short legs= poor climbing potential?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by sam218, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. sam218

    sam218 New Member

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    Does the length of the legs (leverage) determine ones climbing potential, even if heart/lungs are in good condition?
     
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  2. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    it doesn't make any difference whatsoever, as your legs don't act as levers. nor does crank length (just get the cranks that feel comfy).

    ric
     
  3. PowerPunk

    PowerPunk New Member

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    Thanks Ric! There goes my excuse!
     
  4. cdaleguy

    cdaleguy New Member

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    Damn! Mine too (excuse). Should a shorter-legged person get cranks to compensate?
     
  5. abm

    abm New Member

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    Yes, If you've been riding without a crank, getting one will improve your climbing... ;)
     
  6. squidwranglr

    squidwranglr New Member

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    Here's an interesting bit among Tom Compton's Analytic Cycling pages analyzing the physics of force application during a pedal revolution. You can play with the various components of the model which include, among others, thigh length and shin length to see how force (and therefore power) generation is affected.

    http://www.analyticcycling.com/PedalModel_Page.html

    My personal experience (as a short (5'6") cyclist, amateur triathlete) is that there are people far taller than I whom I can climb better than and vice versa. I don't think height is a major factor. What you may lose in bone length, you may gain in being lighter or having less leg mass to move around, etc.

    Ric - one question for you. You unequivocally ruled out height (and therefore the length of leg bones) as a climbing performance predictor. I remember reading an article that said Lance is a "natural climber" partially because of his "very long" thigh bones. Is this an oversimplification on the part of the author/media?

    Berend
     
  7. marlon1

    marlon1 New Member

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    climbing-geek-> long legs, light (so long legs in compr. with body length).

    I'm 1.81, 90cm inner leg, 58kg in the summer :cool:
     
  8. jagrazor

    jagrazor New Member

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    Think about it though, a larger gear requires more power to move at the same cadence. Weither that larger gear is because of gearing, or because of longer legs, shorter/longer cranks... so basically you can make up for your legs and cranks by using different gears.

    *agrees with ric* go for comfort

    although, if you have a bike that has the same gearing as someone with longer legs and the same crank length as them, wouldn't your absolute maximum speed be lesser than the longer legged person?
     
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