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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.

Very heavy rider

Old 01-29-20, 06:56 PM
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SekiTimewalker
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Very heavy rider

I'm a heavier person, 500 pounds, and am getting a bike with my tax return to get back into shape. I was told a Worksman is good, and have been in contact with them. They said they will give me the extras needed for my size to ride the bike for free. I haven't ridden a bike in about twenty years since I was about 300 pounds lighter. How long will it take me to get used to riding again? I plan on going into an empty parking lot and practicing until I get my balance back.

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Old 01-29-20, 07:12 PM
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Balance wise, my personal experience is that once you learn how to balance on a bicycle, you'll never forget. Given your weight, I'd be more concerned about things like getting used to the brakes, which saddle to pick etc.
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Old 01-29-20, 07:25 PM
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Good idea to look into worksman - they have a good reputation and your choices in factory-built bikes are very limited.
When you have time, go to the Clydesdales/Athenas sub forum here on BF.
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Old 01-29-20, 07:28 PM
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You can do it! And you’ll love riding. Just start using it for everything. It may be harder at first, but keep at it and soon you will love it! Plus, come back here often and chat with others with a similar interest. Ride on!
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Old 01-29-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Good idea to look into worksman - they have a good reputation and your choices in factory-built bikes are very limited.
When you have time, go to the Clydesdales/Athenas sub forum here on BF.
Found here:
https://www.bikeforums.net/clydesdal...-200-lb-91-kg/

When you first try the bike, perhaps put the seat intentionally too low, so you can easily touch the ground while working on balance and getting used to the movement.
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Old 01-29-20, 07:57 PM
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Moved from "General"
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Old 01-29-20, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Moved from "General"
Thank you for moving it to the right subforum.
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Old 01-29-20, 10:23 PM
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Another line of bikes to consider are Leonard Zinn's non-custom bikes. More than your tax refund but excellent bikes and there is nobody who understands bikes for heavy people like Leonard Zinn.

https://zinncycles.com/non-custom-bikes/

Ben (not a big guy, but someone for whom few stock bikes work)
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Old 01-30-20, 07:10 AM
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One thing I will add is don't get discouraged. The first time you ride after a long time off things are going to hurt. Your butt, your feet, your knees, etc. Don't let that get you down.
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Old 01-30-20, 09:26 AM
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I second the don't get discouraged comment. I think we all can look at others in this forum and find an inspiring story or individual.

I like your idea of riding in a parking lot. I quit riding a few years back when I felt too top heavy and that I was going to fall over, even on an indoor bike on a trainer. I never forgot how to ride, but a lot of the bike handling skills I had, were quite rusty. Certainly, work on low speed balance, and braking skills in the safety of the parking lot. (I did that frequently when I used to ride motorcycles..)

I was 378 at my heaviest weight that I saw on a scale. And after lots of failures losing weight, and some physical limitations due to injuries and failing knee, And a looming cardiac issue, I chose Gastric Sleeve weight loss surgery. Not suggesting you opt that direction, just my choice for a number of reasons. My cardiologist put me in cardiac rehab gym to prevent me having a heart attack, and as such, that got me on exercise bikes. I'm about 140 less than my heaviest, and enjoying riding again...

Good luck!!!
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Old 01-31-20, 11:06 AM
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Welcome!

Some advice:

When you get the bike (any bike) also get a good floor pump with a built in gauge. Riding with tires underinflated is a surefire way to get flat tires, and the more weight on the tire the more likely flats will happen.

You likely should pump the tires up to the maximum rated pressure on the side, which is not correct advice for everyone, but for 'Uber-Clydes' such as yourself it is a good idea.

Also, it is very likely you will have no problem getting on and going for a short spin, but it is best to build up saddle time and mileage over time. Your first ride might be to the end of the street or around the block, but after a couple outings you can start adding a bit of distance each time. Everyone is different so listen to your body and be sure to take rest days.

Either consult a knowledgeable friend or local bike shop on how to ensure you have your saddle height set correctly. It's a simple adjustment but getting it wrong can cause pain or repetitive use injuries to knees, which you don't want - they will result in less time spent riding in the future.
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Old 01-31-20, 11:19 AM
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Thank you all for the advice! The payment just went through and now I'm just waiting on pins and needles for the bike to come.

I'll definitely look into the tire pump. Going onto amazon now. Do you guys have any advice for helmets?
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Old 01-31-20, 11:32 AM
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Great for you! As others have said, don't get discouraged. If you have rail trails near you they are pretty flat and a great place to get started.
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Old 01-31-20, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SekiTimewalker View Post
Thank you all for the advice! The payment just went through and now I'm just waiting on pins and needles for the bike to come.

I'll definitely look into the tire pump. Going onto amazon now. Do you guys have any advice for helmets?
Go to your local shop and try on helmets. DON'T GO CHEAP. Get the best helmet you can afford. Not necessarily the most expensive, but the best. Ask around at different shops. All helmets must meet a certain level of protection to be certified and allowed to be sold in the US (I'm assuming you are in the US). But they are not all the same. Fit is important, as is safety.
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Old 01-31-20, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
Go to your local shop and try on helmets. DON'T GO CHEAP. Get the best helmet you can afford. Not necessarily the most expensive, but the best. Ask around at different shops. All helmets must meet a certain level of protection to be certified and allowed to be sold in the US (I'm assuming you are in the US). But they are not all the same. Fit is important, as is safety.
That sounds good. I know we have an EMS around here, unsure of other bike shops, but I'll see what else we have. My only experience with buying a helmet is an equestrian helmet, much different. Lol
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Old 02-04-20, 07:54 PM
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Just thinking how exciting this is for you. Perhaps a bit intimidating for you as you wonder about your bike riding skills, but as everyone has said, you'll quickly get comfortable and in no time you'll be extending your rides. It's a great idea to go to a parking lot and focus on balance at first. The idea of dropping your saddle a bit in the beginning so your feet are closer to the road is also very smart.

I set some riding goals (3 half-century organized rides this spring/summer) and my training has resulted in weight loss such that I'm no longer a Clydesdale. I still need to lose more weight, though, and if you stay the course with riding, you'll do so as well.

Can't wait to hear your success stories!!
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Old 02-04-20, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by FloridaDave View Post
Just thinking how exciting this is for you. Perhaps a bit intimidating for you as you wonder about your bike riding skills, but as everyone has said, you'll quickly get comfortable and in no time you'll be extending your rides. It's a great idea to go to a parking lot and focus on balance at first. The idea of dropping your saddle a bit in the beginning so your feet are closer to the road is also very smart.

I set some riding goals (3 half-century organized rides this spring/summer) and my training has resulted in weight loss such that I'm no longer a Clydesdale. I still need to lose more weight, though, and if you stay the course with riding, you'll do so as well.

Can't wait to hear your success stories!!
Ditto. Looking forward to hearing about your progress. It comes back to you quickly, honest.
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Old 02-07-20, 05:00 PM
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It seems like you have already ordered your bike.

For other heavy people getting bikes, consider a fat bike. The tyres spread the weight out, so you are less likely to break spokes or wheels.

Also get a large seat. It will be much more comfortable.

Last edited by alo; 02-07-20 at 05:02 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 02-11-20, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
It seems like you have already ordered your bike.

For other heavy people getting bikes, consider a fat bike. The tyres spread the weight out, so you are less likely to break spokes or wheels.

Also get a large seat. It will be much more comfortable.
Are you the one who has been spreading this misinformation? Broken spokes are caused by an improperly tensioned wheel, and almost always happen at the hub, which does not care what is happening on the other end of the spokes. Perhaps the rims are more safe from being dented or otherwise damaged, but the stress cycles that the spokes see at the hub are identical to any other bike.
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Old 02-11-20, 04:47 PM
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Good for you man. This is one of the best things I've read today.

Hang in there, try not to get discouraged if things are tough or awkward at first.
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Old 02-11-20, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Are you the one who has been spreading this misinformation? Broken spokes are caused by an improperly tensioned wheel, and almost always happen at the hub, which does not care what is happening on the other end of the spokes. Perhaps the rims are more safe from being dented or otherwise damaged, but the stress cycles that the spokes see at the hub are identical to any other bike.
If the spokes are tensioned correctly on ordinary bicycle wheels, and a heavy person rides the bike on rough tracks, sooner or later spokes will break in the back wheel. So broken spokes can also be caused by heavy people riding the bike. They break sooner if the bike is ridden on rough tracks.

I am tall and fat challenged, and I like to go off the beaten track. I have broken spokes in the wheels of a number of bikes.

In recent years I have bought fat bikes. I am heavier now than before, and I still like to go off the beaten track. Until now, I have not broken a spoke in a fat bike wheel. At some time in the future, I may break a spoke or spokes in a fat bike wheel. But my experience tells me, the weight is spread out more with fat bike tires, causing less stress on spokes.
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Old 02-20-20, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
If the spokes are tensioned correctly on ordinary bicycle wheels, and a heavy person rides the bike on rough tracks, sooner or later spokes will break in the back wheel. So broken spokes can also be caused by heavy people riding the bike. They break sooner if the bike is ridden on rough tracks.

I am tall and fat challenged, and I like to go off the beaten track. I have broken spokes in the wheels of a number of bikes.

In recent years I have bought fat bikes. I am heavier now than before, and I still like to go off the beaten track. Until now, I have not broken a spoke in a fat bike wheel. At some time in the future, I may break a spoke or spokes in a fat bike wheel. But my experience tells me, the weight is spread out more with fat bike tires, causing less stress on spokes.
The way to reduce stress on the spokes is by adding more spokes. The width of the rim doesn't matter.

I would be willing to bet that your fat bike has heavier gauge spokes than standard mountain bike wheels. Also it of course has much wider tires which absorb more impact than regular mountain bike tires. Both of those things contribute to less spoke damage.
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Old 02-20-20, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chadtrent View Post
I would be willing to bet that your fat bike has heavier gauge spokes than standard mountain bike wheels. Also it of course has much wider tires which absorb more impact than regular mountain bike tires. Both of those things contribute to less spoke damage.
The fat bike has the same gauge spokes as an ordinary mountain bike.

If you only ever ride on smooth roads, a bike should last a long time. I sometimes take the fat bike on some very rough tracks, and that combined with my weight puts a lot of stress on the wheels. But I have not broken spokes yet. At some time in the future, I might.

In the future, I may buy an electric conversion kit, with an electric motor in the back wheel, and convert a bike to electric. Many wheels with electric motors have thicker spokes. So that is getting two benefits at the same time.
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Old 02-20-20, 10:17 PM
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Hi! Care to provide an update on if you got your bike and how it's going? I'm hoping it's working out well. If it helps I and am sure several others would be happy to assist where we can. (If it helps, I was 440lbs in May 2018 and probably even higher before that. I'm now at 245 and am getting more confident I'll reach a healthy BMI. While I haven't been on a real bike in decades, I'm going to try one out next week and, if it fits and feels right, buy it. For the last couple years I've spent quite a bit of time on exercise bikes and walking/hiking a great deal, along with other exercises.)
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Old 02-21-20, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Sertsa View Post
Hi! Care to provide an update on if you got your bike and how it's going? I'm hoping it's working out well. If it helps I and am sure several others would be happy to assist where we can. (If it helps, I was 440lbs in May 2018 and probably even higher before that. I'm now at 245 and am getting more confident I'll reach a healthy BMI. While I haven't been on a real bike in decades, I'm going to try one out next week and, if it fits and feels right, buy it. For the last couple years I've spent quite a bit of time on exercise bikes and walking/hiking a great deal, along with other exercises.)
congrats 200 lb loss........what type of riding going to do and what type of bike are you looking for....... where you are now you can get and ride almost anything, just keep the spoke count up on the wheels....

if you are going to mostly road really consider a drop bar bike, much better ergonomically and more position options.
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