Body type vs type of riding?

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Body type vs type of riding?

Postby BigBracey » Thu Mar 14, 2013 23:40 pm

Hello all

Total newbie here
I want to buy a bike and get into riding for fitness and fun,and maybe even join a club
I'm 42,ex rugby player(knackered knee,tight leg muscles) 5ft 7 and stocky
All the roadies I see are all and wirey and I don't fit into that "body type at all
So my question is,what type of bike should I buy for my body type? is off road riding more suited to my build,or should I go with a full blown road bike or even cyclo crosser ??? or doesn't it work like that???

Please help a confused new guy,I can only afford one bike and don't want to find I'm not physically suited to the type of bike I've bought

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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby elderone » Fri Mar 15, 2013 00:14 am

Hi and welcome,you have same build and size as me and I ride road bikes.Infact all shapes,sizes and ages ride on the road.Main thing is get a bike that fits you properly and join in the fun.It,s addictive for sure.
If your not sure on what bike fit is just look on utube and you will find loads of vids.
Good luck.
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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby sjacob33 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 03:47 am

Just get a bike that suits and get out and ride dosn't matter if you don't fit the conventional build i'm 6 ft and look like a second rower but i still love my road bike.
Another option you might want to looking into on top of road riding for a some fun racing if your so inclined is track sprints. If you a bit stock and have some good leg and upper body strength you might do quite well, have alook at Sir Chris Hoy you will see what i mean.

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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby styxd » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:00 am

Buy a road bike. Road cyclists are often wirey because they eat a proper diet and ride their bikes. Being a rugby player is no excuse for being a fat knacker. Ride your bike, eat properly and you to will become wirey.

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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby thegreatdivide » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:13 am

styxd wrote:Buy a road bike. Road cyclists are often wirey because they eat a proper diet and ride their bikes. Being a rugby player is no excuse for being a fat knacker. Ride your bike, eat properly and you to will become wirey.


I'm 5' 7" and when I got back into riding several years ago I was 13 and half stone and not in a good state. I'm now almost back to being the 10 stone I was in my youth and as well as dropping loads of weight I'm dropping loads of folk on the hills :lol:
"Crevaison sur les paves..."

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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby keef66 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:27 am

Just get a road bike that fits you properly and hence which you can ride comfortably. Don't go for wheels with a stupidly low spoke count just cos they look cool. Run 25mm tyres.

Remember to budget for some proper bib shorts with a quality pad, and some clipless* pedals / corresponding cycling shoes.

*clipless means without the old fashioned toe clips / straps. They do have a retaining mechanism which you clip into, but it all goes on under the sole of the shoe.

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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby MichaelW » Fri Mar 15, 2013 13:29 pm

Given your knackered knee, I would be wary of getting too competitive on a bike. There are not many mano-a-mano racing opportunities outside of track racing. Most competition is in the form of time trials, against the clock and yourself. Sportives are a non-competative but quite racy form of endurance riding. Audax is less racy but perhaps more endurance.
The classic , head down racing position can be hard for newbies to achieve and its not really necessary. Sportive and Audax bikes generally have higher bars for a more relaxed hip angle and more comfortable position.
Gears come in 2 flavours, racing doubles (39/53 teeth) and compact doubles (34/50). Compacts are useful for endurance riding at lower power outputs, using a fast-spinning style.
Beware of clipless pedals with your knee. You need to have them setup correctly or they could force you into injury. I would suggest leaving them out for a few weeks or months till you are happy on the bike.

Skinny riders (like me) excel on the climbs but on flat sections into a headwind, raw power trumps a high power/weight ratio. Just look behind and you will see plenty of skinny riders drafting off your wake.

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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby Monty Dog » Fri Mar 15, 2013 15:51 pm

If you're planning to ride both light trails and road, a CX bike is a good choice - fitted with road tyres the only limitation of speed is the legs pushing it. Bike components don't last forever, so as things wear out you can consider upgrades in due course - importantly make sure the frame fits you correctly. As you've noticed, most cyclists are quite thin because cyclings a great fat-burner and because you can ride for extended periods without killing your joints, it's a great way to get fit and stay trim.
Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..

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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby itboffin » Sun Mar 17, 2013 13:13 pm


Being in my 40s 5ft 9in and built like a MAN my advice would be get a CX bike with a frame that can also take caliper brakes later on, that way you get a road bike with off road all weather options than can take a variety of wheel sizes, why people dont advise new riders to buy CX multi purpose bikes I have no idea, this advice could have saved me a small fortune.

I now use my Dolan CX for snow and ice commuting duties in the winter/spring/summer/autumn and on the rare occasion we do have some dryish weather I also take it off road, before I had a good winter commuter I used it for that duty as well.

I should say i do not work for Dolan :lol:
Rule #5 // Harden The fark Up.
Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.

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Re: Body type vs type of riding?

Postby paul1275s » Sun Mar 17, 2013 14:36 pm

Start with a more upright position (stem at the top of the headtube, flip the stem if you can), get out there as often as you can and the flexibility will come. Get a bike with a triple, spin your legs at a decent cadence and go easy on that knee until it has got used to being used on a bike. I'm just starting out myself and also have a stocky build (endomorph) with a bit of extra weight that is already shifting, I've managed five rides this week, 4x12 mile hilly loops and a 22 mile ride out today after resting yesterday. Improving and feeling better each time out. Don't worry about the racing snakes, you will be out sprinting them before you know it!!

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