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  1. #1
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    Hopeless Attempt At Gaining Speed

    Just interested to hear what you did to find an efficient, fast position while riding a tt bike? I recently built up a dedicated tt bike and have been experimenting with rail position/ seat height and praying mantis vs. traditional bar position. Besides the extremes, without any real controls it seems futile to find a position this way. Maybe given time it will become a bit more innate.

    I'm not really looking for info to help me per se. Rather, I'd like to read about your journey to find the position that you found works best for you. For me, I got fit similar to the road bike (read KOPS knee extension). Have read too many articles about angles. Made endless adjustments and "runs" to see if anything drastic happened. Measured, plumbed, mirrored all to find the more I inquire the more confused I get. I'm left thinking TT fit with no controls has got to be the most hopeless attempt at gaining speed in the biking world.

    As Bill O'Reilly would say, "What say you"?

  2. #2
    Senior Member jkizzle's Avatar
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    changes in cycling are never drastic, they all take a loooong time to notice.

  3. #3
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    I've done much the same as you, although I didn't start off with any KOPS errr, BS. I have altered my TT bike position based on the basic principle that, barring wind tunnel time to prove otherwise, lower is more aero, level arms are better than angled down arms, and the further forward I can get, within reason, the more open my hip angle will be and the more power I can produce.

    I've basically gotten lower with each successive change, and undergone some pain adapting to each position, and gotten faster each time as well. I've also tried various fore and aft arm pad positions. I initially tried to get the 90 degree arm angles favored by Dan Empfield's FIST articles, but found that when I did this, my knees hit my elbows. Suckage. I'm back to a bit more stretched out arm position.

    One more thing I've read is that keeping the elbow width in line with the knees is good. When I tried this with a shorter cockpit, it constricted my breathing too much; now that I'm a bit more stretched out, it seems to work.

    I think having the powermeter on the TT rig has helped, and if I were more organized and did geek tricks like coast down tests, it'd be even more helpful. I'm just too lazy.
    Kendall Frederick

    Orange Park, FL

  4. #4
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    if it were easy you wouldnt be reading about all the pros spending time in wind tunnels.

  5. #5
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    You lost me at Bill O' Reilly. Good luck anyhoo my friend.

  6. #6
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by within View Post

    As Bill O'Reilly would say, "What say you"?
    I saw the thread title and naturally presumed it was about me.

  7. #7
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    I noticed my best gains when I started pumping a unit of blood into my left arm at breakfast.



    (tongue in cheek for the humor impaired)
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianappleby View Post
    if it were easy you wouldnt be reading about all the pros spending time in wind tunnels.
    I couldn't agree more. However, I didn't really expect "it" to be easy. It's fun though.

    That I spent money on a tt bike I thought it natural to devote some time trying to figure out the best position that allows me to be "aero" while still producing some power (which I have no way to measure). I thought it was almost comical how many times I stopped and moved something, rode for a while, try to hold HR steady and check speed at given points. It also struck me how f'ing crazy this aspect of the sport can be. Here I've spent some cash on this machine designed to help minimize drag and no way to really measure, in terms of faster or slower, the changes I make.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
    I saw the thread title and naturally presumed it was about me.
    I actually thought of some of your tt position threads a while back while writing the op. Initially, I thought they were a little crazy, but now that I know a little more, I was wrong. So, in a small way, it is about you!

  10. #10
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by within View Post
    I actually thought of some of your tt position threads a while back while writing the op. Initially, I thought they were a little crazy, but now that I know a little more, I was wrong. So, in a small way, it is about you!
    Get your camera and find a white garage door. It is time to have your TT position critiqued.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanders View Post
    Get your camera and find a white garage door. It is time to have your TT position critiqued.
    My door is brown. That will never work.

  12. #12
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by within View Post
    My door is brown. That will never work.


    Sacrifice you must in speed to be gained.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bvfrompc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanders View Post
    Get your camera and find a white garage door. It is time to have your TT position critiqued.
    Agreed, without pics, this post never happened.

  14. #14
    abandoning fly:yes/land:no's Avatar
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    for fun:

    get a treadmill and a really big fan.

    attach a sping to your bike that has a good amount of stretch (the weaker the spring, the more visible the differences in resistance will appear.)

    coast your bike on the treadmill at one speed(keep leg position and treadmill speed the same throughout each test) and turn the fan on. the stronger the fan, the better the reading because the resistance will be more due to aero factors than rolling resistance --> easier to see changes.

    measure the stretch in the spring, attaching it at the same point on the bike each time.

    if this works, i will be amazed.

  15. #15
    as I used to be NotAsFat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no View Post
    for fun:

    get a treadmill and a really big fan.

    attach a sping to your bike that has a good amount of stretch (the weaker the spring, the more visible the differences in resistance will appear.)

    coast your bike on the treadmill at one speed(keep leg position and treadmill speed the same throughout each test) and turn the fan on. the stronger the fan, the better the reading because the resistance will be more due to aero factors than rolling resistance --> easier to see changes.

    measure the stretch in the spring, attaching it at the same point on the bike each time.

    if this works, i will be amazed.
    Starve a terrorist - ride a bike to work. It's not just good for the environment, it's good for civilization.

    My new blog is No Pinch Flats.

  16. #16
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KendallF View Post
    I have altered my TT bike position based on the basic principle that, barring wind tunnel time to prove otherwise, lower is more aero, level arms are better than angled down arms, and the further forward I can get, within reason, the more open my hip angle will be and the more power I can produce.
    Same here. Using these principals, I got a lot more comfortable and faster this year. I posted a couple pics for nods on this forum, then I posted a video when I thought I had it completely dialed in. The only thing I've changed since then is lowering my shoulders again, when I realized I could remove the pedestals under my elbow pads and get another 2cm.

    Once I got going with what looked like a good position, I realized that to finish it off, I was going to need more flexibility. This lead to my first real efforts at stretching in my life, and I can now get my head to my straightened knees -- and the aggressive TT position is really really comfy.

  17. #17
    Not above sucking wheel pedalmyass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    Same here. Using these principals, I got a lot more comfortable and faster this year. I posted a couple pics for nods on this forum, then I posted a video when I thought I had it completely dialed in. The only thing I've changed since then is lowering my shoulders again, when I realized I could remove the pedestals under my elbow pads and get another 2cm.

    Once I got going with what looked like a good position, I realized that to finish it off, I was going to need more flexibility. This lead to my first real efforts at stretching in my life, and I can now get my head to my straightened knees -- and the aggressive TT position is really really comfy.
    I have a friend (male), who is able to get on the ground and stick his head way beyond his strightened knee's; it makes for a disturbing picture when he does it in our break room.
    " I chased him for what seemed like 10 min...I reeled him in like a 5 pound trout, comming up on him fast I then realized that he was a orange painted mail box".....

    Pedalmyass.. Telling his teammates the reason for breaking away in order to try and close a gap of a single rider up the road during the 1998 Washington state Cat 1/2 road race championship.

  18. #18
    3 seconds ColorChange's Avatar
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    Although a wind tunnel is the prefered choice, you do have another option.

    Put your bike on the roof of your car, climb on, and have someong drive around and refine your position. At 40-50 mph you will get a darn good feel for all your gear and positional changes and the resulting aero effects.

    Just a suggestion.

  19. #19
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColorChange View Post
    Although a wind tunnel is the prefered choice, you do have another option.

    Put your bike on the roof of your car, climb on, and have someong drive around and refine your position. At 40-50 mph you will get a darn good feel for all your gear and positional changes and the resulting aero effects.

    Just a suggestion.
    Used to be an alpine ski racer. My first coach was a former USST downhiller. He said he's done that wearing the full downhill suit, skis, poles, helmet and goggles. Given the 2x4's those guys used back in the 70's for the Hannenkam I'm not really surprised though.

    A bike however, would be awesome matterial for the Darwin awards.

  21. #21
    3 seconds ColorChange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by within View Post
    Used to be an alpine ski racer. My first coach was a former USST downhiller. He said he's done that wearing the full downhill suit, skis, poles, helmet and goggles. Given the 2x4's those guys used back in the 70's for the Hannenkam I'm not really surprised though.

    A bike however, would be awesome matterial for the Darwin awards.
    Within ... LOL. We used to do this when I was ski jumping. We made a frame where we could hang the skier in, skis and all, and would fly down the road at 60-70 mph in order to work on our air flight. It works, but I really hoped we wouldn't hit anyone. We normally did it late at night, and no, drinking was not involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColorChange View Post
    Within ... LOL. We used to do this when I was ski jumping. We made a frame where we could hang the skier in, skis and all, and would fly down the road at 60-70 mph in order to work on our air flight. It works, but I really hoped we wouldn't hit anyone. We normally did it late at night, and no, drinking was not involved.
    OMG, you guys have balls! I hiked up to the top of the Ironwood structure decades ago and actually jumped (with slalom skis and bindings) off the Howelsen Hill jump in Steamboat. No idea if those things are still standing, but it was a whole new level of scary looking down the Ironwood jump! Way cool!

  23. #23
    3 seconds ColorChange's Avatar
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    Within, Done the hills at Steamboat but with the proper gear. You're crazy to do it on downhill stuff. Please tell me you left your poles behind. I haven't done the ski flying hill (Copper Peak) at Ironwood, MI but my brother has ... way cool but I decided to pass on that one. And yes ... it's intimidating as hell from the top. Did you see it when snowed? Then it's really intimidating, Now nearby, Iron Mountain, MI is still way fun. I've also done a little ski racing but nothing serious. Spent too much time ski jumping in my prime (if I ever really had one) ;(.

    Finally, ski jumping is way less hairy than downhill. When you ski jump properly, it's almost an out of body experience and balletic. In downhill, the winner is usually 99% out of control, nearly dies 3 or 4 times down, and has an out of mind experience.

  24. #24
    Senior Member curiouskid55's Avatar
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    Last month at Piru TT conditions were light so a friend lent me her deep sections because she was running her disk and 4 spoke. So awsome ,light day, aero wheels ,felt really good, had new aero position I was very comfortable training in, everything in place for a personal best.

    Test road the weels a little before registration everything is working great. Register , change wheels and warm up. 10 minutes before start put on race wheels. Forgot my headband, no big deal. Feel very good, relaxed, ready. Roll up and take off.
    Feel really great, quickly up to speed finding my rhythym. First hill ,start to lose cadence and shift. Jumpy cassette, won't stay in prefered gear. So over cranking a bit no big, hammer. Down hill, shift ,crap ,won't stay in gear. Ok under cranking a bit, no big, hammer. Check my data. No data computer acting weird. HRM works. Starting to sweat pretty good, running down my face. Starting to run on my glasses. Go into shade. Glasses fog up. Can't see s**t. Okay think that's the turn around.

    So I can't use the gears I need, I've got no data, have no idea what my split was, I can't see,and only six miles to go. Awsome. I'm fighting the bike all the way back. I have no rhythym . I have no confidence laying the power on. I'm cussing, sweating, pissed,ok finish this thing. Thank you that's over. What a f*****g mess. Oh well. Hang out for results , check the sheet. MY Best Time Ever!! Can't wait til next month.

  25. #25
    Senior Member mezza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curiouskid55 View Post
    Last month at Piru TT conditions were light so a friend lent me her deep sections because she was running her disk and 4 spoke. So awsome ,light day, aero wheels ,felt really good, had new aero position I was very comfortable training in, everything in place for a personal best.

    Test road the weels a little before registration everything is working great. Register , change wheels and warm up. 10 minutes before start put on race wheels. Forgot my headband, no big deal. Feel very good, relaxed, ready. Roll up and take off.
    Feel really great, quickly up to speed finding my rhythym. First hill ,start to lose cadence and shift. Jumpy cassette, won't stay in prefered gear. So over cranking a bit no big, hammer. Down hill, shift ,crap ,won't stay in gear. Ok under cranking a bit, no big, hammer. Check my data. No data computer acting weird. HRM works. Starting to sweat pretty good, running down my face. Starting to run on my glasses. Go into shade. Glasses fog up. Can't see s**t. Okay think that's the turn around.

    So I can't use the gears I need, I've got no data, have no idea what my split was, I can't see,and only six miles to go. Awsome. I'm fighting the bike all the way back. I have no rhythym . I have no confidence laying the power on. I'm cussing, sweating, pissed,ok finish this thing. Thank you that's over. What a f*****g mess. Oh well. Hang out for results , check the sheet. MY Best Time Ever!! Can't wait til next month.
    Quite an inspiring story my friend

    I too find this. I have a regular run that I do. On days I feel great I'll do a mediocre time. This morning, for no apparent reason I posted a PB. Go figure
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