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Height Loss over Aging

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Height Loss over Aging

Old 05-09-23, 08:00 AM
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Height Loss over Aging

I was wondering if any of you old timers have any experience losing height over time or not fitting your favourite frame? The reason I ask is because I have a wonderful touring bike one size larger than what I would normally ride, but it's still great and comfortable. I'm early 30s, 5'11, and the bike is a 60cm with a 58 top tube from seat tube to head tube.

I haven't had any issues with sizing or fit. Normally I would ride a 57-58cm frame.

Anywho, I have this fear that at some point the frame might not fit me anymore, which would then lead me to having to trade the frame with a fellow C&V member for the desired 57cm.

Have some of you lost no height over the years?
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Old 05-09-23, 09:01 AM
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Spines shorten, legs don't. I've perhaps lost 1/4" at 62. But then again maybe I haven't; fluctuation throughout the day is that much.

Early 30's? Don't worry about it.
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Old 05-09-23, 10:00 AM
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At 66 maybe 1/4-1/2". It's a very minor thing and actually the older I get the taller the frames I ride.
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Old 05-09-23, 10:51 AM
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Used to be 6'1" and have lost 2-3" but I still fit my tall frames. Swore I wouldn't buy any more though and am considering selling off the tall ones anyway. Swinging a leg over is the problem and that's caused mostly by diminished flexibility at 72.
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Old 05-09-23, 11:01 AM
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If you are worried about it, take advantage of the current market and buy some bikes/frames in 1 cm increments, from 63 to 53. Include some Mixtes and step-throughs.
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Old 05-09-23, 11:31 AM
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Same internist from age 19 to 53.
at age 53 I was 35mm shorter.
no surprise to the Dr.

I have refitted bikes I have owned for decades with 1cm shorter stems.
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Old 05-09-23, 11:40 AM
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Buy the bike. Barring illness or injury, you are at least 20 years, and maybe 40 years, away from it being an issue.

There is also a big advantage with the taller frame - you can get the stem higher. You probably don't care about that now, but you likely will in years (perhaps decades) to come, flexibility wanes and "slam that stem" becomes a form of medieval torture..
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Old 05-09-23, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
If you are worried about it, take advantage of the current market and buy some bikes/frames in 1 cm increments, from 63 to 53. Include some Mixtes and step-throughs.
I've been doing just that. I currently prefer 25½", but I already have the 24½" and the 23½" waiting for when the time comes.

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Old 05-09-23, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bikingshearer
Buy the bike. Barring illness or injury, you are at least 20 years, and maybe 40 years, away from it being an issue.

There is also a big advantage with the taller frame - you can get the stem higher. You probably don't care about that now, but you likely will in years (perhaps decades) to come, flexibility wanes and "slam that stem" becomes a form of medieval torture..
This!!!!!
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Old 05-09-23, 01:53 PM
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I am in my late 50s. My problem has more to do with flexibility. My fear is that my bikes are becoming too small!
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Old 05-09-23, 01:59 PM
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The adults that I have known that shrunk lost height at the top of their spine with curvature which resulted from a combination of a poor diet and lack of exercise. I do not know of anyone whose legs have gotten shorter. I do need 15 minutes to fully warm up my legs and have full extension when I ride.
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Old 05-09-23, 02:56 PM
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Early 30s and you're so worried about old age your first three started threads are on this same topic?

For what it's worth, riding the biggest frame in your range will actually be more comfortable the older you get, though you may need to shorten that stem.
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Old 05-09-23, 03:02 PM
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Get back to us in 30 years (though we’ll have no memory of this thread).
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Old 05-09-23, 03:06 PM
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I actually gained about a half inch after a spinal fusion in 2014, been very mindful of posture and flexibility since then.
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Old 05-09-23, 03:11 PM
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As some already said above, at 72 I'm about 2cm shorter than at 25, but I prefer larger frames due to less flexibility.
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Old 05-09-23, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
The adults that I have known that shrunk lost height at the top of their spine with curvature which resulted from a combination of a poor diet and lack of exercise. I do not know of anyone whose legs have gotten shorter. I do need 15 minutes to fully warm up my legs and have full extension when I ride.
Do you know adults that have not lost any height with age?
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Old 05-09-23, 04:56 PM
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I'm almost 70. I still have my Univega GT I bought in 1985 (and still ride it). My height hasn't changed. My width is another matter.
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Old 05-09-23, 05:00 PM
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It depends on how old. I think most people are saying height loss is minimal until 60 or so (unless you're losing height from some type of spine curvature). That is consistent with my experience so far. My dad lost minimal height until he was in his late 70s, but I'd say he's lost about 6 inches in the past 7 or 8 years. I think it's mostly posture, but not 100% sure.
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Old 05-09-23, 06:32 PM
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I assume that legs can also shorten but not as much as spines do, as the legs do not have as many joints as a spine does, so when the cartilage and tissues between the joints degenerate/compress from age, the spine will shorten much more than the legs.
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Old 05-09-23, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Saudadeii
I'm almost 70. I still have my Univega GT I bought in 1985 (and still ride it). My height hasn't changed. My width is another matter.
So you have the same height as when you were young?
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Old 05-09-23, 08:18 PM
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I am 64 yoa and from about the time I was 13 I have been 5'9" (69") last year went for my annual checkup and lo and behold I was a a solid 5'10" I told the nurse there must be some mistake and she said nope that is what it says. I was in socks no shoes, because shoes will add weight on the scale lol.....this year I could hit 6'.........I am guessing everybody measured that day grew an inch....
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Old 05-09-23, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jadmt
I am 64 yoa and from about the time I was 13 I have been 5'9" (69") last year went for my annual checkup and lo and behold I was a a solid 5'10" I told the nurse there must be some mistake and she said nope that is what it says. I was in socks no shoes, because shoes will add weight on the scale lol.....this year I could hit 6'.........I am guessing everybody measured that day grew an inch....
Wow, that really happend?. that is a good story!
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Old 05-09-23, 10:56 PM
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I was at the Drs office and a nurse was taking vitals. She types into the chart, looks at me, and says "Not possible!"

"Excuse me?"

"Your chart lists 5' 11", but you're six feet. You can't be growing at fifty!"

I explained a silly promise to myself not to say "six feet" until I *really was* six feet. Sure I would get there. And topped at 5' 11 5/8"...

She laughed, and said "Whatever..." (and I don't know what she put in the chart)

I said, "I bet most people say six-foot the instant they cross 5-11, right?"

She laughed...and said "Five ten!"
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Old 05-10-23, 12:01 AM
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At 24 I was 72 inches tall. Now at near 70 I am 70 inches. A 2013 a bicycle accident left me with several crushed vertibre so I think that's a major factor.

We should all keep close track of our loss in height as we age. Osteoporosis is common in both sexes. Not only is it closely related to poor nutrition and conditioning but also directly linked to sex hormone. A bone density test is easy and economical and should be done when you notice loss of height or at age 55 years old male or female. I order them earlier then recommended especially if there is a family history, or low hormonal levels.
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Old 05-10-23, 05:16 AM
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Many of us older timers get shorter due to loss of disc height in the spine. There are 25 of them in your spine. If you lose 1 mm in each one, you are down 1 inch total, which is what I have lost. Most of my loss space is cervical but you get the point.

If the bike is slightly large when older, this can be an advantage. Shorten and raise the stem will take weight off your neck and hands and because the upper body is a bit shorter anyway, it won't feel so bad.

Buy the bike.
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