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New Heavyweight, where to start?

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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 Heavyweight, where to start?

Old 07-26-17, 05:50 PM
  #1  
FutureFit
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New Heavyweight, where to start?

HI all,

I have been reading the forum for a while and keep coming back and have now finally signed up.

I have managed to get myself to an embarrassing 390lb and im 6'2" tall.
I have been attending weight loss classes that my doctor referred me to at a local hospital, with an end result of possible bariatric surgery, but a lifestyle change is the real answer.

So here I am posting info I'd never admit to someone face to face and asking for your help with how to get started.

I did buy a bike last year, but it was and uneducated purchase and ended up being uncomfortable and not at all enjoyable and so I ended up quitting and selling the bike.
But now I have found this section on this forum which seems to be the place I need to be.

I need some advice on which bike I should buy. I am clueless but keen.
Because of my size cycling in a low position puts a lot of pressure on my hands and hurts my back, so the more upright the better to start with.
I will mainly be cycling on roads and pathways on weekdays, but it would be great to head out at weekends and be able to cycle along the riverside and less firm footpaths etc.

I am also thinking if I can track my progress it will be good encouragement to stick at it if I can see positive results with health improvements.
So if someone can also recommend cycle computers, heart rate trackers or anything else along thos lines that could benefit my journey please do so.
This is all new to me and im completely clueless as to whats out there so the more info the better.


Budgetwise....
Im willing to spend on something thats right maybe 500 - 1000 on a bike? (im in the UK)
then whatever the accessories like cycle computer etc cost ontop.

If Im going to need to replace the bike as I progress and get fitter then 1000 would be a lot for me, but again im willing to spend that or maybe more if I need to.

I have been reading lots, but when you're clueless the more more you read the more confused you get sometimes lol.

Thanks to anyone that takes the time to help me, I hope I can make this work and lose weight and post about it here

(FutureFit is the username I signed up with, and what I hope to be)

Last edited by FutureFit; 07-26-17 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 07-26-17, 07:58 PM
  #2  
deaninkl
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Welcome to the site, and Clydes... I'm not as big as you but at 220 and 5'9" I'm still 40Lb over weight, if you do a search here there are plenty of threads for buy sturdy bikes to get started. Best is to go to you LBS (Local Bike Shop) and get advice, don't buy from a big general store, because they are not able to give good advice. at 6'2" you will be in the XL bracket of frame size, but not needing custom, so there will be plenty of choice. Look at Hybrid, Mountain, or Touring.. they will handle the weight better and riding position will be more comfortable. The TREK FX2 seems to be a favorite here with larger new riders, so that might be a good place to start looking.

Wheels at your weight will be important, not too skinny, and the more spokes the better, I'm no expert, that's a good shop will help. make sure your rear cassette has a big lowest gear, 34T and that the crank is a "compact" or even triple... this was my biggest issue, I could not get up hills, and i had bought a bike that was road orientated, so on steep inclines I had to get off and push... I had to change my gearing, which was fun and I learned a lot so not wasted.. but gearing is very important so you can get comfortable with all road situations.

I lost 10 Lbs in my first few weeks of riding, and am now on the slow road of lifestyle change... to get off the 40 Lbs I need to get rid of.... take it slow, and enjoy the fresh air...

I just noticed you are in the UK... the Fuji Touring bike would also be a good bet, as they are deigned to take a heavier load, and have very low gearing... they run at under 500 quid too... but I think plenty of choices, I'm just not that clued up anymore of whats available in the UK.

Last edited by deaninkl; 07-26-17 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 07-26-17, 09:44 PM
  #3  
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I just started a month and a half ago, and am of similar size. I love my Trek FX2, but it is a more aggressive position for a hybrid, so I'm not sure it'd be the right bike for you - I had to tweak it a bit to get my hand comfortable, including a new stem and ergon grips.

The Giant Cypress is more upright, you may want to give that one a shot. The Trek Verve is also more upright. I'm tracking my progress with the free version of Strava, which is a smartphone app, and it works well for me.
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Old 07-26-17, 09:53 PM
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Welcome, a good start would be doing both! Weight reduction by changing your diet and also working out.
I was 95kg 5 months ago. I reduced 15kg in 3 months and another 5kg recently. I am now 75kg (abt 165lbs at 5'10")
The 15kg was reduced via diet. No, I didn't eat less and I didn't go vegetarian. I simply my diet to:
1. Its oatmeal, honey with goat's milk and fruits for breakfast everyday ...and I mean everyday. When I wanna cycle, I add 2 3/4 boiled eggs to my breakfast. And coffee.

2. Every 2 days consecutively my lunch and dinner will be rice porridge with any condiments such as soya sauce+ either eggs, minced chicken , corned beef and whatever you please.

3. On the 3 rd day, I eat whatever I want, but stop just when I feel I am gonna be full.

4. I repeat the porridge again for another 2 consecutive days and it goes on an on. No more late nite snacks or supper.

Check your weight weekly, and you will see the difference.

DEANINKL have given you good advice on what bike you should look at. Go the Local Bike Shop and look around and you fitted to a bike. But before that,talk to other cyclists and and really convince yourself, what is your riding forte or style. Only you can know what you want!
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Old 07-27-17, 10:21 AM
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Welcome to the site and just keep pushing you will get there.

As far as a bike your budget it more than enough. You need to decide on type of bike MTB, Road, Hybrid or Cyclecross. Personally I prefer road bikes but at my heaviest I was only 290... I am also riding 30 year old aluminum with newer componants but it has held up fine.

As far as position and wrist or hand pain, proper position should place you were you do not have your weight falling on your hands... With that said this does require your core to much of the supporting to maintain position, so include some core building in your weekly training and you will get more and more comfortable.

Good luck keep us posted on your future success.
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Old 07-27-17, 10:32 AM
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Thank you all so much for your advice.
I'll head down to the LBS the weekend and take a look at some of your suggestions (if they have them)
@Tokwan youre right, I need to combine exercise and diet. I have dieted a few months ago but I went too hardcore with it which meant I cut myself down to eating a single meal per day. I did lose a lot over a few weeks, suprise suprise its now all been put back on and more.
Thanks for the suggestions of whatto be eating, education is a key component here.

I'm sure I'll have some more questions soon, thanks guys
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Old 07-29-17, 06:21 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by FutureFit
Thank you all so much for your advice.
I'll head down to the LBS the weekend and take a look at some of your suggestions (if they have them)
@Tokwan youre right, I need to combine exercise and diet. I have dieted a few months ago but I went too hardcore with it which meant I cut myself down to eating a single meal per day. I did lose a lot over a few weeks, suprise suprise its now all been put back on and more.
Thanks for the suggestions of whatto be eating, education is a key component here.

I'm sure I'll have some more questions soon, thanks guys
Not a problem, the good folks here have been helping me a lot. Its my turn to share what I did and gain some positive results. At least I did not feel weak with that diet and it helped me to cycle further, longer and better (as I reduced my body weight). Go ahead and contact me, I am willing to assist.
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Old 07-29-17, 03:16 PM
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I have looked at various bike option based on the recommendations and it seems the Trek FX series is a popular choice on here.

So with that in mind I think the Trek FX 3 Disc 2018 looks like a good option.
I'll probably look at fitting a handlebar extender to raise the ride position a little too.

I have contacted Trek as it isnt yet available in the UK yet, they tell me it is due for release late August, so only a couple of weeks away.

Does this sound sensible to everyone?

Thanks
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Old 07-29-17, 03:50 PM
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I'm a similar size and weight to you. I ride a trek fx7.2 since the end of march. Its a 63cm frame which was a special order. Infact be prepared to visit a few shops to find a large frame bike to try.

I started by riding 7km twice per day for my commute.

Recently I picked up a used Garmin edge 705 with cadence and heart rate monitor.

I upload to strava daily and can see the incremental improvement. As I get stronger I beat my previous times on segments of road almost daily.

I did my 1st 50km ride last weekend and I'm down from my original weight.

I'll follow you on Strava and give you some encouragement as you post your rides. Remember the only thing that you need to compare yourself to is you. Don't worry about leaderboards or any of that BS.

You will be over the max weight of most bikes (as I was) and you'll pay the price in repairs. I'll write you a separate post about that tomorrow.

Get bike. Ride.
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Old 07-29-17, 05:03 PM
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Welcome

Realize that any new fitness activity will result in some discomfort at the beginning. A few common mistakes are:

Assuming that more upright is more comfortable - Sitting completely upright puts more pressure on your sit bones and makes for inefficient pedaling. On the flip side, too aggressive of a geometry causes your thighs to hit your abdomen and makes you scrunch which impairs your breathing. The key is to find something in the middle. Remember that handlebars can be raised or moved toward or away from you with changes in stems and spacers.

Getting a big cushy saddle - It is counter-intuitive but the saddle you need has nothing to do with the size of your derriere. The saddle should provide support for your ischial tuberosities (the sit bones at the bottom of your pelvis) and your pelvis doesn't change size when you gain or lose weight. If you are sore over your sit bones for a while, that is normal and a sign that you have appropriate support. A saddle that has a slight amount of flex and just a bit of firm padding will assure that the pressure stays where your body was intended to bear it. A spongy wide saddle will spread the pressure to your inner thighs and more private parts resulting in numbness, chaffing and saddle sores.

Getting skinny tires - Find a frameset that will accommodate 28mm - 35mm wide tires. A wider tire allows you to run at a lower air pressure making for a more comfortable ride. A higher volume (wider) tire also helps protect your wheels from impacts such as potholes. A big Clydesdale will benefit significantly from a bigger tire and, contrary to old school thinking, a 32mm tire is not significantly slower than a 25mm tire and the weight penalty is negligible unless you are racing. An added bonus is fewer pinch flats.

Comparing yourself to other people - It is natural to be competitive or at least to want to know you are doing well, but the only person you have to be better than is the guy you were yesterday.
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Old 07-29-17, 05:06 PM
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Hey just wanted to say congrats for not only making this decision but starting the steps to follow through with it. I'm on the Trek 7.2FX and still really enjoy it. Maybe a roadie one day, but once you get into this and stick with it, you'll find those muscles developing and you'll be breezing along, doing laps on your old self. Best of luck sticking with this!
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Old 07-29-17, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Myosmith

Comparing yourself to other people - It is natural to be competitive or at least to want to know you are doing well, but the only person you have to be better than is the guy you were yesterday.
This right here. This is my third time getting into cycling - did it in '03, when I first joined here, and again in '11. Neither time lasted very long for me, and it was because I spent too much time looking at others' progress and thinking of the seemingly impossible mountain I'd have to climb to get there.

This time is different. I've learned to look at others, appreciate where they are, and realize their situation has nothing to do with me. I'm competing solely with myself, and am having fun watching my stats on Strava, but not comparing me to them. I ride my own ride - and doing so, have already far surpassed the progress I made on the other 2 occasions.
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Old 07-29-17, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by FutureFit
I have looked at various bike option based on the recommendations and it seems the Trek FX series is a popular choice on here.

So with that in mind I think the Trek FX 3 Disc 2018 looks like a good option.
I'll probably look at fitting a handlebar extender to raise the ride position a little too.

I have contacted Trek as it isnt yet available in the UK yet, they tell me it is due for release late August, so only a couple of weeks away.

Does this sound sensible to everyone?

Thanks
I think you'll be well served by the FX, I love mine. I did change out the stem to raise the bars slightly.
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Old 07-30-17, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by FutureFit
I have looked at various bike option based on the recommendations and it seems the Trek FX series is a popular choice on here.

So with that in mind I think the Trek FX 3 Disc 2018 looks like a good option.
I'll probably look at fitting a handlebar extender to raise the ride position a little too.

I have contacted Trek as it isnt yet available in the UK yet, they tell me it is due for release late August, so only a couple of weeks away.

Does this sound sensible to everyone?

Thanks
I'm currently around 370 and I just bought an 2017 FX 3 after quite a bit of research and seeking recommendations here. Granted I've had it for a week now but.... I find it very comfortable and so far no issues after 20 or so miles. Congrats!
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Old 07-30-17, 03:21 PM
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Thanks guys, very helpful

can you recommend a saddle?
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Old 07-30-17, 10:33 PM
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For which horse? I only use Selle Italia or a WTB Rocket V.
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Old 07-31-17, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FutureFit
Thanks guys, very helpful

can you recommend a saddle?
The key to saddle is proper fit... Saddles are sold in different widths and and shapes. Do some youtube research, there is a way to measure your sit bones, or if your buying from a bike shot they should have a small bench with a measuring device. Get your saddle width after that it is preference... Most people find that a harder seat is more comfortable so do be sold on padding alone. Sadly other than fit sometimes its trial and error to find one you like.

Also proper position has a lot to do with seat comfort... again youtube has some good videos on bike position.

I am riding a Specialized Toupe Sport only runs about $35 and I love it... about 800 miles on it.


Last edited by copperfind; 07-31-17 at 01:31 PM.
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