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Hi all and happy new year. Starting this thread here, because I just realized there isn't any dedicated thread for petite riders whilst the struggle is real. I figure there would be others beside myself who would like to learn a thing or two from seasoned petite riders (or those who have rode alongside them), for example:
- How do you find best gears to suit the petite stature? (bike and apparel suggestions are very much welcome)
- Was there any impediment to particular style of cycling? How did you overcome it?
- Does petite stature pose problem on performance? Should we steer away from group cycling?
 

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As far as performance, Damiano Cunego (5'7") and ....ahhh, I forget the name but I think he was an Italian climbing expert, a specialist in really steep grades, who went on to try to be a GC rider ... even shorter .... and obviously didn't have any performance issues.

One thing might be to check out women's specific frames. I have a weird build---a basketball body on giraffe legs and squid-tentacle arms---and I rode a "woman's specific" frame for a while because it had different proportions which suited me better.

I am pretty sure some of the members of the women's peloton are barely five feet tall ....so I am sure that short riders can perform, and that there are bikes for shorter riders.

I know some women's bikes have 24-inch wheels, even, to stop toe-overlap and such.
 

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What do you consider a petite rider to be? At 5’6”, I’m certainly vertically challenged but I don’t know if you would call that petite. My current bike is a 48cm so that’s fairly small.
 
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I think of petite I think female at 5’2” tops and maybe 95 lbs......lol

Like John said, what do you consider petite?

I think the only hindrance is one’s mindset as cycling has no prerequisite that I am aware of.
 

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spin... spin.. spin
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I’m petite besides my awesome quads. Ok jokes aside I am pretty small. I think maybe 5’2” and if I totally pancake, waffle, parfait, bacon eggs and burrito breakfast can weigh a whopping 120. Usually weigh in closer to 110.

Cycling clothes are made for me and fit true to size. Honestly most people complain how small kit runs.

Bikes are rocking light weight in small frame sizes. And super easy to find. Maybe not used tho. But new they don’t sell out and easy to order.

Power to weight.... let’s get real cycling is the only sport that being a wee little person is a huge advantage. Maybe the exceptions are downhill mtb or sprinting or track racing. Road biking haha I need put out very few watts to attack on a climb.

No one ever thought it sucks to be petite on a bike. It’s the opposite, big riders have the hard life in the peloton. Or maybe I drank too many hydration tablets.

Honestly I only replied to boast about how small and how little fit I need be to be fast
 

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Size of a rider is deceptive. I rode with some guys in a local club once and each were a little “porky”. They were rockets! It’s muscle conditioning. Overall yes, being fit or not appearance of overweight usually makes for a fit rider but be careful, every so often a fat rider as we say will dust you!
 

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Size of a rider is deceptive. I rode with some guys in a local club once and each were a little “porky”. They were rockets! It’s muscle conditioning. Overall yes, being fit or not appearance of overweight usually makes for a fit rider but be careful, every so often a fat rider as we say will dust you!
Absolutely. At the end of it all a five hour a week rider, rides like they ride five hours a week. Ten hours rides like they ride ten. Can’t cheat, time in the saddle is pretty key. Obviously there are exceptions and some guys just ride better than their fitness suggests and quality time in the saddle can sometimes be better than quantity.
 

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My wife is a petite rider (though you wouldn't have thought so 8 years ago!) and she doesn't have any real issues because of her size.

Except a bike shop convinced her to get a bike a bit too large for her and gave her a great price on a model from the year before, made some parts swaps and adjustments but it's still a bit too big. Unfortunately, she loves the bike and won't trade it in for something that fits her better.

We do group rides, races, and ride together and while she's a bit slower than I, she does as well or better than many of the women and quite a few of the men we ride with. Though she also has the legs of an Olympic sprinter from all her long-distance running and her training, so that helps.
 
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