Cycling in Sydney Australia
Hello cyclist forum,
I just want to say thanks for the add and that I am looking forward o speaking with you all and hopefully getting some cyclist wisdom
As you guys can see from the title I am in need of a little advice to get me started on two wheels but let me tell you a little about me first, that might help you help me.
I have been a rather large guy pretty much all my life. I was the fat kid in school, the fat kid in college and I'm the fat adult now. It wasn't bad in terms of bullying just how shy I was around people and the clothes I wore, things like that. Now I have decided to make drastic changes in my life and get it all sorted out. Currently, i am 25 years of age 6ft tall and weighing in at 110kg which is a considerable amount of fat. I have decided to swap my car for a decent bike and start riding everywhere, this should inevitably burn fat.
This is where you guys come in. What kind of bike should I be looking at that would be able to support my weight as well as being comfortable so I don't get a bad behind? What kind of style (mountain, racing etc) should I go for? I like the look of the racing bikes for fitness http://www.used.forsale/australia/sydney/specialized-road-bike-52cm but the mountain bikes look more comfortable.
My budget is around $1000 - $1500 maximum if the $500 difference makes a big difference in terms of quality, design, comfort etc. This has been something I have been wanting to do for a long time and now I have finally plucked up the Balls to do so. I am really looking forward to seeing what suggestion you guys have to get me started off on the right track.
It is kind of hard to answer that question without knowing your flexibility and riding objectives in terms of terrain
I know 110kg chaps riding road bikes with skinny tires, - for you at 6ft you are above average height
As for not having a sore behind, that's bound to happen initially as you are sitting on a lot smaller seat compared to your everyday seating, but that'll settle down after a while.
https://www.specialized.com/au/en-au/men/bikes/mountain/trail/2017p... : is a pretty decent starting point, although I would say that if you are not too sure, to test ride some or get one as 2nd hand and see what you like/dislike about it.
"As for not having a sore behind, that's bound to happen initially"
When you sit on the saddle, make sure that your sit bones are placed completely on the widest piece of the saddle. If it doesn't, get a different saddle.
There is an over emphasis on sports related bikes in Australia - its possible a city or Dutch style bike, with fenders, racks etc would be the best bike for you, if your main use is transport, which it sounds like it is.
But if you want to grind out the hours on the road, with some flexibility to take it onto dirt or gravel roads, you might want to look at a CX or cross bike, or hybrid, with a relaxed geometry (until you build up flexibility) with big tyres for comfort (32mm or bigger). Don't get knobbly tyres like in the picture, they are crap for regular roads.
Try out the stock saddle, but if you uncomfortable, it might be the first thing to consider changing. I like leather saddles a lot.
Don't let the bike shop sell you on clip-in pedals and special shoes or any of that crap, not needed.
I agree with this, and would recommend going to a bike shop that specialises in transport-cycling as opposed to sport-cycling. They would help steer you in the right direction. One option is Omafiets in Redfern; here's the list of "commuter bikes" they sell: https://omafiets.com.au/collections/commuter-bikes
"Don't let the bike shop sell you on clip-in pedals and special shoes or any of that crap, not needed."
Re the shoes: My experience is that when I took up riding again, I destroyed 2 pairs of high end walking shoes (Scarpas) before I wised up. They split right across the soles underneath the balls of my feet. I'd suggest wearing shoes you don't care about if putting in a lot of kms. Or else buy a pair of MTB shoes that are built for it; you can walk in them no problem. You don't need to go with the cleats and special pedals though.
Mate, welcome and well done for driving the change.
I struggled with my weight in my early 20's (and still do no approaching 40), but ditching my own car, getting a bike and riding it to and from work was life changing.
For commuting and general riding around, as well as getting on a bike in earnest for the first time I would tend toward a decent mountain bike . I started commuting on a mountain bike I had, but if you are sticking to the road I would recommend getting some slicker road-based tyres for it (about 35mm or more) and keep the knobbys for off-road riding. The reduced drag, and generally higher pressures of road-based MTB tyres will make it easier to get around on road, especially at the start. Selling car and going all weather? The bike is just the start. Coming into winter you will need some lights, jacket (wind/cold/rain), you might also consider mudguards - makes a wet commute much better. Also are you carrying stuff. Can start off with a backpack, but a rear rack and saddle bags like Ortleib or Topeak bags make a bike as your primary transport so much more versatile. Plenty of threads on here on specific topics. But if you might want a rack - check if any bike you buy can take one (has lugs etc).
After a year I moved to road bikes for the commute (Giant Defy 1), as my speed, confidence and roadcraft increased - and my waistline decreased, but it depends on where you are riding, how far, and how often. Now I have moved close to the city, I sold the road bike and have a fixie/single speed so I have to put some effort into the 5km commute. I ride a road and mountain bikes occasionally on weekends when I can.
I would buy your bike from a local bike shop (LBS) so you can get some advice about the bike, and the new lifestyle. Might cost a few $$$ more than online - but you get what you pay for, and you are making a big life change. Its worth doing properly. Its a steep learning curve though, and you might learn a lot about bikes and cycling and might feel more comfortable doing things online / yourself later on.
Good luck taking a new road, I have headed down it, and never looked back.
About 10 years ago when I first started riding again I wasn't sure what to get. I was pretty much the same height and weight as you and ended up with a Giant Sedona and that was great for my new 'first' bike. For some reason it doesn't look like you can get the Sedona range in Australia (possibly because everything here is gear towards road bikes for some reason) but you can get the Giant Roam.
The Roam isn't that expensive so you can use some of the rest of your budget to buy a nice comfortable saddle, rack and and pannier bags.
I would not suggest you get a road bike if you're just going to be commuting in the city. Nor would I suggest a mountain bike.
I started riding again in 2010, after 25+ years off and bought a steel 29er "urban bike".
As others have said, it really depends on where and what you want to do wit the bike.
I'm 6ft and 7 years ago was around 105kg. I wanted to start commuting to work and riding with my daughter - So I chose something strong, something suitable for an unfit novice with comfortable positioning and plenty of gears, something that was very road capable - no front suspension and could have a turn of speed, and something with all weather capabilities. As an extra, we go camping a bit and I wanted something that could handle fire trails and tracks.
For me, my Marin Muirwoods 29er fitted the bill. It came with road tires and the frame has so much clearance that I bought 2" MTB tyres for it for holiday trail rides.
Each to his own and there are millions of options.
Have a good think about where you want to go with the bike ........
BTW, I'm 85kg now.
Looks like there is a lot more into getting my first bike that I was expecting. But on the plus side my weight is what I was worried about and now I know most bikes will be able to support that, bonus. I am going to get myself down to the local bike store have a chat and a few test rides. I will be back soon with my experience.
P.S its a shame about my behind haha
Excellent! Look forward to it.
I keep just one bicycle in Europe which does pretty much everything, it cost 200 quid second hand 9 years ago and looks very much like the one John wrote about above. In my size of course, that really does matter.
95kg, also fat and tall however fit and powerful thanks to the utility of cycling.
You may find you prefer an e-bike. If that turns out to be the case don't feel put off by people with 'tude, you exercise plenty with those regardless of the assistance taking the sting out of hills. They usually make people ride more and enjoy more as well.
The number and thickness of spokes in each wheel are important in carrying weight. Be wary if they try to flog you a bike with less than 32 spokes in each wheel. If they do, ask them about the wheel strength for your weight. No fun breaking spokes all of the time.