Getting Aggressive

My learning curve continues to be, well, curvy, with my new racing hobby. Luckily I’ve got people around me in cyberspace who know what they’re talking about.

Tim’s keen eye noticed that my saddle might be a little low in a photo or two from my last race. I had tweaked the height fairly recently and figured it must be okay, but over the last couple of rides I’ve put it up a bit and, lo and behold, I’m still not rocking all over the road. I think I’m close to the top, though, but I’ll bet I’ve gained a cm or so and it feels more stable and powerful. Good man, Tim!

I’ve also been in constant contact with Rob, who sends me long, detailed, and very useful emails on anything I ask about cycling. He’s been doing it his whole life and is simply a giant wealth of information. It’s one thing to glean stuff off the internet, but to have someone knowledgable tell you, it has currency – at least for me.

Rob suggested I lower my handlebars, since I was riding a ‘comfortable’ position, i.e. using all my spacers. He went into a discussion of drag coefficients, which, after unglazing my eyes, made me realize that I needed to get myself more horizontal on the bike. The short of it was that drag increases by a power of 3 as speed increases, so, you need to produce a lot more power, the more torso you show to the wind you are creating…or something like that. It sounds more convincing when he says it.

Therefore, I’ve taken out 1.5 cm of spacers (for now). Below is a ‘before’ shot. You can see there is nothing sticking up above the stem.

And after. The difference is pretty dramatic, with the saddle / bars adjustment. Amazingly I can still ride for hours with little or no difference in comfort.

A close-up of the stem. I’ve still got 2 cm to go down before I reach ‘Rob height’. My lower back hurts just thinking about it!

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6 thoughts on “Getting Aggressive

  1. Very nice. When I first purchased my bike, I pushed the seat up a bit – not as much as yours – and was immediately victimized with pain on the back of my knee. It took me several weeks to figure out the problem (like you, it came from a friendly internet source). With my seat lowered, the pain disappeared. Gkad to hear you’re not experiencing that problem.

  2. Funny you should mention pain in the back of the knee. I’ve had that since my Roubaix weekend and it very could well have been sparked by a different position, since I was using one of their bikes.

    Thanks. Another blog buddy to the rescue!

  3. trainging you want ….. on your next trek up hill and for training purposes…..(the movie Stripes) “What kind of training? “BASIC TRAINING …SIR !!!! ” you might want to consider weighing yourself down with 5-10 lbs of extra weight…..train heavier makes competition lighter !!!!!!!! and faster !!!!!

  4. I AM already training with 5-10 lbs of extra weight…that’s the problem!

    But yeah, I get your point. I’ve heard that some people train on heavier bikes to get that extra resistance, and that seems to fit in with the concept of ‘train harder to race faster’.

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