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Too fat to ride a bike?

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Old 07-20-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Too fat to ride a bike?

Is there such a thing as being too heavy to ride a bicycle? I'm 5'5" tall and weight about 255 lbs. I'm considering getting a bike, but I feel a bit self-conscious and am wondering if I could even ride one comfortably or if the weight would be too much on the tires?
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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My husband have been looking at bikes for months now and have been speaking with professionals at bike shops. We didn't want to go out and buy regular Schwinn bikes because we thought we would be too heavy. (I'm about 275 lbs and he's about 280 lbs).

We were told that most normal bikes (like a Schwinn from say, Walmart) will hold up to 300 lbs. The seat may be an issue, but there are more comfortable seats that can be bought to replace the original seat. We were told that over time the weight could eventually take a toll on the rims of the bike and they could bend. That's because most rims are just single rims, while many higher end bikes from bike shops have a double rim, which is better for larger people. But I do not foresee you having a problem with a regular bike that you buy from any store. You may just want to adjust the seat.

And do not feel self conscious about riding a bike. I have seen so many plus size women and men riding bikes lately and that just encourages me even more to want to get out there. Good luck on your bike shopping! I hope you find one that's perfect for you!
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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Definetly dont feel self-conscious! I would get a comfortable seat though. My seat gets more comfortable as I lose weight.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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I ride my cheap walmart bike regularly (not sure of the brand) and its doing well (I started riding it at about 275). I did replace the seat with a wider and more cushioned one, but other than that the bike held up well under my weight. My BFF has a bike as well, and hers actually says in the manual that it can hold up to 250, so may be it depends on the bike?
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Old 07-21-2012, 08:47 AM   #5
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No you are not!

And in the cycling world, you would be considered an "Athena".

Go forth and ride!
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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Thank you for the information and encouragement. Off to continue bike shopping.
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Old 07-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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Love the term Athena! Go for it!
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:54 PM   #8
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I've ridden my cheap walmart bike at 290. I would suggest having the first few rides be less than half an hour, then after that less than an hour, until you get used to it again.
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kisskiss View Post
I ride my cheap walmart bike regularly (not sure of the brand) and its doing well (I started riding it at about 275). I did replace the seat with a wider and more cushioned one, but other than that the bike held up well under my weight.

Me too I love my "grandma" seat as my girls call it and my skinny husband also bought himself one
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kisskiss View Post
I ride my cheap walmart bike regularly (not sure of the brand) and its doing well (I started riding it at about 275). I did replace the seat with a wider and more cushioned one, but other than that the bike held up well under my weight.

Me too I love my "grandma" seat as my girls call it and my skinny husband also bought himself one
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #11
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If you go to a sports store such as REI they will help you pick out a bike that is good for your size, weight, height, etc., and that will be most comfortable for you. It is a bit spendy doing it this way, but I realized a few years ago that at age 60-plus I had never had a NEW bike in my life, so decided it was time for a splurge.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:50 PM   #12
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When hubby and I decided to get bikes about five or six years ago, hubby weighed over 400 lbs, and I weighed about 360 to 370. We went to the fancy bikes shops first, because we assumed we'd need specially designed bikes, but we really couldn't afford the specialty bikes, especially since we weren't sure if we were going to be able to use the bikes.

The bike shop owners told us we didn't really need expensive bikes, we just had to look for bikes that had simple, solid-frame constructions (avoiding the bikes with a lot of springs and/or rubber/plastic parts of the frame).

We ended up buying the second cheapest bike that Walmart sold (there were quite a lot of bikes that fit the solid-frame construction rule).

I did end up having to replace my seat with a wider gel-seat, but otherwise it's been great.

I'm glad we didn't buy expensive specialty bikes, because it turns out hubby can't ride at all (he has balance issues as well neuropathy which makes it difficult for him to feel his feet and lower legs). I also have balance, pain, and mobility issues from arthritis and fibromyalgia, but my issues wax and wane, so I have good days and bad days. On bad days I don't have the balance or coordination for bike riding. On good days, I'm fine (though I'm not confident enough to ride in traffic).

I've considered saving up to by an adult trike, because I would be able to ride it even when my coordination and balance is off. Unfortunately, they're pretty expensive.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:42 PM   #13
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No....not at all. I started at 246 and am down to 209.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #14
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Kaplods, can you post a link or a picture of the bike you got? I'm looking for a bike too but I wanted something simple and durable. Most people recommend (understandably) going to a LBS but I just cannot afford to...and I want to make sure I can actually ride it and have a true interest before I invest a ton of $.
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Old 08-01-2012, 12:17 AM   #15
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http://www.walmart.com/search/search...h_constraint=0

My bike looks most like the Avalon and The Granite Peak, but all of the bikes on this page fit the description the LBS owners gave us (solid construction for the entire frame, even under the seat. The seat should be directly bolted to the frame, not to metal springs and DEFINITELY not to rubber or plastic parts).

I couldn't find any pics of what we were told to avoid except in kid's bikes and it'wasn't really easy to see what I was talking about... plastic and rubber parts that connected the handlebars to the rest of the frame, and/or under the seat. You don't want that.

As long as the frame doesn't have squishy/spring-like parts, and is instead made of all metal, you should be fine.

When we went to the bike shops we were really very up front about not being able to afford a bike shop bike, and that we didn't know if we would be able to bicycle because of our disabilities so we wanted to buy bikes that would "get us by" for a couple of years while we saved for better bikes. The shop owners were happy to help us (assuming correctly that we'd be so impressed, that when we were ready to buy a better bike we'd choose their shop). I do want a better bike eventually, and we will buy it from the shop where we were told what to look for in a Walmart or garage sale bike.
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