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Slammed vs bent arms

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Slammed vs bent arms

Old 10-21-20, 03:12 PM
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colnago62
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Slammed vs bent arms

I was watching the World Championships and a lot guys riding slammed stems with their elbows locked from the arms being extended. The were also rides with their handlebars in a position that allow the elbow to have a bend in them.
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Old 10-21-20, 03:22 PM
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Point those elbows!
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Old 10-21-20, 03:32 PM
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Locked elbows is bad. I was taught that elbows are always bent. Projecting to the side anytime I was riding with others. Bent elbows allows your arms to act as shock absorbers when you hit a pothole or rock. (That's "when" not "if'". "If" just means you haven't ridden long enough or you live in a world I've never known without potholes or rocks.) Projecting your elbows to the side means getting bumped by the rider beside you isn't an issue. (I hear more reports of crashes hitting unseen stuff in races and training rides than I recall from my racing days. I think that inattention to how we hold the handlebars is a real factor. That plus more time on the brake levers and those levers not having cable housings sticking out the top. As cursed as those cables were, we all had crashes prevented by them when we hit something that knocked our hands off but we hung up, sometimes rather painfully, on those cables.

I see a lot of pro riders with riding habits I was specifically coached not to do. I suspect that the pool of riders being vastly bigger than 45 years ago means that many come up without mentors who teach the old ways. Also that the focus on "scientific training" means less focus on good, old fashioned riding habits.
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Old 10-21-20, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Point those elbows!
My elbows are so pointed they are considered weapons. Enough so that there are those who wish to repeal the 2nd Amendment, the right to bare arms.
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Old 10-21-20, 03:52 PM
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Yeah, for sure they're doing it wrong.
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Results matter
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Old 10-21-20, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Yeah, for sure they're doing it wrong.
LOL.

The straight arms position keeps your torso low without fatiguing your arms. The bent elbow position is faster but will blow out your triceps/elbows pretty quick.
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Old 10-21-20, 04:41 PM
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I don't know which riders you were looking at, but straight doesn't necessarily mean locked. I ride pretty comfortably with my arms straight. As my elbows go from just straight to locked, the inside bend of them rotates from being slightly angled down toward inside to being on top. Doesn't matter whether on the hoods or drops. Not sure how to really describe that.

Nonetheless I'm not sure I'd assume that just because ones arms are straight that they are locked. I know a few people that locked elbows would be way past straight.
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Old 10-21-20, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
LOL.

The straight arms position keeps your torso low without fatiguing your arms. The bent elbow position is faster but will blow out your triceps/elbows pretty quick.
blow out your triceps/elbows? Maybe if they’re made of jello...
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Old 10-21-20, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
blow out your triceps/elbows? Maybe if they’re made of jello...
Have you seen the archetypical cyclist's arms?
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Old 10-21-20, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
blow out your triceps/elbows? Maybe if they’re made of jello...
Yeah, not a problem I've ever had. My back and hips provide the cantilever force to hold my trunk up and will fail ages before my arms.
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Old 10-21-20, 05:57 PM
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I am of the belief a bend in arms keeps the forearm out of the wind, allowing for for better aerodynamics
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Old 10-21-20, 06:54 PM
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Here’s an interesting discussion of the “locked arms” position.
https://jralong.com/2020/09/04/le-tou...eased-carnage/

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Old 10-21-20, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I was watching the World Championships and a lot guys riding slammed stems with their elbows locked from the arms being extended. The were also rides with their handlebars in a position that allow the elbow to have a bend in them.
Are they riding with straight arms when on the front and working hard?
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Old 10-21-20, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Have you seen the archetypical cyclist's arms?
Yes,but they're only holding up the archetypical cyclist's torso
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Old 10-21-20, 08:57 PM
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colnago62
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
Are they riding with straight arms when on the front and working hard?
They were in the breakaway.
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Old 10-21-20, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
LOL.

The straight arms position keeps your torso low without fatiguing your arms. The bent elbow position is faster but will blow out your triceps/elbows pretty quick.
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Old 10-21-20, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I am of the belief a bend in arms keeps the forearm out of the wind, allowing for for better aerodynamics
A good alternative is simply rest your forearms flat on the hoods like in the TT position. It's absolutely aero and highly relaxed position - if you're used to it.... however, in such position, you can't press on the brakes in a whim and have to slide down your hands to reach the brake levers so that position is only safe to do if you're at the front of the group or riding solo and if traffic conditions is safe enough to do it.

Last edited by cubewheels; 10-21-20 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 10-21-20, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
A good alternative is simply rest your elbows flat on the hoods like in the TT position. It's absolutely aero and highly relaxed position - if you're used to it.... however, in such position, you can't press on the brakes in a whim and have to slide down your hands to reach the brake levers so that position is only safe to do if you're at the front of the group or riding solo and if traffic conditions is safe enough to do it.
I thought that also, but these riders were in the drops. I also saw riders who had slightly higher bar height with their forearms more horizontal than vertical. I wonder if it more personal preference than an actual improvement, the difference between the two?
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Old 10-21-20, 10:42 PM
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If your arms are straight, your forearms aren't horizontal, therefore you're showing more frontal area. Raising the bars so your forearms are level would be more aero, right?
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Old 10-21-20, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
I thought that also, but these riders were in the drops. I also saw riders who had slightly higher bar height with their forearms more horizontal than vertical. I wonder if it more personal preference than an actual improvement, the difference between the two?
More horizontal forearms is more aerodynamic but it takes more energy and less comfortable to maintain such position.

Ironically, you can also make your forearms more horizontal without increasing the bar height by simply gripping the hoods....

I think it's more of a personal preference and why riders set their bars higher so they can sit in more upright positions at intervals to rest their back and hands a bit.
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Old 10-21-20, 11:39 PM
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It's really down to comfort and rider preference.

I find the arms straight(ish, with a bit of bend in them), in the drops to be a very comfortable "fast cruising" position. Arms more level on the hoods is likely a bit faster, but isn't something I like doing for more than five minutes at a time. When descending then I get a bit lower still with arms bent in the drops, though.



​​​​​

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Old 10-22-20, 12:14 AM
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I find it more comfortable over longer periods to be fully slammed than compensating by bending too much.
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Old 10-22-20, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Yeah, not a problem I've ever had. My back and hips provide the cantilever force to hold my trunk up and will fail ages before my arms.
This...

strong core results in negligible weight on arms
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Old 10-22-20, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by svvv View Post
I find it more comfortable over longer periods to be fully slammed than compensating by bending too much.
^This^

I started road riding a 61cm with spacers - professionally fitted. Over the years, I got more comfortable in a lower position. Today, I'm on a 58cm with a longer (slammed) stem and am very comfortable even on all-day rides. I like the lower stem because I've got options - from straight(er) arms on the hoods, to bent in the drops. But, you have GOT to first make sure any change is within the range that a good fitter would do. Jumping on a slammed long stem with a lot of seat post may look fast... but it could kill YOUR power... and back... and neck... and ass...
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Old 10-22-20, 09:04 AM
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Pics and a thousand words...

I just did an image search to (re)call this pic which helps visualize some options:



upper right corner looks like the aero/comfort winner to me, but variety is good.
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