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  1. #1
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Bike fitment and sprinters.

    Moving from a road fit to a sprint oriented track fit required me to move my seat forward basically the maximum amount allotted. While I don't doubt the fit, what is the reasoning behind it?

    I've found that I'm engaging my quads a lot more, and my glutes less. Spinning seems to be much easier too.
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    From what I know which is little and having been fitted for a sprint position, the idea is to get the front of your body down and streamlined as much as possible. If you're familiar with it, think along the lines of the tri racing position. By bringing your front down, you effectively close up the angle between your legs and upper body. You then bring your seat forward to open the angle back up to allow your legs to work better....... I think.......

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaytron View Post
    Moving from a road fit to a sprint oriented track fit required me to move my seat forward basically the maximum amount allotted. While I don't doubt the fit, what is the reasoning behind it?

    I've found that I'm engaging my quads a lot more, and my glutes less. Spinning seems to be much easier too.
    Your assessment is correct...which is why modern sprinters are moving their saddles back. More glute activation goes hand-in-hand with the trend towards bigger gears and lower cadences.

    Old style was being forward and "on top" of the pedal stroke and spinning at +150 RPM. Olympic sprinters were between 130-140 MAX RPM for their flying 200M. Average RPM was lower than that. But, gears were well over 104".

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
    From what I know which is little and having been fitted for a sprint position, the idea is to get the front of your body down and streamlined as much as possible. If you're familiar with it, think along the lines of the tri racing position. By bringing your front down, you effectively close up the angle between your legs and upper body. You then bring your seat forward to open the angle back up to allow your legs to work better....... I think.......
    Yes, you are right. Moving the saddle forward does open up that angle and allow for the back to effectively go down lower. Look at Japanese NJS Keirin racers to see an example.

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    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    It always felt to me that getting your body down isn't so much about aerodynamics, for sprinters (though it's important), but rather getting a good angle to get optimal leverage on the handlebars.
    the hipster myth.

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    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Hmmm, Is the new way the "right" way or is it still on the fence?
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    Beware J, if you plan to kilo with nerd bars you may have to move that saddle back. The new rules are goofy that way.

    A bit more rearward is not bad, and helps the low end a bit, as Carleton said. I don't really think its new though, check the French riders from the 90's on- Rousseau, Gane, etc. Back pretty far, looks like.

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    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    Beware J, if you plan to kilo with nerd bars you may have to move that saddle back. The new rules are goofy that way.

    A bit more rearward is not bad, and helps the low end a bit, as Carleton said. I don't really think its new though, check the French riders from the 90's on- Rousseau, Gane, etc. Back pretty far, looks like.
    Eeew Kilo.

    Those don't look fun at all. But I'm actually going to talk to Lee about my training tomorrow and see if I'm going to be strictly a 200m/match sprint dude or if Kilos will be worked into there too. I don't know how all of that works.

    What are the rules with saddle back and nerd bars? (I could just do them in sprint bars.. HAH)
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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    I thought the kilo allowed for a sprinter position (nose of the saddle even with BB, as opposed to 5cm behind).
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaytron View Post
    Eeew Kilo.

    Those don't look fun at all. But I'm actually going to talk to Lee about my training tomorrow and see if I'm going to be strictly a 200m/match sprint dude or if Kilos will be worked into there too. I don't know how all of that works.

    What are the rules with saddle back and nerd bars? (I could just do them in sprint bars.. HAH)
    They aren't fun, they're awful! But, you should atleast give it a try. You might be good at it. And as one guy who talks loud said, "kilos are for men". They are very hard, and a tough challenge. Plus, training for them keeps you from getting too sprinter-fat.

    With nerd bars, it's gotta be same as a pursuit set up, 50mm behind BB center.

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    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Ah, only with aerobars, so it seems. I take it if I just used drop bars, I can keep my sprint saddle position?
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  12. #12
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    Yes, but it's the rare hard man who kilos in drop bars these days.

  13. #13
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    If kilos are my thing, I want to be "that guy"
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    JMR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    Yes, but it's the rare hard man who kilos in drop bars these days.
    Yep, but also note that these hard men never (well rarely anyway) make to the podium in a modern kilo either.

    JMR

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    Agreed. For most riders it does't make much sense.

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    Not very scientific, but I once did a comparison kilo with standard gear. This meant big keirin helmet, steel bike, 36 spokes. The difference to the fast kit was about 2.5 seconds, and I kilo in the 1:09-1:11 range on a nice track. Curious what just dropping the bars would do, but I would guess maybe .5 sec.

    My best 500 is still on drop bars, but the second 500 is probably where the bars really help.

    Opps, thread jack?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Old style was being forward and "on top" of the pedal stroke and spinning at +150 RPM. Olympic sprinters were between 130-140 MAX RPM for their flying 200M. Average RPM was lower than that. But, gears were well over 104".
    I should clarify by stating that: Modern Olympic sprinters were between 130-140 MAX RPM for their flying 200M. Average RPM was lower than that. But, gears were well over 104".

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    My best 500 is still on drop bars, but the second 500 is probably where the bars really help.

    Opps, thread jack?
    Yup, that's about right.

    Generally speaking, for the following men's events:

    Standing 500M - Use sprint bars for best results
    Standing 750M - If you have a better start, use sprint bars. If you have a better finish, use aero bars.
    Standing 1,000M - Use aerobars for best results

    For women, think of the 500M like the men think of 750M: If you have a better start, use sprint bars. If you have a better finish, use aero bars.

  19. #19
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Basically, for standing start events, there is a tipping point for men and women where it would be less/more advantageous to use aerobars. Generally, for men, it's at 750M. For women, it's at 500M. But, there are exceptions. When in doubt, test.

    BUT...what screws this up is the new narrow sprint bars! If I remember correctly, Sky Christopherson rode a 1:03 in 35mm Scatto bars at Masters Worlds in 2011. But, that guy isn't a normal human.

  20. #20
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    What's the reason to prefer spinning a big gear slower, than spinning a smaller gear faster? I'm sure there's some science behind it?
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    Great question!

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaytron View Post
    What's the reason to prefer spinning a big gear slower, than spinning a smaller gear faster? I'm sure there's some science behind it?
    I've read a few scientific studies on this particular subjec and basically, for a given distance, big-gear-low-cadence has multiple benefits:

    - Longer micro-rests between strokes.
    - Fewer pedal strokes for the duration of the event.
    - Less neuromuscular fatigue.

    Modern sprinting rewards strength, not quickness.

  23. #23
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    Which is not to say you should gear big, J. I think the gears your coach recommends are medium-small, and that seems to be working pretty well for him.

  24. #24
    Brown Bear, Sqrl Hunter Jaytron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
    Which is not to say you should gear big, J. I think the gears your coach recommends are medium-small, and that seems to be working pretty well for him.
    Right right, I'm not in a position to second guess a coach. I just wanted to know the reasoning behind the big gear pushing
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  25. #25
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    For some riders, age is a component of this. One theory is that as we age we are just not as quick, but we can still be pretty strong, so the gears get bigger. I was pretty surprised by the gears my age group was running at masters nats last last year-- I think the sprint podium were all over 100". They all went sub-11, too.

    Big gears can also entail a different tactical approach, one that may favor a razor or slow accelleration rather than quick changes of speed, and may also favor riding from the front. This relates to what Carleton mentioned about "modern" sprinting. Dig up some youtubes of sprinting from the 70's and 80's. You'll see it's a lot more tactical and explosive than what you see now. They were riding much smaller gears.

    The same goes for Japanese keirin. They ride HUGE gears now, I think it's really unusual to see less than 100" in S-class, and I remember seeing 110"! For such a regulated system, you actually see a lot of different styles if you look. There are still the old-school, way-forward guys (I've seen seat tube angles around 80 degrees), but most of the top guys have a more rearward position that I think must have filtered down from the national team guys who were coached by Magne among others.

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