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What is the optimal rider size?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

What is the optimal rider size?

Old 09-06-09, 08:31 AM
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What is the optimal rider size?

I'm 6'3" and Im overweight right now no need to mention how much, but im losing 2#'s a week. I plan on being under 200#'s come next years season. But im mainly all legs I have large muscular legs and relatively small arms and Im trying to get rid of any real additional excess around the midsection. However I love to climb and Ive head contradicting things as to whether big guys have the advantage or disadvantage. I guess what is the advantages and disadvantages, and what is the optimal most well rounded rider?
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Old 09-06-09, 08:42 AM
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I've heard 2-2.2 pounds per inch tossed around for "ideal". So at 6'3, you are talking 150-165 pounds.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Quel
I've heard 2-2.2 pounds per inch tossed around for "ideal". So at 6'3, you are talking 150-165 pounds.

That number is back-fitted to the very best TdF pro climbers. It doesn't mean that losing that much weight will make you a super climber.... I am under 2 lbs/inch and I'm not super.

There's plenty of larger guys who can climb fast. Maybe not win climbing stages in the TdF fast, but win local races at a high level fast, sure. It's all about power to weight. Lose as much fat and upper body muscle as practical, and make a lot of power.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:52 AM
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the great thing about cycling is that there is a place in competition for just about every body type and size. big and strong, how about the kilo or match sprint at the velodrome, light and small, the high mountains; strong and strong flat and rolling road races; smart and explosive, criteriums.

and if you don't race, who cares, ride and love it.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:55 AM
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Indurain... Rasmussen. I don't think it matters that much.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:59 AM
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Are we talking pros or your local club or Cat5 race?
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Old 09-06-09, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by pdedes
the great thing about cycling is that there is a place in competition for just about every body type and size. big and strong, how about the kilo or match sprint at the velodrome, light and small, the high mountains; strong and strong flat and rolling road races; smart and explosive, criteriums.

and if you don't race, who cares, ride and love it.
I'm not sure about that. Like almost every other sport, there is an optimal body type/size that will prevail. To my knowledge, Magnus Bäckstedt was the only 200+ lb cyclist in the peloton in recent memory. There are some big track riders, but at some point body mass becomes a detriment. The extra muscle mass just doesn't produce a commensurate power output. Maybe it is the weight lifter phenomena...smaller people can lift a higher percentage of their body mass than can larger people.

You can always enjoy cycling, just like a short guy can enjoy basketball. But unless your are the cycling analogy to Calvin Murphy or Billy "White Shoes" Johnson, you will always be watching those smaller guys pull away.
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Old 09-06-09, 09:35 AM
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I am 6' 3" also and I now weigh 203 lbs and my doctor told me my ideal weight for my age and height should be around 185-190 lbs so I have a little ways to go but not much. What really rattles my brain is when some people talk about saving weight with bike components and lighter wheel sets before they think about losing weight themselves. I to want to become a good hill climber and am looking into lighter wheel sets, but im going to lose the weight on my body first and then think of saving weight with the bike.

Good luck with losing the weight and I'm sure you will become a great hill climber!
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Old 09-06-09, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt2.8NJ
Are we talking pros or your local club or Cat5 race?
I was talking pro mainly. Just kind of curious what I should be striving for, It is a long ways off anyway. I have always been faster up hill though than alot of guys who are in better shape than me, I do have wicked strong legs. I can leg press over 1000#'s and well over with calf raises, and I can do that any day of the week and I dont train. But I can barely benchpress 135. I just gotta get rid of my pregnant belly (I just had a baby) and Ill be straight.
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Old 09-06-09, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by genius1265
I was talking pro mainly. Just kind of curious what I should be striving for, It is a long ways off anyway.
Does not compute. Unless you are striving to be a pro, why worry about what they are.

Originally Posted by genius1265
I have always been faster up hill though than alot of guys who are in better shape than me, I do have wicked strong legs. I can leg press over 1000#'s and well over with calf raises, and I can do that any day of the week and I dont train. But I can barely benchpress 135.
Leg press # doesn't really mean much of anything. Cycling is an aerobic sport.

Originally Posted by genius1265
I just gotta get rid of my pregnant belly (I just had a baby) and Ill be straight.
Wait, you're a chick?
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Old 09-06-09, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
Wait, you're a chick?
I think that was a weightloss metaphor

if not...

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Old 09-06-09, 03:07 PM
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No it really was a metaphor (kind of) I did just have a baby and they say guys gain weight during pregnancy I gained nearly 25 lbs. Im now in the mid 200's my goal is to be back below 200 before next years season. And to umd* I like having a goal if their is an optimal body size then I would like to set it. However my leg strength does matter because I honestly believe I can generate more power than some of you guys with my anaerobic ability, while my sprints may be short I feel their pretty damn fast I just need to continue losing all this useless weight around my midsection. my goal is to be a cat 2 or 3 rider within the next 2 to 3 seasons. Next year will be my first year racing road and first year racing for about 4 years. But I'm busting my ass 5 days a week riding (more than I trained for MTB, and I did very well), and unlike a lot of Michigan riders I have large winter plans made for training.
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Old 09-06-09, 03:08 PM
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Old 09-06-09, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by umd
Leg press # doesn't really mean much of anything. Cycling is an aerobic sport.
+1 Even if cycling was a strength sport, the leg press is garbage anyway.
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Old 09-06-09, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by estabro
+1 Even if cycling was a strength sport, the leg press is garbage anyway.
That was also part of my point. I just didn't elaborate. A bench press is easy to quantify: you lay down and push a weight straight up. Whatever the weight is, is what you benched. There is no standard leg press, as far as I know. There is always something in between you and the weights that is going to affect what the weight means.

Originally Posted by genius1265
However my leg strength does matter because I honestly believe I can generate more power than some of you guys with my anaerobic ability, while my sprints may be short I feel their pretty damn fast
:shrug: the last time I did a leg press was on an incline sled press with about 700lbs of 45lb plates. But I'm also only about 143 +/- 3lbs. That was a few years ago just as I was getting into cycling. I'd be curious what I could press now except that a) I don't want to blow out my legs and sacrifice a training day or two and b) it doesn't matter anyway. A power meter is a much more useful measurement if you want to have a strength pissing contest.
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Old 09-06-09, 10:38 PM
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If you just had a baby, shouldn't your priorities be elsewhere for the moment? When I finally succeed at making a baby, my plan is to eat less, ride less, and be a father a lot... and try to get him/her interested in cycling by age 8.
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Old 09-06-09, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
If you just had a baby, shouldn't your priorities be elsewhere for the moment? When I finally succeed at making a baby, my plan is to eat less, ride less, and be a father a lot... and try to get him/her interested in cycling by age 8.
Dude you obviously know nothing about babys, first of all they just sit there. Yeah hes a bad ass but he doesnt do much, he crys and then sometimes he doesnt. Im only 22, Im part owner of my own company I make OK money right now (enough that mom doesnt have to work and he can get attention from her instead of some babysitter). I'll be there for him,but this is the point in my life where I have to be strong I had absolutely No father for the first 10 years of my life. And I only turned out to be who I am because of my uncle who got me into cycling and took care of me, and a particular bike shop manager who forced me to go to college. Riding my bike has only brought good things, why change that? So untill you go through nine months of pregnancy put up with a crazy woman, have a baby, work 50+ hrs a week (with the scum of the earth) be a role model to two younger brothers who just lost their father to a drunk driver while going to school being a husband and supporting a family while waking up in the middle of the night and have any clue what your talking about please show a little respect and dont disrespect me. I am just trying to do something for myself that my wife supports that is a healthy release and only requires a few hours of my time every week. Or maybe your right I should just stop riding so much.
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Old 09-06-09, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by genius1265
Dude you obviously know nothing about babys, first of all they just sit there. Yeah hes a bad ass but he doesnt do much, he crys and then sometimes he doesnt. Im only 22, Im part owner of my own company I make OK money right now (enough that mom doesnt have to work and he can get attention from her instead of some babysitter). I'll be there for him,but this is the point in my life where I have to be strong I had absolutely No father for the first 10 years of my life. And I only turned out to be who I am because of my uncle who got me into cycling and took care of me, and a particular bike shop manager who forced me to go to college. Riding my bike has only brought good things, why change that? So untill you go through nine months of pregnancy put up with a crazy woman, have a baby, work 50+ hrs a week (with the scum of the earth) be a role model to two younger brothers who just lost their father to a drunk driver while going to school being a husband and supporting a family while waking up in the middle of the night and have any clue what your talking about please show a little respect and dont disrespect me. I am just trying to do something for myself that my wife supports that is a healthy release and only requires a few hours of my time every week. Or maybe your right I should just stop riding so much.
Life fail
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Old 09-06-09, 11:28 PM
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God, I love the road cycling forum..
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Old 09-06-09, 11:29 PM
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Actually it was epic TL;DR. Zomg make some paragraphs, dude, what a jumbled mess that post was. I consider it life fail to be a parent at 22 (way too young if you ask me!) but that's just how I feel.
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Old 09-06-09, 11:31 PM
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Tl;dr?
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Old 09-06-09, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by genius1265
Dude you obviously know nothing about babys, first of all they just sit there. Yeah hes a bad ass but he doesnt do much, he crys and then sometimes he doesnt. Im only 22, Im part owner of my own company I make OK money right now (enough that mom doesnt have to work and he can get attention from her instead of some babysitter). I'll be there for him,but this is the point in my life where I have to be strong I had absolutely No father for the first 10 years of my life. And I only turned out to be who I am because of my uncle who got me into cycling and took care of me, and a particular bike shop manager who forced me to go to college. Riding my bike has only brought good things, why change that? So untill you go through nine months of pregnancy put up with a crazy woman, have a baby, work 50+ hrs a week (with the scum of the earth) be a role model to two younger brothers who just lost their father to a drunk driver while going to school being a husband and supporting a family while waking up in the middle of the night and have any clue what your talking about please show a little respect and dont disrespect me. I am just trying to do something for myself that my wife supports that is a healthy release and only requires a few hours of my time every week. Or maybe your right I should just stop riding so much.
:facepalm:
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Old 09-07-09, 12:01 AM
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Found this from another thread:

Originally Posted by genius1265
Do what I do with every thing in life. LIE!!! Tell her thankyou for all her advice tell her you tryed her routes and they were tough and she is a great cyclist. Then reach down into your pocket and pull out another LIE, and say I appreciate all your advice can you write this all down. Either 1 of 2 thing will happen 1) she will feel she has just made a freind who is going to become a nuisance and bother her for training tips and not just offer advice or 2) she will write it down and you can use the paper as a ***** ticket. Whatever you decide it doesnt sound like she is offering terrible advice, I dont know what your goals are but it sounds like your into biking enough to join a bicycle forum and buy clipless pedals. 99% of people who ride bikes are cool I would say 100% but I dont know everyone. I would honestly ask her if they ever do shop rides and see if you can get in on them and see if she can give you pointers, most bike shop riders are good and freindly and normally wont drop you. It will be a chance to make some cycling freinds, because you obviously dont have any yet or you would already not be riding in the little ring or have a triple in the first place.
https://www.bikeforums.net/showpost.p...3&postcount=35


So is this one of your "life lessons" you're going to teach your kid?
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Old 09-07-09, 12:05 AM
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I'm 5'10", ~136 lbs. I guess I have the build but not the fitness. I'm just starting out though
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Old 09-07-09, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by genius1265
Dude you obviously know nothing about babys, first of all they just sit there. Yeah hes a bad ass but he doesnt do much, he crys and then sometimes he doesnt. Im only 22, Im part owner of my own company I make OK money right now (enough that mom doesnt have to work and he can get attention from her instead of some babysitter). I'll be there for him,but this is the point in my life where I have to be strong I had absolutely No father for the first 10 years of my life. And I only turned out to be who I am because of my uncle who got me into cycling and took care of me, and a particular bike shop manager who forced me to go to college. Riding my bike has only brought good things, why change that? So untill you go through nine months of pregnancy put up with a crazy woman, have a baby, work 50+ hrs a week (with the scum of the earth) be a role model to two younger brothers who just lost their father to a drunk driver while going to school being a husband and supporting a family while waking up in the middle of the night and have any clue what your talking about please show a little respect and dont disrespect me. I am just trying to do something for myself that my wife supports that is a healthy release and only requires a few hours of my time every week. Or maybe your right I should just stop riding so much.
1) Don't assume things. I may not have even as much experience as you do with babies, but since I married into a huge family that acts like rabbits, I can't go a month without spending some quality time with kids of all ages. For now, I'm lucky that I can hand them back as soon as they squirm, cry, or poop. I also had to take plenty of child psych and development classes for my degrees, but that is just book knowledge.

2) I wasn't disrespecting you at all. I merely suggested an opinion, and you're welcome to agree or disagree.

3) I'm glad you turned out ok despite the setbacks, but I know plenty of children who have been F'ed up by similar tragedies. I don't believe in coddling and sheltering children from the realities in life, but trying to raise them in as healthy of a situation as possible has its good side for sure.

4) Of course you should have your own time. Anyone would go crazy if they didn't. But trying to reach optimal athletic shape takes a lot of time. 50+ hours of work and 30+ hours of physical conditioning (I don't know any in shape cyclist who can spend just "a few hours a week" on the bike... even the AMA recommends 90 min per day just for basic health) doesn't leave very much time for the kid. There's a middle ground in my opinion. Once again, this is just my pontification, and only you can assess your situation accurately. All I can say is the fathers I know who seem to have the healthiest relationships with their children are the ones who limited their cycling mileage quite a bit for the first few years of the child's life. Your mileage may vary, and it's your child and your decision. Whether you agree with me or not, I wish you the best and a happy, healthy family.
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