Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 62
  1. #1
    Senior Member rekon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    297
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Do Short Cyclists Have A Disadvantage?

    Height is a significant factor in many sports but I was wondering if cycling is one of them.

    Are there any studies and/or has it been proven that short cyclists (under 5'7) are at a disadvantage compared to tall cyclists?

    It seems as if the lighter and stronger you are - the better. So, if that's true height shouldn't matter - but what do I know.

    Thoughts?
    His: 2014 Giant Talon 27.5 5; 2013 Motobecane Fantom CX Outlaw; 2011 Cannondale CAAD 10
    Hers: 2013 Diamondback Airen 2; 2012 Sea Breeze Cruiser

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Usually shorter cyclists are lighter as well, so a lot of the pure climbers are relatively short, for ex. Quintata, Pozzovivo, Aredondo, JRod etc.. As in climbing what matters is not absolute wattage, but watts per kg.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lechat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    s.e. tn.
    Posts
    1,227
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Caudel Evans and Levi Leipheimer are both very short, doubt LL tops 5'5". Their credentials are about as good as they get. Cavendish is listed at 5'9", maybe with cowboy boots. His resume' isn't to shoddy either.
    hillbilly

  4. #4
    Senior Member gc3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    DC
    My Bikes
    Now I Got Two
    Posts
    2,817
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    just psychologically..."short man syndrome" can't be avoided...

    Last edited by gc3; 05-24-14 at 08:11 PM. Reason: better pics
    "I tried being reasonable, I didn‘t like it."

    "I understand. I just don't care"

  5. #5
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9,022
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Short riders have an advantage in that they can ride under semi's on the expressway. This is either a make or break strategy for training.
    On one hand, if the shorter rider can keep up, he will be come stronger and flourish. But if not, it culls the herd which eventually results in a taller population by extinction.. A further tidbit is...it is broadly speculated that this is how Amazon women came into being. Btw, no affiliation with the widely successful retail website.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    275
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I am somewhat short/average height... all i gotta say, is the smaller framed bikes i ride are lighter then most

  7. #7
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
    Posts
    2,259
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If anything, would think it is an advantage. Aerodynamics, body weight,, bike weight? How many pros have an NBA type physique?

  8. #8
    Senior Member 2702's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    USA
    My Bikes
    14 Specialized Sirrus Expert Disc, 15 Giant Fastroad SLR
    Posts
    348
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gc3 View Post
    just psychologically..."short man syndrome" can't be avoided...

    I normally don't respond to this kind of stuff but dude you must have 2 much time on your hands to find stuff like this and keep it in your photobucket.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,112
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is a chart which I can't locate showing the height and weight of pro cyclists. There are exceptions like Cadel Evans and others but my recollection was that most were over about 6'. Larger riders would tend to have larger cardiovascular systems and a higher absolute VO2Max. That won't help on climbs where power to weight is the critical factor but for general riding it's the Power to CdA ratio that is important so it depend on who can get into the most aerodynamic position so perhaps tall skinny riders with a smaller frontal area but still large heart and lungs have an advantage.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Infinito (Celeste, of course)
    Posts
    1,446
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Shorter cyclists have a moderate advantage for climbing.

    Look up square-cube law. Basically, your mass is proportional to the ^3 power of height (volume). The surface area of your lungs scale proportional to the square of height (^2). Lung surface area is basically correlated with your aerobic capacity. So on average a shorter cyclist would have a Power/Weight ratio. If I recall, Lance was one of the taller TdF winners at 5'10".

    That said, if you're very short, the bike weight becomes a significant issue. A 5'0" rider would probably have an ideal body weight <100 lbs, and the 15 lbs min weight makes a large difference compared with a 130 rider on the same 15lbs bike.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,112
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    If I recall, Lance was one of the taller TdF winners at 5'10".
    I think you might want to check that.
    Wiggins 6'3"
    Froome 6'1"
    Miguel Indurain 5 time winner 6'3"
    Eddy Merckx 5 time winner 6'1"
    Greg Lemond 5'10"
    Bernard Hinault 5'9"

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,155
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Riis and Ullrich are both 6ft+, as is Andy Schleck.

    And of course they all competed with midgets like Pantani and Contador.

    There are advantages to height in cycling, more leverage with big long thighs, leading to more power, and usually bigger lung capacity as has been said. Very small riders have weight advantages in the high mountains, though, as well as a shorter wheelbase being better for getting around switchbacks on descents.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
    My Bikes
    7 single speed road
    Posts
    4,364
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
    Shorter cyclists have a moderate advantage for climbing.

    Look up square-cube law. Basically, your mass is proportional to the ^3 power of height (volume). The surface area of your lungs scale proportional to the square of height (^2). Lung surface area is basically correlated with your aerobic capacity. So on average a shorter cyclist would have a Power/Weight ratio. If I recall, Lance was one of the taller TdF winners at 5'10".

    That said, if you're very short, the bike weight becomes a significant issue. A 5'0" rider would probably have an ideal body weight <100 lbs, and the 15 lbs min weight makes a large difference compared with a 130 rider on the same 15lbs bike.

    ya, it seems like the small rider is getting the short () end of the stick here.


    a 15 pound bike may be safe for a 180 pound rider, but is way overbuilt for a 120 pounder. he or she should not be penalized by having to carry a proportionately larger percentage of weight by a boneheaded blanket bike weight rule. if the UCI doesn't find something more equitable, then they just aren't trying, IMO.

    and, no, i don't think small riders have any natural disadvantage due their weight, but i think they are, to some degree, discriminated against.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 05-24-14 at 04:54 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Caad08's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    60
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm around 6'2 and I noticed the power I put out leaves a lot of the shorter riders in the dust. Just my observation.
    2007 Cannondale Caad08

  15. #15
    don't misunderestimate me BoSoxYacht's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    take your time, enjoy the scenery, it will be there when you get to it
    My Bikes
    07 IRO BFGB fixed-gear, 07 Pedal Force RS
    Posts
    5,598
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Short answer, no.

    Short riders, and very tall riders often have fit issues, but it's really all about power to weight ratio.

    One of my friends is 5 foot tall(maybe 110lbs.) on her best days, and she can be a beast. I'm 6' 2" and normally about 170. We are about equal on the flats and climbs, but gravity helps the heavier rider on a downhill. Aerodynamics help her a bit on the DH, but not enough to make her faster.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rekon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    297
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    ya, it seems like the small rider is getting the short () end of the stick here.


    a 15 pound bike may be safe for a 180 pound rider, but is way overbuilt for a 120 pounder. he or she should not be penalized by having to carry a proportionately larger percentage of weight by a boneheaded blanket bike weight rule. if the UCI doesn't find something more equitable, then they just aren't trying, IMO.

    and, no, i don't think small riders have any natural disadvantage due their weight, but i think they are, to some degree, discriminated against.
    How so?
    His: 2014 Giant Talon 27.5 5; 2013 Motobecane Fantom CX Outlaw; 2011 Cannondale CAAD 10
    Hers: 2013 Diamondback Airen 2; 2012 Sea Breeze Cruiser

  17. #17
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    9,022
    Mentioned
    19 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rekon View Post
    How so?
    Bike manufacturers refuse to make a short enough frame and therefore punish short guys by making their nuggies hit the top bar. Some refer to this scenario as a ball buster.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    589
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    There is a chart which I can't locate showing the height and weight of pro cyclists.
    http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/rbr/tdf04-bmi.png

    http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/rbr/tdf06-bmi.png

    1. Current UCI minimum bike mass is 6.8kg whether you're small or big, so that will be a larger fraction of a light rider's mass, so for equal watts/kg of bodyweight, the larger rider will have higher watts/kg of total mass.

    2. CdA scales at less than mass, so if rider A weighs 20% more than rider B, his CdA typically will be less than 20% higher.

    Both of these mean that larger riders have a *slight* advantage over smaller riders.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    5,112
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by RChung View Post
    http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/rbr/tdf04-bmi.png

    http://anonymous.coward.free.fr/rbr/tdf06-bmi.png

    1. Current UCI minimum bike mass is 6.8kg whether you're small or big, so that will be a larger fraction of a light rider's mass, so for equal watts/kg of bodyweight, the larger rider will have higher watts/kg of total mass.

    2. CdA scales at less than mass, so if rider A weighs 20% more than rider B, his CdA typically will be less than 20% higher.

    Both of these mean that larger riders have a *slight* advantage over smaller riders.
    Those are the graphs but it seems I mis-remembered in that most cyclists are taller than me (5'9") but not over 6'.

  20. #20
    . bbattle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Rocket City, No'ala
    My Bikes
    2014 Trek Domane 5.2, 1985 Pinarello Trevisio, 1991 Colnago Master, '06 Bianchi San Jose, 1987 Moulton Fuso, 1990 Gardin Shred, '82 John Howard(Dave Tesch)
    Posts
    12,050
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    At 5'8", I enjoy being one of the shorter riders. Makes finding drafting buddies so much easier.

    I ride mostly alone, though, and so do not feel disadvantaged one bit.

  21. #21
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    South Bend IN
    My Bikes
    Merlin Lunaris
    Posts
    9,234
    Mentioned
    64 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    No

  22. #22
    Senior Member rekon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    297
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for all the responses. I'm 5'6" an ride a 52 cm bike. I feel like I climb very well and I usually wait at the top for cycling friends that are about 5'10". I was just wondering if I would be at a disadvantage if I wanted to train for a race down the road. Thx.
    Last edited by rekon; 05-24-14 at 09:15 PM.
    His: 2014 Giant Talon 27.5 5; 2013 Motobecane Fantom CX Outlaw; 2011 Cannondale CAAD 10
    Hers: 2013 Diamondback Airen 2; 2012 Sea Breeze Cruiser

  23. #23
    Senior Member rekon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    297
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by lechat View Post
    Caudel Evans and Levi Leipheimer are both very short, doubt LL tops 5'5". Their credentials are about as good as they get. Cavendish is listed at 5'9", maybe with cowboy boots. His resume' isn't to shoddy either.
    I'm curious what size bikes evans and LL ride...?
    His: 2014 Giant Talon 27.5 5; 2013 Motobecane Fantom CX Outlaw; 2011 Cannondale CAAD 10
    Hers: 2013 Diamondback Airen 2; 2012 Sea Breeze Cruiser

  24. #24
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    My Bikes
    Nashbar Road
    Posts
    6,531
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    We're all at a disadvantage compared to those pros. Short, tall, stout willowy it doesn't matter, it's in the legs and lungs.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    The White Mountains of AZ
    Posts
    202
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A better question is, What are my strengths relative to the peloton and how do I capitalize on them? ;-)

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •