the fat girl wants a bike



koeneast

New Member
Sep 7, 2004
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During a recent trip to Telluride, Colorado, I fell in love with mountains and with mountain biking. Now I am ready to make the big purchase. One problem, I'm a big girl. I have been on a weight loss program for about 6 months and it is going well, but I've got a long way to go. I've been reading up on the subject, but everything I read speaks of weights from 250-280 lbs. I am around 350, I told you I was a big girl! I really want to start biking, and I need a ride that will be able to hold me. Any ideas? Thanks, I'm dying to ride!
 

spinerguy

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Jul 26, 2004
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Hey K

I should warn you that biking is known to cause addiction and loss of weight rapidly. If you are still round after a year I am not sure people will be able to recognize you ;) if so be prepared to loose yourself (literally)

ya been warned (congrats by the way) :D
 

dfvcad

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Aug 4, 2004
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From a medical stand point of view, I would recommend joining a gym first and dedicate a good 3 to 6 months of conditioning and shedding another 50 to 70 lbs. Secondly, I would do aerobic machines such as treadmill, recumbent stationary cycles, stair steppers, rowing machines and ski machines to improve cardiovascular fitness prior to getting on the mountain bike or road bike. This process should be gradual and starting with 25 to 30 minutes session and increasing as you progress.This route will aid with your weight loss goals and you will feel good about yourself at the end of the day. I would also advice to consult with your cardiologist to make sure everything is within the normal limits. Last thing you want to do is get on a bike and have your heart fail on you out on the trails/road. Dont give up!!

I began cycling back in 1987 as part of condition program for my wrestling season and judo. I actually liked cycling so much that after two years I dropped wrestling in my junior year in college and picked up cycling as a sport and I did it until 1998 four to five times per week with schedule club races, bike tours and USCF cat 5 and 4 racing. In 98 due to my job, I gradaully dropped the amount of cycling to the point that six years went by without riding a single mile. This March I decided to get on the bike again and I have been riding average of 25 miles four times per week. I started with 10 miles and I was sucking wind bad.
 

cachehiker

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Sep 30, 2003
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#1. Visit several Local Bike Shops. Take your time and test ride several bikes. The very best deals are often last year's models that are still in the shop after the Christmas rush.

#2. Give special consideration to hardtails with a sturdy "dirt jumper" type construction. My old '99 GT Backwoods frame is indestructible. The slack head tube makes tight turns a delicate operation, but that is the nature of the beast.

#3. Don't settle for an RST or similar fork. Spending the extra $100 to get a bike with a Rockshox Pilot or something similar will be worth it. A girlfriend of mine just got a Trek 4900. Although far from a "dirt jumper", this might be a good baseline to start looking from.

#4. Instead of negotiating for "best price", try negotiating for a cheap upgrade to some good 36-spoke wheels. Something like Sun Rhyno Lites on Deore or LX Hubs.

#5. Expect a crank arm to bend or a chain to break. 350 lbs. gives you a lot of leverage. Upgrade to a sturdy 9-speed crankset (maybe even a downhill crank), 9-speed front derailleur, and chain when it happens. The shifters and a cassette will make a nice reward at 250 lbs.

#6. Start on the road and make sure the stem and handlebar are strong ones and in good condition when you start hitting the trail.
 

Brunswick_kate

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Aug 16, 2003
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dfvcad said:
From a medical stand point of view, I would recommend joining a gym first and dedicate a good 3 to 6 months of conditioning and shedding another 50 to 70 lbs. Secondly, I would do aerobic machines such as treadmill, recumbent stationary cycles, stair steppers, rowing machines and ski machines to improve cardiovascular fitness prior to getting on the mountain bike or road bike. This process should be gradual and starting with 25 to 30 minutes session and increasing as you progress.This route will aid with your weight loss goals and you will feel good about yourself at the end of the day. I would also advice to consult with your cardiologist to make sure everything is within the normal limits. Last thing you want to do is get on a bike and have your heart fail on you out on the trails/road. Dont give up!!

.

Actually cycling is a great form of exercise for people who are overweight...yes, by all means check with a physician but cycling is a low impact (important when you're overweight) and you can go slowly, gradually increasing the pace and distances as your body improves. When I started out a year ago, my 7 km commute was about my max. I was able to keep at cycling because I wasn't hurting myself through impact damage. I was gradually shedding weight and increasing my cardio stamina.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, it's fun. It's fun people...We stick with it as a daily form of excercise because it's FUN. It's enjoyable to get out on the bike. We can incorporate it into our daily lives. It's not a chore. It's not a grind. It's not yet another freakin' entry on the list of things we need to do today....like going to the gym or or or or or or or...

Keoneast...here's my advice...go to a good reputable bike shop in your area. Talk to the staff. Get a decent bike that will get you thorugh the next while...check into used bikes. Take it slow. Sloooooooooowwww. Rome wasn't built in a day; neither was my ass. I'm tired of the whole drop 30 lbs; put 45 back on diet program. I changed my lifestyle instead. It's a whole lot slower but it's working. I'm down 3 pant sizes (although technically haven't lost weight). I stablized my blood sugar. I feel better, happier and stronger. It'll all come in time.
 

dfvcad

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Aug 4, 2004
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I know that cycling is a low impact exercise, but the future MTB rider in questions does not seem to be in the best shape to be out in the trail at the present time. My advice is to work on conditioning with the options mentioned above because you will work all areas of the body so that when she is ready to get on the bike, it will be an easy transition and not a drastic shock to the body. Specially, mountain biking, which will include going up steep gradients and require lots of balance/coordination and agility.
 

cityscapex5

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Aug 2, 2004
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I think you should start a rigourous weight loss program under a more controlled circumstance like at a gym and try to lose weight that way. Mountain biking isnt neccessarily a good aerobic workout by itself as you have to concentrate on many things such as terrain, technique, etc and frankly it could be dangerous at your weight. The value in mountain biking would be to vary your excercise routine a bit and to get out and have some fun but i would be looking at some other way to bring your weight down safely.
 

Louvain

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Aug 10, 2004
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The gym advice is the safest way to start. BUT BORING! Do your homework, go to a reputable bike shop in your area, and progress slowly - maybe a ride/walk program.

I truly wish you the best.
 

koeneast

New Member
Sep 7, 2004
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I have lost around 90 pounds already, and already do exercise pretty regularly with all of that. Yesterday I went on a two hour hike, and I plan to do around that again today. While in Colorado I climbed a couple of mountains, so I think I'm ready. Does all that change anything?
 

Brunswick_kate

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Aug 16, 2003
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koeneast said:
I have lost around 90 pounds already, and already do exercise pretty regularly with all of that. Yesterday I went on a two hour hike, and I plan to do around that again today. While in Colorado I climbed a couple of mountains, so I think I'm ready. Does all that change anything?
Absolutely, yes it does....you know your body better than anyone.

Do you feel comfortable? Are you happy? You want to ride a bike...then go ride the bike. Cachehiker gave some great pointers on the technical requirements you're going to need.

The most important thing is to listen to yourself. You know when you're pushing yourself too hard.
 

daveornee

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Sep 18, 2003
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koeneast said:
I have lost around 90 pounds already, and already do exercise pretty regularly with all of that. Yesterday I went on a two hour hike, and I plan to do around that again today. While in Colorado I climbed a couple of mountains, so I think I'm ready. Does all that change anything?

There is always going to be some opinion in any direction for a subject like this. You will need good guidance from a bicycle shop to help you be safe while riding as weight is the single biggest impact on bicycle component failure.

Strength of the components is your key. Since we ride a tandem, I know that there are many components out there that can help, but you will need to find a trusted bicycle shop.
Wheels and brakes are areas that will help determine your safety. Since there are now moutain bicycles that are used for extreme downhill riding, you should be able to find a suitable bicycle for cross country style riding. From tandem riding, I know that going downhill, is the most fun, but also the biggest challenge for brakes and wheels. Stay away from lightweight components.
I agree with cachehiker's suggestions.
Find a shop that you can trust, a bicycle you can trust, and start with rides that have moderate grades and smoother trails. Enjoy the experience. Welcome to the bicycling.
 

koeneast

New Member
Sep 7, 2004
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Thanks all. All of the information you have given me will be very helpful. I have really thought this through, and I think I am ready. Besides, I live in Wisconsin, are there really any "mountains" to be ridden? Really I'm more looking at trail and gentle hill riding. ;)
 

Chrisbee

New Member
Jul 24, 2004
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Is the 350lb figure before or after the 90 lb loss? :confused:

I can offer no real advice other than to aim for a round figure. ;)

Walk as far as you can each day. Walking is far better exercise than cycling for burning calories. A bike will carry you like a sack. Walking means you must carry the load yourself. Which seems only fair. :)

Promise yourself a nice safe ordinary bike when you reach 300lbs. But keep walking!

Promise youself a faster road bike when you're 250lbs. But keep walking!

Promise yourself a real lightweight mountain bike when you're 200lbs. Now you're probably running anyway!

In the meantime stop drinking anything with sugar in it.

Stop eating anything at all between healthy meals.

Don't have sugar, coke, sweets, biscuits (cookies) chocolate or cakes in the house! Learn to love water. Drink pints of it if you're thirsty! There is no rule that says you must consume commercial sugar-syrup drinks.

My wife and I ask the same thing every day: "Why are fat people always eating or sucking on a bottle of coke like a baby?" Don't believe us? Then open your eyes and look around you. I noticed years ago that my fat colleagues never stop eating or drinking syrup coke. My slim colleagues (and I) eat sandwiches in the lunch hour and drink water or low-fat milk.

A proportion of the population is literally addicted to sugar. There is no other explanation for their self-destructive behaviour.

Assuming you really want to ride a mountainbike. Then you have to face the simple, awful, terrifying truth. Even if you exercise every day until you drop from exhaustion. It won't help very much in the long term unless you stop consuming sugary foods and drink.

A very large, young lady literally rode into me, while I was walking on a cycle path, a couple of years ago. It would have been much more fun if she had been 100lbs lighter and I had been thirty years younger! :D

Best regards
Chrisbee
 

koeneast

New Member
Sep 7, 2004
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I lost the 90 pounds on a modified South Beach diet which also extols the virtue of a sugar-free lifestyle, so that's where I am right now. The 350 mark is now, after the 90 pound loss. But yes, I agree that cutting out sugar was a major lifestyle change for me. Mine was mostly the processed flours and such though, as I have never been a soda or sweets consumer. Plus, as a vocal music professor, I was already a two-gallons of water a day person, so that helped. I haven't had a beer since before Easter, which I feel really is an accomplishment, because I used to be a Guinness girl. Nothing like 2000 calories in a pint! ;)
 

wadoflove

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Nov 7, 2003
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koeneast said:
Thanks all. All of the information you have given me will be very helpful. I have really thought this through, and I think I am ready. Besides, I live in Wisconsin, are there really any "mountains" to be ridden? Really I'm more looking at trail and gentle hill riding. ;)

Good for you! If I might put in my two cents, its important to learn to ride correctly, to make sure the bike is set up correctly and that you use the gears to their best advantage. Start by getting a checkup from your doctor to make sure that your heart is in good shape. Then you need to ride and ride some more. Start with shorter rides of an hour or so on flat roads with a high cadence and just concentrate on enjoying yourself, not on miles covered or hills climbed. As you gain fitness increase the length, or the number of challenges (hills etc.). If you can find a buddy to ride with it is better because when you are not motivated the buddy is (and vice versa).

I lost nearly 22 Lbs (down from 210 which is heavy for me) in a couple of months after getting back on the bike again following a long hiatus. After 6 months I am only now beginning to get my fitness back so that I can hang with the faster weekend warriors and small hills aren't daunting. It takes time to get the fitness back but its worth it. I no longer have pains in my knees or problems when I pick up my little girl. I have more energy for my life, my sex life is better... :p
 

cydewaze

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Jun 17, 2004
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I'm looking forward to reading about your progress. Whatever regimen you come up with for yourself, make sure you stick to it and don't slack (like I do). Congrats!
 

dazed&confused

New Member
Aug 27, 2004
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koeneast said:
During a recent trip to Telluride, Colorado, I fell in love with mountains and with mountain biking. Now I am ready to make the big purchase. One problem, I'm a big girl. I have been on a weight loss program for about 6 months and it is going well, but I've got a long way to go. I've been reading up on the subject, but everything I read speaks of weights from 250-280 lbs. I am around 350, I told you I was a big girl! I really want to start biking, and I need a ride that will be able to hold me. Any ideas? Thanks, I'm dying to ride!

I'm a lard bucket (290 lbs) so I will pass on to you what I have been told regarding purchasing advice. Stick to a bike with a good frame set. Some companies take a mediocre frame and stick nice componets on it. Other companies take a good frame but compromise on the quality of componets to get a bike at the same price point. I have been advised to stick with a quality frame set. The frame set governs the quality of the ride and if you have a poor riding bike, your less likely to ride. Plus, you can always upgrade the componets on the bike as they wear if you would like, but changing out the frame is difficult.

About 10 years ago (and some 75 lbs ago) I purchased road bike from an end of year sale. It had Ultegra componets on it and it cost about $350.00. I rode this bike for a year or two and noticed a clicking from the bottom bracket. I now believe the bottom bracket was deflecting and causing the clicking. Cheesy frame

Which bike would I purchase if I were you? I will not mention a brand and I really don't follow mountain bikes (we have more roads than mountains where I live). Just get a good frame set. Also, please remember that the frame fit is critical to riding comfort.

Congrats on your progress so far and good luck in the future.

BTW: Guiness Draught only has 196 cals per pint per their web site.
 

koeneast

New Member
Sep 7, 2004
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I am so glad I found this website! You people are awesome! Thanks for the info on Guinness, maybe it just feels like 2000 calories! Or maybe I just have to keep telling myself that, because 196 calories seems like something I could indulge!
 

Vector7

New Member
Sep 13, 2003
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Koeneast...I would suggest using Cortislim to shed the pounds. This stuff works like a dream. You can get it on eBay or go to www.cortislim.com. We have a lady in our bike club that weighed in at 300lbs. She started riding and taking this stuff and she lost over 135lbs. It may help you too. Welcome to the sport. It's the best one in my opinion.

Best Wishes,
Vector7

koeneast said:
During a recent trip to Telluride, Colorado, I fell in love with mountains and with mountain biking. Now I am ready to make the big purchase. One problem, I'm a big girl. I have been on a weight loss program for about 6 months and it is going well, but I've got a long way to go. I've been reading up on the subject, but everything I read speaks of weights from 250-280 lbs. I am around 350, I told you I was a big girl! I really want to start biking, and I need a ride that will be able to hold me. Any ideas? Thanks, I'm dying to ride!