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.

Overwhelmed Newbie trying...

Old 07-18-18, 08:29 AM
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Overwhelmed Newbie trying...

Quick backstory about me: Last time I rode a bike - I'm pretty sure it was a pink huffy - I was an early teen and flew over the handlebars and landed on my face and knocked a bunch of teeth out (I'm now 40). Sadly I am the epitome of the girl that did not get back on the horse that thru her. Fast forward to a few years ago, I'm extremely overweight (I was around 330-340 then) and fed up with being so heavy. Started a gym and fell in love with Spinning - I know outside riding is not the same as indoor spinning - but I remembered how much I loved riding a bike. I got down to 230-240lbs and decided to go out and buy a new bike. Now I'm the kind of girl that WILL NOT try anything in public before buying (I either buy before trying or I just don't buy it - a flaw I have that I can't overcome) - so going to a bike store and trying out bikes won't happen for me. I need the buy the bike and relearn how to ride on my own property where nobody will see me haha So, I bought a "mountain" bike from (gasp) Walmart - it was on sale and I didn't know any better. Figured it would be an ok bike to start with. By the time the weather got nice enough to ride and I got the time and courage up I was back up around 250. I put on my cheap uncomfortable helmet, workout clothes - remove the bike tags and wheel it out of my garage. As soon as I sit on it, I pop the back tire. I rolled the bike back into the garage, closed the door and it's collected dust since then (when I clean the garage out this fall it's going to the donation pile). After a funk I'm back up to 260-275 and STILL want to get my rear end back on a bike. So.....any advice on a VERY budget friendly mountain bike (one I can take on compact dirt trails) that won't pop a tire on me? I have a friend who's a road biker who keeps trying to get me to out on the road with him (he even has a bike I can borrow) but there is no way in he!! i'm sitting on his frail looking road bike and popping a tire or bending a frame in half. I'm trying to research online, but honestly it's overwhelming. I can't afford $1k bike. I'm pushing it with $400-$500 budget. Plus I don't want to spend $1k if it turns out I really don't like it, and would rather stay indoors. The arguments for the more expensive bikes have valid points.....just don't feasible for me at the moment.

Thanks for any/all advice!

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Old 07-18-18, 09:27 AM
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You can do it. You overcame something to get involved in spinning at the gym (and go right back and get involved with that again).

Take the back wheel off...or get some help to do it and learn how...and then the front. Take them both to a bike shop and ask for a sturdy tire and thorn resistant tube to replace the originals. Or just take the bike in.

That way, you get the value of what you purchased, and you get to learn to ride it. Find an even grass area where you'll have a soft landing if you fall. A good friend to encourage and help you along is a great idea, too.

You can do it!!!
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Old 07-18-18, 10:22 AM
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I'm wondering if the rear tire was underinflated and "popped" from pinch flats. It's a common theme here that Walmart employees aren't the best at putting together bikes, and if the bike sat around waiting for nice weather then the tire could have lost pressure. If the tire didn't actually blow out, patch the holes and air it up close to the max pressure listed on the side of the tire.

My wife is pretty much the same way, she'd like to get out on a bike and get comfortable riding, but she doesn't want anyone in town to see her riding. But it does no good to tell her, "Who cares if anyone sees you and what they think?"
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Old 07-18-18, 10:26 AM
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I agree, just get the tire fixed, no reason it can't support you at your weight. Plenty of people who weigh the same ride all kinds of bikes, including spindly road bikes. I'd suggest taking the whole bike to a good shop, have them fix/replace the flat tire as necessary and give the bike a mechanical once-over and tune up. Chances are it was not assembled well or properly adjusted at WalMart. This should get you going to see if you still like it, and you improve your chances of liking it more if the bike works well. No need to spend a bunch more money yet.

Also, biking will definitely help with weight loss and overall fitness, but you can't out-bike your diet. Before getting back to riding I went from 275 down to 235-400 and hovered there for 12 years, exercise was walking with hand weights, 1.5 - 2 miles, 4-5x per week. Next I dropped to 218-220. Then took up riding. I hover around 205 now. Motivation for me was watching my parents age - badly - and not wanting to go down that path.

Find one or two simple things you can do diet-wise to start, stick with those, don't make it too hard on yourself. My approach FYI - I eliminated all soft drinks, diet or otherwise, and drink lots of water and/or unsweetened iced tea and coffee, and almost no alcohol - maybe 5-6 beers and 1-2 glasses of wine per year. I also made a point of having breakfast every day. Protein shake, or oatmeal or something like Cheerios, eggs maybe 1x per week. Usually a banana too. I made effort to reduce useless carbs (white bread, chips, etc.) as well. Again figure out something that will work for you.

Good luck, check back in here often.

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Old 07-18-18, 06:28 PM
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You did not pop the tire because of your weight! Like the others said, it was probably not installed correctly, or faulty.
I am 230, and i ride a road bike, no problem. However, i started on a cheap-o bike from a sporting goods store, probably only a little bit better than your WMart bike.
I then moved on to a Trek FX and finally to a road bike.

If you really want a new bike, I would recommend checking into a Trek DS (dual sport) or FX (fitness) lines, or the equivalent in other bike brands (Specialized, Giant, etc).
You are in luck...2018's should be going on sale around Aug when 2019's start coming out so there should be some good deals out there. I think you could get something decent in the $4-500 range.

I know it's hard, because i felt the same way as you 8 years ago when i started, but please consider at least talking to someone in a bike shop. If you find someone you feel comfortable with, maybe you feel better doing a test ride. Or, they can put a bike on a trainer in the store for you. One other option is seeing if any local shops rent bikes for a day.
Take a hybrid home and just see if you still like riding.

One thing I have learned over the past 8 years through cycling is to let people help me, including the bike shop folks If you aren't comfortable with someone, check out another shop.
Good Luck!
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Old 07-19-18, 07:41 AM
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Thank you for your replies. You’ve actually helped me more then you realize!I thought the Walmart bike was a lost cause and that’s why I was looking for a newer/better bike - I’m going to go the route of taking it to a bike shop and getting a tune up with better tires. Going to try to take it in this weekend – next weekend at the latest. Also, Thanks again for clearing up that I won’t break a bike I sit on haha It was honestly a fear of mine which is why I also say no when my friend keeps inviting me out. I’m going to get this one fixed, practice/relearn how to ride and then, hopefully hit him up on his invite. I’ll post a pic J For now I’m going to peruse the boards and see what I can learn. Take care!
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Old 07-19-18, 05:37 PM
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Get a tire pump with a tire lose air, pretty rapidly.....and being under inflated is not fun....pinch flats and slower

Also check out local Bike co-ops, shops, adult ed, etc for beginners clinics that cover basics, like tire inflation and fixing flats... often the clinics are free. Rei does this
A little training would give you a lot of confidence, and many offer women focused clinics
Looking for Team Miyata F&F 58cm
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Old 07-19-18, 06:19 PM
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Take your friend up on the bike lend. Just ride it out and see what happens! If you hate it, you haven't spent any money updating your department store bike. Y

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Old 07-20-18, 03:49 AM
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If you do decide to replace the Walmart bike, ask your friend (who seems perhaps a little knowledgeable about bikes) to help you shop Craigslist. In most areas you can consistently find good to very good deals on older mountain bikes from well-regarded brands. You should easily be able to find something much better than the Walmart bike for $200 to $300, but you have to know what to look for.

Good luck.
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Old 07-20-18, 03:28 PM
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Welcome Elli! You've already been given a lot of great advice as well as reassurance that it wasn't you popped the tire. Most bikes, particularly a mountain bike, can carry 300 lbs. or even more without problems. I agree it was likely underinflated or even possibly overinflated (anyone would pop it then, it could even pop by itself). I was going to log on and give some suggestions and Penny4 already said exactly what I was going to: get the tires fixed up for now on the department store bike, ride it a lot, and if you keep doing it then in the very near future you will want a "better" bike. Like Penny4, I definitely recommend checking out Trek, either the FX series, Verve, or DS (though they don't seem to have as expansive a selection of these last as they used to). These are all variations of hybrid bikes, not mountain bikes. I'd strongly encourage you not to buy a mountain bike when you are ready to make your next purchase, unless you are really doing mountain bike trails. All of those hybrids have tires wide and sturdy enough to do just fine on typical crushed gravel trails. Plus if you do start riding on pavement, you'll be glad not to have such extremely knobby tires that would be on your mountain bike. They are all fairly upright and comfy seating, and most definitely weight will not be an issue for you on any of them. And the less expensive versions will fall in or be close to your price range.

Get those tires fixed and keep it up! Been there, 220 lbs. female, bought a department store bike and I even knew better, rode it like 10 times, then bough an awesome Trek hybrid, then couple years later a nice (but still among the less expensive) Trek Domane road bike. When the time is right for you, you'll move up!
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Old 07-20-18, 06:18 PM
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As someone else urged, ride your friend's road bike. I put 3,000 miles on a road bike one summer without flatting, and that was at 230 pounds, riding a bike with skinny 25c (25 mm) racing tires.
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Old 07-21-18, 06:52 AM
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You probably only blew an inner tube.
1) Take it in to a bike shop, get it fixed and have them do a full tune up. Get riding.
2) Take up your friend on the offer to go road riding. Your weight won't break the bike. Many of us have been riding road bikes for years and weigh as much as you do. I have fluctuated from 220-245 over the last 35 years and ridden road bikes all of that time, without any problems. Just remember to pump up your tires before each ride, you don't want pinch flats.
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