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pro riders

bonk_kingbonk_king Posts: 150
edited June 2017 in Pro race
Can someone please explain to me why pro bike riders are considered to be among the fittest guys on the planet. Yes, these stick thin, gaunt looking bags of bones that we all admire so much. Surely you need to look the part as well? Looking ill and being super fit at the same time are attributes that just don't seem to go together.
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  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 3,055
    The illusion is that they perform to near exhaustion day after day. But we really know that riding 100 miles in the middle of a marauding isn't that difficult at their level.
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Is it troll Sunday ?

    If you want to win the Tour you have to climb with the best so you can't carry any excess muscle included.

    As to riding in the pack being easy - you have to get into that pack and stay there. It's not easy and any incline or wind can catch you out. It's easier than riding alone but no it's not easy.
  • bonk_kingbonk_king Posts: 150
    Troll sunday?

    I'm sorry. When i joined this forum a few days ago i thought it was for riders who are not just already well versed on the sport, but also for those of us who are just starting out and have limited knowledge too. But it seems i was wrong, maybe it's just for guys who know it all and have no time for relative newbies. I've read through a lot of posts, and the troll thing comes up a lot. We all have to start somewhere.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,219
    I know this is a troll but...

    It depends on what you mean by fitness. Crossfit advertises for example that the "crossfit world champion" is the "fittest man on earth". But put them on a bike and they'd probably get beaten by most half decent amateurs. So they can't be as fit as pro cyclists right?

    And vice versa if you stick Froome in a crossfit thingy he'd fail pathetically.

    But if you define fitness as being related to your ability to process lots of oxygen and do lots of work with it (which is what most people would call cardiovascular fitness) then yes cyclists will be up there with rowers and XC skiers.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    If you're not a troll then don't take offence -but there are lots of them out there.
  • jimmythecuckoojimmythecuckoo Posts: 4,558
    We haven't had a thread of this quality for months.

    #popcorn
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,368
    The nearest other sports in terms of endurance are distance running and cross country skiing. Distance runners are usually pretty gaunt too, and they don't have to fight gravity. I've never seen a cross country skier with their clothes off, but I guess they use their arms and shoulders as well as their legs.

    If you are a noob, watch the spring classics. The best racers in many of these, and in TTs, are relatively much bulkier. Sagan, Cancellera, Boonen, most of the sprinters, aren't gaunt. Dumoulin - who is an excellent TTer - sits somewhere in between, which is why he can limit his losses on climbs to beat the little guys in a GT.
  • twotoebennytwotoebenny Posts: 1,078
    Dumoulin is the same height and weight as Froome give or take a cm/gram
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,368
    White Sunweb kit and hair make him look bigger
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,281 Lives Here
    bonk king wrote:
    Can someone please explain to me why pro bike riders are considered to be among the fittest guys on the planet. Yes, these stick thin, gaunt looking bags of bones that we all admire so much. Surely you need to look the part as well? Looking ill and being super fit at the same time are attributes that just don't seem to go together.

    Nah they're sh!t mate.

    Not the sport for you.
  • Lanterne_RogueLanterne_Rogue Posts: 3,330
    bonk king wrote:
    Can someone please explain to me why pro bike riders are considered to be among the fittest guys on the planet. Yes, these stick thin, gaunt looking bags of bones that we all admire so much. Surely you need to look the part as well? Looking ill and being super fit at the same time are attributes that just don't seem to go together.

    Given the industrial quantities of experimental drugs that have been hoovered up in the past in the hope of going just a little bit faster, I suspect most pro-cyclists are unlikely to give two hoots about 'looking ill'...

    (FWIW, super-bulked up athletes in other sports are equally abnormal in another direction - human bodies generally don't look like tops sportspeople, and for good reason).
  • jimmythecuckoojimmythecuckoo Posts: 4,558
    Not all riders look gaunt, and even those that do are not at that level all year, every year.

    Some riders have a bit more meat. Me for example.
  • MccrearMccrear Posts: 256
    horses for courses really - mountain specialists are either tall and gaunt or teeny weenie (less grams to haul up) whilst the rest are all manner of shapes and sizes. take team sky (please!! badum tish) they have froome and poels who look almost skeletal and are tall, but they also have ellisande, kennaugh and viviani who are much shorter and stockier. its like any sport - a whole mix of sizes and physiology. Yes they are all MUCH thiner than your man on the street, but thats the job. watts per kg is the holy grail so they have an eternal balance of losing weight without power. Now if only team sky knew of a way they could get riders to lose weight quickly...
    "is anyone using this hay fever stuff thats kicking around the velodrome?"
    "Nah get battered in sir ####"
  • sherersherer Posts: 2,450
    who exactly are you referring to that looks ill ? Since Rasmusen got busted there hasn't really been a rider that looks ill for some time. Sure some are thinner but then they need to be to climb. As stated by Mad_Malx there are also several stocky and well built riders out there. Just look at the thighs on some of the spinters, none of whom look ill
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,219
    sherer wrote:
    who exactly are you referring to that looks ill ? Since Rasmusen got busted there hasn't really been a rider that looks ill for some time. Sure some are thinner but then they need to be to climb. As stated by Mad_Malx there are also several stocky and well built riders out there. Just look at the thighs on some of the spinters, none of whom look ill
    Froome looks a bit freaky. Like an alien.
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,605
    bonk king wrote:
    Surely you need to look the part as well?.


    oh absolutely .... pro cycling is more like the x-factor /reality TV / boyband industry than people think. It doesn't come down to the ability to exert yourself to your maximum capiciyt time and time again, it comes down to image, looks and public admiration. ... Its why the public voted Dumoulin as theGiro winner over Quintana ... Dumolin is better looking, interviews better, and has a better back story behind the scenes.

    sure in the ideal world, it would be about cycling ... but sex sells .. its all about the looks .. oh and having a sad story about doing for your dog that died of Cancer helps as well ...... why do you think so many podium appearances are frequented by riders hugging their children ??? ... it gets the public vote that's why !
  • jscljscl Posts: 1,015
    I don't look gaunt and I'm faster than y'all, booya.

    Only kidding, I suck.
    Follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/scalesjason - All posts are strictly my personal view.
  • tim000tim000 Posts: 718
    fat daddy wrote:
    bonk king wrote:
    Surely you need to look the part as well?.


    oh absolutely .... pro cycling is more like the x-factor /reality TV / boyband industry than people think. It doesn't come down to the ability to exert yourself to your maximum capiciyt time and time again, it comes down to image, looks and public admiration. ... Its why the public voted Dumoulin as theGiro winner over Quintana ... Dumolin is better looking, interviews better, and has a better back story behind the scenes.

    sure in the ideal world, it would be about cycling ... but sex sells .. its all about the looks .. oh and having a sad story about doing for your dog that died of Cancer helps as well ...... why do you think so many podium appearances are frequented by riders hugging their children ??? ... it gets the public vote that's why !
    brilliant :lol::lol::lol:
  • The best explanation I've heard is... our population is now so fat and unhealthy that we are used to seeing people with excess kg's. So when you see someone athletic, their lack of body fat really does stand out.

    If took these runners and cyclists back 100 years into the past. Pre McDonalds and Coke. They wouldn't look gaunt compared to the population.

    You have to remember in some photos, Chris Froome had been burning several thousand calories a day, every day, for the past 3 weeks. It wouldn't surprised me if there is some atrophy by the end of a Grand Tour
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,219
    If took these runners and cyclists back 100 years into the past. Pre McDonalds and Coke. They wouldn't look gaunt compared to the population.

    You have to remember in some photos, Chris Froome had been burning several thousand calories a day, every day, for the past 3 weeks. It wouldn't surprised me if there is some atrophy by the end of a Grand Tour

    Possibly for some sportspeople but not for most cyclists and certainly not for climbers.

    Froome's stated optimum race weight is 68kg/150lb at 1.85m/6ft1 which is skinny by anyone's standards unless you live on a POW camp in WW2. Some of these guys have 5% body fat or even less during racing and that's really low - and hard to maintain for long.
  • bobmcstuff wrote:
    Froome's stated optimum race weight is 68kg/150lb at 1.85m/6ft1 which is skinny by anyone's standards ...

    Unless your standards are BMI, in which case it's on the lower limit of normal and therefore not underweight.

    Which would reinforce the point made above that.
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 4,349
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    If took these runners and cyclists back 100 years into the past. Pre McDonalds and Coke. They wouldn't look gaunt compared to the population.

    You have to remember in some photos, Chris Froome had been burning several thousand calories a day, every day, for the past 3 weeks. It wouldn't surprised me if there is some atrophy by the end of a Grand Tour

    Possibly for some sportspeople but not for most cyclists and certainly not for climbers.

    Froome's stated optimum race weight is 68kg/150lb at 1.85m/6ft1 which is skinny by anyone's standards unless you live on a POW camp in WW2. Some of these guys have 5% body fat or even less during racing and that's really low - and hard to maintain for long.

    I'm the same height as Froome and 2 kg heavier - lean yes, skinny no, and certainly was above the weight of a WW2 POW.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,219
    Whatever, <5% body fat would have looked skinny 100 years ago and still does today.
  • TonyJamsTonyJams Posts: 214
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    If took these runners and cyclists back 100 years into the past. Pre McDonalds and Coke. They wouldn't look gaunt compared to the population.

    You have to remember in some photos, Chris Froome had been burning several thousand calories a day, every day, for the past 3 weeks. It wouldn't surprised me if there is some atrophy by the end of a Grand Tour

    Possibly for some sportspeople but not for most cyclists and certainly not for climbers.

    Froome's stated optimum race weight is 68kg/150lb at 1.85m/6ft1 which is skinny by anyone's standards unless you live on a POW camp in WW2. Some of these guys have 5% body fat or even less during racing and that's really low - and hard to maintain for long.

    What many long time observers of the sport find hard to fathom is how riders can drop significant weight but increase their power outputs. The watts per kilo measurements are leaving many sports scientists scratching their heads.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,479
    TonyJams wrote:
    What many long time observers of the sport find hard to fathom is how riders can drop significant weight but increase their power outputs. The watts per kilo measurements are leaving many sports scientists scratching their heads.
    It's because they weren't at their optimal weight or power before losing the weight. If a cyclists sits on his couch eating biscuits for a month he loses power and gains weight. That process can be reversed - so weight is lost and power is gained.
    The adage that you can't lose weight and not lose power only applies to those who are at that optimal point (which few ever are and is hard to find). But many 'long time observers' fail to understand this. Real sports scientists don't scratch their heads - it's pretty straight forward.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • bobmcstuff wrote:
    Whatever, <5% body fat would have looked skinny 100 years ago and still does today.

    Probably true, but that wasn't your original assertion which was:
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Froome's stated optimum race weight is 68kg/150lb at 1.85m/6ft1 which is skinny by anyone's standards unless you live on a POW camp in WW2.

    Which is demonstrably wrong seeing as you're talking about height and weight and the most common height/weight measure used in society today classes that combination as normal.

    Tying your next point to the OP, a body fat percentage of 5% or lower may look thin but it's not necessarily unhealthy given the usual normal range for 'essential' fat is 2-5% for men (higher for women, due to oestrogen metabolism). Anything that is not 'essential' can therefore be lost without detriment to health.

    Again, I think this just reinforces the point that our perceived societal norm on body size is now skewed to bigger, leaving us less well equipped to judge what a healthy body is.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,281 Lives Here
    TonyJams wrote:

    What many long time observers of the sport find hard to fathom is how riders can drop significant weight but increase their power outputs. The watts per kilo measurements are leaving many sports scientists scratching their heads.


    Do you actually cycle?

    Even on an amateur level this happens more or less ALL THE TIME.
  • jscljscl Posts: 1,015
    TonyJams wrote:

    What many long time observers of the sport find hard to fathom is how riders can drop significant weight but increase their power outputs. The watts per kilo measurements are leaving many sports scientists scratching their heads.


    Do you actually cycle?

    Even on an amateur level this happens more or less ALL THE TIME.

    +1

    I'm dropping several lb's a week at the moment, getting lean again, but still increasing power.
    Follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/scalesjason - All posts are strictly my personal view.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,219
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Whatever, <5% body fat would have looked skinny 100 years ago and still does today.

    Probably true, but that wasn't your original assertion which was:
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    Froome's stated optimum race weight is 68kg/150lb at 1.85m/6ft1 which is skinny by anyone's standards unless you live on a POW camp in WW2.

    Which is demonstrably wrong seeing as you're talking about height and weight and the most common height/weight measure used in society today classes that combination as normal.

    Tying your next point to the OP, a body fat percentage of 5% or lower may look thin but it's not necessarily unhealthy given the usual normal range for 'essential' fat is 2-5% for men (higher for women, due to oestrogen metabolism). Anything that is not 'essential' can therefore be lost without detriment to health.

    Again, I think this just reinforces the point that our perceived societal norm on body size is now skewed to bigger, leaving us less well equipped to judge what a healthy body is.

    My original assertion actually included both of those points.
  • davesnotheredavesnothere Posts: 620
    TonyJams wrote:

    What many long time observers of the sport find hard to fathom is how riders can drop significant weight but increase their power outputs. The watts per kilo measurements are leaving many sports scientists scratching their heads.


    Do you actually cycle?

    Even on an amateur level this happens more or less ALL THE TIME.

    QFT - I'm at a very amateur level and this describes my recent progress perfectly
    GET WHEEZY - WALNUT LUNG RACING TEAM™
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