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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-22-12, 10:46 PM   #1
phulin
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Headwinds and hand positions

I ride a very short (~1.5mi) commute to school, with usually 1-3 round trips daily. About half a mile of that is across a bridge (http://www.strava.com/segments/harva...thbound-690537), where there are often fairly strong headwinds. Even in that short a distance, I find the wind really frustrating - as it seems most people do. It seems like I should be riding in the drops, but I can't generate enough leg power to support enough of my weight to feel comfortable - I get out of breath really quickly, and either way I don't like being sweaty on the other end.

Is this an issue of bike fit? In (basically) every other situation, I'm pretty happy with the geometry. My drops are below my saddle, but not by much. Or do I just need to be in better shape?

I have a 2004 Trek 1000 road bike with 23mm tires.
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Old 12-22-12, 10:48 PM   #2
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You need more time and miles to get into better shape.
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Old 12-22-12, 11:00 PM   #3
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I have increased leg power by rising the saddle enough for my legs not to be totally extended.
adding clip or clipless systems could help as well.
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Old 12-22-12, 11:04 PM   #4
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I have Power Grips - those have helped immensely. I can withstand 5-10mi more in headwind before it starts to get that hopeless feeling. My saddle is almost as high as it can go without my having to lean from side to side. That feels right for me in other situations.
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Old 12-23-12, 02:04 AM   #5
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The Dutch traditional bikes are very upright, The North Sea can blow in strongly,
then they often lean forward, their elbows on the handlebars, into the headwinds.
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Old 12-23-12, 08:51 AM   #6
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Gear down, treat the wind like a hill. More rpm is going to be more effective than more muscle. On my road bike I usually just stick to the hoods and lean forward a bit. On the mountain bike I put my hands in right next to the stem and lean forward. Don't forget to tuck in those knees and elbows too.
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Old 12-23-12, 09:08 AM   #7
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For drops core strength and flexibility are important. The drops not seeming effective may benefit from building up your core strength. Also if you aren't very flexible especially in the hamstrings your drops maybe too low for you.
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Old 12-23-12, 09:13 AM   #8
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I get in the drops and go a couple gears lower.

Maybe you are trying to push too high a gear. Start with a gear such that your cadence is 80 rpm.

You may also be in poor fitness. 1.5 miles several times/day is not going to get you in shape, unless you push yourself hard every time. If you avoid sweating, you are not pushing yourself at all. Just cruising 1.5 miles on a bike has about as much exercise value as walking around the block.
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Old 12-23-12, 10:38 AM   #9
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Yeah, I know my commute isn't going to be effective for fitness. I go on longer rides for fun a couple times a week. I'd say I'm in medium shape - but that point about core strength is interesting. I'm pretty weak there. Maybe I should try to build that up.
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Old 12-23-12, 11:03 AM   #10
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Don't lean on your hands and relax your torso. Instead, tip your hips back so your spine is nearly vertical where it comes out of your hips. This will take much of the weight off your hands. Bend your elbows slightly to tuck the top end of your torso downward. It may not feel comfortable at first, but you will generate more torque at the pedals.
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Old 12-23-12, 11:53 AM   #11
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My trekking bars allow for me to grab the inner bars and rest my forearms on the near bars over the brake lever, for a comfortable aero position with arms tucked in. far bars are good for pedaling into gusts, for better control.

yes, this is the same pic as in the mirror thread!
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Old 12-23-12, 06:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
We were supposed to get 50 MPH gusts in Pennsylvania on Saturday, but my area couldn’t have been anywhere near that gusty (as my air conditioner cover was hardly breathing). I was going to purposely head out in a direction against the wind so I could finally experience 50 MPH tailwinds on my return trip, but the wind failed to cooperate.
We had 50mph gusts one day last week and I can tell you it's interesting to not be pedaling and feel yourself accelerating, uphill even. Hope you get to experience that sometime.
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Old 12-23-12, 07:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
My trekking bars allow for me to grab the inner bars and rest my forearms on the near bars over the brake lever, for a comfortable aero position with arms tucked in. far bars are good for pedaling into gusts, for better control.

yes, this is the same pic as in the mirror thread!
i sometimes do the same on one of my bikes. Trekking bars are pretty cool.

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