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  1. #1
    Daniel the Dog
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    Best riders are bony buggers

    We talk a ton about strength training and all the other training techniques; however, at the end of the day the best riders tend to be the skinniest buggers. I'm 5'11" 175 lbs and if I want to be really good should drop 10-15 lbs. Tough to do for me but doable if I would eat less.

    I was checking Barry Wicks and Ryan Trebon out at a race and those dudes are skeletal.

  2. #2
    Formerly of Kent
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    Nino Schurter has a good amount of muscle on him, but he's still much skinnier than the average American.

    Muscle =/= sustainable power.

  3. #3
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    Skinner than the average American is still fat.
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

  4. #4
    AZ
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    Are you calling me fat?

  5. #5
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    You can't get much bonier than this:

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  6. #6
    Desert RAT
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    Im 6'' 138lbs. I got faster when I dropped all the weight. So I guess I'm this ^^^

  7. #7
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    Its all about power-to-weight. Upper body strength doesn't help on a climb, but on a mountain bike, a little more to the upper body can be a benefit given the need to use upper body a little more.

    I am low body fat, but not that light. There is only so low you can go in body fat and stay healthy, and that number rises with age. Best for endurance mtb racing is probably some kind of core fitness without bulking up, and a body fat percentage as low as your healthy range can handle. For me at 45, I try not to go below 10%.

    Or just go out, have fun and try to set and reach some goals for yourself.
    Are we putting air in the tires today?

  8. #8
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    Malarkey, Jaybo!

    I'm 6'2" and 195 race weight -- and that takes real willpower for me -- and it works out fine in amateur mtb endurance racing.

    Sure, successful pros may be another story, but I don't think there are any of them killing time on this forum, anyway.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  9. #9
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    i'm not a pro or even race (yet), but you guys are all way overweight for your height and chosen sport. over 6ft and over 175lbs = less beer/twinkies, or less weight lifting/protein shakes, more riding.

    I dont know what any of you look like, but unless you're all bodybuilders, it would absolutely benefit you guys to drop the lbs. I'm 6'3 and 158 and could stand to loose 5 lbs. even then, I wouldn't be anywhere close to the level of lankiness of that rider in the photo above.

    congrats if you worked you butt off to get to the weight you're at now. keep at it.

  10. #10
    Daniel the Dog
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    You are darn good!

    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Malarkey, Jaybo!

    I'm 6'2" and 195 race weight -- and that takes real willpower for me -- and it works out fine in amateur mtb endurance racing.

    Sure, successful pros may be another story, but I don't think there are any of them killing time on this forum, anyway.

  11. #11
    Daniel the Dog
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    Hmm. I am some joe riding my bike on weekends. I even got some cheap plastic thing to wear around my neck one time when I won. Yipee! I certainly don't want to get 150 lbs at 5'11" and scare my wife (I do that anyway with my mug ) . I know I need to get all intense and eat less and ride more. I just wish life didn't get in the way...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesm925 View Post
    i'm not a pro or even race (yet), but you guys are all way overweight for your height and chosen sport. over 6ft and over 175lbs = less beer/twinkies, or less weight lifting/protein shakes, more riding.

    I dont know what any of you look like, but unless you're all bodybuilders, it would absolutely benefit you guys to drop the lbs. I'm 6'3 and 158 and could stand to loose 5 lbs. even then, I wouldn't be anywhere close to the level of lankiness of that rider in the photo above.

    congrats if you worked you butt off to get to the weight you're at now. keep at it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Best riders are bony buggers

    Hmm depends totally on body make up. Certainly the most beneficial weight loss to help you climb is weight loss from the body not the bike.
    Before I get flamed for this next bit, disclaimer I know BMI is only accurate for a small % of the population and this is not ment to offend anyone. But 6'3 and 158 is a BMI of about 19, 18 and below is considered underweight for an adult male. To say that everyone heavier than this need to loose weight is a big call. I'm 6'4 and around 200 and I am lean. Mabey much more muscle mass, as I first stated it depends on your body make up. As a rider do you rely more on power, or do you just spin no matter what.
    For road riders and xc machines I think it is more a result of the sport rather than needing to be that physique, the physique is created as a result.
    There are also many elite endurance athletes that are not healthy people. Yes they have insanly low body fat but that is not always good believe me. I have worked and competed with many elite athletes (not in cycling but in track and field) and yes the endurance athletes are better at their event because their physique is helping them out. But the body that is a result of being at this level for a sustained length of time can be quite damaging to the body. Often when these athletes stop competing and still remain physically fit they are much healthier than they were when they had a BMI of 16 and were training themselves into the ground.
    Just my thoughts

    Sent from my HTC Desire HD A9191 using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
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    When I decided to start riding regularly again almost 2 years ago I was about 195# (down from 215-220) at 6'3", when I was racing in my 20s I weighed about 170. I have not given a thought to my weight, I just want to be fast, I eat 90% healthy, I'm now about 175# and have been stable weight for about a year. I have always been on the thin side, I feel a lot thinner than I look in race photos.
    Eat and ride like you want to be fast, I think your body will find it's proper weight.

  14. #14
    Formerly of Kent
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    All of this height/weight talk is rubbish.

    Watts per kilogram. That's all that matters. If you're a 4'10" 140lb troll that can push 350 watts for 20 minutes, you're doing pretty damn well.

  15. #15
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    The thinnest/fastest I've ever been was 5'8" and 130 pounds. I felt incredible. I could easily sprint away from my usual riding group and keep a lead on them.

    but everyone thought I looked like I had some kind of disease or was dying. I can remember a guy stopping me as we passed on the stairs and he was like "wtf happened to you?!" My cheekbones were ready to pop through my skin.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    All of this height/weight talk is rubbish.

    Watts per kilogram. That's all that matters. If you're a 4'10" 140lb troll that can push 350 watts for 20 minutes, you're doing pretty damn well.
    So true. Yesterday I beat a gaggle of tiny Cat 2 road racers up Cooper Spur. It was "my day" -- today I am typing for my workout!

    As far as trying to chase you, well, sadly for most, you combine the size and watts/kg factors better than just about every other rider I know that doesn't receive a paycheck.

    Hope all is well. We miss you in HR!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    All of this height/weight talk is rubbish.

    Watts per kilogram. That's all that matters. If you're a 4'10" 140lb troll that can push 350 watts for 20 minutes, you're doing pretty damn well.
    Wouldn't 4'10/140# make you more of a nymph, or elf? Too light for a Hobbit?

  18. #18
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    I've lost about 45lbs over the past six months (now 180lbs, 6 foot) and it's made a massive difference to how fast I am uphill. I've had three weeks off because of an injury so I have zero fitness and today I flew up a hill that I used to use as my 'fitness test' (if I could make it up without stopping I considered myself fit) so I'm going to have to find myself a steeper hill. Forget technique or even fitness, power to weight ratio is the be all and end all of going fast uphill.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    Hmm. I am some joe riding my bike on weekends. I even got some cheap plastic thing to wear around my neck one time when I won. Yipee! I certainly don't want to get 150 lbs at 5'11" and scare my wife (I do that anyway with my mug ) . I know I need to get all intense and eat less and ride more. I just wish life didn't get in the way...

    believe it or not, it took me forever and resulted in a lot of internal debate to give up weight lifting altogether and stick to the bike.

    i just didn't want to "look like a skinny cyclist', and my gf fueld this motivation.

    I finally just stopped giving a damn and spent all of my time riding---b/c its way more fun than being a gym weenie with zero functional fitness.

    not sure if you spend time in the gym, but I would HIGHLY advise you to let it go and save your time for riding and having fun.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrower78 View Post
    Hmm depends totally on body make up. Certainly the most beneficial weight loss to help you climb is weight loss from the body not the bike.
    Before I get flamed for this next bit, disclaimer I know BMI is only accurate for a small % of the population and this is not ment to offend anyone. But 6'3 and 158 is a BMI of about 19, 18 and below is considered underweight for an adult male. To say that everyone heavier than this need to loose weight is a big call. I'm 6'4 and around 200 and I am lean. Mabey much more muscle mass, as I first stated it depends on your body make up. As a rider do you rely more on power, or do you just spin no matter what.
    For road riders and xc machines I think it is more a result of the sport rather than needing to be that physique, the physique is created as a result.
    There are also many elite endurance athletes that are not healthy people. Yes they have insanly low body fat but that is not always good believe me. I have worked and competed with many elite athletes (not in cycling but in track and field) and yes the endurance athletes are better at their event because their physique is helping them out. But the body that is a result of being at this level for a sustained length of time can be quite damaging to the body. Often when these athletes stop competing and still remain physically fit they are much healthier than they were when they had a BMI of 16 and were training themselves into the ground.
    Just my thoughts

    Sent from my HTC Desire HD A9191 using Tapatalk 2

    haha...you should see my twin brother who's a cat 2 road racer. he's 10-15lbs less than me, and can annihilate me on climbs and accelerating--also doesn't hurt that he puts in 20+ hours a week on the bike and does around 3x as many miles as me.

    neither of us "diet". we just ride (that, and he was always doing endurance sports. I spent 5 years doing weight lifting b/c finally admitting that being 'buff' wasn't my body type.

    power to weight ratio, like hogdog said, is the be all/end all factor.

    i'm really having trouble picturing some of you guys that say you are 'lean' but over 200lbs. Being 'lean' and over 200lbs means you're a hardcore body builder that's religious about diet and nutrition (i.e. that extra 25+lbs is from weight lifting).

    if you are that weight b/c of your gym activities, I think you'll find riding to be infinitely more enjoyable when you're not carrying all of that nonfunctional strength and muscle mass up a hill.

    go do triceps and try climbing the next day. It suuuuuucks! EF what your wives/girlfriends want, and just ride. functional fitness trumps any of that sissy muscle head gym ******** any day of the week.


    I should add: I have HUGE respect for you 200lb + guys that are managing to pull themselves up the climbs, but if you've been riding for years and are still that weight, something needs to change.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesm925 View Post
    believe it or not, it took me forever and resulted in a lot of internal debate to give up weight lifting altogether and stick to the bike.

    i just didn't want to "look like a skinny cyclist', and my gf fueld this motivation.

    I finally just stopped giving a damn and spent all of my time riding---b/c its way more fun than being a gym weenie with zero functional fitness.

    not sure if you spend time in the gym, but I would HIGHLY advise you to let it go and save your time for riding and having fun.
    I am 47yrs old and lift upper body and core 2 days and ride hard 4 days a week. I have maintained a decent amount of muscle from all the lifting in my youth. However, this muscle weight puts a limit on my cycling progress. I am torn between wanting to reach the next level in cycling and letting my upper body turn to jelly. Ex weight lifters, what does your upper body look like? What is the opinion on pushups, pullups and core only?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikenut316 View Post
    I am 47yrs old and lift upper body and core 2 days and ride hard 4 days a week. I have maintained a decent amount of muscle from all the lifting in my youth. However, this muscle weight puts a limit on my cycling progress. I am torn between wanting to reach the next level in cycling and letting my upper body turn to jelly. Ex weight lifters, what does your upper body look like? What is the opinion on pushups, pullups and core only?


    I'm 37 and an ex county/national level swimmer so I carry quite a bit of muscle in all the wrong places but my body is adapting. That doesn't mean that I've lost any muscle bulk and lowering my body fat has meant that I still have very good definition despite the fact that I don't have the upper body muscle tone or strength that I used to. I don't miss it and I love to see the muscle, definition and vascularity in my legs that I've gained lately, I don't take my top off as much but I wear shorts more often.

    Saying that, I don't see any reason why you should stop working on your upper body, just as long as you don't work to muscle failure, upper body strength is no bad thing when it comes to mountain biking. No matter what you do, if you're cycling seriously then your upper body will not "turn to jelly".

  23. #23
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    Certainly for the XC races I've done you really need upper body strength. Low bodyfat is good as the fat is (mostly) just unnecessary ballast but it's not like road stage races where they all want "arms like twigs" (to quote Tyler Hamilton)

    If you want to see what the idea body type is for your sport, just look at the top guys:





    Best riders are bony buggers-fumic01v.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best riders are bony buggers-uci-mtb-world-cup-2010-dalby-forest-04-julien-absalon.jpg  


  24. #24
    The White Jeff W
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    Re: Best riders are bony buggers

    Thats me on the left at 6'3" 178lbs
    I dont like being that skinny.

    Best riders are bony buggers-uploadfromtaptalk1370348458171.jpg

    Im much happier at 195.

    Best riders are bony buggers-uploadfromtaptalk1370348539377.jpg
    No moss...

  25. #25
    zrm
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    At 6' when I was racing a lot the lightest I ever got was about 170# and that was with a 7% body fat. A of of it is body type. I just have broad shoulders and a big chest. My legs and ass get really big, I have a hard time fitting pants when I'm riding a lot. It's just how my body works, I've never been a great climber, but I have a lot of power for flats and short punchy climbs. I've been told I would have been a great track racer or road sprinter.

    Of course now that I'm over 50 I don't give a S**t and ride and occasionally race just for fun. I'm not fat, but I'm definitely not 7% BF and carry a lot more muscle on my upper body.

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