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descending- most aero tuck(13 posts)

descending- most aero tuckbsenez
Sep 14, 2001 6:43 PM
The is inspired by the max speed poll further down the page. When you guys are hitting speeds in excess of 50mph (and even 60) what position are you in. I keep my hands in the drops for control and try to get as low over the bike as i can. on slower decents (30-40) i will put my hands on the bar tops right by the stem and get way over the front. i've seen many pro's do this on tv. it seems to work well but sacrifices control. I feel i could hit higher speeds on the same hills if i was more aero though...
re: descending- most aero tuckAtombomber
Sep 14, 2001 7:15 PM
It depends on the circumstances.

I generally use the 'hands near the stem, cranks level, get the torso as flat as possible' technique if the road is smooth, and traffic is not an issue. The 'hang over the front wheel' scares the poop out of me, but it is effective. Also effective is the 'sitting on the top tube' style, but is uncomfortable, especially if you're been riding for a bunch of hours already. Just using the 'drops and getting low and aerodynamic by keeping everything in close to the body' can easily allow speeds of 80 kph. The key is to know when to stop pedalling and when to start tucking. Ski racing and motorcycling have let me become comfortable going fast. Hurling down an iced slope on 2 thin planks at 130 kph or rolling down a hill on a contact patch smaller than a coin at 100 kph is not very different. Start off in the drops with your hands near or on the brake levers, and then as you get more comfortable, then try different positions. Just be careful.
re: descending- most aero tuckDave Woof
Sep 14, 2001 8:03 PM
most comfy is butt on the top tube, hands on tops, for me anyway. Nose over the front tire is hairy, bad center of grav, but really fast. Last is butt off the back of the saddle. also pretty fast, hairy too.But you can rest your chest on the saddle, actually kinda comfy for a long straight descent.
re: descending- most aero tuckMe Dot Org
Sep 14, 2001 8:53 PM
If you looked at one of the Saturn Riders in the San Francisco Grand Prix (I think it was Trent Klasna) he would descend while SITTING on the top tube! (His body in a normal racing crouch).

It must be pretty aerodynamic, because there were times he was actually gaining on riders that were pedaling while he was not.

And if you hit a large bump, you probably have a good chance at a new career as a tenor....
re: descending- most aero tuckElefantino
Sep 14, 2001 9:14 PM
One of the more interesting styles is that of the world's best descender, Paolo Salvodelli ("Il Falco") of Saeco. He puts his rear just over the back tire, with his chest on the seat. Me, there's no way I could control the front wheel with my weight so far back, but he must have either super-strong forearms or cojones of titanium. But then, I guess that's why he's the best in the world.
I ride the rivet (nose of the saddle), hands either side of the stem and pinch the top tube with my knees. But then I haven't gone over 50 in 10 years.
that works bestTig
Sep 15, 2001 8:52 AM
Hanging off the back of the seat is something I got from riding steep descents on an MTB, and it works well for road. You have to rest your stomach lightly on the seat. The balance is much better than sitting on the top tube and it provides a flatter aero position.
re: descending- most aero tuckJesse Smith
Sep 15, 2001 9:15 AM
Hands on the top of the bars right up against the stem with the thumbs crossed. Elbows and and knees squeezing the top tube. I use a gel flask with the nylon pouch strapped to the stem. I can rest my chin on the flask and use it as both a rest for the neck and a cushion against bumps. I weigh 140 lbs and frequently coast past heavier riders in different aero positions. Keep your mouth shut. An open mouth catches too much air.
Death wish in Portland, Oregonjavagenki
Sep 15, 2001 1:46 PM
I used to have this great 50 mph+ tuck.
Now I'm nursing 2 sq. ft. of road rash on my back, a separated shoulder, a twice broken collar bone, and a vomiting, room spinning, vision blurring concussion. Not to mention the damage to my bike.
I did this on a Portland Wheelman supported ride called the "Torture 10,000" 3 weeks ago. There was gravel on the road's shoulder at the top of a sweeping down hill corner. According to the sheriff I was one of four riders to bite it on that corner before they shut down that part of the course. One guy wiped out and missed me by a few feet as I was being loaded into the ambulance. I called the Portland Wheelman when I got out of the hospital and they didn't know my name or where my bike was. The ride organizer just kept saying, "Hey, anyone can wipe out anywhere anytime. It's not my fault."
So, the best tuck? I have no idea. But if you have one, use it as far away from a Portland Wheelman event as possible.
get smallDog
Sep 16, 2001 9:21 AM
For top speed, I move my butt way back, so that my abdomen is on the saddle, feet level, knees against the top tube, hands near the stem, elbows in, face down against the stem, and sideways to get a little lower. However, you can get pretty close to top speed with hands on the drops, everything else the same. Lots more control there.

This is much faster than on aerobars. I've tried both on the same hills, and no aerobars is faster. You just can't pedal in that position, and it's very fatiguing and unforgiving.

oh, and clothesDog
Sep 16, 2001 9:22 AM
Gotta wear a tight jersey and zip it up. Makes a huge difference.

avoid aerobarsTig
Sep 16, 2001 3:35 PM
I was 20 yards behind a guy who crashed descending down a strait level hill on aerobars awhile back. He fractured his skull, scapula, and collarbone. He also has a severe concussion. I might add that his cycling skills were poor and the asphalt was a little soft from the heat of the day. It's not worth it since there isn't any worthwhile advantage.
Fatiguing may be an understatement ...Humma Hah
Sep 16, 2001 3:45 PM
A couple of times, in that sort of position, with my head tilted back as far as possible so I could see far enough ahead for safety, I've felt light-headed. I believe you can actually restrict blood flow thru the carotid arteries by bending your head back too far.

I agree, it can really be fatiguing. I've felt like I lost as much time on an ensuing climb as I picked up in the dive due to being really wiped out by the speed attempt.
I've tried both hands behind my back ...Humma Hah
Sep 16, 2001 3:40 PM
... seriously, I have. I don't recommend it. It was no faster than one hand on the bars, near the stem, with the other behind my back.

I get the pedals level (9 and 3), back flat as possible, butt off the seat, nose of the saddle or top bar squeezed firmly between the legs, then "get small.

Two hands near the stem suffers if you mount anything on the bars, like maybe a computer. You can go pretty fast, but if you can't read the computer, who can tell?

I believe my fastest ever descent was about 62 mph, but the mechanical odometer was unreliable. This was on the cruiser, with original-type cruiser bars. On all of my high-speed descents, I put my hands near the stem, otherwise my elbows stuck way out and were very un-aero. I was much skinnier then, and produced less drag.