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Old 07-02-08, 06:05 AM   #1
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New to cycling...could use some advice!

Hello everyone! I am new to road cycling and had a few questions. I want to get into cycling daily at some point in the future, however i currently am completely out of shape to do that.....which leads to my main question..... I am about 5"11, 220lbs. I used to be highly athletic and involved in alot of outdoor things. Im just going to be completely honest...since then ive turned into a couch potato and am pretty discusted with myself and apathy at this point. That said, I mustered up the motivation and self discpline to attempt to learn and start a weekly cycling routine...hopefully at some point from work to home (about 25 miles a day round trip).

so now that you have a little more info on are a couple of my questions:

1) I am worried my height and especially my weight will prohibit me from riding a road bike. I am still very athletic and know i can physically just wondering about the durability of the actual bike with my extra weight currently?

2) Any suggestions for a first road bike? I am currently using an old DAWES compact frame, which is suiting my needs for now but i want to start researching on a decent road bike...maybe in the $750-$1000 range? Any suggestions?

3) Lastly I was curious if anyone had any previous experience being a little overweight and then starting cycling?...any success in shedding the extra pounds? If so...any training routines suggested?

OK, thanks everyone for reading my post, and thanks for any info you may have to give this newbee!!! Thanks again, Happy upcoming 4th of July to everyone!
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Old 07-02-08, 06:53 AM   #2
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You are a little heavier than I was when I started, but also a little taller. Height won't be an issue, any bike shop will have a bike in your size. As a starting point I'd suggest trying about a 56 cm frame, but they will be able to guide you better based on your proportions.

Weight should only be an issue on wheel durability. In your price range there are a lot of options, but all are going to come with inexpensive wheels. If they are properly trued and tensioned, they will be OK as long as you don't start jumping curbs and avoid potholes as much as possible. You're going to need to true them more often than a light weight rider, but as you ride, the weight will come off. I put maybe 2,000 miles on a set of DA-16 wheels that came on my Specialize Allez before I started breaking spokes. By 3,000 miles I was really eating into the braking surface anyway. Wheels will be the first upgrade you need, but not right away.

As for selection, Trek, Giant, Specialized, Felt...there are many brands that offer entry level bikes starting at about $700. Test ride what you can and choose based on your comfort and what dealer is available to support the purchase after the sale. Visit bike shops in your area and ask questions. Don't let them sell you a hybrid or comfort bike.

Using cycling to shed pounds is a matter of regular riding and modifying your diet. Nothing much different than any other method, diet and exercise. Long slow distance is the key. A 12-13 mile ride isn't going to do a lot to help you burn off fat, you generally need about 20-30 minutes to get past burning the calories readily available and start burning fat, so if you can use your possible commute as physical conditioning and then go into a longer ride on the way home or afterward, you'll start seeing results. A general rule for you at this point will be about 90 miles to lose a pound of fat, but if you get into the active routine your results will be improved. You will hit plateau where you seem to quit losing weight, you just have to work through it. Watch the fat and processed food intake and it'll all come together.

The training and nutrition forum will be helpful, and the Clydesdale forum will provide lots of encouragement. Good luck, and welcome!

"It hurts so good..."
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Old 07-02-08, 11:19 AM   #3
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Just do it!

Your size isn't a problem.

Shop for a bike shop first. Hunt around until you find a shop that has personnel that you can identify with. Buy a brand they carry and you'll never go wrong.
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Old 07-02-08, 03:46 PM   #4
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I suggest you post your same questions over in the Clydesdales/Athenas forum. That forum is specifically focussed on larger-sized men and women. They have thought through your specific questions much more than participants in other forums have, and can better direct you. In fact, I'm sure variants on all your questions have already been asked on the Clydesdale forum before.

Good luck.
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Old 07-02-08, 03:50 PM   #5
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twahl gives good advice.
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Old 07-02-08, 10:07 PM   #6
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The key to enjoying a bike is having a bike that fits well. If your current bike fits you well, you might find that simply upgrading the tires to top quality tires from a good company such as Continental or Panaracer increases your enjoyment of the bike.

The key to getting the maximum benefit from cycling is to ride every single day...try for riding at least 300 days per year. The guys who ride just on Saturday often end up sore, or injured, because they try to do too much in one "hard" day, rather than have five or six enjoyable rides every week.

Keep your bike right by the door so that you will use it whenever you need something from the corner store, or you want to run an errand in the neighborhood. Those fifteen and twenty minute rides are both enjoyable, and valuable in burning calories, and helping you get fit.
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