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lina4lina 09-04-16 05:00 AM

I'm new here but I wanted to say Thank you to all those heavy riders out there! I was thinking that I needed to lose weight before I tried riding a bike again. I decided to look into bikes to see if I was over the weight limit (I wasn't), went to a bike shop, tried a few bikes and bought a bike. If I hadn't seen other examples, I would've never done it.

kevlar_heart 02-28-17 07:28 PM

My Daily Reflection
I read this thread every day to keep me on the road. Just bought a new in box 2016 Cannondale CAADX Ultegra to spice up my riding. I've had a Trek 7200 for years and still have my back up criterium bike (Specialized Allez) from 1989. I set up the new bike myself, and the LBS Cannondale dealer was fairly impressed with my efforts (yeah I took it in after 100 miles to make sure, and to ask for help finding my best riding position/setup).

Every day I do a little tinkering on all the bikes then hit the road. It's early season so I'm feeling overwhelmed by my lack of lung power in when in doubt I get off the bike and walk it. It's painfully obvious that weight bench arm and leg strength do not directly correlate to riding fitness. Technology is new to me as well, but that just means more to putter with and learn.

My friend, who is both taller and much larger than I am is training for triathlons. He's been competing for several years, and started off just like me. He says to me "whatever it takes to get you on the bike do it...and if that doesn't work, try something else." I'm not aiming for tris, just to get out on the road and local bike paths for fun and fitness.

DjDavo 04-04-17 04:36 PM

Originally Posted by Tailor (Post 17279916)
This post was going to be standalone, but I realized it would fit nicely into this one. It is inspired by those posts I've read from folks who for a variety of reasons are unsure about starting to ride, embarrassed about how they look, worried about being made fun of. Worried about getting on a bike and crushing it like a pop can.

An open letter to those clydes and athenas thinking about starting or returning to riding.

Do it. Do it, and then stick with it. Seriously. Just stick with it. The rest of the post is long and rambling, you could totally just stop reading here if you like.

Next week it will be one year ago that I had just moved from sea level to 4500' above. It was a move the family had wanted to make for over 10 years so we took the opportunity when it presented itself. That said, I was also well over 400lbs, (my scale stopped at 440) had only been able to walk.. well, hobble around for a couple of months after having been off my feet for 3 years due to a massive foot trauma and associated re-constructive surgeries. During one of the last conversations with my podiatric surgeon before moving, I complained that without even being able to walk, it seemed like no matter what I did I gained weight (and to be fair it IS hard to keep weight off if you cant even stand up, but its not an excuse, I wasn't a light weight before the server rack fell on my foot, IT can be pretty sedentary if you let it be). He mentioned off hand that my foot could probably handle an exercise bike if I took it slow.

His words stuck with me and after moving. Once I got thinking about it, I remembered how much I used to love riding my bike when I was younger. So I ordered a bike online during a black friday sale and received it late December.. Wont mention the site name, but the bike is a motobecane 9 iron elite (Its actually NOT a good commuter for various reasons, but it has held up under me very well). I can honestly say this thing has really stood up to my probably WAY over the limit weight. I've gone from none to many bikes for many purposes since then, but its still my main goto commuter now that I've modified it a bit here and there for my needs. Looking back, if I had found a way to ride during my 3 years off my feet, I might not have gained so much weight in the first place.

It had been a long time since I rode a bike. when I stopped riding (my last bike being circa '94ish), hydraulic disc brakes.. constant variable transmissions, belt drives, gas shocks.. these were future tech that people were talking about. It was kind of sad, I used to run a bike shop, but this bike had enough stuff I'd never worked on (or even seen before) that I took it in for final assembly and adjustment. My LBS was super helpful and while I didn't buy the bike there, I've certainly paid them a pretty penny since in various purchases.

That first ride. less than a mile at what was probably a ridiculously slow pace and I seriously wondered if I was about to die. My hands hurt, my butt hurt. my legs hurt, my lungs burned, my everything hurt.

A few weeks of riding every chance I got and I was able to make it several miles in a row.

I got permission from a coworker to park my bike in his backyard, and do a partial bike commute. At the time I still drove the other 25 miles each way. My bike commute at the time was only about 5 miles a day, but at first that 5 miles was a killer. Now days I wish I had a further place to start from, and I end up riding at max intensity for short periods to gain some HIIT benefits.

Without too many boring details, less than a year later I've dropped a fair bit of weight ( over 100 lbs, but I don't know how much exactly), I ride all the way to work a couple times a month (I just don't have time to ride 65 miles every day), do the hybrid commute the rest of the time.

I've still got a long way to go, but its hard to even compare where I was, vs how I am now.

I didn't really have a point, I just read a few posts from people who seemed like they were on the fence about starting to ride, or riding to work, etc, and felt inspired to write this up.

So for those clydes or athena's wondering if you should, wondering if you can handle it, don't wonder, just start riding the distances you can handle, and work toward those you cannot.

That's a fantastic story! I'm still well over 400...but have lost 25-30 lbs so far (i hate weighing's about how i feel). I've only had the bike for a little over a month and been able to ride about 3 x a week (because of crappy Michigan weather), but it's already changed my life.

Ride on, Athena's and Clyde's! And check craigslist. always check craigslist. ::thumb:

deaninkl 04-04-17 07:56 PM

As a kid growing up i was not fat, "old" average meaning lean I'd guess.. I say "old" because I these days average in school is definitely overweight..

These are the weights I can remember (i'm 5'9")... at 22 leaving the UK to go overseas I was 71kg, at 27 I was a very lean 62kg...

Well into my thirties I was still OK, but Asian food, entertaining and never ending flow of beer has its affects...

China in 1990 I was 83kg, Shanghai China 1998 I was 87kg.... then in 2005 I was 96kg.... I stayed around that for a long while then this January I measured myself and was a record 103kg..

Something had to give... So out came the bike... and up the hill I went... It has been a big struggle, I bought this bike, a very nice Giant TCR Alluxx SL in 2001, its a 2009 model, I knew nothing about bikes and the shop was closing down it was cheap at about 500 USD... so i took it... then I changed jobs and worked away, so the bike never got used..

Now I realize I have a semi race bike, that is geared for fast flat roads: 53/39 on the front and 12-26 on the back.. I'm riding in the hills, steep hills, my 15km uphill ride climes 581m in elevation, (the ride back down is sweet..).

So I have just spent the last week learning about gearing.. the good news is that my times for the ride have come down from 2h 25min up and 37 min down to 1h 45min up and 30 min down. The assemble knowledge of this furum have told me my gearing is way to high and I need to sort that out... so will tray and start that process next weekend.

Since January 1st I'm down to 95.5kg (16lb loss), I'm not going crazy, watching what i eat, couple of hour walks in the week, limiting beer (need to anyway regardless of weight)... drinking self made juices.... getting more veg and less meat... just sensible stuff.

I did take some before pictures.. so will do a before and after When I'm below 93 which is one of my psychological goals. Shame I didn't do it years ago..but I dont mind being the slowest on the hill, as long as I get to the top.

FNJORD 04-06-17 07:41 AM

Originally Posted by borobike (Post 12708545)
I'll say this...anytime I see someone on the large side doing something physical (be it walking, running, or biking) I think/say to myself 'good on you for trying to do something about it'. I suspect the vast majority of people do the same.

Me too. I am on the very large side for a woman. Last summer I saw the biggest person I'd ever seen on a bike (400+ lbs in my estimation) riding by on a road bike in full spandex and the only thought I had was awe and amazement at how wonderful it was that he was making the effort to be out there doing that. :love:

I feel self conscious about the rolls in tight spandex tops so wear things on the looser side up top, but love bib shorts and they do so much for the comfort of the ride. My mother is a triathlete and hyper critical of any gram of bodyweight beyond emaciated, so is my father except he's morbidly obese and sedentary. I can easily keep up with her and her half-ironman friends in the tri-club on the bike despite being more than twice her weight so..... Just so there.

racer83l 06-21-17 01:17 PM

my opinion, the only thing embarrassing about being overweight is doing nothing about it.

crockettlarry 07-02-17 08:28 PM

Originally Posted by Mithrandir (Post 12845043)
Well I'll figure out what to get. Anyway back on the original topic...

So this weekend I did a charity ride and time-wise I did really well; coming in very near first (no official placements were recorded, but if my counts are correct I estimate I was around 7th out of ~400-500 people). People along the route were always expressing amazement at how fast I was going and how well I was doing. I felt good. I felt normal for once.

Then they release the pics of the event. Here's me crossing the finish line (you can see I'm way ahead of people 1/3 my size ;))

But here's the thing. This picture (and others from the event) has disheartened me. I look at it and suddenly realise how utterly ridiculous I look on a bike. I know I shouldn't care, but damn. I have suddenly become embarrassed again. I felt like I weighed 100 pounds less than I look. I never realised I looked so damn big still. Argh... I don't know.

I think I need some moral support right now.

I realize this is a very old post, but dood.... You Rock!

I usually get bored with very long threads but I have found this one to be very interesting and inspiring.

deaninkl 07-09-17 10:04 PM

I'm only XL by US standards at about 97Kg (213Lbs), but, I live in a land where cyclists are mostly at the 50Kg mark, many even less... So I stand out like a fat guy in a Chinese Yoga class... but I'm out there, and hats off to the big guys, I'm inspired by seeing Clydes on bikes. I rarely pass anyone, but I can do 50km rides, and being only a few degrees off the equator its a little hot.... just get out there, do it enough and we will all get lighter and fitter.

keriinmsp 07-12-17 09:23 PM

i am about 300lbs and have a 1994 Giant Innova. i haven't rode it in years . do you think that it would be suitable for me or should i look into getting a different bike? the tires are old and will have to be replaced if the bike is good enough, what should i look for in wheels/tires?

thanks for any and all help.

deaninkl 07-13-17 11:08 PM

Originally Posted by keriinmsp (Post 19714909)
i am about 300lbs and have a 1994 Giant Innova. i haven't rode it in years . do you think that it would be suitable for me or should i look into getting a different bike? the tires are old and will have to be replaced if the bike is good enough, what should i look for in wheels/tires?

thanks for any and all help.

My advice is to take your Innova to a local shop and have them change the tires and service the bike, or if you can do it yourself that no problem. These are sturdy steel bikes and should have no issues with your 300 Lbs, ride it a while and up-grade should you want to. Personally I love the older steel bikes, and when you are 300 Lbs (or 220 like me) having a bike that weighs 24 Lbs or 18 Lbs is meaningless and not worth the money.

Limiting factor on these older bikes is changing out parts, your gearing will probably be a 6 or 7 speed cassette so you have a more limited choice should you need lower gearing for the hills, but its out there, just have to look. I run two bikes with 8 speed cassettes and have no trouble getting parts online and cheap.

Get it serviced and just ride it. I started in February and did a 100km day in April... and have discovered new fun.

good luck.

keriinmsp 07-16-17 04:20 AM

thanks for the info - much appreciated!

Yag Kosha 09-05-17 07:56 AM

Yes, I am about to buy a new bike soon and I know I am going to feel a little embarrassed at first. Just have to turn on 'not give a **** mode' hehe.

checoles 09-06-17 06:43 AM

I've recently piled weight on, going from 10st to 17st. it's effected my balance, my speed and knee's. Which is upsetting, to say the least. Hopefully I can carry on riding and pull some of that weight back. And like others on here, I do feel self-conscious about it.
I love riding fixed gear, and my aim is to get back on it and be able to ride it effortlessly like I used to.
I'm gonna use this post as a milestone, and see where I am in 6 months time.

Kudos to everyone who still gets out and doesn't let their weight get them down!


DRAGON 64 09-21-17 05:52 AM

Embarrassed here as well... As a kid, I was never without my bike, a single-speed-whatever-model bike (model escapes me), and it was full speed everywhere I went. Now, at 53-tears old, and 298lbs to my credit, riding is not how I remembered it. After some recent health scares, I am working with my doctors to get busy living again (i.e. diet and exercise). I decided to start riding again, to change up on walking which I do 5-days a week already. I bought my Specialized Crossroads just this past Saturday, and I have ridden 3-times. Last nights ride I had installed one of those basic trip computers to show my speed and travel distance... I averaged a measly 7MPH and was whipped at 1.5 miles!!! Unless going downhill, I could barely manage 15MPH.

Please tell me I will get better, or it gets better!

jimincalif 09-21-17 07:06 AM

It gets better, starting back my first flat five mile ride left me thinking (hoping?) I would die. Three months later I was doing club rides up to 40 miles. Another 3 months to my first metric century. The rate of improvement in those first weeks was amazing. Ride 3-4 times per week. Push yourself a bit on one ride, push harder on two of them and go easy on one. Mix it up. Good luck.

travbikeman 09-24-17 06:38 PM

Originally Posted by DRAGON 64 (Post 19877020)
Please tell me I will get better, or it gets better!

It does get better if you stick to it. After a couple of months you will realize how much you will have improved.

I still remember for myself several hills that I could not make it up when first starting and had to walk the bike up. Now it's more of a challenge on how quickly I can ride up hills like this.

Flanntastic 09-26-17 10:31 AM

I still have trouble climbing, as i always want to ride in the saddle, is that something iother struggle with?

teebox 09-28-17 12:42 PM

56 yrs old, 5'7", 250 lbs... F'em if they don't like what I am wearing... I am well past giving a rats ass what people I don't know want to think about me. Also, if I took the time to point out the people wearing yoga pants, leggings that do not look good on the person or count how many beer bellies I see hanging out from under t-shirts, I would not have time for work....

I go out and I ride, I enjoy it, I am getting exercise, maintaining flexibility, etc, etc... so if a couch potato in a car on their way to McDonald's wants to laugh at me... again, F'em... I think a lot of the remarks are made by people as a cover because they know they should probably be on a bike, or at a gym, or walking in a park instead of just sitting around doing nothing.

One of the benefits I have noticed that comes with age is just not caring anymore about what other people think... enjoy your life the way you want to...

ill.clyde 09-29-17 09:05 AM

Originally Posted by Flanntastic (Post 19888314)
I still have trouble climbing, as i always want to ride in the saddle, is that something iother struggle with?

I ride many hills in the saddle these days ... I'm from a flat area originally, and the area I live in now is very hilly. For long, gradual hills I just gear down and spin up the hill ... if I'm in rollers I usually coast til I feel like I'm losing momentum then I'll stand to get myself over the top, before coasting down the other side again.

There's no right or wrong answer. Whatever gets you to the top.

SethAZ 10-11-17 02:06 AM

Originally Posted by Flanntastic (Post 19888314)
I still have trouble climbing, as i always want to ride in the saddle, is that something iother struggle with?

There's nothing wrong with climbing in the saddle. If you have low enough gears keep shifting down and then just spin your way up the hills.

Btw, to the guy who had that old Innova bike and wanted to know if he could ride it, sure, I agree with the guy about taking it in and having it serviced, but my advice would be to find the largest tires that will fit on it, and put those on. Wider tires at lower pressure are actually a good thing in general, but for a really heavy person who is starting to ride they are a very good thing.

Btw, I used to be 380 lbs back in 2009. Spent most of the last seven years fluctuating between 265 and 285 or so. Recently got back over 300 while not actively cycling for the last two years. Got my bike ready and have been riding again for two months now and it's melting back off, and the mileage is piling back up.

Whatever embarassment I maybe should have felt at being the older fat guy who showed up for the Sunday morning group rides was more than made up for in smugness when I took off with the "A" group, and then pulled more than my fair share and totally held my own within the group.

I'd say don't give a flying crap what anyone thinks about your body's appearance. Buy the spandex, the bib shorts and jersey, etc. and start riding. The riding garb is worn by cyclists because it's better than anything else they could be wearing instead. Who cares if it hugs your body and makes you look fat. You know what really makes you look fat? Being fat! And you know what helps you not look fat? Putting the cycling garb on, getting on your bike, and laying down some miles (and eating carefully).

I can maybe jog slowly for 20 minutes. If I do it longer than that very many times my knees will get sore and I'll have problems. I can ride my bike, however, for 2-4 hours at a time. Which do you think is going to help me lose more weight? Jogging 8 miles a week? Or cycling 150-200 miles?

Tigerdogg78 02-25-18 09:35 PM

I'm 340 and just got a bike will start riding this upcoming week. I've set a goal to lose 125 lbs. This may take a few years but I hope to make cycling a hobby for many years to come after I lose the weight. I'm new here but reading the posts on here have really helped me overcome some of my unnecessary worries.

Milton Keynes 02-26-18 04:51 PM

Originally Posted by Tigerdogg78 (Post 20191375)
I'm 340 and just got a bike will start riding this upcoming week. I've set a goal to lose 125 lbs. This may take a few years but I hope to make cycling a hobby for many years to come after I lose the weight. I'm new here but reading the posts on here have really helped me overcome some of my unnecessary worries.

Welcome and good luck on your weight loss journey. I'm sure you know already but make sure you modify your diet because cycling alone won't make you lose weight. Diet to lose weight, cycle to maintain fitness.

Gerry221 03-07-18 10:39 AM

Some great posts on here. Love reading them.

I too, am a heavy rider. When I started I was 24 stones. I now weigh just over 20 stone. Which is still heavy. But having dropped all that weight, I feel fantastic! It has been cycling that has done this for me. I love it!!!! Wish I had done it 30 years ago.

First time out I felt so self conscious. Went out on a 2nd hand hybrid - that was too small. Wearing joggers and t-shirt. Managed 2 mile and had to get off bike as I was about to collapse. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that only a few months later I would be doing 40 miles, wearing lycra, on a "proper" road bike and wearing clipless.

To all thos out there who feel they can't do it....or it is too hard. Or even just self it! You will never look back.

With regard to my weight and lifestyle, I have completely turned that around. Even though I am still heavy, I get out on bike. Every day I go out or on Zwift. Even if it is only for a few matter.

It's easy to sit on a sofa....

Gerry221 03-07-18 10:46 AM

Originally Posted by Tigerdogg78 (Post 20191375)
I'm 340 and just got a bike will start riding this upcoming week. I've set a goal to lose 125 lbs. This may take a few years but I hope to make cycling a hobby for many years to come after I lose the weight. I'm new here but reading the posts on here have really helped me overcome some of my unnecessary worries.

I know exactly what you are saying, buddy. I too was a 340lb guy. I am on same journey as you. I want to get to 16 stone, which is 224lbs. It is a long road, as you say. But it is one I will be doing on my bike. I am now at 20 stone. Half way there. Although I don't know you, I am proud of you. As I know how hard it is. I know how you are feeling. Do not let anyone put you off or discourage you. You have took the first step, which is hardest one.

I am with you 100% bud....go for it!

Please feel free to PM me. Anytime. I too am a novice cyclist, but I am learning every day.

Well done!

Sillyak 04-08-18 11:48 AM

I started riding last August. Weighed 222 lbs (I'm 6 foot) lost 25 lbs in 3 months. I didn't do any riding in the winter and gained a small bit of weight back (200 now). Weather is getting nice again so I am going to get back out on the bike. I have a 160 km gran fondo booked at the end of June.

I don't care much about what strangers think of my spandex and road bike, despite living in a red neck area; but, I'm pretty self conscious about what my co-workers think. None have seen me out for a ride but 5 of us live within one block so it's just a matter of time. It's an odd thing to worry about but I work in a red neck industry (oilfield) and pretty much all of my coworkers criticize and rip on one another mercilessly. It's a pretty unhealthy environment when everyone is at the shop on the best of days.

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