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I have not got a clue!! Please help!!

TotalNoob85TotalNoob85 Posts: 12
edited June 2016 in Road beginners
Evening all,

I am a 22 stone man that is having a mid life crisis at the tender age of 31 :shock:

Due to extensive family and medical advice I have decided to take up cycling to shift some much needed weight. C2W has just opened and I am looking to take advantage of it but have no idea of where to start when looking at road bikes.

I work for the NHS and from what I understand Halfords or Evans Cycles are my selection of places to buy from.

£1000 is the max for C2W so I am happy to use that much but would have to include the bike and any essential accessories/extras.

I would be extremely grateful of any advice!!
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  • shaunclaridgeshaunclaridge Posts: 87
    edited June 2016
    Here is my advice .... as a 20 stone 34 year old who is now 16.5stone (so still heavy by road bike standards)


    At your weight you will put a load of stress on spokes, freewheels and the frame.

    Really - I would be tempted to first of all buy a cheap (£4-700) touring bike, maybe a cyclocross bike or even a hybrid. Touring bikes are designed to carry weight ..ie, a rider plus plenty of luggage. It would make a lot of sense for you to buy one, unbolt the luggage racks and away you go. They are not that much different to a road bike ... in hind site, this is what I would have done.

    These will be more relaxed position for you to sit on, will be more comfy, will have bigger range of gears and most importantly will have bigger tyres and stronger (heavier) wheels.

    Get some decent shoes, some padded bib shorts - Get used to cleats, get used to drop bars and get your miles in.

    Your weight will drop if you use the bike and then in a year or two you can upgrade to any road bike you choose..... personally I would then still go for a steel frame, with a triple gearset (or compact double) and buy some 36spoke touring wheels to go with it. Wheels are the things I mashed when heavy ...I solved this by buying handbuilt 36spoke ones from spa cycles for about £200 - last forever

    People will say different - buts thats my advise after doing a hell of a lot of miles as a bigger lad

    Something like this would be a nice choice
    https://www.evanscycles.com/dawes-galax ... e-EV238300

    or this

    http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/r ... -road-bike

    my mate is just about to go around the world on this...and he uses it in fast group rides ..its steel and you could get it much cheaper if you look about

    https://www.evanscycles.com/dawes-coast ... e-EV238305
  • shaunclaridge - Many thanks for your advice!!

    I have taken on board your advice to stay away from road bikes (for the time being) and have seen the following bikes on Evans Cycles..

    https://www.evanscycles.com/fuji-cross- ... e-EV241488

    https://www.evanscycles.com/fuji-cross- ... e-EV241487

    https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale- ... e-EV214058

    https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale- ... e-EV239423

    Any thoughts on these and if they will be any good for what I will need..
  • How hilly is it around you? will you be commuting on it or just using it for fitness?
  • If it was me I would go for this....

    http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/r ... -_-TopLink

    Decent steel frame,
    36spoke wheels and good, big tyres
    Triple cog on front and plenty of gears on back
    Mudguards - handy if its your only bike and for all year use,
    Has the pannier rack if you want to commute- if not remove it

    Bike shopping is fun... do your research online and then go try it if you can. Dont rush - but dont get upsold.... you need basic and strong

    Those cannondales you have posted would be fine.... but the touring bikes will still have more gears and stronger wheels.

    Be aware - I have disc brakes and love them.... but the stronger wheels are not as easy or cheap to get hold of on disc wheels... I would be tempted to keep it simple for your first bike, pay it off, then go for something more advanced on your next bike.

    If you get into it youwill want to upgrade your bike after a year or two... if not, then you havnt wasted cash.

    I had a similar crisis at 30 and ended up cycling the length of Britain within a year...then did it again last month...enjoy!
  • How hilly is it around you? will you be commuting on it or just using it for fitness?

    I will be doing a daily commute of 16 miles round trip which is slightly hilly but nothing drastic but I am not bothered about getting dirty or carrying anything on the bike as my uniform will be kept at work and there is shower facilities available.

    For when I am not at work I have worked out a few routes (longest being 50 miles at present) which only have very slight inclines so to start off I will be doing a lot of flat road riding.
  • PituophisPituophis Posts: 1,025

    For when I am not at work I have worked out a few routes (longest being 50 miles at present) which only have very slight inclines so to start off I will be doing a lot of flat road riding.

    Don't feel that you have to run before you can walk/ride.
    This is after all, a bike forum, with a high percentage of riders posting about doing big miles for fun every week! But be aware that 50 miles is a long way for someone new to cycling!
    Yeah, being flat makes it considerably easier, but don't feel that you have to jump in at the deep end, or you may come unstuck. I was half your weight (though a fair bit older - to balance the books a bit :oops: ) when I got into road cycling, and it was a fair while before I considered 20 miles to be "a quick spin".
    Start with much lower expectations and slowly up the miles, and you will enjoy your riding without burning out. If it is all a painful slog, you will find it very easy to throw the towel in and give up!
    I also started by riding every day, thinking that fitness would come easier, and this was a mistake. After a little over a week or so, each ride got gradually harder, instead of easier, and it all became a toil. Don't feel bad about having a day or two in between rides, as it gives your body time to repair your muscles and recuperate.
    You have to see it as something you enjoy, rather than something you need to do.

    Good luck.
  • fatdazfatdaz Posts: 348
    shaunclaridge - Many thanks for your advice!!

    I have taken on board your advice to stay away from road bikes (for the time being) and have seen the following bikes on Evans Cycles..

    https://www.evanscycles.com/fuji-cross- ... e-EV241488

    https://www.evanscycles.com/fuji-cross- ... e-EV241487

    https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale- ... e-EV214058

    https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale- ... e-EV239423

    Any thoughts on these and if they will be any good for what I will need..

    As a heavy guy who's a brand new cyclist you may struggle with the gearing on those. Looks like you have a lowest gear of 36:28 on the Cannondale and 42:32 on the Fuji. If you're riding on the flat or minor climbs all the time this will be fine but I think you'll struggle on any sort of climb which is either moderately steep or moderately long (and I really mean "moderately"). We're all different and you may be fine but from the very limited amount we know about you I suspect you'd end up walking a lot
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    "Due to extensive family and medical advice I have decided to take up cycling to shift some much needed weight"

    If you work in the NHS you should be aware that it's many times easier to shift weight by modifying what you eat / drink than by exercise, although both is obviously better.

    Are you planning to address your diet too? Lots of advice on here if you search for it. And the more weight you lose, the faster you'll improve on the bike.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Good point by Keef. The body is remarkably efficient and so doesn't burn calories particularly quickly. It's much much easier to eat 1000 calories (what - 15 mins and a pack of pringles ?) rather than burn 1000 calories - probably 2 or 3 hours on a bike.

    So attack it from both angles.

    Get active - at least you won't be in the kitchen cupboard if you're out cycling.
    Look at how many calories you actually eat on a normal day. You've not hit 22 stone on a 2500 cals a day diet.
    Check out your portion size. Its going to be a lot smaller than you think but you'll survive.
    Maybe think about the 5-2 diet. I've seen it work quite well,

    Good luck and enjoy the cycling.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    The 5:2 diet enabled me to shift 18 pounds i'd failed to lose by other means. I actually found it easy, so I eat that way all the time now. I've recommended it to others who really don't get on with it, so you need to find out what works for you. Whatever it is, it has to be sustainable long term. Extreme weight loss diets invariably fail and the weight goes back on.

    This way I get to maintain a healthy weight, but eat what I like 5 days a week. The main reason I'm sticking with it is the beneficial effect on my blood lipids; the GP is no longer threatening me with statins / fibrates.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Excellent work Keef.

    I've lost 10lb on it too and a pal of mine has lost a stone - I've never seen hin look so athletic.

    It's not really a hardship on 2 days a week is it ?
  • vehlinvehlin Posts: 10
    I'm currently around 22st too.

    I went for the CAADX 105 from Evans (tho no B2W scheme so had to pay for it myself, boo!). I did have to change the gears on it, but I did this at purchase time. Bought a 50/34 crankset off fleabay for £40 and Evans fitted it and swapped the rear mech and cassette to get an 11-32 on for about an extra £5. I did need a new chain tho, which I had to pay about £20 for.

    At your weight you're definitely going to want a climbing gear, even small hills are painful to drag that much weight up.
  • sheffsimonsheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    How hilly is it around you? will you be commuting on it or just using it for fitness?

    I will be doing a daily commute of 16 miles round trip which is slightly hilly but nothing drastic but I am not bothered about getting dirty or carrying anything on the bike as my uniform will be kept at work and there is shower facilities available.

    For when I am not at work I have worked out a few routes (longest being 50 miles at present) which only have very slight inclines so to start off I will be doing a lot of flat road riding.

    It will be no small thing to do that commute every day, don't underestimate the accumulated tiredness you will feel.

    Aside from that, well done for starting out, and just keep pedalling :D
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    A CX bike with a compact chainset (34/50) and a 32T or 34T cassette sounds like the way to go.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,839
    Do yourself a big favour TN85 don't try riding every day to start with if you can help it. If you have a android phone try using Strava to track your times, it gets addictive trying to beat your times and seeing how you improve as you go. Don't go to mad on cycle clothing as you hopefully won't be in it for long as your body shrinks. You should start to see a difference quite quickly especially if you improve your diet. Sadly the hard work you put in commuting will make you feel hungry so strong will power will be required at times to resist binging. Make use of the shower facilities it will freshen you up and hopefully get you through the I'm starving phase straight after stop riding, make sure you drink enough water before during and after the ride especially the longer rides you intend doing. Buy the basics to start with, pump, tubes, multitool, split link,water bottle you can think about lights when it starts to get dark. Cycle clothes wise just get some cheapish padded cycle shorts but not muddyfox. Try Decathlon if one near you for most of the bits as reasonably cheap, just don't get the cheapest padded shorts they do. If doing lycra expect to get laughs etc from friends and family alike, you just have to suck it up and believe me there are bigger people than you in full lycra gear. Good luck and be positive you will succeed as it sounds like you have people trying to push you a bit already. Keep us informed on your progress as its nice to hear when people actually listen a bit to the voice of experience and succeed. PS been there got the t shirt not going back either.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    fenix wrote:
    Excellent work Keef.

    I've lost 10lb on it too and a pal of mine has lost a stone - I've never seen hin look so athletic.

    It's not really a hardship on 2 days a week is it ?

    Same to you and your mate!

    No, I was amazed really. First couple of fast days I kept thinking about food and trying to keep myself full by drinking water and herbal tea, now it's no problem at all. Just 3 or 4 mugs of tea during the day and I can have a substantial snack / small meal in the evening. Now I'm down to my target weight I'm not so fussed about keeping to 600 cals either. It's made me realise that most of the time we eat out of habit, rather than hunger / necessity. It's all psychological.
    Now trying to reason with our eldest son, who likes a recovery snack if he runs upstairs (I'm exaggerating only slightly here) OK, he's very fit and muscular now at 27, but he's developing eating patterns that might not be so healthy in later life... I suspect sharing halls / digs with Sports Scientists at Uni in Loughborough didn't help.
  • Wow... My head is spinning from all the advice!! :o

    Maybe I didn't give the best account of myself to start with!!

    Although being on the larger side of life I wouldn't call myself unfit nor fit just lazy and a very bad eater... Saying that I did complete Tough Mudder last year in just under 2.5hrs which was a massive achievement.

    As well as getting into cycling my diet is something that will be changing & I have already started to make slight changes this week.

    I really like the look of https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale- ... e-EV239423 but have seen comments about the gear set which I have no idea about. Could I get this bike then get Evans to change it to what is better suited??
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Here is my advice .... as a 20 stone 34 year old who is now 16.5stone (so still heavy by road bike standards)


    At your weight you will put a load of stress on spokes, freewheels and the frame.

    Really - I would be tempted to first of all buy a cheap (£4-700) touring bike, maybe a cyclocross bike or even a hybrid.
    +1 for a touring bike. Something like either of these might be a good start:
    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... untry-1-16
    or
    http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... untry-2-16
    Having a rack, with panniers or just a rackpack on top of the rack if not carrying too much, is beneficial for commuting if you don't want a sweaty back.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Another 5:2 diet advocate here.
    Try a bit of running too.

    Cycling is very time consuming and needs to be quite intense (like running) to loose weight IMO.
    The danger is that you will just eat more because of the cycling.
    Cycling sedately and eating more will not shift any weight.
    If its part of a lifestyle change then it will help a lot.

    Good luck with it though, its well worth all the effort/hard work when you need to go and buy new clothes :wink:
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    I really like the look of https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale- ... e-EV239423 but have seen comments about the gear set which I have no idea about. Could I get this bike then get Evans to change it to what is better suited??

    A CX bike is good advise. Will your commute be all road or a mixture of road and cycle paths?

    The gearing on that bike isn't great for pure road and you'd likely find it quite spinny on most downhill sections. This is of course a small part of most riding and for getting to work and back, somewhat irrelevant.

    I would personally (and I'll try and look at the Evans/Halfords range later) look for something that can take 28c tyres and has 50/34 crank. A rear cassette with a range of at least 12-28 teeth would be ideal but these are generally easier and cheaper to swap than the entire crank so don't be put off by a good bike that, for example, comes with a 11-25.

    For lights, I would look at these, me and my partner both have a set and they are great for being seen, easy to charge and so on. Depending on where you ride, you'll need to budget for something to see with come winter.
    https://www.evanscycles.com/exposure-tr ... k-EV194218
  • iPete wrote:
    A CX bike is good advise. Will your commute be all road or a mixture of road and cycle paths?

    My commute can be either all road or a mixture just depends which way I decide to go. It would be great if you could recommend a couple of bikes from Halfords and Evans for me to consider as I don't want to waste money on one that is not suitable.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I wouldn't discount a cyclocross bike on the basis of the chainrings. As I'm now getting on a bit I've fitted a CX 46/36 chainset to my winter bike, and find it pretty much perfect for my style of riding. Few long downhills round here that require a bigger gear than 46x12, and I'm not averse to the odd bit of freewheeling...
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    iPete wrote:
    A CX bike is good advise. Will your commute be all road or a mixture of road and cycle paths?

    My commute can be either all road or a mixture just depends which way I decide to go. It would be great if you could recommend a couple of bikes from Halfords and Evans for me to consider as I don't want to waste money on one that is not suitable.

    Specialized Diverge: 50/34 chainset, 11-32 rear cassette, 8 speed and 28c tyres:
    https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized ... e-EV244936

    Genesis Croix de fer: 50/34, 11-34 rear cassette, 9 speed and 35c tyres:
    https://www.evanscycles.com/genesis-cro ... e-EV258264

    They seem to be popular bikes but of course you'd want to test ride each. Also as above, I wouldn't discount a bike with CX gearing, this is a very popular choice with a very good 11 speed 5800 groupset:
    Cannondale CAADX: https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale- ... e-EV214055

    It'd be worth also considering which ones take mudguards by default.
  • iPete wrote:
    Specialized Diverge: 50/34 chainset, 11-32 rear cassette, 8 speed and 28c tyres:
    https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized ... e-EV244936

    Genesis Croix de fer: 50/34, 11-34 rear cassette, 9 speed and 35c tyres:
    https://www.evanscycles.com/genesis-cro ... e-EV258264

    They seem to be popular bikes but of course you'd want to test ride each. Also as above, I wouldn't discount a bike with CX gearing, this is a very popular choice with a very good 11 speed 5800 groupset:
    Cannondale CAADX: https://www.evanscycles.com/cannondale- ... e-EV214055

    It'd be worth also considering which ones take mudguards by default.

    I did look at the Cannondale CAADX 105 as from what I understand it's the next level up from the Cannondale CAADX Tiagra that I mentioned in this chat.

    I am not overly bothered about mudguards as I feel it's part of the fun and I will not be cycling in any work clothes.. Saying that I have been given a set of Mud Huggers so already have some if required.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    What about panniers, I went back through all the linked bikes and quite a few were tourers, is that a consideration still?

    It's out of budget but I'd quite like a Cinelli HoBootleg.
  • iPete wrote:
    What about panniers, I went back through all the linked bikes and quite a few were tourers, is that a consideration still?

    It's out of budget but I'd quite like a Cinelli HoBootleg.

    People have put the idea across about tourers but I have not looked into them in any detail to be honest. I am looking at carrying the essentials only (pump, spare tubes, multi tool, tire levers etc) so just a rucksack will be required as I do not need to carry anything to heavy as all work clothes, towels etc will all be kept at work as I have two lockers.
  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    iPete wrote:
    What about panniers, I went back through all the linked bikes and quite a few were tourers, is that a consideration still?

    It's out of budget but I'd quite like a Cinelli HoBootleg.

    People have put the idea across about tourers but I have not looked into them in any detail to be honest. I am looking at carrying the essentials only (pump, spare tubes, multi tool, tire levers etc) so just a rucksack will be required as I do not need to carry anything to heavy as all work clothes, towels etc will all be kept at work as I have two lockers.

    In that case, skip the pannier idea too and get the bike that's most fun to ride.

    I'd personally be taking the Diverge and CAADX on test rides and probably lean towards the Diverge as it looks like it would ride like a road bike but with added practicality, it also has it's own mud-guard system available for when getting covered in cold muddy road water loses it's appeal :D
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    iPete wrote:
    What about panniers, I went back through all the linked bikes and quite a few were tourers, is that a consideration still?

    It's out of budget but I'd quite like a Cinelli HoBootleg.

    People have put the idea across about tourers but I have not looked into them in any detail to be honest. I am looking at carrying the essentials only (pump, spare tubes, multi tool, tire levers etc) so just a rucksack will be required as I do not need to carry anything to heavy as all work clothes, towels etc will all be kept at work as I have two lockers.
    If that is all you are carrying, you don't even need a rucksack - you just need a small saddlebag. I assume you will be not cycling every day as you will need to stock up your lockers at least once a week with clean clothes and towels etc.

    I had mentioned tourers as they are sturdy bikes, and you wanted to ensure it would be a bike that would take your weight. However I'm sure cross bikes or the like will be fine if you get good wheels with say 32 or 36 spokes.

    Tourers also have lower gears than most road bikes, with a triple chainset up front and low gears at the back. Even if you don't initially need low gears for your commute, if you do start doing 50 milers you are likely to come across some hills, and it is better for fitness to spin up in lower gears than try to grind up in bigger gears.
  • Im stuggling to think of a benefit of a CX bike for you over a tourer ...

    CX bikes might look a bit cooler
    Cx bikes will generally have room for bigger tyres as standard.

    I still say you are best off with a nice tourer ... If you want to get the best with your budget then personally I say either of these..

    https://www.evanscycles.com/dawes-coast ... e-EV238305
    https://www.evanscycles.com/trek-520-20 ... aign=78888

    Take the pannier racks off a tourer - and essentially you are left with a great road bike, with relaxed geometry, great gearing for you, 36 spoke wheels with good, big tyres and a more comfy saddle.

    Trust me...at your weight even a bump in the road will be very hard work if you are riding regularly. Your talking about pretty big distances for a beginner...not only will you wreck yourself at your weight, you will also wreck any component that isnt up to the job....I have personal experience of destroying multiple sets of wheels before I realized that if I bought the right ones there wasnt an issue again. Weight really does stress a bike.... at 18-20 stone I suffered multiple broken spokes, broken freewheels, cracked frame and loads of punctures..... at 15-16 stone I get a puncture every now and then but thats about it. That could be because I use better kit now but I think its more that 20 stone is far too much to put on an entry point aluminium road/cx bike and expect it cope every day.

    A tourer is designed to take a big rider plus lots of weight = your weight
    A CX bike is designed to carry a normal weight with no luggage over mixed terrain, quickly.

    I think you might be getting swayed by the cooler looking bikes ...That is not necessarily the wrong decision - if you love the bike then that is just as important as its suitability .... just dont rule out a tourer because it has pannier racks. It is essentially just a road bike made for carrying bigger weight over longer distances. It is a lot easier to unbolt racks off a tourer, rather than having to change wheelsets and componants on a CX

    If you do go for CX then I would strongly urge you to get this... Im in the market for one, I have the road bike version and its bloody lovely

    https://www.evanscycles.com/genesis-cro ... aign=78888

    They can definitely carry plenty of weight..just did 1000 miles on mine..

    IMG_2194_zpszmhxgrma.jpg
  • Really didn't think it would be so difficult finding the right bike... :?
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