1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by progfan1 View Post
    Michael,

    I'm just echoing many here, but I salute you. If I lived near you, I'd ride with you. You are an inspiration. Keep it up and never give up! God bless you, man.
    +1! And props to your LBS for getting out on the trail with you to get you started. Keep it up. Your ability, skills, and endurance will only continue to improve. Time for me to get out from in front of tis computer and get active!

  2. #27
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    Congratulations and I encourage you to stay with it. You'll drop the weight and also work up endurance over time as you get into shape.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  3. #28
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    You should ride carbohydrate starved so that you have to use fats to produce energy. Avoid eating starchy foods the night before you ride. Reduce some of the glycogen stored in your muscles and liver. Consume some simple carbs right before the ride to get a small blood sugar spike to provide some energy, then as that depletes, fat metabolism will kick in.

  4. #29
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    Mr Lambert, You are an inspiration.
    Whomever it was that said that you belonged on a couch obviously didn't put too much thought into what they were saying. Congratulations for taking on something that most people just complain about.
    Your local bike shop sounds awesome, I can't imagine some kid at Walmart offering to take you on the local rides.
    Adam

  5. #30
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    Nice job!

    Lots of good advice. I'll second the weight/resistance training recommendation. Start with one set--to exhaustion--of various exercises, i.e. push ups, curls, squats, dead lifts. Even if you only do a 15-minute workout, it always gets easier if you stick with it.

    As for the trainer/heart rate monitor workout, I do that during the cold Chicago winters. It's super convenient and great for monitoring progress, calories burned, etc. I use the system employed by Mark Allen, 5-time Ironman World Champion, to build endurance: Target BPM = 180 - age
    HRM Training Article

    Training at 146 bpm (based on your age) is doable for extended periods and prevents you from overtraining. And at the right bpm, you'll be surprised at how quickly your endurance improves. Whether on the trainer or on a ride, you'll find yourself going faster/harder just to get your rate up to the target level.

    It's a little tricky to get a trainer to replicate hill climbing, though. You can shift to the big ring and do intervals of intense spinning but it's just not the same (maybe others have had more success). That's where squats and lunges come in--with good form.

    Keep at it! Getting started was the hard part. As your cardio and strength improve, you'll eventually be able to push harder and longer. It takes time but your patience and commitment will be rewarded.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  6. #31
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Congratulations on the progress you've made so far.

    I wouldn't worry so much about heart rate zones. Whether you're at a very slow pace or at redline, you're still burning calories. There's some argument for high-intensity intervals for weight loss because your heart is going to take some time to slow down again, after clearing your muscles. The big reason for long, steady distance (not long, slow distance) as a base training method is that it lets you get more volume than if you hit redline a lot and can't do as long a ride, or have to take more days off. So don't ignore heart rate zones either if you find them a useful way to pace yourself. Just don't worry too much if now and then you end up in a higher zone climbing a hill or something. For heart rate zones, while there are certainly formulas around that you can use to guesstimate it, if you're going to use them, you're probably better off finding out what yours actually are. A lot of cycle training books have test protocols in them. Or you can go to a training center and have someone take you through a test protocol. TBH, I haven't bothered. I don't use a HRM.

    A trainer's a good idea. Cycle Ops is well-regarded and fluid trainers are about the best type going, especially when they're from a solid brand. They're built quite heavily. If anything, I'd be worried about the quick release skewer on the bike - that's how this type of trainer grasps the bike. It's about a $15 part if you bend one. So at worst, you'll find you just can't use the trainer yet. Get a fan! A big one.

    I don't know how long your 3 km take you. I do most of my training with time. I'd start with working up to rides of over half an hour before worrying about intensity. You might already be there, especially with hilly singletrack. Base training is generally seen as the type of training for weight loss - another name for long, slow distance - and this is all about working up in volume. Although if you're making progress, you might be fine to stick with your current volume. It's really all about how much time you want to spend on your bike every week.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #32
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    I have to say man I'm proud of you! Losing weight is never easy! Ignore all the idiots who put you down. We all weren't born with a super fast metabolism! The main thing is eat a diet with about 50% protein and %50 carbs and fats. Get a calorie tracking app (my fitness pal for iPhone is awesome). You can place your goal weight in and current weight and it will tell you the amount of calories to eat. As others have said weight training on off days is a great way to build muscle burn fat and increase your metabolism. Do you have an indoor pool available to you? Swimming is a great total body workout to help you shed total body fat and boost your cardio abilities.

    The main thing is don't get discouraged. The weight will come off. I just started 2 months ago with limiting caloric intake to 1700 and doing light weight training and trail biking. I'm down from 325 to 286 so far.
    [SIZE="5"]It's easy to make a buck, it's much harder to make a difference."[/SIZE]

  8. #33
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    Great job! Let me give you a preview of the future. I'm 36, 5'10" and a little over year ago I weighed 394 pounds. I lost some weight and bought the same bike you have when I hit 310 pounds. (I recently had to throw out the stock KHS seat because I bent the rails at 270 pounds.) I'm down to 256 today, and still losing, and spent 4 hours on singletrack this weekend. When I bought the bike I hadn't ridden one in 15 years. Keep pedaling, and you'll be using that suspension fork soon, and clearing plenty of the stuff that you're walking now.

    Good work. It gets easier.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeinchi View Post
    Nice job!

    Lots of good advice. I'll second the weight/resistance training recommendation. Start with one set--to exhaustion--of various exercises, i.e. push ups, curls, squats, dead lifts. Even if you only do a 15-minute workout, it always gets easier if you stick with it.

    As for the trainer/heart rate monitor workout, I do that during the cold Chicago winters. It's super convenient and great for monitoring progress, calories burned, etc. I use the system employed by Mark Allen, 5-time Ironman World Champion, to build endurance: Target BPM = 180 - age
    HRM Training Article

    Training at 146 bpm (based on your age) is doable for extended periods and prevents you from overtraining. And at the right bpm, you'll be surprised at how quickly your endurance improves. Whether on the trainer or on a ride, you'll find yourself going faster/harder just to get your rate up to the target level.

    It's a little tricky to get a trainer to replicate hill climbing, though. You can shift to the big ring and do intervals of intense spinning but it's just not the same (maybe others have had more success). That's where squats and lunges come in--with good form.

    Keep at it! Getting started was the hard part. As your cardio and strength improve, you'll eventually be able to push harder and longer. It takes time but your patience and commitment will be rewarded.
    Joe any exercises you could recommend for someone who doesn't have gym or trainer access?

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by scribble79 View Post
    Joe any exercises you could recommend for someone who doesn't have gym or trainer access?
    Sure. A set of dumbbells (maybe the adjustable weight type) would be a worthwhile investment. They allow you to do a variety of "push and pull" exercises for the same muscle group which prevents muscular imbalance, e.g. huge biceps, small triceps But here's an idea of what a full-body workut might look like:

    - Pushups
    - Barbell Rows (either bending over 90 degrees at the waist with a dumbbell in each hand or with one side elevated on a bench--knee and hand--working one side at a time)

    - Bicep Curls
    - Tricep Extensions (lying on the floor, hold dumbbells straight up from should and then bend arms 90 degrees back towards the sides of your head and then back up)

    - Squat Jumps (keep your weight on your heels, push your butt back until quads are parallel to the floor, back straight with hands clasped behind your head and shoot up and get some air. 10 is hard)
    - Dumbbell Squats (same as above without the jump)
    - Lunges With Barbells (again, keep the weight on your heels, don't let your knees hover past your toes, step forward, bend until your thigh is parallel to the floor and then step back)

    - Deadlift (be careful that you don't try to do too much weight use proper form)

    - V Ups (on your back, both legs in the air as close to vertical as possible, shoulders on the floor and then reach up to touch your toes. 20 is hard)
    - Oblique Cruch (knees up and bent 90 degrees, ankles overlapping, hands behind your head--now try to touch your elbows to the opposite knee diagonally)
    - Leg Downs (like a leg lift but the emphasis is to bring your legs down forcefully and then prevent them from touching the floor. Hands with palms down under your lower back/hips for support)

    I would certainly recommend you check out YouTube or other training videos to ensure you're using good form. Also search "body weight training" if you don't have much room or equipment. There are lots of ways to work out at home without much equipment but make sure you always use good form to prevent injury and maximize results.

    Also, mtb'ing can be a pretty rigorous sport, so the extra upper body and core strength definitely helps to limit fatigue and injury.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  11. #36
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    Can't give you any real help with your questions but just wanted to add my support! That's a lot of hard work and determination. People can be rude so I admire you for your ability to shrug it off and keep at it. You, your wife and your kids will all benefit from your decision to make the change.

  12. #37
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead!

    Heads up. All CycleOps trainers will be on sale at REI starting this Friday, 8/24. If you're not familiar, their fluid trainers are considered among the best (along with Kurt Kinetic products). Of course, like all quality products, it commands a premium price and is rarely offered on sale.

    REI's everyday price for the CycleOps Fluid2 is $329.00 but will drop to $246.75 starting Friday ... roughly an $80 savings. Sale runs through Labor Day, 9/3.

    CycleOps Fluid 2 Bike Trainer at REI.com
    Last edited by joeinchi; 08-20-2012 at 08:17 PM.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  13. #38
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    fasting has been practiced for centuries. juice fasting is fast, safe, and EASY when performed correctly. once you make it past day 3 you just coast, losing about 1 lb per day. your entire system clears out and it feels amazing.

    i did a 22 day juice fast a couple summers ago and lost 20 lbs. I would've gone longer but I never really needed to lose weight in the first place, i just wanted to detox. after the fast I felt rejuvenated inside and out, and my sense of smell increased tenfold.

    just something to look into.
    "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." -Back to the Future

  14. #39
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    Good job!

    Kudos to you Michael for doing the right thing for you and your family and don't let those naysayers get you down. F' them.
    Plenty of good advice here already, all you need to do is stick with what works for you. Good luck!!
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT

  15. #40
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    THanks guys,

    Someone asked about how long my 3Km takes me.. depends on what trail.. locally on our trail coulsons hill we have lots of climbs and the 3-4KM ride will take me about 30 mins, on our other trail king trils they have a 1km pretty flat loop.. and i can now do 6-8km in about 45 mins

    not looking to go crazy, but trying to get on the right path.. i do have a number of issues that have also pushed me into this direction, I am a Insulin type2 diabetic, Suffer from Gout, hypertension and Isthmic spondylolisthesis which is why i picked up biking i can do it pretty low impact but really feel the rougher trails. lol but its fun.. just dealing with the numbness that happens some times is hard..

    As for the walmart comment, its funny my wife and i went to walmart first.. They had a nice looking full suspension bike selling for $699.. so the guy pulled it down and i told him i was worried about the build.. he said jumped on it.. so i got on it and hopped twice on the pedals and snapped the crack case splitted the bike in half... i was shocked and he claimed it was a manufacture defect.. so i laughed and said okay pull down the other one nad i will check.. lol needless to say he would not..

    So i found the "Real" Bike shop in town and again did not want to break the bank and the bike he recommended was the one i bought and kind of felt cheated being i paid $950 for it and it seemed to have no of the cool stuff like the walmart bike did.. lol but he assured me i was buying quality components which now i can see.. so my concer was the build so he took on that was in stock but too small for me and i got on it and jumped like crazy twisted and everything no give at all.. aside from the fact i knew i would have to lock out the front fork for now.

  16. #41
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    Hey mike it's me Holly!
    You are awesome!
    Keep on inspiring yourself to keep on going!

    I still want to seek out and destroy that couch riding jerk. Totally if someone had said that to me when I was new I would have maybe given up. You are strong!

    And p.s the King main trail (I think it's around 5k) used to take me over an hour for one loop.

  17. #42
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    Good job mate! I have been losing weight myself. I went from 265 to 230 in about 3 months. My favorite thing isn't dropping pants sizes or looking thinner but the increase in energy. It is crazy how much more stamina I have. Still have a ways to go before I hit my goal but so far the progress has been great
    My diet has been the biggest factor in my weight lose. I've actually been pretty bad with physical exercise lately but that should change soon once I get my new bike.

  18. #43
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    Congratulation on getting on track to a healthier life. You're lucky you found an exercise that you enjoy - I believe this is truly key to regular exercise.

    Also, good on the weight loss. Your local trails look great for someone in your situation - not too tough, but not too easy. Keep on the trails as much as you can.

    I'm not too fond of riding in traffic, so I try to keep on dirt or rail trails. Riding around town does happen occasionally, but I keep to the suburban residentail roads, not any main roads.

    As for group rides... I've been riding for over 5 years, but deal with a respiratory issue that will always be a problem. So I'm slow. Instead of riding alone all the time, I started posting up "Slow Guys" rides on the local mtb forum. There are lots of riders out there who can't keep up with the fast riders - no reason they should have to ride solo all the time. We've had some pretty nice rides, and I've met some good people.

    Keep up the good work.

    Steve Z
    Pedaling when it's dry
    And paddling when it's wet

    My insignificant blog:
    http://swampboy62.blogspot.com/

  19. #44
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    i dont know anything about the trainers, your original question. but keep up the good work, keep at it ! in time you will cut down that upper body fat. keep riding watch what you eat, and count your calories. get a plan started and shoot for the moon, dont get discouraged it takes time and motivation ! once a week i watch this video, it keeps me going !

    i weighed in at 320 pounds last yr, this yr this morning im at 269. but i ride, i work out 5-6 days aweek and when i ride i push 10 miles road and or trail. keep at great job !

  20. #45
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    Just wanted to say: Keep up the great work on it Michael, and don't let none of the asinine people out there get you down, including the idiots driving.

  21. #46
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    first keep up the good work. As for the trainers, if you are worried about the max weight try putting some 2x4s under the bottom bracket to help the trainer support the bike.

    If you want some nice trails to try come west to Burlington or Hamilton. There are several trails to try as well.

  22. #47
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    THanks guys,

    Someone asked about how long my 3Km takes me.. depends on what trail.. locally on our trail coulsons hill we have lots of climbs and the 3-4KM ride will take me about 30 mins, on our other trail king trils they have a 1km pretty flat loop.. and i can now do 6-8km in about 45 mins
    For me, it's hard to do a good speed workout in less than an hour. It takes some time to warm up, and I often do them at least a few minutes' ride away from where I live.

    When you get to rides of an hour, start mixing up your workouts some more. Emphasize intensity in one or two of them. Keep pushing the volume on one or two of them. Variety is good.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  23. #48
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    I'm glad you lost that much weight on in the first 5 months! I need to lose some myself!

  24. #49
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    Strong work sir! I work in healthcare and have seen so many that could have done what you are doing but never did and the outcomes were never pleasant. Keep up the good work and keep the rubber-side down.

  25. #50
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    Michael, great job on both trying to improve your health as well as starting to ride! Mountain biking is an amazing niche sport and it will enrich your life for years. I myself am an overweight rider. I weigh about 270 and really wish I could get down to 200. Three problem is I love my food, LOL. I've been riding for about 12 years now, and I still love the look on skinny riders when I pass them on the uphills and downhills...

    If i could offer you some advice, though, it would be this: my wife recently dropped about 120 lbs eating the paleo diet. Its a diet that advocates healthy unprocessed foods and heavily restricts carbs, you can google it and find out all about it. Basically, from what I understand, your body is made up of 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. Changing your nutrition has much more of an impact than the exercise you do, so a more casual approach to exercise might be easier as long as you can change your eating habits. I just recommend to enjoy your rides and try to find riding buddies to make it more fun. You'll naturally want to exercise when you have fun at it...

    Good luck to you! If you're ever in Socal and you need a riding buddy msg me, no problem.
    The fittest fat guy you'll meet...

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