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Saddle to bar drop and #of spacers?(5 posts)

Saddle to bar drop and #of spacers?bruce
Jan 17, 2002 11:56 AM
I have noticed a lot here lately that some pros hardly run any spacer between their stem and head tube. How do they do this? I have gradually, over the time I have been riding, dropped my bars down more and more. I am scared to go as far as I think I would like to b/c I don't want to cut my steering tube off too far. I ride a 56CM TREK, I have an ITM Mellinium bar and stem combo. The stem is 110mm and I have about a half in. of spacer between it and the headset.
How do these guys do it? Some I have noticed though do not run their bars that low, I.E. Lance and some of the other USPS team. I noticed that alot of the european teams run theirs low. Is it something about sizing on the bikes? Do they no how to size a bike better than we do?
You could say that...TJeanloz
Jan 17, 2002 12:07 PM
No, they don't know how to size a bike better than we do. But their bikes are almost all custom. They know their position so well that they have the bike built so that they won't need any spacers. It makes the front end a little stiffer, and it looks pretty cool. The USPS men don't have this luxury, because they don't have custom bikes.
re: Saddle to bar drop and #of spacers?gtx
Jan 17, 2002 12:13 PM
seems to me it's mostly personal preference, combined with body type, fitness level and flexibility. My bars are roughly 12-13cm lower than the top of my seat and I also like deep drop bars. This setup feels especially good for fast descents or sprinting--but when I'm on flats my hands are usually on the top of the bar or top of the hoods. Everyone is different--I've known some great riders who like their bars higher.
FlexibilityKerry Irons
Jan 17, 2002 4:54 PM
You'll also notice that they have their seat post at about maximum extension. The pros want the smallest frame possible for light weight and stiffness, and they want a flat back for aerodynamics. It is just possible that in riding 20K miles a year, they obtain a flexibility in their body that allows them to get low and flat, just what they want and need to be a racer. People who can't do that are at a disadvantage, and likely never get to be pros in the first place.
That position has a pricecyclequip
Jan 18, 2002 12:28 AM
It costs years of mileage and specific training to achieve an effective flat back position like the pro's. Most recreational riders are better off in a more upright position - the limiter is the increased angular acuteness of the hip joint which causes strain on the upper hamstrings and consequent lower back pain. At recreational speeds that pure aero position is not as critical as the case of a pro on a 3-week tour needing to conseve as much energy as possible during long days in the saddle. Interestingly, tests have shown an increase in HR in the tucked position, possibly ofsetting the aero gains possible.