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  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Hillsboro, OR

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    230 lbs seems like a lot to you on your body size, but if you think about it, there are plenty of taller people who weigh that much and ride all the time.

    I think you need to make sure that
    1) you have a frame that is small enough for you (and your reach - both arms and legs)
    2) make sure that you have wheels that are sturdy

    Most of the low spoke count, light-weight wheels are fairly pricey anyway, so chances of them showing up on an entry level bike are fairly slim. And of course, if you end up with a touring bike, it'll definitely come with stronger wheels because they are designed to carry the extra weight of whatever needs to be packed on the bike. Touring frames are likely to come with racks or at least the holes you need to add a rack (which is easy to do), as well.

    Oh, and welcome to TE. I hope you end up LOVING biking!!

    PS - I used to bike in NC where it was HOT. I grew up in the north, and even I learned to deal with it. It's actually easier to bike in the heat than it is to do much else (like run or walk) because you get the benefit of the wind and you can carry water with you!
    Last edited by GLC1968; 04-01-2008 at 04:24 PM.
    My new non-farm blog: Finding Freedom

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by nancyBug View Post
    Wow !
    I suspect that very few people as short as me who weigh as much as me - bike.
    I'm only a couple of inches taller than you, and weigh the same, and I bike.

    I'll second DebW on the wheels with higher spoke counts being one of the most important things regarding strength on any bike you get. I've been suffering the frustration of low spoke count wheels, and it's annoying. (I've recently remedied that by ordering a set of handbuilt wheels with a higher spoke count.)

    Just start hitting shops and trying out bikes. Lots of bikes. As many bikes as you can get your butt on--steel, aluminum, whatever. You won't know what you'll find most comfortable (and fun...never forget FUN) until you ride some.

    When I was shopping for a bike early last year, I went in thinking I needed a WSD (Women's Specific Design...and was particularly coveting a Terry), but it turns out those were the most inappropriate/uncomfortable frames for me. Then I thought maybe I wanted a steel touring bike, and they were definitely super comfortable to ride, but something was still not quite right--they weren't saying, "Hey, lady, I'm your bike." So, I kept trying bikes. I ended up with an aluminum frame road bike, because of everything I tried, it was the most comfortable (as far as frame size/geometry) and the most FUN to ride--responsive, light...and pretty.

    But, if the bike you love doesn't come with the kind of wheels you need, try to work with the shop to get something more appropriate.

    Good luck!

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    I hear you on the Hashis. I also have Hashis. In my case even when that was corrected I struggled with my weight until I uncovered the impaired glucose tolerance, but its great that you only have the Hashis to contend with. They will probably start you out on just T4 therapy, but many people (myself included) do better on a combo T4/T3 therapy, so keep this in the back of your mind. But you will have to work hard to take off the weight you gained while you were not being treated. But, with treatment losing the weight should be straighforward as long as you practice moderate caloric restriction and exercise. Some of us do better on low carb diets, but that is for you to explore. I posted recently about this on the weight loss thread if you want to have a peek. Good luck to you in your quest for good health! You will get there, and welcome to TE. (I am also 50, many of us are in that age bracket in fact).

    BTW, the older terry steel frames I am recommending, especially Classic do come with strong wheels! The important thing for you now is to find a bike that feels comfortable and stable for your body at its current weight, and get out and ride! Exercise will make a huge difference as you lean out.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Upstate of SC


    Count me among the vertically challenged and horizontally gifted

    Riding a bicycle is like being 9 years old again...it feels like you are flying. So free.

    You're going to love it like you won't believe.

    Personally, I feel that it is a bit more difficult for me to being taken seriously as a cyclist than my really, really skinny elite-triathlete & marathoner best friend. I'm begining to feel that it is perhaps partly due to my low self-esteem. But it hasn't stopped me from swimming at the Y, running the occasional road race and doing a few sprint triathlons.


    You've already set a goal. Hold yourself to it. And have fun while you're at it.

    There is plenty of support on this forum, and the Knoxville area should be very blessed with shops and groups.



    PS Spandex, however much you may hate it, is your friend.
    Cycling is the new running.

    Visit my blog: http://www.riverofmuscadinespublishing.com/

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by nancyBug View Post
    I guess just the thoughts of my big rear end on that little seat (will get a saddle seat). Has this been an issue for anybody else.
    LOL, I hear ya! I think about that, too, but then I tell myself, "Well, at least my big a$$ is out here riding instead of sitting on the couch, and that's more than a lot of people can say."

    As far as the heat, you just kinda get used to it. For me, the first 30 minutes or so can be uncomfortable, but then it seems like my body adjusts to the heat and then it doesn't bother too much during the rest of the ride.

    Good luck to ya!

  6. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
    oh, Nancybug, I wish I could give you a big encouraging, congratulatory hug for facing your insecurities and getting started. I was 5'5" and almost 300lbs when I started riding a Giant Cypress hybrid 3 miles - with many stops. I'm still a big woman, but now I train indoors with racers and triathletes and road ride on a Giant OCR3, with an easy evening solo jaunt being 20 miles. I hope to improve lots yet, but I want you to KNOW you can do this and you are just gonna love how much support will come your way from this forum and other places as well. The cycling community has lots of people who will judge you by the quality of your effort and determination. Not your pants size.

    Also, a year or 2 ago, a woman started the spin classes I take - she was large and lamented how her thyroid had been removed - as she said, "I basically don't HAVE a metabolism anymore." Now she rides indoors and out and is so strong and vibrant, I have to look twice to make sure it's the same woman.

    When I first started, I was so self-conscious, I not only stayed on back roads, I would veer onto dirt roads or long driveways when I saw "real" cyclists. I honestly thought they would come up to me and say, "please go home. you are embarrassing us." And what were the people in cars thinking but then I realized that almost everyone in this world has a big woman in their lives they love and worry about - a wife, a sister, a mom - so when they see me, I think they go home and say to that person, "guess what I saw today? a woman at least as big as you riding a bike and looking strong!"

    You are going to amaze yourself. (and we get to watch)

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    I'm the only one allowed to whine

    Feel the bike love!

    Here is pure joy, just waiting to take you by the hand and fly with you!

    Find a bike, any bike you fall in love with (I vote for steel only because it is my favorite). Get good wheels (32 or 36 spoke) because they are good no matter what.

    If you are riding your bike, you are a *real* cyclist! If you are loving your bike (even if you're not riding) you are a *real* cyclist!

    I lost 50 lbs from indulging my bike love.

    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Central TX
    Quote Originally Posted by nancyBug View Post
    One other quick comment, I see that several of you are from Texas - I have made several trips to Texas and it is even HOTTER than Tennessee in the summer.

    How do you manage riding in the heat - that is one of my big concerns with summer.

    In the summer I ride in the morning or late evening. I have gone out once or twice in the heat and didn't think I was going to make it home. Had to stop more often and find some shade. I'm sure it was just because I wasn't use to it, but I think our bodies can get use to a lot of things.

    As for your size, I'm 5'5 and 240 and have struggled for years with my weight. I still ride my bike, and as far as other people and what they think, most people that would think anything to begin with, you will never see again in your life. Matter of fact, you probably don't really see them anyway if it's a car passing.
    I look at it like this, I may never lose weight, but I don't stop trying and if nothing else I'm having fun, and I'm a fit big person.

    Good luck, have fun, and may the wind always blow at your back. LOL

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Uncanny Valley
    Quote Originally Posted by nancyBug View Post
    How do you manage riding in the heat - that is one of my big concerns with summer.
    Everyone's different and I actually like hot weather, but make sure you carry plenty of water, plan to stop and refill your water bottles if you can, and drink electrolyte replacement beverages periodically (my personal formula is one sports drink to every three bottles of plain water). I'll sweat out a liter in an hour in moderately hot weather. If I'm planning to be out for more than a couple of hours on a hot day, and a refill stop isn't on the schedule, I make sure to wear a hydration pack in addition to my frame-mounted water bottles.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    I have to get ready to head off to work but I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for the many replies and words of encouragment !!!

    This is just wonderful and gives me the feeling that YES - I can do this. Just because I am overweight - life doesn't have to end. This is the beginning of a fresh new chapter of my life !!!!

    I am so excited - it will probably take me weeks to get my bike for several reasons - $$$$ and decision making to get the right one but I know I am on the right track now.

    Your information has been incredible - I didn't know where to start !

    Thank you so much !

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Vancouver, BC
    Welcome to TE, NancyBug!

    There might - just might - be people out there who will think nasty things, just because there is always one nasty person out there somewhere, or just someone having a bad day and being frustrated about something that's not related to you.

    BUT they are so rare. Rare enough that you don't have to even be bothered about what they MIGHT - just might - think.

    Most people don't think anything - I have found life to be so much better since I realized that most people don't look at us or think about us as closely as we think about ourselves. They have other things to think about which are more important to them. I don't blame them. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the size (or showing roots, or zits, or whatever) of others myself.

    And for the few people who think about something: they will most likely be very impressed and inspired when they see you on the bike. "Wow, if she's doing it, what am I doing here sitting in my metal cage (car)?" There will be other people like you who will be thinking: "If she's doing it, that means I can/should do it too!"

    Wear what you want, just go out there and enjoy the open road (or trail)!

    Welcome to TE!

    p.s. This bike (Trek 7.2FX) has had many women on this board started and wanting for more. It's not very expensive for the quality you get (this page shows you the Canadian version - the US is slightly cheaper). I don't think the wheels would need to be strengthened but you will need to ask your shop.
    Last edited by Grog; 04-02-2008 at 07:39 AM.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by nancyBug View Post
    One other quick comment, I see that several of you are from Texas - I have made several trips to Texas and it is even HOTTER than Tennessee in the summer.

    How do you manage riding in the heat - that is one of my big concerns with summer.
    I live just outside of Houston and you are right about the heat. I'm older than you and am not very heat tolerant. The thing that keeps me going all summer is a Camelback hydration pack. I have a good size pack which I fill with ice and water. In the hottest part of the summer I carry a bottle or two with me so that I can refill the pack during my ride. With the hydration pack I drink much more frequently than if I am using bottles. I know that some riders don't care for the backpacks but I couldn't ride in the summer without one.

    As for helmets, before I started riding I was like you and assumed a helmet would be hot. I'm pleased to say I haven't found that to be the case at all. All those holes in the helmets are there for a reason. Although I haven't put it to the test, I suspect the sun direct on my head would be hotter than the helmet.

    One word of caution - biking can be addictive.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Oh I love that - biking can be addicting - what a wonderful addiction !!!!

    I really value the opinions that I am getting here on this site as this is the best advice and information I have been able to get since I began thinking about getting a bike.

    I am including a link from a bicycle shop near my home, if any of you have time to look over these bicycles and could tell me which one(s) you think would best suit me – I would be so grateful !!! They seem to have some of the brands that have been mentioned here.

    Here is a summary of my body type and needs:

    • 5ft 2 inches (short)
    • 230 pounds
    • Will be biking in hilly country (Tennessee)
    • Would like to try different types of biking so a multi-purpose would be nice Mostly, however – would be paved or trails (I think)
    • Also may use to shop for groceries about 2 miles from home so would need ability to carry things.
    • May need it for Bike tour in New England area this fall (may rent bike – not sure)
    * I have very, very long hair (if that is an issue with helmets...
    * Heat is a serious consideration for me (due to medical condition) but I am thinking I can manage with precautions - the camel back sounds like it might suit my needs.

    Also – of note – I sometimes have very stiff legs (also due to a medical condition) so the height of the bar is a factor – does anybody ride without that bar ???

    I know that in the end, I must try it out and find what fits best but you all “know” bikes and I don’t.

    Here is the link: http://cedarbluffcycles.net/

    Thanks so much – in advance !
    Last edited by nancyBug; 04-02-2008 at 11:29 AM.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Nancy, there's nothing wrong with a "girls" bike--the kind without the top tube. These days they are generally referred to as Mixte (mix-tee) bikes. Zen is a Mixte expert (zencentury)

    The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is to get a bike that fits properly. The bikes in the shop in Knoxville that I would recommend looking at are:

    Trek Navigator--no top tube. This will likely be too heavy for a New England Tour, and you may well be wanting something faster and lighter in a few months, but it might be a good place to start.

    Trek Pilot--this would be fine for a New England Tour and would also be great for going to the grocery store. It might keep your interest longer than the Navigator.

    You might also want to check around at some other shops. It's important to try out alot of different bikes to determine what you like and don't like in a bike.

    Keep us posted and ask us questions!

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Littleton, CO
    Welcome to the forum, I'm new here myself and found that its a great source of information and encouragement!

    Do not, in any way, be embarrassed about being larger and cycling. I think when most people see someone larger (or older) than themselves cycling, running, etc, they are impressed and encouraged to do more themselves.

    BTW, my sister has a similar body style, and from this thread, I'm going to ask her about the thyroid and glucose intolerance issues mentioned - I know there is some family history of thyroid problems, and diabetes in older years in our family is the norm...

    And I second the warning - cycling is addictive. I think about riding all the time, I can't pass up going into a bike shop just to look around, and I'm constantly checking the weather to plan the next nice day for riding. Oh, and I do ride several times a week too.



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