Cycling Position - Event Specific

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Danmann, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. Danmann

    Danmann New Member

    Oct 4, 2004
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    Hopefully this is the right forum?

    I have several rides this year but one of them is a 24 hour "Le Mans" style ride; 4 riders cover 24 hours on a track.

    I'm thinking that my position on the bike will greatly affect lap times so looking for advice on how best to measure and tweak my bike. My other events are long distance multi terrain rides so comort over the proper position is likely to lead me on those ones.

    The 24hr event though is totally different - it's all about speed. Organisers have outlawed 'aero' bars so that position is sadly out.

    Anyone have good measurement guides or just advice - it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2006
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    You're right, a balance of aerodynamics, sustainable power and comfort are going to be key for a long and completely flat event. Too bad aero bars are out of the question, but completely understandable for a mass start event.

    But still, the same basic fit principles apply. You're going to want to find a low but comfortable position that minimizes your frontal area with minimal impact on your ability to generate power and for an event that long (even in a tag team format) you'll have to be as comfortable as possible. A good bike fitter is probably your best bet, but assuming your seat height and setback are already dialed in you're really down to stem spacers, stem length and stem drop. Not too much you can really play with but work on developing a sustainable position that gives you a reasonably flat back and comfortable reach while riding in the drops. If you can't stay down in the drops for very long and end up riding on the tops or brake hoods for comfort then you'll want to raise and or shorten the stem till you can stay down there for extended periods. No sense in having a very aggressive front end setup if you spend most of your time riding up on the hoods.

    Anyway, I'd start by moving any stem spacers up above your stem and possibly flipping your stem upside down if you're currently running rise instead of drop. See how that feels and see if you can complete longer training rides in that position or if it's just too aggressive. Consider swapping your stem to something longer or shorter or steeper rise or steeper drop (most modern stems can be flipped to provide either rise or drop) as necessary to find comfort. Then ride the setup for several hard rides on flat courses to check comfort and test speed across known distances, basically do some mock time trials to test out various positions. Try to make these test time trials at least 20 minutes long and they don't have to be right up against your limit, but at least 90% of your best effort for the distance. These are great training and should give you plenty of time in the drops to validate your position or to uncover comfort/power loss problems.

    If that doesn't all make sense then definitely contact a good local bike shop that provides fitting services and tell them what you're trying to do. A good fitter should be able to help you find an aggressive yet sustainable position.

    Good luck,
  3. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2004
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    A few tips for riding without aero gear:

    Sosenka broke the hour record a couple of years ago. Under the relatively new laws, riders are no longer allowed to use aero stuff for this record, but he used a semi-aero helmet, a 3.2kg weighted rear wheel, and, most importantly, rode as low as he could, and with his wrists cocked inwards to keep his arms as narrow as possible.

    However, I think he said that riding with his wrists like that was the most painful part of the ride.

    BUT!!!!!.....for 6 hours, I'd say comfort has gotta come before 'aeroness'.

  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2008
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    Do you have to do your 6 hours in one go, or do you get to split that 24hours between you in any way you like? That'll dictate significantly the answer to this question.

    Where's the event being held?