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is it the fit or my core strength?

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is it the fit or my core strength?

Old 04-13-12, 08:15 PM
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UMassAm
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is it the fit or my core strength?

I just got a new stem, went from 105 to 90. Not bad. I still feel a little too extended, like I have too much weight on my hands.

Now, it's been a while since I've rode seriously, so my core strength is a bit low. As my form gets better, should I start to see a shift of weight from my hands? I feel like I can maintain decent form (staying back on the seat, straight hips) for a shorter time than I used to be able too- how can I stay on top of this?
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Old 04-13-12, 08:22 PM
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Fit.
Core strength = useless for cycling.
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Old 04-13-12, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Fit.
Core strength = useless for cycling.
Really? Tell me more...
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Old 04-13-12, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Fit.
Core strength = useless for cycling.
What spectacularly bad advice this is. I'm impressed.
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Old 04-13-12, 08:33 PM
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That's exactly right. All you need to do is ride, do some hills, and stand some when climbing and sprinting. You get balance that way.
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Old 04-13-12, 08:40 PM
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If you feel you have to much weight on your hand, you should put back the longer stem or move your seat backward. The less distance there is between your saddle and your handlebar, the most weight there is on your hands. (I may be wrong, but think am ok)

A lack of core strength usually brings lower back pain.
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Old 04-13-12, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by todayilearned View Post
Really? Tell me more...
He's saying that the pressure on your hands is primarily a function of fit. You don't use your core muscles to hold yourself up for 5 hrs of riding. People who have a sufficiently strong core don't need to do anything special to increase core strength beyond just riding.
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Old 04-13-12, 09:11 PM
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I'd be more impressed with all those talking about 'core' for cycling explain what core muscles are actually at play making you go faster.
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Old 04-13-12, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
you don't use your core muscles to hold yourself up for 5 hrs of riding.
lol.
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Old 04-13-12, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
I'd be more impressed with all those talking about 'core' for cycling explain what core muscles are actually at play making you go faster.
for one thing... having a strong core will certainly help one hold a more aero position for longer periods of time... that would make someone faster...

I do have an issue with the term "core strength" because the idea of "core strength" is just really a marketing term for certain specific exercise programs
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Old 04-13-12, 09:33 PM
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It could be just the saddle angle. Post pic of bike.
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Old 04-13-12, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kbro1986 View Post
for one thing... having a strong core will certainly help one hold a more aero position for longer periods of time... that would make someone faster...

I do have an issue with the term "core strength" because the idea of "core strength" is just really a marketing term for certain specific exercise programs
Nope. It does NOT help you hold aero or other positions. Not one bit.

Are you flexing your abs/back muscles when you are riding aero? Nope. In fact, you want it to be generally relaxed but with a small amount of tension just to maintain shape. That does NOT require any sort of significant core strength.

It sounds good in theory, but in practice it's total bunk.

The ONLY way to be more comfortable in aero is to ride more aero (assuming fit isn't egregious.) YOu can do all the situps, deadlifts, twisters you want, and you'll still struggle like heck if you don't have enough time in the saddle, whereas Mr. No-Core exercises will be riding away, no problemo thanks to his hours in the saddle.
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Old 04-13-12, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
I'd be more impressed with all those talking about 'core' for cycling explain what core muscles are actually at play making you go faster.
For me it didn't have anything to do with speed. But building up core strength alleviated some back pain issues I had that were preventing me from riding in a low position for long periods. So I definitely think core strength is important. And I am certain that riding has improved mine.
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Old 04-13-12, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by generalkdi View Post
If you feel you have to much weight on your hand, you should put back the longer stem or move your seat backward. The less distance there is between your saddle and your handlebar, the most weight there is on your hands. (I may be wrong, but think am ok)
1/2 right, IMO. Moving the saddle back effectively decreases the seat tube angle and moves weight off the hands. Longer stem won't help.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:01 PM
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Pics of you on the bike would help. Saying it feels like you have too much weight on your hands doesnt provide enough info for advice on changing anything on your bike imo.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Right Said Fred View Post
For me it didn't have anything to do with speed. But building up core strength alleviated some back pain issues I had that were preventing me from riding in a low position for long periods. So I definitely think core strength is important. And I am certain that riding has improved mine.
That's exactly my point. Good core strength helps one endure longer periods in low/aero positions.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by roshea View Post
1/2 right, IMO. Moving the saddle back effectively decreases the seat tube angle and moves weight off the hands. Longer stem won't help.
However, if the saddle is too far back, it could cause issues with hamstring/glute/... muscles.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kbro1986 View Post
That's exactly my point. Good core strength helps one endure longer periods in low/aero positions.
I should also add that the only "core exercise" I did over the last year was riding about 3000 miles. So there is something about cycling that works to strengthen those muscles.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Right Said Fred View Post
I should also add that the only "core exercise" I did over the last year was riding about 3000 miles. So there is something about cycling that works to strengthen those muscles.
'strength' is a poor description of the core stability and resistance to fatigue that comes with riding a lot. It's more a function of endurance than strength.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:47 PM
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I can only give you my personal opinion, but I think core strength can affect the pressure through your arms. I had a back issue a while ago and only resolved it by joining a gym where they specialise in core strengthening. Now I've noticed just recently when I ride my body is not so dependent upon my arms supporting me. I can also ride a lot further without any back pain.
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Old 04-14-12, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
'strength' is a poor description of the core stability and resistance to fatigue that comes with riding a lot. It's more a function of endurance than strength.
My opinion is that the issue the OP describes and that I experienced is not purely fit related. My position on the bike hasn't changed, but I can now ride longer more comfortably and the feeling that I am supporting the weight of my upper body with my arms is gone. The lower back pain that I experienced for years is also nearly gone. I attribute all of this to an increase in core strength. Call it muscle tone or endurance or whatever you want, but I'm a happy camper either way.
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Old 04-14-12, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Nope. It does NOT help you hold aero or other positions. Not one bit.
Where core strength does help a bit (but can easily be developed on the bike and you don't need special workouts) is to avoid riding with straight arms. This does require some back strength that a lot of newbs don't have developed and so they ride without bent elbows, which leads to numb or painful hands. This is most easily developed by more time in the saddle, though.
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Old 04-14-12, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by UMassAm View Post
I just got a new stem, went from 105 to 90. Not bad. I still feel a little too extended, like I have too much weight on my hands.

It's been my experience that a shorter stem will put more weight on your wrists. A longer stem, has relieved my wrist pain to a large degree.
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Old 04-14-12, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by fstshrk View Post
It could be just the saddle angle. Post pic of bike.
This. If you've already shortened the stem and still feel you're on your hands/wrists too much, the saddle could be pitching you forward. General bike fit order:
Seat height
Seat fore/aft position
Seat angle
(adjust all until you can pedal without your hips rocking, your knees roughly over the ball of your feet when at a pedal stroke position of 9 and 3, and you feel balanced or centered in a way that doesn't pitch you forward)

Never did quite get the stem/shifter/handlebar order but it's a tricky balance of adjusting handlebar width and angle, stem length/height/angle, and position of the brifters on the bars.

At the very least, fiddle with the saddle a bit first as that doesn't require replacing parts.
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Old 04-14-12, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Fit.
Core strength = useless for cycling.

Epic Fail. Core strength is as important as Fitness in cycling. Period.
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