Taking my bike for a walk, would prefer one I can ride!

ericmark

Active Member
Location
North Wales
I live in Llanfair Caereinion and there are four roads out of the town, the A458 I consider too dangerous, B4389 is far too steep, the B4385 is also steep and I found I walked to summit then free wheeled all the way down so not really a bike ride as such.

So looking at electric assistance, or gearing that allows me to ride up the hills, problem I find is too slow and can't balance, so likely electric, I can in the summer catch the train, £3.50 for a bike, then ride from Welshpool, considered leaving a bike in Welshpool station at Raven's square as getting it on and off the heritage railways carnages not so easy, and I am taking up a wheel chair space.

So leaning towards a folding electric bike, tried lifting one in a shop in Shrewsbury and not sure about carrying up the three steps onto the train carriage. Tried my wife's mid motor electric bike and yes it will just about get me up the hills, but would a bike with motor in the wheel so no gears to motor get me up the hills.

I am heavy 21 Stone + so many bikes will not take my weight, and 250 watt for a 14 stone man may be enough, but with my weight it does not do so well.

Open to ideas.
 
Most bikes will take your weight, but as you have discovered it will have an impact on the climbing ability of a legal ebike.

Either live with that, or get something that is illegally powerful if not illegally too fast.

There is more of a risk of stalling a hub motor bike, so a crank drive is a better bet.

Most folders are hub motor, although there are one or two that have the Bosch crank drive.

You don't mention budget, but a crank drive folder would be around £2,000.

As you have discovered, folding ebikes are unwieldy lumps.

Only you can decide if one would be suitable.
 
OP
ericmark

ericmark

Active Member
Location
North Wales
I was thinking around £1500 that's what my wife's Halfold's bike cost, but still not totally sold on idea of electric, bike riding is multi purpose, take photos, lose weight, get fresh air, see the country side. Electric will not loose as much weight as manual, however knowing you can press the walk assist button to get home if you over do it, seems a good idea.
 
If you use a Bosch crank bike you will get some exercise, particularly if you discipline yourself to use the lower assist settings.

Weight loss is 99 per cent about diet.

You would have to ride many pushbike miles to burn off a slice of pizza, so the answer is don't eat it in the first place.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Have you considered a trike?
It solves the issue of balance when climbing. I have a tandem trike for my autistic daughter and when we first went out on it, she sometimes pedalled backwards and we often came to a complete halt. But on a trike, you can stop, turn the cranks to horizontal and stand on the pedals for another half rotation and eventually get to the top. A super low gear helps.
 
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SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
The fundamental problem is you have a huge percentage of excess weight, and you are not going to lose any meaningful amount of it if your "exercise" regime consists of riding an electrically assisted bike to the top of a hill then coasting down the other side.
It's not really about what type of bike you ride. It's not really even about whether you ride any sort of bike at all. It's really about lifestyle. You have likely spent several years, if not decades, indulging in a lifestyle involving too much food & drink and not enough physical activity. Unless you drastically cut down on the consumption side and meaningfully increase the exertion side, nothing is going to change.
If you can't ride up the local hills at your current weight, why not leave the bike at home and go for a long walk instead? You will burn more calories per mile walking than you would by cycling. In some respects the colder months are ideal for losing weight because spending time outside in the cold means the body burns a lot of calories just maintaining it's internal temperature even if not doing anything especially strenuous.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Welcome to the caring sharing forum :laugh:
There is no point beating about the bush, and the OP has already previously made a number of similar posts about bike choices. No-one enjoys their food and drink more than me, but I know that being active is the only thing that keeps the lid on my weight - which is slightly higher than ideal although not enough to make getting around arduous. Trying to be "helpful" by suggesting more powerful labour-saving assistance bikes is not doing the OP any favours. Labour saving is the last thing they need.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Does Wesley St offer a flatter route out ?
Just a quick view from CycleStreets
Yes but looking on cycle.travel then you eventually you end up slogging uphill on the A road to reach another B or back road towards Welshpool, or using even steeper back roads to get back to the B4385 Mount Road. Llanfair C is definitely challenging cycling terrain with the valley routes occupied by a railway and an unmitigated A road. I've no good option but I like the suggestion above to consider a trike to overcome balance problems.
 

Randy Butternubs

Über Member
From experience, the problem with being overweight\unfit is that it may be impossible to climb a given hill without hurting yourself. I had this issue a few years ago; I was cycle commuting regularly and the more I cycled the less fit I became! If I took a week off I was (briefly) faster again. Having a physical job probably didn't help.

For that reason, an ebike may make sense so long as you don't rely too heavily on the assist. I feel that some people, who may have been fit their whole lives, can't or won't understand what it's like to start from zero, and brush off those who are sincerely trying to improve themselves with comments to 'man up' or whatever.

That said, how slow can you ride before it gets too unstable? Some bikes are vastly better than others for low speed balance.

My first adult bike was terrible and really needed to be going 7mph+ to not be miserable to ride. If you can find a good one and fit low gearing you may be able to winch yourself up a hill at 3mph. Much cheaper than a good ebike.

I'd also echo the comments about walking and about diet.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
I feel that some people, who may have been fit their whole lives, can't or won't understand what it's like to start from zero, and brush off those who are sincerely trying to improve themselves with comments to 'man up' or whatever.
The fundamental problem is that riding a bike up a hill is harder work than walking up, because you've got to raise the weight of your bike as well as yourself. Cyclists who are not massively overweight can tolerate this because we get a massive speed/effort advantage when travelling on the flat and downhill that more than makes up for the pain of hills. However I would not try to ride my bikes up a steep hill with a sack of cement strapped to my back, as it would make for a miserable cycling experience - yet this is effectively what a very overweight rider has to do. For this reason I would advocate anyone who is very overweight should lose a good chunk of it before they attempt to climb steep hills on a bike. Realistically, it could take the OP a couple of years of food/drink intake restraint combined with low intensity exercise to get down to somewhere near a normal weight. Depending on their exact height, they could have 300,000+ calories worth of surplus energy stored on their body, which is going to take a serious amount of dedication to gradually burn off.
I have never considered myself to be that fit, and I'm not into playing sport, but I have always been active at work and do a fair bit of low-intensity activity such as utility walking, climbing stairs (rather than use lifts), leisure cycling. I just aim to maintain a reasonable baseline of fitness, and not allow myself to get really out of shape and overweight like a lot of my peers have done as they have got older and less active.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
This could be a bad time if the year to start considering a new bike given winter is on the way, ice and fog on steep roads, unfit and I assume not confident (said in sympathy, no slur intended)
My terrain is generally flat and certainly my Crossfire ebike can bog down if you dont use the gears right, that's with a 50nm torque / 250watt / 36 volt motor just to give you some baseline stats, anything less would possibly be dubious on steep climbs.
When you say balance is a problem, is it you find yourself going so slow that balancing becomes difficult, as it would for almost anyone.
It may be you're hardy, I'm not, winter tends to see me hibernate cycling wise...if you're the same, perhaps a different fitness regime until the fairer weather comes next year, then you can hit it with vigour.
 
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