TT Positioning

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by James Dalton, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. James Dalton

    James Dalton New Member

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    I am looking to get some ideas on the correct positioning for TT'ing as opposed to a more traditional road position.

    Can anyone give me any help with this - as I understand there to be some subtle differences but are unsure of what they are.
     
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  2. BugMan

    BugMan New Member

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    I was wondering the same thing after watching this year's Tour de France. I noticed Jan Ullrich's hands were very low - forearms dipping below horizontal - and upper arms were fairly close to the body. Lance and others did not have the radically low hand position, but they still did not seem as stretched out in front as seems typical in the local TT races I've been to.
     
  3. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    Turn up to a local club TT, look around and ask some questions. Most people will be quite helpful (after the race!).

    Try
    http://www.wargraverunners.net/Cycling/RCCTT160803/index.html

    I'm CRW-1317. You'll see some good positions, and some bad. I know what is good about my position, and what is bad (although any comments from others would be welcome). Ask any questions based on the pictures James, and I'll do my best to answer.
     
  4. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Chris Boardman (when he raced (either on the track or in a TT)) and the current GB track endurance team have great positions. Looking at their positions their hips and shoulders are horizontal.

    Tour riders tend to compromise their positions for comfort and aerodynamics so are not that good to copy. Track riders tend to have better positions as they have less to contend with and need the best aerodynamics they can.
     
  5. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Your position looks pretty good. However, you should have your helmet against your back as its acting like a sail.

    Does your bike have road bike geometry? Do you feel you are sitting too far back over the BB?
     
  6. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    As a ball-park starting point for a TT bike, drop the pads/arm rests very low, so that they're probably at least around 13 cm / 5 inches below the saddle. The reason for this is to get your acromion process (bony protrusion on top of collar bone) almost level with the greater trochanter (rotation point of femur and hips). If you draw a line between these two points the slope of the line should be less than 10%. Another way of doing this is to get the scapula parallel to the ground. Having a curved or flat back makes little or no difference to these issues -- many people can't get a flat back due to their anatomy.

    Once the saddle and bar height is done, move the elbow pads in to a narrow position -- so that your forearms 'block' your thighs from view. Finally, have your forearms parallel to the ground or pointing ever so slightly up -- having them point down (a la Ullrich) is most likely horrendously bad for aerodynamics.

    Ride in your TT position at least once a week, all year round, completing some form of hard, sustained work (e.g., 4 x 15-mins at TT effort). This will enable you to get used to your position, and allow you to tweak the set up. It's highly likely that you'll need to raise the saddle and move it forward to enable you to keep the same hip/thigh angle as in your road position.

    In a good aero position, you might *initially* loose a tiny bit of power. With regular training in that position it will usually return. However, if it does not, the increased aerodynamic position will offset the slight drop in power.

    Ric
     
  7. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I'd agree with the bit about the helmet. I've just got it from Louis Garneau. It's advertised as the only aero helmet that is safety certified as well. I was dissapointed with the sail effect too - but I can't lift my head any higher, or reposition it on my head any differently. However, because I want a safety helmet, I'm prepared to accept the compromise, I still think it is faster than a normal helmet (ie shape, no vents, visor), but not quite as good as an aero 'head fairing'. The (unscientific) tests I have carried out indicate it is worth about 20-30 seconds to me on a '25' versus my old safety helmet?

    I'd agree with the bit on geometry - but I'm assuming I'll need to get a true 'low-pro' frame to sort that out?
     
  8. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Thats good news!

    Your position is pretty good, but to move forward over the BB, you would need a bike with steeper angles. That would alow you to rotate forwards while still holding a similar position. You could always move your saddle further forward (perhaps raising it too), this would have the same effect as steepening the seat and head tube.
     
  9. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    Thanks for the input. I've got a TT tomorrow so I'm going to move the saddle a little bit as suggested. I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  10. zakeen

    zakeen New Member

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    While time trialing you seem to have a better pull up on your pedal rotation when pulling on your aero bars. Try it! while no pulling you seem to loose a little technic! and your speed will drop.

    The reason why Jan has his situp like this is because it uses gravity to pull him forwards and makes it easier to focus on your technic better! while using no pull at all you get the same affect! and saving energy! But it is rather uncomfortable! But it works!
     
  11. veloguy

    veloguy New Member

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    Here is my two cents. If you want to be "legal" start with some of the UCI rules. The most important one is the nose of your seat can not be any closer than 5cm behind the bottom bracket spindle. Start there and then move your seat forward as much as feels comfortable. The object is to be in a forward position for power and to open up your diaphram to ease breathing. You want a flat back, so the drop to the aero bars is dependent on your flexibility and the power you produce in the aero position. Everything is a compromise: you need to weigh aerodynamics with comfort and power. The last thing is elbow width. Some thing that narrowest is best. However, from my reading you want your upper arms to match the width of your thighs, so that your thight are in the "shadow" of you arms, when looked at from the front. Lastly, wear a skin suit, zipped up. No flapping jerseys. Kevin

     
  12. patch70

    patch70 New Member

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    >>I noticed Jan Ullrich's hands were very low - forearms dipping below horizontal - and upper arms were fairly close to the body.

    Jan & the Bianchi boys went for maximun aerodynamic advantage (& maximum discomfort).

    >>Lance and others did not have the radically low hand position, but they still did not seem as stretched out in front as seems typical in the local TT races I've been to.

    USPS had a different approach. As they do ~90% of their training in an upright position, their coaches believed that a more upright TT position, although less aerodynamic, would be closer to what their muscles are used to and also would be more comfortable and hence would allow them to generate more power. You use slightly different muscle groups if you are in a very low/horizontal position compared to the more upright position.

    Hence, if you are a roadie training for the rare ITT, you are probably better off following the USPS rule. However, if TT's are what you want to aim for, go for maximum aerodynamics in training & racing and try for a track rider's position.
     
  13. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    How did you get on?
     
  14. Grant

    Grant New Member

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    Have a look at the following website http://www.slowtwitch.com
    There is an excellent article by Dan Empfield that tells you how to position yourself on a bike for triathlons ( the ride of a non draft legal tri is essentially a TT)
     
  15. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    The important thing to note (and i'm not sure if i've seen the specific article to which you mightbe referring), is that frequently triathletes do NOT set themselves up optimally from an aerodynamic point of view, as they have to run afterwards.

    Ric
     
  16. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    I haven't got round to altering the seat yet. But I did remove the visor from the helmet. This enabled me to move the helmet back on my head, eliminating the sail effect.
     
  17. T-Man

    T-Man New Member

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    I had a Serrota fit done at the local bike shop. I had a very low TT position when I went in. My drop from seat to elbow pads was 17.5 cm. I;m now at 9.5 cm and my back came up only 2 cm but I gained 10% in wattage output!

    Aero is not an end all for high performance. Comfort, power output and breathability are also important. I'm much faster over a longer distance then i was before.

    Paul
     
  18. Markster

    Markster New Member

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    I fully agree with this. I ride with the armrests a lot higher than I used to and am generating a lot more power. You reach a point when lowering handlebars (road or TT) where you are no longer affecting the position of the back, all you are doing is extending the shoulders. I know that for me this is bad for breathing, and I doubt that overextending the shoulders is particularly beneficial for aerodynamics either (and I work in aerodynamics).

    You shouldn't be 'pulling' your back flat. If you feel your back isn't flat enough then work with seat position and stretching (and strengthening core muscles)

    Personally, if I can't stay in the aero position comfortably on the Turbo Trainer for 1hr then my position is wrong.

    As an aside, did anyone else notice that David Millars time trial position was looking a lot better at the Tour this year? I think during some tests at the track he raised his bars, and his back appears flatter, and his shoulders less overextended. He felt a lot more comfortable and went faster during the velodrome tests, and he seems to have carried these improvements over to his TT bike.
     
  19. MikeyOz

    MikeyOz New Member

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    Just like to add my support about your posistion, looks pretty good... coming from a more triathlon background, basically a triathlon bike ride now is pretty much a Time Trial for the distance.

    Im not rich enough to affoard 2 really great bikes so I make do with the one bike for now. The bike has road bike geometry, however come triathlon days, I crank the seat up a little more and move the seat forward as far as possible, saves me adjusting the handle bars and aero bars.

    If i rode like this on a long training ride Im sure I would not be able to walk afterwards for 2 days, but given the nature of time trial its ok.

    its all about experimentation with the bike you have and finding the position that you want and then trade off comfort for most efficient position, which generally do not go hand in hand, from experience.

    if I keep my current bike for example I am going to invest in a seat post that you are able to change the angle to give a straighter more forward position, to offset the road geometry.

    Mikey
     
  20. Shibumi

    Shibumi New Member

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    Just thought I'd post my 'after' position. The before position was posted earlier in the thread. Here it is anyway:

    BEFORE: http://www.wargraverunners.net/Cycling/RCCTT160803/slides/CRW_1317.html

    The obvious comment was that my helmet was pointing up at the back. To get it to point further back I had to remove the visor. It's still not perfect, but it is the best I will get without changing helmets, and until anyone else comes up with a combined aero/safety helmet I don't want to do that. Any more comments welcome!

    AFTER:
    http://www.wargraverunners.net/Cycling/SWTT140903/slides/004.html
     
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