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  1. #1
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    goofy question about Clydesdale classes

    Sorry if this is a stupid question but I'm curious. I come from a background of racing cars and karts and the "off track weight" is taken immediately following the race and includes car and driver. It's common and beneficial to be underweight and use ballast to meet the minimums so you can put the weight where you want it. The podium finishers are always weighed and you get disqualified if you are under.

    Some bike races I see have a Clydesdale class for riders that weigh 200+. Obviously this is rider only and doesn't include the bike. How is the weight usually measured? Rider geared up with empty Camelback? Right after the race? Rider only, no gear? Honor system?

  2. #2
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    As I understand Clyde classes is that is the the weight of the rider. No gear. It is the honor system that you are 200+. I've never seen a race where a scale was involved to weigh folks.

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    Did a race Saturday that used a scale, first I've ever seen do it. Scale was at sign up/check in so I'm guessing it was weight with whatever you happened to have on at the time.

  4. #4
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    I did a Clyde race in 2005 @ Bike Butler in KY they had a scale at sign-up. The winner got a $1 for every pound he weighed. Weight was took after the race. Did a couple other Clyde races that year no scales at them.
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

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    I've been a Clyde racer for a few years and have never seen a scale but to be honest you can see if someone is over! Only one time I thought the guy was under and he won he got heckled on the podium and called out on it but there was no scale to check.. He quickly left

  6. #6
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    I've done a few with a weigh-in before awards were presented. Never saw anyone fail though. Sandbagging is bad enough, I can't imagine someone being such scum they'd try to sandbag into the clyde class.

  7. #7
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    The "sandbagging" in Clydes class usually occurs from someone being 6'3" and 201 versus the typical Clyde of 5'10" 215. Guess who "more than likely" has a better weight to power ratio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountbkr View Post
    The "sandbagging" in Clydes class usually occurs from someone being 6'3" and 201 versus the typical Clyde of 5'10" 215. Guess who "more than likely" has a better weight to power ratio.
    I'm not sure that argument is scientifically correct. It doesn't seem like height would have anything to do with power output and the weight is the same amount no matter how tall the rider is. In my mind if someone weighs 215 lbs their height wouldn't give them an advantage or disadvantage.

    Not trying to start an argument because I do hate sandbagging and have never raced Clydesdale class. Just wondering if anyone has more science behind this since at 6'4", 180 lbs I am curious as to how my height would effect speed or power over a shorter 180 lb person. Obviously the taller person is disadvantaged from an aerodynamics standpoint but not usually much factor in mtb racing.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ospreypacks View Post
    I'm not sure that argument is scientifically correct. It doesn't seem like height would have anything to do with power output and the weight is the same amount no matter how tall the rider is. In my mind if someone weighs 215 lbs their height wouldn't give them an advantage or disadvantage.

    Not trying to start an argument because I do hate sandbagging and have never raced Clydesdale class. Just wondering if anyone has more science behind this since at 6'4", 180 lbs I am curious as to how my height would effect speed or power over a shorter 180 lb person. Obviously the taller person is disadvantaged from an aerodynamics standpoint but not usually much factor in mtb racing.

    Who do you think is in better shape?

    Rider 1: 5'6" 200 lbs
    Rider 2: 6'1" 200 lbs

    Yes there is always the possibilty that the short guy is built like a brick....but not usually the case. Think this is what mountbkr was getting at.
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  10. #10
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    For the taller vs. shorter argument, the science is in looking at a typical Clyde podium.

    I've been at a race where a scale was promised at the finish, none provided, but some surprising improvisation used. Possible CSB ensues.

    Two years ago at the pre-race meeting for the Tahoe Trail 100 (Leadville Qualifier held at Northstar in California), Ken Chlouber stopped in the middle of his normal speech and observed "there are a lot of big dudes here". On the spot, he created a new class for that race: the largest person to finish the race in the qualifying time (hrs) would get an entry into Leadville 100. So, it wasn't a Clydesdale class so much as a class for the Most Clydesdale.

    He even said he'd have a scale at the finish to confirm.

    I went home that night very excited that I actually had a chance (6' / 230 lbs) of "qualifying" for Leadville. I carbo-loaded with dual purposes!

    Smash cut to the award ceremonies, and Ken asked for all of the people who thought they were in the running for biggest guy to get up on the stage. Took me a while to get up there, but as others got on stage, Ken would yell "there's a big guy", "another big guy", etc. When I got up, he looked at me very dismissively and said "a medium-sized guy?" Looking around, I did feel medium-sized, but I'd come that far and really wanted to get to Leadville, so I stayed.

    Unfortunately, Ken did not bring a scale, believing the winner would be obvious. As it wasn't (probably 8-10 of us up there with vastly different body types), he went down the line asking everyone's weight. I was very surprised to hear people who I felt were huge saying 205, 210, 215 pounds. Didn't add up for me, but it was no time for them to be modest, either -> we all got on stage to say we weighed a lot.

    Finally came down to me saying 230 (again, many eyebrows were raised), and another guy saying he was 225. This guy was about the same height as me, but clearly much fitter,

    Now comes the improvisation:

    - First, Ken asked us to take off our shirts for audience-applause (horror?)-type ruling*. Indecisive.

    - Next, Ken asked race ambassador and six-time Leadville 100 winner Dave Wiens to come onstage and make a judgement. That is when six-time Leadville 100 winner Dave Wiens physically lifted myself and another guy, each claiming we weighed at least 40 lbs more than him, up via bear hug in order to make a judgement. Indecisive. Ridiculous. Intimate?

    In the end, Ken gave us both a qualifier coin for the Leadville 100. We were tied for Most Clydesdale within the accuracy of Dave Weins' muscle calibration.

    I still would have preferred they had a scale. Next time, I'll bring my own so I can keep my shirt on.



    * Possible test to use: If you're willing to take your shirt off on stage for no reward as a clydesdale -> you're sandbagging. Doesn't matter how big you are.

  11. #11
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    This turned out to be a more interesting discussion than I thought it would be. So if someone weighed 195 buck naked, but was easily above the 200 pound limit "race ready" with riding gear (shoes, clothes, no Camelback), would you consider them to be a cheater or sandbagger?

  12. #12
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    Weight when you toe the line imho.

  13. #13
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    goofy question about Clydesdale classes

    Boxers and wrestlers weigh clothed and ready to go so I would say at the line as well. BTW I'm a 6' 215 lb clyde as well. My point earlier was as mentioned , no scientific evidence but as a rule a tall guy over the Clyde weight might be muscularly proportioned better than a short person would be.

  14. #14
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    Don't see what height has to do with it. Clyde is based on weight..
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Mama View Post
    This turned out to be a more interesting discussion than I thought it would be. So if someone weighed 195 buck naked, but was easily above the 200 pound limit "race ready" with riding gear (shoes, clothes, no Camelback), would you consider them to be a cheater or sandbagger?


    I would consider that someone that is looking for an advantage over their competitors. Other than skill or fitness=Cheating.

    If you weigh 195, do you really consider yourself a clyde? I mean really?

    I would have to say, if you are 5'4", 195. You are a clyde. I am 6'4", 250.

    I actually believe, boxers and wrestlers do weigh-in, in their skivvies, AKA underwear.

  16. #16
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    The boxer/wrestler thing is a little different as they are trying to meet a maximum weight rather than a minimum. They strip down because they have to in order to make weight, they are free to wear whatever they want, if they could meet weigh in jeans they would. They cut weight for the weigh in and then pack it back on before the fight, sometime as as much as 20 pounds, so actually weighing someone right after or even before a bike race is a more legitimate way of doing it.

    I wouldn't call looking for a competitive advantage other than skill or fitness to be cheating; is riding an expensive and light race bike cheating? I would consider it knowing the rules and optimizing for the class you choose to race in.

    I race my car in a class that is defined by weight/horsepower ratio, the object is to be right at the limit of the rules at the end of the race. Ten extra pounds is a disadvantage, even in a 2500 lb car. In cars and karts the weigh in takes place with the car and driver together, underweight drivers are permitted to add ballast to make the minimum weight. I'm not suggesting skinny guys fill their Camelbacks with lead and race in the Clydesdale class, it's just interesting to get a perspective from a different sport.

  17. #17
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    all of the clyde races I've entered, we get weighed at registration. I don't usually see border-line guys in the class. If a guy is 195 and fast, he usually races in the regular class broken down by age.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=Joe Mama;10933868

    I wouldn't call looking for a competitive advantage other than skill or fitness to be cheating; is riding an expensive and light race bike cheating? I would consider it knowing the rules and optimizing for the class you choose to race in. ]

    That is a part of racing. Efficiency.

    Many Clydes that race our local races, and many bigger races register in age group. A few of them are my size. 220- 250 lbs. They are pretty fast. IMO.

    So are you asking because you are going to enter a race as a Clydesdale?

  19. #19
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    the only time I had to step on a scale was when I got a podium spot at my first time Iceman race. that was done at the awards which was in the evening after the race at that time. If I recall we did have to take our shoes off. It was many years back so could be completely different now.

  20. #20
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    Back in the day a local race promoter set up the weight classes by height. Never checked weights at the race, but the range was something like...
    Under 5'-10 = 200+
    5'-10 to 6'-2 = 210+
    6'-2+ = 220+

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Mama View Post
    So if someone weighed 195 buck naked, but was easily above the 200 pound limit "race ready" with riding gear (shoes, clothes, no Camelback), would you consider them to be a cheater or sandbagger?
    I would consider a 195er a cheater racing in Clydes.
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