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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 09-23-13, 08:23 PM   #1
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Saddle to bar drop

I'm curious what everyone is using for LD. If you have aerobars, saddle to pad drop would be interesting too. I'm currently set up at about -3 cm saddle to bar and 0 cm saddle to pads (top of the saddle 93 cm from the ground, top of the bar 90 cm from the ground, centers of the pads 93 cm from the ground). Feels generally OK but my back and neck got pretty tired last time I did a double century. Wondering if I should adjust upwards or I just need more training.
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Old 09-23-13, 08:49 PM   #2
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That parameter is going to vary depending on all sorts of factors -- arm length, torso length, reach, bike geometry etc....
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Old 09-23-13, 09:17 PM   #3
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My Syntace pads are 6 cm above my bars. Saddle is at 93 cm., tandem bar at 89 cm., single bike bar at 86 cm. Back and neck being tired is usually from rounding the back. Roll the pelvis forward so as to flatten the lower back. That removes the round from the upper back and reduces neck/spine angle. If you can't achieve this, more stretching. I can put my knuckles on the ground. I guess that makes me a knuckle-dragger. Also more training. I've been using Tommy D's new book Core Advantage and like it.

But yeah, a double will make you tired, sure enough. Sounds like your setup must be pretty good. If you're riding doubles with this fit, probably no need to worry. Shermer's Neck can be prevented by doing dumbell presses, shrugs, and neck exercises. I also do a bit of back/core work in the gym: seated rows, lat pull-downs, back machine, pushups, squats, leg sled, straight leg deadlifts.

Chris Ragsdale used spacers to get his pads much higher than his bars for RAAM:

You can see his drop to the bar is aggressive. I ride with a very good LD guy whose pads are also spaced up like this. You might try this. Syntace makes a spacer for this purpose. Perhaps other manufacturers also do.
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Old 10-01-13, 08:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
That parameter is going to vary depending on all sorts of factors -- arm length, torso length, reach, bike geometry etc....
Yeah, plus flexibility, and whatever you're used to, and so on. I used to get awful neck pain toward the end of long rides, but then after a while I stopped noticing this. Then a few months ago I got a new helmet, and the pain returned. WTF, I thought; but then I realized, the new helmet has a visor, so I had to lift my head up higher. That was enough to change everything.

Another factor is how much you change your position on the bike. Integrated brake and shift levers can make you so comfortable you stay in one position until it becomes uncomfortable, by which time it's too late. This is less of a problem if your brakes and shifters are in different places on the bike (shifters on the down tube or bar end) and you have to move your hands back and forth constantly.
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