Questions about body composition and racing

Thanks for the wonderful community and help on TrainerRoad!

I’d like to start racing in criteriums next year, but I’m very intimidated by how little everyone weighs. I started cycling last May and while I did lose about 20lbs overall, I’ve stayed at 220lbs for the last 4 months; I’m a 5’11" male as a reference.

Personally I am happy with my body as I also do powerlifting and kickboxing, but am I going to be able to compete as a heavy rider or is there no chance I will even be able to hang on to the group. I can hold my own in spirited group rides but I get bogged down on any significant climbs that last over 2 minutes.


For flat/fast crits, your size could be an asset if it means you are pushing out higher absolute watts. I ride with some big guys. I am arguably more fit than them and on flat, modest distance rides I find it hard to keep up with them. Let alone if there are descents. I am 5’ 11" and 150 lbs.

If you’re planning on focusing on crits, weight won’t play as big a role as say a climbing road race. In a flat crit the main driver is power/drag (aero), not power/weight. Heavier guys can usually do pretty well in crits and time trials since you’re probably able to match or put out more power than the smaller guys. I’m about 210lb and tend to fare pretty well in flat road races and crits. Look at guys like @Pete. He crushes it.

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You probably are not going to make a living racing bikes but in you can do fine. There are lots of 200 pound + crit racers, even in the higher categories.

FWIW - while it sucks to get dropped on hills, its pretty cool when some light guy hits you and they just bounce off while you stay upright and keep going like nothing happened :wink:


Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I have a super low FTP for my weight, I just did the ramp test last Saturday and came out with 231 watts. I think the only thing I have going for me right now is a decent snap sprint, which is why I’m hoping the TrainerRoad routines will help me with aerobic capacity and the like.

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Thanks for the reply. Yes I have a podcast lined up to listen to with Pete in there, hoping to get to it this week. I’ve been working on trying to be more aero, especially with my shoulders and forearms since both are freakishly long.

Ha! I need to work on my bike handling so no promises on staying upright.

In all honesty, the majority of folks here aren’t going to make a living racing bike either, so it’s all good… :joy:

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Crits are not always about raw watts. They are all about being crafty and smart. Its being good at positioning yourself within the pack to limit your power output and saving it for the final few laps. That doesn’t mean you wont have to make big efforts. Its all about how you use those efforts to your advantage. Listen to the Crit101 with the cliffbar team on Trainerroad. They talk about conserving energy and how it can have a big impact on the overall race. Positioning in Crits is crucial.