One of the my colleagues is trying to trim down his weight through cycling. He is asking me what would be the best option for the purpose. I am no expert at this. But I need to know what will be best choices for it.

This question is not just one question but many concerning one topic weight-loss. Breaking down my question:

  1. What kind of ride would be best? Mountain Biking, Commuting may be..
  2. What kind of routine would give the best result? 2 Hrs Uphill, over 10 km may be..
  3. What time is most suitable to go for such ride?
  4. What should the diet consists?
  5. What are the re-hydration choices during/after the ride?
  6. How to control the fatigue level to control the stress level?
  7. How to make it a more enjoyable experience? I don't want to push him so much that he decides to run, on day 2
  8. What kind of bike is the best choices?
  9. How expensive should he go? Focus on quality products or get something to get the job done

P.S. The title sounds a little off & so are the tags. You guys are welcome to tweak it to make it more expressive

  • 1
    Related to bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/1549/…. The accepted answer for that question (especially the last two paragraphs) totally applies. Optimize for fun, to lower the risk that the new habit will not stick for long. Jan 3, 2012 at 11:23
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    You have an awful lot of questions here. The type of ride and bike are easily answerable as Daniel has (do what you enjoy), and he's answered more of them, but things like controlling fatigue/stress seem worthy of separate questions.
    – Cascabel
    Jan 3, 2012 at 15:01
  • You seem to be asking multiple questions at once. It's better to ask one question at a time. One question per question is what this Q&A format site is designed for. If you have several related questions, ask each as a separate specific question and consider providing a link to the other ones. See the faq.
    – freiheit
    Jan 3, 2012 at 17:31
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    I closed the question for the moment because it's too many questions in one which will tend to lead to a lot of discussion, and you're likely not to get answers to some questions. I don't mean to discourage you from asking these questions. Most of these are good questions that should simply be asked separately. There's a lot about hydration on the site already that may answer your hydration questions. Your question about diet might be better on on Physical Fitness.
    – freiheit
    Jan 3, 2012 at 17:35

2 Answers 2


You should pick whatever bike and style of riding you will enjoy enough to ride, and find practical to do frequently. For some this may mean daily commuting, others may find technical mountain biking more to their liking.

Buying a heavy/clumsy bike is counter-productive, as you will not enjoy it, will not ride it as often/far, and will quickly tire of it. However, you also don't need a super-light, super-fancy bike, unless you find that the style of riding you prefer is highly competitive. Also, pick a bike that is easy to maintain and that isn't so expensive that you will be afraid to use it in less than ideal circumstances.

Keep in mind that for weight reduction you need to ride at least 3 (ideally 6) days a week and for at least 30 minutes per session. One weekly 3-hour session is not as good as 3-4 half-hour sessions in terms of keeping the metabolism up.

In terms of nutrition, I highly recommend food. Unless you're riding daily half-centuries you don't need to eat much more or significantly vary from a standard balanced diet. If you're out for more than 2-3 hours you may want to carry some high-carb snacks, though, to help keep your blood sugar from crashing. This isn't as much of a problem once your body becomes acclimated to longer rides, but starting out your liver isn't conditioned to supply that much sugar.

For hydration, water. (Though on a hot day Gatorade or such is often welcome.) A few drops of fresh lemon juice in the water helps keep it tasting fresh, and helps hide the plastic taste of new water bottles.


Most importantly, your colleague needs to learn that weight reduction will come about through changing their diet. While exercise will help, it contributes to general health and blood pressure reduction far more than it does to weight loss.

This is a great time to point out that this site is not a medical resource, and your colleague should see a physician before undertaking any serious weight-loss program.

What kind of ride would be best?

That depends on where the bike will be ridden.

What kind of routine would give the best result?

What time is most suitable to go for such ride?

As Daniel has pointed out, the best routine is one that will be followed. A good rule of thumb is a minimum of half an hour three times a week, but more would be better.

Motivation is extremely important here. Is this person someone who functions better with a structured program? Then a series of scheduled rides may be best, putting aside certain days of the week as "workout days". Is this someone who has trouble staying motivated for long-term goals? Commuting may be the answer, working the rides into their daily routine. Perhaps utility cycling would be best? (That's where you run errands, go grocery shopping, and so on, all on your bike.)

Exercising in the morning can be beneficial for some, but others find the evening to be best. Experiment until a sustainable routine is reached.

What should the diet consists?

What are the re-hydration choices during/after the ride?

Personally, I prefer regular food and water. However, some riders - mostly roadies - prefer sports drinks and gels for their nutritional needs during the ride.

A good rule of thumb is to have protein before a ride and dairy or carbs after. But experimentation, again, will help here. This assumes that there are no specific medical complications.

How to control the fatigue level to control the stress level?

How to make it a more enjoyable experience?

Eat properly before a ride, don't push yourself too hard at first. Working out should tire you but not exhaust you.

What kind of bike is the best choices?

How expensive should he go?

Your first bike is always a bit of a guess: You don't know what kind of riding you'll be doing until you do some riding.

Hybrids and hardtail mountain bikes are usually a safe bet. It's worth pointing out that road bikes and folding bikes often have weight limits and can be unsuitable for riders that are extremely heavy. These bikes are extremely flexible and will handle a variety of terrains.

I'd avoid carbon road bikes or mountain bikes with disc brakes or full suspension; both of these types almost certainly garbage when you get a budget version. However, an entry-level hybrid or even a comfort bike in this range will serve a rider well for some time, and can be pressed into service later on as a neighborhood bike or utility bike.

Just be aware that some people start riding but it doesn't stick. There's no shame in that, cycling isn't for everyone.

The best thing you can do is to be supportive: Tell them about fun places to ride, offer to go along for short day rides. Maybe you could suggest they go on a group ride later on.

But I'd hold of on pushing a century or a week-long tour on them until it's clear that they enjoy cycling and won't be giving up the new hobby anytime soon. (More on that in this answer.)

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