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  1. #2876
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadof7 View Post
    I am planning to hit RATL also, it will be my first crit, only done road races so far, little nervous about that. Malabar was not my first choice of races, but had a son's b-day party for midohio . See you at RATL.
    RATL is more of a fast circuit race than crit. There are only 3 corners to contend with and they are 1/2 mile from the start/finish. Looking forwards to meeting you.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  2. #2877
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    I'm already using a 140mm stem, but my bars are pretty compact. I think my arm angle is pretty close...
    <snip>
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. I need to develop better positions, and train to hold them for longer periods of time.
    If your stem is already at 140mm then maybe your top tube is too short. If a new frame is not in the cards, then think about some classic bars like the 3t Rotundo, and maybe a -17 degree stem. I use a -17 degree on my bike with 40cm bars, but I'm a little guy. One change at a time, though.

    If you can race a crit completely in the drops, then you've got the training. You just need to do some work at high effort when you're as low as you can get. Believe me, the longest I've ever gone full aero in a crit is 10 minutes, and it won me the race. It hurt like holy hell. It's not a position for extended periods of time.

  3. #2878
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    If your stem is already at 140mm then maybe your top tube is too short. If a new frame is not in the cards, then think about some classic bars like the 3t Rotundo, and maybe a -17 degree stem. I use a -17 degree on my bike with 40cm bars, but I'm a little guy. One change at a time, though.

    If you can race a crit completely in the drops, then you've got the training. You just need to do some work at high effort when you're as low as you can get. Believe me, the longest I've ever gone full aero in a crit is 10 minutes, and it won me the race. It hurt like holy hell. It's not a position for extended periods of time.
    I'm limited on what I can do vis-a-vis frames. Any smaller size, and I can't get the saddle high enough (unless the frame accepts a regular seat post), and of course the TT gets shorter. Current frame is a 62 - there are only a couple 61's that might work without compromising the TT length, most notably the Cervelos, which would actually give me 7mm greater reach, but at the expense of a little stack. The lower stack would be fine, unless of course it means I can't get the saddle high enough! I've been having a difficult time obtaining those maximum BB to saddle rail dimensions. Cervelo never responded to a query asking for that dimension on the P2. I'm about to have the LBS try and get that for me; I just hate putting them to work unless I'm close to buying a bike. I did almost pick up a 61cm P2 frame on eBay, but couldn't get an answer on the max saddle height before the auction ended. I plan to use leftover drivetrain parts to put together a TT bike, to be ready for the next stage race season.

    I've started looking at handlebar options.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  4. #2879
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    ShovelHD: That was a nice series of pics to make your point. My takeaway was that if I see a guy line up next to me with Cane Creek bars, he is definitely a breakaway guy.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  5. #2880
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Attachment 243845Attachment 243846Attachment 243847

    Throwing my 2 cents in on "slippery".

    Being as aerodynamic as possible in all situations is nothing but a positive. Even in the pack, you're seldom 100% protected, and at some point you'll have to take some wind either at the front if you're chasing, or while you're moving up outside. Race efforts, be it a crit, track or road race, are cumulative. Reduce your output at any point in time during the race and you're that much fresher at the end. Being a little slicker and a little fresher...take a look at the last pic and you can see what a little difference makes.

    I've spent a long time getting more flexible, and gradually lowering my position to where it is today. Lower is almost always better. Looking at the 2nd and 3rd pictures, off the bike the guy leading in the 2nd picture is my height, the guy leading in the 3rd picture is 3 inches shorter and the guy behind me is just a slight bit taller. But you wouldn't think so looking at those examples. And the guy behind me is getting less draft, which is one thing that I haven't read anyone mention when a discussion of wheels or other aerodynamic advantage is brought up.

    You make your competitors work harder even if they are on your wheel. Worth noting that if I'm in a break with a teammate I'll ride on the hoods to give them a little more draft. If I'm in the drops I don't give much of a draft, and if I drop into the IAB (Invisible aero bars), my position is better than a lot of folks on their TT bikes. Being slick has kept me in races even when my fitness hasn't been very good.

    So job one is to work on getting longer and lower. I do a lot of stretching to help this, and specifically train in the drops for extended periods. I even climb in the drops so I develop the ability to push power while in that lower position, and I climb in the drops out of the saddle (I picked this up from watching Marco Pantani) so I'm that much lower if I'm attacking or soloing into a headwind on a climb. That same training effort transfers well to sprinting BTW.

    My bike is set up to facilitate this. Which is job 2. Tidy the bike up as much as possible. Big loops of cable everywhere just catch wind. An aero chainring will help a little. My stem is slammed and long, and I use a traditional bend with a deep drop. And whenever possible I run the deepest rims I can, wind and course specific. My number is pinned in 6 spots and positioned so that my shoulder blocks the leading edge. Tight skinsuit. Every little bit helps.

    Job three might be the IAB. Again, I specifically train in this position a bunch. It's something that every rider who uses it should test though, some people are more efficient in the drops.

    Last piece of this is head position. I do so much time trialing that it seems I "turtle" and keep my head down regardless. There's a lot of wattage there. Keep that in mind.

    Enough mention has been made about pack positioning but I'll add that you should always know where the wind is coming from and be thinking ahead to where the course changes direction. Develop the skills and knowledge so you can get people to ride like they know what they are doing. Learn how to rotate a paceline. Learn how to echelon and practice this.

    At a recent stage race 5 of us got OTF in a brutal crosswind. I was the only guy who was aware enough to get us quickly into an echelon, rather than just guttering everyone in our potential breakaway. We eventually got shutdown but the other guys had to work their tails off to catch us.

    Bottom line is that it's practice, adaptation, and knowledge. Az, for a bigger guy, the impact can be substantial.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 04-04-12 at 12:37 PM.

  6. #2881
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    ShovelHD: That was a nice series of pics to make your point. My takeaway was that if I see a guy line up next to me with Cane Creek bars, he is definitely a breakaway guy.
    Oh snap.

  7. #2882
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    That's pure gold, RacerEx. Just a couple of additions to your points.

    I don't train in the IAB because I'd rather use the speed bars, but when I train in them, I train with my head down. It takes a while to get comfortable with riding at speed without looking up the road, but you will develop the skills to mark the sides of the road and use your peripheral vision to keep a good racing line. I can race in the IAB, the question is how much power it will cost me. I am going to have to test this.

    On short punchy hills like Bethel, most times up it (I'll climb it 69 times on race day), I climb in the drops, out of the saddle, running on the pedals at 100-110rpm or so. It takes very little effort to do this. That saved energy adds up for when it's needed.

  8. #2883
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Absolute gold is right, from all of you, and just what I asked for. Especially during this season, it has become clear that, given all the factors in play for me (size, age, newbness, 'notasprinter') reducing my power requirements is every bit as important as increasing my output. The next time I average 381w off the front for 5 minutes, I want to be lapping people. So I'll start training in the drops a whole lot more, with more bend in my arms, to get comfortable in a lower position. I'll slam my stem the rest of the way (I can drop it 6-7mm more) and cut the tube down so I'm committed. I'll also go ahead and swap out my bars, probably for one of these (current bars have 130 drop):

    Brand.....Model........Reach.....Drop.....Weight
    Deda......Campione...80...........143.......189
    3T..........Rotundo......83...........139.......178
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  9. #2884
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Make those changes one at a time and slowly. I don't want to see you end up in the hospital.

  10. #2885
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Very, very interesting. I'm not quite as big as AZT, but at a square-shouldered 6'3" there's plenty of me to catch the wind. I don't spend nearly enough time in the drops, but am starting to train there for extended periods and the difference is clearly substantial, my cadence rises by several RPM for the same effort as soon as I get more flat-backed.

    Can't seem to get on with the IAB position, though, maybe because I don't feel as secure there and am therefore inhibited about putting out as much power. Just practice, or are there tips I should be following?
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  11. #2886
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    Great stuff guys. Thanks Racerx for putting together what I was tying to figure out on my own. The pictures say a thousand words.

  12. #2887
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    Can't seem to get on with the IAB position, though, maybe because I don't feel as secure there and am therefore inhibited about putting out as much power. Just practice, or are there tips I should be following?
    For a while I set up "knobs" with bar tape wrapped over a couple of wraps of old bar tape to hold my arms in position. I no longer use this but I do use bar tape with a lot of "stick". It's actually easier to do the lower your bar is. And I think a lot of it stems from my TT position where a lot of my weight is borne by my elbows...the IAB feels very familiar.

    If you notice I also slide well up on the nose of the saddle which (though not the most comfortable position) also helps change the weight distribution and has me leveraging the pedaling force more into my forearms, which are tilted up slightly. It's actually a pretty secure fit.

    There's definitely a sweet spot there...you need the right bar height, stem length, and saddle position to maximize your output. Worth noting that the first picture came from a State crit win where I did 40 or so minutes solo OTF, the majority of it in that position. That ride came from a lot of time going "HTFU" when things didn't feel pleasant. Bottom line is that if you know something will improve your racing, even though it may be tedious or be unpleasant at first you do the work. Or you dismiss it away with some "take a big dump" or "ride lots" oversimplification.

  13. #2888
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    That ride came from a lot of time going "HTFU" when things didn't feel pleasant. Bottom line is that if you know something will improve your racing, even though it may be tedious or be unpleasant at first you do the work. Or you dismiss it away with some "take a big dump" or "ride lots" oversimplification.
    Thanks, Ex, informative as ever. And as I suspected, like most things it is a matter of hard work and trial and error. Interesting tip about the knobs of bar tape, I might give that a go.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  14. #2889
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Adaptation

    Racer Ex and ShovelHD bring up great points on aero position. One has to adapt to a better position versus making an abrupt change such as lowering handlebars.

    I stretch every day and do the foam roller and generally get a massage once per week. Getting into a more aero position is a work in process for me. I need more hamstring and hip flexibility to get lower. If I go lower without the flexibility, I strain my back and I think power is reduced since my hamstrings are too tight. This will vary widely as many athletes can change positions easily. However, I like to be conservative and make changes incrementally over time.

    The same is true for gearing at the track. One additional tooth in the big ring seems to make a lot of difference. So along with everything else, I am constantly working on my spin, position and gearing.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  15. #2890
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Tuesday was a track day with a couple of flying 2 laps and two 100 meter standing starts. On the other hand, my insatiable wife did 3x10 laps behind the motor and on the last set did 134 cadence for the last 2 laps in 90 gear inches - 34.8 mph. The motor was impressed and gave her two thumbs up.

    Last night, 1.5 hours, was z4 climbing efforts that we did around our neighborhood. We started with a flat circuit and then started climbing.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  16. #2891
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    We just signed up for a Santana tandem bicycle tour next year in France which features a climb up Mont Ventoux (on our tandem) with the tour finishing in Paris so that we can see the TdF roll in. This will be our 3rd Santana tour in Europe.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  17. #2892
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    World Record and gold medal in team pursuit for Great Britain at the Mebourne World Track Championships.

    Last edited by Hermes; 04-05-12 at 03:56 PM.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  18. #2893
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    World Record and gold medal in team pursuit for Great Britain at the Mebourne World Track Championships.
    And not just for the men...
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  19. #2894
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    I have not seen a video yet... have you?
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  20. #2895
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    I have not seen a video yet... have you?
    Not a video on YouTube yet, as far as I can see. Eurosport covered the race over here, though, so I have seen a recording on the TV. Terrific performance, as the linked report says they simply stuck to their own schedule and destroyed the Australians, who went off very fast, in the last quarter of the race.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  21. #2896
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I have a track bike question for the all wise and knowing. We will have a 166 meter velodrome in Cleveland this summer. A riding friend has an extra track bike that he used at Trexlertown when he was working in Easton PA. It is my size and the price is right.

    My question is should I tell my wife about this small purchase, or just mix it into the heard?
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  22. #2897
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    My question is should I tell my wife about this small purchase...
    It hardly counts as a purchase. Just tell her how lucky you've been to get a bargain, instead of having to rent track bikes while the velodrome is in town. It's an investment.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  23. #2898
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    I have a track bike question for the all wise and knowing. We will have a 166 meter velodrome in Cleveland this summer. A riding friend has an extra track bike that he used at Trexlertown when he was working in Easton PA. It is my size and the price is right.

    My question is should I tell my wife about this small purchase, or just mix it into the heard?
    It depends if she can tell a heifer from a bull. You could alway create another Xtranormal movie to inform her post purchase.

    166 meters is short. Trexlertown and Hellyer are 333.5 meters with 23 degree banking and Frisco and LA are 250 meters with 46 degree banking. Good grief is the Cleveland track going to be 52 degree banking? The 46 degree banking looks like a cliff.

    Make sure the bike is a track bike and not a converted road bike. On steeply banked turns that are wood, painted with a sandy like paint for traction, you need a high bottom bracket frame to keep from having a pedal strike of your up track pedal if you go too slow in the turns. It happens a lot at Frisco TX. At least I saw a lot and it was from converted road bikes.

    You are going to feel some real G forces doing a flying 200 on those short radius turns.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  24. #2899
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Road race on Monday. Cat 4, and only 25 miles. Should suit me except for one very sharp climb (>10%) after about ten miles that will undoubtedly make some selection. Looking forward to it, and going to ride the course tomorrow (the start is only about 30 miles from my home) to prepare. Only problem is that after the warmest March on record, winter has returned. If the weather is foul enough to be dangerous I shall pass, but I hope to be able to go for it.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  25. #2900
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Hermes, it is a Fugi Track bike that is 1 yr old. It was around $1k new. The velodrome is supposedly phase 1 with the second phase being indoors and 250m. I'll be sure to discuss the banking and how it may effect the bike's pedal clearance with the owner. I do trust him. He's my lead out in our Masters races.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

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