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Height Lost Over Aging

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Height Lost Over Aging

Old 02-17-20, 12:48 AM
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BikeWonder
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Height Lost Over Aging

I was wondering if any of you old timers have any experience losing height over time or not fitting your favourite frame? The reason I ask is because I have a wonderful touring bike one size larger than what I would normally ride, but it's still great and comfortable. I'm early 20s, 5'10, and the bike is a 60cm with a 58 top tube from seat tube to head tube.

I haven't had any issues with sizing or fit. Normally I would ride a 57-58cm frame.

Anywho, I have this fear that at some point the frame might not fit me anymore, which would then lead me to having to trade the frame with a fellow C&V member for the desired 57cm.

Have any of you experienced not fitting on a frame as you age?
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Old 02-17-20, 01:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
I'm early 20s
And you're worried about your current bikes fitting you in 2060?
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Old 02-17-20, 01:24 AM
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I have lost some height (half inch or so) without having to adjust the bike as a result. I wouldn't worry about it. Especially at your age.
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Old 02-17-20, 01:31 AM
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None of my trousers fit me any more
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Old 02-17-20, 01:59 AM
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I've lost most of an inch, all torso (I'm soon to be 67). Yes my reach has gotten longer. I always rode really long stems so now they are just not quite so long or set a cm higher. Not a big deal. (All but one of my bikes qualifies as C&V with quill stems, so raising the stem is so easy! The one threadless is 1" steel steerer so when the time comes, I'll just have it threaded and drop in a sweet Nitto Pearl.

Ben
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Old 02-17-20, 02:17 AM
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since it is a touring bike I wouldnt worry. At 63 I dont bend that well but I do like a larger frame. Just shorten and raise the stem as needed. If things get really awful like they have for my neck you can put upright or even north road bars on your touring bike. I know I do.
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Old 02-17-20, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeWonder View Post
Have any of you experienced not fitting on a frame as you age?
While I agree with @SurferRosa that you are too young to worry about this, I will add that while I can easily ride a 58cm frame, I am more comfortable on a 56. Most of your "shrinking" with age happens in the vertebrae. The spine compresses and becomes less flexible. At that point its not so much the seat-tube height as it is the top-tube length, which has everything to do with your diminishing reach. Shorter stems and bars with rise and setback will help. Take up yoga and stretching now, and you'll never have to worry about it!
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Old 02-17-20, 06:44 AM
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Height loss with age is a result of loss of inter-vertebral space in the spinal column and kyphosis. Leg length doesn't change, so standover height will stay the same. A shorter torso can be accommodated by using a shorter reach stem.
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Old 02-17-20, 06:56 AM
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I was 5'9" at my height in my 20s, 30s and into my 40s but have lost 3/4" over the past 20 years now I am 63. and just over 5'8".
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Old 02-17-20, 07:08 AM
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YMMV

Every person looses height with age at different rates and for many different reasons. Your best predictor might be to see what other men or women have experienced in your same genetic family.
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Old 02-17-20, 07:15 AM
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Shrinkage happens. Just stay out of the pool.
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Old 02-17-20, 07:26 AM
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I have a range of sizes. 58 - 62cm. Cover all bases.
At age 69, I ride them all.
If I've shrunk, it's less than 1/4" on my 73" frame

Don't sweat the small stuff, just ride.
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Old 02-17-20, 07:29 AM
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People typically lose almost one-half inch every 10 years after age 40. Height loss is even more rapid after age 70 as I can attest. As JD Thompson said shorter stem, compact bars, etc. are your friends.
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Old 02-17-20, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Height loss with age is a result of loss of inter-vertebral space in the spinal column and kyphosis. Leg length doesn't change, so standover height will stay the same. A shorter torso can be accommodated by using a shorter reach stem.
What he said. I started off on 25"/64cm frames in my twenties when I was 6'1" and brought this Nishiki home yesterday now that I'm 5'10". I can still straddle all my tall frames and have been trying not to buy any more of them but you can see how that's going.
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Old 02-17-20, 07:41 AM
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Like ^^ they all said, vertebral shrinkage is from the waist up. We all have some. A larger problem for me (at 79 yrs) is curvature of the upper spine. "Old man stoop" caused most of my height and reach loss. So far adjusting or replacement of stem solved the problem. I also went with upright bars on a few I use for gravel and off road. Don
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Old 02-17-20, 07:56 AM
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At 60, I'm fortunate to have not lost height so far. However, I am not as flexible as I was in my youth, and I do expect that a little bit of height loss could occur as I age further. There are lots of factors for both losing height and flexibility. Staying active, stretching, eating sensibly... three things you have some control over that will hopefully reduce the effects. Genetics is (for the time being at least) beyond our control. Not a bad thing to be aware of, but in and of itself, it's only one one factor. Changing equipment always remains a remedy, but considering it your first resort could set you on a path of compromise and is likely to shorten your riding days.
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Old 02-17-20, 08:57 AM
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Stretching, yoga, being upright if it does happen, and the ineveitable. Gotcha
It's good to ask these questions because at some point it will happen to me, I like to know how you guys manage, and what strategies I may pursue to reduce strain on my body. I'll have to enjoy my back for the tike being 😁
Thanks fellas!
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Old 02-17-20, 09:06 AM
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Enjoy your bike! Live your life and don't sweat the small stuff! You will have so many things in your life to worry about in the FUTURE!

Sorry I'm sure this is important to you, I'ver just always worried a bit more then I should and it really does nothing good for you!
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Old 02-17-20, 11:11 AM
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It may be extraneous thinking, as others have pointed out, but maybe it's a good sign that you can plan for more important things. If you haven't started saving for retirement yet, start now. Compounded interest is most powerful when you start early. Save at least 5% of your take-home if you can, and later, you can build a habit of saving even more.
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Old 02-17-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
It may be extraneous thinking, as others have pointed out, but maybe it's a good sign that you can plan for more important things. If you haven't started saving for retirement yet, start now. Compounded interest is most powerful when you start early. Save at least 5% of your take-home if you can, and later, you can build a habit of saving even more.
Good advice for a young person. Such thinking and commitment to saving funded a retirement that lets me buy what I want, within reason, like the occasional bike I don't need and the time to ride it. Hell, I can even afford more barcons when I want 'em.

Back to the issue of health and flexibility, one of my plans for aging is a suitable ride for my older self. I have a 23" men's Raleigh Sports and I expect that one day I will not be able to swing a leg over that diamond frame in order to ride, so I got a 23" ladies' bike that is waiting in the wings for just such a time.



I may also get a mixte frame for the same needs in a road bike.
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Old 02-17-20, 01:05 PM
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I was 5-10” in my twenties and rode a bike that was at the top of my limit for size. At 64 and barely 5-9” this bike is no longer comfortable to ride.
shrinkage happens.

B
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Old 02-17-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Height loss with age is a result of loss of inter-vertebral space in the spinal column and kyphosis. Leg length doesn't change, so standover height will stay the same. A shorter torso can be accommodated by using a shorter reach stem.
Thanks for the proper medical explanation, John.

I lost about 1-1/2” in height during my 50’s (70 YO now). Thankfully the ‘79 Miyata 912 purchased new back then still fits, albeit with a taller and shorter reach stem. Notably, I’m very long-legged for my now 72” height, and that 912 is a 25”/62cm frame. So if there’d been leg length loss, I certainly would have noticed.

The other surprising physical change was my shoe size, or at least fit, changing rather suddenly at age 65. I’d been very happy with the same pair of Sidi Dominators for 14 years, with of Shoe Goo and other methods over the years to rebuild worn soles. Riding over those years included several multi-week tours and plenty of long (50+ mile) rides. Then when training for the 2015 200-mile Seattle-to-Portland (2 days for me) ride, my feet decided to become quite painful on anything longer than 40 miles. Apparently my feet, already more squarish than many, spread out below the metatarsal area, necessitating a wider and longer toe box.
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Old 02-17-20, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Dfrost View Post

The other surprising physical change was my shoe size, or at least fit, changing rather suddenly at age 65. I’d been very happy with the same pair of Sidi Dominators for 14 years, with of Shoe Goo and other methods over the years to rebuild worn soles. Riding over those years included several multi-week tours and plenty of long (50+ mile) rides. Then when training for the 2015 200-mile Seattle-to-Portland (2 days for me) ride, my feet decided to become quite painful on anything longer than 40 miles. Apparently my feet, already more squarish than many, spread out below the metatarsal area, necessitating a wider and longer toe box.
My feet are bigger than they were in my 20s-most of my 40s.
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Old 02-17-20, 02:02 PM
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My BMI has been creeping upwards the past few years. Unknowingly I attributed it to weight gain. Glad to know it's just old age height loss..

Now I can return those new, larger waist pants and go back to wearing the old tight ones..
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Old 02-17-20, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Height loss with age is a result of loss of inter-vertebral space in the spinal column and kyphosis. Leg length doesn't change, so standover height will stay the same. A shorter torso can be accommodated by using a shorter reach stem.
I hate to argue with my elders, lol, but leg length “can” change, with certain medical procedures. 😉 When I was younger, I wore 33x36 in Levi’s. Now, at 58, a 35x34 fits about right. My brain is dead right now, but that procedure is a Major (something in your knee) Reconstruction, which shortens one leg a smidge. 🙂
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