5'7 and 14 stone, can I be a good cyclist?

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  • 5'7 and 14 stone, can I be a good cyclist?
  • dirtyrider

    do you enjoy it?

    yes? carry on, **** the weights

    no? find another sport


    Am I simply too heavy for cycling?

    Nah. Just more of you to love.


    Of course I enjoy it, however today I got outgunned by taller lads who weigh some 15kg less than me!

    Should I tailor my training to lose weight? In the last 28 days I have ridden 600 miles, but no lighter!


    It’s not a race.It’s all relative.Some xc whippet would blow them out the water.Just get out there and enjoy your sen..

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    5’9″ here, & nearly 16st.
    Never been a time when I havent struggled with my weight.
    Lost several stone on a few occasions, but always end up putting it back on.
    On the bike I can keep up with most folk, & even pass a few occasionally. 🙂
    Worried that my engine is having to work a lot harder though.
    And I’m not getting any younger. 🙁

    Its a stamina thing.
    Did Kitbag Hill on Cannocks Money Trail yesterday & a couple of chaps much slimmer/fitter looking than I asked if we had actually ridden all the way up… 😕


    There’s a hill in the monkey trail 😉


    Who cares if you make a good cyclist or not?

    If you enjoy it, carry on! There’ll always be someone quicker/bigger/better/worse/smaller/richer than you.
    Forget the comparisons and enjoy the ride 🙂

    I’m 5′ 6″ & about 14st. I eat too much, drink too much & do naff all as far as training goes. Been out & done 24 miles in the Dales today with a lad 1/2 my age who lives at the gym, he is far fitter than I’ve ever been but so what? i still enjoyed the ride as much as he did.
    Plus he doesn’t drink & eats all that ‘healthy’ crap so he’s got nothing to look forward to tonight whereas I’ve got 3 cans of Carlsberg & an Indian takeaway HA!

    Edit, & I’m 57 this month.


    Define “good”? Climbing hills is all down to power to weight ratio. At 14 stone you’re around 40% heavier than a reasonably lightweight rider weighing 10 stone, therefore you would have to maintain 40% higher power just to keep up which is a huge amount.

    That doesn’t mean you are unfit or not a “good” cyclist but unless you can up your power by 40% or decrease your weight by 40% then you’re stuck (or a combination of weight loss/power improvement).

    Oh and if you’re not losing weight through cycling (and think that you’re above your natural weight) then you need to ride more, eat less or both.


    Ride for pleasure. Fitness, or any other such by-product, is then a bonus.


    Are you fat or heavily built? If you’re fat then lose some weight and the climbs will get easier. If you’re heavily built then you might just want to ride uphill more often 🙂

    What kind of weights do you do? Big, muscular, and strong doesn’t necessarily translate to strong on the bike, as all the skinny types in the peleton prove. Maybe focus your gym work on leg strength more – squats, lunges, etc. Use weight but do more reps. Also work on your cardio if you’re blowing on climbs – find a good spinning class if you like to go to the gym.

    And then of course technique – everyones different but generally spinning is better, with spds so you have a more efficient pedal stroke.

    Apologies if this seems condescending or rude, not my intention!

    Of course you could always upgrade your bike 🙂

    Who cares.
    As long as you come home with a big smile on your face after a ride.


    It depends on what you want to do.

    If you want to earn a living from professional mountain biking, then I think you are going to struggle. I’m not saying it won’t work, but I would think it would be tough.

    If you want to enter some events and not be dead last, then you’ll be fine. Just enter; the first few you’ll be dead last but then you’ll start finding you’re passing people and doing OK. Pick events that suit you. Most importantly, enjoy it, and don’t worry too much.

    If you just want to ride your bike and have fun then do that, and stop overthinking it!

    Single speeding helped me lose weight – you end up being forced to do lots of intervals. And getting gall stones also helped as I now have to avoid fat in my diet. I’m not sure how practical that one is though.

    Start racing DH, if you’ve got the power to go with your weight some skillz and your head is in the right place you’ll be reet.

    Premier Icon simmy

    I’m 5′ 7″ and 14 stone as well but I was 16.5 stone 3 years ago.

    I lose weight really gradually but, over the past couple of months, I’ve increased the average speed on the MTB to 11mph from 8mph.

    I’m still no lighter but just keep pushing more and I’ve definitely got faster but I ride alone 90% of the time so will probably get dusted on the next forum ride 😳

    I’ve just got a road bike and I feel a lot quicker on the MTB now, might be a placebo but it works


    At the moment most of my riding is on the road, I can ride at 18mph for 70 miles with a decent amount of climbing involved.

    I’m not particulary fat, more muscle really, I can lift decent weight.

    Maybe its a case of working on my weakness – hill climbing.

    Off road I would smoke all of the road gang, except for the 15 stone lad, he is mustard!


    Am I resigned to never being good at cycling?

    I lift weights and generally take care of myself. I’m fast on the flat, and very brave on the downhill. However I really struggle uphill.

    Am I simply too heavy for cycling?

    Edric 64

    Well OP you are shorter than me but 2 stone lighter so I wouldnt worry

    As was pointed out the other day on here I am faster uphill than I am downhill. This is not because I am particularly fast uphill either. I enjoy it though and will get back to being adequate downhill at some point.


    Do you NEED to be good at cycling? Just do it for fun.

    Weights will make it less fun as they’ll make you heavier in the wrong place. Extra heft to lug about that won’t be helping.


    Agree with those above. Climb at your own pace. I am hopeless uphill as well but enjoy the challenge. Remember coming down is the real fun.

    Premier Icon Trekster

    I am 5’9″ over 15 stone of very relaxed muscle and I get overtaken by everyone and don’t really care.

    I was recently overtaken on a tow path by a young woman in a tight denim mini skirt on what can only be described as a proper old butchers bike complete with huge basket on the front..
    She literally blew past me head down and arse in the air,

    You know what they say about every cloud.

    Tell a lie recently on a road ride a 7 year old on a bmx tried to race me.
    Me in the road and him riding along side on the pavement, I left him in my dust.
    Although he would probably say it was only because he was not aloud to go further than the end of his road.

    As long as you enjoy it, and the more you ride the more you can ride.

    Premier Icon iainc

    As you say, 70 hilly road miles at 18mph, don’t think you have much to worry about. If you lost 3 stone you could be a pro roadie 🙂

    Tom B

    As someone else has said, if you want to be a pro, then you probably are too heavy!

    As long as you enjoy it though, then you can’t be too heavy!

    what is a “good cyclist”…baffling………………

    Premier Icon mcnultycop

    I’m much bigger than the OP but enjoy both lifting weights and riding bikes. They aren’t complimentary but I’m going to carry on doing both of them.

    Premier Icon tmb467

    As a 5’8 13st 8lb cyclist, riding a 34lb bike, I’d ask how much your bike weighs

    The secret to riding uphill is just practise. And lots of it.

    Get fitter, get faster, last longer on the trail – it’s that simple. However if you’re trying to turn pro then mebbe lose a bit

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I honestly reckon most cyclists aren’t good cyclists. Certainly roughly half are below average 😉 But a great many of the bad cylists are having more fun than the good ones. So who really cares?


    6ft and 17st, always been pretty heavy and prob always will be, never going to win an enduro but I can ride up most things and I enjoy riding my bike, that’s all that counts.

    A mate of mine is around 5’10” and 14-15st (not all muscle by any means) – regularly wins local TT’s and is first up any hill on MTB rides

    Premier Icon paladin

    munrobiker – Member
    Do you NEED to be good at cycling? Just do it for fun.

    Weights will make it less fun as they’ll make you heavier in the wrong place. Extra heft to lug about that won’t be helping

    He surely doesn’t take the weights with him ???.

    Im really slow, I keep stopping to look at views, wildlife, every 5 mins


    Fast cyclist are skinny, its the only way to be fast, just go to any race and you will see that, but at the same time they look too skinny to the point of being unhealthy.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes

    What wonderful replies.

    OP – Do what you want. As pointed out, the skinny race-whippets are first up the climbs. Do as you will, do as what you want 🙂


    Weight is not important as long as you’re having fun, but the on a road bike at least, I think the statistics are that for every 1 kg lost in weight you need 2.5% less power to climb the hills at the same speed.
    I would have thought weight plays a similar role in mountain biking.


    5′ 8″ (on tippy toes my wife says) and was 13st a couple of months ago.

    Lost 1.5st recently…but still struggle on the ups especially techy climbs.


    Just ride!

    As others have said unless you want to compete or turn pro then dont worry about it.

    Regards the gym work you could change your gym routine to help with your performance on the bike if thats what you want,or are you currently training for aesthetics ie.Bodybuilding or just generally to keep fit/in shape.


    Due to my cancer treatment I’ve lost over two stones (and I’m struggling to put any weight on) it hasn’t helped my climbing at all. 🙂

    Edit: 5ft 10 and 10st 11 now BTW


    5’6″ and 13 stone currently. I commute a 10 mile round trip most days, and drink far too much. My riding buddy is 15 years younger then me, and built like a racing snake. I’ll admit, I have to work harder then he does on the way up, but we are evenly matched on the way down, which is the bit i enjoy.

    Define good. I enjoy it, which is all that matters to me.

    Premier Icon metalheart

    There’s a saying in the climbing fraternity that the best climber is the one who is enjoying emselves the most. Reckon that can apply to cycling too.

    Let’s not try and ignore physics though. At your weight (for your height) you are never going to set any records. The people cola inning about not managing techie climbs despite losing weight are really admitting to bad technique. You can be fat slow but have good technique, they are not mutually exclusive.

    From personal experience I know how much weight affects climbing ability in a race (or not as the case may be) situation. There is a weight for me (ironically 14 stone) that above that I struggle and enjoy it less, below it it becomes a real joy. But that’s just me.

    Is your weight bulk from weight training? If so change your training regime. Bulk is just dead weight, lean and mean is the way.

    Or just accept things the way they are and carry on having fun.

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