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.

Where to begin?

Old 01-15-12, 10:52 PM
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claudius753
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Where to begin?

So first, some stats. I'm a "clydesdale" (just learned that term ), 6' tall and right now I weigh 360 pounds (down 15 from a few months ago at least!). I'll never be under 200 pounds I think, I'm just sort of a big guy all around.

I'm looking for some activity I can do to help lose weight. I don't like going to the gym or working out in a building. I also can't do jogging due to a recurring injury that I would aggravate if I did (achilles). I'm thinking of biking. Seems fun, I get to be outside instead of cooped up in a gym, I get exercise, and I think it would be fairly easy on the achilles.

So with all that said, where do I go from here? How do I know what bike to look at that can handle my fat behind? Is it doable on a budget? I don't have a whole lot of spare money to work with and don't want to drop mega bucks on something to start out.

I'd appreciate any input you experts might have I'm going to continue going through threads on this board as well.
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Old 01-15-12, 11:00 PM
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Neil_B
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You can get a hybrid or mountain bike new for about 400 and up. Used, depending on the bike, can be a lot less.

Where do you want to ride? Paved and fine gravel paths and trails? Look at a hybrid or a mountain bike. Serious "offroad"? Get a mountain bike. Strictly roads and paved paths? Get a hybrid or a road bike.

BTW, I'm your height, was once your weight, and here I am with my hybrid:

 
Old 01-15-12, 11:06 PM
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Since you are new to it, I'd suggest starting with a mountain bike or hybrid. They are made to pound on. Most good bikes are pretty tough and the wheels and frame can handle a lot of weight. I mostly ride a Bianchi road bike, and it held up just fine when I was up to 286 earlier this year. (I'm somewhere around 227 now).

I'd suggest going to your local bike shop, you'll pay a bit more than at a mart, but you will get your money's worth and get a good bike that will hold up and perform well. Any of the bike store brands are good bikes. Trek, Giant, Fuji, Raleigh, etc. The shop staff will be able to offer specific advice. With a new bike, you are probably looking at $300 to start at the low end. You can do better on a good clearance sale or a used bike. Don't forget a helmet!
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Old 01-15-12, 11:06 PM
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Go to a local bike shop and talk with them, ask the same questions, have a budget in mind and test ride lots of bikes to see which is comfortable. Do not buy any thing yet. go out the following week to a different bike shop and try a bunch of bikes and see which is most comfortable.

I like to suggest a touring bike but that might be the wrong style of riding for you. But touring bikes can handle wider tires, have a lower gearing, 36 spoke wheels and are designed to carry heavier weights.

The same could be said about mountain bikes.
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Old 01-16-12, 08:58 AM
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Alot of bikes will take your weight. I weigh alittle more than you and ride a Giant Cypress DX and just bought (1/2/12) a Cannondale Cyclocross bike. I did have spoke issues with the Giant but only after 5 years of riding. I rode the Giant across Kansas in the annual Bike Across Kansas event - 500 miles in a week. The bike performed well even though its not designed to be a touring bike.

Here is a list of things to remember when looking for a bike:
1. The first bike you get probably will not be your last.
2. Front fork shocks can be scary at our size. I locked my Cypress forks out to try to avoid the problem.
3. All seats may be uncomfortable for a period of time. A big seat may look comfortable but later you may go the other direction.
4. Alot of people here started with a used bike and got their feet wet so to speak.
5. Multiuse paths are a fun way to ride without the worry of traffic.
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Old 01-16-12, 11:16 AM
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It is worth doing it becomes addicting and before you know it the bike will be part of you.
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Old 01-16-12, 11:46 AM
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Tell us what your budget is so we can talk you into spending more. Most of us have several bikes. I have three now. I started with a Trek 7300. I then bought a Giant Sedona for conversion to an E-Bike as I have a proven lack of impulse control for Motor Cycles. (It replaced a Kawasaki KLR 650) This summer I bought a Trek 4.5 Madone for road bike. At 6' and 360 you may have some problems with a road bike unless you're a young pup. I'd tend to steer you towards a Hybrid like Neil's Fx. No front suspension. If you keep riding your taste in bikes will change.
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Old 01-16-12, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jethro56 View Post
Tell us what your budget is so we can talk you into spending more. Most of us have several bikes. I have three now. I started with a Trek 7300. I then bought a Giant Sedona for conversion to an E-Bike as I have a proven lack of impulse control for Motor Cycles. (It replaced a Kawasaki KLR 650) This summer I bought a Trek 4.5 Madone for road bike. At 6' and 360 you may have some problems with a road bike unless you're a young pup. I'd tend to steer you towards a Hybrid like Neil's Fx. No front suspension. If you keep riding your taste in bikes will change.
I have that same disease... But I like it - VFR800
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Old 01-16-12, 01:54 PM
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Thanks for the replies so far, appreciate it! As for some of the questions:

I would be riding on paved surfaces or maybe gravel paths, but no mountain bike type stuff like jumping off walls and the like. At least not yet

As for age, I don't know that I'm considered a "young pup" anymore, I certainly don't feel it , but I'm 27.

Budget is something I don really have yet, for two reasons. Firstly I don't know what a proper budget would be for a beginner bike, and secondly it will also depend on what the tax refund looks like.
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Old 01-16-12, 02:11 PM
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IMO, you should be prepared to spend at least $400-$500, and if you can afford more, so much the better.
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Old 01-16-12, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by claudius753 View Post
Thanks for the replies so far, appreciate it! As for some of the questions:
I would be riding on paved surfaces or maybe gravel paths, but no mountain bike type stuff like jumping off walls and the like. At least not yet
As for age, I don't know that I'm considered a "young pup" anymore, I certainly don't feel it , but I'm 27.
Budget is something I don really have yet, for two reasons. Firstly I don't know what a proper budget would be for a beginner bike, and secondly it will also depend on what the tax refund looks like.
Start used, I did.

http://frederick.craigslist.org/bik/2759668132.html
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Old 01-16-12, 10:20 PM
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claudius753
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how do you know where I live?

I'm certainly opened to used, I've been recommended a Trek something or other from a friend.
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Old 01-16-12, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by claudius753 View Post
how do you know where I live?

I'm certainly opened to used, I've been recommended a Trek something or other from a friend.
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Old 01-17-12, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by claudius753 View Post
how do you know where I live?

I'm certainly opened to used, I've been recommended a Trek something or other from a friend.
Have fun shopping for your Trek.
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Old 01-17-12, 12:41 PM
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A decent brand, midrange hybrid will suit you. If money is tight and you need excercise, then you need a bike that you can use for running errands and maybe commuting to work. Commuting solves the whole issue of will power.
A good general purpose/commuter bike will need threaded eyelets so you can bolt on a rear luggage rack and fenders.
Get the right size to fit you.
Budget for any accessories such as lock, lights, helmet, rack/fender, repair kit.
If you decide to go for a used bike, look for something with little wear.
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Old 01-17-12, 01:52 PM
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Too bad you're not near Dallas...I'm in the midst of thinning the Bike Herd.
Good luck.
We're all pulling for you!
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Old 01-17-12, 05:55 PM
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I started out on a Huffy, 10 speed road bike. I didn't know any cyclists and the internet wasn't available (to me). That bike was slow, heavy, not properly tuned, had lousy brakes, bent rims and it was loud. I didn't know it because if was my first new bike (that also had oil on the chain). I remember when I worked my way up to a 10 mile ride. I think 15 or 20 miles was the most I did on that bike. I loved it! I credit that bike with introducing me to cycling.

I upgraded to a bike shop bike......then another....then another.......and so on.

Not all bike shops are good. Some just want to sell you a bike. Some will make you feel you are not worthy to be on a bike (bike snobs), some frown on you if you can't afford their bikes..........and then there are the good ones. They understand that not everyone will buy their bikes. They know if they treat you well and you get into biking, you may be a life long customer.

If you have a friend who knows about bikes/biking. See if he/she would be willng to help. Most cyclists love the sport and would be willing to assist.

Used bikes are a great way to save $$ and try the sport out.

If the bike shop bikes are out of your price range and used bikes don't work for you, then a store like Sports Authority, Dicks, etc., would be an option. Some of thier bikes are good for a first time rider. Don't buy the cheap ones. Be prepared to have a bike shop tune it. Some kid, making minimum wage, put it together. Stay away from Walmart and Kmart.

It sounds like you are doing the research and will figure it out. The bottom line is to ride. Give it 6 to 8 weeks. You'll know by then if you are hooked.

Good luck!
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Old 01-17-12, 08:58 PM
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I started out on a 2003 Trek 7300 when I weighed about 375 and road that thing for about 4000 miles lost 80 lbs and then bought a road bike. I still have this bike use it as a commuter and rebuilt it a couple of years ago. Great bike. Good luck finding what you need to get on a healthy path.
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Old 01-18-12, 12:09 AM
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As the above said , they all give better advice than me ,

Only thing i will add from my experience , is with a trek Mountain bike first thing is order some different tires.
I found the stock ones to be to soft and weak for the amount of glass, rocks and other sharp things around my area. went to a set of maxis overdrives i think they are seem very good so far. ( this assumes you are riding roads/paths not mountain goat stuff)

Oh Patch kits,tyre leavers and small pump /co2 do not forget them they are your best friend with out them it is a long walk home.
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Old 01-18-12, 09:37 PM
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I'm still thinking used, but man oh man this thing looks so sweet:



Maybe some day...
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Old 01-18-12, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by claudius753 View Post
I'm a "clydesdale" (just learned that term ), 6' tall and right now I weigh 360 pounds

I'm looking for some activity I can do to help lose weight.

I don't like going to the gym or working out in a building.

I also can't do jogging due to a recurring injury that I would aggravate if I did (achilles).
the biggest component of weight loss will come from changing your eating habits, the rest from exercise.

at your size, running is a bad idea. i'm not a fan of running because it's puts too much wear and tear on your joints.

finding a means of exercise that you see as fun is a great idea. you'll be more likely to exercise regularly if it's fun. i recommend taking it easy and not trying to ride your ass off soon as you start. weight loss and life change is a marathon, not a sprint. as time goes on and as your weight comes off, your endurance will increase and you'll take longer rides.
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