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what truly is a flat back?(2 posts)

what truly is a flat back?Vernon
Mar 17, 2001 10:14 PM
I've read that to ride with a flat back is like trying to bring your belly button to touch the top tube. When I do that, it feels like every pedal stroke my thighs pushing my abs. Your back should be horizontal, right? Or should I curl my mid-section a bit, just like I see pros do it? Someone explain this to me, please!
everyone is differentDog
Mar 19, 2001 7:57 AM
I suppose "flat" truly means horizontal to the ground and straight. It's an ideal, but probably rarely acheived. In fact, it may not even be the best thing to do for any particular individual.

Lance Armstrong is a good example. From lower back injuries, he cannot ride "flat." In fact, he almost looks like a camel in a timetrial. His training book noted this, and the fact that laboratory testing showed that he made more power slightly elevated, despite slightly increased drag, that resulted in higher speed. So, here is arguably the fastest time-trialist in the world right now intentionally not going "flat."

Your bike setup and fit will make a difference, too. Time trial or triathalon bikes are made to assist in getting flat and making power in that position. Your road bike may not be, but is more set up for comfort, sprinting, and climbing.

If you can get flat, that's good. If you can't, figure out why and adapt the best you can, without hurting something else.