Fat biker with confidence issues

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  • Fat biker with confidence issues
  • I have been away from mountain biking for a couple of years and during that time have put on a massive amount of weight(5ft 7in, 19st) and I am determined to lose it by cycling. To do so I built my self a custom build 140mm trail bike and spent £4K in the process. My problem is that I am terrified to ride it for a couple of reasons:
    1. I dont want to be laughed at and judged on the trails for the old saying “All the gear and No idea”, I have years of cycling experience and I fear my bulk may not make it look like that.

    2. After spending £4K on my bike I’m worried my weight might cause to much stress on frame forks and shock and damage them.

    Any suggestions on overcoming my fears would be welcome as I really want to ride.

    ojom
    Member

    Come ride with me. No laughing at people in our groups.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    Chris, only you will be riding, and you will be riding for your benefit, no one elses. If you fret about what others think you’ll never get going. Where are you? Perhaps a riding buddy would help.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    If you’re really worried consider night riding. Less people about and even those you do meet will be more impressed that you’re out at night than bothered about your size.

    I can’t think of any group ride where someone would be judged by their size. I can see that if you turn up for the local ‘fast’ ride and can’t keep up people would be pee’d off but on the ‘pootle’ run any beginner/returner would be more than welcome.

    We all started from somewhere.

    This blog is very good: http://loulouk.co.uk/

    toys19
    Member

    come and ride with us, we will mercilessly take the mickey no matter what state you or your bike are in. We are bastards like that.

    Honestly sod what anyone else thinks, go ride, it’s there for everyone. If anyone laughs at you then they are the saddo. I admire you for getting going, don’t quit now for the sake of some morons.

    Twin
    Member

    I know it sounds simple, but don’t worry about it. Been in the same boat as you, 6′ 1″ and 20.5st, with a 3 grand bike. Firstly, only bike I’ve broken was my commencal meta (known for cracking), parts will wear out a bit quicker but the more you ride, the lighter you will get and so the problem solves itself. As for how much the bike is worth, it’s your money so stuff anyone else and their small minded opinions about what you should or shouldn’t be riding.
    You may surprise yourself with your ability – of the people I ride with, some look much more the part but are slower both up and down, just try to get out as much as you can and enjoy it.

    soobalias
    Member

    you will find most people are checking out your bike, not your body.

    what bike?

    andyl
    Member

    Definitely get out with a friend two. You will enjoy it more and gently push each other to get more out of your riding, be it distance or type of riding. But be honest with what you are comfortable with – no one is going to laugh as you. If they do then they are not the right riding partner.

    I would say that maybe lay off doing the 8ft drops etc until you have got back your finesse and maybe physique both for your sake and the bikes (I’m to much of a mincer to do anything like that regardless btw which IS embarrassing). But I would say technique and finesse are more important then your weight as anyone can wreck a bike regardless of weight if they ride it badly.

    chief9000
    Member

    Dude,

    Some positive comments coming your way here. No one here is gonna knock someone who wants to ride. I would certainly recommend a riding buddy.

    I was well over weight a while back and (i know people are gonna laugh) i tried an american style video training thing. It gave exercise you could do at home every day for no longer than an hour. I saw massive improvements very fast in terms of weight loss and fitness improvements.I combined this with biking and it was great.

    Stick with it buddy

    Big Pete
    Member

    If any one makes fun sit on them 😉
    Speaking as a 20 stoner I am way past worrying about what folk think. Just get on with it, you get more respect than the couch spuds. As far as the kit goes as long as you havent aimed lightweight you will be fine. Note avoid skinny rims and coil fork and shok.
    If you are any where near Shrops I will happily hook up for a bit of pootle style stuff. Its only the first month that hurts.

    Pete

    Premier Icon cheshirecat
    Subscriber

    Don’t worry, no-one will be looking at you, and once you start riding regularly, the weight will fall off. I went from 17st to 13st in a couple of years when I started to ride (and ate a bit less whilst I was doing it).

    Good luck.

    soobalias
    Member

    who else thought this was gonna be a thread about 4-5″ tyres

    Thanks for the support guys. The night riding sounds like a plan wwaswas. Its an Orange Five soobalias.

    atlaz
    Member

    Where are you in the UK? If you’re in the South East (Surrey/SW London in particular) then my riding mates are definitely very welcome. Nobody gets left behind. Everyone has a laugh. There’s good natured ribbing but only really with the guys who know each other, for people we’re getting to know it’s only encouragement.

    49er_Jerry
    Member

    Just riding as part of an overall programme of calorific management will shift the lbs quite quickly, especially to begin with.

    I can’t imagine you’ll stress the bike unduly. They take a ridiculous pounding and just come back for more.
    Who cares what anyone else thinks. Everyone I ride with is inclusive and would be dead chuffed that your getting back into it. Skills may be a bit rusty, but, they’ll be back in no time. Just don’t assume your bone density and soft tissues will take the abuse they used to; initially, anyway.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    1) – seriously, fk ’em. I know that’s not a wise or helpful suggestion esp if you have confidence issues, but the attitude that you need to qualify for a level of bike in any way only comes from people who tbh we should just have contempt for. Good-natured bike envy may be more the case )
    Also the skills won’t have left you so how good will you feel overtaking a few people at your current weight, knowing you’ll only get quicker?

    2) I wouldn’t worry about it – just get the sus set up properly. A 14st rider going a bit faster can have more momentum so just get on with some steady miles and enjoy it.

    Oh, and welcome back to it all )

    soobalias: No 4-5″ tyrres just my spare tyres lol

    Premier Icon scaled
    Subscriber

    Where are you, there’s loads of folk on here that’ll take you out and not take the piss any more than they take the piss out of everyone else 😉

    I’d never really ridden a mountain bike until the start of last year. I had to get off and push over pretty much everything even vaguely tech and nobody I was riding with looked down on me for it.

    tbh, 19 stone is a lot lighter than quite a few folk on here from the post xmas fat club thread!

    http://39stonecyclist.com/ is a good read too.

    wrecker
    Member

    1. I dont want to be laughed at and judged on the trails for the old saying “All the gear and No idea”, I have years of cycling experience and I fear my bulk may not make it look like that.

    f*** ’em

    2. After spending £4K on my bike I’m worried my weight might cause to much stress on frame forks and shock and damage them.

    f*** it

    Just go and enjoy riding your bicycle. People are assholes and someone somewhere will find an excuse to laugh at you somehow so you may as well have fun whilst they’re doing it.
    Modern bikes are pretty bloody tough. Look at what ratboy was doing on a 120-oddmm carbon bouncer!

    andyl
    Member

    soobalias – Member
    who else thought this was gonna be a thread about 4-5″ tyres

    Me 😀

    Orange 5 – don’t worry, your bike will get far more comments than you ever will. Either people lovin’ it or people hatin’ it.

    johnellison
    Member

    First up, who gives a $h!t what anybody else thinks? If they have a problem with you, that’s their issue, not yours. Don’t let it get to you.

    Secondly, do you have one or two friends who you could ride with, who understand your issues and can offer you encouragement and support? If you don’t, I’m sure that there are folk on here who would be willing to help out until you feel confident enough to ride with others. If you’re in my area, I’m always up for a trundle!!

    Premier Icon scaled
    Subscriber

    Do you drive an audi and have a taste for posh coffee?

    You may have just found your spiritual home 😀

    Premier Icon righog
    Subscriber

    You have got a lot in your favour really 😀

    You are not new to it even if you have been out for a bit you know what it takes to go riding.

    You have a great Bike that you may break, but everyone I know breaks there bikes a lot anyway, your weight will make no difference to this.

    and as you say. You really want to ride, which really is the only important thing.

    If you have not been night riding before it is a great shout to get into that.

    It’s great to find riding buddies but remember it is also great to get out by yourself as well.

    If you are in the NE ( Newcastle (ish) area ) get in touch you would not be out of place on one of our group rides.

    Premier Icon st colin
    Subscriber

    I still have confidence issues with my body when I’m out on the bike; having seriously skinny pale white legs being the main issue. Get the odd joke, usually from the guys I ride with as part of the normal banter 😀 Just get out there and enjoy it.

    johnellison
    Member

    You are not new to it even if you have been out for a bit you know what it takes to go riding.

    That’s true. Plus you’re probably not as unfit as you think you are if you’ve done it before…

    AlasdairMc
    Member

    1. I dont want to be laughed at and judged on the trails for the old saying “All the gear and No idea”, I have years of cycling experience and I fear my bulk may not make it look like that.

    Ain’t going to happen. In general, riders take the piss out of other riders in their group when they fall off in spectacular yet amusing fashion (but as long as they are laughing about it themselves), end up in puddles or have some disaster befalling them like leaving a wheel at home or something. Ability and fitness has nothing to do with it whatsoever.

    More likely riders will be “ooh, shiny” rather than “all the gear…”

    2. After spending £4K on my bike I’m worried my weight might cause to much stress on frame forks and shock and damage them.

    Bikes are there to be ridden, and the Orange Five is pretty strongly built, so I sincerely doubt you’ll break it unless you’re doing 10ft drops to flat.

    “…I’m worried my weight might cause to much stress on frame forks…”
    As far as I know, Nicolai are the only manufacturer to use thicker walled tubes for larger frames, so I wouldn’t worry too much about frames for shorter people not being strong enough for heavier people.

    “…laughed at and judged on the trails for the old saying “All the gear and No idea”…”
    Some people spend £50k on a BMW car with all the trimmings, parking sensors, climate control, the lot, yet can’t reverse it in to a parking space. Just buy the bike you want and ride it.

    maxtorque
    Member

    Get yourself along to one of the STW pootles – no ones gonna laugh, and you generally get to pull the skiny rakes like me out of the ditch/hedge/tree/horse (delete as appropriate) that we tend to end up in due to the massive skew in our talent to enthusiasm ratio !! 😉

    maxtorque
    Member

    AlasdairMc

    More likely riders will be “ooh, shiny” rather than “all the gear…”

    A couple of STWers pictured earlier, discussing wheel size:

    (spot the “big hitter”……….. 😉

    eemy
    Member

    I sometimes see a fairly big chap out on his bike. I won’t say where, but all I and I’m sure most other people are thinking is “Good on you”.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    My mate who I ride most with is almost exactly the same ‘dimensions’ as you. He rides everything and I have honestly never heard anyone make any comments about him.

    Check out the 39 stone cyclist blog. This guy was on the news a while back and made massive changes to his fitness and confidence through cycling.

    Just go for it dude. Lots of fun doing it too…
    🙂

    BigSteve
    Member

    Coming from what I can pretty much guarantee was the fattest person on this forum I can say that if you ride on the road you will get abuse. You just have to deal with the narrow minded chavs, van drivers, drunks, druggies etc of the world. Off road, not matter my size I’ve only had encouragement from other that I meet.

    I’m still not the lightest, but I’m shorter than you and still 16 stone. I get very little abuse on the road now as I’m more the “normal” range – still morbidly obese, but not the 24stone I was when I got my first bike.

    other than the abuse the only bike failure I have suffered is a rear wheel collapsing after the 3rd ride. Bike shop trued it up and I kept a check on the spoke tension and it’s still good today although no longer in use. I’m also heavy on chains so carry a power link at all times. The only other issue I have is I’m damn slow up hill – well you would be carrying an extra sack of potatoes around.

    I ride at least twice a week, can beat all my mates down hill, have oudles of fun and occasionally run out of skill and break bits – collar bone, both rotator cuffs, a number of ribs.

    Just get out and ride. If your East Midlands based give me shout.

    therealhoops
    Member

    I saw a couple of wobbly joggers go past. Cue local abusive oik to hurl some fat related insults. Cue me, “least they’re doing something about it, what are you doing about your height short ass?”. Cue his mates pissing themselves.

    In summary: fook’em

    scottyjohn
    Member

    I too have put on a lot of weight and have had similar thoughts. I went back to riding a hard tail as I felt my full suss was struggling.
    I ride alone most of the time as I dont want to hold people back, but also I enjoy the freedom to do what I want.
    In terms of trails, I head off into the country parks etc, not really done a trail centre for ages, so the tracks tend to be flatter and there is noone around. Think I may be turning into a hermit in my old age lol.

    Started running at lunchtimes as with the little one, I dont get any time at night to do anything.

    As above fella; f’ every one else and ride!

    I weigh 20+ stone, ride my hardtail in tights and get looked at all the time. Who cares!?! as for bike damage; nothing so far!

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    if your up near Cheshire, youre always welcome to ride out..

    As another bigger bloke, I completly understand where you’re coming from…

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    I’d guess 99.999% of people on this forum have a bike that’s better than they actually need. When I occasionally see really overweight people out on the trails I just think ‘good on them’, I suspect most people are the same.
    The only time I’d probably think ‘all the gear no idea’ would be if someone parked up in a flash car, rev’d their engine for everyone to notice them, got out talking loudly on a mobile about some bollocks multi-million pound deal then set off on their bike and crashed trying to show off doing a manual in the car park.

    freeagent
    Member

    Yep, ‘nother fat lad ‘ere.
    Been riding 2.5 years, am now down to 16.5 stone, and actually not a bad rider.
    Still not confident enough to join a club, or ride with strangers.

    Honestly sod what anyone else thinks, go ride, it’s there for everyone. If anyone laughs at you then they are the saddo.

    this^^^^

    the more you ride, the lighter you will get and so the problem solves itself.

    and that ^^^^^

    = just go and do it. no matter how hard it is first time it’ll get easier.
    After all you never spent all that cash ona bike just to sit and fret about it did you?

    EDIT – PS where do you think my login name came from?

    Premier Icon JohnClimber
    Subscriber

    chriswhite1807 – Where you riding? I’m sure most of us would be happy for you to join a ride or two.

    scruff
    Member

    1. Thats what friends are for.

    2. You’ll go through drivetrain / brake pads etc quicker. Frames, forks & wheels are pretty strong as long as your realistic with what you buy. Dont skimp on tyres.

    Edric 64
    Member

    I read the story of the 39 stone cyclist and he proves that anyone can do it if they have the motivation and support.

    GaryLake
    Member

    Chris, stop fretting and just post pics of the shiny bike already! That’s all anyone is going to care about when you’re out anyway 😉

    Good luck!

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    go for a few rides by yourself to get to know the bike, and crucially, over the first few rides you’ll get up to speed a lot. if you can, go for a short ride the day after a bigger one, only needs to be 30 mins or an hour with a couple of hills in, just to get your body used to the demands you’re putting on it, and help it adapt quicker.
    then go for a ride with some other guys. put up a post on here and outline what you think you’re capable of, and see if someone wants to come out. you may find you’re ‘tail end charlie’ for a while, but it will push you, whereas on your own you may be inclined just to spin along at your own pace, which won’t help you nearly as much.
    it never stops hurting, you just go quicker ( i’m told! ).
    anyone who moans about waiting for people on a ride better get used to riding on their own IMO.
    the banter and mates is a lot of what makes riding worthwhile for me.
    good luck and have fun!

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    The more you ride, the lighter you’ll get, and the more confident you’ll get. The hardest few yards will be the first ones out of the door.

    If you’re self-conscious, don’t ride trail centres for a while. Just head out and do some natural stuff.

    If you’re in North Yorks, then I’d be happy to ride out with you, and you can mop away my tears of shame as I mince down something easy.

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