View Full Version : Body size, strength, and motion

Joe Clark
11-22-1998, 12:17 PM
I run the Rock & a Hard Place Biketrials Club--

and follow the MTB-Trials mailing list--

We have been enjoying a discussion of the seemingly slower movements of
Jeff Lenosky, a rider who is 6'5" tall.

> Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 19:27:17 +0000
> From: Chris Ratcliff
> Subject: Jeff (however you spell it)sky.
> I have a theory. The Human body is self adjusting to its environment. If
> someone is 5', 100lbs and does exactly the same things that 6'4", 200lbs
> person does, then both people will have the same strength, and the same
> physical ability. The difference in ABSOLUTE physical strength will be
> the strength needed to cart around the extra 100lbs. It's like having to
> cars that can aceelerate from 0-60mph in the same time, but weigh
> different amounts. One will just have a bigger engine.
> If you weigh 200lbs (like I do...) then you need a stronger (read
> heavier) bike too, more weight to move around. If you ride a lot then you
> will get used to this weight and it will seem normal, even though there
> may be an advantage for using lighter equipment.
> I think that technique plays too bigger part in trials to talk just about
> eqiupment of the rider's size. For those who have seen Chainspotting or
> Tricks 'n' Stunts [two trials videos] then you'll see a massive
> difference in technique between Hans Rey and Martyn Ashton. While they
> are pretty much the same size and build (more or less, working from
> memory) they have massivly different riding styles but they both get the
> same results. It's like the way I've trained my body to hop really well
> to the right, but not the left. Just technique and practise.
> For those of you who understood that, can you explain it to me now?
> Chris

> Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 12:37:58 PST
> From: "sean grady"
> Subject: Re: Jeff (however you spell it)sky.
> part of that extra 100 lbs is what gives you the extra strength to lug
> it around. therefor, theoretically, a smaller person and a person like
> you or i(6'4" 200) should be proportionately as physically fit and
> therefor capable of the same agility, dispite the difference in weight.
> i think thats what you are saying, right?
> technique, however will be dictated by hight and the displacement and
> amount of weight on a body. my theory has more to do with the geometry
> of the body in relation to the bike. taking the two extremes of height
> that you presented, consider that the bike itself is smaller in relation
> to the taller rider. therefor, if the that rider is proportionately as
> physically fit as the smaller rider, he/she should be able to use their
> geometry more to their advantage and jump higher/further when on a bike.
> the 16" height difference is alot of leverage to throw around. in the ot
> pi school videos, though on the same bike, ot can hop really high, and
> the child can barely hop.

So: This is not a publication-calibre question of Ph.D.-level rigour, *but*
what can readers tell us to clear up our ignorance about the relationship
among body size and mass and speed, agility, and other performance factors?
Joe Clark
Rock & a Hard Place Trials Club

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