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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.

380Lb Beginner!

Old 06-11-20, 06:38 PM
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KFrost
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380Lb Beginner!

Hey - Iíve been browsing on here quite a bit and have decided to start riding bikes. A friend who is an avid cyclist has explained that a decent mid level beginner hardtail mtb will probably work well for paved trail riding until i can shed some weight. I am looking at a Trek Marlin 6 and wanted to see if anyone else started on one? Im well aware i will probably pop a spoke in the back of the wheel sooner than later but hoping it is still a good choice, and i can spend the money to have a heavier duty rear wheel made. Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-11-20, 07:08 PM
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velojym
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I started at about your weight, and did a few things.
-bought some heavier duty wheels, Atlas with 36 spokes. Mounted 'em on an old Cannondale M500... but ended up riding my Surly LHT and Montague Paratrooper, also with heavier duty wheels than they came with.
-limited my bicycling at first, hiking and walking mostly until I got below 300. I did take short rides, but really was kinda scared to mess up my bikes.
As I dropped weight, I tapered my walks/hikes and started to ride more, and now at around 240, riding almost exclusively.
I do still get a couple walks in per week, though. It can be convenient and can help with bone density.

At times I got pretty disheartened, and felt like giving up and diving in to cornbread and Snickers bars. I didn't, though. I'm sure you can do it if I could.
I still have a bit more to lose, but feeling SO much better! I have a thread on here, too.

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Old 06-12-20, 03:57 PM
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Sertsa
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Welcome! I didn't start riding until I was below 250 (was 440 in May, 2018), but I got a hardtail MTB, which has been great. I mostly go on wooded gravel and dirt trails with occasional paved or crushed stone rail trail). Hopefully others who began riding when at your weight will chime in, but I suspect you're on the correct path with heavier-duty wheels. (One person did mention knobby MTB tires on a wet, paved trail can get a bit squirrelly, so you may want to consider different tires with your wheels).

Before getting the bike, I spent a lot of time walking and hiking--which also helped my find some favorite parks and trails, and riding an exercise bike at a gym (before the pandemic).

If it helps at all during the progress, I got discouraged at times as well (still do), but focusing on the daily changes helped keep me going. These included things like noticing how much further I could walk without tiring, how much easier climbing stairs was getting, that chairs felt larger, and how much better I felt.

And velojym: Wow! Awesome job!
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Old 06-12-20, 07:53 PM
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For me, specifically, I used 36 spoke Rhyno Lite wheels on my Montague, a hardtail folding mtb.
Word from the manufacturer, unofficially, was that their 240 lb rider weight limit was more a matter of wheels than the frame. Fortunately, the bike is still nice and tight even after carrying me at weights approaching 400 lbs... for a little while anyway.
Most non-folding mtbs, with good wheels, should be just about as good as it gets for you. Very versatile, too. Even if you go with a more thoroughbred road or mtb later, it'll still be a great utility or bikepacking/touring mount.
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Old 06-13-20, 12:08 AM
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So I got ahold of a semi local bike shop (im in montana..) and the lady i talked to was awesome, they are prepping it for me, and making sure everything is up to standards. Probably going to purchase a specialized Roll Sport. Super excited to try it out tomorrow.
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Old 06-14-20, 07:55 AM
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A year ago I was 379, and riding 6 days per week. I've had great luck with a Trek FX2 first, and then a Trek FX3 Disc that's my current ride. I'm under 320 now. I did pop a couple spokes in the beginning, until the Trek store properly tensioned my rear wheel - I've now got over 1,000 miles on the stock rear wheel since I had an issue. Getting good support from a shop that knows what they're doing is the most important factor that I've found.
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Old 06-16-20, 10:28 PM
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Went on my first official ride on my Specialized Roll Elite. It was a fun time. Managed to knock out 1.6 miles at an average of 8mph. Not great, but definitely not bad for not riding for the last 12 years.
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Old 06-17-20, 12:01 AM
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KFrost.I looked up the Trek Marlin 6 and I believe either tire size model should handle your weight for moderate road and off road use. If you buy this bike and spokes start breaking on the rear wheel then I would say a stronger wheel is probably needed. But more than likely as long as the spokes are properly tight and you are not jumping the bike off of houses then the wheel should hold up. They purposely down rate this bike. I owned a 720 1992 model with the same down rating. I used it to moderately ride High Sierra trails with out incident for years. Keep moving and trying to better your health. A good quality bicycle can help lead to better health. Good luck with your cycling adventure.
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Old 06-17-20, 07:07 AM
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I think I'll pick up a 2020 Marlin used sometime this fall/next spring since so many people have been buying bikes lately I'm sure the market will be flooded with used bikes. That will give me ample time on my roll to lose some weight this summer and fall and get used to a bike again. The roll is surprisingly comfortable! And stout!
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Old 06-20-20, 11:26 PM
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It's a good thing you are spending money up front. I started on a cheap Schwinn and a decent wheel is more then what the bike is worth, I have upgraded on a cargo bike to haul the kids and a cyclocross bike. Huge difference and I'm not constantly riding on a bent wheel, (don't cheap out, you will pay in the long run), a good local shop will be a bigger life saver then trying to do the research, buying the wrong stuff, and all that jazz. I have been learning many lessons in the last 6 months, if only I went to the local shop and paid up front.

Prowheelbuilder.com is a great place to get a wheel built, if you're local shop can't/wont.
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Old 06-21-20, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by KFrost View Post
Went on my first official ride on my Specialized Roll Elite. It was a fun time. Managed to knock out 1.6 miles at an average of 8mph. Not great, but definitely not bad for not riding for the last 12 years.
Absolutely great, because it's the first step in the right direction. Starting is the most important step - worry about distance and speed later, or not at all - the only person whose opinion matters is yours.
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Old 06-21-20, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by KFrost View Post
Went on my first official ride on my Specialized Roll Elite. It was a fun time. Managed to knock out 1.6 miles at an average of 8mph. Not great, but definitely not bad for not riding for the last 12 years.
Definitely not bad at all. I got my current bike in 2017, and hadn't ridden previously since probably 1997 when I got my license. For my first ride, I couldn't even do a mile due to the pain and lack of lungs/legs, and I'm sure my average was under 10mph. Second ride, I was able to do 2, then 4...it starts to build up!
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Old 06-21-20, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Aahzz View Post
Absolutely great, because it's the first step in the right direction. Starting is the most important step - worry about distance and speed later, or not at all - the only person whose opinion matters is yours.

Especially when starting out, just count the days you rode, even if they're short and slow compared to where you want to eventually be.
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Old 07-01-20, 06:49 AM
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Update: Been a few weeks now, my longest ride has been 6 miles on fairly flat terrain. Last night i ran the same path i posted earlier to see if there was a change in my performance. I ran the same distance plus more in the same amount of time at an average of 10mph with no stops. The legs/lungs are starting to get used to a bit of torture. Best part? Climbing stairs doesnt wind me nearly as badly as it did. Doing the Trek Century challenge, going to try to get a good 5-10 miles in tonight. By the end of the month I would like to be doing 10 mile rides on average. Bike is finally set up the way i want it. Will bring it into the shop Friday for a quick check over. My only gripe is i absolutely hate the pedals (specialized city commuters) and would like to get something with a bit more grip.
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Old 07-04-20, 06:33 PM
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I struggled to get the 100 in last year on the Trek challenge. But, earned the t-shirt.
This year, I'm further along, and will try for the 500 mile level. It's a great feeling, being able to do stuff I couldn't do before, even aside from cycling.
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Old 07-06-20, 06:37 AM
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First ride over 10 miles this weekend. This puts my total for last week at 33 miles. This huge part of me wants to be able to do 20-30/day. It's not just the riding, the speed and distance matters to me. I am a semi-competitive person but endurance has never been my thing until now..Why didn't I start riding a bike until now? Total game changer and so much fun!
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