This is a question that we receive on a regular basis. We commend these individuals for their commitmet to get in shape, and we assure them that yes, EVERYONE can enjoy the benefits of cycling.
In choosing a bicycle, you'll have many of the same considerations that any person would have. You'll want to choose the right style of bike for you, based on your comfort level, and where you'll be riding the bike. There are a couple of extra considerations that heavier rider should take into account, however.
While there are advantages to an all-steel frame for any rider (mainly durability and comfort), the majority of entry-level and mid-range bicycles these days are made with aluminum frames. Steel, aluminum, or titanium would make an excellent choice of frame material for any heavy rider; all would hold up under normal non-aggressive riding conditions for recreation and fitness. The exception would be extremely lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber racing bike frames.
|Cross-section of a single-wall rim
In contrast to the actual bike frame, the wheels are the most common failure point we see with heavier riders, even among riders who are only slightly above average weight. So, this is the first upgrade that we recommend doing up front.
|Cross-section of a double-wall rim
For even more durability, the rims should have metal eyelets on the spoke holes. Stainless steel spokes are pretty standard.
|Freewheel rear hub
|Cassette rear hub
|Hybrid bicycle with 26-inch wheels
|Hybrid bicycle with 700C wheels
|Flat-foot bicycle with traditional frame
|Flat-foot bicycle with step-through frame
|Rigid (unsuspended) mountain bike
|Front-suspension mountain bike
Most bicycles are available in several different frame sizes, but don't worry; we'll help you pick the size that's best for you.
Whether it's been 2 years or twenty since you've been on a bike, there's one out there for you. By picking the style that works best for your needs, with some consideration of potential parts upgrades, you'll be well on your way to pedaling the pounds off!