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Old 07-29-09, 09:20 PM   #1
monosierra
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Body Types

I recall a commentator remarking that Cavendish is small and muscular, thus making him ideal for sprinting.

What are some ideal body types for various types of riders?

Climber - Thin, Tall
Sprinter - Muscular, Short

Also, what is the science behind these? Besides the obvious (e.g. less weight = faster climbing)

And what are the exceptions? I know Indurain was pretty hefty for a good climber, but he managed as he had an immense power output.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:55 PM   #2
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[QUOTE=monosierra;9382994
And what are the exceptions? I know Indurain was pretty hefty for a good climber, but he managed as he had an immense power output.[/QUOTE]

Indurain had to get his weight to to become a decent climber. I believe he weighed about 180 when he won his tours--light for his height, over 6'2" I believe.

Sprinters tend to be of any body size, but one of the defining traits is a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fiber. There are also differences in metabolism, but I forget the specifics.

Time trialists are like climbers but usually heavier and more powerful, or like sprinters but with more slow-twitch fiber.

Baroudeurs are all-arounders who have physical traits of the other types, who need to use cunning to win.
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Old 07-29-09, 10:22 PM   #3
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As for exceptions...

Tom Boonen and Taylor Phinney are both 6'4" 180lbs.

Climber's aren't usually tall -- they just look like it because of how skinny they are. The exception is Andy Schleck, at 6'1"
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Old 07-29-09, 10:24 PM   #4
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Also TTers are typically tall, mostly due to leverage. Taller riders have the advantage with bike fit, as they are more "forward" in relation to the bottom bracket compared to smaller riders.

Eg, a 6'4" rider with his seat 7cm back from the BB is very different than a 5'7" rider with seat setback at 7cm.
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