How to sit like the pros?

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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bricky21
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Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:28 pm

by bricky21

phourgenres wrote:I have been fitted in a more upright position, and I feel like I have a lot more power than I did before. So now I pose the opposite question from before. Why go low? Is it just for aerodynamics?

One advantage that I have found besides the extra power (now that my handlebars are higher), is that when I do come out of my saddle to sprint or climb I have more stability, because I no longer have to crouch over when Im pushing hard on my pedals.

I am so confused now... :noidea:

Thoughts?


The other good reason for going low is to lower your center of gravity which improves bike handling.

by Weenie


mattyb
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:21 am

by mattyb

phourgenres wrote:I have been fitted in a more upright position, and I feel like I have a lot more power than I did before. So now I pose the opposite question from before. Why go low? Is it just for aerodynamics?

One advantage that I have found besides the extra power (now that my handlebars are higher), is that when I do come out of my saddle to sprint or climb I have more stability, because I no longer have to crouch over when Im pushing hard on my pedals.

I am so confused now... :noidea:

Thoughts?

The advantage of having a 'long' setup rather than a low setup is that you have more room to sprint and use your upper body. Loads of guys want to have their bars as low as possible to mimic what tall pro riders look like, but have a look at guys like Cancellara and in particular, Cavendish. They have a longer setup allowing them to stretch out rather then rounding their backs to reach down to bars that are lower, but closer.

A while ago I was on the path to have the bars as low as possible, but the lower they went, the short the stem I needed. End result was a rounded back, loss of power and lower back pain.
Up came the bars, longer stem went on and now I have a flat back, am just as aero (even though initially it feels too high) and plenty of room to sprint and in that regards, I found the 200W that went missing in my sprint kick.

My point is, you can bring the bars up and get your power back, but by allowing yourself a longer reach, you will give yourself that space to get brutal with the thing.

HUMP DIESEL
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by HUMP DIESEL

The advantage of having a 'long' setup rather than a low setup is that you have more room to sprint and use your upper body. Loads of guys want to have their bars as low as possible to mimic what tall pro riders look like, but have a look at guys like Cancellara and in particular, Cavendish. They have a longer setup allowing them to stretch out rather then rounding their backs to reach down to bars that are lower, but closer.

A while ago I was on the path to have the bars as low as possible, but the lower they went, the short the stem I needed. End result was a rounded back, loss of power and lower back pain.
Up came the bars, longer stem went on and now I have a flat back, am just as aero (even though initially it feels too high) and plenty of room to sprint and in that regards, I found the 200W that went missing in my sprint kick.

My point is, you can bring the bars up and get your power back, but by allowing yourself a longer reach, you will give yourself that space to get brutal with the thing.


This is exactly what I have talked about before. Getting lower should mean bending into the front end of the bike, and like you have stated, this also allows a large amount of sprinting power to be addressed to the pedals. Your observation of the stem getting shorter as you went lower was to stabilize your upper body.

On the bike, you should be able to use the entire bar and hoods for different situations, and reaching the levers should not be a labor, it should feel natural.

HUMP
Why are the best things in life always the ones you start last?

phourgenres
Posts: 223
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:19 pm

by phourgenres

I have heard with the longer setups the riders are doing more pulling than pushing on their handlebars, is this true? How do you determine how "long" to setup a rider? Flexibility, the longest reach without a bend in the back?

thecounty
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:58 pm

by thecounty

KWalker wrote:Pros do not always ride the ideal setup. Unfortunately studies show that you make big gains in flexibility when you begin an optimal stretching routine, but that halts fairly fast. Your anatomy is somewhat your anatomy and there are several pros that ride non-pro positions better than those who do. Its better to win on something wonky then to ride shitty because you want to look cool.


Power development can be more important than an aero position. I switched from a long and low position to a more setback higher position and am able to fully use my legs now and have gained way more power in the legs than I've lost by being less aero.

stefangomez
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by stefangomez

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hans905/6018793631/

anyone else think Hoogerland's saddle height is kind of low?

I dig it
I will ride hard today.

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btompkins0112
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by btompkins0112

stefangomez wrote:http://www.flickr.com/photos/hans905/6018793631/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

anyone else think Hoogerland's saddle height is kind of low?

I dig it


Looks to me like he is just leaning in the corner......

stefangomez
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by stefangomez

I will ride hard today.

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btompkins0112
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by btompkins0112

stefangomez wrote:http://www.google.com/imgres?q=johny+hoogerland&hl=en&sa=X&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4SKPB_enUS353US353&biw=1680&bih=850&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnso&tbnid=HgjqLCDOwPwVFM:&imgrefurl=http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/photos/2009/mar09/E3prijs09/index.php%3Fid%3D/photos/2009/mar09/E3prijs09/JOHNY_HOOGERLAND&docid=-CU0DyUWSKqglM&imgurl=http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/photos/2009/mar09/E3prijs09/JOHNY_HOOGERLAND.jpg&w=600&h=399&ei=6BkeT87dMbKnsAKqoszJDg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=1&sig=108217186028329852973&page=1&tbnh=139&tbnw=185&start=0&ndsp=32&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0&tx=124&ty=82" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

OK, how about now smart ass?


Wasn't being a smart ass......that's just what that pic looked like. Sorry.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/photos/ ... nce/182503

HUMP DIESEL
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by HUMP DIESEL

Actually, no. He is at the most extended length of pedal that he can be at on the bike and still has a bend in his knee. He may be a little low, but not to a point where it would be a detriment. Looks like he is in a good position.

HUMP
Why are the best things in life always the ones you start last?

HUMP DIESEL
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by HUMP DIESEL

stefangomez wrote:http://www.flickr.com/photos/hans905/6018793631/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

anyone else think Hoogerland's saddle height is kind of low?

I dig it


Now this one looks funky, he is taking a corner, so the look is skewed somewhat. I am not as much concerned about his seat as I am about his back. Looks like a rainbow. He could come up and out and get even lower on the bike.

HUMP
Why are the best things in life always the ones you start last?

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MattSoutherden
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by MattSoutherden

One other thing regarding the pro's position is how much power they produce.

If you're tootling along at 2W/Kg, then there ain't much opposing force from pushing on the pedals, so you need to be more upright / further back in order to attain a comfortable balance point.

If you're pushing 4+ W/Kg all the time, then the opposing force is much higher and so you can have a more forward / lower position without having any more weight supported on your hands.
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Rick
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by Rick

Stijn Devolder seems like a good example of a guy who to gets more upright when producing short-term power, yet gets very aero when on the drops in sustained power mode.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x62Rza92Ew

ty-ro
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by ty-ro

There are pros/cons and compromises of every setup, plus you are comparing to pros who do this for a living at the top end of the sport. Most of us are not pros and should ride what fits, not what looks cool.
Last edited by ty-ro on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HillRPete
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by HillRPete

I'm getting numb parts when I'm sitting on the saddle's nose. Still working on a better position while sitting centrally.

by Weenie


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