TAKE. A. PULL.
TAKE. A. PULL.
Swiped from another forum. This is what I want to be doing when I am 68 years old.
I'll be huffing glue, to make up for my misspent youth training.
btw, that's two ice pick music. One for each ear.
Okay, so I'm feeling like my front is a touch "light", from handling standpoint. It slid a couple of inches on one of the turns Saturday, and came off the ground in another turn that had a concrete 'rain channel', for want of a better term. Neither was that big a deal, but there is a fine line between the front wheel slipping a little then catching, and slipping all the way out. Does this indicate that maybe my fore-aft balance is off? That I might need to get the weight forward more, either by moving the saddle up of shifting my weight as I corner. It could very well be resulting from the fact that my cornering just isn't as assertive right now. I'm not 'diving in', maybe not weighting the inside bar enough, nor getting my body leaned more than the bike.
Um, I think I may have just answered my own question...
It could be either one or the other or a combination. Very tough to say. You made changes and then got injured. Try and separate the two. Are you well enough to know if you are neutral on the bike? Do you feel like you are fighting the bike in the turns? You shouldn't have to shift your weight much in order to corner hard.
Check the geometry between old and new. Assume stem/bar is the same?
Things are setup the same as the old frame, but there were the changes the Faster fitter made: Swapped the bars and saddle, and moved the saddle back just a touch. I'm both lower and a tad more stretched. Plus, this frame is certainly stiffer. This was the first crit on a technical course since those changes, although the little slide was in a fast corner, not a tight one. Lots of variables, complicated by the fact that I -am- riding a bit less assertively. Also by the fact that technical courses aren't common for us, so comparison is difficult. For Sunday, I used less tire pressure (105r 100f), but that wasn't needed because the course was wide open with easy turns.
Edit: And when I slid, I had reduced the radius towards the end of the corner to stay in a draft... the little extra force broke the front free.
Moving the saddle back will shift the CG rearward more than a "face value" equation and stretching out is going to open up your arm angle which accentuates the balance shift.
That sounds like a lot of change. Was it before or after the crash?
I talk a lot about how steep the racing learning curve is when you are trying to climb it quickly. This area is yet another example of that. Bike handling separates the men from the boys every bit as much as power, and it is hard to learn quickly, because a lot of can't be practiced solo. Throw in the subtle impacts of geometry and setup, and it becomes a complex issue that widens the gap between the great racers and the 'participants'.
Edit: To change affect to effects before Ex commented.
Last edited by AzTallRider; 03-25-13 at 12:59 PM.
To give a touch more detail on the changes: The new bars put my hands a bit further forward when in the drops, and rotate them so my elbows are lower. Hence my body is lower as well. Less stiff-arm. They are also narrower. Old ones were carbon and damaged from my prior frame falling off the car rack. New ones are alloy, so they survived the January crash. The saddle is wider and firmer, with the goal of locking my hips in more to keep me from rocking. As Ex noticed in SoCal, I still do rock a bit, but not nearly as much. If I make sure I'm back in the saddle, I rock less. But I tend to slide forward, especially in our new super-slippery Castelli kits. In the old kit, I stay back easier. Already tilted the saddle nose up a touch, and don't think I can increase that. Perhaps moving the saddle forward (and up of course) would eliminate the sliding - would have to try it to see.
My gut says that if I ride this configuration the way I was riding at the end of last season, the handling will be fine. But my gut isn't infallible.
AZT, don't apologize for being a relatively new racer. You will learn. It's OK to say you don't really know. Looking at the dates you noted, it seems like you just don't have enough information. Too much change in too little time with too little to go by. Not only that, this is a complex topic with no simple answers unless something is completely out of whack. Look how long it has taken me to dial my new frame in. The differences in geometry are subtle. I have a lot of miles in my legs. I can feel a 1mm change in the saddle position, yet I still couldn't figure it out.
You say you have a weekly practice crit series. That is a good place to try some of this stuff out. Do a race or two to work on your bike handling. Once you feel comfortable in the turns then let us know how the bike feels. It should not be sliding out from underneath you. If it is, try and determine if it's you or your position on the bike. If you can purposefully throw more weight into the same turn at roughly the same speed and it sticks, then it's probably not you, it's the fit.
I also found myself needing more weight over the front end. It wasn't sliding, but it was too light. I know the feeling. It's not confidence inspiring. I ended up moving the saddle forward quite a bit and going to a longer stem. I got more power and better pedaling motion down below, and I am flatter and a lot more aero up top. Everybody is different, though.
Best of luck getting this sorted out.
This looks like a nice place.
Thank you chasm54. I do race, and I enjoy the heck out of it.
I think I need to do some cornering in different positions to see what it does to that "light front end" feel - hopefully without actually sliding out. Light front end screams "understeer", and that is not where you want to be in a crit. And come to think of it, a couple of other times I found myself saying "whoa" and really putting some weight on the inside bar to hold the corner, when others weren't having any difficulty. Not good!
LAJ, if you are one of those CO climbers that periodically comes down to the low altitudes to kick flatlander asses, then please just go away!
Welcome LAJ. Nice to see you here. LAJ races on a team sponsored by the guy who built my carbon clinchers. Used to be a long distance guy.
I wish that were the case, AZT. Second year at it, but I am trying a different approach this year. Last year, I rode around bike racing courses quickly, with people that looked like they were racing. This year I intend to join the fray.
Thank you very much, shovelhd. To be honest, until the move thread was started, I completely forgot about this area. I am thrilled it was rediscovered.
Well, if you are old and slow, you are certainly welcome here - so welcome!