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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.

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Old 02-07-10, 02:30 PM   #1
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Many Questions about Overweight Cycling with a Tandem

Hello there,

I've been cycling for a while now, averaging 600 miles a year. I'm 6'1" and 200 lbs and eager to share the joy of cycling.

My friend and I have been talking about tandem cycling for the future, and we need some help. He is 5'7" and currently weighs 320 lbs. His goal is to get down to 300 in the next two months with a another goal down the way of 250 lbs.He's been working hard at it, and I have every confidence he'll make it. We want to exercise together and share some cycling fun.

If we were to look into tandem cycling what weight should he work towards before we start into this? I know almost any weight can work, but realistically, what would be enjoyable for him? Are there bikes that can hold up to our combined weight, do we just need upgraded tires and a larger seat for him, or do we need to have something custom built (which is an option for us)? Is there a special kind of seat to look for? My seat is designed for butt-bone support, but does his wider size mean he needs something more of a bigger saddle?

What can we expect for his performance when he is so far overweight? If he can walk 5 miles then he can ride 5 miles? Ride 2 miles? Ride more? Should he be able to jog a bit before ever thinking about getting on a bicycle? Are there are resources for overweight cycling?

What about dietary concerns for someone overweight and cycling? I like to eat half a granola bar every 30 minutes and finish a ride with a sports drink or chocolate milk. These things seem to be in opposition of the good food my friend has been eating to get into shape.

What about cycling clothes for someone his size? Do they sell bibs for large people? If so, do you just order them online and hope they fit and look right? What are some other pitfalls we might run into?

Thank you,

Tom / Doc4

// This is a partial repost from the Tandem forum
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Old 02-07-10, 03:16 PM   #2
Tom Stormcrowe
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Bibs for large folk:

Same for Jerseys or Lovet2pedal also has Clyde sizes available.

As to the bike, don't sweat it. A tandem is built for it, just don't get one of the cheap Ebay import tandems, as they will have cruddy wheels and a lot of frame flex.
. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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Old 02-07-10, 03:34 PM   #3
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The Cannondale tandem guide gives a weight limit of 500 pounds - 575 combined riders and luggage - I would say that you would have no weight worries.

Tandems are fun and a good tandem is well worth the cash - my first tandem rides were in 1976 on some fancy road tandem and I was in the back and terrified.
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