Riding Position

Time Trialing on Your Road Bike, Part 1

You love to compete in the local time trials and you've done well on your road bike equipped with bolt-on aero bars. But you’ve been watching the pros during the TTs in all the recent stage races on their fancy (and expensive) aerodynamic time trial bikes. And you’re wondering: Should I get one of those or continue to use my road bike? The most important aspect of aerodynamics is rider position, not the aero qualities of the bike. Teardrop-shaped down tubes and seatposts make a difference, but it isn’t significant compared to your furiously pumping legs and wind-catching chest.

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Time Trialing on Your Road Bike, Part 2

In time trialing, the most important aspect of aerodynamics is rider position, not the aero qualities of the bike. Teardrop-shaped down tubes and seatposts make a difference, but it isn’t significant compared to your furiously pumping legs and wind-catching chest. As a result, a road bike fitted with aero bars and set up so the rider is in an optimum position is nearly as good as a dedicated time trial machine. We started this 2-part series last week and will finish today with more tips on maximizing your road bike – and your ability to ride it – as a TT machine.

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Which Saddle Height Method Is Correct?

I'm confused. For years I've used Greg LeMond's formula of multiplying crotch-to-floor distance by 0.883 to get saddle height, as measured from the center of the crank axle to the top of the saddle. My local bike shop used a goniometer (like a big protractor) to measure my knee angle at bottom dead center. Then they recommended a 1 cm increase in saddle height to achieve Andy Pruitt's suggested 30-degree knee bend.

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Why Is My New Handlebar Uncomfortable?

I changed from a 42-cm-wide alloy handlebar to a 44-cm-wide carbon bar. I have a relatively long reach, 36-inch arms and a 46-inch chest. I wanted to open my chest a bit with a wider bar for better breathing. Yesterday, I did a 50-miler. For the last 20, I was in agony. My hands were numb and my arms hurt. I've never had this problem. Can you suggest a cause and solution?

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How Can I Add 3 Inches to Handlebar Height?

This is the year that I mortgage the house and buy my dream bike! The problem is, I'm not as flexible as I used to be. The bike I want has the handlebar almost 5 inches below the saddle. On a test ride, I felt stretched out and uncomfortable. On my old bike, the bar/saddle difference is 2 inches and it feels great. On both bikes, the top tubes and stems are the same length. Why the discrepancy? Is there any way to get the handlebar higher in these new bike designs?

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