Health Dilema does it mean a new bike?


Senior Member
East Devon
I've always struggled with my weight, don't get me wrong I'm not huge, but I am kind of a big guy.
I'm 47 years old and I started cycling about 5 years ago. Started off just going to work, which is only a couple of miles but soon developed to going out for a leisure rides and then to me making a 14 mile detour for my commute to work. Not a serious cyclist but a fair amount of riding. I did drop a lot of weight and got a lot fitter but I think I will always be fairly big.

Over the last few weeks I was getting crippling chest pain when I pushed hard on my rides. They were very painful and would make me stop and rest, after a while they would subside ( not go but ease off a lot) so I made an appointment to see the doctor. The doctors seem to think it is Angina and have prescribed a few tablets to lower the heart rate and help keep me on an even keel.
Here is the point of my thread, I asked the Doctor about cycling and she said, she wouldn't recommend cycling on my own and to avoid hills or any kind of strenuous riding. Now being overweight pretty much means that any ride with a hill is strenuous for me, and I live in Devon which has a lot of hills! I really enjoy riding, I'm not very fast and have always struggled with hills, and I mean struggled! Being bright red and gasping for breath at the top if a hill is not an unfamiliar situation for me.

Light exercise is important for Angina and no other sport even slightly interests me but I need to do something. My logic leads me down the road of an e-bike. Using pedal assist I can still ride but cut back on the effort needed to get up a hill.
I can't get in to the whole, it's cheating thing, if I try to ride my bike and it gets tough it really hurts.
I will be honest and say I'm really peed off about the whole thing! But I am worried to carry on as normal.

I treated my self to a nice bike a little while ago, I know the price of bikes is relative to everyone's own pocket and whilst it really wasn't that much lets just say it was more than I ever would have thought I would spend on a bike. I brought my first car for less! So it seems like a tremendous waste not to ride it.
I could convert it to an ebike, but I think some of the conversions look ugly and some of the reviews of the kits are not great. The other alternative is a new e-bike, but, WOW ! They aren't cheap are they. Having said that I am willing to spend to get what I need if I have to, after all better to have a form of exercise I enjoy, and will go towards keeping me healthier.

I keep looking at the Orbea Gain D40
It's expensive but looks nice, or do I just fit either my cross or mountain bike out with a conversion?

Does anyone have any advice?
Or has anyone else been in a similar position. I read the thread in the health section about heart attacks and wasn't sure if I should post there, or in the electric bikes section. Apologies to the moderators if they need to move it and thanks for reading the long post.


Legendary Member
Move somewhere flatter? Only semi-joking. ;)


Do you ride with a heart rate monitor? Easing off before getting into the "red" zone might help?
Also reviewing your gear ratios and change the cassette/crankset to something that gives a really low gear?

Hope you find a way to keep cycling.

Heltor Chasca

Out-riding the Black Dog
53% of bike sales in the Netherlands are e-bikes. There’s sense in that and I’m no Puritan. I am very pro e-bikes as you are still putting in the work which is manageable and will improve your health situation. I think more people should make the move from sofa to e-bike. A local cycle campaigner is built like a Viking but lives off his e-bike. I bet he’s better for it. Good luck.


Über Member
Sounds like a good idea to me for two reasons. A) a new bike is ALWAYS a good idea and B) on a more serious note, your health is more important than anything. Sounds to me like an ebike would enable you to maintain a certain level of fitness without you going over the top and into any perceived "danger zone", as intimated by the doctor.
Is there a way in which you can avoid the hills or do you live in a valley ?
As your doctor recommends that you do not ride alone I was wondering if you and a friend take your bikes to a less hilly area ? It is one of the things I am contemplating as the roads around here are becoming busier .


Accra, Ghana
I can see why the Orbea appeals, it doesn't look like an e-bike. If its the only way you still enjoy your cycling and you can afford it go for it.

Sell you existing bike to fund it if you have to as it looks pretty much redundant. Looks like the way to go.

You could always convert your MTB to give you a taste. The conversions are very complete and strait forward now. Plenty of vids on YouTube.

Good luck.
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Not So Special One
North Yorkshire
You sound as though you are really enjoying cycling and your fitness is important, buy the ebike you want, you only live once!
Alternatively step of the bike and gently walk up any hills you could be uncomfortable with, it’s no shame and it’s still exercise.

Edit-The Orbea does look fab.
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Mrs M

The Orbea looks very smart.
I think your e bike idea is great.
Mr M’s Dr thought he had angina and was given pills for this.
Still having problems so further investigation showed he didn’t have angina at all :angry:
Hope you keep on :bicycle: :smile:


Über Member
Sounds cruel i know but get your diet/weight sorted out buy a blood pressure monitor (about £25 in boots) watch the effect even in a short space of time the effect a diet has on your blood pressure never mind anything else.
At 47 you are still young and this is the stage in life you really need to start to look after your health before its to late.
Good luck, best wishes and hope you take this post with the good intent i mean and dont think i am blaming you in any way just offering advice on what i would do.


Legendary Member
Did the doctor accept your "always be a big boy" theory? If he/she did, it would be interesting to ask why, as it appears to fly in the face of messages from public health organisations.
I had allowed my weight to rise above the 'Healthy Weight' recommendation and more or less exercise had little effect. It wasn't until I adjusted my food intake that the weight fell away, and I felt the better of that!
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The older I get, the faster I used to be ...
Have you been referred for further investigation of your problem? I wouldn't be satisfied with 'a few tablets to lower the heart rate', but would expect to be seeing a cardiologist. My angina was diagnosed when I was in my mid forties, and angioplasty followed to open up the arteries. Subsequently I've had further stents, 5 in total. My angina only really became apparent on quite high levels of exertion, and I've never let it stop me cycling. Now at over 70 I'm contemplating an Orbea Gain - not because of angina - but because my arterial disease is now affecting my legs.
In brief, for now I'd follow doctor's orders, but I'd push for further investigation, with a view to getting back to cycling at a reasonable level (after any treatment required), and thus maintaining future fitness. It may be too early to contemplate the e-bike just yet. Hope you get it sorted - soon!
Be selfish. Do what you can with the weight (my partner is a big fan of the fast diet). Get an e-bike if it gets you out more. Find flatter routes for the conventional bike. Pester the doctors for more investigation or reviews because they have a habit of running a conveyor belt sometimes. I once told one that cycling was all I had (which it was at the time) and I was passionate about continuing. Normally you're just sent away. Two weeks later I was seeing an NHS sports physio.
Own it. Control it.
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