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gemetically predisposed to SUCK!?!?!?!?!?!(19 posts)

gemetically predisposed to SUCK!?!?!?!?!?!aet
Jun 13, 2002 7:54 AM
been riding for about 2 years. last week i went on a large group ride of about 50 miles with lots of hills.
i did not even finish in sight of the 2nd to last person all because of the climbs. some of these people had been dropped much earlier on the flat part and still managed to finish so far ahead of me that they were likely home napping by the time i got in. however, i can motor on the flats. can this be helped? i think that that was the worst performance of anyone west of the mississippi who is in decent shape. should i just get a track bike?
Self-deprecation at its best!!! nmt-bill
Jun 13, 2002 8:05 AM
re: gemetically predisposed to SUCK!?!?!?!?!?!TomS
Jun 13, 2002 8:11 AM
Do you normally ride hills? Last year I rode a lot of hills and got to be fairly decent at climbing (ok, I was still slow, but I was faster than the handful of people that I ride with!) but I always got dropped on flats, in a sprint. This year I've been mostly riding flats or gentle rolling hills, and now when I try to climb I feel super weak. In the last week or two I've been trying to do more hilly rides, hoping my "base" on flats will help.

You just have to get your body used to it...
i admit i avoid hills like the plague but ...aet
Jun 13, 2002 11:40 AM
i thougth decent cardio would make some difference and i am reasonably fast on the flats. ppeople suck my wheel all the time.
re: gemetically predisposed to SUCK!?!?!?!?!?!bob_vanderhaus
Jun 13, 2002 8:17 AM
If you got dropped that bad you are either.....

1. too fat
2. not doing enough training
or both.

Start doing some intervals, get a stuctured program and you will be amazed at your improvement. I have been in your shoes, and it took a lot of dedication to get better. I thought I could never climb, but at 6 feet and 180 pounds I can now hang with the pack in the hills and do well in the sprints.
There's considerable genetic variance, though.Silverback
Jun 13, 2002 8:57 AM
Bob's probably right--if you don't ride hills a lot or if you're carrying extra weight (five pounds makes a difference, and 10 is a lot), you won't be able to climb well. Riding on the flats doesn't seem to help much--even when I was doing 250-300 miles a week, I couldn't climb until I added some serious hills a couple of times a week.
At some point, though, you'll run into your genetic limit. I ride twice the miles and three times the hills a couple of friends do, and have less body fat. But they can still outclimb me pretty consistently (one reason is that when I'm lean and in shape, I still have 60-70 pounds on them).
There's considerable genetic variance, though.bob_vanderhaus
Jun 13, 2002 9:25 AM
I would agree genetics plays some role, but I believe that to be used for too many excuses in the amateur level. I couldn't climb until I realized mentally that I had to practice, until it was second nature. In fact, I smoked one of my buddies climbing this weekend, and I have at least 30 pounds on him. The 120 pound pure climbers will always have the advantage in the big climbs, but with training you can stay close enough to easily catch them on the decent. If you got 60-70 pounds on these guys how big are you? Are you carrying a lot of upper body muscle?
(1). 6'0" 210 14% bodyfat (2.) 5x aweek 130-150 miles...aet
Jun 13, 2002 11:36 AM
no real structured program other than sometimes i ride hard and sometimes not. intervals will help on long climbs, huh? i'll go start doing em.
10-15 hours a week, watch the diet, along with some intervals....mixinbeatz
Jun 13, 2002 12:49 PM
When I started training towards racing, I was 6 feet 215 and never really been considered overweight (well I had a little gut but I like my beer!). I have always been big, I could always lift a lot of weight, and I was even a decent football player. I have ridden for years but when I started training to race last September at about 10-15 hours a week and guess what???... my arms shrank, my tummy shrank, and I am now hovering in the high 170's. I used to always get shelled in the hills, and blamed it on the fact that "I am a big guy, so I will never climb well, but I can smoke you guys on the flats". Once I lost a little weight, I realized that I was too large to be a good competitive cyclist. I am now much faster on the hills and on the flats. The fact of the matter is to be a really good cyclist you have to keep your overall weight down in order to be as efficient as you can on the bike. I did fine on even double centuries at 215, but it wasn't until I lost the weight that I really noticed the difference. Everyone is different, but if you watch your diet and stick to a solid program, any extra weight will go away. My girlfriend makes fun of my wimpy arms, but when the road turns up, I realize that it is because my body has adapted to be as efficient as it can on the bike.
someone's gotta be lastDougSloan
Jun 13, 2002 9:32 AM
Train more. You'll get faster. That't pretty much it.

Doug
Yep, Lance has finished lastShad
Jun 13, 2002 11:41 AM
Just keep training and don't quit. Think about how all the people sitting on their sofas would finish if they were out there with you. It will improve with time if you keep trying.
The generic answer is... (long)Slowclimber
Jun 13, 2002 11:40 AM
Ride more, do more hill work and try more specific training including Joe Friel's (spelling?) traiing bible.

The real answer is much more complicated. One you could be genetically limited to suck. Then of course you could be genetically gifted and just don't realize how to tap into your potential.

You don't mention how much you ride per week, if you train year round or just ride during the summer. Do you train or just ride? Are you a big guy, small guy, somewhere in the middle? Does your bike fit well or are you on a bike to big or to small? Do you know how to draft the pack or did you let them get away right from the start?

There are a lot of components to cycling that make a difference in whether or not you suck or not.

Here is an example of someone predisposed to suck at racing but not necessarily riding. This is my riding profile.

I'm 6 feet tall and currently weigh around 260-265 (depends on what I had for lunch). My genitics are more geared towards picking up large objects (bricks, refridgerators, small trucks, etc) but not what you would call ideal for cycling.

I've been an avid cyclist for approximatley 9 years now and my training/riding have varied quite a bit over that time. Three years ago was the fastest I've ever been. I was training around 9-12 hours per week and my weight droped down to 215 pounds. At 215 pounds my body was fighting tooth and nail to gain weight and I had to almost starve myself to stay at 215. I was however fairly competent on a bike and in the flat lands of Oklahoma was a very competitive mountain bike racer (raced Clydesdale but was a top 5-10 sport class racer). I was able to hold pack riding speeds of 21-22 mph for 50+ miles.

On the bike, I was very close to being genetically toped out when it came to overall speed. I would never be able to stay with an expert class racer or any CAT 1-2 racers on the road. I could probably stay with slower CAT 3 racers however. If I had really stuck to my training I could possibly have droped to 210, maybe 205 but any lower than that and I would have been looking to spend time in the hospital rather than on the road or trail.

That is how limiting genitics can be for some people.

As far as bike fit and how it can make a difference. I recently switched bikes from an not so great fitting cro-moly frame to a much better fitting aluminum/carbon frame. The difference has been that I ride the same roads a gear higher than I did in the old bike (about 1 mph on average faster of 20-30 miles). The big difference between the two bikes is a longer top tube and steeper seat tube angle. I went from 73 degree to 73.5 and from a 55cm top tube to a 56.5cm top tube and increased the length of the stem from 100mm to 120mm. Other than that the dimensions are pretty similar. The more stretched out cockpit and the steeper seat angle work much better for my body than did the more compact feel of the old bike. The steep angle fits my short legs and short femur much better and allow me to transfer power better to the pedals.

All in all, you may suck and you may not suck. You didn't mention the calibre of riders you were riding with. You may be able to stay with CAT 3-4 racers but if the rest of the pack was CAT 1-2 then it's no wonder you were left behind. There are a lot of factors to account for. Once you figure out all of the factors then you can determine if you suck or not.
The generic answer is... (long)bob_vanderhaus
Jun 13, 2002 1:12 PM
Any lower that 205 and you would be in the hospital? Are you serious, could this even be possible. I guess that I just come from the school that believes that if you work hard you can achieve. I think with the right training an diet, everyone could be a CAT 3. With more work, you may have achieved higher results than you believe genetically posible. How can you have any idea that you were "genetically toped out when it came to overall speed," if you were still way overweight(compared to other racers of the same height,). Most of us will never spend enough time on the bike to see what we can achieve and having the attitude that you are a "genetically hindered" cyclist may do more harm than good.
Here you go...Slowclimber
Jun 13, 2002 1:51 PM
Well 205 and in the hospital might be a stretch but I definatly would not be healthy.

My natural body dimensions at 215 with absolutley no lifting (hadn't lifted for several years) and lots of riding were.

Chest - 50"
Thighs - 29"
Calfs - 17-18"
Bicep - 17"
Neck - 18"
Waist - 38"
Body fat percentage was around 8%

Some natural barriers that I run into. I can't get nearly as aero as a smaller person. My chest is just way to wide, as is my body as a whole. for me a 46cm bar is too narrow. I really need something in the 48cm to 50cm range. I do however provide quite a draft for people that like to follow me.

Short legs and long body do not a cyclist make. At 6 feet tall I have a 31.5" inseam. I don't have the leverage of somebody that had longer legs, though I can lay down some serious power when need be.

The only time I've been below 200 pounds since the 8th grade was when I cought pnemonia after my high school graduation and spent a month in bed and even then I was 195 and looked very sick. People that knew me said I looked like I was almost anorexic at 195.

12 hours a week on the bike is about all my body would handle. At that my legs always felt tired, partially because I had to eat so little to maintain 215 pounds.

As far as knowing my genitic limits, I'm pretty aware of my own body having been in athletics my entire life. I was a collegiate thrower (shot, discus and hammer) and have always pushed my self in every athletic endevor.

When I was racing my team called me the rock crusher because of my size. I was huge compared to everybody else around me and again, no lifting at all.

The simple fact is that some people have some serious genitic limitations when it comes to cycling. Not everybody can be a CAT 1 or 2 level racer even if they try hard enough. My field in cycling would have been as a track racer, but I don't know if I would have had the absolute quick burst abilities needed to race there.
Here you go...bob_vanderhaus
Jun 13, 2002 2:12 PM
"Short legs and long body do not a cyclist make. At 6 feet tall I have a 31.5" inseam. I don't have the leverage of somebody that had longer legs, though I can lay down some serious power when need be."
This is BS. My inseam is 32 inches, and I regularly place in TTs.

"Some natural barriers that I run into. I can't get nearly as aero as a smaller person. My chest is just way to wide, as is my body as a whole. for me a 46cm bar is too narrow. I really need something in the 48cm to 50cm range. I do however provide quite a draft for people that like to follow me. "
I find this bs as well, a few extra inches aint going to effect your ride that much.

I think that if you put your mind to it, you could easily loose a little girth off of those arms and neck. Trust me, I have. My only point, is how can you say your performance is genetically restricted when you havn't given it 100%. I want to hear from anyone, that rides a structured program at 10 hours a week, eats a good diet, and still can't get below 200 pounds. Being an ex bruiser myself, I just find it hard to believe.
Well...Slowclimber
Jun 13, 2002 2:53 PM
Belive what you will I guess.

The simple fact is that there are genitic limitations for some people when it comes to cycling. Some people are too big, some actually too small, some not strong enough, some not fast enough and no amount of training, nutrition or desire is going to get them past that.

That's not to say that everybody can't be fast if they work hard enough, as I was quite fast at 215. But there is a big difference between being fast and competitive in a race.

My points of contention with your rebuttle.

First you say I could easily loose a little girth off of my arms and neck. I ask how? At the time I hadn't lifted weights in around 6 years and hadn't done any other athletics but ride bikes. I'm not going to loose any muscle for at least another 8-10 years. You can't wish muscle away, and you can't work it away like you can fat. It's there and I have to live with it. For the most part that's fine with me as I know my limitations and how far my genitics will take me.

Second, you can't say that I didn't give it 100% either. Granted I didn't give up my life so I could spend 40 hours a week on the road and living out of my car so I could attend races around the country. But you have no clue as to what my training program looked like, how hard my intesity was or how much desire I had at the time. Those are some great assumptions coming from somebody that has never met me. I followed a very strict training regim that included hard intervals, long steady days and easy days off, 6 days a week, 9-12 hours a week and anywhere from 150-210 miles a week. I know how to work hard as I not only achieved a 455 pound bench and 600 pound squat in college (not a whole lot of people out there that can claim even close numbers to those), but also was a two time regional champion in the hammer toss while in college. Those numbers are completly natural as I didn't use roids, creatine or supliments to achieve those numbers.

Third, you say you want to hear from anywone, "that rides a structured program at 10 hours a week, eats a good diet and still can't get below 200 pounds". Well, I'm right here. In fact I out did your requirements and still couldn't get with 15 pounds of 200.

Quite honestly you are going off of norms from your own perspective, not those of other people who have a much different genetic make up as your self. It's very easy to see out of your own eyes, but very difficult to see from somebody else's.
Well...bob_vanderhaus
Jun 13, 2002 3:23 PM
I respect the fact that your body is much different than mine, I just think that if you limited your calories a little, rode the bike a little more, you would have realized you could loose a lot of weight and become a much better cyclist. This thread was started by someone who is wondering if they could become more competitive cycling wise. I think it is much more productive to give the guy info on how to lose some weight and get stronger than it is to say, "dude you are genetically challenged and you will never be fast.". From the sounds of it, it was a little easier for me to loose weight than it was you. But in the end, it comes down to calories in, to calories spent, and simple math would say that anyone can shed some pounds especially at 215. If you are in fact as buff you say you are, the weight would start coming off of the arms and upper body as long as you kept riding. The only reason that I said you didn't give it 100% because if you did, you would be a lot less than 215 and a better rider. You may not like how you would look in the mirror, but that is another issue.
That can't be right?JS
Jun 13, 2002 3:07 PM
6' and 205lbs and any lower and you'd go to the hospital? That would mean you had some crazy lean muscle mass. Lets put this into perspective, I have a friend who is a pro natural body builder, he's 6' 200lbs and 5% body fat and this guy is HUGE, 19 inch arms, 28 inch thighs. I thinks you could lose a lot more weight than you think you can.
Actually it can be...Ron B
Jun 13, 2002 7:03 PM
People that are lighter that gain a lot of weight through lifting generally have a lighter bone structure and frame than somebody that is heavier and looses the weight.

The difference in frame size and weight will allow a smaller person to put on more muscle mass than the larger person that looses weight. The lighter person can look bigger and actually be lighter.