed that it's often pretty hard to tell the fit women from the men when they're riding in a group. Maybe you're not seeing the it women.
    Eric

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes


    Also, men and woman carry weight differently - men stomach, women hips. Cycling shorts take no prisoners where as relaxed fit cycling jerseys can sort of hide a gut. In our area, I do not observe one gender being more overweight or skinny than the other. I think its great when people get out and exercise.
    that's true about the shorts...I don't know, a lot of female runners tend to look gaunt, and I don't see that with female cyclists.

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100
    that's true about the shorts...I don't know, a lot of female runners tend to look gaunt, and I don't see that with female cyclists.
    I think different sports attract different body types.


    And how much gaunter do you want .... that's me in the green jersey.

    .
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    If they are on a bike regardless of gender, height, weight, eye color...I am happy to see them do it...

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    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    I see a lot more fat guys.

  14. #14
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    okay, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Just for the record, I wasn't trying to hate on overweight cyclists or anything. I was just wondering if cycling is a bad sport for losing weight, which I am convinced it is (for a reason that's unknown to me). I also think it's odd that a lot of biking clothes come in size XXL, which isn't the case for most sports.

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    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    I think that cycling is a little more forgiving as a way to loose weight and get in shape. If you are significantly over weight and try to run you will likely hurt your knees. Cycling can accommodate a wide range of fitness levels.

  16. #16
    Senior Member skinny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100
    I've noticed that most male cyclists are very thin and look like they have very little body fat. .
    You didn't go on this ride, did you.
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  17. #17
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    And how much gaunter do you want .... that's me in the green jersey.
    That ain't gaunt! Have you seen what female European models look like now?

    It does seem like women pick up leg weight more easily than men, or at least some fast women I ride with. Others don't. Maybe that's not too different than men, but we men do notice, don't we? I was riding today and a woman friend said, "Hey you've got new tights!" Well, some notice and some don't.

    One time I was riding near Mt. Rainier and saw a woman on a mountain bike cresting Cayuse Pass. She must have weighed 300 lbs. I can't imagine how she did it. Inside there was one helluva cyclist trying to get out. Good on her.

  18. #18
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100
    okay, maybe I don't know what I'm talking about. Just for the record, I wasn't trying to hate on overweight cyclists or anything. I was just wondering if cycling is a bad sport for losing weight, which I am convinced it is (for a reason that's unknown to me). I also think it's odd that a lot of biking clothes come in size XXL, which isn't the case for most sports.
    Some of us can lose a ton of weight with cycling alone. You've just got to ride lots .... I mean LOTS!


    BTW - I was running regularly last winter, and all I did was gain weight. As soon as I started cycling my spring brevet series, the weight fell of.

  19. #19
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
    That ain't gaunt! Have you seen what female European models look like now?
    It's about as gaunt as I want to get!

  20. #20
    Senior Member VT Biker's Avatar
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    My general impression (and I stress general, so please, no hate mail) here in Colorado is that women are more inclined to use cycling as a compliment to their overall fitness/recreation, whereas men (due to the fact that cycling has less of a cool factor than climbing etc...) if they do cycle, are really into it, either eventually becoming competitive or at least internally competing against their peers on group rides.

    And this I feel supports the above posters' assertions that cycling is not good for losing weight. Face it, it is not the most efficient way of losing weight (running will burn more calories in a shorter period of time). In addition, it is possible to ride a bike, feel like you are getting a workout, but in reality, you are doing a whole lot. I see it on the bikepath. People who spin a little, then stop and coast. Sure - you are moving, but are you really getting the heart rate up?

    So someone like me, who will ride upwards of 170 miles in a typical weekend, will have trouble keeping my weight. And trust me, there are women who ride like that, and kick my but up the front range.

  21. #21
    Videre non videri
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    Quote Originally Posted by VT Biker
    Face it, it is not the most efficient way of losing weight (running will burn more calories in a shorter period of time)..
    On the contrary, I can't imagine a better method of losing weight through exercise.
    Running burns somewhat more for the same time, yes.

    Running for one hour at 7-8 mph burns about 800 kcal for a heavier runner.
    Cycling for one hour burns about 500-600 for the same person.

    I can personally easily ride for many, many hours at that level, and I know most people will be able to after a short time of getting used to it.
    How many people can run at 8 mph for five hours, for example? I sure can't - after 45 minutes at that pace, I'm completely exhausted. Even at the same level (500-600 kcal/h, which is about 6.5 mph), I wouldn't last much longer.

    Cycling is waaay better!

  22. #22
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    Could it be that women appear to be fatter because you are using the wrong standards?

    Women naturally have higher percentages of body fat than men. Women with low body fat usually experience a shut down of reproductive cycles. I think this occurs around 15% body fat. A woman with 15% body fat is pretty lean.

    I believe women have a harder time losing weight than men. Men are larger. Men have more muscle for their body weight. Men and women seem to need about the same level of nutrients. But men average a fair bit larger than women. This gives men a cushion of "empty calories" that they can expend on junk food. Women with their lower caloric requirements often have to have a very disciplined diet to stay trim.

    Another thing is that since women are smaller, a given time exercising burns significantly fewer calories than a man burns. So once a guy gets off his duff and works out, he will probably burn up considerably more calories than his wife.

    There is also another thing here. At 6' and 185, many people consider me "thin". Guys get a bit of a pass here. Who serves as the model for female beauty in society? Well.... maybe it would be fashion models. Models tend to be 5'10" tall and something like 120 lbs. There is no way the for a woman to make herself taller and models are pretty dern thin. In facts, I don't recall ever seeing any models with significant muscle mass or even much in the way of muscle tone. A fit healthy female with a healthy amount of fat will look positively plump compared to a fashion model.

    Of course, even if we guys have all those advantages, we get to die 7 years earlier than the girls do. Life ain't fair.

  23. #23
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    Or could it be that OP is just oogling all the women so of course notices the heavier ones while paying little attention to the men.

  24. #24
    Not obese just overweight ratebeer's Avatar
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    A wise person once said, "When you point your finger at someone else, there are three more of your own pointing back at you."

    Skinny, old, newbie, experienced. old bikes, new bikes, fat, young, fast riders, slow riders, whatever... I love 'em all! The sun is out, the hills are green, the mustard is in bloom! Why bum yourself out focusing on someone else's weakness?! Enjoy life and your sport or hobby!
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  25. #25
    Mettle to the Pedals Dewbert's Avatar
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    Me? I notice lots of beautiful ladies of all shapes and sizes while cycling. Men? Not so much.
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