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Should your cadence decrease while on the drops?(4 posts)

Should your cadence decrease while on the drops?jarraa
Jun 24, 2002 3:32 AM
Is this normal (while in the saddle)? Everytime i am on the drops I seem to loose some of my cadence! Speed stays the same though (anything above 20mphs on the flats that is). I feel somewhat uncomfortable when I really push up my RPM. And it does not feel like no muscle twitch but more so pressure in the privates. I actually look down and see I am rocking on my groin (normal?). Was thinking of getting a saddle with a hole in it. Would that help. Secondly, when one is in their drops, should all muscles (lower and upper body) be working or not? Lastly, is their any good stretches to relax and elongate the torso. Thanks.

Position is personnal, but my cadence increases...tempeteKerouak
Jun 24, 2002 5:23 AM
I am of those who ride with the handlebar much lower than my seat.

Weight distribution when on the drops is 60% back 40% front (more or less, I can only get in idea by feel and a common personnal scale). And I probably releave my shoulders and arms by holding the hoods. Quite classic really.

When on the drops, my elbows are bent to a close 90 degrees and my back is almost flat. So to keep looking forward, I have to hold my head up, and that puts some pressure on my neck and those upper back to top of shoulders muscles.
-I try to stretch and reinforce those muscles, I got use to this position a while ago.

I assure you that my cadence increases "naturally" when I SPIN on the drops. I have verified (and in fact, planned this position) while training on my trainer during winter time, -again, many years ago. My weight forward "simulates" me falling forward and opens up for better pulling on the pedals; the closer I get to a full forward triathlon or time-trial specific position...

Your question is complex because it involves pedaling technique, weight distribution, saddle height (if not model), tilt. But also, frame size and angles, stem height, reach. Then there is body -hip flexibility- ...

I would like to bring up the suggestion that maybe you need to concentrate first on your hip flexibility and saddle position. Granted you are happy with the rest and have a correctly fitted bike, try improving the lower back and abdominal sections both in flexibility and stenght.

Also try to bring the saddle one or half a centimeter at the time closer to the stem (forward on the rails) and I would even try to lower it some, but one thing at the time... Bringing the saddle closer could open up those hips (rolling the hips forward from the femul joint and tucking the guts in, and NOT pressing your lower back arched-in and grinding your groin into the saddle)

I don't want to change you or anything... These are my thoughts on what you bring...

So about thorso flexibility; it is more about the hips (Greg Lemong has written something about this hips position... see his web site? I can't remember where I saw it.) But starting with a good general flexib. level, I would concentrate on the complete muscle chain; flat on your back. bring legs up, pointing toes, then lower both or one at the time , still straight toward your thorso.

Also try illio-tibial band stretch... look for a book or internet info on stretching. Very important, and so overlooked.

-All bike are equal
Some have a better engine.
re: Should your cadence decrease while on the drops?McAndrus
Jun 24, 2002 5:28 AM
- I'd say cadence should not be affected by your position, it doesn't affect mine. If you are in the same gear and going the same speed, then your cadence has to be the same (it's algebraic).
- If you're not naturally a spinner, then learning to get comfortable at higher cadences can take time. There are many drills to help - like spinups.
- If you get uncomfortable in the groin when you get in the drops perhaps your saddle is too high. Rocking is one sign of a saddle set too high. Have you checked the height for correctness?
- In theory, the only time you use your upper body for anything except balance is when you're climbing: most noticeably climbing out of the saddle.
re: flexibilitycyclopathic
Jun 24, 2002 9:15 AM
lower cadence is usually indication of insufficient flexibility. Second in lower position load is distributed differently btw muscles and it may effect cadence. Stretch mainly hamstrings, also do one leg workouts while in drops (very hard workout with limited flexibility). My favorite stretch is to lay leg flat on table, then relax torso and lay on top, flatten back.

With respect to saddle, try to drop nose a bit and rotate 3-5deg left/right, whatever side works for you.