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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 02-10-13, 07:50 AM   #51
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...That style of bike is also very limited in scope of use. I do want to state that I am a big supporter of bike share programs for green reasons and general public health concerns, but how many people would choose those public share bikes for daily personal use?
By bike share, do you mean public rental bikes such as Velibs? The Velib bikes in Paris get used by Parisiens every day. I saw men and women in suits, pedalling off to the office on them. They don't want to lug a bike downstairs from their apartment every morning or worry about it being stolen while at work, so they just buy a yearly subscription card and use the nearest Velib station.
Come to think of it, those bikes would probably work quite well for the O.P.s purposes. Strong frame, deep step through, easy enough to add gears in the form of a hub gear. If I were going to recommend a bike to someone who hadn't ridden in years and was intimidated both by gearing and by getting on, something like this would be on my list. Especially the hub gearing. Very easy to use, especially in traffic, so less intimidating to complete novices.
The Breezer Uptown LS comes closest to this design.
http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/de...uptown_8_ls_us
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Old 02-10-13, 09:42 AM   #52
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Unless university level projects have changed a lot since I was in school (think quill and ink) practical application is a significant part of the final analysis and grade. After all, the purpose of university study is to prepare you for a career in the real world.

You are absolutely right about the bike share programs though. Most of them are geared toward college students and other short distance commuters which has limited crossover to the morbidly obese looking for a way to improve fitness. That style of bike is also very limited in scope of use. I do want to state that I am a big supporter of bike share programs for green reasons and general public health concerns, but how many people would choose those public share bikes for daily personal use?
While bike share bikes certainly aren't ideal to race in a tour de france, without a doubt, they are designed to be durable because the not so nice general public will be using them. The ones that come to mind off the bat are the ones in Washington D.C. they are step thru frames and the ones that are going to be launching here in NYC are also going to be step through frames. These bikes are designed to be tough and to last, not only so they don't have to be replaced often, but also for liability purposes i'm sure. While it would be nice to be able to take a bike that looks just like the latest and greatest Cervelo and say "here you go morbidly obese person, your perfect bike" it's simply not feasible. At some point the morbidly obese do need to swallow some pride and acknowledge that the ideal bike to get them moving and improving their health, may not be the coolest looking thing out there. Form follows function, not the other way around. Things like internally geared hubs are also a great option for keeping the bike simple and is something that ALL people new to cycling could potentially find useful.

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Old 02-10-13, 12:13 PM   #53
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The idea of being able to rent or lease a bike why you lose weight is not a bad one. Then when the rider has lost the weight they can return the bike and get a better one, that matches there riding better.
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Old 02-10-13, 12:25 PM   #54
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Greetings Bike Forum’s members:
Our goal is to design and build a better bike for largely obese individuals(Upwards of 350 lbs). We are a group of 3 undergraduate students at the University of Colorado Boulder working with Prof. Rodger Kram. We call ourselves the “BIG BIKE” project. We need all the help we can get from real life people who have experienced the hassles of riding a bike unintended for obese riders. Here are some of the issues we need your opinions, complaints, and experiences to create the best bicycle possible:


1) Strength of the bicycle (all aspects)
2) Seat comfort
3) Gearing
4) Brakes
5) Tires/Wheels
6) Aches/Discomfort/Pain associated with riding


FYI, I am an avid bicyclist and hope to go into the profession of Physical Therapy post graduation. Any contributions or opinions about these issues are greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,
Gabe Kowalsky ([email protected])


May I suggest starting with the tires.
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Old 02-10-13, 03:03 PM   #55
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Let me offer up some additional comments:
1) In additional to dealing with weight variations, you have height variations. It may not be obvious, but if you're, say, 5'-10", you can go down to Walmart and buy a bike and it'll fit you reasonably well. And if you're 6'-2", it just won't. So to complicate the supply of frames, you have deal with larger/smaller frames as well.
2) If you are actually designing the bike, you'd want to establish an upper bound as well. That may be limited by something mundane like the available seatposts, cranks, pedals, or brakes. Or may be limited by finding out that nobody weighing over, say, 600 lbs, has ever ridden a 2-wheel bike (I'm just guessing at what that limit would be, I haven't taken a poll.) However, that maximum weight will determine a lot of the design parameters for the product.
3) Bikes aren't normally built for 400-lb people, but they are quite commonly built for 400-lb teams, so research tandem wheels as a source of additional components. (Main difference: I think tandem rear wheels are wider, so you build the frame wider to handle them.)
4) A question to consider is how many people weighing over 350 lbs have put a lot of miles on a bike at that weight? I'm sure it's been done. But I would guess most riders of that weight range either don't ride very much, or they give up riding, or they lose weight and fall out of that weight range. So something along the lines of a bike rental program may make more sense that actually designing a bike. And designing a $2,000 bike may be very limited in returns due to those kinds of issues.
5) You can make a bike from steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber, whatever, and make it as strong or as weak as you'd like. One consideration you may want to look at, though, is your available labor and materials. When I was in college, our ME lab had guys there that could weld. Could they weld aluminum, titanium, anything you put in front of them using any process whatever? I kind of doubt that, they were skilled, but not skilled in every conceivable way. Then also, how available is oddball gauge titanium tube? Or do you have the means to heat-treat a frame after welding? Working out what is and isn't feasable for materials, labor, and processes may vastly simplify the choices of what to use. For a production bike, you'd need to visit with the people in Taiwan that build production bikes.
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Old 02-11-13, 02:09 PM   #56
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Thanks for your response! You have a great point
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Old 02-11-13, 02:12 PM   #57
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This is exactly what we were thinking. Nobody wants to stand out, we will keep that in mind- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:15 PM   #58
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This is a great point. Right now it is a hot topic weather a person would rather be seen struggling to mount a double diamond or be seen riding a step through. Aluminum may be the way to go. Thanks for your time- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:18 PM   #59
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Thank yo for your response. This is just the king of feedback we were looking for- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:19 PM   #60
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This is true! We are a school project. Thanks for seeing our vision- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:21 PM   #61
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Thank you for your input. The last thing we want to do is offend anyone. I'll check out the podcast. - Gabe
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Old 02-11-13, 02:25 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Gravity Aided View Post
I was 6'5" and 400 + when I started lurking here and riding my Huffy Cruiser around looking for a better bike . 2-3 guys in my club started out the same way, so I never felt alone in my endeavor to lose weight riding a bike. I'm down in the 290's now, by no means finished but much better than before . I'll have to modify a lot of diet and exercise issues to get lower, but I have to. My case does not seem to be an exceptional one . I think your research , Gabe, can do a lot of people a lot of good . Keep up the good work , get some wheels under this project. Engineering, marketing and research are all good directions for you to explore at this juncture.
Thank you so much for your response. We hope this project will end up doing good for a lot of people- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:30 PM   #63
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Thank you for your response. This is exactly what we are looking for- BIG BIKE
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Old 02-11-13, 02:30 PM   #64
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keep us up to date, don't forget about us, some interesting stuff you guys got going on here!
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Old 02-17-13, 09:03 AM   #65
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May I suggest starting with the tires.
Aw, you beat me to it. I was looking at a Surley Moonlander yesterday and thought of this thread.
In many ways this is the perfect bike for the purpose, apart from price perhaps.
  1. Very wide bottom bracket means the cranks are far apart - great for preventing chafing between the thighs
  2. With a tire pressure of about 9 psi, can be ridden over practically anything without worry
  3. Not a bike that they'd outgrow, as it's extremely versatile and would still be useful long after the weight was lost.
I'm thinking of trading in my commuting bike for one, as we have few paved highways surrounding the city and it would greatly increase the number of cycling routes available.
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Old 10-25-13, 01:58 PM   #66
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Hi,

I'm 6ft 2, 588lbs and very mobile/agile for a person of my size/weight.

I would buy one of your BIGBIKEs - I've currently got 1000.00 burning a hole in my pocket because nobody seems to have the right idea of what kind of bike I can buy - any ideas?
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Old 10-05-17, 03:41 PM   #67
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Hi Fred,
I am interested in knowing if you can recommend a bike for a 15 yr old obese boy (guess he's like 80+ lbs over) He is a great kid and my son finally has a close friend for their HS years, as Frosh. My son is a bike enthusiast and we want to help his friend learn to ride and help him lose weight since his mom just told me he doesn't know how to ride a bike, and he's pre-diabetic.
I have a chance to get a Tri bike from CList. for $50 and take it to our local community Bike Kitchen. Is this a good choice? Or another recommendation? I just want him to have success.. he's VERY shy, and it takes a long time for him to warm up. For example, taking him to youth group first time, then he wouldn't return for over a month! .. blah.. lol. thanks bobbi
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Old 10-05-17, 07:04 PM   #68
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Hi Fred,
I am interested in knowing if you can recommend a bike for a 15 yr old obese boy (guess he's like 80+ lbs over) He is a great kid and my son finally has a close friend for their HS years, as Frosh. My son is a bike enthusiast and we want to help his friend learn to ride and help him lose weight since his mom just told me he doesn't know how to ride a bike, and he's pre-diabetic.
I have a chance to get a Tri bike from CList. for $50 and take it to our local community Bike Kitchen. Is this a good choice? Or another recommendation? I just want him to have success.. he's VERY shy, and it takes a long time for him to warm up. For example, taking him to youth group first time, then he wouldn't return for over a month! .. blah.. lol. thanks bobbi

80 lb over what? how much does he weight? What kind of riding is he going to be doing, road, paved trail, dirt trail?
tri bike as in triathalon? How tall is he? Whats your budget? $50, or were you just looking for a cheap deal. I wouldn't recommend a triathalon bike. Performance bike are build for just that, performance, not comfort, both in body position and gearing. He is going to want a more upright position bike. easier breathing, knees not hitting gut. think mountain bike or hybrid/city bike. they make skinny road tires for 26in mountain bikes for road riding. Personally, for trying to find a budget bike for your sons friend, I would get a c-list mountain bike in decent shape, preferably minimal shocks (none in back, none in front if possible), have the bike shop/kitchen check it out, and put some cheap road tires on it (think bmx, tread but not knobby). Make sure to start out easy, both distance and pace he is comfortable with and keep working it up. Make sure your son lets him lead and set the pace. Its gonna be tough starting out. Good luck. DO NOT GET A GIANT SEAT! They are usually uncomfortable, they put weight in all the wrong places and don't help. weight should be on sit bones. Make sure to hydrate and take some carbs in case he over does it and need a little boost. hope that helps, sorry, know its a lot.
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Old 10-06-17, 07:40 AM   #69
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Hi Fred,
I am interested in knowing if you can recommend a bike for a 15 yr old obese boy (guess he's like 80+ lbs over) He is a great kid and my son finally has a close friend for their HS years, as Frosh. My son is a bike enthusiast and we want to help his friend learn to ride and help him lose weight since his mom just told me he doesn't know how to ride a bike, and he's pre-diabetic.
I have a chance to get a Tri bike from CList. for $50 and take it to our local community Bike Kitchen. Is this a good choice? Or another recommendation? I just want him to have success.. he's VERY shy, and it takes a long time for him to warm up. For example, taking him to youth group first time, then he wouldn't return for over a month! .. blah.. lol. thanks bobbi
Not sure if the original poster is even checking this forum anymore. I would suggest taking the boy shopping and let him choose what he would like to ride. Have him look at the Craigs list bike in person and see if he would like it and actually ride it.

I've seen what my son is like with the bikes I would choose for him and frankly, he won't ride those. He wants to ride what he chooses. It's nice to give that choice to the kid so they want to ride.
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Old 10-06-17, 07:43 AM   #70
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I have a chance to get a Tri bike from CList. for $50 and take it to our local community Bike Kitchen. Is this a good choice?
No. Not the sort of frame geometry you want to have when teaching someone to ride.
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Old 10-06-17, 02:38 PM   #71
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You can peruse the list of threads of people who are >350 (pick a number) and a common theme is "I don't have a lot of money to spend on a bike" so keep that in mind.
Salient point. Couple of things...

Work with doctors. Bikes can be a qualified medical expense for tax purposes if your doctor says it is. So sell that way. If my HSA/tax deductions will help pay for a new bike, then cost becomes less an issue.

Comfort matters, especially for fat people. For really obese people, just getting their bodies moving is a giant leap forward, so focus on building a comfortable bike. All the fancy stuff in the universe on a bike makes no difference if no one rides it, and if I'm uncomfortable just walking up a flight of stairs, parking my wide butt on a standard bike saddle is going to turn me off riding for good. So focus on the saddle and upright geometry.
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Old 10-06-17, 07:10 PM   #72
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I'd say this is more of a theoretical project and mot something that would work in the real world; too small a market, and other bicycle companies already produce products that fit this 'niche.' My take on Clydesdales: As a daily bicycle commuter (rehab'd 1977 Schwinn), I get a lot of inquiries at work from folks who are overweight and out-of-shape about buying a bicycle for exercise. I tell them its a combo of diet modification and exercise, and recommend they start with a better-quality beach cruiser (not a Walmart cruiser!) with a rear deurailler (so speed and exertion can be varied). Dilligently record what you're eating and change up your diet accordingly, take rides on the cruiser until you get some level of fitness and weight reduction started, then graduate to a more 'roadie'-style bicycle. The money spent on a cruiser won't be a waste, as its a nice style of bicycle to have around for running a quick errand, or just a cruise along a local bikepath.

Edit: FWIW, the cruiser bicycles I recommend price at about $250-$400; solid riders that'll work well for a 300lb+ person who doesn't want to spend a lot of $$$. $1,000+ bicycles are available for Clydesdales, but I'd not want someone to spend that much to start.

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Old 10-09-17, 12:09 PM   #73
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I'd say this is more of a theoretical project and mot something that would work in the real world; too small a market,
America is the fattest country on Earth. Exercise programs tied to weight loss are a $12 billion a year industry. I'd say the market is there.
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Old 10-09-17, 01:09 PM   #74
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Zombie thread from 2013. Closing.
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