Success when switching to a more aero position on the bike

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Roark
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:26 am

by Roark

Hi there,

I am going to begin to race this season, and I want to change a bit my position to a more aero one, lowering the handlebar 2 cm (drop from 8 to 10 cm). I am 33, 187 cm and reasonably flexible (if I bend forward I can touch the ground with my knuckles). Has any of you succesfully gone this way? What exercises can I do in order to get there? Maybe some core work would help? Emphasising the stretching after training? Any tips?

Regards

EMMANUEL15
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:10 pm
Location: AUVERGNE FRANCE
Contact:

by EMMANUEL15

Yes it s a good idea but you should mainly improoved the length of the top tub that will make you even more aero , normally when your hands are on the botom of the handlbar , your elbow at 90° Your knee should just touch the back of your elbow.

It s another story if you are using a clip on bar.

Good luck

by Weenie


HillRPete
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

Check your saddle setback too. I've found a bit more setback helped me greatly when going lower in the front. Regular stretching should not be missed anyway.

eric
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Contact:

by eric

It is easy to lower the bars. Try it and see. Do 1cm at a time and spend a couple months getting used to it. You should still be able to use the drops effectively. I see some guys with bikes set up so they can not ride in the drops. Yes, they have super low bars, but they're not actually using them.

In the last 4 years I have lowered my bars 2cm, from 10cm drop to 12cm. I do hamstring stretches in the evenings. I can bend over and put my palms on the floor now. Not bad for 53.

User avatar
mellowJohnny
Posts: 484
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:56 am
Location: YYZ

by mellowJohnny

+1 eric

I'm going through the same process right now and find the turbo trainer a great tool for experimenting with different positions. I dropped the bar 10mm last month and I'm about to try another 5mm drop this month.

Stalkan
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:04 pm

by Stalkan

I have recently started trying to stretch my hamstrings more but I doubt I will ever be Mr. Flexible. That being said I ride in the drops 100 of the time. The tops and hoods now feel awkward if I grasp them when I set off. When I first started riding 100% in the drops I had some minor discomfort on longer rides but eventually I acclimatized. However, I think the key to my success has been my SMP as it allows me to rotate forward and for someone lacking flexibility that helps a lot.

User avatar
tommasini
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:48 am
Location: Central USA
Contact:

by tommasini

Pratice the way you intend to play......

I've never taken on an additional stretching program - rather you work gradually to the lower position.

Since you want to give it a try, I'd suggest you go ahead and drop the bars - maybe 10 cm first - then be sure you are riding in the drops a sufficient % of the time - over time the added flexibility, strength in the lower position, and tolerance for it all will come. Then repeat again dropping things once again.

Eventually you should naturally want to be low - versus having to make a conscious decision that you must give it a try.

User avatar
WMW
in the industry
Posts: 855
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:59 pm
Location: Ruidoso, NM

by WMW

You don't need to stretch or do core work. You *do* need to focus on your posture and relax your core. Your muscle engagement as you pedal will also change.
formerly rruff...

Valbrona
Posts: 1482
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:25 am
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

by Valbrona

And don't listen to any so-called cyclist that can touch their toes.

HillRPete
Posts: 2292
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:08 am
Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

WMW wrote:You don't need to stretch [...]

Of course you don't need to, but it's very advisable to complement just about any sports with some stretching ...

shjames96
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:51 pm

by shjames96

Cancellara is probably one of the most flexible riders in the peleton, easily able to touch his toes, and I would trust him 100%.
Likewise, in my own experience, I was able to more comfortably ride in a much more agressive position after doing lots of core and stretching. I was entirely unflexible beforhand though, so I would guess there is a point of diminishing returns on comfort when increasing flexibility.

fdegrove
Tubbie Guru
Posts: 5851
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 2:20 am
Location: Belgium

by fdegrove

Hi,

WMW wrote:You don't need to stretch or do core work. You *do* need to focus on your posture and relax your core. Your muscle engagement as you pedal will also change.


And..........Bingo. :thumbup:

IOW words you need to find a position that works for you.
If you are by nature a flexible person then that may help but every person has a position that maximizes both efficiency and aero.

Doing gymnastic excercise to maintain or improve flexibity may well prevent muscular injuries or inflamations but there's no scientific indication whatsoever that it takes flexibility to perform better as an athlete.

Ciao, ;)
Being a snob is an expensive hobby.

megalightman
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 3:36 pm

by megalightman

As you're wanting to be aero, are you wearing a skinsuit when you race and have you covered the vents up in your helmet?

CarpetFibre
Posts: 599
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:24 am

by CarpetFibre

Sorry if I'm going off topic here, but does 'flexibility' really affect how low of a position you can take?
I can barely get the palms of my hands past my knees when I bend over and try and touch the floor, yet I have a very aggressive position on my bike. Do I just have short arms?

by Weenie


eric
Posts: 2196
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Contact:

by eric

CarpetFibre wrote:Sorry if I'm going off topic here, but does 'flexibility' really affect how low of a position you can take?


It does for me, and I know some people who aren't flexible and who can't get their back down, or even use the drops in some cases.
CarpetFibre wrote:I can barely get the palms of my hands past my knees when I bend over and try and touch the floor, yet I have a very aggressive position on my bike. Do I just have short arms?


Perhaps your saddle position is forward of typical for road riders. If you simply rotate the rider position forward using the BB as the axis, like triathletes often do but not to that extreme, you can run lower bars without changing the hip angle.

Since I have long thighs and do a lot of climbing I have the saddle back fairly far (to engage the glutes on climbs). Getting a low position from there means bending more from the hips. To ride comfortably and make power like that you need sufficiently flexible hamstrings.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post