About bike shops for big people?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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Mick F
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby Mick F » 16 Jun 2019, 10:51am

Years ago ............. when we had a telly ............. there was a programme called Superstars.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superstars

Geoff Capes was HUGE and supremely fit. 30st or something. He won many a race, including cycling races.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Capes

What bike was he using?
Mick F. Cornwall

gbnz
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby gbnz » 16 Jun 2019, 10:59am

random37 wrote:Something needs to be done to help these people - it's obvious from some of the jokes in this thread that they aren't going to get this from their local cycling club.


Hmm...I've a morbidly obese younger brother and younger sister. The pair of them are perhaps 2.5 times my weight, my brother not being able to walk across a level floor easily for the last five years.

But these people have to help themselves (NB. And not to 3rd, 4th, 5th helpings). The comments directed at me this year are probably typical of the morbidly obese persons self delusion, including,"You're too thin", "You don't eat enough", "You have an appalling diet" (Nb. This related to the fact that I routinely include lentils within my cooking. Hardly a food renowned as "junk" :roll: ). Perhaps I should add that I've never mentioned weight to them, or the medical interventions they needed by 40 to stay alive :roll:

slowster
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby slowster » 16 Jun 2019, 11:11am

Threads like this crop up fairly frequently, but it does not follow that there would be sufficient demand within a given locality for a LBS to cater to this market.

This is not really a bike industry marketing issue, it's a (mental and physical) health issue. The posters come on here because they want to change, but they lack knowledge and/or confidence. They could just as easily be asking about taking up swimming, running or any other physical activity with which they lack familiarity. What makes cycling slightly different is that it requires a somewhat specialist piece of equipment, i.e. a bike, and most people lack the knowledge of what sort of bike would best suit them (as well as often lacking confidence about dealing with things like punctures and being unduly afraid of riding on roads compared with when they last road a bike as a child).

I think the NHS already makes it possible in some cases for GPs to prescribe discounted or free gym membership to extremely overweight people, and it would make sense for them to be able to offer a range of different activities for such patients. Some people would never use a gym, some would never go swimming, some would never ride a bike, but a choice increases the likelihood of there being at least one activity which would suit them and with which they would persevere. For many cycling would be ideal, because it doesn't involve the embarassment for someone very overweight of wearing a swimming costume or gym clothes, and there is no need to travel to the bike or get changed for it (unlike the pool or gym - the journey and the need to get changed is just another potential disincentive).

In an ideal world, GPs would be able to prescribe the use of an Elephant Bike for a limited period. Even better if there was someone who helped the patient set up the bike (saddle/bar height) and went with them for their first few rides (or more) to get them going and provide confidence and reassurance. At the end of the period, say a few months, the bike would be returned. If the patient was still cycling at that point, they could then buy their own bike (whether a new Elephant Bike, the bike they had been loaned at a discount, or a completely different type of bike if they no longer needed something as heavy and robust as an Elephant Bike).
Last edited by slowster on 16 Jun 2019, 2:45pm, edited 1 time in total.

random37
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby random37 » 16 Jun 2019, 11:25am

gbnz wrote:But these people have to help themselves (NB. And not to 3rd, 4th, 5th helpings).

There's a distinct lack of empathy in your attitude. Science tells us that obesity is an illness, not far removed from addiction. Yet we still insist on shaming people, passing compulsive eating off as some sort of moral failing.
If it was as easy as eating less, organisations like Weight Watchers would actually help people lose weight. No-one would choose to be morbidly obese.

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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby random37 » 16 Jun 2019, 11:31am

slowster wrote:Threads like this crop up fairly frequently, but it does not follow that there would be sufficient demand within a given locality for a LBS to cater to this market.

Interesting post, slowster. I think I agree with you, sadly.
I suppose the service I'm thinking of would be closer to a personal trainer\counsellor than a bike shop.

Jamesh
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby Jamesh » 16 Jun 2019, 1:15pm

Things are changing.

Social prescribing is now mainstream.

GP will prescribe a social prescribing alternative to medication etc.

The social prescribers (short term support worker) role is to work with the client on the issues they have, be it weight or mental health etc.

They should link in with providers of cycling such as bike libraries bike ability etc.

This is now part of GP's contract and GP's are required to commission these services.

Cheers James
Last edited by Jamesh on 16 Jun 2019, 8:01pm, edited 1 time in total.

simonhill
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby simonhill » 16 Jun 2019, 2:48pm

I heard an interesting statistic on the radio a few weeks ago. The average weight of a man in the UK in the 1950s was 10 stone.

I was surprised by this and googled it to confirm, but after a less than exhaustive search, could only find the figure for Americans in the 50' which was 12 stone.

This presumably means that over time everything has been made to cope with this increasing weight, not least bikes.

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TrevA
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby TrevA » 16 Jun 2019, 3:23pm

Mick F wrote:Years ago ............. when we had a telly ............. there was a programme called Superstars.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superstars

Geoff Capes was HUGE and supremely fit. 30st or something. He won many a race, including cycling races.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Capes

What bike was he using?


My friend George used to work for Raleigh and they supplied the bikes to the programme. It would have been a standard road bike from their range- possibly a Raleigh Europa.

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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby gbnz » 16 Jun 2019, 6:51pm

random37 wrote:There's a distinct lack of empathy in your attitude


Hmm..empathy? Whats your weight?

Something in the title gives it away - "BIG" people

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Mick F
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby Mick F » 16 Jun 2019, 7:21pm

TrevA wrote:
Mick F wrote:Years ago ............. when we had a telly ............. there was a programme called Superstars.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superstars

Geoff Capes was HUGE and supremely fit. 30st or something. He won many a race, including cycling races.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Capes

What bike was he using?


My friend George used to work for Raleigh and they supplied the bikes to the programme. It would have been a standard road bike from their range- possibly a Raleigh Europa.
Thanks.

Therefore, what's the problem with the OP?
Mick F. Cornwall

Barks
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby Barks » 16 Jun 2019, 8:12pm

The cycling industry has advice on people training to do 100 mile rides, but little on people who want to get to the shops, or ride to the park for an ice cream with their kids.
- and that is the main problem with encouraging cycling amongst the general population in this country, it is marketed as an athletic activity rather than part of normal every day activity. You only rarely see Lycra clad individuals on racing bikes in countries like the Netherlands and Denmark, the morning commute is packed full with people from all age groups on step through sit up bikes with racks, crates and panniers loaded up in all seasons and weathers including ice and snow. The main driver to increase cycling use in the UK surely must be to increase routine activity levels amongst the general population in order to increase the health and well-being of that population which includes reducing the overbearing presence of motor vehicles in our city and town centres and AS A BY-PRODUCT reduce the effects of vehicle pollution. A good start would be to Zero rate the VAT on utility type bikes the cost of which is highly likely to be covered many times over by reductions in costs to the NHS due to having a healthier population - this of course would need a cost/benefit analysis to prove but I would be very surprised if it showed the opposite.

pwa
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby pwa » 17 Jun 2019, 6:25am

random37 wrote:
pwa wrote:A Thorn with a Rohloff hub would probably cope pretty well if the individual elements are chosen carefully. Even the saddle would need consideration. But you would be having to think of a budget of something like £2k or more. Not cheap.

Actually, Thorn Rolhoff models are all rated at 100KG maximum for rider and bike apart from the Sherpa.
I think you could have a much less sophisticated machine. Weight would not be an issue, nor would lots of gears or a frame made of esoteric materials. Those are the domain of bike nerds like us. You have to be REALLY big before you need to look at a special frame. And there is no need for gears if you stop to push up hills, as countless old CTC films from when most bikes had Sturmey hubs show. Really unfit people aren't able to ride up steep or even moderate hills with any gear, no matter how low.
I think I might get into the shed.

I think a choice of really low gears is more important for inexperienced or overweight cyclists than for the fitter regular cyclists. And while I know Thorn have that weight limit, if it were me I would talk to them to discuss how with careful component choice I might build up a Thorn bike that would be suitable. I have a Thorn Rohloff tandem in my garage and as far as I am aware I could take the wheels off it and put them on one of their solo framesets. If they are good enough for two average weight adults they are good enough for one heavy adult. Surely one of their heavier frames would cope. The problems might come with saddle selection.

random37
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby random37 » 17 Jun 2019, 10:56am

gbnz wrote:Hmm..empathy? Whats your weight?

It's none of your business what I weigh. But as you ask, I have been very overweight, now I'm merely a bit overweight. I'm happy with what I weigh, and I am in good health, thank you for asking.
I started this thread because I want to help other people, and possibly make money.

gbnz wrote:Something in the title gives it away - "BIG" people


And what's wrong with calling people "BIG"? Is it helpful or kind to call people obese, or fat, or one of the many other names people call them? Do you think that will help them change?

random37
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby random37 » 17 Jun 2019, 10:58am

pwa wrote:I think a choice of really low gears is more important for inexperienced or overweight cyclists than for the fitter regular cyclists. And while I know Thorn have that weight limit, if it were me I would talk to them to discuss how with careful component choice I might build up a Thorn bike that would be suitable. I have a Thorn Rohloff tandem in my garage and as far as I am aware I could take the wheels off it and put them on one of their solo framesets. If they are good enough for two average weight adults they are good enough for one heavy adult. Surely one of their heavier frames would cope. The problems might come with saddle selection.

They could build a bike, certainly, but I personally don't see why you'd need to. A simpler, cheaper bike would be adequate, with less of a barrier to entry.

pwa
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Re: About bike shops for big people?

Postby pwa » 17 Jun 2019, 2:55pm

random37 wrote:
pwa wrote:I think a choice of really low gears is more important for inexperienced or overweight cyclists than for the fitter regular cyclists. And while I know Thorn have that weight limit, if it were me I would talk to them to discuss how with careful component choice I might build up a Thorn bike that would be suitable. I have a Thorn Rohloff tandem in my garage and as far as I am aware I could take the wheels off it and put them on one of their solo framesets. If they are good enough for two average weight adults they are good enough for one heavy adult. Surely one of their heavier frames would cope. The problems might come with saddle selection.

They could build a bike, certainly, but I personally don't see why you'd need to. A simpler, cheaper bike would be adequate, with less of a barrier to entry.

Cheaper and simpler are good qualities to aim for, but can you think of a more affordable bike with wheels that could reliably cope with say 150kg? The Rohloff rear wheels can have upto 36 spokes with no dishing, which must make a stronger wheel than normal if you use a robust rim. If you can think of equally strong wheels done in a cheaper way, great. But off the top of my head I can't.

Going a bit off topic, my advice to anyone very overweight and considering cycling would be to initially do other things to lose weight, then start the cycling later as a second phase of the journey to a healthier life. Firstly, cut out sugar and alcohol. And build up the walking done. And go looking for a bike when the weight is down to about 110 kg and getting a normal bike that will take the weight is not going to be as difficult. But diet is the main thing. It takes an awful lot of exercise to work off one packet of biscuits. I speak as someone who has some weakness in this department.