Obese, unfit and 50k challenge in may 2020!

as others have said, decathlon sell bikes at great prices, have a look at this thread: Womans intermidiate flat bar Sora xs, in the what bike forum.

just remember, if you don't know, ask. most on here will be more than happy to answer your questions with knowledge and also opinion.

the thing about what you are attempting is that it seems like a long way now, but with a little patience and going out for rides, it'll soon seem like you are worrying about nothing.

best of luck with the buying and the ride.
Good morning. I'm 37, 5ft and 15 st, bmi puts me upper end of obese (scary). Friend of my asked if I would do the women v cancer ride the night 50k next year, I agreed thinking it would force me to get moving again. currently i'm using my teenage daughters bike (bmx, no gears), went out for the first time last night and managed a grand total of 1.28K before walking the bike back as we live on a very slight slope (the sort that when in a car you don't even know is a hill!) and I couldn't ride it back! When I got in my husband said yay you didn't die (just being silly and his way of supporting me lol), I just bust in to tears, I felt so deflated. this morning i'm determined to do this! We looked at bikes on line with gears thinking that may help (new to this and not ridden in over 20 years so no clue lol). Anyone have any advice / tips either on bike choice or training?
Well done for taking that first step, hun xxx :thumbsup:

Little and often to start with. Couple it with with making a small changes in the kitchen i.e. more fruit & veg, cut sugar in tea, swap white bread / pasta / rice for wholegrain, cut back on alcohol and fizzy drinks etc. And just get out there and enjoy cycling. The distance will eventually take care of itself.

Best tip I can give you (from someone who is shorter than you LOL) is make sure you get a bike that fits - easier said than done at our height - but that will also take your weight. Basically wheels with a decent spoke count - there are others on here who can advise better than me, but to be fair, I can't see it really being a problem.

I'd recommend going to a bike shop rather than trying to buy online. For a do-it-all bike, a hybrid should tick all the boxes, and you can get something pretty nice without spending too much. You didn't say what your budget is or how much wiggle room you have on your budget, but there's some nice choices in the £300 range.

FWIW, my hybrid is one of these:


P.S. Once you have a bike, make a habit of using it for short trips rather than taking the car. A good incentive here is fitting rack and panniers so you can carry groceries etc.
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Bionic Subsonic
Definitely try to ride your bike to things rather than just 'training'.

You've got lots of time, and your target is very achievable. For now, get the right sized bike, as suggested above, and ride as much as you can. You'll be amazed how much faster and stronger you get in not to long once you get going regularly.

One other bit of advice is to avoid suspension on the bike. Unless you are going into mountain bike style terrain, you don't need it - and it will be heavy.

Oh, and I dream of only being 15st :blush:
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Legendary Member
Photo Winner
If you just "train" it will become a chore. Just ride out and take photos. Its a good excuse to get off the bike.

My advice would be to get a bike with as many gears as possible. You dont need to go fast but you need to go with as little effort as possible until your fitness and pedal muscles start to improve.

But dont give up. We all had to start somewhere.


Senior Member
I just wanted to say well done and although it seems like a mountain to climb now, I am sure you can do it.

I am a mid 50's female and I have just joined the forum. I fancied getting a bike as my friend has one. She is older but fitter. I was put off because I honestly didn't feel I was fit enough to ride a bike. I am about 5'5" and now weigh 13st. I went to Yoga once a few years ago and was out of breath and sweating. AT YOGA.

But here's the thing. I joined a gym 2 years ago and now do weight training a few times a week - 30 mins a time. I don't do cardio other than 5 mins on the rower to warm up. Despite doing WW and currently Slimming World I haven't lost a huge amount of weight - but I am phenomenally fitter than I was 2 years ago at a similar weight. I can easily walk up 5 floors in the car park whereas going upstairs in Hobby craft used to leave my heart pounding. I am still fat, but my legs are pretty muscular.

My point is that by exercising consistently you can soon build up your stamina and fitness. Don't be thinking you need to be 10st to do your ride, because that will seem unachievable. If you started counting calories, or did Slimming World or any other low carb diet, you could lose a pound a week if you stick at it.
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Setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
I can only echo what has already been said. Well done for getting out.
Sort out your bike as advised up thread, then don't train, enjoy the rides. You will soon find that what was once a seemingly long distance, becomes "What! Just that distance?"


Well done for taking on the challenge. Decathlon is a good choice. Go for the lightest bike you can afford - without suspension. Build up the mileage slowly, little and often is best. One good way of doing this is to use the bike for any errands involving short journeys.

It might also be useful to find out if there is anywhere near you offering Bikeability courses to prepare you for riding, with traffic, on the road.


Richmond ,Surrey
Well done You !!
The journey has begun !
Not the best bike as said , if you look on line you may well find a charity bike org in your area , gumtree or Shpock , £30-50 would get one , something to start on , hybrid probably best ,
Remember , the journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step ,
Or in our case the first push of the pedals !
Keep us up to date on your progress ,
Not wishing to counter the sage advice previously given but if you are worried about your weight / BMI / general fitness should advice from your GP prior to launching yourself into a "fitness regime" be your first port of call.

Maybe a health MOT?


Well-Known Member
North Hampshire
I am now 57 y.o. and was where you are 4 years ago, it can be done. The other guys on here are probably more experienced than I am so are better qualified to give advice, however I can give you the benefit of my experience.

Firstly you have done the right thing by asking around, take advice from somebody you can trust about how you approach this and the equipment (most importantly the bike) you will need.

Take is easy to start with my experience is that fitness does not happen overnight, you will start slow but when it ramps up, you will notice a difference quite quickly.

I bought a cheap exercise bike from Ebay for £50 for when I did not feel I could go out or the weather was bad etc. It is surprising how much that helped just doing half an hour a day.

I started using an old upright bike and When I bought my first real road bike I was amazed how much difference that made both in speed and comfort. So don't have to spend a fortune but make sure you use something of reasonable quality and comfort.

There is nothing wrong with walking up hills, I still do occasionally, you are still contributing to your overall fitness and will soon be riding up all but the face of a cliff

If you have a friend you can go out with sometimes, that helps and it is surprising how far you can go with somebody to talk to.

Record your distances on an app, it is amazing how seeing your improvements can spur you on. You will soon be challenging yourself to greater things.

You can and will do it but most importantly don't go too mad and enjoy yourself - keep it fun! I still consider myself the fat bloke at the back and I don't care about those who tear past me.

Stay safe and let us know how you get on!



The dogs chew toy
Hi @Joeycreature and welcome to cyclechat :smile:
My fiancee' took to cycling when she was 18 stone and she's about 5'2". So don't let your weight stop you. It matters not a jot.
Obese? You mean voluptuous yes? :okay: That's the term my partner and I use anyhoo.
Any cyclist will happily admit that their first couple rides after a long time away from the saddle will have been less than speedy and quite short. Feeling like dying as you get to the front door is perfectly normal. It does get easier over time. No doubt you already know it'll be a while before you pose any risk to competitors in the Tour deFrance.
Decathlon has been mentioned already and whilst I won't go as far as saying this is the bike for you, it does seem to me at least, the way to go. A mountain bike.
Will you be traversing up the side of Everest? Possibly not, but hear me out...
It's sized (small, as far as I can tell) perfectly for you.
Mountain bikes naturally have pretty low gears which will help lots as you get fitter. It's not the number of gears that makes a difference, but the size of them.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but mountain bikes are built for strength so it'll do better at taking your weight.
It'll take a rack on the back for carrying a bag with energy enhancing food like chocolate, sweets, cake etc :giggle:
Mudguards will easily fit if you want them.
And best of all, a mountain bike will happily take slick tyres, which are a bit faster to ride on than knobbly ones. Contrary to popular belief, slick tyre cope very well on offroad surfaces...except for when it gets really really slippy. The mechanic (and I use that word loosely) will no doubt swap the tyres over if you ask when buying.
One last thing which I think bothers every person who ever bought a bike is that the saddle may or may not suit you. Perfectly normal and you might go through a few before finding one that you're comfy on. Or you could be lucky and find the one supplied perfectly ok for you.
One last word. As much as many of us here would agree that buying a cheap (under £250) bike probably isn't a good idea as the parts they're built with are usually rubbish, I wouldn't go spending a fortune yet either. The reason being that bikes depreciate quickly in value and if you don't take to cycling like a duck to water, it could be a costly mistake.
I really hope you enjoy it though. It's the best ^_^
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Hello @Joeycreature, welcome from Germany.

I can't really add to the advice you're getting but good for you for trying, making the first step, and being honest with yourself. I'm not sure I'd have that much courage.

Beware though, I was a happy 'Utility' cyclist, commuting and pootling a few k's to the shops until I came under bad influences on here. Now I'm working towards my first century (having failed, I should add for about five years running). It's addictive I tell you...
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