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crit vs. road-race bike fit

Old 02-13-09, 02:17 PM
  #1  
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crit vs. road-race bike fit

Just wondering if there is even such a thing... ?
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Old 02-13-09, 02:28 PM
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no
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Old 02-13-09, 02:29 PM
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I don't know of anyone that changes their position between a crit and a RR, if that's what you mean. But there are some things that a riders who only does crits might do differently than a rider who prefers long rr's.

Slightly more forward over bb
slightly higher saddle
bars / brakes adjusted for being in the drops / sprinting
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Old 02-13-09, 02:30 PM
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Theres basically two extremes of body positioning in cycling, track sprinter position at one extreme and TT position at the other, with road and crit in the middle, with crit closer to the track sprinter position.

Track sprinters tend to have the bars closer to their hips, not as laid out as road riders, which gives more mechanical advantage when sprinting out of the saddle. They also tend to have more bend in the knee which gives a smoother high cadence spin.

I wouldn't change my position based on a road race v. crit, but since I race only crits, I have a shorter stem and a little more knee bend than a lot of guys would who only road race.
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Old 02-13-09, 02:32 PM
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I like a little steeper seat angle (seat a little further forward) for my crit set-up. Not as steep as my track bike, but similar reasoning...
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Old 02-13-09, 02:36 PM
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Crits aren't as long as road races so you can do things with your position for a crit that you may not be able to tolerate for an entire road race...
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Old 02-13-09, 03:59 PM
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I might consider running narrower bars on a "crit" bike vs a "road race" bike.
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Old 02-13-09, 04:06 PM
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Same position for me.
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Old 02-13-09, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
I might consider running narrower bars on a "crit" bike vs a "road race" bike.
Consider? Do it! Not that I'm anyone to emulate, I've been running 38s for several years and won't go back to wider bars. Gotta get through those gaps...
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Old 02-13-09, 04:13 PM
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I ride primarily crits. I have a high saddle, low bar position. I find the combination allows me to tilt my pelvis forward, allowing me to generate more speed. I also feel more aero, can spin up faster, can spin faster, and the low bars let me sprint better out of the saddle.

I can't spin at the end of a race - I'm usually totally blown. I rely on slower, high force pedaling in my sprint. No 160 rpm sprints. On uphills I'm at 70-80 rpms, flats up to 110-120 rpms, both out of the saddle.

When I do lots of long miles in training, I find myself dropping my saddle a bit and pushing it back a touch. I'd consider this my "road" position. Since I have pretty much given up on road races, I can't say that I have a "road race" position.

Just over a year ago I got 170s. I was on 175s since 2003? and I ride a 52 cm Cannondale with the seat a bit low (back then I rode a size S Giant). I used to race 167.5s and 170s, sprinted well on them, and thought the shorter cranks would give me my old sprint back. That wasn't the case, even with decent training. I've decided to go back to the 175s, the "slow" cranks, since I don't think I'll be fast like that ever again.

You can get crit specific things, but a lot of them will compromise other things (else everyone would have a crit specific bike that also does everything else well). Some things include the aforementioned high BB for pedal clearance (as well as effectively increasing drop).

Other crit-specific things I've seen done to bikes:
1. Super short stays. The shortest were so short that the seat tube was made of two seat stays and the rear tire stuck through them. I think the stays were 34 or 35 cm long (40 is about as short as you get nowadays). The idea with short stays is that the rear tire would stay planted no matter what you did. The drawback is that the bike would shake your fillings out.
2. Steep head tube angle. Lets you steer quicker. But if you sneezed hard you'd do a u-turn. Trail is an independent thing so the bike could be stable and still steer quickly. Steeper head tube angles allow you to adjust your trajectory while, say, sprinting out of the saddle. At least that's what I've found, going from about 70 deg angles to 73.

Things you can do without affecting much else:
1. Hi clearance pedals, or pedals that are so low profile that you hit your shoe instead. This still works. Hitting a plastic cleat or shoe is much more forgiving than skipping your rear wheel out when you tag your metal pedals. I used to run half axle Gipiemmes, and then I ran Aerolites, both of which offer soft contact points (toe strap on Gipiemme, soft cleat on Aerolites) and immense clearance. I won one race due to the Gipiemmes' cornering clearance.
2. Adjust your levers so you can brake and shift from the drops. Although it seems that, based on the ridiculous lever placement I see, it's no longer a "must" to be able to actually stop or shift from the drops, it's an incredible tool to have when doing the last lap of a crit. Hoods put you too high and don't give you a lot of leverage compared to the drops, a fatal combination when in tight field situations.

cdr
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Old 02-13-09, 04:22 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I ride primarily crits. I have a high saddle, low bar position. I find the combination allows me to tilt my pelvis forward, allowing me to generate more speed. I also feel more aero, can spin up faster, can spin faster, and the low bars let me sprint better out of the saddle.

I can't spin at the end of a race - I'm usually totally blown. I rely on slower, high force pedaling in my sprint. No 160 rpm sprints. On uphills I'm at 70-80 rpms, flats up to 110-120 rpms, both out of the saddle.

When I do lots of long miles in training, I find myself dropping my saddle a bit and pushing it back a touch. I'd consider this my "road" position. Since I have pretty much given up on road races, I can't say that I have a "road race" position.

Just over a year ago I got 170s. I was on 175s since 2003? and I ride a 52 cm Cannondale with the seat a bit low (back then I rode a size S Giant). I used to race 167.5s and 170s, sprinted well on them, and thought the shorter cranks would give me my old sprint back. That wasn't the case, even with decent training. I've decided to go back to the 175s, the "slow" cranks, since I don't think I'll be fast like that ever again.

You can get crit specific things, but a lot of them will compromise other things (else everyone would have a crit specific bike that also does everything else well). Some things include the aforementioned high BB for pedal clearance (as well as effectively increasing drop).

Other crit-specific things I've seen done to bikes:
1. Super short stays. The shortest were so short that the seat tube was made of two seat stays and the rear tire stuck through them. I think the stays were 34 or 35 cm long (40 is about as short as you get nowadays). The idea with short stays is that the rear tire would stay planted no matter what you did. The drawback is that the bike would shake your fillings out.
2. Steep head tube angle. Lets you steer quicker. But if you sneezed hard you'd do a u-turn. Trail is an independent thing so the bike could be stable and still steer quickly. Steeper head tube angles allow you to adjust your trajectory while, say, sprinting out of the saddle. At least that's what I've found, going from about 70 deg angles to 73.

Things you can do without affecting much else:
1. Hi clearance pedals, or pedals that are so low profile that you hit your shoe instead. This still works. Hitting a plastic cleat or shoe is much more forgiving than skipping your rear wheel out when you tag your metal pedals. I used to run half axle Gipiemmes, and then I ran Aerolites, both of which offer soft contact points (toe strap on Gipiemme, soft cleat on Aerolites) and immense clearance. I won one race due to the Gipiemmes' cornering clearance.
2. Adjust your levers so you can brake and shift from the drops. Although it seems that, based on the ridiculous lever placement I see, it's no longer a "must" to be able to actually stop or shift from the drops, it's an incredible tool to have when doing the last lap of a crit. Hoods put you too high and don't give you a lot of leverage compared to the drops, a fatal combination when in tight field situations.

cdr
Dude, please let the youngsters learn something the hard way. Of course I am assuming that the youngsters will read this and take it to heart.
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Old 02-13-09, 05:31 PM
  #12  
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Thanks for the info all =)
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Old 02-13-09, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
Dude, please let the youngsters learn something the hard way. Of course I am assuming that the youngsters will read this and take it to heart.
i'll save the hard stuff for being on the bike.

CDR, you rule. thatnk you.
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Old 02-14-09, 09:32 AM
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CDR wants to save the world.

Any crit, or RR requires comfort first.
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Old 02-14-09, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by YMCA View Post
CDR wants to save the world.

Any crit, or RR requires comfort first.
is a relative term, lest you forget...
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Old 02-15-09, 08:48 AM
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I think you can be a little bit more aggressive with your crit position than your long RR position. Crits typically last no more than 90 minutes (pro crit). So you can dial your position so you last those 90minutes plus a little more. Though not a crit v RR position, this is why you see CX positions being different from a road position. Higher and more forward saddle positions (along with other CX specific changes) because you race for an hour and you are done.

But the bigger issue is, you can you switch back and forth between a crit and RR position w/o having acclimatization issues.
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Old 02-16-09, 07:17 AM
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with fit advice from my training partner and other racers, I have made some adjustments in my fit that have improved my comfort.

I tested the new settings yesterday in a 50 minute crit (cat4/5) and the results were good.

Previously, (also due to a change of saddle) I had numbness in my left leg and in the nether region.

Combined with the new saddle ( standard arione ) + slightly set back + cleat position moved forward the numbness is gone except for my left hand.
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Old 02-16-09, 07:36 AM
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No difference. Do you see the pros use a special model crit bike and a special model road bike?

Honestly, the crit bike/road bike discussion is pointless. Has anyone ever seen a company come out with two different models for this purpose?

I can see it now. 2010 Cannondale CRIT10 and 2010 Cannondale Road10
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Old 02-16-09, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by SilentShifter View Post
Honestly, the crit bike/road bike discussion is pointless. Has anyone ever seen a company come out with two different models for this purpose?
Yes. I'm not familiar with what all the brands have out this year, but in the past, one could indeed by "crit" bikes.
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Old 02-16-09, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SilentShifter View Post
No difference. Do you see the pros use a special model crit bike and a special model road bike?

Honestly, the crit bike/road bike discussion is pointless. Has anyone ever seen a company come out with two different models for this purpose?

I can see it now. 2010 Cannondale CRIT10 and 2010 Cannondale Road10
You are kidding, right?

In the heyday of steel bike manufacture, the late 70's to the early 90's, the best Italian frame manufacturers had many models that were crit/road race specific.

Even toady, some bikes are crit specific. Cannondale, for example, is considered one of the best crit bikes because of its fairly steep head tube angle, short wheelbase and high bottom bracket.

Suggestion, have some knowledge before you post outrageous comments.
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Old 02-16-09, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by San Rensho View Post
You are kidding, right?

In the heyday of steel bike manufacture, the late 70's to the early 90's, the best Italian frame manufacturers had many models that were crit/road race specific.

Even toady, some bikes are crit specific. Cannondale, for example, is considered one of the best crit bikes because of its fairly steep head tube angle, short wheelbase and high bottom bracket.

Suggestion, have some knowledge before you post outrageous comments.

My point exactly.....late 70's, early 90's. Come on, really. That doesn't happen anymore.

Yes Cannondale is probably the 'ideal' crit bike - hands down. However, that bike is equally capable for road races. No need for two different CAAD frames, the same one is just fine.
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Old 02-17-09, 11:40 PM
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I ended up more toward the crit/sprinter setup on my bike, but don't change anything for road races or climbing that requires a mechanical adjustment. My saddle is flat, so moving back and forth on it is easy. I tend to run it further over the BB than some, but have basically done that forever. It suits my body type and strengths. But my body would be downright pissed if I changed fits for a RR vs. a crit, so I'm not completely over the top of the bike.

And for what it's worth, I love my Ridley for any race.
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Old 03-01-09, 05:02 PM
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I just heard an interesting perspective from a pro/crit-specialist/coach/biomechanist Craig Dodson. He said that aerodynamics are far less important in crit races than in road races, so it is ideal to have less saddle to bar drop.

In a crit race, by the time you get to speeds where aerodynamics are crucial you're in the next turn. By having higher handlebars, you increase your hip angle which increases your power that you need for accelerations out of the turns. He also stressed that handlebar position needs to provide optimal balance and weight distribution.

He also says that on his bike, he has his bike set up with the brakes so loose that he could not possibly lock up the wheel. He made them sound dangerously loose, which would make riding in traffic sketchy, but it sounds good for racing.

Just thought I'd pass this along.
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Old 03-01-09, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I used to run half axle Gipiemmes, and then I ran Aerolites, both of which offer soft contact points (toe strap on Gipiemme, soft cleat on Aerolites) and immense clearance. I won one race due to the Gipiemmes' cornering clearance.

cdr
i want to hear this story
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Old 03-01-09, 08:07 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by bw286 View Post
i want to hear this story
You'll have to read it, but here it is:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...mccormack.html

cdr
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