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Old 12-17-08, 08:05 PM   #1
JayhawKen
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Forward position for TT - why?

Someone please explain why a forward position is preferred for time trials or long OTF pulls. It seems like sliding forward just creates interference between your knees and your chest. And if you want to get lower, sliding BACK on the saddle should allow you to lengthen your torso to achieve a flatter profile.

So what's the deal?
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Old 12-17-08, 08:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JayhawKen View Post
Someone please explain why a forward position is preferred for time trials or long OTF pulls. It seems like sliding forward just creates interference between your knees and your chest. And if you want to get lower, sliding BACK on the saddle should allow you to lengthen your torso to achieve a flatter profile.

So what's the deal?
do what works for you. I can't breathe well or get 'in control' of the bike if i scoot my ass pretty far back.
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Old 12-17-08, 08:20 PM   #3
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I feel more powerful when I nose ride. I have no science to back this up though. Usually it just happens to me naturally though, not something that I am really thinking of when I am in an interval or TT-type effort.
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Old 12-17-08, 08:28 PM   #4
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Sitting back on the saddle closes your hip angle and constricts your diaphragm. By scooting forward on the saddle you can rotate your hips forward to get you back flat without restricting breathing and maintain the same hip angle.
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Old 12-17-08, 08:30 PM   #5
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So what's the deal?


They are wannabe triathletes?
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Old 12-17-08, 08:34 PM   #6
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+1 its the hip angle. You generate far less power with a tighter hip angle, which you get by sliding back.
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Old 12-17-08, 08:34 PM   #7
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Sliding forward on the saddle is a natural thing to do - when saddles were riveted, riders would describe going hard as "on the (front) rivet". The expression has outlasted the rivets.

No one does this consciously - you'll see racers who are struggling (in solo breaks and the like) slide forward on their seat, push themselves back, and repeat ad nauseum.

I like a forward position. It helps put weight on the front of the bike (excellent for all but steep downhill corners), it allows me to raise my saddle/torso a bit, and I get much more short burst seated speed.

- easier to spin when forward
- easier to breathe when forward
- recruit upper body naturally and effectively
- maybe a bit more power due to effectively lower seat position?
- personally I have a LOT more power when forward, as evidenced by powermeters
- one step away from standing up

If you commit to a forward position (TT bike, triathlete) then you need to raise your seat a bit. This will allow you to get proper leg extension.

I find a forward position is pretty much unusable at lower rpms - that's when sliding back on the seat helps, like on long climbs. On short or very fast climbs I actually sit on the tip of my saddle and spin like mad, but since I rarely climb fast, I usually resort to sliding back on the seat and slogging my way up.

Since mass start racing has all sorts of efforts, a compromise position is good. Medium position, allowing you to slide forward or backwards 2 or so inches, with the resulting different leg extensions allowing you to recruit different muscles.

cdr
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Old 12-17-08, 09:25 PM   #8
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I find I slide back a ton on my regular setup. Especially when diggin deep (think drainage ditch deep...not grand canyon deep....this is psimet after all) and/or climbing. I think I'm recruiting my back when I'm doing that.

I can say I started trying TT positions last year and did some TT's and after a lot of trying stuff for a while I finally found a comfortable position. I was surprised at how much better I could breathe and how much more power I "felt" like I could generate.

Only tradeoff was/is crappy handling.

In my "TT" position I tend to find my back curling up when I am on the limit. I have to conciously relax and flatten my back.
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Old 12-17-08, 09:36 PM   #9
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CDR's mention of sliding forward and backward is why I like a Fizik Arione on my road bike. Lots of room for fore and aft movement, more so than other saddles I've ridden.
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Old 12-19-08, 11:00 PM   #10
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an other aspect of being more forward (do you have the same sensations?) when being so much forward, my quads tend to burn sooo much faster then my hamstrings. I haven't figured it all out, but I wonder if it would be better on a long TT to not be as forward as short TT in order to preserve my quads. has anyone experienced this a bit?
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Old 12-19-08, 11:41 PM   #11
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The burn you describe occurs because you're using a different position that recruits slightly different muscle groups than your normal road position. That burn should go away if you dedicate more time to training in that position.
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