Sunday, 14 November 2010

Aero, who says so.

The question with any enthusiast cyclist is 'how low can I go without losing power', initially for me this wasn't a big deal as sorting my general fitness & recovering from a back injury was. Now a few years down the line with my flexibility and fitness improved it has become a quest.

Over this year I've dropped my handle bar height by around 2-2 1/2 centimetres. Part of this discovery occurred when I borrowed a friends bike. It allowed me to explore options that I might well have left alone. So recently I pondered going lower still. Dropping 5mm out of the front end improved the position to a degree and proved fine on my short 25km commute. It was only recently when I went out for a long ride did the time and distance in the saddle expose that (at the moment) it was a set too far. The nagging back pain came back exposing my weak untrained muscles. Also the computer doesn't lie. Trying to cruise around at 35kmph proved to be a challenge whereas in the weeks previos this had become a comfortable experience.

So bars where duly raised back to their previous position and the pains in the lower back and neck eased off some. But bizarrely I was longing for a little bit more cockpit room. Moving the saddle back around 3-5mm seemed to solve the problem. A few more tweaks over the coming weeks led me to change the shape of the bars from the 3T Rotundo to the Ergosum. This was a revelation on the Felt, even more so than on the other bike (Opera) I have them on. With a few more saddle set back adjustments the position seems comfortable, but no doubt the position will be completely refined come spring.

Thankfully the 35 kmph speed was back. In fact one ride it was so good I'd swear that I had entered the fabled 'no chain' zone knocking off 10 minutes off my ride. So aero is nothing really without the sustainability of power, and this my friends is the fine line balance that we all seek.

Posted via email from Sprinting for Signs's posterous

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