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  1. #1
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    Body Types and MTB

    I'm 5'0 (with shoes) and pear shaped. Always have had a big booty, used to hate it and now its an asset . I also have a short torso and small shoulders. Anyway what is your body type and do you see/feel you have advantages or disadvantages?

    The biggest disadvantage for me is finding the perfect fit. My bike right now is entry level and 13". I plan to upgrade, but I see most frames start at 15".

    Advantage - Im not that far from the ground when I fall.

  2. #2
    avlash
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    you may be my doppelganger...I'm 5'0 and have plenty of back...I just got a trek top fuel wsd with 14.5" frame.....I'm loving it.
    AVLAsh

    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.

  3. #3
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    The 14.5 doesnt feel to big? I might look into that. I can seriously pass down my bike to my 6 year old in about a year LOL.

    I love mt biking because its something my husband and I can do together. Im fast enough on a bike to keep up, but running together is impossible...his strides kill me! I do feel being lighter and smaller is an advantage. I just need to work on skills and confidence and that will make up for any disadvantages being vertically challenged

  4. #4
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    I am very much a newbie to mountain biking but just purchased a 13 inch Jamis Dakar FS Comp. For certain fit reasons my bikes are always just a little smaller than someone with my dimensions would normally buy, but I've a great fitter who keeps me from making expensive mistakes

    The point of this email is that the "13 inch" Jamis Dakar FS has the same measurements (well, VERY close to the same) as the "14 inch" Jamis Dakota. My LBS doesn't stock the Dakar, so when we realized this I test rode the HT Dakota for fit. Don't discount a bike you might be otherwise interested in because you think it might be a littel too large or small without test-riding it. There is so much variation between manufacturers in sizes - and what determines the difference between sizes.

  5. #5
    avlash
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    I agree you need to test ride the bikes, even if the stats in the book don't make the bike look like a good candidate. Bike makers all measure top tube/ frame size differently (yeah, love that) so you have to figure out what size works for you on the each brand. I went with the top fuel because I was looking for an awesome fit with good components. I have a 26" inseam and I can throw this bike around.....ok....I am still in my new bike honeymoon but I have put 400+ miles on her, including some 6+ hr rides....ride what makes you feel good.
    AVLAsh

    Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.

  6. #6
    Dirty South Underdog
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    I'm 5'6" and "built like a brick sh*thouse"

    While I've never minded being able to put on muscle like a bodybuilder, I always figured that the weight would hold me back a bit with climbing. I've taken to singlespeeding, though, and I feel like it's actually an advantage to be big & powerful. Luckily, at my height, I don't have any issues with finding a bike that fits.
    Brickhouse Blog (most known unknown)

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  7. #7
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    Andrea that is pretty awesome. My legs are naturally muscular, but my upper body is weak. I workout my core a lot and this year just started lifting weights for upper body strength to balance me out. I wish my arms would put on some muscle.

    I guess tossing around a 30lb or so bike will help that out too.

  8. #8
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    i'm 4'10" and maybe an inch more with shoes. my biggest concern is standover because my inseam is very short - regardless of the bike size. i have a GF that is 13" and a Specialized 29 that is 15" but the standover heights work for me because the bar is low.

    you can see my pics on the short wm riding 29r thread - i'm blessed w/ a sturdy backside as well as the rest of me.

    both of my bikes are HT - I have not had any success in fitting on a FS - they just don't work for me. but, i have found backside comfort with a thudbuster suspension seatpost. i am accustom to and really like HT's - but it may be just because its the difference between a bike that fits and one that doesn't.

    may look at trying to get a FS custom built sometime in the distant future.

  9. #9
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    Wow Ive never seen a seat post with suspension. Thanks for sharing.

  10. #10
    LW Coaching
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    My body type? Well my BF (affectionately) calls me T-Rex sometimes...pathetic upper body strength and a huge power center. Deffo good for biking :-)

  11. #11
    Bored Carp
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4MooreFitness
    Wow Ive never seen a seat post with suspension. Thanks for sharing.

    One of the reasons that they have fallen out of favor is that they do affect the advantageous power transfer on a hardtail. Additionally, they only take the edge off of you are sitting, and you shouldn't be sitting on descents or technical trail sections, anyway.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  12. #12
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    i am brand new to biking and here is my issue: i have large breasts (DD) and although i love the speed of my boyfriend's mountain bike, leaning so far over the bike causes pain between my shoulder blades. i decided to go with a comfort bike and while i am surely comfortable and have no pain now, i have lost my speed and sometimes it feels like i am pushing a horse!! how do i get comfortable and maintain speed? thanks for any input....

  13. #13
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    To the OP:

    Size is relative. My old Klein HT was a 15" & I thought that I would need the same or smaller when going FS. I ended up on a Trek 16.5" Fuel EX7 WSD, & it fits better than any bike I've ever been on. Try to break that size paradigm & get on a few different ones to try out.

  14. #14
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    I am 5'1 and built like a pear and an extra large Athena. Just bought a 14" Jamis Durango 1.0 Femme and it fits me to a T. When I was in the lbs I tried a 12" (too small) and a 16" (way too big) because I also prefer not to jump off the bike when I get off of it. I do that now with my commuter bike.

    Off the shelf, the bike's handlebar width feels really comfortable and I have the seat lower than the handlebars. The saddle is borderline comfortable and I think I'd prefer a seatpost with a bit of a setback but I think that's because my commuter bike is such a beast I'm used to being stretched out.

    As far as strength goes, I have strong legs, so-so core (working on it) and my upper body strength has improved but children could easily beat me in arm wrestling competitions.

    I've started doing core and upper body exercises but it's not the most fun I've had. It's fairly dull even with loud music or a video playing to distract me.
    2011 Jamis Durango 1.0 Femme
    2005 KHS T&C commuter bike

  15. #15
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    I'm more of a hefty hourglass or brick Sh!thouse too.. I'm roughly 5'8 and I can ride either a medium or a large frame size which allows me to get some pretty good usedbike/frame deals .

    I don't care what anyone says but being heftier certainly is a performance disadvantage.

  16. #16
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    I'm 5'8" and I guess most would call me skinny, but I have pretty wide hips. I've lost about 12 pounds since May (160 down to 148) which I'm super happy about, and hope to be 140 in due time, which I think will be optimal for me. Both of my bikes are WSD... My Giant MTB is a Medium frame and my Specialized road bike is an XL frame. My legs are super long, torso short, with long arms. Can make fitting pretty wonky and saddles pretty high in the air. I did the BG FIT fittings for both of my bikes, which helped with some knee pain and pinpoint fitment issues I have on my bikes. I actually like being in a lower, more aggressive stance on the MTB (so more like a road bike with the leaning over). My saddle is high and stem is flipped.

  17. #17
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    aaah, thank you! great information! i did not know there were exercises to do for between the shoulder blades...good luck on your upcoming reduction, i hope to have one myself one day...my dream is to wear a tank top with no bra!

  18. #18
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    I am 5'3" pear with long legs (31" inseem) and t-rex like arms. I ride a small Yeti ASR-7. I have a DH stem. I find it interesting that there are so many short pears that ride.
    Yeti ASR-7- (DHX RC4)
    Trek Lexa SLX- roadie

  19. #19
    see me rollin, they hatin
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    5'3, all legs, no torso

    short top tube and high front end of bike is a must for me. i'll be XS forever because i'm not getting any taller from here!
    fap

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by clementineclark View Post
    i am brand new to biking and here is my issue: i have large breasts (DD) and although i love the speed of my boyfriend's mountain bike, leaning so far over the bike causes pain between my shoulder blades. i decided to go with a comfort bike and while i am surely comfortable and have no pain now, i have lost my speed and sometimes it feels like i am pushing a horse!! how do i get comfortable and maintain speed? thanks for any input....
    I am about the same size. I found that the correct size bike made a huge difference. That, and strength in the muscles found between the shoulder blades. I also swapped my handlebars for something with a higher rise and a stem with slight angle. All this means I am slightly more upright than what the manufacturer intended. I notice it a bit when I am doing climbs, I have to focus a lot on getting my chest over my handlebars while keeping my shoulders retracted not rounding. elbows bent in and close to the body.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by clementineclark View Post
    i am brand new to biking and here is my issue: i have large breasts (DD) and although i love the speed of my boyfriend's mountain bike, leaning so far over the bike causes pain between my shoulder blades. i decided to go with a comfort bike and while i am surely comfortable and have no pain now, i have lost my speed and sometimes it feels like i am pushing a horse!! how do i get comfortable and maintain speed? thanks for any input....
    I am by no means an expert at being a woman. But if this pain mainly occurs from riding a bike, hunched over, it could simply be that your shoulders are forced back for most of your ride. As you lean over handlebars a significant portion of that weight is or should be supported by your arms (not back). These muscles: Pectoralis minor muscle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    are responsible for pulling shoulders forward (not typically beneficial to ladies well-endowed, usually the opposing muscles, except here it's a bike ride). To work these, you can do something like lay down on a flat bench, with arms outsretched in front of your face, elbows locked. You can hold a dumbell or medicine ball, and force your shoulders forward and let them come back. Regular old pectoral (major) excercises can hit these too, but sorta secondarily, like collateral damage.

    I want to caution you, especially as a well-endowed lady, that if you do any exercise like this, to balance it out with an opposing one so as not to affect your regular standing posture negatively. You ever see those guys that only benchpress, walking around with their shoulders pulled forward all the time? Dumbell rows should be adequate to balance it. You can substitute dumbell with anything that has a handle of course, kettle bell, medicine ball w/handle. Milk jug full of water (may not be heavy enough).

    This may not be it. It's just something that came to mind. I've been lifting (on and off and on) for 15 years. I've caused and solved some of my own problems in various sports.

  22. #22
    Slothful dirt hippie
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    5'8" here and... well... I like to think I'm what you get if Marilyn Monroe had a baby with a long line of great big lumberjacks, lol. I also have a GREAT metabolism to survive long northern famine winters that I'm constantly battling.

    I'm slow, can struggle in heat, and finding bike clothing that fits is a serious PITA... the price of full suspension I guess.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  23. #23
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    I'm 5' 8", scrawny, long torso, and (as the swimmers say) "hydrodynamic." (Yes, the last bit refers to my boobs or lack thereof.)

    Disadvantages: Will not survive a famine. Cannot find dresses that fit.

    Advantages: Fit very well on men's bikes. Can rocket uphill. Can corner very tight around trees.

    Dis/advantage: Can wear men's jerseys.

  24. #24
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    I'm 5'7", athletic build. All three of my bikes I ride (road, commuter, mtb) are 17" with the seats cranked up pretty high.

  25. #25
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    Long Torso...no legs

    I'm 5'2 with a 29" inseam and a long torso for my size. Feel more comfortable on a mens small than the bikes built for women. I feel too crowded in the cockpit of a womans bike. However, I am very new to the sport and have not tried many bikes. I have an average to stocky build and have always been tough on trails both hiking and biking.My current ride is a Cannondale Jekyll. It's my first MTB so I don't have much comparison yet. Standover always an issue with short legs!

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