Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

posture questions...

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Old 09-27-04, 07:23 PM
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Alec006
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posture questions...

just got back from my first real road ride...im training to do a tourning trip thru the uk next spring...anyway, i think things went allright for my frist time out, 2 hours, 25 miles, managed to keep my peddling above 60rpms...so all and all i thought it was a good first effort...but i was wondering if i could get some help with the proper posture on the bike, i think im putting too much weight on my arms, so im thinking of tilting my seat back slightly to force myself to stay back in the saddle, will this help to distribute my weight better? (it felt like not enough weight was on my butt to put it bluntly, and i was being pinched a little too close to the groin area...) also if anyone can give some general tips for good riding form it would be appreciated...thanks for any help in advance...
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Old 09-27-04, 07:33 PM
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Congrats on your first ride.

From what you say, I think tilting your seat back is going to make the groin-area problem worse, and won't help you unweight the handlebars at all. As a starting point, the seat should be level. If it's tilted downwad, you might want to level it, but I wouldn't tilt it back. I think you just need to give it some time, and you'll get stronger. You might want to do crunches to help strengthen your abs and core muscles. These are what you use most to support yourself on the bike.
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Old 09-28-04, 12:32 AM
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the basic idea:
bend your arms and arch your back (so that your shoulders go forward). try not to put too much pressure on your hands/elbows/shoulders.

here's how i stay together... i remember to 'stay small'. that is, i tuck in my elbows and knees so that i'm not as wide as i normally would be. that forces me to bend my elbows and put them near my ribs. same with my knees... which reduces wobble (and also cuts down on the effort required to pedal).

don't tilt your seat... that's probably not a good idea. you may wish to play with it's placement, though. that is, move it back a bit on the rails if you feel like you're too close (or the other way if you're too far) from the bars.

i've also found that i can only tell if my bike is adjusted correctly after the first 30-40 miles or so. i get weird pains in my lower back and arches up until mile 30 or so, then they all go away magically when my bike isn't set correctly (i used to have my seat too high), i noticed it throughout the whole ride. jot down the heights of your seatpost and bars and monkey around with them (just a bit, not a lot) before rides to see what works best.

lastly... if you find that you've got weird pains in your back/hands/etc, try aligning your seat height with your bar height (actually, the seat should be just a bit higher than the bars). this is something that the racers will sneer at, but it goes a long way to making your ride more comfy -- and, therefore, makes you faster. i'll take comfort over aero any day.. especially since my main competition is distance and wind in a century, not a time trial.

hopefully, that'll help! good luck, and congrats on your first big ride.

best,
t
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Old 09-28-04, 12:51 AM
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blendingnoise
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try http://www.jimlangley.net/crank/bikefit.html
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Old 09-28-04, 01:33 AM
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Alec006
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cool, thanks for all the help guys...i think i will try sliding my seat up a bit while still keeping it flat...hopefully this will alleviate all the repositioning i had to do on my ride because i felt as if i was too far up on the seat...thanks again for the tips.
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Old 09-28-04, 04:51 AM
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If worse comes to worse, find an LBS that can properly fit you to the bike. It will be worth the effort.

Good luck.
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Old 09-28-04, 06:53 AM
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Hi Alec,

It's common for riders who are new to the road cycling position to 'rest' too heavily on their hands and arms. Usually it's a combination of poor fit to the bike (reach, neutral tilt to the saddle, etc.) and lack of core strength (lower back and abdominals) which cause the upper body's muscles to engage more than they should.

I've just been reading Chris Carmichael's book 'The Ultimate Ride' and there are great chapters on how to fit your bike properly. I recommend it highly.

Dave
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Old 09-29-04, 04:55 PM
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thank you guys for all the advice...after 2 hours of constantly shifting on the seat the other day, i thought it was going to take me a while to get comfortable on this bike...but all it took was to move the seat slightly forward, and oh what a difference! dare i say it, my quick little 14 mile ride today was almost...COMFORTABLE!! awsome! thank you guys so much for all your help!
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