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Yo no fui.
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I don't see how.
 

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Pablo said:
I don't see how.
power to weight ratio is usually the most important factor. taller riders tend to be heavier so they need to produce more power to maintain the same speed--especially when climbing.
 

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Ask the current World Champion... Paolo Bettini is a small guy and he's pretty quick.
Or how about "Little Robbie Hustle" Robbie McEwen, he's not a tall man and he's more than quick, he's FAST.

I'm just saying...
 

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Sprocket - Matt said:
Ask the current World Champion... Paolo Bettini is a small guy and he's pretty quick.
Or how about "Little Robbie Hustle" Robbie McEwen, he's not a tall man and he's more than quick, he's FAST.

I'm just saying...
Not a good comparison, after all Bettini is Specialized :D
 

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taller is usually "bigger," too

superflychief said:
I could see a fat person being slower then a skinny person but what the hell would height have to do with speed?
i.e., more massive. Even if not fat, the larger rider will usually have a smaller power-to-weight ratio, and therefore have a disadvantage in climbing. The sprinter who weighs 30% more than the tiny climber will produce more power, but not 30% more. On the other hand, some big guys are exceptional time trialists because of that power, and some few of those can climb well enough, if they ride tactically, to win the big tours. Indurain is the classic example, along with Ulrich (when he kept his weight under control).

Some data points:

Lance Armstrong: 5 feet, 9 1/2 inches
Eddy Merckx: 6 feet
Miguel Indurain: 6 feet, 2 inches (tallest rider ever to win the Tour)
Marco Pantani: 5 feet, 7 inches (but only about 126 pounds!) (last "pure climber" to win the Tour)

In many other sports, height is an advantage. Witness the way baseball and football players have gotten taller in recent decades. In cycling, the best riders tend to be average size or smaller, suggesting there's no advantage to height
 

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I'm tall and skinny (6'4" and 200lbs) and I have beaten the heck out of 5'10 135lb riders, but again, 4'10 100lb girls have kicked my butt too....hehehe....I don't think height has anything to do with it. I would think muscle to weight ratio and 'width' would matter more....you use less muscle to push less weight and if you can 'tuck' in more narrow than someone else (without restricting lungs) you would have less wind resistance....but just bite the bullet and upgrade everything to the new 'ceramic' craze and you will beat everyone...hehehhe.
 

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Understanding the concept

toph17 said:
wouldnt taller riders inherently be able to go faster since they have longer legs, thus allowing them to put more toque on the crank = acceleration = speed? assuming power:weight ratio is equivalant.
This would be true ONLY if the taller rider produced more power. There is nothing magic about long legs that would result in more power output. Don't confuse force and torque with power. Besides, the OP said "all else equal" so we have to assume equal power. So, in that case, the taller rider would likely have more surface area presented to the wind, and therefore be slower at equal power output.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
This would be true ONLY if the taller rider produced more power. There is nothing magic about long legs that would result in more power output. Don't confuse force and torque with power. Besides, the OP said "all else equal" so we have to assume equal power. So, in that case, the taller rider would likely have more surface area presented to the wind, and therefore be slower at equal power output.
Hey, that's what I was going to say.:D The torque applied to the crank is more a function of the crank arm length, not leg length.
 

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Alarming fact about rider height....

Muaythaibike said:
EVERYTHING else being equal. Is a taller rider faster than short rider. In running I can see how this matters but how about biking?
I'm 6'4" and slow, but I don't know if that holds true for all tall riders....
I did a little desultory research on this back when I wanted to be a racer, and one fact I came across was that in the pro peloton, the average rider weighed about two pounds per inch of body height, and none was heavier than one kilogram (2.2 lbs) per inch. To get fast, all I'd have to do is get down to about 160 pounds.
Already lost eight this spring. Only 80 to go....
 

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I might think so, but only if the taller rider takes advantage of longer crank arms such as 180mm+ There would be great torque applied to the cranks from longer crank arms versus shorter crank arms if the pedal force are the same in both cases. This is the same as getting higher torque from a longer wrench versus a shorter one with the same force applied.

Now, someone like me (5'11") would not be able to utilize a 180mm as the pedaling cycle or circular motion would feel abnormal. But someone 6'6" or taller would find 180mm cranks a good fit.

I guess another comparison is if I were to use 160mm crank arms I would probably be a bit slower. At least in my mind, it would. I normally ride with 172.5mm cranks but have tried 170mm before. The 170mm felt much slower.
 

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In the example you cited, crank arm length really won't affect speed.

Sure you'll gain leverage, but you'll increase your pedal rotation circumference as well;

power is power, no matter how big or small you are. Big guys need to manage more comparatively on the hills to manage a good power/weight ratio, and little guys need all the help they can get on flats/sprints where weight doesn't matter as much as absolute power.
 

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All you shortys get behind!

yeah all you shortys get bullied. If we were refering to serious racers. See you all short and aero bursting out from the peleton at the last few seconds. Tall cyclists rule the time trials. And all the lightweights tend to climb well but if you're too tall; power to weight ratio will be down. I don't know about giants performing well, they might be too big and heavy for anything except a flat time trial.

The only thing that works against a tall rider is a riding position with lots of drag. Especially in the crosswinds.

So if all things are equal like bike and riders maintain 350Watts at threshold. The aerodynamic riding positions of the tall and short riders and wind direction is going to make alot of difference.

So a tall cyclist with good legs, stripped down of excess weight on the upperbody (skinny) and a large cardio-vascular system that operates well at high output got could possibly be better that a short one.

But from what I know, if you're good enough to be racing with each other on that level. The race is won in the mind.
 

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Muaythaibike said:
EVERYTHING else being equal. Is a taller rider faster than short rider. In running I can see how this matters but how about biking?
if all things are equal, then i'd say no.
same weight, same power output etc.

the taller rider will have more dificulty staying protected.

splitting hairs. Height isn't an issue. Training always is
 

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Actual data

toph17 said:
but wouldnt a tall rider with short cranks be slower than a tall rider with longer cranks?
Not based on any quality studies that have been published. Again, you somehow assume that a given crank length will be able to "pull" more power out of a rider. There's no evidence that crank length can cause this to happen.

Same story for ovalized chain rings and various kinds of cam/lever devices. These things have been introduced into the marketplace at regular intervals for over 100 years and the result is always the same. The fad fades.
 
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