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riders size = skill level

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riders size = skill level

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Old 02-18-06, 02:38 PM
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toolba
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riders size = skill level

Has there been a study done, or is there a general consensus on how a rider's size reflects on his/her skill level. I'm 5'-10", 200+ pounds (not fat, mostly muscle) and I do a pretty good job of keeping up with my son who is a Recon Marine weighing in at about 150 pounds soaking wet. I say I keep up, but I feel like I'm a Clydesdale, while he's a quarter horse. Are bigger guys typically competitive, or do most of the trophys go to the smaller people. Just wondering.
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Old 02-18-06, 02:50 PM
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What type of riding are you asking about? In the cross country part of the sport the majority of the podium spots go to the smaller guys. There is the clydesdale class though. In the downhill races size doesn't seem to matter quite as much. You still have to be in shape though.

I know now that I am 170 pounds I should be competive in the sport class, I will have a better chance at 160 - 165 pounds though. This gives me a better power to weight ratio. My current power to weight ration is 3.9:1 kilo (I can produce an average of 297 watts for over 30 minutes). I am hoping to be at 4:1 by race season. When I was 220 pounds I was definately no threat to the being in the top ten in the sport class. Oh, I am 5' 10" as well.
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Old 02-18-06, 02:51 PM
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It's about personal fitness. There are great riders that are short, and there are great riders that are tall. I don't think there are many "popular" riders that are over 190 though.
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Old 02-18-06, 02:58 PM
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When I raced XC, I was competitve in my catagory, beginner clydesdale class 200+pounds, but one guy would beat the rest of us by 10+ minutes. I suppose there are many variables, such as what type of riding, age, skill, etc....
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Old 02-18-06, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by LowCel
My current power to weight ration is 3.9:1 kilo (I can produce an average of 297 watts for over 30 minutes).
That's very good LowCel!
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Old 02-18-06, 03:22 PM
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I think it comes down to fitness. from XC to DH the top riders are in top shape.
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Old 02-18-06, 03:31 PM
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I really don't think you would find many big riders being competetive. Look at any sport outside the typical team sports and I would wager MOST competitors are going to sit a little shorter and small. I can think of a handfull of big (over 6'4 and over 210) mountain bikers. I can think of a few more when you drop the weight the 170+. But I can think of TRUCK loads in the 150 to 170 range and 5'4 to 5'7 height. This goes for skateboarding, snowboarding, mountain biking (almost any discipline) etc...There is always the diamond in the rough, but its rare.

Whether or not this is a competetive edge thing I don't know, I believe so, as a bigger rider riding with the little people they just find thing easier (and I am not talking strictly from a fitness POV). Center of gravity has a lot to do with it.

I would bet the bigger guys tend to navigate to football,baseball and basketball (in canada hockey) its just a more natural fit. I find living in this skier/snowboard/biker haven, I don't fit in. I am built like a small nfl lineman and most people here are...well...sorry to say...tiny. They can kill me on a board or bike, but put them on a football field and I would crush them into the ground. Different strokes.

I would also hazard bigger guys have different development of muscles. I am explosive. I always have been. Running 50 yards. 5 to 10 yards was my peak power. My ability to explode off the line helped me in basketball and football. My ability to run up and down the field like an out of breath monkey stopped me from track and field and soccer. Again I am just working off of a lifetime of being "the big guy" and for the first 25 years, hanging with "big guys" all the time.

Having lived on both sides of the coin, I can honestly say this little write up of stereotypes is something I feel comfortable with. While not 100% true, I do believe it to be a pretty good approach. I was totally floored when I first started meeting the pro mountain bikers of the dh and fr world. I just couldn't get past how small most of them were.
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Old 02-18-06, 03:33 PM
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btw my diatrab has nothing to do with actual skill level. I am looking at it from a competetive point of view. I know some overly skilled bigger riders (Mike metzger for example, in mountain biking, is a pro freak of nature at 6'5 and a good SOLID 230 to 240) No one would ever claim he isn't skilled, but I don't think he could compete against the smaller riders, he makes big tricks look tiny. (25 ft drop super man seat grab looked like a normal sized drop with this guy doing it)
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Old 02-18-06, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by erhan
That's very good LowCel!
Why thank ya. I am still looking forward to doing a full blown 1/2 hour time trial now that I have the PowerTap. The 297 came from doing a 40 minute tempo workout.
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Old 02-18-06, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by LowCel
Why thank ya. I am still looking forward to doing a full blown 1/2 hour time trial now that I have the PowerTap. The 297 came from doing a 40 minute tempo workout.
Oh my, you got a Powertap? That must be the best toy ever . I still do my power calculations using primitive methods . Those are some really impressive numbers (for me at least), keep it up.
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Old 02-18-06, 04:54 PM
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Yeah, I bought a PowerTap SL a few weeks ago, it's awesome.

Here are a couple pics of it. If you get a chance you have to try one out sometime. The bad part is that they don't lie. On days that I slack off my coach can definately tell.

Here is a sample graph from it. This is from a day that I was doing hill repeats. The hill is 1.2 miles long with an average grade of 8%. It has an elevation gain of 520 feet.


Here is the powertap.

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Old 02-18-06, 06:18 PM
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That thing is really awesome. It should be one of the best ways to monitor performance gains, and study them. Just looking at the data, I think it is possible to see everything in a training session. I would really want to get one of those, but it's currently pointless for me (need a training bike first). It's well worth the money, for serious riders of course. Thanks for posting the pictures Awesome!

I think I have done one of my worst hijacks, sorry to the OP. Actually I have something to say about the topic.

Me and my buddy started biking at the same time, and we both bought exactly the same bikes. We are both 6'0", and at the time he was 35-40 pounds heavier than me, with him being the stronger guy, and the non-smoker. But when it came to biking I was totally superior, both on the trails, and on the roads. Actually this one example doesn't mean much by itself, but I wanted to share it.

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Old 02-18-06, 06:23 PM
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I think the intention of this thread was performance - vs - size.. rather than skills - vs - size as stated.. Seldom will you find big and heavy guys competitive in any of the self propelled sports that require big engines...there are of course exceptions to every rule.. but if the sample lot is big enough there will always be a medium size guy knockin out the big dudes. My roots are in cross country skiing.. and tho you may see some taller guys, they seldom have much for weight on them.. Tho there was this guy from Finland once.. named Juha Mieto... he gave me hope..
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Old 02-18-06, 06:29 PM
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erhan - The only two things it doesn't do that I wish it would is record elevation change and the grade of percentage. Other than that it does pretty much everything. Then again, for $1,300 it should do everything.
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Old 02-18-06, 07:14 PM
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That kind of sucks, especially if you want to go back, say, 2 months to compare your data. For that kind of money, it had to be there. Well, still very good though
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Old 02-18-06, 07:40 PM
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Lowcel and erhan, you guys scare me.
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Old 02-18-06, 07:56 PM
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Im a little scared too.

Out of curiousity, feel free not to answer ofcourse.....what do you do for a living that pays for the super nice toys lowcel? Or is it part of your sponsorship deals?
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Old 02-18-06, 08:52 PM
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I work full time for the state as an engineer tech. In WV government jobs pay terrible. I am also involved with a small family owned business. I don't make a fortune from it but I do get some spending money. I also help out at a buddy's shop from time to time, I don't get paid for that though. I do get to order everything at cost or on the employee purchase program.

Mainly though, I'm just careful with my money. My toys actually come second. I always make sure that I put money in savings before I buy anything for the bike. I am currently saving up for the downpayment on a home. I'm hoping to buy in the next few months.
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Old 02-18-06, 09:20 PM
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i wish i had a job...
i guess i'lll have to wait till summer since i have school and all
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Old 02-18-06, 09:28 PM
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all the DH videos and races i've seen the shorter guys are always the winners... defiantly for skateboarding too
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Old 02-18-06, 10:03 PM
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Thanks for all your responses. I can see that I'll have to work much harder.
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Old 02-18-06, 10:23 PM
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Odd being that on the male side of DH, one of the best of all time varies from 190-200 pounds. A certain person by the name of Steve Peat, he's also over 6'. On a non competitive level there is no way to tell the rider scale to skill level, there are bigger riders out there that can flat out ride, just like there are smaller riders who burn out in 2 minutes on a straight flat and smooth section.

Remember, you can be over 200 and have a low body fat percentage.

On a competetive level 9 time out of 10 a smaller person will prevail.
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Old 02-18-06, 10:41 PM
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If we're talking XC or road, the little guys always take off on the climbs, and the bigger guys are the faster on the flats. All other things being equal.

In terms of DH racing, I think the picture is a bit muddier.
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Old 02-18-06, 11:18 PM
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It would seem that heavier downhillers (in shape of course) would perform better as far as keeping up their momentum. And also heavier people accelerate quicker downhill too. But i guess it's specifically for DH.
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Old 02-18-06, 11:47 PM
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i think of it more like a jockey on the back of a bouncing; fast moving bike
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