rider weight

by Shanefutcher   July 8, 2014  

Hi guys just after some advice.im 34, 5 foot 11 and weigh just under 13 stone.is this a good weight? If I was a pro cyclist id describe myself as a puncheur(guys like phil gilbert)

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A good weight for what?

For a pro rider, a little on the heavy side.
For a amateur racers, still a little heavy
For a healthy leisure cyclist. Just fine.
For a full kit wanker, a little on the light side Devil

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posted by Gkam84 [8859 posts]
8th July 2014 - 14:30

22 Likes

Unless you're racing, if you feel good & healthy and your BMI (to be taken with a pinch of salt anyway) isn't through the roof then chillax, don't panic about weight.

If you want to climb a little quicker, or start being a spot more competitive then look at taking some weight off but I really think too many people focus on this unnecessarily at a recreational level.

Being healthy in lifestyle and diet is far more important than weighing in like a whippet.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
8th July 2014 - 15:47

9 Likes

Drop a couple of stone. Get on the weights. You'll own your local club.

posted by J90 [112 posts]
8th July 2014 - 23:52

6 Likes

For competitive cycling you would be described as fat as fcuk.

There, I'll say it as it is.

I am your height, weigh a little over 12 stone, am a sprinter and am considered disrespectfully fat/heavy by my peers.

At a competitive level, power to weight is a ratio that gets bounded about a lot, but in reality weight is the more important factor. Why? Because most competitive cyclists can ultimately produce a very similar amount of watts (I used to do a lot of 20min power tests on riders and it was amazing how tight the band of average power different people produced), so the only real changeable metric is weight.

However, I'll contradict the above with the following two arguments.

1. Not many of us actually reach our ultimate power output potential, so for most, more gains will come from working on that, than shaving the last couple of kilos off.

2. In the land of normal people (not racing snakes), your weight and height is pretty damn healthy, so don't worry about it.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [284 posts]
9th July 2014 - 17:09

7 Likes

Well I would say your fine, although I'm sure we would all like to be 10 stone and be a good all rounder. In our club we have just had a leisure cyclist join us at almost 20 stone and he is so determined, he now does spin classes etc and he does his dam best.

Some stats on the pro front I know there conditioned cyclist but still human, I remember watching Magnus going up Barhatch Lane on the Tour Of Britain 2 years ago sweating Buckets, so this goes to show visually it really does hurt then hard as us at times.!

Magnus Bäckstedt 94 kilos 14.80 Stone

Andre Griepal 80 kilos 12.5978 stone

Marcel Kittel 86 Kilos 13.5427 Stone
Someone quoted:
For competitive cycling you would be described as fat as fcuk. I disagree, but understand where your coming from in a way.

Challenge yourself..

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posted by uksportives [33 posts]
9th July 2014 - 18:45

4 Likes

Depends on where and what the weight is rather than just figures. 13st of pure muscle on the legs is better for cycling than 13st of flabby midriff or 13st of bicep, as one would expect.

posted by Nick T [814 posts]
9th July 2014 - 18:56

4 Likes

I am 6ft, flat tum but not 6 pack 50"chest weigh 15-15st 6lbs I would like to get into the 14 stone bracket to help me climb hills more easily. In cycling terms, wrongly built. I cycle for fitness and some sportives

posted by CXR94Di2 [139 posts]
10th July 2014 - 9:09

2 Likes

Interesting? I struggle with my weight but the other way round! I currently are at summer weight 56kg (8 stone 11 ish) I am small at 167cm (just under 5,6) but this low weight may be good on the hills but on the flat and when there’s a headwind blowing staying with the group can be hard as I don’t seem to have the raw power. Also if not careful what I eat before during and after a ride I can bonk to the point that I can not ride, I have in the past gone down in heap by the side of the road, very bad. So I would just relax if you are at a healthy weight and can go out on your bike and enjoy you self then what is the big deal. I would prefer to heaver as I think this would help with some of my niggles but I am now 42 years old and don’t race so I just get on with it!

posted by 60kg lean keen ... [57 posts]
10th July 2014 - 10:54

5 Likes

It's a difficult conversation to have unless you know your power.

Cycling is about two things - aerodynamics and power-to-weight ratio.

The aerodynamics matters on the flats, as does the outright power. The power-to-weight matters as soon as the road points up for any distance.

Aerodynamics is mostly you. For aero purposes forget the bike and forget the wheels - they don't make a lot of difference. Most of the drag is you.

For power to weight it is simple:

6 watts per kilo (over 20 mins) will make you an international pro
5-6 w/kg a domestic pro
4.5-5 w/kg winning or contending races at high categories
4-4.5 w/kg doing well in lower category racing and a man to fear on the club run
3.5-4 w/kg handy club or sportive rider, unlikely to win too much if racing
3-3.5 w/kg you'll get through most rides but you're only going to scare the noobs
2.5-3 w/kg social/leisure rider
under 2.5 w/kg - not trying

13 stone is 82 kg.

So if you can put out 330-340 watts (which is unlikely to be honest, unless you've been doing some proper training) you'll hold your own against most people other than serious racers.

Same power but with 7kg less, which is still well within your healthy range, you'd be racing respectably and churning up the club run.

Depends what your aim is.

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posted by abudhabiChris [529 posts]
10th July 2014 - 17:04

5 Likes

Jeez I weigh 15st 6 lb . Don't know exactly what power I put out, but can average 18+mph over 40 miles. I do struggle up hills but Ok ish on flat terrain.

posted by CXR94Di2 [139 posts]
10th July 2014 - 19:24

3 Likes

abudhabichris: Nice comment (+1). Just one thing, power figures need to come with time to be meaningful. Is your power-to-weight using threshold power (i.e. fully aerobic power, sustainable for at least an hour)?

posted by Paul J [621 posts]
10th July 2014 - 21:12

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Paul J wrote:
abudhabichris: Nice comment (+1). Just one thing, power figures need to come with time to be meaningful. Is your power-to-weight using threshold power (i.e. fully aerobic power, sustainable for at least an hour)?

He states it's for 20 minutes, not 60. Seems an accurate breakdown IMO.

posted by ajmarshal1 [296 posts]
10th July 2014 - 21:27

2 Likes

So he does, reading fail on my part, sorry. Smile

posted by Paul J [621 posts]
10th July 2014 - 21:27

2 Likes

Random comment, is there anyway to measure or rather calculate your power output roughly, without going to the expense of a power meter?

Obviously it would be a rough guideline, but it's something I'd be interested in calculating and recording over time (deltas even if absolute values aren't spot on).

posted by sergius [63 posts]
10th July 2014 - 21:32

1 Like

sergius wrote:
Random comment, is there anyway to measure or rather calculate your power output roughly, without going to the expense of a power meter?

Obviously it would be a rough guideline, but it's something I'd be interested in calculating and recording over time (deltas even if absolute values aren't spot on).

Systems like trainerroad.com, or the Kurt iRide can calculate a pretty decent number based on wheelspeed on supported turbo trainers without a powermeter.

You'll need to spend around 30 to 60 quid on ant+ speed sensors and ant+ usb dongle, many cyclists will already have the speed sensor.

Even if the numbers arent 100% accurate, they are consistent enough to train on. Consistent numbers are far more important than accuracy. (What constitutes an 'accurate' power meter is another question entirely though!)

posted by giobox [284 posts]
10th July 2014 - 21:38

4 Likes

sergius wrote:
Random comment, is there anyway to measure or rather calculate your power output roughly, without going to the expense of a power meter?

Obviously it would be a rough guideline, but it's something I'd be interested in calculating and recording over time (deltas even if absolute values aren't spot on).

Well, Strava will do that for you but it won't take into account wind conditions, road surface etc but you can keep a record of wind and compare times in similar conditions over time. Veloviewer can give you your best watts over a range of time intervals as well and with a heart rate monitor it can even give you watts per heartbeat.

posted by Alan Tullett [1455 posts]
10th July 2014 - 21:43

3 Likes

sergius wrote:
Random comment, is there anyway to measure or rather calculate your power output roughly, without going to the expense of a power meter?

Obviously it would be a rough guideline, but it's something I'd be interested in calculating and recording over time (deltas even if absolute values aren't spot on).

You can get a rough estimate by signing up to trainer road and using their FTP test and estimated power data with your turbo trainer. You'll need an ant+ Speed / cadence sensor and USB dongle also (And pbviously a turbo trainer!). I found it very accurate and it was only roughly 6 watts below what Power tap told me on the same test.

IMO this is a brilliant tool for indoor training and a great introduction to training with power data without the expense. Can't recommend it enough, it's completely revolutionised my winter training.

Edited to add: Giobox got there first!

posted by ajmarshal1 [296 posts]
10th July 2014 - 22:05

2 Likes

A guy I follow on Wordpress oddly blogged about this very thing today, good read... http://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/what-is-the-ideal-cycling-we...

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posted by lisa76uk [37 posts]
11th July 2014 - 1:24

1 Like

Hmm, that's actually vaguely concerning reading, my ratio on that measure is 2.04. I don't think I'm remotely underweight and it's not like I'm a weakling, I'm in the gym 4+ times a week doing strength training on top of my weekend cycling.

I'll have a look at some of the turbo trainer stuff - I was thinking about getting one for the winter anyway - I just need to find a good argument I can put to the missus for allowing my bike in the house...

posted by sergius [63 posts]
11th July 2014 - 9:21

1 Like

sergius wrote:
Hmm, that's actually vaguely concerning reading, my ratio on that measure is 2.04. I don't think I'm remotely underweight and it's not like I'm a weakling, I'm in the gym 4+ times a week doing strength training on top of my weekend cycling.

There are many, for example Andy Coggan, who suggest the value of strength training for cycling is limited. On the bike power is a result of the force applied through the pedals and velocity at which you can move them (cadence). Often, cyclists when pedaling at very high power levels aren't actually putting anywhere near the maximum force they could and no where near what they could do in a one rep squat. Rather it is about training the body to utilise the muscle and energy systems effectively. Also, a huge impact on your cycling and power output is your bodies resistance to fatigue - again something that weight training won't dramatically improve for cycling.

(Obviously though weight training is good for general health and protecting joints)

posted by McVittees [19 posts]
11th July 2014 - 10:37

1 Like

Yeah the weight training is just a habit I've formed over the years, it's not specifically there to improve my riding. The only cycling related bits are core training and various leg exercises that I use to try and strengthen specific parts like my problem knees. Plus you have to look good with your shirt off right Big Grin

posted by sergius [63 posts]
11th July 2014 - 11:09

1 Like

lisa76uk wrote:
A guy I follow on Wordpress oddly blogged about this very thing today, good read... http://fitrecovery.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/what-is-the-ideal-cycling-weight-its-not-simply-as-light-as-possible/

2.49? I'm putting down the Pom-Bears....

posted by ajmarshal1 [296 posts]
11th July 2014 - 11:54

2 Likes

1.9 Sad But I'm already eating as much as I can!

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [288 posts]
11th July 2014 - 22:39

1 Like

userfriendly wrote:
1.9 Sad But I'm already eating as much as I can!

Pah, lightweight!

Wink

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1965 posts]
12th July 2014 - 20:22

1 Like

Surely there's a flaw in equating height (in one dimension) with weight (three dimensions)?

If you took, say, Froome and shrunk him by, say, 5%, his weight would drop by around 14% as you'd be reducing height, width and depth (front to back) and he would have 14% less volume to weigh.

This weight per inch of height ignores the three-dimensionality of the rider. The only way it would work as advertised is if cyclists have a consistent width and depth, and all that changes between one and another is height - then you're changing one dimension only between different riders and a obe-dimensional relationship between height and weight would work. Otherwise, it makes no sense whatsoever!

posted by PurpleDog [37 posts]
12th July 2014 - 22:05

2 Likes

Power to weight is the important figure. If I could drop 7lbs and keep the same power all the better. Taller cyclists will generally weigh more than smaller, so to be competitive whilst tall you need to be stick thin - as long as they can put out the same or more power than a smaller rider.

posted by CXR94Di2 [139 posts]
13th July 2014 - 8:22

3 Likes

PurpleDog wrote:
Surely there's a flaw in equating height (in one dimension) with weight (three dimensions)?

If you took, say, Froome and shrunk him by, say, 5%, his weight would drop by around 14% as you'd be reducing height, width and depth (front to back) and he would have 14% less volume to weigh.

This weight per inch of height ignores the three-dimensionality of the rider. The only way it would work as advertised is if cyclists have a consistent width and depth, and all that changes between one and another is height - then you're changing one dimension only between different riders and a obe-dimensional relationship between height and weight would work. Otherwise, it makes no sense whatsoever!

This, also that guys blog article is essentially BMI under a veil.
(Uses the same two inputs, though manipulated in a different way)

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [402 posts]
14th July 2014 - 8:20

2 Likes

Interesting article. I'm 2.2222222222222 and funnily enough my wife is constantly going on at me to put some more weight on.

My challenge is on the power side of the equation. I'm an old git with spaghetti for legs...

posted by paulrbarnard [127 posts]
14th July 2014 - 11:13

2 Likes

I'm just short of 15 stone, 5'10''
Bloody hard work going up the hills......but 47mph last week coming down....always a silver lining Big Grin

TerryL

posted by El Tel [5 posts]
14th July 2014 - 20:55

0 Likes

El Tel wrote:
I'm just short of 15 stone, 5'10''
Bloody hard work going up the hills......but 47mph last week coming down....always a silver lining Big Grin

Just over 15 stone myself, and not long ago hit 51.6mph on a downhill, another guy did 50.9... the skinny climber among us couldn't get past 46mph!! Ha ha - more pies for success Big Grin

posted by PurpleDog [37 posts]
14th July 2014 - 21:37

0 Likes