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  1. #1
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Knees Overlap Elbows?

    When you are in the drops, do your knees overlap your elbows? Should they?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Loose Chain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    When you are in the drops, do your knees overlap your elbows? Should they?
    Yes, knees to the inside, elbows out slightly. It is normal. I have had people tell me that it is incorrect and then watch them on their bike. It is normal on bikes with a "performance" fit and bars low, like three to four inches, which is common on bikes ridden fast and hard by experienced cyclist.

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  3. #3
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Chain View Post
    Yes,It is normal on bikes with a "performance" fit and bars low, like three to four inches, which is common on bikes ridden fast and hard by experts.
    Exactly, here's a pic of Merckx back in the day.

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  4. #4
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Time trial bikes must be more stretched out, then? On TT bars your elbows are held close in, so if there was knee-elbow overlap, there would be interference.

    For example

    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/galler...bikes-34784/20

    Edit: like this

    Last edited by jyl; 07-30-13 at 04:51 PM.
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    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    Time trial bikes must be more stretched out, then? On TT bars your elbows are held close in, so if there was knee-elbow overlap, there would be interference.
    Until he gets on the drops.

    -Bandera
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Own 10 bikes and this never occurred to you before?

    Should they?
    permission is, hereby granted ... If it feels right ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 07-30-13 at 01:26 PM.

  7. #7
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    The reason I asked is, when I was reading Greg Lemond's book the other day, he talked about this and said the elbows and knees should not overlap or barely overlap (can't recall exactly). And I found this picture of him in which his elbows and knees clearly do not overlap.



    Lemond bikes are said to have a long top tube, and that seems consistent with his book and his photo.

    On all my bikes, my knees and elbows do overlap when I'm seated, in the drops, arms bent and tucked. In fact, I don't use bar end shifters because when climbing or sprinting out of the saddle, my knees can even hit the shifters. So I think my bikes are not as stretched out as Lemond is describing.

    I'm interested in whether I should try a stretched out position. I could do it with a super long stem, if not with a used Lemond frame.
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  8. #8
    Ding! Bandera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    The reason I asked is, when I was reading Greg Lemond's book the other day, he talked about this and said the elbows and knees should not overlap or barely overlap (can't recall exactly). And I found this picture of him in which his elbows and knees clearly do not overlap.
    I'm a long time advocate of the Guimard/LeMond fitting system and have used it with some success fitting riders for USCF competition back in the Dim & Misty Past, no reason it isn't equally effective today with an understanding of changes in technology.

    That pic is one of my favorites, but it shows GL setting up for a downhill corner, hence he's slid back on the saddle and is looking through the apex so it's not a good indication of elbow/knee relationship when motoring along on the drops or sprinting.

    Here's another pic w/ GL going hard. Note that his back is flat, elbows are bent and he is looking where he wants the bike to go while putting out serious watts.

    Go through ALL of the previous steps in the fitting process, if you haven't done this forget the following.
    Ch.4 "How to Fit Your Bike"" from "The Complete Book of Bicycling" by LeMond:
    "Your elbow should be about an inch and a half from your knee."

    In a sprint or on the rivet closing a gap that 1 1/2" goes away as the rider slides forward and opens up as he/she pushes back on a climb, Guimard/LeMond are looking for your "home" on the bike.

    Go back through all of the fitting steps and see where you are, adjust as necessary and get the miles in to adapt.
    Good that you are "doing it by the book" vs. "making it up as you go along", a methodical approach to optimal fit using a well proven system can only go so wrong.

    Regards,

    -Bandera
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    Last edited by Bandera; 07-31-13 at 02:23 AM.
    '74 Raleigh International - '77 Trek TX900FG - '92 Vitus 979 - '10 Merckx EMX-3- '11 Soma Stanyan

  9. #9
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
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    Also what matters in overlap is body proportions. There riders in the pro peloton who could not overlap if tried, usually smaller riders. Some are almost overlapping when in the hoods.
    I have long limbs and a short torso so I overlap easily when in my most agressive position.

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