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Does height help cycling?

chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
edited July 2014 in Road general
I was talking to someone the other day, he cycles a bit but not really that much, and he was saying that i have an advantage over him because i am quite tall (just over 6 foot 2).

I was kind of of the opinion that it made little or no difference, in fact i would air on the side of saying it was a hindrance as it probably makes me heavier.

So does being tall have any impact on cycling?
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Posts

  • lancewlancew Posts: 680
    Marcel Kittel
    Cyclist
    Marcel Kittel is a German racing cyclist, who rides for Giant-Shimano. Wikipedia
    Born: May 11, 1988 (age 26), Arnstadt, Germany
    Weight: 86 kg
    Height: 1.89 m

    Mark Cavendish
    Professional Road Racing Cyclist
    Mark Simon Cavendish MBE is a British professional road racing cyclist who currently rides for UCI ProTeam Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Wikipedia
    Born: May 21, 1985 (age 29), Douglas, Isle of Man
    Height: 1.75 m
    Weight: 69 kg

    I feel that pretty much answers the topic.

    Same position, both incredible and a 14cm height gap.
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  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    I think it would be easy to generalise - and height may be advantageous for certain elements of riding, but body composition is more relevant. Hence you see tall guys and short guys in the peleton - some having different skills, some doing the same things well (I was about to press enter and see that lancew has already highlighted the height differential between the two best sprinters in the game currently).

    Us shorties are more aero though!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    you could look at two climbers ...

    Porte and Froome ...
  • chris_basschris_bass Posts: 4,913
    That's pretty much what i thought, didn't realise mark cavendish was so short though!
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  • Cat With No TailCat With No Tail Posts: 13,581
    All I know is that when I'm out with my shortarse mate, trying to draft him offers absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

    Horrible little troll!

    *Storms off to find some taller friends*
  • Dippydog2Dippydog2 Posts: 291
    lancew wrote:
    Marcel Kittel
    Cyclist
    Marcel Kittel is a German racing cyclist, who rides for Giant-Shimano. Wikipedia
    Born: May 11, 1988 (age 26), Arnstadt, Germany
    Weight: 86 kg
    Height: 1.89 m

    Mark Cavendish
    Professional Road Racing Cyclist
    Mark Simon Cavendish MBE is a British professional road racing cyclist who currently rides for UCI ProTeam Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Wikipedia
    Born: May 21, 1985 (age 29), Douglas, Isle of Man
    Height: 1.75 m
    Weight: 69 kg

    I feel that pretty much answers the topic.

    Same position, both incredible and a 14cm height gap.

    I am 1.75m and 86kg. Does that make me the perfect combination of them both?
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Even the "big" riders like stannard etc. are 'only' 6 foot 2 to 3 - there aren't that many really tall riders - Google-fu leads me to Johan van Summeren being the tallest ever TdF competitor at just under 6 foot 6.
  • lancewlancew Posts: 680
    Dippydog2 wrote:

    I am 1.75m and 86kg. Does that make me the perfect combination of them both?

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  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    All I know is that when I'm out with my shortarse mate, trying to draft him offers absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

    Horrible little troll!

    *Storms off to find some taller friends*

    I do actually feel guilty when riding with taller friends - sitting on the front doing my turn, but not offering anywhere near as much advantage as when I am sat in behind them. And if there's a head-wind? Well forget it!
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Dippydog2 wrote:
    I am 1.75m and 86kg. Does that make me the perfect combination of them both?

    You're probably a hybrid cyclist. You climb like a sprinter and sprint like a climber :lol:
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Aah wheres that pic of the 6'7" Irish cyclist next to the 5'2" dude ? Both professionals ?
  • Roadie74Roadie74 Posts: 18
    Nairo Quintana seems to do not bad for a smaller rider, I think what is important is height to weight ratio rather height itself.

    Quintana
    Height: 1.66m
    Weight: 59kg

    Froome
    Height: 1.85m
    Weight: 71kg
  • TiesetrotterTiesetrotter Posts: 432
    marcusjb wrote:
    All I know is that when I'm out with my shortarse mate, trying to draft him offers absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

    Horrible little troll!

    *Storms off to find some taller friends*

    I do actually feel guilty when riding with taller friends - sitting on the front doing my turn, but not offering anywhere near as much advantage as when I am sat in behind them. And if there's a head-wind? Well forget it!

    I don't, can't help the thing mother nature and our parents threw at us.

    I hunker down on my 48cm bike and drive from the front in a head wind ...... then hide behind the 6'4" guy for a rest. He actually hammers the flat sections for us and goes backwards on the hills. At 168cm and 67kg I tend to do the opposite and nicely I am going to lose 2kg from me and the bike this month (well it's replacement will be 2kg lighter) so I'll see how many PB's are broken by the end of July.
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    It's all to do with frontal area - Wiggins, long but thin, Cav, short and stubby.
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  • Old_TimerOld_Timer Posts: 262
    All I can contribute is that I'm 1.86m tall and 83kg in weight and it seems everyone wants to use me as a shield from the wind, its when they realize how slow I'm going that they ride off to leave me puffing along. When I was well over 100kg I was used as a rest stop while they toddled along between intervals.
    Lets just got for a ride, the heck with all this stuff...
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    The taller guys will often have the benefit of bigger heart and lungs - you need a big engine to move that air out of the way - you don't see many (any?) decent time triallers who are tiny for this reason.

    Also, if you have a big guy and a little guy with similar watts per kilo the big guy will go faster every time.
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  • top_bhoytop_bhoy Posts: 1,421
    Daz555 wrote:
    The taller guys will often have the benefit of bigger heart and lungs - you need a big engine to move that air out of the way - you don't see many (any?) decent time triallers who are tiny for this reason.

    Also, if you have a big guy and a little guy with similar watts per kilo the big guy will go faster every time.
    Cadel Evans was/is a decent time triallist winning a TdF stage and placed in others....not to shabby on the climbs either I hear. :D He is about 5'8".
  • earthearth Posts: 934
    marcusjb wrote:
    Even the "big" riders like stannard etc. are 'only' 6 foot 2 to 3 - there aren't that many really tall riders - Google-fu leads me to Johan van Summeren being the tallest ever TdF competitor at just under 6 foot 6.


    Do frame sizes go large enough for giants?
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