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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 07-26-12, 11:12 AM   #1
cmacnulty
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Where to place your weight when riding

I just starting riding and learning as I go. Currently I am riding 3 times a week and up to about 125 miles a week. I am preparing to do my first centennial in September. I live in an area with a fair number of hills and my rides varying from 1500 to 3000 ft. I ride by myself a lot but have joined a club recently. Some where along the line I was reading about how to place my weight while riding. I pretty sure I am not doing it right since my hands get tired by the end of the ride.
Can anyone point me to some place I can learn about correct body/hand position in flat, on hills( both up and down) and what factors check while I am riding to get maximum effort and efficiency?

Thanks
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Old 07-26-12, 12:26 PM   #2
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I don't think anyone is going to be able to do this effectively on the internet. I would ask around, and find a good fitter in your area. Pay him whatever he asks, it's worth it - if he really is a good fitter...that can be tricky to find sometimes.
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Old 07-26-12, 12:41 PM   #3
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http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/articles/
Take a good look at Steve Hog's bike fitting website. There is much good information to help getting you comfortable on the bike.
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Old 07-26-12, 01:14 PM   #4
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http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/articles/
Take a good look at Steve Hog's bike fitting website. There is much good information to help getting you comfortable on the bike.
That is a good website, but it might be TMI for a novice. For what it's supposed to look like, you could look at my position:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post12207030

Hand pain is commonly one or more of three things:
Poor gloves. Try different/more padded gloves.
Lack of core strength. To some extent, one takes the weight off one's hands and distributes it to the feet by activating one's core. Core strength can be cultivated through exercises and just by biking more.
Incorrect position and/or not moving the hands around the bars. It's good to change hand position every few minutes.
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Old 07-26-12, 01:33 PM   #5
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Most coaches like to see a 40/60 weight distribution front/rear. You can measure this by getting a bathroom scale and a phone book about the same height and putting your bike on them, next to a wall. Sit on the bike as you normally would, except you are staying balanced by leaning against the wall with your elbow, then read the scale. The either switch the wheel your scale is under, or turn the bike around, and repeat.

The other thing to bear in mind is that when you're climbing out of the saddle, you pretty much want your weight as far forward as possible. So you should have your hands on the brake hoods and your knees should just about be touching your handlebars. Unless you're going up a slippery surface. You should check your weight distribution in this out-of-saddle position as well, you might be surprised. This is why I ignore what the supposed "experts" say and inflate my front tire to the same pressure as the rear tire.

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Old 07-26-12, 01:38 PM   #6
cmacnulty
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Thank you for the web site suggestions. There is a lot of very helpful information in both
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Old 07-26-12, 02:07 PM   #7
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Do be aware that most "fitters" (if you go that route) will try and put you in a rather aggressive roadrace type position. If you plan on doing a lot of long distance riding you might want to seek out someone with long distance experience. Those people are very few and far between. The suggestions above should get you in the ball park with your fit but I would suspect that you will have to "fine tune" your fit as your mileage ramps up.
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Old 07-26-12, 02:52 PM   #8
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I like Peter White's method: Here
Using that method, your saddle is probably too far forward
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Old 07-27-12, 07:37 AM   #9
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Yes... getting your saddle farther back is usually (and counter intuitively perhaps) a good first thing to try if your wrists are getting tired. It will move your CoG towards the back of the bike and reduce stress on your wrists, at least in theory. you might also try adjusting saddle tilt. If it is tilted too far forward, this can dump weight on your hands. if you can tilt it farther back without causing numbness issues, might as well do it.

You ought to be riding with elbows unlocked and loose, back straight (ish) and not much weight on your wrists. if you find yourself pushing back against your bars or brake hoods like they are a jack hammer something is certainly wrong with your posture and/or fit.

Finally, don't be afraid to mess around with fit yourself and see what you can get to work, but do remember that the insight of a good fitter can cut months or years off this process. a hint is, if you get someone who just measures your body with a bunch of instruments and then puts the measurements through an excel spreadsheet to generate an "ideal fit" for you, that is not a good fitter. Ask around on local forums, there is bound to be a fit guru or two near you.

Last edited by mander; 07-27-12 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 07-28-12, 05:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cmacnulty View Post
I just starting riding and learning as I go. Currently I am riding 3 times a week and up to about 125 miles a week. I am preparing to do my first centennial in September. I live in an area with a fair number of hills and my rides varying from 1500 to 3000 ft. I ride by myself a lot but have joined a club recently. Some where along the line I was reading about how to place my weight while riding. I pretty sure I am not doing it right since my hands get tired by the end of the ride.
Can anyone point me to some place I can learn about correct body/hand position in flat, on hills( both up and down) and what factors check while I am riding to get maximum effort and efficiency?

Thanks
Even if you get a fitting, only you can decide what is right for you. My strategies are as follows:

If I have hand fatigue, I think about my saddle to see if I am sliding forward. When my center of gravity is close enough to a plumb line to the BB, the hand pressure reduces. To allow my butt to move back far enough, I have to move the saddle back. Sometimes this requires raising the handlebars or reducing the stem length.

If I do think I'm sliding forward (sit bones not supported by the wide part of the saddle, perineal pressure, perineal chafing), I raise the nose of the saddle a mm at a time to use gravity to push me back a little. I use no-handed riding to see if my pelvis is stable at that supported position. Sometimes I need to lower the saddle a mm or two to minimize pressure near the front of the saddle.

You're working up to longer distances, so a set of contact point (hands, sit bones, foot positions) that works for 40 miles might need some adjustment for 60, and again for longer distances. First, the stresses build up for a longer time, second, your body is changing with time. Be dynamic about it.

Last edited by Road Fan; 07-28-12 at 06:09 AM.
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