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My forearms aren't parallel with the group when I'm in the drops, adjustment needed?

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My forearms aren't parallel with the group when I'm in the drops, adjustment needed?

Old 09-24-10, 06:05 AM
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My forearms aren't parallel with the group when I'm in the drops, adjustment needed?

Well like the title says, I believe this is throwing a monkey wrench in my fit and riding. I can't get as flat a back as I would like because my forearms aren't getting horizontal in the drops. I hate messing with something that works (I'm really comfortable set up this way) but I feel like it may be wrong. I could clearly flip my stem and/or lose a spacer.

Last edited by stien; 09-24-10 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 09-24-10, 06:34 AM
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???

If you have a picture of you riding the bike would be better, not everybody is HORIZONTAL, neither has their back flat while riding so all depends. If it works just leave it.
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Old 09-24-10, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by stien
Well like the title says, I believe this is throwing a monkey wrench in my fit and riding. I can't get as flat a back as I would like because my forearms aren't getting horizontal in the drops. I hate messing with something that works (I'm really comfortable set up this way) but I feel like it may be wrong. I could clearly flip it and/or lose a spacer.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 09-24-10, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by achoo
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
+1 This adage rings true!
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Old 09-24-10, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by achoo
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I thought the adage around here was 'If it ain't broke, upgrade it.' or 'When in doubt upgrade.'

But seriously if you are comfortable why change. Just tell people your doing resistance training and it is the only way the group rides are even remotely challenging for you, if they ask. Note, they won't ask.
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Old 09-24-10, 07:31 AM
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The idea of having the forearms horizontal when riding in the drops is wrong. If you have sufficient saddle to bar drop, then the upper back can be close to horizontal with no significant bend in the arms. I use a large 11cm drop, just so I don't need to bend my arms, when in the drops. I keep my arms relaxed, but have no need to bend at the elbow.
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Old 09-24-10, 07:31 AM
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Nothing wrong with experimenting. I flipped my stem and took out spacers, dropping by an inch. The ride felt fine. If it didn't, I would have just gone back to the original set up. You can bend your elbows more. You can get out of the saddle, keeping your hands in the drops.

If it doesn't work, just go back to what you are doing now.
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Old 09-24-10, 07:35 AM
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I mostly ride straight-elbowed, but when I take high speed turns, or doing a downhill, where I can get the speed up, it's elbow-bending time. Try it and see if you like it.
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Old 09-24-10, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by collegeskier
I thought the adage around here was 'If it ain't broke, upgrade it.' or 'When in doubt upgrade.'

But seriously if you are comfortable why change. Just tell people your doing resistance training and it is the only way the group rides are even remotely challenging for you, if they ask. Note, they won't ask.
This is also true
There's also, "if it ain't broke, buy another bike".
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Old 09-24-10, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS
The idea of having the forearms horizontal when riding in the drops is wrong. If you have sufficient saddle to bar drop, then the upper back can be close to horizontal with no significant bend in the arms. I use a large 11cm drop, just so I don't need to bend my arms, when in the drops. I keep my arms relaxed, but have no need to bend at the elbow.
This. Having more saddle to bar drop will allow you to get low without having to bend your arms much, if at all. If you find you are flexible enough that you want to get lower, try gradually transitioning to a lower cockpit by moving the down a spacer at a time until you are where you want to be. When you have no spacers under the stem, you can flip the stem and move it back to the top of the stack and start over with the stem flipped.

A few tips from my experience:

- Decide whether you want your overall position to be lower, or just your position in the drops to be lower. If you want the latter, you can use a bar with deeper drops to achieve part of that.
- Make adjustments gradually. I find that it's best to ride about 150mi with a setup before making the next change to move down, unless you are already accustomed to having that much drop.
- Depending on how much of a change you are making, you may need a stem with a different length/angle, and you probably will find it necessary to make minor changes in the position of the saddle. In extreme cases, you might actually need a saddle of a different width or type to be comfortable.
- If you still need more drop after do the spacer/stem thing, and you are already using a stem with a -17 rise, you may be able to squeeze a little more drop out of using a headset with a lower stack height.
- I find that the lower a rider's position is/the more drop they have, the more crucial minutes changes of fit are to long, or even short term comfort. Something as simple as have the brake levers rotated to far down can become extremely uncomfortable.


Hope some of this helps.

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Old 09-24-10, 08:58 AM
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If you're comfortable, don't change it. A poor fit can be very painful after a few hours.
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Old 09-24-10, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS
The idea of having the forearms horizontal when riding in the drops is wrong.
+1 I can see the desire to get your back flat, but whatever angle that puts your elbows at is what it happens to be. Not everyone can get their back completely flat like the limber like those 20-something skinny pros, too.


Originally Posted by Eclectus
I mostly ride straight-elbowed.
I hope you mean you ride with a slight bend. Just for clarification to anyone who might misunderstand, locking the elbows leads to limited control of the bike and eventually joint problems later in life.
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Old 09-24-10, 10:20 AM
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Yeah, slight bend. With our crappy roads, anatomical shock-absorption is essential.

Nice baby pic. Your life is changing, huh? I remember that. I became a grandpa in June. Maybe BF could use a grandparents thread.

I'm going to figure out how to post pix soon. With my belly fat, they aren't going to be pretty.
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Old 09-24-10, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
+1 I can see the desire to get your back flat, but whatever angle that puts your elbows at is what it happens to be. Not everyone can get their back completely flat like the limber like those 20-something skinny pros, too.
Not really. Reagardless of the torso angle that you're trying to achieve, it should not require a huge bend at the elbow, when in the drops. If a person can't handle very much saddle to bar drop, and desires a more upright position, then they wouldn't ever want a horizontal upper back. You still get a relatively large change in the torso angle when the hands are placed in the drops. There's no need to use a big bend at the elbow.
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Old 09-24-10, 11:26 AM
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Why don't you try losing a spacer and see how you like it? You can always go back if you don't.

Stop hemming and hawing over something that it easily undoable. You're not going to 'mess up your fit' if you switch something that you can switch back in an instant.

Flipping your stem will increase it's relative length as well, so keep that in mind.

In the end, if you're riding your bike comfortably with a position that works but doesn't look like the pictures you see of pros then stop farking with it. When you look like a pro, ride like a pro, and race like a pro, then worry about copying their position.
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Old 09-24-10, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS
Not really. Reagardless of the torso angle that you're trying to achieve, it should not require a huge bend at the elbow, when in the drops. If a person can't handle very much saddle to bar drop, and desires a more upright position, then they wouldn't ever want a horizontal upper back. You still get a relatively large change in the torso angle when the hands are placed in the drops. There's no need to use a big bend at the elbow.
What about people like me who have odd proportions that require a frame larger than their inseam would normally suggest? I can't get more than 3" of saddle to bar drop on any frame that fits me, but I'm plenty flexible enough to get my back flat. It still only requires about a 45 degree bend, but that's more than most people.

I'll also point out that until the 80's, most TdF bikes had very little drop. They still got their backs flat. A huge bend is not always required, but it's not a bad thing either. At least it never seemed to cause me any discomfort or deprive me of any power, and my coaches didn't have a problem with it. As a matter of fact, they had a problem with me not bending my elbows ENOUGH during my first year.
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Old 09-24-10, 01:04 PM
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What kind of word is "farking"? I might want to use it.
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Old 09-24-10, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Eclectus
What kind of word is "farking"? I might want to use it.
lol I suspect I'm one of the few adults who knows the hidden meaning of the character name "Lord Farquaad" in the movie Shrek.
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Old 09-24-10, 01:56 PM
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"My forearms aren't parallel with the group when I'm in the drops, adjustment needed?"

18 posts and nobody's gonna even answer the question?


OP, your forearm position in relation to the group you are riding with is not critical
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Old 09-24-10, 02:00 PM
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Lol, ground. I didn't even look when typing that title. Thanks for all the input gentlemen.
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