Pro riders and stem length - what gives?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by Leozinho, May 15, 2005.

  1. Leozinho

    Leozinho New Member

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    I've been watching a lot of the Giro and flipping through all the magazines at Barnes and Noble lately, and have noticed that rarely, if ever, do the pro riders have the standard "text book" fit regarding stem/top tube length.

    Everything I've read says that the bar should obscure the sight of the hubs while riding in the drops. But rarely are the hub/bar/eyes aligned when the pros are in the drops in TV and in the magazines. Their heads are too far back.

    One example is Fred Rodriguez on p.21 of March 28 issue of Velonews. (Couldn't find a suitable photo on the net. Most are taken at an angle.)

    Anyone else noticed this?
     
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  2. eortiz

    eortiz New Member

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    The "bar should obscure the front hubs" is a rule of thumb in bike fit. I am actually one of those people who have followed the "rule of thumb" methods for a long time. But recently, I have had myself fitted and found out that I needed a longer top tube. For this reason, I have noticed that I am now more stretched out on my bike and am now using my gluets to propel the bike. But despite the fitting I had I am still fine tuning myself and doing some small adjustments to find the position I will be most comfortable in.
     
  3. ed073

    ed073 New Member

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    "bar obscuring hub" doesn't really apply to professional racing. But if it works for you, then that's cool.
     
  4. dhk

    dhk New Member

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    When watching the pros on TT bikes last month at the Tour de Georgia, I was surprised to see the huge variation in positions. Some were totally stretched out, with a flat back, others had their chins almost on the stem, others (like Lance) were sitting up rather high and "crunched" together.

    Based on those observations, I'd forget about trying to copy the style of your favorite pro and go with what works best for you.
     
  5. ed073

    ed073 New Member

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    More upright-Lance Armstrong, Paolo Bettini.
    More stretched-Mario Cipollini, Brad McGee.

    All superstars, all different. I agree. go with what's comfy for YOU.

    :D
     
  6. tfstrum

    tfstrum New Member

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    The Wrench Science sizing system even has you state your flexibility. I guess you get a longer top tube, maybe stem depending on how far you can bend. Everyone's different in shape, size and flexibility. The different frame geometrys probably has something to do with the Pro's all being different as well.

    http://www.wrenchscience.com/
     
  7. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    We should all be so lucky to be able to ride in a wind tunnel like the pros to determine our optimal position for max power and min drag. :)
     
  8. Leozinho

    Leozinho New Member

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    I speculate that the pros are more flexibile on the bike than us mortals and that lets them stretch out further, hence they can ride with a longer top tube/stem. But seat-to-bar length seems also to effect how the weight of the torso is supported by the arms and shoulders. Too long of a stem and you'll be nicely stretched out but your arms will tire from holding up your torso.

    They pros certainly have nice flat backs even when riding in the drops. Every once in a while on TV you see a guy hunched over. He is noticable because he really stands out among the rest of the peloton and their flat backs.
     
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