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Old 06-03-07, 09:22 AM   #1
stapfam
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Climbing position test.

Ride this morning had to take in a few hills and I won't say they were easy- Just easier than last weeks. I decided to test a few comments that were made in a posting by jppe a few weeks ago. And that is butt position while climbing. Whenever I get to climb- I move forward on the saddle which is the opposite to most others. So there I was going up the hill and just let my butt rest where it wanted. On the hoods and and I was on the nose of the saddle. Another point I noted was that if I climbed with the hands on the top of the bars- I did sit back in the saddle but I was too upright for the legs to work efficiently. For some reason the legs were tiring and I was slowing. Then it hit me- I was only pedalling on the downstroke. I tried to get the upstroke working and couldn't hold it naturally. Back onto the hoods and the circle pedalling came back. So for me- No more upright stance when climbing. Then I decided to try something that I do not do naturally. Riding in the drop position. Hands were on the flat of the drops and not covering the brakes. Then I did sit back in the saddle but I could not hold the position for long. Wish I could because my speed went up by 1/2 mph whenever I got onto the drops. At 8 mph there was no headwind so I doubt that I was more aerodynamic. I checked this out 4 or 5 times and it was the same each time. So Time for you to carry out your own tests and come to your own conclusions.

Then it was coffee time but the attachment is of a well known building in this part of the world. Bell Tout Lighthouse. As you can see- it is on top of the cliffs and many years ago it used to be a coastgaurd station for looking out at sea. I also believe it was a Lighthouse but not sure about this. Now believe it or not- It used to be a lot closer to the Edge of the cliff. It was in danger of falling into the sea, but a multi Million rescue fund was set up and it was moved away from the edge of the cliff that was already falling into the sea. The way the coast is eroding round here- It might need moving again shortly.


After coffee it was stretch the leg time again to build up the milage so off to the Marshes for some flatland riding. Soon after I got on the marsh- I passed a Roadie and I did not bother to stop- Just passed him. 2 minutes later he was alongside and chatting- I was just beginning to breath firmly and I wanted to keep the legs under strain so kept my pace up of 18 to 20 mph for about 5 miles. It was not long before He had dropped behind and he had tucked in. Got to the end of my 5 miles and decided I had put myself under enough strain so slowed and waited for him to take a pull. He just pulled along side and chatted again. He was surprised that I was going so fast after the hills I had done and What cadence was I doing and what computer was it I had. It suddenly dawned on me- This was a Brand NEW rider and he was.Only been riding a month and he was trying to get fit after being invalided out of the Army. He had an incident in Iraq and that was the end of his career. He had a top of the line Bike- his gear was all matching and even his leggings had the look of class about him. Leggings? On a hot day like today? One false leg was under the leggings. New One legged rider, admittedly on a top class bike, and I could not even get him out of breath. Wish I was young enough to join the forces again if that is the fitness they get up to nowadays.
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Old 06-03-07, 09:32 AM   #2
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You're right, Stapfam, it's not about the one leg; it's about the fact he is young and has heart.
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Old 06-03-07, 10:26 AM   #3
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Good Story Stapfam, I'd of bought him a Beer or 2. That guy has what it takes!!!!
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Old 06-03-07, 11:13 AM   #4
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I know a doctor who can take me on the hills. If you never saw him in shorts, you wouldn't suspect him of having a steel leg with a shoe on the end.
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Old 06-03-07, 12:56 PM   #5
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You might want to experiment with your seat height, and saddle setback. Very small changes can have dramatic impacts on efficiency and comfort, and the proper setup for the flats is not necessarily the same as for the hills.

For my flattish commute, I prefer an aero stretched out position. To allow for that, I recently raised my saddle several mm - it's a good position for cruising fast on the flats.

But, a couple of weeks ago I started training up for a hard climbing ride (yesterday's Sierra Century, with nearly 12,000 feet of climbing). After a couple of hill training rides, I noticed that I was having problems with lower back pain - the muscles across the bottom of my back were quite sore, and painful while riding.

I thought that perhaps it was just a lack of hill training, but when it flared up again on the first of some hill repeats last week, I lowered the saddle by no more than 2mm...and the results were dramatic. No more back pain, and I completed yesterday's ride in fine form.

Record your current bike setup, and then start experimenting with it...you may find that some small tweaks will allow you to climb more efficiently in a "standard" (hands on tops) position.
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Old 06-03-07, 01:23 PM   #6
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My rides take in all types of terrain and I have found after 17 years of bike riding- That I do not change seat position. If I DO find a better position for hills- Then it will not be fine for the flat. But then the bike(S) are set up for hills as that is what most of my rides consist of. I have a mate that will change seat position for hills or flat but 4 times in a ride is too often in my situation. Don't have back pain- Don't ride on the tops much but throughout a ride- I constantly change position. Only exception is on the Tandem where just small changes for me- make a lot of difference for the pilot.

As to experimenting- I have done that in the last 12 months and found the position that works.
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Old 06-03-07, 09:58 PM   #7
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these days I'm tending to climb on the hoods, bent so my elbows are about 90 degreesand relaxed. I also tend to spin, until I load down. Then I pull on each hood as I do the corresponding downstroke. I feel my glutes strongly involved in this position. This motion is much easier after a recent bike fitting.

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