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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 3:50 pm
Posts: 34
I'm looking to get a bit lower on the road bike for this season, as I think I'm losing out on some aero savings with my 10cm of drop. However, everytime I try to go lower I get back pain pretty quickly. My question is, what is the best way to adjust to a lower position? Is it better to take ~2.5mm off at a time and cope with the pain? Or is that a recipe for disaster (read: injury)? Any stretches or is core work the answer? Any thoughts and experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:42 am 
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Posts: 21
Doing core exercises, and remembering to keep doing them, helped a lot for me. Once my core was strong enough, it didn't matter how much the drop was. I don't think any kind of pain is good, and I wouldn't put up with any (except for that due to muscle exertion).


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Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:42 am 


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:00 am
Posts: 94
I got back pain after lowering and lengthening my stem. I fixed it by doing a standard forearm plank exercise every day. Started with one set of 30 seconds repeated twice, then increasing the length gradually over time up to a set of 2 minutes repeated twice.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:43 am 
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petereps wrote:
I'm looking to get a bit lower on the road bike...However, everytime I try to go lower I get back pain pretty quickly.


Where are you feeling this back pain?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
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Location: Vienna Austria
Instead of lowering your stem you can also consider bending your elbows. Seriously.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:37 am 
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I would take it in small increments two to three weeks apart to get to where you want the drop. Everyone else had some great information for you. Also stretch like crazy before you ride. Quads, hamstrings, IBT band stretch and piriformis stretches and that will address back pain from tight muscles.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:14 pm 
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I did a combination of all things. It started out with lower back pain and addressed that with exercises and stretching. After doing that for some time the stem went down by 17mm and +10mm in length giving a good amount of drop while I can still ride the drops on cobbles for good amounts of time (not the Arenberg Trench probably).

Lowering the stem was done in incremental amounts, dropping it by more that 5mm at a time makes a big difference. Also look at the saddle height and where you are sitting. There usually are savings to be found there as well if you're looking for drop/aero.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:50 am 
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Do you know what your back angle is currently?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:06 am 
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petereps wrote:
I'm looking to get a bit lower on the road bike for this season, as I think I'm losing out on some aero savings with my 10cm of drop. However, everytime I try to go lower I get back pain pretty quickly. My question is, what is the best way to adjust to a lower position? Is it better to take ~2.5mm off at a time and cope with the pain? Or is that a recipe for disaster (read: injury)? Any stretches or is core work the answer? Any thoughts and experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Do you do races or just training for yourself?

In an other topic you complain about a weird knee problem.
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=141704

Maybe you just force yourself too much in a position that doesn't fit your body.
Have in mind not everyone is made for sitting low.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:29 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:59 pm
Posts: 93
Location: colorado
you can either bend or not.
some people are naturally flexible or if you have a gut you will never be able to have massive drop


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:48 am
Posts: 1708
Location: Vienna Austria
If you really want to go lower, go -10mm and ride for 2 or 3 days, then go back to -5 -> this will feel better than going from 0 to -5 :)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:51 pm
Posts: 221
Best thing that helped me is that one winter, on the trainer, where I trained every week (intervals at or around MAP) on the TT bike. You can probably do that same idea by doing intervals in the drops and practicing different aero positions with your road bike. For me, it was better to do that at a higher intensity (MAP, or 115% + FTP) than riding at a tempo wattage for longer. I also privileged quantity over quality... meaning that instead of doing 5-6 times 5 minutes at 115% I would do something like 20x2minutes@115%. Much more bearable in a squashed position and I improved flexibility+power.


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Posted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:39 pm 


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:10 am 
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Posts: 1225
Just make sure that lowering the stem does not make you round your back or move out of your best saddle position.
Too low can actually make you go slower-


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