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  1. #1
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Question re: Saddle-Bar drop

    Currently, my position isn't optimized (i.e. in the drops I can't attain a flat back). If I progressively lower my stem (3 spacers right now), will I adapt to the more aggressive position? I figure if I lower my position slowly enough (remove one spacer every 200mi or so) and work on my core strength, I can handle it. Agree? disagree?
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  2. #2
    Giving you the business. Cypress's Avatar
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    Do it. Hell, remove them all at the same time.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member c4s6's Avatar
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    You'll probably need to work on flexibility as well.
    Things now are more like they have been than they ever were before.

  4. #4
    staring at the mountains superdex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    Currently, my position isn't optimized (i.e. in the drops I can't attain a flat back). If I progressively lower my stem (3 spacers right now), will I adapt to the more aggressive position? I figure if I lower my position slowly enough (remove one spacer every 200mi or so) and work on my core strength, I can handle it. Agree? disagree?
    provided you stretch your hamstrings and don't have any pain, yes.

    (the method you describe is exactly how my fitter made me do it, cept he said 100mi between changes)

    [edit: oh, and 'optimized' doesn't necessarily equal a flat back. --what if you get there, and you're slower?)

  5. #5
    Geosynchronous Falconeer recursive's Avatar
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    I took out all 5 or 6 spacers without bothering to count them. Go cold turkey!

    (may not constitute the actual best plan)
    Bring the pain.

  6. #6
    Race to train jrennie's Avatar
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    You have a powertap also right? Check to see if you wind up actually loosing power. A small power loss to be more aero is ok(in TT or if you are constantly going for breakaways) but more than a couple % wouldn't be worth it. Just beacuse it looks fast dosen't mean it will be.

  7. #7
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Taking em all off cold turkey is fun, but keep in mind that your body is gonna have to adapt to the new position, which may adversely affect your power.

    Also, Its going to make the saddle to bar distance slightly larger, so keep that in mind.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dubbayoo's Avatar
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    work on flexibility and drop 0.5cm maybe every other week.

  9. #9
    Banned. El Diablo Rojo's Avatar
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    Getting a flat back, big drop position is more about flexibility than core strength. I've alway been very flexible so an aggressive drop was easy to attain, however not everyone will be able to get that position and don't sacrifice power for a pro look.

  10. #10
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    I can bend over and put my palms on the floor...
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  11. #11
    Theodore Roosevelt's idol TheKillerPenguin's Avatar
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    Good man. I can get half way down my shins...I'm gettin there

    My saddle to bar drop is 5 inches...I think you should be fine in that case.
    Masochism is a training adaptation.

  12. #12
    Sittin' In Greko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    I can bend over and put my palms on the floor...
    You should be able to handle a 10cm drop.

  13. #13
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    sounds good. The stem angle is 17/73*, so I don't think I'll go cold turkey (that's one hell of a drop) but I'll go incrementally. Thanks for the advice, all.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  14. #14
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    Do it, I think that even 200 miles may not be enough time for your back to stregthen up. I would suggest more like a 5mm spacer every 500-1000 miles.

    You can go quicker but I'm willing to bet your lower back is going to be sore after long days in the saddle.
    Cat 1 o-meter 33%

  15. #15
    it's your bicycle bells popdelusions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    Currently, my position isn't optimized (i.e. in the drops I can't attain a flat back). If I progressively lower my stem (3 spacers right now), will I adapt to the more aggressive position? I figure if I lower my position slowly enough (remove one spacer every 200mi or so) and work on my core strength, I can handle it. Agree? disagree?
    I'm sure you'll be able to deal with it if you can put your palms on the floor, but how does your position on the tops and hoods feel? You might also want to look into deeper bars if the rest of your setup is working. Some of the newer anatomic bars are REALLY shallow, so if you have something like that on there now changing them out may help you toward your goal if everything else is already comfortable and lets you put out the power you need.
    Last edited by popdelusions; 04-30-07 at 05:19 PM.

  16. #16
    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Go for it. I just saw a picture of myself in the drops, and I need to drop the bars a bit as well. Go slowly, though.

    I don't know about you, but I can feel even minute differences in my bike fit. If I go cold turkey, I worry that my back might rebel. Your mileage may vary.

  17. #17
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    Sounds like a good plan to work on it incrementally while at the same time maintaining your flexibility and improving core strength. I like the recommendation to check your power outputs at different positions to see if you're sacrificing wattage.

    OTOH, I tried going from 2 spacers to 1 earlier this year, but after 3 weeks, my back wouldnt allow it to happen. Then again, I'm in my mid 30s and while I work on flexibility and core strength, I'll never put my palms on the floor.

  18. #18
    CAT 2 wanna be PolishPostal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    I can bend over and put my palms on the floor...
    Then you should be fine. I'm 5'11" and seat to top of bar drop is 4 1/2". I also can touch the floor with my palms.

  19. #19
    DocRay
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung
    I can bend over and put my palms on the floor...
    sounds like you're set for saturday night.

  20. #20
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocRay
    sounds like you're set for saturday night.
    I have to wait till saturday?
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  21. #21
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Every tweak can cause unintended consequences...in this case you may find your butt moving further rearward affecting your comfort in the saddle. You may end up adjusting the fore/aft, maybe even the tilt, to compensate, thus changing the position of your legs relative to the crank arms. Just something to keep in mind as you make changes. We freds are big worriers ya know.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  22. #22
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    I'm done racing for a while so it gives me plenty of time to mess with my fit on the bike without serious consequences. We'll see how it goes, and I'll report. At any rate, I'm looking to replace my anatomic bars with classic round bends, so that'll change things as well.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  23. #23
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    I had to tilt my seats down a bit on my bikes when I went with a lower handlebar/stem setup.....at first, it didn't seem to bother me too much, but then the boys started getting uncomfortable, and well....ya know.

    Small changes.
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  24. #24
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo Rojo
    Getting a flat back, big drop position is more about flexibility than core strength. I've alway been very flexible so an aggressive drop was easy to attain, however not everyone will be able to get that position and don't sacrifice power for a pro look.
    Excellent advice.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

  25. #25
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recursive
    I took out all 5 or 6 spacers without bothering to count them. Go cold turkey!

    (may not constitute the actual best plan)
    Your mileage may vary.

    Member FDIC.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
    Bret Stephens, WSJ

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