Best Bike (very) Overweight

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
dommyb
Posts: 1
Joined: 12 Jun 2019, 11:32pm

Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby dommyb » 12 Jun 2019, 11:55pm

Hey,

Any input appreciated....

What bike to buy to lose weight using govt scheme thru employers?

I know I can start super cheap, “see if I enjoy it”, etc but got budget in mind of say £1200......and yup know max govt allowance is 1k.

So don’t want out and out mountain bike but equally don’t want road bike. Thinking steel frame for strength so options include;

1. Kona Sutra - their website gives it large implying perfect mix up of mountain bike vs road vs adventure (plus brooks saddle for my fat rear.

2. Trek 520 (frame guarantee as well) - been perfecting design 20-odd years.......

3. Genesis tour de fer 10 (or 20 as flat bars - budget allowing?).......strongly recommended by the “bike expert” in a snow & rock to take my weight and he has the 10 and had cycled thru Spain on it.......

So any advice, opinions and guidance accepted & warmly welcomed.

Intention is just to get and start riding regularly even if first month 5k a day, etc. So will worry about riding gear and lights and shoes all in future. Just keen to get going, arrest weight and start weight loss (yep I know slow & steady and yep know and appreciate ratios on calories in vs expenditure, etc, etc - trust me I’m an expert on what I’m”should” be doing! Need to cut the bull and actually start) and stop onset of diabetes as running on borrowed time. And if you wanna know how bad 175kg! 6’1” tall and heavy smoker.

Many Thanks

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby Brucey » 13 Jun 2019, 12:56am

unfortunately you are over the weight limit for most conventional bikes, which means they probably won't honour any (frame) warranty. It might pay you to read the weasel words in the owner's manuals/warranties.

Thorn used to make emphasis of the fact that their frames were built strong enough for very heavy folk/loads. It may be worth speaking to them and seeing what they say. I think it should be possible to make a bike that is strong enough, eg by using tandem-rated parts where possible.

If you have problems with a bike these can range from 'gradual failures/shortened component life/graceful failure modes with lots of warning in non-critical parts' to 'sudden/catastrophic/breakages in critical parts'. The latter can put you in hospital or worse.

hth

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

gbnz
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Joined: 13 Sep 2008, 10:38am

Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby gbnz » 13 Jun 2019, 7:09am

dommyb wrote:..

What bike to buy to lose weight s


Concentrate on the basics. Buying and consuming yet another thing won't make the slightest bit of difference

pq
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Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby pq » 13 Jun 2019, 9:08am

Brucey, as always is spot on.

The only bike in my stable which would support your weight is my expedition tourer which is designed for carrying big loads on rough roads. However it was very expensive - waay over your budget. However you can get expedition tourers off the shelf at a much lower price, probably Thorn being your best bet, but I don't know whether they could do something suitable for the budget you have. In your shoes I'd give them a ring and see what they say.

Another possibility is something like a Surly Long Haul Trucker, but again, whether you could get one with a suitable spec on budget I don't know.

Good luck.
One link to your website is enough. G

random37
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Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby random37 » 13 Jun 2019, 11:24am

I used to be 150kg, I am now down to about 125kg. A few years ago, I used to race road bikes, and was 85kg. So while I'm not as big as you now, I feel like I'm qualified to chip in.

I don't want to sound mean, but I would say that at this point all the bikes you're looking at will be so uncomfortable to ride to you are unlikely to use them unless you spend at least £300 on new parts to make them bearable (higher stem, fatter tyres, new saddle, and probably a new back wheel). The bloke in the shop rode who across Spain on his Genesis gave you a bum steer, even though he probably didn't mean to. He would not have done that if he was 175kg. A bike like that will stare at you for years every time you walk into your garage and make you feel like you have failed as a cyclist. Ask me how I know. :(

The solution is to start by getting the miles in on any bike, and just concentrate on enjoying yourself. You have every right to enjoy riding a bicycle. It is an incredible sensation, like having wings for your feet. Go out regularly and the weight fall off, and in a year or two when you are 120kg any of those bikes will be brilliant.

These days, I ride an old MTB with special, hard to break wheels which I built myself. It's unlikely you'll break a frame, but you will break wheels, in particular back wheels on bikes that you'd commonly find in a bike shop.

I love my cycling again. My partner (who's also quite big) found my enthusiasm infectious. So I bought her an Elephant Bike.

https://www.cycleofgood.com/elephant-bike/

It's a brilliant bike. It was designed being abused by Royal Mail staff and carting loads that would make many touring bikes unrideable. You absolutely will not break it, and unlike almost all new bikes you won't need to subsequently spend more on parts to make it usable for you. It's easy to get on and off, and the pedals, seat and bars can be adjusted so it's easy to get them in the right place. My other half was nervous on her first ride, but had an enormous grin on her face when she got back. We'll be out together again when it stops raining!

In case you are wondering, the "Elephant Bike" decals are only vinyl and will peel off. I wish I'd bought one when I started again. I am seriously thinking about getting rid of my MTB and getting another Elephant bike, even for a tour. People have been round the world on much less.
Last edited by random37 on 13 Jun 2019, 11:57am, edited 4 times in total.

random37
Posts: 1945
Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 4:41pm

Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby random37 » 13 Jun 2019, 11:46am

pq wrote:However you can get expedition tourers off the shelf at a much lower price, probably Thorn being your best bet, but I don't know whether they could do something suitable for the budget you have.

Thorn's mega brochure quotes the maximum rider weight at 100kg for all bikes apart from the Sherpa, which is 128kg. See page 13:

http://www.sjscycles.com/thornpdf/thorn ... ochure.pdf

The Trek 520 has a weight limit of 125kg for rider and luggage (as an aside, what kind of fool specifies a bike like this without mudgards?):

https://www.trekbikes.com/gb/en_GB/bike ... 0/p/24000/

The Kona has a weight limit of 300lbs/136kg:

http://downloads.konaworld.com/docs/2K1 ... Manual.pdf

I imagine the Genesis is similar.

In reality, you aren't likely to break any of these. But they will all have underspecified wheels for your weight (wheels that will cope with your weight will feel too heavy to cycling reviewers, who are mostly failed racers) and you can expect them to fail quickly. If I was building a bike for you it would have Rigida Andra 40 rims, which are rated for 180kg. Such a set of wheels would cost £200ish if you had a shop build them. Mine are built with Exal SP19s, but you can't get those anymore. And remember you need a new saddle and stem as well.

A decent shop should give you an upgrade price if they're making wheels for you.

HobbesOnTour
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Joined: 20 Feb 2017, 5:12pm

Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby HobbesOnTour » 13 Jun 2019, 12:02pm

Hi Dommy,
Well done on taking the first step!
I think Random37 has it bang on...

random37 wrote:
The solution is to start by getting the miles in on any bike, and just concentrate on enjoying yourself. You have every right to enjoy riding a bicycle. It is an incredible sensation, like having wings for your feet. Go out regularly and the weight fall off, and in a year or two when you are 120kg any of those bikes will be brilliant.

These days, I ride an old MTB with special, hard to break wheels which I built myself. It's unlikely you'll break a frame, but you will break wheels, in particular back wheels on bikes that you'd commonly find in a bike shop.


Get some miles under your belt then look at a "proper" bike.

I'd second the idea of an old model, non suspension MountainBike, often bought very cheaply and some decent, strong wheels. I used SJS to build wheels for me when I converted my MTB for touring.

The most important thing is to enjoy the riding.

Also, those Elephant bikes are fantastic!

Best of luck!

random37
Posts: 1945
Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 4:41pm

Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby random37 » 13 Jun 2019, 12:34pm

Honestly? If you aren't going to invest in the tools or learn about the DIY route before you start, I would go for the Elephant Bike any day.
Unless you can find it all used, the conversion from an MTB (saddle, stem, wheels) will cost as much as the Elephant bike does delivered, and you won't need to do any fiddling. Projects are for the winter. It's nice out (or will be when it stops raining!). You could be out riding next week!

Brucey
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Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby Brucey » 13 Jun 2019, 1:05pm

I think the suggestion of the elephant bike is a good one too; its very difficult to break and furthermore it is a very practical machine; if you get in the habit of riding it places you can change your lifestyle and that may be half the battle won.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

dim
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Joined: 12 May 2019, 5:59pm

Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby dim » 13 Jun 2019, 1:45pm

get a Fatbike:

Image

Vorpal
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Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby Vorpal » 13 Jun 2019, 2:07pm

Wheels are likely to be the load capacity limit on most bikes.

I agree with most suggestions above.

Bike Friday is another company that makes bikes for heavy riders, if a folding bike might interest you. https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bike ... r-upgrades
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random37
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Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby random37 » 13 Jun 2019, 2:14pm

dim wrote:get a Fatbike:

With the bike in the picture, the bars are too low, and the saddle too narrow.
I've never owned a fatbike (they came out when I wasn't really cycling) and I'm sure there are advantages, but they are not going to be as good as a bike like the Elephant on a cycle trail. Realistically, I don't see a 175kg rider doing much offroading. And when they do, they will appreciate a different kind of bike to the one they're going to be able to use comfortably now.
Incidentally, I am not an employee of the charity which does them up. I'm just taken with them. I'm sure many Dutch/Cargo type bikes could work just as well if not better (albeit at more money).
Last edited by random37 on 13 Jun 2019, 2:20pm, edited 1 time in total.

alanesq
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Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby alanesq » 13 Jun 2019, 3:13pm

Myself being a "large chap" who also carries a lot of luggage, my experience is that the main thing is you will need good, hand built wheels otherwise you will be plagued by breaking spokes (btw - once one spoke goes there is no point replacing it as the others will soon follow).
My last ones which I am very happy with were custom built by SJS cycles for around £200.

simonhill
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Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby simonhill » 13 Jun 2019, 10:21pm

I was going to suggest the Elephant bike, but for (an additional) different reason.

Have you actually ridden a bike recently? You may well find getting on and starting to be quite difficult. That is where the elephant scores as it has a step through frame.

Far better to spend £250 to get started than mis- spending £1200.

Good luck.

Jamesh
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Re: Best Bike (very) Overweight

Postby Jamesh » 14 Jun 2019, 8:11am

Another idea would be to get a hybrid / touring bike and replace the wheels with a pair if tandem specific wheels.

Not sure that this is possible do tandems use wider hubs than 130 /135 on?

Just a thought

cheers James