4 Types of Riding For Your Inner Plus Size Athlete

So you want to ride a bike? Did you ride a bike as a kid? If you did, it is true what they say, once you ride you never forget. Sure, you might have a little bit of fear and uneasiness but you will get back at it and quickly. Never rode a bike before? Well, have no fear! I am sure someone in your life has experience and can help you, no? Well, call your local bike shop I bet that they will be happy to give you some basic lessons or hook you up with a clinic where you can learn.

Next up, the bike. I am not going to suggest that you run out and buy a bicycle if you don’t already have one, but I am going to suggest that you borrow or rent a bicycle your first couple of times out riding and save the buying until you decide what type of riding you want to do.  Oh yes, there are different types of bicycles for different types of riding. You have your choice of a cruiser bicycle, hybrid, road bicycle, mountain bike and there are many others. But, we are going to start with these ones.

Bike Model: Simple W from Giant Bicycles. Photo credit courtesy of GiantScottsdale.com

Cruiser Bike:

Usually has thick tires, a comfortable seat, is gearless or has a couple of gears and a bit on the heavy side of things.

Ideal For: Slow cruising on flat grounds around the neighbourhood or the bike path at the beach.


Bike Model: Cypress W from Giant Bicycles. Photo credit courtesy of GiantScottsdale.com

Hybrid Bike:

 This is usually called a comfort bike, you ride in a more upright position with a cushiony seat, thinner wheels than the Cruiser bike, often come with a front shock and could have up to 21 gears.

Ideal For:  Dirt road, pavement and bicycle paths, lots of fun and comfort.


Bike Model: Avail from Giant Bicycles. Photo courtesy of GiantScottsdale.com

Road Bike:

These bikes have skinny tires, are very light weight and come with a ridged front fork multiple gears and a more narrow saddle.  Overall a very smooth ride.

Ideal For:  Riding on the pavement, competing in endurance road races such as cycling or triathlon.

Bike Model: Rove from Giant Bicyles. Photo courtesy of GiantScottsdale.com

Mountain Bike:

This would be my favourite bike of them all and maybe yours. They have fatter, chunkier tires, multiple gears made for climbing and a front fork equipped with a shock for absorbing bumps in a trail.

Ideal For: Riding and climbing dirt trails. 


If were just starting out I would call the local bike shops in town and see what they have for demo bikes and ride them all, sometimes they will allow you to take them out to the trails/paths to truly get your ride on. If your local shops do not have demo bikes, attend a local bike show or keep your eyes to the internet as most bicycles companies have demo trucks that travel around during the riding season and you can take out their bikes.  Lastly, ask a trusted friend to borrow their bike.

One pedal stroke at a time, take it easy to start and remember to always wear a helmet.

Let’s ride bikes!

About the Author

Peggy HughesPeggy Born to Reign Athlete 2 is an Ambassador for LIV Cycling (Giant Bicycles Women’s Division) and Grandmother who loves to get other women on bicycles, even if they are just weekend warriors pedalling with their families.   Peggy has been riding for 7 years, starting at the age of 48, and does a little mountain bike racing when time permits.  Sharing her passion for riding with other women brings her great joy and if she can inspire just one woman to break out of her day,  and find her inner athlete, life is good.

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10 Responses to 4 Types of Riding For Your Inner Plus Size Athlete

  1. Trish Wood April 2, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

    This is nice rundown of the different type of bikes, but it doesn’t really say anything about riding for a plus-sized athlete. The issue I have is my belly hangs down and sits on my knees and makes it difficult to pedal. I was hoping someone had a suggestion for a way to overcome this obstacle.

    • Krista April 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

      Hi Trish, this article is a base for us to build off of, and we will be answering peoples questions and providing education going forward. In the interim, there could be a couple of things

      1.Saddle Position - when your saddle is in at the right height, your leg has a slight bend at the knee, as your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke. This is a good reference: bikefitonline.net/bikefitting.html - Check your bike and see if your saddle is too low

      2. Handle Bars - raising your handle bars may relieve your belly from staying on your knees.

      3. Size of Bike - there are many measurements on a bike, a key one being “top tube”. That’s the bar from your handlebars to your seat. A proper bike fit at the store could confirm if your bike is too small, thereby forcing your body to be in a more scrunched position than necessary. The result being your belly touching your knees.

      Unless you are riding completely up right, I don’t know if you can avoid the situation, but you can make modifications to make it easier. My bike position for reference: facebook.com/GrowingBolder/photos/a.222277093580.134233.54598478580/10152438787638581/

  2. Ali April 2, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    There’s also the option of buying a used bike. I got one from Cragslist that I’m very happy with. I used a used bike buying guide and a bike “blue book” to guide me.



  3. Amy Chayefsky April 2, 2015 at 2:33 am #

    Great article Peggy. I like how you break down some of our common riding matched with easy to.understand (relevant) descriptions. I am liking the idea of those ‘built for.comfort’ bikes. Thanks for the info!

  4. Pamela April 1, 2015 at 9:39 pm #

    Great advice! My first bike was a hybrid and now I am looking at purchasing a road bike. Don’t spend thousand’s of dollars until you know what you want to do. Now I am totally okay spending more money now that I know what I want to do . . . and I will always love my hybrid!

  5. Peggy Hughes April 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    Thank you ladies! I hope to inspire more women to ride and to learn about cycling!

  6. Andrea Pirkey April 1, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Great advice for those wanting to get into biking! Nice write up, Peggy!

    • Peggy Hughes April 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      Thank you!

  7. Sala Chapman April 1, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Good advise about testing befor you buy. I’m on a recumbant trike now due to balance problems from my car accident. It’s wicked fun and not your grandmothers trike.

    • Peggy Hughes April 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

      Thank you!

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