Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

descending positions?

neebneeb Posts: 4,352
How dangerous is it to try to learn some of those aero descending positions the pros use? Is there a recommended way to go about it without seriously risking life & limb? The tuck in front of the saddle seems to be the most popular one, and then there is the Pantani position behind the saddle... I have actually tried that once or twice (very carefully on fairly gentle slopes) but the proximity of one's delicate bits to the rear wheel is rather alarming... :shock:

Posts

  • geerfreegeerfree Posts: 74
    haha yeah it can be very dangerous trying out different decent positions. Best to get the hang of them at low speeds and then slowly adapt. Most of the pros positions are a little over the top, but do work.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    On British road surfaces I don't think I'd fancy it.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • dave milnedave milne Posts: 703
    I keep my bum firmly on the saddle and just lower my torso as far as I can. Granted it's not as aero as pro's positions but it feels safe
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Yep, agreed - you can get very low and very narrow with your bum on the saddle - I've got a considerable/big saddle to bar drop so I can get a flat back, when in the mood.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,274
    I don't have a problem getting my back flat, or my bum off the saddle in any direction (did lots of mtbing long before I went roadie) but when I'm tucked I always have diffs trying to get my head up enough to see where I'm going, which doesn't feel very safe at 50+ on narrow lanes
  • markos1963markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    I tend to get my bum as far back on the saddle as I can(almost gripping it with my knackers!) and head down on the stem and elbows tucked in, legs at 0915 knees gripping the top tube, look a bit of a wally but I fly down the hills usually overtaking everyone on the clubrun(only for them to overtake on the uphill!!)
  • pinkbikinipinkbikini Posts: 234
    I'd say pretty dangerous. I certainly wouldn't want to hit a bobble in the road at 50mph with my censored on the toptube and my shoulders on the bars, gripping from underneath. Unless the extra seconds make it worthwhile (i.e. you desperately need a win in a race) then why bother? As others say, just get low but stay in the saddle.
    The Pantani option always made me shudder - kept expecting a Ben Stiller moment from There's Something About Mary!
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,352
    I actually find the Pantani position the most natural, although as has been said, it CAN'T be too safe... :D

    I've never actually seen anyone come off while in one of those positions (when watching pro races on TV I mean). I guess it's something you are only ever going to do when you feel completely in control and the road ahead is clear (and never when cornering obviously). Still, there are blowouts, unseen potholes, animals on the road...
  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    just practice, I find that the really low positions make a big difference going downhill. I favour the sitting on the top tube with the legs around the forks, and sternum resting on the stem with hands on the drops. Fairly stable, big bumps are rather painful as they whack your sternum but you can hit some whopping top speeds.

    It's not too dangerous either as you can quickly get out of it, and you keep your hands on the brakes. Just make sure you are flexible enough!
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
  • GeorgeShawGeorgeShaw Posts: 764
    markos1963 wrote:
    I tend to get my bum as far back on the saddle as I can(almost gripping it with my knackers!) and head down on the stem and elbows tucked in, legs at 0915 knees gripping the top tube, look a bit of a wally but I fly down the hills usually overtaking everyone on the clubrun(only for them to overtake on the uphill!!)

    +1
  • BhimaBhima Posts: 2,145
    The best one is this:

    - Hands on the handlebars, as close to the stem as possible.
    - Feet unclipped and tucked up towards your chest so that your thighs are touching your elbows.
    - Chin about 2 inches above your wrists

    Similar to when you do a "cannon-ball" dive at the swimming-pool. :lol:

    Seriously, this one is mental. I remember sitting up from this and watching my speedometer drop about 5mph in half a second.
  • rjh299rjh299 Posts: 721
    Bhima wrote:
    The best one is this:

    - Hands on the handlebars, as close to the stem as possible.
    - Feet unclipped and tucked up towards your chest so that your thighs are touching your elbows.
    - Chin about 2 inches above your wrists

    Similar to when you do a "cannon-ball" dive at the swimming-pool. :lol:

    Seriously, this one is mental. I remember sitting up from this and watching my speedometer drop about 5mph in half a second.

    You must be joking!
    Unclip your feet? Na thanks.
    I do similar with hands next to stem, lower chest right down, but just tuck my knees into top tube. Not amazingly aero but makes a difference.
  • agnelloagnello Posts: 239
    Sounds handy for accelerating out of corners too

    or does it?
    Stumpjumper FSR Comp
    Eddy Merckx Strada
    Gios Compact KK
    Raleigh Dynatech Diablo
    Canyon CF CLX / Record
    Charge Plug 3
    Kinesis GF Ti disc - WIP...
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,274
    You could always try the superman - hands on bars (aero would work well for this), head in front of bars or chin resting on them (depends on saddle - bar distance), abdomen on saddle and legs held vertically behind you.
    Haven't tried it for a while, but it was deifinitely one we used to do as kids, and I really can't think how you could possibly get more aero than this: unless of course you go for the "full superman" with arms fully extended in front of you, which means you would have to steer with your chin. Small prize for the first one to post a photo...
Sign In or Register to comment.