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