Pro Heights/Saddle Heights
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  1. #1
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    Pro Heights/Saddle Heights

    I'm curious how tall and long legged some pros are. I'm guessing all the climbers are short but for a classics/time trial/GC rider I'd think some femur length would be useful and some of them look tall, but maybe that's just cuz they're next to short climbers. Indurain, Cancellara, and Froome are a couple I'm thinking of. Rider height and seat height (BB to saddle top?) is what I'm curious to see.

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    Froome is 6'1" and Wiggins is 6'3". Schlecks are 6'1". Teejay 6'1". Nibali 5'11". Aru 6'. Valverde and Contador 5'9". None of these would I consider short. Porte is 5'8" and Quintana is 5'6".
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

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    Potsovivo is short, at 5' 5". Saddle height, in terms of leg extension, seems to vary quite a bit from rider to rider? Maybe it just looks like that on TV?
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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    What makes you think there would be anything unique about the saddle height a pro cyclist chooses? Can the stretch their bones or something?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    Potsovivo is short, at 5' 5". Saddle height, in terms of leg extension, seems to vary quite a bit from rider to rider? Maybe it just looks like that on TV?
    Well, if you pay attention to head-tube size on their bikes...you might get some odd conclusions. Most of those guys ride bikes small for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Well, if you pay attention to head-tube size on their bikes...you might get some odd conclusions. Most of those guys ride bikes small for them.
    And then there's sloping top tubes too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    What makes you think there would be anything unique about the saddle height a pro cyclist chooses? Can the stretch their bones or something?
    I think he is wondering if the physical trait, longer than average legs, is a common denominator to the pros.

    Kind of like basketball. We all know that basketball players are taller than normal. Beyond that, advanced metrics show that wingspan is is hugely important. Where the best performing players at each position are more often than not shorter than the average player (for their position), but have a much longer wingspan than average.

    not sure if I explained it correctly.
    cmn

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnardone View Post
    I think he is wondering if the physical trait, longer than average legs, is a common denominator to the pros.

    Kind of like basketball. We all know that basketball players are taller than normal. Beyond that, advanced metrics show that wingspan is is hugely important. Where the best performing players at each position are more often than not shorter than the average player (for their position), but have a much longer wingspan than average.

    not sure if I explained it correctly.
    cmn
    Perfectly clear what you're explaining. Got it.
    okay, that would makes sense.

    But knowing the average saddle height relative to body height for pros wouldn't tell him anything without knowing the same information for Joe Sixpacks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Most of those guys ride bikes small for them.
    Why do they ride bikes/frames that would typically be considered small?

    If they're riding those sizes - relative their height/leg length - and at the top of the sport... maybe we're riding bikes that are too big?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    Why do they ride bikes/frames that would typically be considered small?

    If they're riding those sizes - relative their height/leg length - and at the top of the sport... maybe we're riding bikes that are too big?
    Aerodynamics. Very simple. Pros ride with their front end as low as possible. This means most times they have to size down on a frame and run a very long stem. Whatever it takes to get aerodynamic.

    Does this translate over to normal folk? No.

    Seat height has nothing to do with being a pro. Every single person requires roughly the same seat height. It's the drop to the bars that set them apart from the local Fred. They're all about aerodynamics and are flexible and strong enough to handle it. Fred is not and he is not.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    Why do they ride bikes/frames that would typically be considered small?

    If they're riding those sizes - relative their height/leg length - and at the top of the sport... maybe we're riding bikes that are too big?
    Because they aren't riding custom geometry (generally speaking) but geometry designed to sell to the masses. As a result a bike designed for the average 5' 8" racer, for example, would have a head tube to high for a typical pro the same height. So they need to size down, use a longer stem, in order to get a head tube short enough get as low as they want to be.

    The other side of the equation is a typical middle age wannabe would have to size up to get a higher head tube and use a short stem.

    The average Joe racer who the bike was designed for would be in the middle.

  12. #12
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    They might ride bikes that are too "small" for them on a casual ride, but when there in a race that bike might be right for them.

    Smaller bike you can get more aero
    Smaller bike weighs less
    Smaller bikes tend to be more responsive
    The guys in the pro ranks typically suffer when there racing to maintain that aero advantage

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    If they're riding those sizes - relative their height/leg length - and at the top of the sport... maybe we're riding bikes that are too big?
    Pros have passed through a tough selection process, we have not. We can imitate a pro's position, but it's highly questionable if it'll do us any good.

    On the "traits of a pro:" In his book, Hinault claimed that all "great champions" had femurs unusually long in relation to their tibias. Not sure if anyone ever confirmed this.
    Last edited by wim; 03-04-2016 at 06:39 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Because they aren't riding custom geometry (generally speaking) but geometry designed to sell to the masses. As a result a bike designed for the average 5' 8" racer, for example, would have a head tube to high for a typical pro the same height. So they need to size down, use a longer stem, in order to get a head tube short enough get as low as they want to be.
    Exactly.

    Peter Sagan typically rides a 56cm. Unless he gets a custom frame. In which case he'll ride a 54cm or 51cm size frame with a 58cm top tube.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wim View Post
    We can imitate a pro's position, but it's highly questionable if it'll do us any good
    And ^that^ is the challenge. I wrestle with this. I'm 6'1" with a 37" inseam and ride a 61cm. The head tube looks like a seat tube on most bikes. I feel like I'm always in the wind, even when I'm drafting. On the plus side, I can see over most guys' shoulders and spot potholes ;-)

    I could set up a 58 to "fit". But, the question is then - am I making the same power, am I as efficient in that position... would I be more aero, but slower because of a less efficient position.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    I'm 6'1" with a 37" inseam and ride a 61cm.
    Damn! Those are some long ass legs!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    But, the question is then - am I making the same power, am I as efficient in that position... would I be more aero, but slower because of a less efficient position.
    It's a good question, and one that is difficult to answer or find ready-made answers for. The main difficulty is being willing and able to spend the time needed for adaptation. There are a number of studies on this, but they almost all record results immediately after a change is made. In actually, it takes days if not weeks for the body to fully adapt. So what appears to be not working could, in fact, be working very well after adaptation.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvad View Post
    Damn! Those are some long ass legs!
    Yes. I'm of average proportions and 5'9" with a 34" cycling inseam. Cycling inseams, measured from the floor to hard against the pubis, are usual 2-4" greater than what a tailor would specify.

    For the bike, the terms small or large are relative and pretty meaningless. The bikes and setups optimally accommodate the riding position and capability of the riders. I ride a bike that would be large for me compared to a similarly sized and proportioned pro.
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  19. #19
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    It seems that with the giant saddle to bar drop that is increasingly the norm, the deep drop "Belgium" style bars have gone the way of the dinosaur.

    Once upon a time cyclists who rode with less drop could sit more upright on the tops\hoods while still managing to get low and aero with the deeper bars, but now it seems everyone is low on the tops\hoods and spending less time in the drops. And when in the drops the transition isn't as great as it was when we were seeing more handlebars with deeper drop.
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  20. #20
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    Agreed ... That'd because hoods can be more aero then drops if done correctly.
    PO is a liberal echo chamber.

  21. #21
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    The Retrogrouch: Changing Positions: Bike Fit Then and Now

    This is a good blog about the changing positions.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittcanna View Post
    Smaller bike weighs less
    Not really an issue with most protour bikes as there is a weight limit they must be above. I've read that many have to add weight back to the bike to get above the limit.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Most of those guys ride bikes small for them.
    No question, as evidenced by the 120-140mm stems.

  24. #24
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    Look at Ryder Hydesdal set up for further evidence. He typically runs a 150 stem with -17 drop

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    What makes you think there would be anything unique about the saddle height a pro cyclist chooses? Can the stretch their bones or something?
    What makes you think I'd think they are unique? I just wanted to know cuz it might give a better idea of femur length than their height does. I just measured my saddle height for the first time and I'm curious which pros have a similar body type to mine. With a saddle that has some cushion and flex it's 85cm. With another saddle that is very firm it's 84.
    I use 175mm cranks with Shimano pedals and shoes but I was hoping these things would be constant enough to be able to compare.

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