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riding easier for smaller guys?(8 posts)

riding easier for smaller guys?rrjc5488
May 18, 2003 5:23 AM
I was just thinking about this: would it be easier for little guys with like a 50 cm frame to go 25 mph than for a big guy with about a 60 cm frame because of more wind resistance? sorry if this is an obvious question that you've all adressed before.
Hmmm...Matno
May 18, 2003 5:37 AM
Other things being equal, I'd say not really. If a big guy is proportionally wider then yes, he'll probably have relatively more wind resistance. But there are too many factors to make this a simple answer. I ride with guys who are all much bigger than I am, and their increased muscle mass is definitely noticeable when climbing (they climb much better than I do). On the flats, it's probably easier for me to go fast, but I'm proportionally skinnier than any of them...
For elite rides 5'8" 155 lbs is considered bigContinental
May 18, 2003 7:42 AM
You don't see any 6'4" 190 lb riders winning races.
Surprised to find avg of heights of 2002 TdF riders was 5'10"Continental
May 18, 2003 8:05 AM
Taller than I expected
Surprised to find avg of heights of 2002 TdF riders was 5'10"Jon Billheimer
May 18, 2003 8:30 AM
According to everything I've read (and there's lots of literature on the subject) frontal area of a rider does not increase proportionate to bodymass, so a larger rider with more muscle mass will be stronger on the flats. However, that same body mass compromises the rider's strength to weight ratio, so small guys have the advantage on hills. Guys like TJ and Kerry can probably quote the numbers off the tops of their heads!
I don't think so..Qubeley
May 18, 2003 4:53 PM
I am small guy with 50cm frame. Say a bigger person with 60cm has a frontal area that is 1.5 of that of mine. So the wind resistance he has to deal with is 1.5 time of mine.
However a bigger rider is also more powerful, say I am 120lb, a big guy who ride 60cm is 200lb. A bigger guy has his muscle developed(from the day he was born, from walking, go up stairs, working out, etc.)to handle that 200lb of weight, where my muscle is developed to only handle 120lb of weight. 200/120=1.67. So when we ride at side by side, a bigger guy might actually have a easier time.(Based on these made numbers anyway)
I don't think so..Jon Billheimer
May 18, 2003 6:26 PM
The point is frontal area does not increase in proportion to body mass, so the big guy does not in fact have to deal with that much more wind resistance.
Yeah but what's the...Dwayne Barry
May 19, 2003 3:42 AM
ratio of sustainable power to body weight? Does a 200 lb guy produce 33% more power in a 40k TT than a 150 lb guy? And if bigger is necessarily better why aren't there a bunch of big guys dominating pro TT's? Seems like most of the best time trialers in the world don't weigh much more than a 150 lbs or so?