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  1. #1
    Senior Member SanDiegoSteve's Avatar
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    How heavy is a heavy rider?

    I don't know if this is off topic, but I figure people in here think more about weight than others.

    I've seen the full range of people from the 125 lb pros to the 250 lb weekend warriors.

    Is there a common weight when a rider is considered to be big or heavy? At least in terms of equipment/equipment abuse.

    I'm only 5'9" and 180 lbs. and I think I still fit into the big mold while not being a big person.

  2. #2
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    I don;t think theere is a clear answer for that... liek you I ahve seen pros in the 130's, and guys and girls in my riding club 250 lbs, or more...

    as far as being heavier and equipment abuse... it isn;t a real consideration unless you want to ride some lightweight low spoke wheels... I dunno if I'd trust them unless you were below 170....

    at 5'9" and 180, you are not HUGE... I am 5'10" and used to weigh around 195... I'm down to about 160 now.. which is about the right weight for me...

    I know much heavier people than you who regularly ride, and don't have too many mechanical problems because of it...

    I hope that helped

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  3. #3
    Senior Member SanDiegoSteve's Avatar
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    I agree that I am not huge (or possibly even big), but I did manage to break some spokes when I was more toward 190.

    I've moved back to more durable wheels (better excercise anyway), but I am just sort of curious.

  4. #4
    SSP
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    For a cyclist, you're on the big side. Your current Body Mass Index (BMI) is 26.6, which qualifies as "Overweight" per the Centers for Disease Control/World Health Organization (cutoff is 25.0), or "Marginally Overweight" by Steven Halls, MD (an excellent resource for understanding BMI).

    Losing 10 pounds would be like cutting your bike weight roughly in half, and you would be a lot quicker on climbs.
    Last edited by SSP; 03-08-04 at 06:19 PM.
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  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Ignore bmi. Most useless measurement ever. If you have any degree of muscle mass beyond the average guy the bmi is garbage.

    I personally would say 200 is big for a rider. Below that a most parts are made for the 'average' person in mind. 170 to 180. I ride in the ryno class so for me 200 is still small, but on average bikes and bike parts start to break more the closer you get to 200 and over.

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    Crank Crushing Redneck SamDaBikinMan's Avatar
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    I'm 30-40 lbs heavier than most of my riding buddies at 190lbs. So I suppose it is relative to the company you keep.

    Most cyclists hang in the 150-180 range.
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  7. #7
    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    Sam I like your signature.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member SanDiegoSteve's Avatar
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    Thanks, that is the kind of info I was curious about.

    I agree about BMI. The last time I was at 165 I was also at >6% bodyfat. Muscle or not, I've got big bones! How I love that line... That and BMI dosen't have much to do with the strength of bike gear.

  9. #9
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    Ignore bmi. Most useless measurement ever. If you have any degree of muscle mass beyond the average guy the bmi is garbage.

    I personally would say 200 is big for a rider. Below that a most parts are made for the 'average' person in mind. 170 to 180. I ride in the ryno class so for me 200 is still small, but on average bikes and bike parts start to break more the closer you get to 200 and over.
    I'm not sure I follow you. In what sense is BMI the "most useless measurement ever"?

    I've been doing quite a bit of research on BMI recently, and it seems that the scientific evidence supports its use in assessing obesity, and in predicting relative risk of mortality (especially as it relates to cardiovascular disease, strokes, and cancer).

    In October of '99, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a very large scale study titled "BODY-MASS INDEX AND MORTALITY IN A PROSPECTIVE COHORT OF U.S. ADULTS". The conclusion of this study states, "The risk of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other diseases increases throughout the range of moderate and severe overweight for both men and women in all age groups."

    With regards to specific BMI values and mortality, the study found that "In healthy people who had never smoked, the nadir of the curve for body-mass index and mortality was found at a body-mass index of 23.5 to 24.9 in men and 22.0 to 23.4 in women." (in other words, the lowest risk of mortality for men was around BMI=24.2, while women had the lowest risk around 22.7).

    This was a very large prospective study of over a million adults. Presumably, many folks in the study had some "degree of muscle mass beyond the average guy".

    Of course, additional research is needed to confirm the applicability of the results for different sub-populations. In particular, it would be interesting to see a study of cyclists or other endurance athletes, comparing mortality rates to see if BMI predicts higher death rates in people who are otherwise fit, but heavy.

    SanDiegoSteve - your BMI of 26.6 is still pretty close to the low point of the mortaility curve. It doesn't really start to turn upwards until BMI gets near or above 30. Of course, if your main aim is to be faster on the bike, then getting your weight down will certainly help with that!
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  10. #10
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Simple ssp, take me at my leanest I was 240 with 15% bf (not low but low enough for me as an endomorph). Thats 36pounds of fat. Remove that in its entirety (almost humanly impossible) and I have an average bmi(with 0 body fat). Sorry bmi does not take into account muscle period. It assume an average which in athletes does not exist. In order to make bmi more accurate they would have to take into account muscle mass and bone structure.

    I don't care about statistical averages as I am not statistically average. Neither were most of my friends in football or basketball. We were all generally 'overweight' or 'mobidly (sp) obese' according to the bmi, when in fact we were mostly lean atheletes (with the odd football played being big)...on average it may work...but that isn't good enough. Most good doctors depending on your mass will either use it or not. My doctor back home refused to use it for the above reason, but was able to apply it to my gf.

    So saying it is useless was maybe overkill, I just like to make sure people realize it is a very innacurate way to make sure you are normal. It would be interesting to see a study of bmi on strength and power athletes as well as another one on endurance athletes.

  11. #11
    Senior Member SanDiegoSteve's Avatar
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    SSP,

    your info on BMI is interesting. If it is crap or not, I am not one to say. But everyone who looks at me thins I am very lean (particularly my mother in law), and the BMI has me as overweight. What about my sub 10% bodyfat? I've got big bones (no really) and I surf a lot, so my arms have a fair amount of muscle. I have to weigh in for sailing regattas, so I do watch my diet.

    Ultimately I don't care about BMI or being fat. Ones enjoyment goes beyond all of that. My buddy and I were working a cool climb in Owens river gorge where the skinny sport climbers flock. The climb was a good, steep 12b, meaning you wouldn't expect a chunky guy to even try it. UP comes this guy who is probably 220+ and not to tall. He didn't give a hoot about BMI and sent the thing. He had a great attitude and drive. That is what counts. And too little body fat leads too all kinds of joint problems for me. I have to stay above 6% if I am playing hard.



    So, my original question really is about what the equipment engineers design the gear for. These parts are clearly at a level were there are design differences for big vs. normal riders (not in the direct drive train since muscle plays more, but in wheels, seats, seat posts, forks, ...).

    All of this other stuff is interesting, what I would expect for a post in the nutrition arena .

  12. #12
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    Simple ssp, take me at my leanest I was 240 with 15% bf (not low but low enough for me as an endomorph). Thats 36pounds of fat. Remove that in its entirety (almost humanly impossible) and I have an average bmi(with 0 body fat). Sorry bmi does not take into account muscle period. It assume an average which in athletes does not exist. In order to make bmi more accurate they would have to take into account muscle mass and bone structure.

    I don't care about statistical averages as I am not statistically average. Neither were most of my friends in football or basketball. We were all generally 'overweight' or 'mobidly (sp) obese' according to the bmi, when in fact we were mostly lean atheletes (with the odd football played being big)...on average it may work...but that isn't good enough. Most good doctors depending on your mass will either use it or not. My doctor back home refused to use it for the above reason, but was able to apply it to my gf.

    So saying it is useless was maybe overkill, I just like to make sure people realize it is a very innacurate way to make sure you are normal. It would be interesting to see a study of bmi on strength and power athletes as well as another one on endurance athletes.
    Agreed, re: highly muscular folks. Most of the medical stuff I've read recently admits that BMI is not a valid indicator of obesity for highly muscular folks, and caution doctors to not depend on it alone for those folks. But, those folks are probably no more than 5% of the population, which means that BMI is applicable to the rest. And, clearly, BMI has absolutely nothing to do with "fitness".
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  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    Most of the medical stuff I've read recently admits that BMI is not a valid indicator of obesity for highly muscular folks, and caution doctors to not depend on it alone for those folks.
    And what would highly muscular be considered?

  14. #14
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by pletcgm
    And what would highly muscular be considered?
    Not sure...I assume if people compare you to the Incredible Hulk, and you have 10% body fat, that would qualify. Otherwise, it's pretty subjective...at least, I haven't seen any objective criteria.

    The US Dept. of Defense uses BMI as its first line standard in evaluating troops for fitness of duty. For troops that exceed the BMI standards, they use this body fat percentage calculation to account for troops who may be big due to muscles. Supposedly, this allows them to filter out the heavy fit from the fat.
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  15. #15
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    That is an acceptable system. Not overly accurate but at least it tells you where you stand. That is the sysem I used to use if I didn't have calipers near by. There are 3 or 4 variations and I believe there tell you within a +/- 3.5% accuracy of your bf %.

  16. #16
    flashbunny.org Stevet04II's Avatar
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    I know a 300lb rider.
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  17. #17
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    My brother is 235 lbs and he commutes everywhere on his bike, he doesn't even own a car. He's gone through a lot of spokes and a few rims and his frame had to be repaired a couple of times but his bike cost $250 new.

  18. #18
    Senior Member MrEWorm's Avatar
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    I was 290 when I bought my Mountain bike. I got the Police model Trek, I figured that if cops could ride down stairs and over curbs with this, that it would put up with my weight.
    I'm down to 245 now and bought a Surly Cross Check. This bike, too, is pretty heavy duty.
    If I can get to 175-195, I may go for a real road bike.

  19. #19
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    I'm 290 and I ride a Palomar GT mountain bike. I've toured on it twice and it holds up fine. I'm starting my commuting phase now

  20. #20
    It's good to be the king!
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    Screw the BMI stuff - I'm 6'5", 290, average 20mph, resting heart rate in the low 40's, did over 2k miles last year. When I first started riding I was popping spokes like it was my job, but got the right wheels and haven't had any problems since. I love coming up behind beanpole riders and yell, "back left!", as I pass by.

  21. #21
    Pain Cleanseth Feltup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjcronin2002
    Screw the BMI stuff - I'm 6'5", 290, average 20mph, resting heart rate in the low 40's, did over 2k miles last year. When I first started riding I was popping spokes like it was my job, but got the right wheels and haven't had any problems since. I love coming up behind beanpole riders and yell, "back left!", as I pass by.
    I call BS on this post. What do you ride? Your resting heart rate is in the low 40s!? You obtained this with only 2k miles? Yeah right.
    It is better to lose clean then win dirty. Don't ride dirty

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrEWorm
    I was 290 when I bought my Mountain bike. I got the Police model Trek, I figured that if cops could ride down stairs and over curbs with this, that it would put up with my weight.
    I'm down to 245 now and bought a Surly Cross Check. This bike, too, is pretty heavy duty.
    If I can get to 175-195, I may go for a real road bike.
    I was also 290 when i got me mountain goat, now im 210. No mech problems. I also have that and a singlespeed road bike. Road bike is a blast, and if you want something that handles like a scalpel, go for a snappy, light road bike. Theres just something about that SS too....

    Trust me, for a saweet ride and workout, ride any of your old routes with a singlespeed and see how hard your breathing...

    And, Finally, regarding the resting rate of 40 and the 290 pounds after riding "2000" miles...i doubt even lance has a resting rate of 40. When i was 290(and yes, i am big boned, and i am 6'2") i would lose my breath thinking about walking, let alone hammering on a bicycle. So, definately throwing the BS flag on that guy...

  23. #23
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feltup
    I call BS on this post. What do you ride? Your resting heart rate is in the low 40s!? You obtained this with only 2k miles? Yeah right.
    I'm inclined to agree. A guy that big would need to put out around 327 watts, to average 20 mph on rolling terrain with his hands on the hoods. In the drops would still require 277 watts. Not that it couldn't be done, but in the last 5 years I've not been passed once by a guy who was pushing 300 pounds.
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  24. #24
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    For races the Clydesdale class is anyone over 200 lb's for men, "Athenas" for women is (I think) 145 lb's. There's a good Clydesdale forum at mtbr.

  25. #25
    It's good to be the king!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feltup
    I call BS on this post. What do you ride? Your resting heart rate is in the low 40s!? You obtained this with only 2k miles? Yeah right.
    Whatever - I was just trying to give another big guy some encouragement that us big guys can cycle. If you don't believe it, who cares.

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