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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm overweight (6'4" - 275), out of shape and struggling with just 10 mile rides with a mixture of climbs and descents (mostly out and back AM stuff). I end up walking the climbs on at least the second half of the ride. Just wondering when I'll have the strength/endurance to complete a full ride on the saddle. It's embarrassing to get schooled by guys 20 yrs. older than me (I'm 31).
 

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I'm kind of in the same boat, 6'3" 320 (now 299 though!). The quick answer is don't worry about it, it will come in time. The most important thing is just getting out there and riding for now.

p.s. I finally made it through my preferred trail without stopping for the first time last sunday. Just keep pedaling man!
 

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I am a pathetic rider...
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yea, what he said. it will all come in time, just keep pedaling and make sure that you are at least trying every climb and stalling out before you walk it, don't just walk it because you don't think you can do it. also try and watch what you eat. don't worry about age, there is this elderly man, prolly late 60's who rides a 2000 trek hardtail, and he can whip anybody at the trail head, even the kids who are training for the races.
 

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Break it down into smaller challenges.

I'm going to create a fictional loop, with three distinct climbs. But you will get the idea and can apply it to your real ride.

Lets say there is three climbs on your loop: A, B and C.

A you have made it at least half the time, and you can usually make it on most days, but some days it gets you and you have to stop and push.

B you made it once, an a day you were out there feeling like superman for whatever reason.

And C, you have yet to come close to cleaning it, and you think you may never be able to.

Forget about C, keep B in the back of your mind, but concentrate on A. Make it a goal to be able to clean A everytime. In time, it will happen, and you will laugh to yourself about not being able to make it sometimes before.

By this time, you will have made B on a more regular basis, maybe less times than more, but you know it is within your grasp. Now concentrate on always cleaning B. This one will take longer, but just keep telling yourself you can do it, and before long, you will be at a point you make it more times than you don't.

Keep running with this, keep putting in the work, and in time this one will be almost routine.

Now set your sights on C. By now, your fitness will be much improved, your confidence will be up. Just know that somedays will feel better than others. One day, when you are out there, and you don't even think about A anymore, and B was a walk in the park today, tell yourselff you are going to clean C. Today is the day. One day, it will happen. Unless YOU give up first, before it does.
 

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i have been riding since around Feb of this year ... was in the 270 range when i started (235 now) ... when i started, every hill kicked my butt ...

now though, when i am out on a nearby trail that has hills ... i normally will take a short break (if i am winded) before the descent before the hill .. or if it is one that is flat then uphill will stop a little ways back to give me time to build up momentum ...

only hill i can't climb now is one that is just real steep and i have yet to figure out how to balance out right on it so i don't tip backwards and bust my ass

i sometimes have to take a break after making it up the hill ... or just keep going at a slower pace till i can get my breath back ...

get up enough speed, and keep your legs spinning ... don't be in to high of a gear but not to low ... and don't be ashamed to shift to a lower gear as you slow down on the hill ... heh right now most of the time i can make it up a fair majority of the hills .. in my middle ring up front ... and 2nd to 4th from the largest in the rear on my bike ... but i keep my legs spinning at a decent pace the whole way up the hill.... and yes my fat ass is still on the seat the whole time.
 

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The previous three posts are good advice. The only thing I can add is make sure you are still having fun. Keep in mind why you started riding, enjoy the downhill sections, take a minute to enjoy the scenery...my point being is to not get discouraged. Challenge yourself a little more every day and it will get easier. I got back into riding a few years ago and I had a hill that kicked my a**. I had to stop 6 times on my first try (I almost gave up riding after that), two weeks later I was stopping twice and after 2 months I made it all the way without stopping.
 

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i'm kind of in the same weight category gents. between 250 and 260 depending on what i had for dinner...haha.

i don't have much advice because i'm quite inexperienced and will be walking my bike up some hills but i was wondering what kind of bikes you guys are riding? i'm looking at a Trek Ex8 or a Fisher HiFi Deluxe......any idea if one is better then the other in terms of a heavy rider?
 

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i have an 07 raleigh mojave 8.0 (hardtail w front suspension fork) ...

the biggest thing i can say... is sit on it and take it around the block .. see how the fit feels ... and make sure the front shock can be adjusted or rebuilt to support a heavier weight ... the fork on mine can't ... so i have to replace it eventually ... if either of those has an air shock front (not familiar with those models) ... they can be adjusted ...
 

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Hey man......like the others said, it takes time. Also, consider spending some time *GASP* training on the *GASP AGAIN* road....the dreaded and abused T and R words.
Before everyone flames me, hear me out. Why do we ride? Passion, flow, fun, to improve etc....right? Well, as the OP more or less said: we all HATE to struggle in our riding....it just takes the fun out of it and deflates us. That said, there is absolutely no substitute for the aerobic capacity and overall fitness benefits you gain from riding on the road for extended periods of time. To me, if adds to my fitness, it adds to my fun thus deepening and enriching the experience of the ride......flame on.....
 

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1996cc said:
I'm overweight (6'4" - 275), out of shape and struggling with just 10 mile rides with a mixture of climbs and descents (mostly out and back AM stuff). I end up walking the climbs on at least the second half of the ride. Just wondering when I'll have the strength/endurance to complete a full ride on the saddle. It's embarrassing to get schooled by guys 20 yrs. older than me (I'm 31).
There is no shame in walking. And really, who cares about what other riders can do? What matters is that you are out riding.

Everyone is different. It took me a year and the loss of 25 lbs to be able to keep up with others.
 

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i think mostly with me, the weight loss helped with the hill climbing as well ... about the only riding i do is off road .. but i do also go to the gym 2 to 3 times a week .. and do 15 to 30 min on a stationary bike along with other weight machines ...
 

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I hate to say this, but buying a road bike and putting in some extra miles during the week has helped my climbing a lot. In the last few months there has only been one climb I couldn't clean and that was because I wasn't in the right gear to clear some rocks. I'm putting about 120-150 miles a week on the road bike since I've been using it to commute and hit up some MUTs on the way home a few days a week. During the week I just don't have time to ride on dirt.

At one point I used to be embarrassed about walking up hills, but I was out there enjoying my day so who cares what people think. Now I walk what I have to walk and ride at a pace that works for me, yes it's slow climbing at times but I'm not out there to race every time I go for a ride.
 

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I end up riding a lot on the road/paved path a lot during the week, it's close to home and you can push yourself as hard as you want or as easy as you want. I'm riding an '07 Hoss that I totally love.
 

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I like bikes!
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It all comes down to keep on riding and having fun. I had hills that became easy after a few months, and others that still kick my behind 6 years later....

Don't worry about what other people are doing, only go against yourself. I see guys in there 60's and 70's up here that can school me at anytime. And to be honest, most of them would say the same as above.

What I did that helped me keep motivated is start keeping a journal. I keep a spreadsheet of my rides, both mountain and commutes, and track my times on them. As long as the ride distance on the same route remains the same, and your time improves, then your fitness is improving. Obviously, you can have good days and bad days, but if you track your trends over a few months, you will see improvements.

Another thing that I found helpful was crosstraining, going to the gym and working on more than just my legs. Core strength exercises seemed to help the most since it helped me keep my upper body more stable, and thus less tired.
 

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Is that Bill rated?
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Long term/short term

Most of these replies seem to fall into the long term, it will come to you, class. From a short term, next ride kind of view, I have found that you can often make a climb if you don't focus on the whole picture and instead pick an object ahead of you and aim to pass it. When you do reach your goal, move your attention to another object further up the trail and make that your next goal. Often just having something closer than the top of the hill to focus on can make the difference between clearing the hill and walking.

I also sometimes use a 10/10 split of sitting to standing pedal strokes to distract myself from fatigue, standing may use more oxygen, but it also uses different muscles which can help get past the 'wall'.

Just to keep it all in perspective though, you do the same amount of work walking up the hill; you still climb the hill, even on foot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys, I'm not discouraged at all, just curious on the time it will take. Motivation for this is easy compared to staying motivated for work.
 

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Get a SS, gear it fairly easy like 32/20. Stronger, simpler, quieter, more fun to ride. Gets you in shape faster, and you have an ironclad excuse for having to walk it sometimes, because ALL SS'ers have to walk it sometimes:)
 

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I agree with everyone here! I started riding again this past January after a 10 year hiatus. I was at 387lbs, 600 miles and a better diet later I am 332lbs and still droping (6'4")

It was kinda discouraging to be walking all the climbs that I used to ride when i was younger, my now I am cleaning all of them! I am sure the 50 less pounds dosn't hurt, but my cardio and leg muscles have come a long ways in a short period. Now I am
out-climbing guys 100+lbs lighter than me that don't ride as much and that feels awesome!!!!!
 

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Are you gonna eat that?
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I would say never give up and walk.

If you want to get better at climbing, you have to keep cycling, so if you find yourself getting too exhausted, stop, get your breath back, then remount and get going again.

Plus, obviously, the less you weigh, the less you have to fight gravity :)
 
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