Is a Light Bike Better If You're Obese?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by TomBrooklyn, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. TomBrooklyn

    TomBrooklyn New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is a lighter bike easier/faster/better to ride for obese people?

    I currently ride a 25 year old Peugeot road bike with steel rims and a steel handlebar that is pretty heavy. My standard load includes a 2' L hardened steel chain with small U Lock, a 6'L x .5"dia. cable, an aluminum rack and nylon trunk with a quart of water and various amounts of other stuff in it (generally 2-5 lbs.) I weight 270 lbs.

    Would I get a benefit from a bike that weighed several pounds lighter?
     
    Tags:


  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,596
    Likes Received:
    161
    None that you'll notice, unless you count the psychological boost.
     
  3. Canzures

    Canzures New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    since I'm almost in the same situation as you at 200#, I would say yes. the new aluminum frame bikes are around 20lbs, which would be alot easier to pedal than that dinosour that you have I have found from experience that I can ride for 50 miles on relatively flat terrain on my bike without too much of an issue and can possible ride for more. the problem is with us heavier folks with the extra body weight is climbing hills...Around my area is very hilly and 15 miles of riding in my area just wears me down, unlike the 50 miles I have done on flat terrain which was cake work.

    Your benefit to a 20lbs bike is easier climbs on hills, and as the weight comes off we'll get better at it. Just don't buy a carbon frame as that may not hold the same abuse.
     
  4. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    What are you wanting to do, go fast or lose weight? If you are looking to lose weight, then a heavier bike would help you acheive that end. If you want to go fast, losing your excess weight would be a big improvement, and then a lighter bike would help.

    If getting a lighter bike is going to help you continue to ride instead of hanging it up because it's not fun any longer, then by all means, get a new, lighter bike. HOWEVER, let your local bike shop (LBS) guide you in your selection of a bike and components. Most off the shelf bikes these days are built for people that are lighter than you, but they will work with a few adjustments. The main thing that you will want are wheels with a fairly high spoke count, probably no less than 36 on the rear and 32 on the front. Even higher spoke counts would be better if you can get them.

    Several years ago I was at 260. I was working through some personal issues and lost my desire to ride for awhile. When I got back on my old bike on a regular basis, I started seeing the weight drop. Now I am around 190 and still working. To reward myself at 200, I bought a nicer, higher end road bike and now I can't get enough miles under my tires to make me happy!

    Good luck with your riding and don't be a stranger on the forum! It's nice to hear from people, even if they are bragging about the new bike they just bought. Of course if you end up with 28 bikes worth $20,000+ and brag about them all the time (along with cross dressing) we all will get a little tired of it:D !
     
  5. Canzures

    Canzures New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    kudos on dropping 70lbs, if there are folks that drop weight like that I can sure drop 40lbs my ideal and be at 160....actually I haven't weighed myself in a while and since I bought my roadie last month (stimulus check) I have noticed that some of my tighter pants are getting looser...also I put on a pair of scrub pants for work for the first time in like a month and they were looser too :)

    touche on the 28 bikes and crossdressing...
     
  6. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    Loose pants are the first indication, however they get bothersome when they fall off unless you have your belt cinched up tight. Speaking of belts, you'll be adding holes to your existing ones or buying new ones.
     
  7. Freehub

    Freehub New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm 185 and want to be 165, but would settle for a more achievable 175.
    However, I can't stop eating like a starving dog.
    To post my opinion about your question, I don't think a lighter bike would make a big difference at your current weight but I do think it would be noticeable.
    Plus, a new, lighter bike would increase the efficiancy of turning your power output into forward motion. I'd say, go ahead and get a new lighter bike.
    Whenever I buy something new related to cycling,it always makes me want to ride more. Now, if I could just stop those post ride pig outs,
    I'd shed those extra pounds.
     
  8. TomBrooklyn

    TomBrooklyn New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I started riding a few months ago for the excercise, to lose weight, and because it is the most efficient way to run errands of a mile or two. I've been using it to run around town when previously I would drive. For short runs it's actually faster than driving since I don't stop for the red lights which are on every corner. I've also started using it sometimes to go places up to 10 miles away that previously I would have driven to or taken the subway, mostly for the excercise, as riding takes a little longer, but it's also fun.

    I'd also like to be able to go faster--why not? But is a bike that weighs 5 or 10 pounds less going to make me go any faster or be easier to ride than if I lost 5 or 10 or 20 or 30 or more pounds? I'm sure my weight is going to go down just by riding.

    That's not an issue. What I would like to do and will do is get some different parts for the bike I have to make it more comfortable. I already got a padded fat seat. I need a longer stem and wider handlebars. The ideal everyday bike for me would be more of a hybrid city bike rather than a road bike as I'm generally using it on busy city streets.
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,596
    Likes Received:
    161
    This is often the case in cities. My commute to work/school is 17.5 miles. Riding only takes, on average, 5 or ten minutes longer than going by car.

    As I said before, losing weight on the bike is not going to change how you perform on the bike in any substantial way. Losing weight off your corpus will, though. If you lose ten or twenty pounds off your body you will go faster as you'll likely be in a bit better shape; there will be less of a load on your heart and respiratory system; and you'll feel better about yourself.

    FYI, a wide thickly padded seat is not necessarily a comfortable seat. If you want comfort on a bike, the first stop for you should be a bike shop so that you can get a proper bike fitting done. Comfort comes after getting a good position on the bike.
     
  10. gemship

    gemship New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recently discovered the Avocet touring 1 seat. It's old and substantially bigger than the nothing little racing saddles of today's roadbikes. However I wouldn't describe it as "big" rather ample in the right places for comfort. Nothing wrong with that. Just as essential as having the "bike fit". FWIW another aspect of comfort in the saddle is simply having padding in your bike shorts. That's one reason why roadies don't mind their little widget wieght weenie saddles.
     
  11. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hmmm, I wonder if my wife would fall for that if/when I hit 180.
     
  12. Chavez

    Chavez New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    833
    Likes Received:
    2
    I was thinking of it more along the lines of "why pay $xxxx dollars for a good road bike (or at least $xxx) to lose weight when just riding can melt off an equivalent amount of weight?"

    I'd say the best bet is to ride the heavier bike until you begin plateauing with your weight loss; then maybe you can reward yourself with a lighter, newer bike. Not knowing your height or build, the 200 lb limit sounds like a pretty good milestone at which to "reward" yourself.
     
  13. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    9
    Get a Trek Pilot or Giant Ocr 1 or something. These are definitely more inspiring to ride than a 25 year old bike. Then after you lose weight put panniers on them and use them for commuting / shopping / saving gas.

    Oh, it's 16 bikes and crossdressing! My 16th bike is gonna be a Hutch Trickstar with the good classic old school parts!
     
  14. Canzures

    Canzures New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0

    jte, I think you are really starting a revolution with your crossdressing. Can I borrow some of your outfits???? :D
     
  15. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    9
    Well, since you're 200 lbs - you must be a PLUS sized crossdresser! Size 16 and above clothes selection aren't too beautiful. Check out Avenue, Lane Bryant, and Hot Topic.

    My crossdressing clothes collection exploded when I became a size 8 to 4! I have too much good stuff! It's embarrassing how big my collection is!

    Ok, over 80+ skirt suits!
     
  16. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    At this point it sounds as if a sex change would be more in order than correcting your wardrobe!
     
  17. ::dom::

    ::dom:: New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    789
    Likes Received:
    2
    Probably not... but who cares :)

    BTW I've lost around 10kg since this pic was taken. :D
     
  18. Canzures

    Canzures New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0


    Dom, good pic. you inspire us all to keep riding. keep it up.
     
  19. dgregory57

    dgregory57 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tom,

    You carry enough stuff that the lightness of a newer bike isn't going to help you a whole lot.

    But there are other factors. What might help you is aluminum rims (especially if you ride when it is wet) and better brakes on a newer bike. Also, possibly a greaterer number of gears so you can find that ideal gear for your riding condition at any given moment.

    Also, I assume your bike is friction shifting, so some form of indexed shifting may be better for you. Some people like friction shifting, many hate it.

    The bottom line is that you seem to enjoy cycling, get into a couple of bike shops and take some test rides to see what you like. Then you should be able to tell whether the bikes available are a big enough improvement to be worth it to you.
     
  20. slyjackson

    slyjackson New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is a link for you : http://www.kreuzotter.de/english/espeed.htm

    I plugged in my numbers at 200 watts and only changed the bikes weight input. My MPH remained the same. I did the input of 6% in the slope of the road field and I changed my bikes weight from 20 lbs to 17 lbs. I think I picked up one tenth of a mph. Is it worth spending and extra grand to get a tenth of a mph ?

    Now things do change when your weight changes. Bottom line, just hang in there, lose some weight and you will get faster. You will start to notice a diffrence on the hills when you do. If your bike weighs within the range of 17-28 lbs very little will change if anything at all until "You" drop the pounds.

    Hope this helps.:)
     
Loading...
Loading...