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  1. #1
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    Do clydes consider tall clydes sandbaggers?

    Locally we have a 12 and 6 hour race coming up. Most of my friends are faster so I thought of doing the solo 6 hour in the Clydesdale category. Only requirement is that your over 200 pounds; not sure if that's naked or with gear. One of my friends said I shouldn't race it because while I am 203 pounds I'm 6'6". I guess the only opinion that matters is other big guys so to the riders under 6' do you dislike tall guys riding in the category?

    If I were a faster climber I would definitely race in the normal classes but I climb for crap and the course is an 8 mile loop with 2000 feet of climbing.

  2. #2
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    Personally I think the clyde class requirement should be heavier than 200 pounds...as far as height...I don't really see the issue with that. Perhaps a taller rider has a little more leverage on the pedals (more power/faster)?
    Last edited by Nubster; 05-19-2011 at 09:02 AM.
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  3. #3
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    I guess the question here is... What defines a Clyde? Is it purely weight? At 6'6" and 203 lbs, I would perceive you as pretty damn skinny from my 6'2" 275lb perpective.

    Will you feel guilty if you win or place well?

  4. #4
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    I think 200 plus is clyde status....do we need to subdivide?

  5. #5
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    I think clyde should be 225 or heavier. Like Adim's point..6'6" and 203 while over 200 pounds IS pretty skinny.
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  6. #6
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    I'm 6'3" 215 and didn't know I was a clyde until I registered for my first mtb race last year. In most sports I'm almost perfect size, but here I'm just a fat jockey.lol
    Ok, so I have a little belly and some love handles. Does that mean I should race someone that's 5'3" 215 or 6'3" 315. I'm confused as well, so I race cat 2, and get my @$$ kicked.
    Last edited by curtboroff; 05-20-2011 at 04:23 AM.
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  7. #7
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    I think a tall and or muscular clyde fits the image of a clydesdale horse better than a 'husky' rider. I do think that if there's going to be a class set aside for a weight division, it should probably be a bmi measurement of some sort to stay true to the original intention of the clydesdale category. I'm usually just over 200, but would never enter the clyde division as I don't feel my weight is a handicap. I'm fairly slender, just tall. If you're slower than your friends because you don't ride as much, ride in a different ability category. Looking for an easy win is sandbagging. Though you might be surprised at how fast some 'clydes' can be.

    Last edited by sean salach; 05-19-2011 at 06:40 AM.

  8. #8
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    I'm 6'7" and weight runs 245-260 depending on activity level and how many oreos I slam down my throat. I don't feel a 200# guy is a true clyde if he is over 6' tall. I've been down to just below 215# and could road ride with guys in their 170's all day long. I was "skinny" for me anyway.
    Yeah, if you are over 6' and less than 225, I would call you a bagger.

  9. #9
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    I like the way sean thinks, this puts me truly in the "clyde" section and not the husky one

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lets Try Science
    I thought of doing the solo 6 hour in the Clydesdale category. Only requirement is that your over 200 pounds;
    If that is the rule, you certainly fit the description. Do you think you will win the class because you are tall and not fat?

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  11. #11
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    I would place if only 3 people registered. :-) My fiend got mid pack at sea otter in clydes and he is faster than I am. I also dont train for endurance so 6 hours is a lot of riding to me. The BMI idea is interesting. Was the original intention of the clyde class for big guys or just for fat guys. On this loop my cat 2 friends can do 40 min loops, cat D friends do it in 54. Im always 60-65.

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    Slippery slope these "should be" arguments.

    200lbs = Clyde, skinny or not. As a 285lb racer last year, didn't bother me at all to see 200lb Clyders go ripping by me. At 250lbs, still doesn't. But now they have to work harder to do it.

    Seriously, trollfaceing lighter riders up hills and down is way more enjoyable for me then standing on a podium. Not going out of my way to block or be a generic ass because this is NOT the way you should ride... but I'm going to try to chase you down on a hill, and I'm going to try to chase you down on the other side of it too. If I can't, no worries, I'm faster for have trying. If I DO.. and I see that look of "How the hell is this guy doing what he is?" ... the extra effort I'm putting into it is suddenly very worth it.

    Podium standing lasts for 10 seconds. Beating unassuming people up hills as a "burly" rider... that leaves scars that last for days

  13. #13
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    change the formula

    We have used a little different format for Clydes, that kind of levels the playing field. You must weigh more than 3x your height in inches, to be a clyde. So someone 5'6 (66 inches) needs to weigh in at 198 or more to be a clyde. Someone 6'5 (77 inches) needs to be 231lbs or more to qualify. A bit more complicated, but it works.

    So under our formula, no, you're not a clyde even though you're over 200.
    GET Bret Weir, I said.

  14. #14
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    ^ i actually like that idea-

    im 215 at 6ft- not fat by any means- just build big- big shoulders, large legs not much fat- i never though i was a clyde

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    Actually, if there was a race wide formula for it, I'd agree it was a much better system. I just don't think setting arbitrary weight categories would be the way to solve the issue. So +1 for MichiganClydesdale's formula here too.

  16. #16
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    The 3x your height is a neat idea. No matter how the categories are split up someone is going to be left out and someone will have somewhat of an advantage. The problem with clyde seems that its based on weight and not physical fitness or skill and will naturally capture a wide range of body types. Using the 3x example someone my height would need to be 234 to qualify. If you were 220 it would be really discouraging trying to compete with the 140 pound guys on the climbs. It may also end up being a very small race class as not too many guys that size want to race. There is also the idea that your separating a 220 pound person from the group for weighting 14 pounds too little which forces them to compete against people who weight 80 pounds less than them. Realistically I think I will ride clyde as long as my weight and fitness dictate. If my time would put me mid pack in intermediate then I would switch.

    Sandbagging in most local races is sad anyway, pay a $50 entry fee to win $10 socks.

  17. #17
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    The best category for fat clydes is Cat 3. The best category for fit clydes is Cat 2.

  18. #18
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    Sandbagging in most local races is sad anyway, pay a $50 entry fee to win $10 socks.
    SO MUCH THIS.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganClydesdale
    We have used a little different format for Clydes, that kind of levels the playing field. You must weigh more than 3x your height in inches, to be a clyde. So someone 5'6 (66 inches) needs to weigh in at 198 or more to be a clyde. Someone 6'5 (77 inches) needs to be 231lbs or more to qualify. A bit more complicated, but it works.

    So under our formula, no, you're not a clyde even though you're over 200.
    Brilliant
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  20. #20
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    This forum would be a lot more useful with less fat people and more tall slim people.

  21. #21
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    Tall thin dude needs to get over his fear of shorter wider dudes.

    If you fit the criteria and you want to ride clyde, do it. The short tubby dudes will get over it!

  22. #22
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    Personally, I was shocked to hear 200lbs is the clyde cut off. When I was 200lbs I looked anorexic. Of course, I am 6'8". I guess I always personally viewed the clyde class as tall and big dudes. It just seems weird to me to consider sub 6' people clydes.

  23. #23
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    Maby use a kiddie pool and measure displacement. Move enough water and your a Clyde.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TunicaTrails
    This forum would be a lot more useful with less fat people and more tall slim people.
    I often feel these forums would be a lot more useful with less ******bags too...but it's not likely going to happen so....
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  25. #25
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    These forums would be better if we could say ******.
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  26. #26
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    Probably should be some sort of a height to weight ratio.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster
    Personally I think the clyde class requirement should be heavier than 200 pounds...as far as height...I don't really see the issue with that. Perhaps a taller rider has a little more leverage on the pedals (more power/faster)?
    Actually a person with longer bon length will actually have less power then a shorter person. It's a bit more complicated as there are other factors like muscular strength and tendon to bone location which can affect leverages and power but all other things equal that is the case. This is why you dont usually see tall powerlifters.
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  27. #27
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    200# is Clydesdale, period.

    I'm 6'2" and 230# today (thanks to knee issues & an 8 month pregnant wife), although my fighting weight is 202#. Even in prime shape, I can't hang with guys who are 155#. I will continue to fly my clyde flag until they change the rules.

    All of that said, I think that Clydesdale is a carryover from road racing where it is fairly common to see walking skeletons who are 6'2" and 150 lbs.
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  28. #28
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    Maybe "light-weight" clydes need to strap on weights to make weight....lol

  29. #29
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    If you only weigh 203, you might be under 200 at the end of the 6 hour solo race.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkKnight369
    Personally, I was shocked to hear 200lbs is the clyde cut off. When I was 200lbs I looked anorexic. Of course, I am 6'8". I guess I always personally viewed the clyde class as tall and big dudes. It just seems weird to me to consider sub 6' people clydes.
    I'm 5'7" and rode when I was 212 lbs. (now I'm down to 175 lbs.). Take my word for it, us "sub 6' people" over 200 lbs. can rightfully be considered clydes too.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adim_X
    I guess the question here is... What defines a Clyde? Is it purely weight? At 6'6" and 203 lbs, I would perceive you as pretty damn skinny from my 6'2" 275lb perpective.
    Maybe someone should clarify: Does "Clyde" really mean "High body fat?" If so, judging by weight makes no sense whatsoever. Why shouldn't someone 5'5" and 190 pounds be in?

    If "Clyde" really means "Heavy," then you can be heavy and skinny. Heavy and skinny may be faster than heavy and not skinny, but it's probably still slower than light and skinny where racing bicycles is concerned. 6'6" and 200 pounds still has to power 200 pounds up a hill, and that's tough going when racing people who are 5'10" and 165 pounds soaking wet.

    Either way, as long as everybody can agree what it means, everyone can be happy.

    UPDATE: Some years ago, I raced multi-sport. Amazingly, the Clyde requirement was only 185 pounds! Mind you, triathletes can be seriously skinny at any height.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti2424
    Actually a person with longer bone length will actually have less power then a shorter person. It's a bit more complicated as there are other factors like muscular strength and tendon to bone location which can affect leverages and power but all other things equal that is the case. This is why you dont usually see tall powerlifters.
    I hadn't thought of it like that. If you match the speed and pedal cadence of a short person you would have to push the pedals with the same force since crank length is normally the same. That force in cycling would come from extending your lower leg and with longer limbs you would go through a shorter ranger of motion (I think). I know that I am physically stronger than my 5'10" friends but on a climb if were in the same gear I find myself having a hard time keeping pace and eventually I need to drop a gear. Yeah maybe I'm just weak but the sensation I get is that I don't have the strength to push that combo. (Note to self, dont write rambling replys on mtbr while buzzed.)

    I know plenty of people argue about crank length and I don't want to open that can of worms. A longer crank would seem to make your range of motion more in line with a shorter rider. The real question is if thats an advantage or where the optimum size or ratio is.

    I wish I knew more about sports science. The best proof seems to be race results. The guys topping podiums are 5'6"-5'10" and ~150 pounds.

  33. #33
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    Was the Clyde mountain bike class started for fat guys that don't train much? Was the Clyde class started for guy that train regular but are a bigger build than most other racers? Just because somebody eat like a garbage disposal and ride 1 time a week. Don't hate on the guys that is 6' 4", 210 pounds, eats healthy and rides 3-4 times a week.
    Maybe there should be a "I don't train or eat right" class at the MTB races. This post is directed to "MTB racers" not recreational riders. If you like cheeseburgers and such and can only ride Saturdays after your kids soccer game that's great. You are doing a fun and exciting activity.
    Now if you're a Clyde racer and you complain about skinny Clydes you need to take your training more seriously.
    Once again this post is just directed to racers not all Clydes.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by speed metal
    Was the Clyde mountain bike class started for fat guys that don't train much?.
    Unless you're an MD, I'm simply not going to give a lot of "weight" to ranting about Clydes being lazy guys who eat too many cheeseburgers. Actual research has shown that there is no one simple explanation for body composition that applies to everyone and no one simple magic "solution" to changing body composition that fits everyone.

    The discussion here is about what is or isn't a Clyde. How or why they're a Clyde is another discussion.

  35. #35
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    Actually, this discussion started from Lets Try Science's question:
    "This race defines a Clyde as 'over 200 pounds'. I am over 200 pounds but am not fat. Is it OK for me to race in the Clyde class?"

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  36. #36
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    My family raised clydesdales(horses not people) when I was growing up. Never in my life have I seen a short fat one, clydesdales are large muscular animals that can out work most any other horse breed. Maby it's just a bad title for the class.

    I'm 6'3"/215 and ride cat 2 or 3, because looking at the clyde lineup at most races, I'd feel like a sandbagger. When in a real comparison of humans to horses, I'd be the clyde, not the 5'6"/220 "racer".
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  37. #37
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    Just race in Clyde this time. If you blitz everybody, don't race in Clyde the next time.

  38. #38
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    Truth be told, it's a 5'2"/100lb lady rider kickin my @$$ that motivates me. Race or ride, it's the faster and better riders that I learn from. So getting last in cat 2 or middle of the pack in 3 is fine with me. I only race a couple times a year, but I ride 5 times a week.
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    6'6", 203 - I'm 6'6" as well and would guess that you are pretty fit and as such do not belong in the clyde class. It's really your call, race what ever class you think is right and see what happens. You should get a pretty good idea where you belong from the experience.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falta
    6'6", 203 - I'm 6'6" as well and would guess that you are pretty fit and as such do not belong in the clyde class. It's really your call, race what ever class you think is right and see what happens. You should get a pretty good idea where you belong from the experience.
    So Falta's implication here is that only unfit people "belong" in the clyde class?

    B.S.

    I'm 6'7" and fairly thinly built, but not a bird. I'm a good athlete usually, if I'm training (not always the case). Back in the day I was a rower at the national championships level (silver was best I ever managed). So I was good, but not Olympic class. When I was at my peak I was right around 205lb, with very little body fat. Now I fluctuate around 215.

    Cycling success is hugely dependent on power-to-weight ratio. This number was a critical value for Armstrong when he was training. He knew based on his P/wt if he was ready or not for the Tour.

    I have a very good friend who is 6'6.5". Almost as tall as I. He *IS* built like a bird. The heaviest he ever got, after 6months of lifting heavy weights and focusing on weight gain, he weighed in at just under 180lb. I know for a fact that I have a better *raw* (not weight normalized) VO2max than he does (L/min of oxygen, maximum consumption). He kicks my ass up hills though. Don't discount the weight factor. No matter how fit you are, or how much power you produce, being heavier is always going to hurt you.

    KC

  41. #41
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    Well, I guess that is what I'm implying. I may very well be wrong about this but I just never wanted a handicap because I'm tall.

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    You have a benefit for being tall in many things, but biking isn't one of them. Arguably the best tall endurance athletes are rowers, since rowing requires height and a big VO2max. (since you're floating, weight doesn't hurt you much). So the best VO2max values for big guys can probably be found among Olympic rowers. Rarely do you ever find a successful tall rower with a relative VO2max over roughly 65ml/min/kg. For a 6'7" 230lb rower, this translates into about 6.8L/min. That's a huge amount of power. To give you a comparison, Lance's VO2max was around 5.7L/min. But at around ~150lb, his relative VO2max (accounting for his weight) would be 84ml/min/kg - way higher than the rower's 65ml/min/kg. So Lance can beat the Olympic rower easily when weight is a factor, even though the Olympic rower can produce 20% more power. He weighs more than 50% more than Lance.

    To sum up, you can be in the top 1% cardio-vascularly as a tall guy, but the weight that (usually) comes with being tall will mean you can never compete with the top 1% of normally sized people, when gravity is a factor.

    That's why rowing is a great sport for big folk, because your weight hardly affects your speed at all, and the height is a huge advantage.

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    That's very interesting information, do you think that would also apply to stand-up-paddle racing?
    My response was really in regard to the OP who I believed was not an elite level racer but perhaps a beginner and based on my personal experience. When I entered my first cross country race my goal was not to finish last, lol. I was about 210 and never considered myself a clyde, more of a greyhound from my basketball days so I entered my age group beginner class. I won the race and by the time the 5-race series was over I dropped to 190 and won every race and the series. I easily beat the beginners and caught and passed a lot of sport class racers the started ahead of us every race. That's why I believe a tall lean 6'6" guy at about 200 is not really a clyde.

  44. #44
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    Tall and muscular is a Clyde, not short and round. Clydesdale should by no means be any type of "beginner" class. It's for large riders who train and love to race. Riders who are over weight, or are beginning proper training and nutrition should be racing beginner, thats what its for.
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    As a tall, thin Clyde, it sounds like to me that shorter clydes are finding excuses for having their asses handed to them at the races. Being taller has many disadvantages especially in mountain biking. We have clearance issues that most riders never think about. We have issues with crank/pedal clearance. I have clipped my helmet on low branches that my fellow riders get past easily. I have leaned into turns and brushed my shoulder and/or elbow against tree trunks which other riders skimmed by. All the above examples makes holding the best line much more difficult. I'm not even going to get into how much more difficult and how much more strength it takes flick the bike and your body around when your weight is spread over more distance (simple physics).

    I say race were the rules allow and you feel comfortable. If someone gets pissy, you just have to remember its their problem not yours.
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    Thread Summary:



    Amirite?

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    Not true. Many top-level cyclists, including all of the top-ranked american XC racers, are over 6 feet tall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lets Try Science
    I wish I knew more about sports science. The best proof seems to be race results. The guys topping podiums are 5'6"-5'10" and ~150 pounds.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxnroots View Post
    I'm 5'7" and rode when I was 212 lbs. (now I'm down to 175 lbs.). Take my word for it, us "sub 6' people" over 200 lbs. can rightfully be considered clydes too.

    I dunno... I would consider all the guys I've seen at the start line in Clydesdale class who are around 5' 7" and over 200 lbs to be just fat ol' regular horses, not Clydesdales.

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    When I line up, and see someone who's 5'7 and over 200lbs, I consider them competition. They've done more by stepping up to that line, then most of the population have done that day, and they've thrown another body at me to deal with on the course.

    I either beat them, or I don't. But the fact they showed for a race is enough to earn my respect, and should be enough to earn yours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Stone View Post
    When I line up, and see someone who's 5'7 and over 200lbs, I consider them competition. They've done more by stepping up to that line, then most of the population have done that day, and they've thrown another body at me to deal with on the course.

    I either beat them, or I don't. But the fact they showed for a race is enough to earn my respect, and should be enough to earn yours.


    The nickname "clydesdale" is just that: a nickname. Most other sports with weight classes have terms like "heavyweight" "flyweight" etc. To be a clydesdale in most bike race events you need to be over 200lb. End of story. BMI, BF%, height, ... nothing matters but your weight. If you are over 200 you get to race Clyde if you want to.

    If you think that the guy who's 6'2" and weighs 200.5 lb is sandbagging it. How do you think he'd feel if he lost a pound and ended up racing the guy who's 6'2" and weighs 155 lb?

    What about the guy who's 6'2" weighs 200.5 lb, but used to be CAT2, and should be 175 and is just way overweight, and is trying to get back in shape, and racing motivates him? Is he sandbagging?

    What about the guy who's 6'2" weighs 230lb, but has 6% body fat and breaks cranks he's so powerful. He kills everyone uphill because he's a monster, but is slow downhill because he has poor DH skills. Is he sandbagging?

    Shut up and ride.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lets Try Science View Post
    Locally we have a 12 and 6 hour race coming up. Most of my friends are faster so I thought of doing the solo 6 hour in the Clydesdale category. Only requirement is that your over 200 pounds; not sure if that's naked or with gear. One of my friends said I shouldn't race it because while I am 203 pounds I'm 6'6". I guess the only opinion that matters is other big guys so to the riders under 6' do you dislike tall guys riding in the category?

    If I were a faster climber I would definitely race in the normal classes but I climb for crap and the course is an 8 mile loop with 2000 feet of climbing.
    I consider that "giraffe" category which typically isn't offered in a bike race. True, the more compact frames have an advantage over tall guys, but I think Clyde screams WIDE. I'm 6'3" and if I was at my "fighting weight" 230# instead of 290# I wouldn't even consider sandbagging in clydesdale category.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Stone View Post
    ...
    Seriously, trollfaceing lighter riders up hills and down is way more enjoyable for me then standing on a podium. Not going out of my way to block or be a generic ass because this is NOT the way you should ride... but I'm going to try to chase you down on a hill, and I'm going to try to chase you down on the other side of it too. ...
    As a heavier rider, gravity downhill is your friend. My problem on group rides is that I get in the way of smaller riders on the uphills. They get in my way on the downhills. I have no choice, I need the "mo" more than they do and concentrate everything on maintaining it.

    Getting fat taught me through necessity the getting off the damn breaking and letting things flow. When you can stand and mash constantly without fatigue ... why not wash the corners and scrub downhills.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganClydesdale View Post
    We have used a little different format for Clydes, that kind of levels the playing field. You must weigh more than 3x your height in inches, to be a clyde. So someone 5'6 (66 inches) needs to weigh in at 198 or more to be a clyde. Someone 6'5 (77 inches) needs to be 231lbs or more to qualify. A bit more complicated, but it works.

    So under our formula, no, you're not a clyde even though you're over 200.
    I'd go with 1:3.3 ratio. At 6'3", I weighed 230# with a thinner muscular build. I was far from heavy set and would would definitely be sandbagging. So at 6'3" (75 inches) you would need to weight 247# before you would be in clyde. A 6'5" rider would have to be 254# before they are a clyde.

    I also like the BMI calculation as it relies on the same variables. And while BMI can be notoriously poor for telling you how "fat" someone is (bodybuilders are measured obese under that scale), it's an excellent indicator of how "thick" someone is which is what the clyde category is about. Whether the "thickness" is in fat or muscle, well I suppose that's up to you to decide.

    But yeah some lean bean 6'2" guy riding at 205# definitely should not be in clyde class.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Stone View Post
    Thread Summary:



    Amirite?
    That is just so wrong,

  55. #55
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    It is, but its generally how it seemed that the majority of riders felt about heavier riders who DARED show up at a race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi View Post
    ... it's an excellent indicator of how "thick" someone is which is what the clyde category is about.
    ...
    But yeah some lean bean 6'2" guy riding at 205# definitely should not be in clyde class.
    You forgot to put "IMO"...

    What you think the clydesdale category is "about" or not isn't law. I don't know of any NORBA official description of the category that states it's about anything at all. It's simply a heavyweight category. If you want a super-heavyweight category, fine. That's different. But why is it fair in your mind for a guy who's 199lb to have to race a 149lb jackrabbit, when it's apparently not fair for a 250lb guy to have to race a 200lb guy? Same weight difference.

    For most races, there is ONE heavyweight category. Maybe there should be more, maybe not. But debating what is heavy and what is not heavy is ridiculous.

  57. #57
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    Maybe some of you should train more and troll forums less?! If not, quit whining about getting your flab handed to you by a real Clyde. Over 200 is over 200, be it muscle or fat!!!
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff View Post
    Maybe some of you should train more and troll forums less?! If not, quit whining about getting your flab handed to you by a real Clyde. Over 200 is over 200, be it muscle or fat!!!
    Because genetic makeup, body composition, and time constraints are the same for all people. True story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curtboroff View Post
    Maybe some of you should train more and troll forums less?! If not, quit whining about getting your flab handed to you by a real Clyde. Over 200 is over 200, be it muscle or fat!!!

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by 14Stone View Post
    Because genetic makeup, body composition, and time constraints are the same for all people. True story.
    Too much time in the chair on your computer = time constraints and bad body composition.
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  61. #61
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    By the way, I'm not a "type 2 big guy". Nature made this way, tall and big, almost lean. Ya know, like a Clydesdale is.
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  62. #62
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    somebody is always whinning about something or looking for an excuse. "If you can't beat them try to change the rules!"
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

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    I like the 3x solution, although I think maybe a 3.1 to 3.2 factor would probably be a little better if your objective is to cull out the riders that qualify for clyde based on unusual height rather than weight or heavy builds.

    Regardless of why a person's body composition is what it is, the objective is racing classes to subdivide a diverse population into smaller groups of similarly competitive people. If the podiums for Clyde classes are consistently dominated by the over-tall entrants rather than normal height but heavy entrants, its obvious that the class qualifications have created a "giraffe" class. That's fine if a "giraffe" class was what you wanted. But I'm guessing that is not the typical expectation of a clyde class.

    Probably the easiest way to figure out the way appropriately divide the class is to do some statistical analysis of a bunch of race data with height and weight info attached. The finish time data should tell the story. Presuming that there was a strong positive correlation between height and finish times in the clyde class, You would be looking for the sweet spot in the clyde finish times/height continuum where tall-fast riders would be more competitive in the non-clyde class than they are with the lower portion of the clyde class. In other words, the best of the tall clydes should be finishing closer to the middle of the pack non-clyes (not expanding the range of times of the higher class) than the lowest finishers in the clyde class, which would shrink the range of times of the clyde class by lowering the upper bound of the range.

  64. #64
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    I am 6'6", 220#. If I lose 20# I look super skinny with no muscle but I still have to haul 200# up the hills. It's all about the power to weight, height is irrelevant unless I want to start complaining that I have more wind resistance.... which is a valid argument and is why everybody wants to draft me on the road bike!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom93R1 View Post
    I am 6'6", 220#. If I lose 20# I look super skinny with no muscle but I still have to haul 200# up the hills. It's all about the power to weight, height is irrelevant unless I want to start complaining that I have more wind resistance.... which is a valid argument and is why everybody wants to draft me on the road bike!
    Don't forget... Taller means a larger wheel base and a high center of gravity. Neither of these things help handling. Additionally, you still only have two wheels for handling and breaking. Thus the wheel/brake loading is higher for a taller guy than it is for a lighter guy. That said a shorter guy of equivalent weight would have the same issues.

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    When I started racing I was an out of shape 230 lbs (6'2"). Fortunately, there were enough clydes racing then to actually have age groups and skill levels. When I started winning consistently as a clyde, I crossed over to the regular ranks, even though I still weighed 212. Unless you have the full spread of age groups and categories you're always going to have some mismatches. I don't think there's a formula that will be fair all the time, you have to rely on the integrity of the competitors, too.

    That being said, I love it when a race announcer calls out a sandbagger...

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach View Post
    I think a tall and or muscular clyde fits the image of a clydesdale horse better than a 'husky' rider. I do think that if there's going to be a class set aside for a weight division, it should probably be a bmi measurement of some sort to stay true to the original intention of the clydesdale category. I'm usually just over 200, but would never enter the clyde division as I don't feel my weight is a handicap. I'm fairly slender, just tall. If you're slower than your friends because you don't ride as much, ride in a different ability category. Looking for an easy win is sandbagging. Though you might be surprised at how fast some 'clydes' can be.

    I've posted this before, but it seems apt here:

    And just as an ironic FYI, Clydesdale Horses are notorious for being draft horses that can't keep weight on. They eat huge amounts of food and do not gain weight. Lucky critters, eh? Well, not if you have to pull stuff for a living. You want some heft for that.

    Ken Demers (the Godfather of Yankee horse driving) told me that a Clydesdale couldn't spend even night in his barn. He wondered aloud to me how the thrifty Scots could have developed such an expensive beast.

    Ken liked big Percherons and little Halflingers--"They work like demons, and they can stay fat on a hedgerow. Easy keepers."

    All that said, "Clyde" is a great name for the likes of us, and it has sure stuck.
    Last edited by Austin Dave; 11-12-2011 at 05:25 AM.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by warmonkey View Post
    When I started racing I was an out of shape 230 lbs (6'2"). Fortunately, there were enough clydes racing then to actually have age groups and skill levels. When I started winning consistently as a clyde, I crossed over to the regular ranks, even though I still weighed 212. Unless you have the full spread of age groups and categories you're always going to have some mismatches. I don't think there's a formula that will be fair all the time, you have to rely on the integrity of the competitors, too.

    That being said, I love it when a race announcer calls out a sandbagger...
    I think that just about covers it. I also started out in the Clyde class at 6'4" 230 my first season of racing. After that season, there were only 2 of us actually racing each other, so I moved to the standard AG class. I don't win anymore, but at least its a race and not a gimme.

    There will always be some racers who just want to win and pad their trophy case, which is fine to some extent. I understand the frustration of the guys who really do have some weight to lose.

    Its a personal choice, and everyone can use the rules however they want. It's a weight class system, not a morality system.

  69. #69
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    Personally, I feel that it is used as an easy way for a tall guy to get an easy win or good finish. There are guys like myself that have to work really hard to still be quite overweight. I am about 5'7" and race in the 250's. For me, seeing a guy on the start line that is skinny and 6'5" kinda pisses me off. It's actually a little insulting. The clydesdales like myself that are actually overweight really have a hard time keeping up with people in our age class. It's nice to race with a group of guys that are in a similar situation as me and it makes it a fair fight. I like having competition to race against. If it was me that was a tall guy that happens to be a tic over 200, I would feel dirty racing as a clyde. I'm not looking for anyone to feel sorry for us clydes. But in all fairness, the clydes cat was made to give guys a fair chance that are clearly burdened by extra weight. A tall guy isn't burdened with extra weight the way I am. If anything, it's an advantage to be tall. Now I'm not referring to the true tall clydes. I race with some 300 pound guys that are great and have every right to race clyde. Our race series has taken some action on this matter to try to make it fair. Cat 3 is the only one where 200 is a clyde. But cat 2 is 215 I think (maybe 210) When you get to the sport level, you should be good enough to race in the right class. Sandbagging is annoying to me. It's the same as the people that race cat 3 and win every race but refuse to bump up. I think it makes people look down on you. Racing isn't about easy wins. You should have to try a little. I'm hoping to get closer to 200 or maybe under so that I don't have to race clyde. But if I am borderline, I'm going to race normal age group.

    Hey, if you're a bad climber. Practice more

  70. #70
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    Very interesting and informative thread...

    I am unusual even for a clyde. I am 6ft 2in and 250 lbs but 6 pack lean at about 230 lbs. I have a lot more muscle than the average clyde, something that was not born of the weight room but runs in my family. Since I have been able to out sprint and out jump skinny guys my whole life I was surprised to find I could not out climb them in mountain bike races, lol. Once I got over the shock that my athletic gifts where not an advantage in this sport I just try to do my best. Where I live we do not even have a "clydesdale class", all my races (not many) have been against other beginners, then sport class riders.
    I love the system that MICHIGANCLYDE spoke about. Definitely the fairest way of determining a "clydesdale class" that I have seen.
    At the end of the day, winning isn't everything. I love to push myself, be out on my bike, trying to catch those skinny racer types. I almost never do, but I have a great time trying. Also, there are lots of smaller riders that cannot catch me and I usually finish around midpack at best but have one 2nd place and two 3rd place finishes to my credit. I respect anyone that steps up to the starting line regardless of weight. If your out there riding and or racing, you have already won.
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  71. #71
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    Has anyone considered that given two riders of the same weight, the taller rider has a handicap in the form of aerodynamic drag. It might be less of an issue for MTB vs Road, but it is there and its less negligible than one would think. Generally the taller rider will have wider shoulders, longer torso, arms and legs, and neck, all contributing to extra drag, and that includes drag that is experienced turning those longer legs and bigger feet in circles, not to mention longer members when riding naked, I hate that kind of dragging, watch those spokes.

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  72. #72
    Cars Hurt.
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    As I said before im 6-6. Riding with 5-8 guys they tell me they barely have to pedal drafting me. If I draft them I dont notice any difference.

  73. #73
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    6'5", 255lbs here. I consider anything 200lbs+ = clyde.

    Having said that, I would race in the normal category as I don't like subjecting myself to a "special" class just because I'm bigger than most riders. Yeah, I have more weight to carry, and I'll never beat that 135lb rocket rider that passed me, but that's all motivation to me to work harder and go faster.

    Last year, my "nemesis" was a 17 year old. I'm more than twice his age, and probably a good 120lbs on him, but he was my incentive (all friendly, no hostility) to race faster, go faster, and to push harder. My point is that I'm more interested in racing ALL mountain bike riders, not just riders that match up to me physically.

    Most 200lbs+ riders around here locally, that I've met, are slower AM type guys. Where's the fun in racing these guys? I'll stick to my lycra and race the other lycra guys (and girls), weight be damned.

  74. #74
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    I'm more this type of Clydesdale
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  75. #75
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    Sasquatch!

    Get on your bike and go ride! Right now!

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  76. #76
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    Once you go vertical, the more mass you have to defy gravity with, the bigger disadvantage you have.
    I can mash a big gear better than a little guy(no time trials in MTB), but my O2 deficit hits earlier than their's(everything else being equal).....

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeti2424 View Post
    Probably should be some sort of a height to weight ratio.



    Actually a person with longer bon length will actually have less power then a shorter person. It's a bit more complicated as there are other factors like muscular strength and tendon to bone location which can affect leverages and power but all other things equal that is the case. This is why you dont usually see tall powerlifters.
    It's funny to see a pro football team workout and the 6' 200lb guys are within 10-15% of the deadlift and squat amounts of the 6'-8" 280lb guys.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch1413 View Post
    I'm more this type of Clydesdale
    That's not a Clydesdale... that's a mutant species called "Fat Ol' Regular Horse who thinks it's a Clydesdale".

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by klydesdale View Post
    That's not a Clydesdale... that's a mutant species called "Fat Ol' Regular Horse who thinks it's a Clydesdale".
    Hey words can hurt man.....(sniffles)

  80. #80
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    On top of everything else, us tall guys are always sitting up higher than the shorter folk and simply put, the air is thin up here!

  81. #81
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    When I see a tall skinny guy just about the last thing I think of is Clyde. I just see a tall skinny guy. Me, I am 5' 9" and when in good shape hover around the 200-205 mark. That means I am bulky. That is the life of a 42 year old that was light back I'm the day. Back when the clyde class came about I had always thought the spirit of the class was for body types like mine, not tall skinny guys or morbidly obese guys. I have never raced but have always thought it would be fun to do. I just know I would like to race guys like me, not tall skinny guys. Who would very likely smoke my butt despite the disadvantages they think they have.

    So yes, I feel a tall skinny guy who is over 200 lbs is sandbagging if he is actually fit enough to race in another category.
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    Tall AF skinny guy here (6'6" 195lbs). Obviously I'm not a Clyde in my current state. The only time I've ever piqued 200lbs was after a long weekend on a worktrip with too much free food.

    However, if I filled out a little and hit the 205-210 mark, I would certainly consider racing in Clyde. I've had my ass handed to me by guys in the 250-270lb range. Not tall guys, but short stocky guys who look like they should be linebackers, not mountain bikers. They don't look threatening at a start line, but after 2 pedal strokes its clear that even my "superior leverage" (really? that's now mechanical advantage works. we still have the same length crank arms) won't keep up.

    So don't judge that tall skinny dude at the start line. While there are disadvantages to being tall, I won't argue that aerodynamics and ducking branches give us a handicap in a mountainbike race. That's bull. But we still have to carry over 200lbs up a hill, and there will always be people out there who can put down more power than my spindly legs ever could. Most of them look like they're made out of XL pizzas, but its really pure steel.

    All that said, I would definitely change classes if I consistently placed in Clydes. I argue that I probably wouldn't, but if there's one 6'5" 205lb Clyde who easily takes the pack for a whole season and keeps registering in the same class, that would be sand bagging.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSamps View Post
    its clear that even my "superior leverage" (really? that's now mechanical advantage works. we still have the same length crank arms) won't keep up.
    After having 5 years to think more about this thread, I think tall clydes are at a disadvantage when it comes to crank arm length. The shortest cranks you easily get are 170mm and the longest are 180, a total of 10mm each arm, or 20mm for the two combined arms. That's less than an inch!
    I would argue that somebody with 30" inseam riding 170mm has much better range of motion to engage all his leg muscles compared to somebody with 38" inseam riding 180mm cranks.

  84. #84
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    I assumed 220lb's or 100kg's (for us new worlders) was Clyde land...

    I'm 181cm & 235lb's (mixin' & matchin').

    I must be a Hobbit Clyde ^^ possible new category

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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganClydesdale View Post
    We have used a little different format for Clydes, that kind of levels the playing field. You must weigh more than 3x your height in inches, to be a clyde. So someone 5'6 (66 inches) needs to weigh in at 198 or more to be a clyde. Someone 6'5 (77 inches) needs to be 231lbs or more to qualify. A bit more complicated, but it works.

    So under our formula, no, you're not a clyde even though you're over 200.
    that's a pretty cool idea

    i'm 69", and I weigh 255 with my gear on, so I'd make it pretty easily
    just ride.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTurd View Post
    Wonder if people from 6 years ago are reading this, hmmm.
    yeah, I didn't reailze this thread was so old haha
    just ride.

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    I'm 5'7" and 210lbs. - I do think height should be a factor. Racing against a 6'3" relatively lean 201 lb. dude would be kind of pointless. Those guys aren't clydes in the spirit of the word.

    Same thing for those who say clyde doesn't start until 220 lbs. Sort of discriminates against shorter dudes around 5'6" or so where 200 genuinely does put you in clyde territory.

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    Is there a Whale category??? 6'4" 345 pound, i would definitely get whipped by somebody who is 6'4" 220 pounds.... Jejeje

  89. #89
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    Im 6'3" 205. I wouldnt race in the clyde class but I'm definitely at a disadvantage to the 135 pounders.
    No moss...

  90. #90
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    not sure why but it seems none of my local races have clyde categories. too bad because i think it would encourage more people to come out and do a race.

    I LOVE seeing big guys out on the course. they obviously have no hope at winning anything but they just wanted to do a fun event. I give them massive props and offer encouragement every time i pass. I've seen some big boys at some really challenging courses and I'm always impressed.

    no i don't think it's a fair fight to compare me (6'3" 205 lbs) to a 5'6" 200 pounder. I would never race in clyde category. I won a few races last year in the open category so that wouldn't make any sense anyway. however there's a few Cat 1 racers that i know I'll never be able to come close to, they're freaks of nature. it just depends on the event, in a 1 hour sprint like cross, i struggle.

    i also don't think it's fair for me to race against a 140 lb lightweight on a 19 lb bike, but it is what it is. I do okay, and i find I'm more competitive in endurance events. I've done really well there. the other place I'm pretty strong is on a course with lots of climbing. for some reason I climb better than most.

    I agree clyde should start at 200 not 220. but like a lot of racing there's overlap and the rider can choose what category to enter. Masters vs open for example, or SS vs geared, or fatbike, or whatever.
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    "Fully rigid" isn't a thing.

  91. #91
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    Nah.

    They're faster because I'm fat AND/OR I've spent my life building my body more for short-term power more than endurance or speed.

    Both of those things are from my choices - my inability to control my caloric intake (from late 30's to now), and my choice to build tons of muscle in the gym (20's to late 30's). If they are tall and focused on bike racing and built their body for racing, guess what, they deserve to win races.
    Yamaguchi Cross • YT Jeffsy • Salsa Mukluk & Vaya • Canyon Commuter

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lets Try Science View Post
    One of my friends said I shouldn't race it because while I am 203 pounds I'm 6'6". I guess the only opinion that matters is other big guys so to the riders under 6' do you dislike tall guys riding in the category?
    Tell your whiny, entitled, weak-minded friend that someone from the internet said to suck it up, put on his big boy pants, and deal.

    Being incredibly tall is a detriment to many sports. Tell him being fat is a detriment to this one and keeping his mouth shut will benefit him two ways:

    a) It'll help him lose his lard ass and b) stop saying such dumb things.

    ...

    Tell us how he reacts. :-D
    Yamaguchi Cross • YT Jeffsy • Salsa Mukluk & Vaya • Canyon Commuter

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    It blows my mind that people think longer arms and legs gives a torque advantage. One time I beat a guy arm wrestling, and he said it was because my arms are longer. Haha people just don't understand simple physics. I'm a mechanical engineer. Just about everything about being tall disadvantages a mountain bike rider.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNTall View Post
    It blows my mind that people think longer arms and legs gives a torque advantage. One time I beat a guy arm wrestling, and he said it was because my arms are longer. Haha people just don't understand simple physics. I'm a mechanical engineer. Just about everything about being tall disadvantages a mountain bike rider.
    I never knew that my 5'7" 200lb. self on my 26" bike (yeah, short legs/long torso) have a natural advantage over the 6'3" guy at the same weight on a 29" in a clyde race.

    I should be racing and podiuming more often

    Seriously, though. I have a ridiculously broad, decently muscular build overall with stamina for riding all day at a moderate pace but that kind of stature is NOT good for anything except maybe wrestling. I'm not beating the tall 200 lb. but-not-fat guys I know in race conditions over shorter distances.