Bar drop and restricted breathing

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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

I can't get away from a fact i don't really like.
When i ride on my trainer, i have noticed that after awhile my breathing is much worse.
I concluded that this is an effect on handlebar stack.
I don't feel any restrictions in my position otherwise.
This is a progressive thing increasing the longer i ride.
If i just lean back on my saddle, lifting hands and extend them out, i notice i handle better.
Anyone else noticed this?
Has this something to do with weak core strength or is it a deeper problem?
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

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onemanpeloton
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by onemanpeloton

You should aim to distribute your weight on the bike so that your hands/arms arent bearing your weight.

See this link for more info on setting saddle fore/aft to unweight your arms:

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bi ... oad-bikes/

Once you've done this, you can position your handlebars at the correct height.

It could also be a bar width issue. Look at how your hands naturally rest on the hoods to get a basic indication of whether the bar width is correct.
2017 Giant TCR Disc
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by Weenie


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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

I understand, for me this means a higher bar makes things more easy to breathe freely.
But at times it also feels it is worse for the back.
Yupp, i feel 42 is to wide at times and 40 is too narrow.
But i guess the wider the less restricted breathing is.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

cbrshadow
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by cbrshadow

I think it has a lot to do with your specific physique. I can get reasonably low in the drops but I have a friend who can't because his thighs end up hitting/pushing into his stomach and that lack of space doesn't allow for him to breathe comforatbly. When he gets low like this he's fine for 30-45 seconds, then the lack full breaths catches up.
He doesn't have a big belly, but has a small pooch that I think adds to the issue.

AJS914
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by AJS914

onemanpeloton wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:53 pm
See this link for more info on setting saddle fore/aft to unweight your arms:

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bi ... oad-bikes/

I really like many of Hogg's ideas but I haven't been able to fully wrap my brain around this one. Using his method to set my saddle fore/aft position, I end up with the saddle pushed all the way back. Doing that results in an uncomfortable torso/thigh angle.

I could switch to an endurance bike with a tall spacer stack or a cruiser bike where I could sit upright and change that torso/thigh angle but that obviously wouldn't be satisfactory.

Part of it might be his terminology - he says something like 'fully unweighting the torso'. What does that mean when you take your hands off the bars? That you can actually do it at all for a few seconds? Or does it mean you take your hands off the bars and you could comfortably stay in that position for 10 minutes?

Pro cyclists seem to be going the opposite direction these days - deep drop, saddle more forward. The fastest aerodynamic position may not agree with Hogg's unweighting of the torso?

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Calnago
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by Calnago

AJS914 wrote:...Pro cyclists seem to be going the opposite direction these days - deep drop, saddle more forward. The fastest aerodynamic position may not agree with Hogg's unweighting of the torso?
You’re right... the fastest aero position is what you try to achieve on a TT bike. And no, with weight that far forward you’re never going to “unweight” the bars completely. What is important on a road bike however is that your weight is more or less balanced between the wheels and that a good rule of thumb to test that is whether you can just hover as you’re riding for a bit with your hands just above the hoods for example. Basically the same riding position as you would incur while riding on the hoods. If you can’t hover for even a little bit then you may be too weight forward. Or you may intentionally want to have your saddle very forward with as long out front position as you can get for aero, that’s your call. And yes, it will be much harder to “hover” in that position. Sacrifice comfort for aero. You choose. All depends where your priorities are. There’s no one right answer.
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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

cbrshadow wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:59 pm
I think it has a lot to do with your specific physique. I can get reasonably low in the drops but I have a friend who can't because his thighs end up hitting/pushing into his stomach and that lack of space doesn't allow for him to breathe comforatbly. When he gets low like this he's fine for 30-45 seconds, then the lack full breaths catches up.
He doesn't have a big belly, but has a small pooch that I think adds to the issue.
Do you know me :)
It sounds like it, that is probably as well as anyone could describe what i experience.
I sometimes look at the leg angle when i'm at 12 o'clock and find that it's too close to the belly.
I have noticed that a further forward position actually restrict ability to put more power to the pedals.
Before i rode higher and more forward. Now i can't imagine this position.
It cause all sorts of effects which i understand isn't doing any good.

I understand breathing is more important than aero. Strangely i have no restrictions that i "feel" if i ride lower.
Part from breathing!
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

zefs
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by zefs

What is your saddle drop?

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onemanpeloton
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by onemanpeloton

cbrshadow wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:59 pm
I think it has a lot to do with your specific physique. I can get reasonably low in the drops but I have a friend who can't because his thighs end up hitting/pushing into his stomach and that lack of space doesn't allow for him to breathe comforatbly. When he gets low like this he's fine for 30-45 seconds, then the lack full breaths catches up.
He doesn't have a big belly, but has a small pooch that I think adds to the issue.
Sounds like his bars are too low/far away or his cranks are too long or a combination of all
2017 Giant TCR Disc
2015 Giant TCX
2016 Cube Stereo 140

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onemanpeloton
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by onemanpeloton

AJS914 wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:24 pm
onemanpeloton wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:53 pm
See this link for more info on setting saddle fore/aft to unweight your arms:

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bi ... oad-bikes/

I really like many of Hogg's ideas but I haven't been able to fully wrap my brain around this one. Using his method to set my saddle fore/aft position, I end up with the saddle pushed all the way back. Doing that results in an uncomfortable torso/thigh angle.

I could switch to an endurance bike with a tall spacer stack or a cruiser bike where I could sit upright and change that torso/thigh angle but that obviously wouldn't be satisfactory.

Part of it might be his terminology - he says something like 'fully unweighting the torso'. What does that mean when you take your hands off the bars? That you can actually do it at all for a few seconds? Or does it mean you take your hands off the bars and you could comfortably stay in that position for 10 minutes?

Pro cyclists seem to be going the opposite direction these days - deep drop, saddle more forward. The fastest aerodynamic position may not agree with Hogg's unweighting of the torso?
Depends what you consider satisfactory. It does indeed sound like your bars are too low or far away or both.

I'm pretty sure he covers in that article or the following one, but he says you shouldnt be aiming to ride a sustained time like that. You should position just forward of the position that allows you to teeter in that position with hands swung back

Steve Hogg isnt fitting people based on aerodynamics. Hes fitting them based on comfort and sustainability. No doubt he would fit a an amateur the same as the pros if that amateur had the functionality of movement that the pros have. Also, the harder you pedal the more the torso is unweighted. Maybe pros putting out higher power than us are still unweighting their arms even with a more forward position? Either way, I see plenty of cons to having too much weight on your hands but no benefits
2017 Giant TCR Disc
2015 Giant TCX
2016 Cube Stereo 140

zefs
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

^ Exactly this, also the pros are compromising bike fit for aero gains, that along with their higher power can allow them to ride in a different position than it would be considered optimal for non-professionals.

Steve Hogg's balance method is spot on in my opinion, if you are not racing but do a lot of hours on the bike assuming everything else is set correctly as well. So it comes back to what is your goal and ride terrain characteristics.

I would suggest raising the handlebars if you are trying the balance method, because if you go back on the saddle but still low on the front you might end up with flex on the spine which makes it hard on breathing.

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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

Moved up from a -12 stem, to 4-5mm spacers under.
Next i went to a -6 stem.
Think i have been moving stack from -14mm to 0 in increments.
Also made some crappy spacers i have under my right foot cleat.
Usually i have been fiddling with seat height. My right leg seems a bit shorter than the left.
I notice when i pedal, a tension at right side (like hip). I also note that the pelvis is loaded differently on the saddle due to this.
I have a weird thing going on with my left arm to. I tend to raise the left arm which is something i constantly need to focus on, not doing.
Otherwise i have a tendency to crumb my back, so i limit my effective reach.
I have changed frameset due to this. I guess my effective reach for my length, is short.
Say we have 3 versions, short, normal and long.
I am short and sometimes i am normal.
I have tried to oversee these things.
Also what works best in terms of positioning the cleats.
Too far back and i don't push and pull as i should.
Also have been working on altering my foot angle. My back is bad, that much i know.
So i tend to alter pose and move alot. This ofcourse f**k things up talking a "bike fit".
I have rows of saddles and stems. This year i bought Selle San Marco Mantra carbon and just now, Selle Italia SP-01 Boost carbon (this one i really like)
I will try a -8 stem next week (Tune Geiles).
Also looking for a handlebar, but i am very picky with measurements and shapes, so this one is difficult.
Have about 7 laying around here. Current favorite is the old Easton EC90SL.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

zefs
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:40 pm

by zefs

I had similar issues with the ones you are describing. Some people (including me) are hard to fit because of body characteristics, I also needed wedges and proper arch support because of pronation etc, I can now feel like I am pedalling.

My advice would be: forget the numbers and find a place where you can see yourself in a mirror while on the bike.

1) Mark the 1st and 5th metatarshal on the outside of the shoe, place the cleat's center on the center of the 2 marks
2) For saddle height (if you haven't found the optimal yet) try ~145deg on full leg extention when clipped in. If you can't measure the angle do the heel to pedal method to set saddle height with no (or slight) hip drop (when turning the pedals).
3) Use a 0 deg angle for saddle, so you feel the sitbones correctly (depending on your weight and saddle type/flex you might have to experiment but the point is to always feel the sitbones and not slip from the sweet spot)
4) Do the balance test by Steve Hogg, if you are slipping forward move the saddle back until you stop slipping
5) If you had to move the saddle back, raise the handlebars so you get ~45deg back angle (no flexed spine) on the hoods
6) If your spine flexes, your reach is either too short or handlebars are too low

Using this method I ended up with a ~5cm saddle drop which is fine since I am always climbing but can still be aero in the drops when need to with more comfort for longer (again it depends on what your goals are).

The above should help with: breathing,comfort on long rides, balance on the bike/stability, relaxed upper body, no saddle pressure
But if you also have issues like leg length difference, need wedges/arch support/correct shoes for your feet etc. only a bike fit can solve that since you can't do it on your own.
Hope that helps

guyc
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by guyc

With that many issues I'd be looking for an experienced fitter to be honest. Someone who can assess you and make changes for you during the fit. Too many variables for you to control.

by Weenie


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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

I'm stubborn, but not cost effective.
Trial and error, testing takes time.
Basically bring my bike to the fitter i would like to use, will be impossible.
It's too far, i would have to stay at hotel and likely go back several times.
Looking at cost for this service, it would be very high. Plus the travel needed truely is impossible for me.
I have talked to this fitter and i do believe in him. As i have got it so far, is that some are more "easy" to fit than others.
There are many guys who have been fitted, that end up changing things anyway due to not liking the outcome.
A group of cyclist went to different fitters and outcome was different at different fitters.
They found out that this way was not giving consistency.
However, my problem is the travelling involved. This is where it fall apart for me.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO Race (2018.12.21)
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=156137
Paduano Racing Fidia (kind of shelved)
Open *UP* (2016.04.14)


Ex bike; Vial EVO D

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