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. #1
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    Too Big (Fat) but Determined!!!

    Hey guys,

    So long story as short as i can make it, 34 years old 5'10 and back in March i was 410 pounds!!! Due to health issues my doctor demanded i get off my lazy butt and do something about my health or he was just going to stop seeing me. Married with three kids i agreed!

    Decided back in March i wanted to ride, simple low impact exercise i can do.. atleast think i can .. So i bought a bike.. talked to the bike shop and we decided on a KHS Aguila.. In my budget, some quality parts.. however due to the weight i can not use the front fork.. Just sitting on the bike fully compresses the fork.. So I bought the bike knowing i would be riding it ridged with no suspension..

    So rode it around town a bit, got bored of that found out we have some local trails so the shop owner took me out several times now and having a blast... But I really really really need to get more cardio and riding around here in ontario has limited warm and dry riding times.. and i am not exactly stable on the bike so riding in the wet and slippery trails is not something i choose to do just yet..

    So 5 months later, i am down to 365 pounds.. getting better on the bike but still not the greatest and trying to find time to get more time on the bike and increase my cardio.. So i have been looking at buying a trainer for it.. With a spare rim and training tire.. So the days i want to ride i can just jump on it and go.. I have been doing the gym and tired of waiting for a stationary bike to come free and when they do it just does not feel or ride the same.

    My questions is, I can't find weight limits for the trainers.. I am looking at buying a cycleops Fluid 2 trainer, read some where that they have been tested to like 300 pounds.. So i think if i ride it with caution ( Sitting down ) then it should not be an issue.

    So questions.. And yes i have been told at the trail "Some people should just stay home and ride the couch" so if you feel that way by all means move along..

    1) Will i have issues with the trainer??

    2) Anyone care to share suggestions one what targets ( Heart rate? ) i should be aiming for to burn fat... while i have lost weight i have lost most of it on my legs, i have nice looking legs and calfs (So my wife says) but i have not lost in the upper body.

    3) Anyone know where i can find a 6 or a 7XL cycing shirt.. lol I found a 5XL at Love2Pedal which i wear 5XL T-Shirts and they are slightly baggy so i figured a 5XL cycling shirt would be snug but work out.. As wearing regular shits they get heavy when wet, catch on trees easy and don't breath soo well.. however the 5XL cycling shirt was like trying to squeese into a 3XL tshirt for me

    Anyways, When i get my 10 post i will post up a video of my local ride.

  2. #2
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    Here is some video of my first real ride, Took a lot of bumps, fell a few times really winded most of the ride.. but was determined to complete the course.. they do wed night races and the average racer was doing the course in 12 minutes.. it took me almost 45 mins


    First real ride.

  3. #3
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    No advice on the trainer, but keep at it. Really any sort of exercise will help you tremendously. Just staying active, even just walking, will help. The weight will continue to shed off and your cardio will get way better.

    I used to be very heavy as a young teen and around the age of 14 I decided to do something about it. Rollerblading was my saving grace. Now I'm 5' 9" and 175lbs. Once you get there it's super easy to stay.

  4. #4
    Serenity now!
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    Great work on the massive weight loss! People who make comments like that to you at the trailhead ought to be sent to their rooms for a time-out. Shame on them.

    I find that cutting down on carbs like bread and soda has helped me lose weight around the middle. (I'm a work in progress, down 17# with 24 to go.). You might check out the Mark's Daily Apple website for more info.

    Check the Clydesdale forum here for clothing and trainer suggestions. Lots of cool, knowledgable big guys post there.

    Welcome, and keep up the good work. It just gets more and more fun to ride as you get better at it and gain more cardio. I am nowhere near where I want to be skill- or fitness-wise, but I have a blast every stinking time I get on my bike.

  5. #5
    Flow like water
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    You know, Michael, that you are in rare territory with gadgets like trainers. It is good to read the specs, but you will just have to experiment a bit. I'm sure that is not new to you, though.

    The clothing is important. I don't own a bike jersey. I do buy polyester, dry-wicking t-shirts for all outdoor activities. Under Armor is good stuff. In the US, Sports Authority has a good selection, and the stores can probably order your size. In Canada, I don't know the stores. My wife sometimes finds sports tees for me from Wally World with dry-wicking tags.

    The bike jerseys are mostly made in Europe for skinny people. Their XL is barely a L in North American sizes.

  6. #6
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    Keep at it, man! Screw those guys who made those comments at the trail- they obviously weren't hugged enough by their moms.

    I know nothing about trainers but just wanted to stress it's as important on what you put into your body as it is the activity you do. I'm sure you already know that with the success you've already have getting in better shape.

    I second the Clydesdale forum- great group of guys who can encourage and educate quite well. Please keep us updated.
    ez
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
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    - 2011 Kona Unit (singlespeed) XL

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys,

    Over the years i have grown a thick skin and learned to tollerate most.. so i tend to just ignore the negitives and try and focus on the positives..

    I have found a great shop here in town who is doing alot ot help me, working with my diet as that has always been one hard thing eating to lose weight but also trying to eat enough to get in a ride is not always easy.. atleast for me. but working on it..

    This is the other set of trails by our home..
    KingCity Trails - YouTube

    Two weeks after i got the bike I was riding on the road, usually later in the evenings due to work so 8-9pm before it got dark but had a really good light, rear flasher and reflective shirt for riding yet i still got clipped by a car throwing me of my bike and the guy told the cops " I could not safely pass him with out taging him as he was such a wide object and with oncoming cars i accidently hit him".. and then was pissed he got a ticket and demerit points for wreckless driving causing harm.

    So after that i have moved to the trails... I do get lots of bumps, scraps and cuts from falling but so far safer than taking on real cars. lol

  8. #8
    No Stranger to danger....
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    All im gonna say is well done brother, keep it up mate, cheers
    Dont ever let the truth get in the way of a funny story....

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    Two weeks after i got the bike I was riding on the road, usually later in the evenings due to work so 8-9pm before it got dark but had a really good light, rear flasher and reflective shirt for riding yet i still got clipped by a car throwing me of my bike and the guy told the cops " I could not safely pass him with out taging him as he was such a wide object and with oncoming cars i accidently hit him".. and then was pissed he got a ticket and demerit points for wreckless driving causing harm.
    Wait, he saw you, knew he had to pass safely, and still hit you?

    And he's made he's getting a ticket? WTF is wrong with people today?
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  10. #10
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    And yes i have been told at the trail "Some people should just stay home and ride the couch" so if you feel that way by all means move along..
    The answer to that is "Sure, I might be big but every time I ride I lose a bit of weight and will eventually end up slim. How many rides do you have to do before you stop being an arrogant prick?"

    Nice work on your current results, keep it up. I'm down from 300 to 250 at the moment, aiming for around 200 lbs.

    When it comes to heart rate zones I don't care much for all those theoretical rules of thumb. For me the important number is when I switch to running oxygen starved.

    Find a long, not too steep hill, pick a decent gear and start spinning at a cadence you feel comfortable with while keeping an eye on the heart rate. Your heart rate should be steadily increasing and at some point you will feel your legs start burning, that's a sign that your system can no longer pump enough oxygen to keep up with the energy spent. For me that happens around 160 beats per minute, but it's highly individual. Do a couple of climbs and you'll eventually get a feel for what your number is.

    The crazy thing is, when it comes to burning fat the intensity of your workout has very little to say. Tests on road bikes show that riding 15 mph or 20 mph gives almost exactly the same amount of calories spend per mile, in short it's must better to ride 20 miles at 15 mph than 15 miles at 20 mph, from a pure energy burning perspective.

    With that in mind your first aim should be to build up ride distance. I started out with a couple of miles, then added 100-150 yards every time out, eventually ending up with my current 15 mile training distance.

    In order to ride further and further I kept an eye on my heart rate and tried to keep below those 160 bpm I found out to be my threshold. If my heart rate started to reach 160 I would slow down and pick an easier gear. If you can't keep your heart rate in control you're going too fast. I kid you not, at one point I was outrun by a butterfly, it flew in front of me while I was slowly crawling up a hill in "granny gear", stayed with me for a while, then got bored and flew ahead. I made a real effort not to exceed those 160 on the climbs, going slow as hell when that was what it took.

    Once I reached my goal of a 15 mile loop I started ignoring my heart rate on some of the climbs, letting it go higher than 160. Generally I started pushing for speed, going faster on the last mile, going faster on the last 1.5 mile, going faster on the last 2 miles and so on, gradually shaving time of my personal record at the end of the ride where I knew I could always limp home if I pushed too hard.

    First time I managed to do my 15 mile loop it took almost 2 hours. These days I do it in 1 hour 15 minutes. I slowly build up the distance in small steps until I reached 15 miles, then slowly build up the speed on those 15 miles each time out.

    To recap, practice going slow enough to keep your heart rate below the threshold. If it gets too high, you're going too fast. It's okay to do short sprints up small hills from time to time, but keep your focus on building distance for starters. Once you have an acceptable distance, start adding speed, training your muscles to work oxygen starved from time to time.

  11. #11
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    If burning legs is a sign your heart can't keep up I should be dead. I'm really bad about grinding it out while my chest and legs are on fire. Lol.

  12. #12
    Save Jesus
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    2) Anyone care to share suggestions one what targets ( Heart rate? ) i should be aiming for to burn fat... while i have lost weight i have lost most of it on my legs, i have nice looking legs and calfs (So my wife says) but i have not lost in the upper body.
    The higher the heart rate, the more the body burns carbs instead of fat.
    I would suggest longer, slower rides for fat burning, and an occasional sprint for strength and fitness.

    Back when I was losing weight, it seemed that diet made the biggest difference, and exercise not so much.

  13. #13
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    My rides are not crazy, I tend to do 5-6km and am pretty dead.... Its the cardio that i have the issues with, I climb some of the smaller technical hills faster and some hills that guys i ride with who ride 30-40km rides can't.. i do have big strong legs and thats great, but when i get to the top of the smaller hill im dead and totally winded!.. So the cardio is something i am working on. One of the main reasons for looking to grab a trainer so i can plop down infront of a movie watch my watch and maintain a nice steady easy heart rate..

    The first time i rode a real trail that first video there i actually had to turn my heart rate monitor off as it was going nuts hitting 220 and the computer did not like that.

    As for the car hitting me yes, He seen me... lots of traffic coming from the other direction and got tired of waiting behind me... and I was on a uphill so did not want to stop as it would that much harder to get going again.. He tried to squeeze by but what got me was i was tight on the curb already which had a guard rail.. and he hit me with his mirror in my lower back and actually pushed me a few feet before my front handle bar spun on me and i went over.. and the guy behind him said that he had plenty of space he could have moved over 3-4 feet to go around me and still have lots of room with on coming traffic..

  14. #14
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    Dude honestly, I'm 24 and just want to give you mad props on getting motivated and doing something about the weight.

    If I saw you on the trails I would give you a big high 5 for ripping.

    I suggest that you get a heart rate monitor, that will let you see what HR zone your heart is in, and you want to be in zone 3 upper - 4lower for most efficient fat burning which surprisingly isn't full out heart racing riding, its steady brisk riding where you can still talk sentence at a time.

    Not sure if you meant Ontario Canada, but if it is I would see if you live near any rail trails like the Caledon Trailway etc - where you can ride a flatter gravel trail for longer distances and keep your HR in a set zone easier.

  15. #15
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    yes its ontario canada... I am not far from Caledon.. I actually live just south of Barrie Ontario.. We do have plenty of easier surfaces to ride on even the local trails like coulsons hill i have riden the top part not going down into the ravine area and i can ride 3-4km of trail that is pretty much all flat with little elevations..

  16. #16
    Flow like water
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    My rides are not crazy, I tend to do 5-6km and am pretty dead.... Its the cardio that i have the issues with, I climb some of the smaller technical hills faster and some hills that guys i ride with who ride 30-40km rides can't.. i do have big strong legs and thats great, but when i get to the top of the smaller hill im dead and totally winded!.. So the cardio is something i am working on. One of the main reasons for looking to grab a trainer so i can plop down infront of a movie watch my watch and maintain a nice steady easy heart rate..

    The first time i rode a real trail that first video there i actually had to turn my heart rate monitor off as it was going nuts hitting 220 and the computer did not like that.

    As for the car hitting me yes, He seen me... lots of traffic coming from the other direction and got tired of waiting behind me... and I was on a uphill so did not want to stop as it would that much harder to get going again.. He tried to squeeze by but what got me was i was tight on the curb already which had a guard rail.. and he hit me with his mirror in my lower back and actually pushed me a few feet before my front handle bar spun on me and i went over.. and the guy behind him said that he had plenty of space he could have moved over 3-4 feet to go around me and still have lots of room with on coming traffic..
    There are times when it is necessary to confront bullies. This is one of them. Let this man know that you know where he lives, and that he put your life and health at risk.

  17. #17
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    The good thing is the bike is holding up.. When i bought it the bike shop did show concerns with my weight and the rims.. Seems in MTB its not uncommon to fold a rim and when your 3 times the avereage weight trying to do stuff that the avereage do the folding of rims would happen more often..

    I gotta say, i have never damaged a rim.. I have fallen off the bridges a couple of times and bent the derailer a few times.

    The only thing i have damaged and damaged a couple of times is since getting the bike i have had to replaced the Seat three times.. My weight with the bouncing motion over the roots and rocks the seat rails take a beating and end up bend in a way that the seat is no longer comfortable.. but i really don't mind spending $20-30 every couple of months on a new seat.. and call it a simple investment

  18. #18
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    I must say, you my friend should be the poster child for cycling for health. I can't say enough how awesome and inspiring it is to see stories of people getting up and doing something to shed that kind of weight. I'm 6'2 at ~230 myself and can't keep to a better diet to save my life, so yeah.

    Anyway, I must second the idea of rail to trail riding. If you have a bike rack and are willing to travel I don't think you'll much better trails as far as near steady grades are concerned. Plus the scenery is usually just as good as riding single track. Keep at it and g'luck bro

  19. #19
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    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.

  20. #20
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    I thank you guys for the positive comments.

    I do feel bad when i do ride with the guys i do, these would be guys i guess like many here who race weekly, and tend to 25-30K rides as a leasurly workout. Yet they jump on there bikes with me.. Do my 5Km in 45 mins some times i seems like they are riding backwards while Im going full out.. lol

    But i guess they don't mind they keep coming out with me, and hopefully one day i can return the favor and haul around the track with them!

  21. #21
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    You sir, are a true inspiration. Keep up the great work and keep us posted. Positive attitude and hard work will help you reach your goals.

  22. #22
    gran jefe
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    Go easy on the trainer and it ought to be okay. don't lean back and forth too much, don't stand up, be careful getting on and off, etc.

    I am impressed and I wish you all the best.

  23. #23
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    Throw a little bit of weight training in on the days you don't ride. Low weight high reps for some muscle tone. Focuse on slow movement and weight control. Muscle burns fat! Like Beanbag said diet plays a huge role. I lost 15 lbs inless than a month just by changing the way I eat. Lots of fruits and veggies but don't forget protiens. A personal trainer told me once that if your not eating right or doing weight training with your cardio you will actually burn muscle instead of fat. Anywho, keep up the good work. Get the family involved too. It will make for great bonding time with your kids!

  24. #24
    Clyde on a mission!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    If burning legs is a sign your heart can't keep up I should be dead. I'm really bad about grinding it out while my chest and legs are on fire. Lol.
    Hehe, I know that feeling.

    Thing is, running oxygen starved really cuts down on how far you're able to ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    My rides are not crazy, I tend to do 5-6km and am pretty dead.... Its the cardio that i have the issues with, I climb some of the smaller technical hills faster and some hills that guys i ride with who ride 30-40km rides can't.. i do have big strong legs and thats great, but when i get to the top of the smaller hill im dead and totally winded!..
    Try going slower up those hills. Pick a nice, low gear and just spin up at a comfortable pace. Going slow and "easy" allows you to expand on those 5-6km and that's where your aim should be at the moment. Your cardio will improve as you add distance, so add a tiny bit of extra distance each time out and in a couple of months your cardio will allow you to ride three times the distance.

    Focus solely on building up distance for the time being, even if that means climbing hills at a snails pace. Small increments in distance each time out. If you ride too fast you'll bonk out and not be able to increase the distance.

    I just took a look at my ride log. When I started riding last summer I hadn't done any kind of exercising in 20 years, I was so out of shape it was hard to believe. On July 10th 2011 I was completely spent doing a 5.6km ride. By the end of August 2011, 30 rides later, I was doing 22 km rides without too much trouble. I was slow as hell, but my cardio had gone up from allowing me 5 km and 30 minutes to allowing me to do 22 km and close to two hours in the saddle. All from just going slow enough and adding a bit of distance each time out.

    Quote Originally Posted by michael lambert View Post
    So the cardio is something i am working on. One of the main reasons for looking to grab a trainer so i can plop down infront of a movie watch my watch and maintain a nice steady easy heart rate..
    Good idea.

  25. #25
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    Keep up the good work Michael! Loosing weight is defintely not an easy thing, I also know from experience. I was 305 lbs two years ago at the age of 20. Got made fun of my whole like through school, bunch of pricks! Decided it was time to do something too, I lost a 110 lbs in one year with dieting and running 3 miles a day. I just had surgery 3 weeks ago and rewarded myself with a tummy tuck to get rid of all the excess skin and fat. Also another thing that might help you that helped me was jump rope, running/walking, motocross, and biking. Hang in there man, your doing great, alot of people complain about losing 10 lbs, your defintely on your way and losing it the right way!

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