Very overweight bloke riding a Voodoo Bizango 29er?


New Member
Hi there! I'm brand new to the website and would love to hear some opinions and advice! I'm in my early 30's, 6ft tall and probably a few pounds shy of 22 stone at the moment. I really need to burn off serious weight and regain some level of fitness back, I think cycling would be a fun way to do it. I've been drooling over the new Voodoo Bizango for months now, finally caved in and bought it. I have asked people that are into cycling if they think the bike would hold up with me on it, to which they have all replied "it'll be fine" etc. I'm a very careful rider, won't be dropping the bike off curbs or putting the bike through it's paces off road. I have had a couple of bikes as an adult years ago when I was about 19 stone, a new Apollo (GASP!) and an old rigid mountain bike with skinny wheels/tyres. Long story short I managed to annihilate the wheels on those bikes within 50-100 miles of cycling, like major wheel buckling so I have been pessimistic about trying another bike. That was from careful road use as well. I have never spent good money on a bike before and I hope that the stock Bizango wheels with the Ardent tyres will be fine, however if that's not the case roughly how much money would I need to drop to get some stronger wheels on the bike? I have seen a couple of reassuring threads from other people on here already, but would like to hear your opinions. Thanks! :smile:


Senior Member
Just get riding is my advice! The Bizango gets great reviews and as long as it's been set up properly by the shop, it should be able to cope with you and your intended riding - confidence will come with miles. Your previous problems were probably down to very cheap components - the Voodoo should be decent enough quality to cope. Good luck and let us know how you get on...

Bobby Mhor

Wasn't born to follow
I've got a Voodoo Marasa hybrid and was around/over 20 stone when I first got it, I had to replace the stock wheels in the first 12 months as they kept pinging spokes but that was me..but had been advised early on to change the stock wheels..
I've been riding the same bike for over 6 years now with the same type of cheap wheel and am presently fluctuating between 18.5 and 19 ( I just love food) with no problems, I pay roughly just over £50 a wheel and they work for me, I take my bike almost anywhere on Marathon Greenguards, on really rough ground I just slow right down or walk through but not much beats me...
I would assume the Bizango wheels will be stronger than the stock Voodoo hybrid ones...


Wheely World
A similar bike made by specialized has a max rider weight limit of 21.5 stone (300lbs)

This suggests you are probably just within the weight limit for the bike. I would EMail Halfords to confirm but it is likely you will be fine with replaceable things like chains and rear cassettes wearing out faster. As long as you don’t push the bike too hard on anything rough it would be fine, just keep a regular eye on it to make sure nothing is loose or worn.

Exercise is great for weight loss as it also encourages you to eat more healthily at which point the weight drops off a lot faster and you have a good reason to keep going. My first bike ride many years ago lasted 2 miles and I collapsed on a grass verge out of breath. Good luck and enjoy every minute of it :okay:


Well-Known Member
Walton on Thames
Don’t worry too much about breaking wheels, I’m only 11 stone and I have broken plenty of wheels, mostly due to the places I ride (Alps, Cannock, dirt tracks, etc), but also many just on basic road rides.
I wouldn’t bother to change the standard wheels until I needed to. If they break, then we’ll sh*t happens, don’t worry and instantly blame your weight for component failure.
I have a 20 stone power lifting pal that rides a cheap 10 year old junk mtb and that can hold him up, so I’m sure your brand new bike is a lot more capable of supporting you.


Convoi Exceptionnel
Quedgeley, Glos.
I don't disagree with any of the above but, as a 300 pounder cyclist myself, I do have another angle on this. If you find yourself pinging spokes, you don't necessarily need new wheels ... just different spokes. My LBS mechanic has always re-built my rear wheels using "Alpine 3" triple-butted spokes, and they work just fine for me. Much cheaper than new wheels.


I don't no much about the bike you've bought, but welcome to the world of cycling. I can suggest though, keep your rides nice and short to begin with. 3 to 5 miles is ample, and slowly but surely you will want to venture further over the coming weeks. The weight will then start to drop off soon enough and your cycling will really take off to a higher plain. That's how i started not so long ago.
I've lost around 25kg over 3 years and its transformed my life. Cycling has slowly built up and can comfortably (ish) cycle a 100 mile ride. I would never of imagined this would ever of been possible when i first started.
All the best and hope you enjoy your new direction in life. It really has transformed me into a better place physically and mentally 👍👍


Active Member
If it's any consolation im 25 stone down from 27. Im not quite riding yet due to a joint pain flare up but i have been controlling my diet by lowering carbs in an attempt to lower insulin which has many jobs but it is also a fat storing hormone. I was once 19 stone, 22 stone etc etc Its crazy how it gets away from you and its good to get it now before it becomes a runaway issue... Its great that you are taking up biking again. Good luck to you.


Über Member
West Sussex, UK
Nice bike. Like others say, the stock wheels should suffice so long as you’re not shooting rock gardens or doing big drop-offs. If they do give you issues then a rebuild to a stronger spec by a competent LBS should be relatively affordable - around £20-25 per wheel plus parts (spokes, nipples etc.)

For some completely unsolicited advice, because I think what you’re planning to do is awesome...

As johnblack says, the cycling alone isn‘t necessarily going to show immediate weight loss, but, it’ll certainly help with mechanical strength and fitness and lay the groundwork for further improvements in your general cardiovascular fitness. Ease into it, and if you’re in a higher risk category for cardio issues then maybe consider a heart-rate monitor and work to a simple training plan that keeps within certain limits and adjust these as your fitness improves. HRMs are super cheap these days and your GP will be happy to offer advice on appropriate levels, or refer you to one of the many exercise referral schemes around the country.

One potential pitfall that trips a lot of people up is the temptation to over-fuel, i.e. If you’re not used to exercise you may feel a perfectly natural desire to eat more afterwards, potentially consuming more calories then you’ve burned. You’d be amazed how many people are baffled by not losing weight despite increased physical activity. Again, speak to your GP or a dietician about how to balance your exercise with positive dietary changes. You’ll see even more impressive results if you get some good, qualified guidance in these areas.

And finally, ride with other people. It’s much easier to stay motivated and there may be groups local to you that do regular leisure rides at a sensible pace which is ideal fo easing back into it.

Good luck, have fun!


New Member
Just been looking at the bizango and the bizango carbon so this thread is perfect I’m currently 24 and a bit stone an just hit 40 and need to lose some beef used to cycle loads as a kid but stopped 20.+ years ago so looking to buy a new bike to start my fitness kick
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