Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    4

    Chubby Beginner- Please Help :)

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    Hi Everyone!
    Well, in one month will be my big 3-0, so i've decided to take the bike by the handles and try and get healthier. My husband and I would like to begin cycling, because the area we live is gorgeous and it would be so wonderful to explore the trails around here. Also, I biked when I was a kid, and a bit as a teenager, and I adored it. Currently I weigh in at 255lbs, and i'm 5'8, so I need to find a bike that can support a heavier rider. From what i've read a steel bike will be necessary, and wheels with more spokes (also steel or stainless steel), but i'd also like to be comfortable on my bike, and hopefully a little more upright, instead of bent over with my tummy all squooshed and my weight on my wrists. I'll be riding primarily on pavement and dirt ATV trails, not tons of hills, but some.
    My biggest issue is that I live in an extremely rural area, and there are *literally* no bike shops within 2 hours of me. Then the ones that exist two hours away are general sports stores, not bike specific shops, so I don't know how much help they'll be. I'd like to have as clear an idea as possible- down to brands and models- of what I should look at, just in case the sales people aren't very bike experienced.
    So i've come to all of you at TE
    Any help you can offer is so very appreciated! I'll be checking back regularly, and can answer any questions i've failed to cover here.
    Thanks so much- in advance!
    wren

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    4
    Oh! I should add that I need to keep the price under a thousand dollars. I know that narrows the field quite a bit

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,082
    Welcome to TE. Start here, this is a good thread and informative and feel free to pepper us with questions

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=33066
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    4
    Thank you! The link from the link that you sent me- the "Too fat to bicycle" post- was actually the one where I obtained most of the information I already have, lol- you are all a very experienced bunch!
    I was hoping to find specific ideas for hybrids. While a recumbent bike sounds tempting, I would have a hard time transporting it, along with my husbands bike, to the trails we want to check out. I saw the suggestion for cyclocross bikes, so I looked at several, but they look so much like road bikes, in terms of (I don't know what the term is) bent-overness of the rider- i'm afraid it would be quite hard on my wrists- are some of them more upright?
    I saw this time when I went back to the thread that one person says that Trek hybrids are supposed to support up to 300lbs, which should be fine for me. Is it enough to know that, and to know that Trek is a good company when I go to buy a bike? I'm assuming i'll probably want to get a wider seat for wider sit bones, but should I also consider changing the wheels to steel or stainless?

    Sorry for the billions of questions- I appreciate any help you guys can offer!
    Thanks,
    wren

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo
    Posts
    118
    Nah, it doesn't require a steel bike.

    I started riding my Specialized Globe Carmel, which is kind of a hybrid between a mountain bike and a cruiser (has an aluminum frame), weighing more than you weigh now. I didn't have to change any of the standard components, though I chose to go with a Brooks B66s saddle. I ride exclusively on trails and I love my bike.

    If you go with a Trek you will need to change the seat. Their stock saddles are very uncomfortable (my daughter has a Trek Navigator and she has a Brooks Flyer saddle).
    Last edited by Dannielle; 09-12-2010 at 06:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,082
    Quote Originally Posted by wrenew View Post
    I saw the suggestion for cyclocross bikes, so I looked at several, but they look so much like road bikes, in terms of (I don't know what the term is) bent-overness of the rider- i'm afraid it would be quite hard on my wrists- are some of them more upright?
    Yes, if you decide you want a road or cross bike your LBS can fit you to a more upright posture. Nearly any road bike can be made more upright, or a MTB or hybrid could have a more "aggressive" fit.

    It's all about what you want and working with your shop.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    2,609
    Quote Originally Posted by wrenew View Post
    I'm assuming i'll probably want to get a wider seat for wider sit bones, but should I also consider changing the wheels to steel or stainless?
    Welcome!!! I don't know how to say this - your sitbones don't move when you gain weight - so if you have wide sitbones, yeah, a wider seat, but heavier people don't necessarily have wider sitbones. And, a high-spoke count wheel should be okay.
    For 3 days, I get to part of a thousand other journeys.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    356
    Quote Originally Posted by wrenew View Post
    wheels with more spokes (also steel or stainless steel)
    Stainless steel spokes are quite standard. Exotic spoke materials (aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber) will only show up in expensive high end custom/race bikes. Galvanized steel spokes will be found on really cheap X-mart bikes. Galvanized spokes would work fine (though they'll rust eventually) but their presence means that other components won't be good enough.

    You don't want steel rims: Rim brakes on steel rims don't work well in the rain.

    At the weight you mentioned, I think you don't need to worry about wheel strength. Just get wheels with a "normal" spoke count of 32 or 36. Stay away from "hipster" low spoke count wheels.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    778
    Thanks for sharing your story. Here's a little of my story

    I've always been a bigger girl. I hit 180lbs in my Sophomore year in high school, but was active and played sports, so was relatively fit. I continued to put on a few pounds here and there after high school those extra activities I used to do vanished and I (stupidly) picked up smoking because all my friends were doing it. I didn't smoke much, but fitness declined, and more pounds were found along the way. I was wearing a size 24 by year two of collage and pretty depressed, but then I quit smoking and joined the Y so I could use the small gym on site. I started working out 3x a week and dropped about 70 pounds and got down to a size 16. I then met a really great guy and started a career and those bad habits slowly started to creep back into our life as did the weight. I also had abdominal surgery to remove a ovarian cyst. I didn't do property core strengthening as part of my recovery, which acerbated an old back injury, leading to still more decline in mobility and fitness.

    I'm not back to my old weight, but I am back into a 22 and about 20 pounds from my all-time high water mark in terms of weight. That's when I knew I needed to do something about my life and make some changes. I bought my first bike, an Alpha Aluminum Trek Pure "cruiser" (upright riding style due to the back) as I set off along this path about a month ago.

    I was also taking on another demon from my past, the bike, so I figured if I can learn to ride as an adult (story here in the newbie section) I can surely loose the weight and make these life changes stick. I'm still taking baby steps, but I rode for about an hour today, just two weeks ago I needed DH and bike instructor to hold me up as I took my first timid trek across the tarmac.

    Good luck and I'm sending the best wishes your way!!
    Shannon
    Starbucks.. did someone say Starbucks?!?!
    http://www.cincylights.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Roadtrip View Post
    I rode for about an hour today, just two weeks ago I needed DH and bike instructor to hold me up as I took my first timid trek across the tarmac.
    Congratulations Shannon, that's awesome! It's good to know there are other beginners out there in similar situations- thanks for sharing your story

    @Muirenn & Pedal Wench: I haven't measured my sit bones, and yes, it does sound a bit silly on my part to assume i'd have wider hip bones as a heavier person! But thinking about it, I also have proportionally wide hips, and i'm 5'8, so i'm guessing I might actually have wide sit bones. I haven't measured, but i'm actually going to a shop today so i'll see if they can measure me.

    @Dannielle: That's very good to know! I was only looking at steel frames online, because of a post I read about plus size riders- it really widens the field if I could also ride aluminum!

    @Laura: Wow, I had no idea about the braking issue. I just read that steel
    supports more weight, so I assumed I needed them. Thank you for the clarification

    @Trek420: I had no idea they were so versatile. I can't wait to go talk to someone at a (not so local) LBS I actually found 2 that are a couple hours away from me, and i'm going to check them out today. I'm sure I will have more questions for you wonderful folks after that- or maybe i'll have a LBS success story (fingers crossed)!

    Thanks so much everyone- all your input has been very helpful, and I will take all that info with me to the bike shops today!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    hi Wren!

    I'm a brand new rider so can't give you expert advice, but I would say to get a bike that you love. Mine does everything I need it to do, but just doesn't set my heart alight. I think I assumed that because I was a new rider I needed something super-sensible. Now that (like Shannon!) I can stay on the bike for an hour or so I'm starting to wish I'd gone for attractive as well as functional.

    Good luck though, and the help here is terrific no matter how stupid a question feels to ask.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Sacramento area, California
    Posts
    17
    I have a Specialized Vita that would be perfect IMHO. It's built up on the Dolce frame but has a flatbar and very relaxed geometry and stable with slightly wider tires. I pull a loaded cargo trailer, a kid's trail-a-long bike, and loaded racks all the time and she's never complained. That said, I can sustain over 18 mph on her, so she's no slouch.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    209
    Welcome Wrenew! Glad to hear you want to get back on the saddle, you'll wonder why didn't do it sooner.

    I think some bikes even list a max weight limit. But I don't think you will have too much of a problem with limits on a decent bike from a good lbs.

    Happy shopping!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Somerville, MA
    Posts
    78
    After my father had back surgery and he could no longer handle the bent over position of his road bike, we got him an Electra Townie. It is extremely comfortable. His back stays straight, the handlebars are relatively high, and the saddle is VERY comfortable. Another added bonus to bikes like this is that he can put both of his feet flat on the ground without getting out of the saddle, since the pedals are located several inches in front of the saddle, rather than directly below it. It rides incredibly smoothly. He absolutely loves it. Not sure exactly what kind of bike you're looking for, but I thought I'd make a suggestion!

    Also, since it seems like you're going to have to make a long drive to pick up your bike, maybe make a list of all the accessories you want so you can get everything at the same time. I forgot a million things when I bought my bike and had to go back to the LBS about 10 times over the next few weeks! Keep things like racks and bags in mind, as well as a water bottle cage or two and maybe a lock. Many people also carry all the essentials for changing/patching a tube. Of course, you can get most of these things online as well!
    "By perseverance the snail reached the ark."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    252
    Just to add a bit to this thread.... I am HUGE and ride a regular ol' bike. I wish I had gone ahead and bought a road bike when I bought my current bike, but was skittish of the drop bars and went with a hybrid. It is a "unisex" (read: mens) bike that I now realize needed a little adjustment to fit properly. It's not terrible as is, but could be better - but not ONE of the things that needs to be tweaked is because I'm heavy.

    I am 5'10" and weigh in at 275 pounds. My bike has road tires and at first go I got a couple of pinch flats because I wasn't used to the way higher-pressure tires lose air so quickly. Once I learned to check my tires every time I ride, the problem vanished. I should probably consider getting my wheels trued, too - but that's more because my bike was used as a commuter on questionable pavement for a year and has been through a couple of moves. I do note that I keep my tires filled to the higher end of the manufacturer's recommended range because of the weight, and that when stopping I tend to allow a little longer stopping time than someone smaller might because of the rules physics - greater mass, greater inertia.

    People will tell you all kinds of crazy things about being a heavier rider - that you need high spoke count wheels, special spokes, tandem hubs. Most if not all of it is a sales gimmick - don't be fooled!
    Aperte mala cm est mulier, tum demum est bona. -- Syrus, Maxims
    (When a woman is openly bad, she is at last good.)

    Edepol nunc nos tempus est malas peioris fieri. -- Plautus, Miles Gloriosus
    (Now is the time for bad girls to become worse still.)

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •