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I weigh 280 lbs and need to lose some weight. Which type of bicycle should I buy?

Kindly advise me on which type of bicycle should I buy for my body type. I weigh 280lbs. standing at 5’10”.
I tried a common mountain bike but the stress on my knees while pedaling is quite high due to my body weight, especially on up slope roads. Will buying a bicycle with much smaller wheels alleviate the cycling stress from my knees and legs?
Thank you.

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2 Responses to “I weigh 280 lbs and need to lose some weight. Which type of bicycle should I buy?”

  1. Alex M said :

    Generally, that kind of stress on your knees is caused by improper seat height. Even though your position may feel right in the beginning, the seat is probably a little too low. I also weigh about 250lbs, but I’m 6’6″ and had a problem breaking the spokes on the rear. The local bicycle shop recommended a wheel with more spokes and a seat height adjustment which made all the difference. Since your size makes you somewhat of a special case, I think you should pay a little extra and buy from a bicycle shop. They can give you recommendations that Wal-Mart just won’t know.

  2. SoccerRefToo said :


    You were probably riding incorrectly, and the bike was out of adjustment.

    First, you should not be able to touch the ground when seated in the saddle. It should be high enough so that when you are sitting, and the pedals are in a six o’clock position, the knee should be just ever so slightly bent . When you slow down to a stop you get off the saddle and straddle the bike.

    Secondly, you need to learn how to pedal. I can see you now, pedaling very slowly in to hard of a gear. You need to learn how to ‘spin’ (yes, just like spin class). You pedal the bike at 70+ rpms minimum in a gear with moderate pedal pressure. You OWN that feeling and pedal speed. Your job is to use the gears to maintain both that pedal speed (cadence) and pedal pressure in all terrains. As you get to a slight upgrade, you use the right shifter to shift to a lower gear to maintain the cadence and pedal pressure. As that slight upgrade turns into a hill you use the left shifter to shift down to the small gear on your pedals (chain ring). You use that small gear ONLY for hills, you use the two larger gears for flats and down hills. As that hill flattens out you shift to a higher gear with the left hand, and then start shifting up as the pedal pressure lessens and the pedal cadence increases…. until you get back you cadence and your pedal pressure.

    Spin the pedals…. DO NOT ‘mash’ the pedals. Mashing is pedaling at too slow of a pedal speed, and with too much pressure. It is bad on the knees, and is very inefficient. Spinning is the proper way to ride a bike. It allows for long distance, with speed, but without fatigue.

    Read up on spinning, and make sure your bike is adjusted properly. The low seat and the mash create pain!



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