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New Plus-Size Rider - Few Questions

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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

New Plus-Size Rider - Few Questions

Old 05-05-17, 10:50 AM
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New Plus-Size Rider - Few Questions

Hello all! I'm a newbie to the world of cycling. I'm working on losing weight so that I will be able to qualify for a kidney transplant when the time comes. I have a genetic kidney disease called polycystic kidney disease (PKD). I currently weigh 270, but that number is going down.

I'm looking for my first hybrid bike. I've visited a few local bike shops to see what they offer and currently looking at my options. Once I have it narrowed down a bit, I'll go in for some test rides. I'm concerned about the weight limits of some bikes since I'm near the upper end of the limit. Suggestions for models to check out would be appreciated.

What are some things I need to check for when it comes to picking a bike that a typical sized person might not think of?

I was also wondering if anyone has a suggestion for a good source of plus-size women's bicycle shorts or capris? I don't want to buy from some random website without knowing someone had a good experience with them.
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Old 05-05-17, 02:31 PM
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At your weight the primary issue with be the wheels. However luckily most hybrid bikes come with pretty sturdy wheels compared to say, road bikes. However, I would talk to your LBS about wheel issues. Look for bikes that have a large number of spokes on the rear wheel, 32 is good, 36 is better (but uncommon on store bought bikes).

Otherwise 270lbs is not so big to be on a regular bike, don't be talked into getting the "fat person bike" that many LBSes will want to sell you. The best bike is the bike that makes you want to ride it, and hopefully you will want to ride that bike after loosing the weight too!

A friend on mine's husband has PKD and is a big cyclist. Good luck with loosing the weight and qualifying for that new kidney.
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Old 05-05-17, 03:28 PM
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I started riding at 450# on a Raleigh hybrid.
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Old 05-05-17, 04:14 PM
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Thanks for the tip about spokes. I would have never thought about that.
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Old 05-05-17, 04:59 PM
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Be very very careful not to let yourself dehydrate if you already have kidney issues.

Make sure you have at least 2 bottle racks on the bike.
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Old 05-06-17, 03:54 PM
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I was +/-260 lbs. when I got back into cycling as an adult. I bought a Gary Fisher hybrid without thinking about spokes, tires or any other variables. Luckily I made the right choice. I trust that the LBS would have told me if I was making an error. A year later, l bought a low level Felt road bike with 23mm tires at 245 lbs. and had no problems. My experience is that if you buy quality and ride smartly, bikes will hold up. By smartly I mean that at a high weight I don't jump curbs or stunt. I'm now about 220 lbs. And after ten years and thousands of miles I've never broken a spoke or had a weight elated bike issue. Good luck.
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Old 05-06-17, 04:55 PM
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Here you go. not under the heading of Hybrid, but a very able ride. Good gearing, but great tires, and good wheels.
Not easy to find a Marin dealer. I have often thought of using one of these as an upright touring build.

https://www.marinbikes.com/us/bikes/d...nson-step-thru

Hope this helps,

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Old 05-06-17, 05:02 PM
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I did ride one of these two weeks ago, as I stopped at a Specialized dealer.
Available with disk breaks, but not necessary for your re-entry level bike.

https://www.specialized.com/ca/en/bi...owentry/116175
These are both comfortable bikes, and quick.

Again hope this might help.

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Welcome to the forum, and Best wishes with your health issues.
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Old 05-08-17, 09:57 AM
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The above two posts show examples of the "fat person bikes" I was talking about.

I would avoid these personally. Two things will happen, either you don't get into riding and it stays in the garage, or you get into riding and need to buy another bike in 6-12 months time because this isn't working for you. Better to start of with a bike that you think you'd be riding long term.
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Old 05-08-17, 11:30 AM
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dr_lha, what makes you call those 'fat person bikes'? I think those are two of the nicest step-through's I've seen (and the specialized is a bit pricey). OP said she was looking for a hybrid.

32/36 spokes on rear wheel is solid advice.

I would also look for a 24+ speed bike, 3 in the front, 8 or more in the back. The problem with 7 in the back is it's usually a freewheel, not a freehub+cassette, and it's usually an indicator of overall lower quality.

If a bike you are considering has grip shifters, make sure they work easily for you (but not so easily they might shift 'on their own' if your hand is on it and you go over a bump). I personally much prefer 'trigger' shifters.
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Old 05-08-17, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dr_lha
The above two posts show examples of the "fat person bikes" I was talking about.

I would avoid these personally. Two things will happen, either you don't get into riding and it stays in the garage, or you get into riding and need to buy another bike in 6-12 months time because this isn't working for you. Better to start of with a bike that you think you'd be riding long term.
Then try this.
https://www.marinbikes.com/us/bikes/d...-kentfield-cs3

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Old 05-08-17, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by HippieMama
Hello all! I'm a newbie to the world of cycling. I'm working on losing weight so that I will be able to qualify for a kidney transplant when the time comes. I have a genetic kidney disease called polycystic kidney disease (PKD). I currently weigh 270, but that number is going down.

I'm looking for my first hybrid bike. I've visited a few local bike shops to see what they offer and currently looking at my options. Once I have it narrowed down a bit, I'll go in for some test rides. I'm concerned about the weight limits of some bikes since I'm near the upper end of the limit. Suggestions for models to check out would be appreciated.

What are some things I need to check for when it comes to picking a bike that a typical sized person might not think of?

I was also wondering if anyone has a suggestion for a good source of plus-size women's bicycle shorts or capris? I don't want to buy from some random website without knowing someone had a good experience with them.
I still stand by my original suggestion to you mam. With your description, this may be a very comfortable way to "get-into" a cycling routine.
Hope this helps.

-Snuts-
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Old 05-08-17, 06:06 PM
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I know an avid cyclist with a kidney transplant. He uses bottles and a hydration pack to make sure he doesn't get dehydrated.
I don't have kidney issues, but I combine hydration pack and bottles (the pack is like a purse). I hate difficult cleaning tasks, so I have only water in hydration pack, and the sports drink in bottles.

Best of luck with your shopping, and your journey!
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Old 05-08-17, 07:04 PM
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You might want to look at a fitness bike instead of a hybrid. They are generally a little faster, still built for comfort without necessarily needing bike shorts and run 700C. The Trek Nako for example but there are lots of choices. Best to try out as many as you can.
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Old 05-08-17, 08:29 PM
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Thanks for all the tips!
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Old 05-10-17, 03:11 AM
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I don't think you have to worry about spokes and wheels. I used to weigh 240 and cycled on skinny road bikes. Most women are gentle riders. When a guy is heavy and a strong rider he can destroy a bike by his riding style. Fast starts, grinding, standing and rocking the bike, etc are all hard on a bike when you weigh a lot. When my nephew was 4 years old, his bicycle tires were smooth from doing so many skids. He would ride off the porch into the bushes. I have 2 daughters, their bikes looked brand new when they outgrew them. So, when these boys become men, they are still "rough" on their toys. When I have a mountain climb, I sit and eventually get to the top. I weigh 135 now, but am still easy on the bikes.
We started off with Trek FX series. We still have them and use them to pull the grandkids with the trailer, or on limestone rail trails. Have fun with your new bike.
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Old 05-10-17, 05:08 PM
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How tall are you?

As many have suggested being able to have two bottle cages for two water bottles might be an important thing. Step thru of the types shared with pics won't have grommets for two cages.

I worked in a bike shop and these bikes are heavy and more of a short hop around the neighborhood, errand rides of short distances. If you are looking to get longer rides in and want something you won't quit riding because the bike is a slug...I recommend starting with a quality hybrid of the FX by Trek style with 700c wheels and narrower road bike like tires.

Stay away from front suspension if you are riding on smooth roads. You would be fighting the compression of fork.

As for plus size clothing: shebeest is one brand I'd recommend. Do you live near bike shops? Do they carry women's stuff? In more than teeny sizes?
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Old 05-16-17, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachgrad05
How tall are you?

As for plus size clothing: shebeest is one brand I'd recommend. Do you live near bike shops? Do they carry women's stuff? In more than teeny sizes?
I'm just over 5'5". We do have some close bike shops, but I've only seen the tiny sizes in stock for clothes.
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Old 05-16-17, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by HippieMama
I'm just over 5'5". We do have some close bike shops, but I've only seen the tiny sizes in stock for clothes.

Do you have a Performance Bicycles nearby? Sometimes I find stuff there that fits me. I'm lucky to have a women's specific shop I ride with nearby that I get my clothing from.


The Unlikely Cyclist in Costa Mesa CA. She has an online presence and a Facebook page. You might reach out to her for assistance if you get to point of needing clothing that fits.
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Old 05-20-17, 01:39 AM
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Good for you for getting started! The first step is always the hardest. I'd like to suggest that, instead of buying special bicycling clothes, you begin in capri-length excercise tights. At some point in the future you may wish to get padded shorts and technical jersies, but for right now --when you hope to change sizes-- these can work well. I bought a bunch from Target by Champion and also their store brand called Mossimo that I really like. You can mail order them, and returns are easy. They come in plus sizes and are very comfortable --and cheap. Also get some sports bras. The pullover, stretchy tank-top style without straps or hardware are best so nothing chafes or digs in (I like Champion and store brand for these, too.) . Throw a t-shirt on top and you're good to go. Don't get sidetracked by shopping. Think about that later after you have enough experience to know better what works for you. Whatever you choose, don't get pants loose at the ankle because they might catch in the chain. You can do it! Good luck!
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