Tips for Heavy Bicycle Riders

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Bicycle riding is a good way to get exercise and build one’s endurance. For people who are overweight, it is also a good choice to get fit. Though it’s awesome to lose weight by cycling, there are a few tips for heavy cyclists to maintain a safe riding.

The first consideration for heavy cyclists is to overcome their fear of falling or getting hurt. It might be quite tough at the very beginning, but once you overcome this, you will begin to enjoy the fun of cycling.

To avoid falling off from the bike, you can ride at a standard pace. A bike is likely to wobble and be unstable if you ride at 5 kph; 25 kph is an ideal speed that would keep you stable. The trick is to keep on pedaling while having control on your handlebar. This would keep your balance. You are more likely to fall if you are being too cautious about pedaling that you do it too slow.

When you are on an icy road, ride along the side of the road which has been gritted. Be very careful when making a turn or braking. One wrong move or one wrong calculation using your brake or handlebar can result in a fall. Also, be doubly careful when riding along a wet road, especially when it is raining.

Leaves that are wet can also be hazardous. Leaves can be as slippery as ice when they are wet. Puddles can also be dangerous especially when they are a bit deep. Even though it is quite fun and thrilling to run over them, resist the temptation.

When you are on bike lanes that are shared with pedestrians, always give a warning signal. Use a bell or any warning device. Pedestrians tend to be unaware of approaching bikes. They are likely to move into your way and not look. Maybe they do not anticipate bicyclists coming along since they are used to paying attention to the sound of the traffic. A bell or a bike horn may annoy pedestrians but what's more important is the fact that you wanted to avoid getting hit and hitting somebody.

Another simple way to avoid falling from a bike is by taking a quick break when you are tired. You might lose your focus and commit mistakes that may lead to a crash, so if you already feel too fatigued to continue riding, stop on a safe side of the road and breathe for a few minutes.

To avoid falls, ride a few feet away from parked cars, otherwise you might get an awful surprise as a car door suddenly opens.

Another reason for most falls is riding the wrong bike. As a heavy bicycle rider, you are aware that regular bikes are unable to carry you around safely for a long period of time. They are not strong enough to carry and endure much pressure and weight. So get a bike which suits you. Consider investing in a bicycle with stronger frame, rims, tires, pedals, and seat. Such bikes are specially made to make your riding easier, safer, and more comfortable.

The second thing should be taken into consideration is your components of the bike.

Wheels These need to be custom made go to a touring shop (in the UK I recommend Spa Cycles) you need 36 full gauge spokes front and rear with deep rims. mine is a Tiagra hubs with Rigida DP18 these have done 10,000 Miles without missing a beat.

Frame Be cautious of over sizing the frame your belly will make it difficult to reach forward so when testing a bike ensure you can comfortably bend both your arms and look forward.

Forks I have always ridden on carbon forks with steel or Alu steerer

Saddle and seat post These take the bulk of your weight I've been using a spoon charge saddle I'm on my third now I've also bent two seat posts (They don't fail catastrophically just allow the seat to warp).

Stem and handlebars Pretty much anything you want in an ALU/steel ranges.

Brakes Rim Brakes are a must they put much less pressure on the spokes and allow for better wheel dishing.

Chainset and Chain At first your chainset will be great but as you build power your chain and cassette are not going to hack it be prepared to be regularly changing chains and cassettes (every 1000 miles for chains).

Gears Yet again another casualty of your weight as a heavy person you’re going to be doing more shifting than normal this puts excess stress on the gears the shifter will be fine but the front and rear derailleur will be the things that go, get used to tuning your own gears.

Carrying Things Get yourself a rack and Panniers you end up with backache putting more weight on your back.

Tires Get used to changing inner tubes run about 100PSI at first and as you get lighter gradually increase the pressure to 110 the tires that worked best for me are Specialized Armadillo non-folding tires... that needs to be said that folding tires will fail quickly with increased weight I've never been successful with folding but I've worn a few full bead tires down to the webbing pedals, get cheap ones you will bend the shafts and make them impossible to service I use shimano spd-sl, for shoes you need to just make sure you have room for your feet to swell slightly.

identify your bike gears

The third thing should be taken into consideration is clothing. Normally, heavy people need larger clothing compared to common people. While riding, it is really important to wear nice and fit clothing that is breathable. It seems like many companies think that people over a certain size need only 100% cotton workout clothes, which fill with sweat, get heavy, make your skin wet and chafed, and don't cool effectively. My impression is that it is more difficult for women to get larger-sized workout clothes, because some bulky body types are considered athletic in men (like linebackers.)

The fourth concern is overheating. Riding on sunny days may sound perfect, but it’s easy to get dehydrated and overheating. I would like to recommend a white or silver helmet with lots of air holes and a light colored top. And sunscreen is necessary to protect from sunburn, so I won’t recommend being shirtless in long riding, because you may sweat off the sunscreen.