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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hmm... I started riding again last weekend, I have natural ability when it comes to sports and such, so the riding came right back. I started slow with a few miles and now I can make 5-8 miles really easily and even at a good pace. I am a big guy at 6'2" and 275lbs, so I have a long way to go in getting back down to 210-220lbs. I have a big bone structure and have always been a big guy, but when I was 23, I was 215lbs with a 32" waist. I don't think those days are coming back, but maybe I could get close. I just have to start with small gains I'm thinking.

I got my wife and myself matching Schwinn Aluminum Comp bikes, which these bikes had good write ups from other's who have purchased them. I switched my back rim to a double wall rim because of my weight, but I am very happy so far with the bike. I need to take my wifes to the Local Bike shop though and have them adjust her front and rear derailer's, since there not so perfect, but mine is working really well.

I am really enjoying going out riding, it makes me feel good afterwards. I just have to start a diet, nothing to radical, but at least watch what I eat. I am trying to lose weight and get in shape, so I can get my blood pressure down. I am on a low dosage of blood pressure medicine and I am trying to maybe get to where I don't need to take it anymore.

Anyway, I am glad to be here after a long time off or riding... I will keep you posted and hope to encourage other's to join in.
 

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Hi, RJ...

Sounds like you're on your way back to healthy living! Good for you...

Didn't pick up on your age but I am 58 and had ulnar nerve surgery on my left arm due to nerve damage (likely from computer design work 10 hours/day). The surgery left me sitting around wondering about my health as I was, at the time, 6'1", 220 pounds, out of shape and feeling bad. My cholesterol and triglycerides were off the scale. Sooo...I started eating oatmeal products twice a day, substituted fruits and low cal foods and drank only water and started losing a bit. Then it dawned on me to start my own form of power-walking 5 miles (down to 62 minutes so far). At first twice a week and then everyday. From January 1 to June 15, I have lost 48 pounds, got my BMI down to 23 and feeling great! My power walks burn over 500 calories/day (1 lb. of weight per week)...

Now, I am going back to cycling to mix up my training regimen. Cannot get my wife interested in riding, though. Partly due to her health......

So, after that diatribe, keep it up and you will find you will intensify your weight loss venture and that exercise/diet will become part of your daily life. And, yes, you can get back down to your slim self and even do better. Only problem is your wardrobe replacement get kind of expensive....:thumbsup:

dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks you two. I am 44 and not to healthy at all. I am a computer person too, a Database Administrator managing over 60 database server's and a total of like 200+ databases on those servers. I just sit all day pretty much with a walk here and there to other offices or the break room.

I am a little ache in my hands/arms/chest/legs from riding, but nothing major, just little aches. I do feel though like if I were to stop doing this riding, I would probably stiffin up, but I am starting to feel good doing this riding.

I am starting this diet of just eating proper amounts of food with no Chinese/Thai/or Italian buffet's and no bad snacks and such. This will be a thing of the past, with maybe a very occasional Chinese/or Thai buffet where I only eat about half of what I use to eat when going there.

I just have to change my eating habits entirely, which is somethng that I was suppose to do about 2-3 years ago according to my doctor. I was put on blood pressure medicine and it worked great.... I mean, I could still eat the way I liked to and even a blood pressure reading lately showed I am fine and was eating a buffet or two a week. :( my bad! This of course does not mean I am healthy by any means, it just means my heart is not going to stop on a dime because of hypertention. I mow the lawn and take my boat out fishing 2-3 times a week, that was the extent of my exercise until now. I was running a couple years ago, but with my weight being high, I got a really bad ache/stiffening in one of my ankle's which is a slight heel spure or something like that. I definately need low impact until my weight is down and get some muscles stretched/strengthened and working again.

Anyway, I am starting off kind of slow I guess you would say, and my wife is doing this too. She does not have the drive I have, I mean I researched inexpensive bikes to death a little before I made the choice on these bikes and she is taking it slower than I am. I am kind of jumping into this as my low impact outlet to get healthy and lose weight, which of course could lead to different types of exercise as I get down in weight and get healthier.

Some of this leads me to a final question for this post and the question is this.

What is a good number of miles in getting started? ( My wife and I are doing like 4-5 miles a night right now and a big ride of 7-8 miles on the weekend.)
 

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rjwilson37 said:
...I was put on blood pressure medicine and it worked great.... I mean, I could still eat the way I liked to and even a blood pressure reading lately showed I am fine and was eating a buffet or two a week. :( my bad! This of course does not mean I am healthy by any means....
Some of this leads me to a final question for this post and the question is this.
What is a good number of miles in getting started? ( My wife and I are doing like 4-5 miles a night right now and a big ride of 7-8 miles on the weekend.)
Good thoughts! IMO this says you know what being healthy is all about.

As far as a good number of miles to get started? I'd say what you're doing is fine - consistency being key. If you slack off and make excuses to not ride or do the opposite and start pushing, neither will work well in the long term. As you build up your cardio system and strengthen certain muscle groups, you'll naturally want to add a few miles after a few weeks. But keep in tune with what your body is telling you, and act accordingly. Also, if you live in an area where weather prohibits riding for a length of time, consider a stationary trainer or alternative exercise.
 

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Hi rj,

I'm 45, and a big guy too at 6'5 1/2" and currently weigh 210 lbs. My target weight is 200 lbs., which I hope to get to later this season.

Last year when I started commuting to work on my bike (5 miles each way) I was quickly approaching 225 lbs. Those first few trips to work were tough ones, especially the ride back home. My trip to work is mostly downhill, while the return trip is of course mostly uphill. On the return trip there were places where I would have to stop and rest for a few minutes just to catch my breath. On my first few trips it took me 25 minutes to ride the five miles home. Now I routinely complete the same distance in 18-19 minutes depending on how I hit the traffic lights along my route.

I looked up your bike on the internet and see that it is a mountain bike. Not a bad bike to start with to be certain, but if you are mostly riding on paved roads, you may want to consider replacing the knobby moutain bike tires with road tires or "slicks". They have a lower rolling resistance so you can travel farther and faster with the same effort. I have an old mountain bike with slicks, fenders, a rack, and head and tail lights that I use as my daily commuter. Works great! The slick road tires I installed are Specialized Armadillo's.

Just to give you an idea of how fast and far you can progress with this sport in a short period of time I'll tell you a little about my experience. I now routinely ride to work 5 days a week, and also ride a couple of evening group rides during the week of 25-35 miles each. Our average speed is usually a little over 17 mph. I bought a new road bike this spring (an '06 Trek 2100 for which I paid $1,200) and love it. When I started riding last year I would have never dreamed of spending over $500 on a new bike, much less over $1,000! I am also planning on riding my first century (100 mile ride) later this month, and I have only been riding about 14 months. I have also accumulated almost 1,200 miles between my commuter bike and my new road bike since April of this year.

Now, you certainly do not have to ride as much as I do to loose weight and improve your health with cycling. 4-5 miles a night with a longer ride on the weekend is a great start. We just got a new bike for my wife about 2 weeks ago so she can start riding with me some. She saw what cycling has done for my health and wanted in on the benefits too. Our goal for her this season is 5 miles or so a night 2 or 3 evenings a week along with a 10 mile ride on the weekend. Next season she wants to do a slower (15mph) 20 mile group ride with me at least one evening a week. We also want to hit some of the great cycling trails available to us here in Minnesota. One we are shooting for is the Cannon Falls Trail. It is an old rails-to-trails conversion and is 20 miles long. Very senic. Our goal is to ride the 20 mile trail one way in the morning, and then the return 20 miles in the afternoon after a nice relaxed lunch. Right now the very idea of riding that far in one day is a daunting goal for her, but I know she will get there.

Good luck with your cycling goals, whatever they may be. And most of all, enjoy the ride! (Pun intended!)

Later,

Jay B.
 

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One more thing I thought of after my last post was to stress the importance of being properly fitted to your bike. If you purchased your bikes at a big box retailer such as X-Mart, I am assuming you have not had a proper bike fitting. As you up your mileage, this is super important in order to avoid injury and to make cycling as comfortable as it can be.

As a start, I would suggest reading up on bike fitting on the Colorado Cyclist web site.

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/

This is a very good primer on proper bike fitting, however, it is far from the last word.

Second, I would suggest going to a reputable LBS (Local Bike Shop) and paying for a professional bike fitting. Take in your bikes and have them adjusted to fit you as well as possible. If the bikes are the proper frame size for your body, this should not be a problem. Hopefully they will be. If not, the LBS can tell you this as well.

Again, good luck as you start your cycling adventure.

Jay B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again. Yes... I did get the bikes from Wally World and while my wifes frame is probably suited for her, my frame is 18/or 19 inches where I should really be using a 21/or 22 inch frame. Hmm... My bad again!, but this bike is a little nicer I think than the DB Response that was $150 more than this bike after riding them. I really do like this bike and think it will do good for me.

Do you really think I could hurt myself riding this 18" bike instead of a 21" bike?

I did get that new double wall rim with a shimano gearing setup, since the other rims gearing would not work with the new rim. This new shimano instead of falcon gearing is a little smoother and I am pretty sure they adjusted the rear derailer, where if they didn't it doesn't matter since it shifts really good.

We do have a good LBS and I figured I could upgrade my bike hear and there if I needed better parts because of how/where I want to ride. I guess maybe I shouldn't upgrade to much if I eventually need a bigger frame.
 

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The most important thing you want to make sure you have right is the fit of the bike. The main components to proper bike fit are saddle height, cockpit (distance from saddle to handlebars) and saddle/bar drop (how high the saddle is in relation to the handlebar.) Other components are saddle setback, seat angle, etc.

If your bike is a little small for you, you may need a little longer seat post to get the saddle to the right height. The same thing can be done to the handlebar stem to get it to the right height. However, this can only be done within a certain range for any given frame size. Having your bike fit by a professional will help you determine if this can be done with your current bike, or if you really need a larger frame.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Jay B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The post is plenty high enough where I have some left over still to go higher if I needed. My knees bend at a 25 degree angle when the ball of my foot is in the pedals lowest position. The bike overall does not feel bad, so I think I can get away with the smaller frame right now. If all goes well over the next year or so and I keep banging away at this, I will probably get a larger frame. I wonder if schwinn has a 20/or 21 inch frame of this Aluminum Comp. I am thinking on maybe getting some road and trail tires, but we do have a lot of gravel roads around here and we are planning on doing some trail riding after we get better at riding.
 

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rjwilson37 said:
The post is plenty high enough where I have some left over still to go higher if I needed. My knees bend at a 25 degree angle when the ball of my foot is in the pedals lowest position. The bike overall does not feel bad, so I think I can get away with the smaller frame right now. If all goes well over the next year or so and I keep banging away at this, I will probably get a larger frame. I wonder if schwinn has a 20/or 21 inch frame of this Aluminum Comp. I am thinking on maybe getting some road and trail tires, but we do have a lot of gravel roads around here and we are planning on doing some trail riding after we get better at riding.
Your seat post should have a minimum insertion mark on it. Just make sure you do not extend the post higher than this point and you will be okay.

Also, if you use the fitting calculator on the Colorado Cyclist web site, and use their recommended seat height (based on your inseam measurement) as a starting point, you will be in the ballpark. You can raise or lower your seat from there based on comfort.

Good luck!

Jay B.
 

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bubba biker said:
RJWILSON and PJ352 good job, I commend you for starting a healthy lifestyle, hope you end up enjoying cycling as much as I do. Good way to get fit, have fun and feel good about yourself.
I appreciate the proverbial pat on the back, but I've been cycling since the mid 80's - 3,500+ miles/ yr. But I agree that cycling has a multitude of benefits in our lives.. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went to the bike store during lunch today and talked to someone. They said that they would recommend a 19.5" frame for me and that my current bike will be suitable for now. They said that a proper fitted bike overall would be most comfortable to me when I start riding more seriously on longer/further rides and such. The more comfortable you are on the bike, the better you will feel while riding, so the better you will perform.

The 18" frame is good for now, so we shall see where this hobby/new life style takes me. If I keep going stong this year and excel as well as take it up stronger next year after winter has past, then maybe a new bike or just a larger frame will be on the list for me.

Wish me luck! I am definately already feeling better after a week and a half of riding.

Everyone take care and thanks for the information.
 

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rjwilson37 said:
I went to the bike store during lunch today and talked to someone. They said that they would recommend a 19.5" frame for me and that my current bike will be suitable for now. They said that a proper fitted bike overall would be most comfortable to me when I start riding more seriously on longer/further rides and such. The more comfortable you are on the bike, the better you will feel while riding, so the better you will perform.

The 18" frame is good for now, so we shall see where this hobby/new life style takes me. If I keep going stong this year and excel as well as take it up stronger next year after winter has past, then maybe a new bike or just a larger frame will be on the list for me.

Wish me luck! I am definately already feeling better after a week and a half of riding.

Everyone take care and thanks for the information.
Good to hear that the bike size is suitable to you. It is always good to get a professional opinion.

Personally, I didn't buy my new road bike until after I proved to myself that I was serious about this hobby/sport/lifestyle. I rode all last season on a mid '80's vintage Centurion road bike. After I put nearly 1000 on it last season, I rewarded myself with a new bike this year. Your plan is a sound one. My bet is that next season you will just be itching for a new (upgraded) bike.

As far as winter goes, you didn't mention where you live, but many ride year round, or nearly so. If you think about it, people dress for outdoor sports all the time (cross country skiing, hockey, downhill skiing, etc) so all it takes is having the right clothes for the weather.

The other way to stay active cycling during the winter is to get a stationary trainer. I picked one up for my wife the other day on Craigslist for $50. (I already had one for my bike.) I rode mine for 30-45 minutes a day last winter. It can get a little booring riding inside, but I just watched an episode of one of my favorite TV programs on DVD, and that made the time go faster. Of course, if you go the stationary trainer route, you will need to replace at least the rear tire with a slick. Trainers are not designed to work with knobby mountain bike tires.

Good luck, and keep on riding!

Later,

Jay B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just a final note.

I live in Greenville, Michigan which is near Grand Rapids, we get a lot of snow. We have an eliptical trainer to use in the Winter, which we will be using for sure after we lose some weight and strengthen our muscles riding. Riding is very fun, so we finally have an outlet that we can do together and it is free after the cost of the bike. Just taking turns on the eliptical was not very fun, so the novelty wore off quickly.
 
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