Tallest competitive cycling pro in the last twenty years

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Clark six8, May 14, 2004.

  1. Clark six8

    Clark six8 New Member

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    Anyone know who is the tallest competitive cycling pro in the last twenty years? I'm asking because I'm 6' 8" and I have friends my size that are Olympic athletes - they want to know if they have any chance of being competitive on a road bike.
     
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  2. byron27

    byron27 New Member

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    not many that i know of are over 6'3" or so. boonen is 192cm, backsteadt is 193-194cm. Thats not to say that taller people couldnt be competitive, as the amount of people 6'4" or so or taller in the general population isnt high so the amount that would be tall and ride professionally would be a lot smaller than say, a pro of "average" height.
    Cycling, in my personal opinion, has to do with the power you can generate per kg of body weight. So it doesnt matter what height you are, if you can generate 4.5-6.5 W/kg then you will be very competitive, irrespective of your height.
    Of course , finding a frame and equipment that fits you and doesnt break is a lot harder. Manufacturers cater for the "common denominator" which is about 5'9"-5'10" and 70-75kg. So if you are anything above 80kg make sure you check the warranty on anything you buy. Im 6'5" and 85kg but still havent had an alloy frame that has lasted longer than 6 months....and lets not talk about rims.....
     
  3. tafi

    tafi Member

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    Magnus Backsteadt is 193cm (6'4") and he weighs in at about 93kg. The heaviest 1st division pro of the current era. He also has problems with equipment. He is famously known for not being able to ride any race wheels other than traditional spoked jobs or Mavic Cosmics since all the others wilt (literally) under his weight and power.
    Unless you have a bottomless bank balance then the alloy frame is not much of an option unless it can be beefed up enough. Many manufacturers boast about light weight and strength to weight but in reality it is the strength and durability which is the most important.
    I wouldn't expect a current top of the line alloy frame to last me much more than a year and I'm rarely above 75kg for my 175cm (5'9") which is why Steel, Carbon (depending on how made) and Titanium still offer the best quality options in frames.
     
  4. byron27

    byron27 New Member

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    bingo tafi, you are right on the money!
    pooh to all this alloy, carbon stuff,
    give me a lovely steel frame any day.....
     
  5. Tuschinski

    Tuschinski New Member

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    Complete and utter nonsense.... Oversized alloy is actually by far the best choice for heavier cyclists.

    Whereas steel frames will be flexible or insanely heavy if made stiff for + 85 kg peeps, oversized alloy will be stiff enough. The durability of good Alloy frames is way over 6 months.

    You could try Cannondale.
     
  6. byron27

    byron27 New Member

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    perhaps....personal experience has shown though that alloy frames dont hold up, and unless someone else is going to shell out the coin for me to try some whiz bang alloy frame it is a costly experiment i cant justify trying out.

    Also, stiffness of the frame isnt what i want in a frame. I like a frame to "give"a bit. Cinelli make some great high end steel frames that definitely arent heavy and i have had one for 3 years and absolutely not a problem with it so far..

    i guess this is the old chestnut about frame materials and in the end personal experience will play a strong part in your future choices. I have had bad experiences with alloy......repeatedly...(like 6 times!) and my faith for the material has disappeared. Steel has always been faithful, so i stick with it.

    Of course, if someone would like me to try a carbon or ti frame, i am always open to the opportunity!!:D
     
  7. Clark six8

    Clark six8 New Member

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    I hear you on the steel. Since I'm 6'8" tall at 235 lbs, I'm going with a Gunnar custom steel frame from Waterford.
    Waterford is making relatively light steel frames these days, although mine will be a bit heavier due to the size and strength I have ordered.
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    How quickly they forget !
    My nomination for the biggest rider in the past 20 years is :
    EROS POLI of Saeco and Mercatone Uno !
    Eros is 6' 4" and weighs in at 198 lbs.
    Eros was lead out man for Chippo back in the early to mid 1990's.
    He also won a very famous stage at Mount Ventoux in 1994.
    Good cyclist - good team man - old fashioned pro.
     
  9. leif_ericson

    leif_ericson New Member

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    A 6' 4" rider won over Mt Ventoux??? :eek:
    He would make a great leadout man
     
  10. tafi

    tafi Member

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    Fact: Alloy will never last as long as steel. A wizz bang alloy frame might be stiffer at time of purchase but one year later it will be a different story, particularly if you have a heavier rider.
    The fatigue properties of aluminium are such that you cannot manufacture a component with unlimited life.

    Fact: Oversized alloy tubing is made for a reason. That is to allow the use of thinner tube walls to get maximum stiffness with minimum weight. Oversized alloy is not designed with high load in mind, it is designed with light weight in mind. Thin tubing and less material generally points to lower durability and a faster rate of fatigue. Unless you can get some of the lower grade tubing like Columbus Zona (which actually has thicker walls) durability will suffer under a heavier rider.

    Fact: Andrea Tafi is still using his Titianium Bianchi (which was made specially for Paris Roubaix) instead of the lighter Dedacciai aluminium offerings that the rest of his team are riding.

    I am personally not a hugely heavy rider (175cm and 74kg) but I do pound my equipment into the ground. I have ridden, Aluminium, Steel and carbon. The aluminium didn't last and the steel was nice to corner on but not stiff enough, the carbon is smooth as a baby's bum and has plenty of energy transfer. I can answer the durability issue later. So far I have done close to 5500km since february and it hasn't missed a beat. For the record it is a Trek 5500 which has stood the test of time under many riders I know and they have enjoyed it emensely.
     
  11. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Indeed He did win at Ventoux !
    A couple of days prior to winning at Ventoux, on a very very flat stage to Rennes, if I recall correctly, Poli attempted a lone breakaway but was caught with about 20 kilometres to go.
    The Tour moved on to the mounatains, a couple of days later and
    Poli again went on a lone break.
    The peleton assumed that, Poli being a big man, he would blow up.
    But no, Poli got to the top of Ventoux alone and screamed down the other side of Ventoux for the last 40 kilometres and managed to win it !

    He was indeed a lead out man for Mario and a good one at that.
    His win at Ventoux was epic !
     
  12. Cipher

    Cipher New Member

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    It the elite pro category, you had Miguel Indurain at 6' 2".
     
  13. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I'd say Cedric Vasseur could also be a contender.
    Also Abraham Olano too.
     
  14. ed073

    ed073 New Member

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    Remig Stumpf
    Michel Zanoli
    Bernd Groene

    All very tall...6'5" plus

    Andy Flickinger, Axel Merckx and Guillame Auger are still racing at close to 2 mteres
     
  15. Jimmythecuckoo

    Jimmythecuckoo New Member

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    Edwig Van Hooydonck was very tall and he twice won the Ronde.

    Eros Poli was taller though I reckon.
     
  16. byron27

    byron27 New Member

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    how did axel get so tall?

    his dad is a midget!

    EPO in the baby's bottle perhaps?...
     
  17. Espada9

    Espada9 New Member

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    Not true, Eddy was 6 feet tall, take a look at him standing next to Indurain and you can see how tall he is, also note the length of the head tube on his bike.

    Axel is 6' 3", the same height as George Hincapie
    Super Mario is over 6' 2"

    You tend to note these things when your 6'4" (my racing weight was 193).
     
  18. George K.

    George K. New Member

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    All this talk about frame materials for heavier cyclists and alloy frames doesn't make any sense. Any engineers out there wanting to place a scientific justification to this?
    I am 1.86 (6'1) and weigh 97 kgs (214 lbs). I've been riding a Team Sc Merckx (6061 aluminium enhanced with Scandium) and after a year on some pretty rough terrain, I don't notice any difference.
    Also, I don't expect that any but the most serious amateur riders would place such strain on a frame to break it, unless it was defective to begin with.
    Still waiting for something more scientific to convince me that a good alloy rig won't be as durable as a steel bike.
     
  19. Espada9

    Espada9 New Member

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    Have to agree with George on this one, the newer frame materials are very strong and durable, plenty of testing goes into a tubeset before its used to build a frame (and carry the badge of the frame builder).
    My Orbea frame (Altec 2 Aluminum) is plenty strong enough for my 245 pound bulk (the forks are older profile carbon and they flex like aldente pasta).

    A quality frame builder like Merckx would never put their name (and reputation) on a frame built with material that wouldn’t hold up to the average joe racer (regardless weather he weighs 135 of 260).
     
  20. martin_g

    martin_g New Member

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    Van Hooydonck was well over 6" 4' and rode re-inforced colnagos
    He was heavy too...
     
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