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delyosius 11-04-09 10:14 AM

Clydesdale + some ready to roll
Hello all,
First off I will explain my current bill of health. Horrible. I've been denying my body for at least 6 years. I've been heavily addicted to some online games and have gained massive amounts of weight after high school. I weighed in around 240 or so in high school being 6'0. I've gained 110lbs since then and as of January was 350. I dropped around 30lbs since that time back in April but have since fallen back into the bad routines. 2 Weeks ago I decided to change my lifestyle and prepare for my future. The only problem is.... I absolutely hate gyms and prefer to get my exercise outdoors.

Starting weight : 320.4 as of 10/20
Current weight: 310.2

I have been walking between 2 and 8 miles a day. I don't feel that I'm pushing myself enough and want to start cycling again. I have cycled from age 3-18. At 18 I rode down the east coast with my father over 1400 miles in 2 weeks . I'm not an amateur cycler but I am clueless as to If I need a certain type of frame / wheel on a bicycle so I don't keep breaking it with my weight. I need some pointers on bike frame composition and wheel type / composition if anyone would be so kind as to help me out. I plan on updating this post with my accomplishments or failures.... should be a fun post through the next few months.

I don't need anything fancy for a bike.. Just something strong and reliable. I prefer something with rapid fire shifting personally. I'm not opposed to a road bike with shifters on the lower bar but I just find it easier in Connecticut to have something easier to shift.

Yes I am from New England and no.. I have no problem with riding in the 20's - 40's the winter is coming with.

Also made a link to a spreadsheet im keeping on my walking/weight/goal weight.. I know it may be a bit unrealistic.. but I like to keep everything on a spreadsheet.

Also - This thread was moved from the nutrition forum as they directed me to this forum.

CliftonGK1 11-04-09 11:17 AM

Welcome to the forum.

I'm more of a wheels guy than a frame guy, so I'll address that question.
At just north of 300 pounds you ought to be looking at a 36 spoke wheel. If you're looking at road rims, there are a few which have proven themselves among the members here; Velocity Dyad, Alex Adventurer, Mavic A719 and Salsa Delgado Cross are all stout touring rims designed to handle heavier weights. The Velocity Deep-V, Mavic CXP-33, and DT RR1.2 (renamed to RR 585) are sportier deep section rims which can still handle wider tires like 28 or 32mm.
Spokes are a polarizing point on the forum, with the argument being straight gauge vs. butted. Straight gauge spokes will build a strong stiff wheel with a potentially harsh feel, and you need to rely on "riding light" and your tires to absorb impact from road hazards. Butted spokes allow for a wheel to absorb more impact, but (IMO) they make for a squishy feeling wheel when us larger riders stand to climb. Matter of opinion, really. Either one is good. If you ride on crappy roads, I'd go with a butted spoke. If you plan on lots of out-of-the-saddle climbing, I'd go with a straight gauge.
After a certain level, hubs are hubs, and most of us aren't going to notice a difference. The standard for road hubs around here tends to be Ultegra. They're not too expensive, too heavy, or too anything. They're an all around great road hub. If it's a 135mm hub you're needing, Deore will work, but XT will outlast them. I ride a Deore hub on my brevet bike, and at 250-ish pounds I got over 7500 miles on it before needing to do any maintenance servicing.

So, you can pick and choose components and have someone build you a wheel, or you can go with the stock selection which comes on the bike. If you go that route, take them to a trusted shop and have a few things done to them...
- Tensioned: Bigger riders will need a higher tensioned wheel to keep from busting spokes
- De-stressed: This is just good practice for wheelbuilders. De-stressing the spokes means that the builder has taken the care to ensure spokes are not wound from the build process, and are as seated/settled as they can get without having ridden a couple hundred miles on them.
- Trued: You may think, "Well, duh"... but a machine built wheel isn't necessarily straight, true and round. Bringing it in and getting assurance that these 3 things will be done can make a "meh" set of wheels into a set which will last for a few years. I rode the stock 32h Alex DA16 rear wheel on my Cross Check for 18 months before replacing the rim due to a worn braking surface. It was still in true.

spthealien 11-04-09 11:25 AM

Ditto on the wheels.

What's interesting is I've found that the cheaper wheels seem to be the one that can handle our weights. The more expensive ones are made of the magic stuff and have a lighter weight restriction. I've had good luck with my Mavic Aksiums. 255 lbs without the spandex, I was near 300 fully decked out in gear, liquids, Clif bars and Powerbars when I did my century a few weeks ago. It handled me fine.

By the way, I think it would be a nice experience to ride in that temperature for a little bit. That being said, on the complete other corner of our nation, needing the AC on in November--anything cooler sounds refreshing.

jviking 11-04-09 11:49 AM , a Brooks B-17 saddle and a front brake. I started riding it this summer and lost ~30lbs (down from 255) between then and august (no diet) when the bike got stolen. I loved it because I had no choice but to pedal, and now that I have a road bike with gears I find myself reluctant to coast. Also the wheels on this are TANKS, I got hit in the side of the rear wheel by a taxi with me sitting on top and weighing about 240, a few scrapes on the frame and a concussion for me (no helmet), but the wheel was still true after that.

Only negative for you is that I assume being on the east coast you have many more hills than I do here in chicago. The cross bike I bought to replace my TT is and it holds me +a 30 pound backpack just fine... also has the "quick" shifters... seat still didn't fit my fat a$$ at 220 but I'm never going to ride anything but a brooks for the rest of my life so that wasn't really a worry for me.

215 lbs as of 6:45 this morning ^^ the biggest thing for me was not dieting! I just ate healthier but did not limit myself and am just now looking to start dieting after I lost the first 40... I was in a similar situation, went from 170 sophomore year of HS and ballooned to 255 by freshman year of college. I eat more now than I did before, although much healthier, but the constant exercise and getting rid of the video games are what helped me lose the weight.

Nooch 11-04-09 01:12 PM

welcome to the forum! i've only been here for a short while but i can tell you that these men and women know their isht. you'll find plenty of support, inspiration, and advice on these pages, as i have. if you don't mind my asking, where in CT are you? i'm a native nutmegger living in NY much to my chagrin.. maybe we can hook up on some rides if you're close!

delyosius 11-04-09 02:03 PM

Windsor Locks... A mile from the airport! Nice and flat around here ;)

delyosius 11-04-09 02:07 PM

Also I looked over those bikes and I was reading a bunch of stuff about Merciers products. Someone had said the bikes were low quality. Can anyone else vouch for the quality of Mercier?

Nooch 11-04-09 04:39 PM

most reviews you're going to get about bikesdirect bikes are that they're garbage, from what i've read. i've met people who love them, and those who despise them because it takes away from supporting your local bike shop... Where possible, I know, the advice is to build a relationship with a LBS... They'll be there for you whenever something breaks, offer things that the internet can't offer (like a friendly face and group rides!), and really know their stuff.. I used to live up in Manchester while I went to UConn, but I never head up that way anymore, my family is still in Fairfield County.. But I can tell you there's a pretty good shop in Vernon, a little ways from the stop and shop, a buddy of mine used to be a mechanic there.

anyhow. no matter what happens, keep with it. I've really only had time for three rides since i decided to make a change, but those three rides were amazing. the fresh air, the freedom... you get addicted real quick..

spthealien 11-04-09 05:31 PM

I agree with Nooch on working with the LBS. Things may go funky (it has with everyone I know) and you swing by the LBS and they help you out fast. Paying the extra is worth it for me. From what I hear, there are issues with certain shifters (Shimano 105 triples--the left one) breaking, frame "breaks" (mine looked like it had a scratch--which also looked like a carbon fiber scratch--likely wasn't, but the bike shop helped me out and swapped frames on warranty), etc that will be easier to deal with at a LBS rather than online.

My LBS even tuned my bike up for the life of the bike, while all the other ones at least tune them up after the first few hundred miles for free. You can't do that with the online ones. The cost savings of going online will shrink the longer you own your bike, I'm certain of it.

delyosius 11-04-09 06:27 PM

I went to my local bike shop and he carried Masi and Schwinn. I picked up a Masi Alare 2009 model for $699. It fit me very well and I took it around the parking lot a few times. So far so good. I went for a quick 5 mile ride this evening and quickly realized I need to buy some gloves for these rides. The shop gave me 1 year free maintenance on the bike and he even offered me hand built rims for $50 including my current rims if I find that they are coming out of true too quick ( i'm heavy dont forget ) But with a quick 5 mile ride i quickly realized that I am in MUCH worse shape than when I did my east coast ride at 18.

jviking 11-04-09 08:12 PM


Originally Posted by delyosius (Post 9985224)
I went to my local bike shop and he carried Masi and Schwinn. I picked up a Masi Alare 2009 model for $699. It fit me very well and I took it around the parking lot a few times. So far so good. I went for a quick 5 mile ride this evening and quickly realized I need to buy some gloves for these rides. The shop gave me 1 year free maintenance on the bike and he even offered me hand built rims for $50 including my current rims if I find that they are coming out of true too quick ( i'm heavy dont forget ) But with a quick 5 mile ride i quickly realized that I am in MUCH worse shape than when I did my east coast ride at 18.

Congrats on the purchase! I would have loved a Masi but they were way out of my price range. My advice for getting in shape fast is to ride everywhere!!!! I live in Chicago and when I bought mine I stopped taking public transit and forced myself to ride everywhere, I would go to the farthest away grocery store I knew I was going to be able to gimp back from with a full load. Push yourself. I don't know what type of tires came on the bike or what size they take but if you can get some cross tires I imagine it will do wonders in the Northeastern snow.

delyosius 11-05-09 10:28 AM

To be honest. This was way out of my price range. I'll be riding all weekend because I spent so much on it. I read a lot of people really supporting local bike shops and I decided to bite the bullet and spend the money on this instead of saving 200 and getting something close to it online. We'll see how my weigh in on Monday does.

spthealien 11-05-09 10:30 AM

Sweet! Congratulations on the purchase. Gloves are certainly going to be a necessity. Watch the shoes you were and how tight you have the clips--they may get stuck on the pedals and when you stop, they might not come out in time.

spthealien 11-05-09 10:30 AM

Also, I love the motion blur picture. ;p

delyosius 11-05-09 11:09 AM

Hah. That's what an Iphone does for picture quality with limited light. I'll take a cripser one and replace it ;)

jviking 11-05-09 01:15 PM


Originally Posted by delyosius (Post 9988813)
Hah. That's what an Iphone does for picture quality with limited light. I'll take a cripser one and replace it ;)

Iphone is also out of my price range lol

delyosius 11-05-09 04:50 PM

So a 6.5 Mile ride which i did in around 30 minutes absolutely kicked my butt. I ride up a very slight hill for a while, then down.. then up a big one and down. I'm going to try and expand my run by a mile a day. Working up 7 miles per week total. So my goal is to be doing a 13 mile run by Thursday next week...

Some good news about the bike + wheels. Going over a bridge there was a section where pavement changed to asphalt. In the somewhat dark skies I didn't notice the asphalt dropping down where it met the concrete.. Hit a good 90 concrete angle going around 10 mph with lots of weight on the seat. I managed to adjust really quick after i felt the front wheel hit.. but not completely . Wheel is perfectly fine. No broken spokes. Not even out of true. More news to come after tomorrows ride!

Saltybeagle 11-05-09 06:03 PM

Helmet and bike shorts!

delyosius 11-05-09 06:17 PM

Done and Done. I've had these since I was around 18. Shorts are a bit tight ! but aren't they all?

jviking 11-05-09 09:21 PM

I still think I'm a little too big for shorts

delyosius 11-06-09 08:04 AM

I have the ones that have two layers... the tight shorts on the inside.. and some normal looking shorts on the outside.

delyosius 11-08-09 06:44 PM

Took an 11 mile ride this weekend.. which is pushing it for my out of shape butt. Averaged around 12 MPH and had to take one break after a big hill. So far have put around 25 miles on the bike my first week.. Nothing bit.. Current weight is at 308.

txvintage 11-08-09 10:44 PM

Welcome delyosius!

I'm at work so your bike pics are blocked/filtered, but I have never met a Masi I didn't like!

Don't get too caught up in distance and speed, the idea is seat time and being active. Every time you go out you are being more active than were before you got the bike. The key to conditioning and weight loss is consistancy. In the beginning it is much better to measure your rides in terms of time, such as I rode for 45 miutes or half an hour, or an hour.

Speed and distance are a by product of the effort.

delyosius 11-09-09 06:11 PM

I realized today that I was eating way less than I should be. So i upped my diet to around 1500 calories. Took only a 6mile ride today at around 14 mph. I did some math and found that I was only eating 500-700 calories a day. I know that's bad for me. I upped it to nearly 1400 today. I'm just not sure how to really get the calories in. I've lost my appetite somewhat since I've been walking and biking. I was at 306 this morning. I went to the doctor and found that my heart rate and blood pressure was a bit on the high side.. but it was ok. The EKG he gave me came back fine as well.

ps. Don't mind my posts. Sorta my online journal in which people can comment if they'd like.

gamecock 11-10-09 04:52 AM

Nothing happens until you do something, duh, and you're doing it--way to go. I restarted last May, and I know people are tired of my saying that, but have gotten down to 212 from 242. I'm 58 had some chest pain last March. I went cheap with a Trek 7.2 FX hybrid, and it's comfortable with my 1972 Ideale 39 saddle. I've decided that if I'm going to live longer than my dad, who died at 68, I'm going to have to ride, ride, ride so I ordered a Rivendell Sam Hilleford that I plan to ride to Seattle from East Tennessee. Like you, I use the forum to stay motivated, and maybe help someone else.

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