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What kind of cyclist are you?

ianspeareianspeare Posts: 110
edited May 2013 in Amateur race
How did you work out what kind of cyclist you are? By that I mean did you have a natural ability to say sprint, climb or TT or did you work on a specific area to become better at that particular thing?

I'm a typical ectomorph- 5 ft 8 and 64kg. Is there an area of racing where this physique would be an advantage? I'm building up my base fitness at the moment and aim to work on specifics when I feel that this is a bit better
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  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Still not worked out which I am as I road ride, TT, triathlon, duathlon, run, MTB....... think you get the picture. TBH I tend to look at things that are a weakness and work on getting better at them.

    As for you its hard to say as you could easily do TT's, sprints, climbs - whats more important is what do you like to do, as in really like to do when you ride.

    Plus you need to remember that riders don't just fit in boxes that easily whilst most of the best climbers are small and light weight & sprinters typically look like track riders, TT'r are loners and please don't ask in the cycling thread for thoughts on triathletes. Sometimes riders come along who don;t fit the norms.

    Suggest if you still don't know try doing a few of each race & see what you like and enjoy and something will come along that gets you going. You can then train specifically for those types of events.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • ProssPross Posts: 23,895
    I'm the rubbish type. I worked it out when I kept getting dropped! Used to fancy nyself as a climber when I was young and skinny, never got a chance to test my sprint though so could have been a Cavendish for all I know :lol:
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Pross wrote:
    I'm the rubbish type. I worked it out when I kept getting dropped! Used to fancy nyself as a climber when I was young and skinny, never got a chance to test my sprint though so could have been a Cavendish for all I know :lol:

    Pross ever so bashful - think we know you not that slow
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Bit of an all rounder here, though its easy to work out what you are with a power meter, I have a good sprint, and have trained the longer duration stuff up to a decent level but my strengths lie in anything up to 1 minute I would have said.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    :lol: so, only 'decent' in your weakest areas?
  • themekonthemekon Posts: 197
    I'm an old cyclist.
  • ianspeareianspeare Posts: 110
    All sounds good. I live in Cheshire, so it's basically flat around my way. Plenty of straight roads for a sudden burst of power though.

    I'm going to start increasing the time my rides take. I've only been out on my own but ill be going on some club rides in the near future. I suppose the only way to know is by trying.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Tom Dean wrote:
    :lol: so, only 'decent' in your weakest areas?

    That is the joy of power! You know where you need to work etc, I always use the chart in Coggan's book to determine what may need work to get my to the next level, quite useful - can be seen here

    http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/wp-conte ... filing.jpg
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    ianspeare wrote:
    How did you work out what kind of cyclist you are? By that I mean did you have a natural ability to say sprint, climb or TT or did you work on a specific area to become better at that particular thing?
    By trial and error - but, for me, it wasn't my physical ability which decided which discipline or areas I have concentrated on, it was the psychological suitability. I realised after trying a few disciplines that I probably didn't have the aggression for track racing and I didn't like having others dishing out pain and suffering to me in road races. But I was quite happy to decide for myself how much pain and suffering I could bear in time trials - and I think my ability to concentrate, to suffer (on my own terms) and to measure out my effort probably helped me get the best out of myself in time trials.

    Ruth
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,282
    ianspeare wrote:
    I'm a typical ectomorph- 5 ft 8 and 64kg.
    I'm 174cm and 13½ stone
  • HerbsmanHerbsman Posts: 2,029
    I haven't found out yet, but I suspect I'm equally censored at climbing, time trialing and sprinting.
    CAPTAIN BUCKFAST'S CYCLING TIPS - GUARANTEED TO WORK! 1 OUT OF 10 RACING CYCLISTS AGREE!
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    Primarily a tester (time trialler, and not an overly fast one), I am a bit too big, not vain enough and don't have a big enough ego for road racing :P
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Herbsman wrote:
    I haven't found out yet, but I suspect I'm equally shoot at climbing, time trialing and sprinting.

    Have you considering coaching? :lol:
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • marykamaryka Posts: 745
    ianspeare wrote:
    How did you work out what kind of cyclist you are? By that I mean did you have a natural ability to say sprint, climb or TT or did you work on a specific area to become better at that particular thing?

    I'm a typical ectomorph- 5 ft 8 and 64kg. Is there an area of racing where this physique would be an advantage? I'm building up my base fitness at the moment and aim to work on specifics when I feel that this is a bit better

    I think when you ride with other people you start to see where your strengths lie (e.g., are you first up the 5-min climbs, do you win the town sign sprints, are you the guy who's still got something left in the tank to push into the headwind home after 70 miles, etc.)

    Then when you take up racing, you see how censored you really are :lol: compared to people who are actually good at those things. Then you train harder, maybe lose weight (most of us, probably not you), improve, learn racecraft, and find you might be better in some areas than you thought, and worse in others. Then you start to pick races that suit you physically -- whether that's flat DC TTs or sporting ones, hilly road races or flat crits, bunch sprints or selective courses that get you sprinting from a group of 10-15. Or psychologically as Ruth said, there's a lot to that side of it too.

    You could get a powermeter and some testing on it, that would help show if you're naturally a sprinter or better at holding a high level of your threshold for a long time. But ultimately you just need to get out and ride a lot with people and try lots of different events to know for sure.
  • ozzzyosborn206ozzzyosborn206 Posts: 1,340
    I am also 64ishkgs and 5ft 8, I'm not a very good sprinter(have an alright kick but no top end), can TT ok and climb ok. Best and only real was is to race and see how you fare, even if you are good at all these things but can't ride in a bunch you won't be a good road race but could be a top tter.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,108
    I'm still not sure. Seem to be ok but not great at most things. Decent top end but lack the jump for bunch sprints, better climber than I look but ultimately too heavy against the real racing snakes, ok against the clock when I have tried that. Need to give track a go - can spin well on rollers!
  • mentalalexmentalalex Posts: 266
    5ft 7½

    58kg

    Cross and MTB Rider, and the odd crit.
    I do science, sometimes.
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    A climber, but never light enough to be noticeably good :|
  • I'm 174cm, 72kg and accidentally discovered I could sprint a bit in my second race.

    In every race I learn a little bit more about what I can and can't do.
  • 6ft 4 and around 90kg, probably Time Trailling is where I'm at my best (but I'm not good by any means!)
  • ianspeareianspeare Posts: 110
    Great to hear everyone's experiences. Got to go and try everything- at least three times because the first two might be on an off day

    I'm also a believer in doing what you enjoy- if you enjoy it, you're more likely to do it more and more

    For now I'm happy doing the base miles on the country lanes. Would be good to do that in a group though
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,108
    Yep, I'll try anything - circuit racing, road racing, time trial, sportive, hill climb, watt-bike racing, roller racing - its all good!
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    okgo wrote:
    Tom Dean wrote:
    :lol: so, only 'decent' in your weakest areas?

    That is the joy of power! You know where you need to work etc, I always use the chart in Coggan's book to determine what may need work to get my to the next level, quite useful - can be seen here

    http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/wp-conte ... filing.jpg
    The real joy is seeing how much better you are than other people surely? ;)

    but yes, the power profile is meant to answer this question. I think though it is of more use when deciding how to race than how to train - it doesn't tell you anything about your potential.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Well yes, that end result is of course what happens in a race/TT.

    I think it does - say if I have an FTP that fits into the lower level of the chart but have a sprint that sits at the upper levels then it tells me I could be a bloody useful sprinter if I can work the rest of my fitness up to a decent enough level to be at the end of a race for a sprint.

    I've certainly used it, I've always had a profile that peaked in the short term and tailed off, and I still do, but only difference is now the end of the tail is still a long way up the chart, so the likelihood of me being able to use my sprint etc is a lot higher.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    I mean, in that example, it doesn't tell you about your potential to increase your FTP. Your experience in races, not the chart, tells you what you need to work on.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Nothing tells you of your potential to increase FTP, that is genetic and you'll only know when it stops going up and you've tried the million and one different ways of gaining fitness!

    Well no, the chart is perfectly fine to use. If you are in Cat 1 in every single area on that chart, then you know you will be fine in a 2/3/4 race.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    okgo wrote:
    Nothing tells you of your potential to increase FTP, that is genetic and you'll only know when it stops going up and you've tried the million and one different ways of gaining fitness!
    Exactly - so you keep training all levels, and give extra attention to the ones that are holding you back in races.
    okgo wrote:
    Well no, the chart is perfectly fine to use. If you are in Cat 1 in every single area on that chart, then you know you will be fine in a 2/3/4 race.
    hmm, I don't think many people are in that situation, and it wouldn't point to a good strategy anyway. If you were cat 1 in one area and cat 2 in the rest, you could make use of that information.
  • okgookgo Posts: 4,368
    Either way, the chart is useful, but since OP doesn't have a powermeter I guess its all useless.

    You do seem to make a point of disagreeing with everything just because, its quite dull. There are plenty of people that are strong across the board but are not racing at that level, its mostly through tactics after that I suppose.

    If you got a powermeter you could soon see where you needed to improve, I suspect you know already anyway, but it would at least tell you how far off the pace you are with your vo2 power (hypothetically) in your current category.
    Blog on my first and now second season of proper riding/racing - www.firstseasonracing.com
  • Tom DeanTom Dean Posts: 1,723
    I wasn't exactly disagreeing! Just a difference of emphasis maybe. If it bores you, don't bother responding.
  • I'm 174cm, 72kg and accidentally discovered I could sprint a bit in my second race.

    In every race I learn a little bit more about what I can and can't do.


    Same, well not dimensions wise but you learn when you race - in a cross race I'd be delighted with a top half finish, whereas in a sprint in a typical 2/3/4 I'd be looking for a top 10

    Race everything that you can and see what works best. . .
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