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Riding on the drops

frogrocketfrogrocket Posts: 51
edited May 2011 in Amateur race
I mainly ride long road rides that involve plenty of hills. I'm an ok climber and descender but struggle to maintain a good, constant and smooth rhythm on the flats, which let me down a bit on a sportive I did on Sunday.

Having had back problems earlier this year, I flipped my stem so that it rises up instead of sloping down (only about 5%) but I still struggle to spend long periods on the drops when riding into a headwind.

Any tips?

cheers,
Alex

ps am doing core exercises to help protect my back, on advice from a physio, which seems to be working.
About 50/50 MTB/Road love;

GT Timberline (2000)
Lapierre Zesty 214 (2010)
Cube Attempt (2010)
Harry Hall single speed conversion (197/8?)

Posts

  • frogrocketfrogrocket Posts: 51
    sorry reposted in different post
    About 50/50 MTB/Road love;

    GT Timberline (2000)
    Lapierre Zesty 214 (2010)
    Cube Attempt (2010)
    Harry Hall single speed conversion (197/8?)
  • Chip \'oylerChip \'oyler Posts: 2,324
    Doing core work and stretching will help but you should book an appointment with a bike fitting specialist.

    I found it difficult riding on the drops for a long time - the specialist I saw made all sorts of adjustments, including the angle of my bars and I can now ride on the drops no sweat
    Expertly coached by http://www.vitessecyclecoaching.co.uk/

    http://vineristi.wordpress.com - the blog for Viner owners and lovers!
  • Thick TesterThick Tester Posts: 380
    maintaining a good, constant and smooth rhythm on the flat has little to do with your back and more to do with your lack of mental strength and commitment.

    Man up and learn to give it big licks.
  • ozzzyosborn206ozzzyosborn206 Posts: 1,340
    maintaining a good, constant and smooth rhythm on the flat has little to do with your back and more to do with your lack of mental strength and commitment.

    Man up and learn to give it big licks.

    funny but total bs, your power comes from your core and so with a weak core you will produce less power and your back will hurt due to the strain your putting it under, but carry on with your core exorcises, lack of mental strength could be the case if it was in tts but i guess when riding with others it is more just lack of power and maybe a un aero position
  • Chip \'oylerChip \'oyler Posts: 2,324
    maintaining a good, constant and smooth rhythm on the flat has little to do with your back and more to do with your lack of mental strength and commitment.

    Man up and learn to give it big licks.

    You really do live up to your name :roll:

    A good strong core is a bonus for cycling. I should know. My fitness on the bike and comfort has really improved after gym work in the winter. And if it is bollox how come all the pro's do it?


    However you are right that you also need mental strength to keep hammering in the big ring
    Expertly coached by http://www.vitessecyclecoaching.co.uk/

    http://vineristi.wordpress.com - the blog for Viner owners and lovers!
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    funny but total bs, your power comes from your core and so with a weak core you will produce less power and your back will hurt due to the strain your putting it under, but carry on with your core exorcises, lack of mental strength could be the case if it was in tts but i guess when riding with others it is more just lack of power and maybe a un aero position

    I have weak core, I've never done any core exercises - I can't do a plank for long at all. If your core is used so much how come it's not been trained with all the cycling I've been doing - I've certainly seen significant development in my leg muscles since cycling.

    How much power am I losing with my weak core?
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    jibberjim wrote:
    funny but total bs, your power comes from your core and so with a weak core you will produce less power and your back will hurt due to the strain your putting it under, but carry on with your core exorcises, lack of mental strength could be the case if it was in tts but i guess when riding with others it is more just lack of power and maybe a un aero position

    I have weak core, I've never done any core exercises - I can't do a plank for long at all. If your core is used so much how come it's not been trained with all the cycling I've been doing - I've certainly seen significant development in my leg muscles since cycling.

    How much power am I losing with my weak core?

    At least a million watts. Obviously you'll should do doing leg strength exercises as well - after all, it's obvious that leg strength will make you a faster cyclist, particularly over long distances.
  • PhilofCasPhilofCas Posts: 1,153
    Push your saddle forward, open's up your hip angle making it easier to get down on the drops. Search out tt/triathlon websites advising on aero position, most mention hip/seat tube angle being one of the main factors in ability to get into a low position
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    I don't think it's got alot to do with the core, I don't do core exercises and I can still do a decent pace on the flat when I want to.
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,158
    frogrocket wrote:
    I mainly ride long road rides that involve plenty of hills. I'm an ok climber and descender but struggle to maintain a good, constant and smooth rhythm on the flats, which let me down a bit on a sportive I did on Sunday.

    Having had back problems earlier this year, I flipped my stem so that it rises up instead of sloping down (only about 5%) but I still struggle to spend long periods on the drops when riding into a headwind.

    Any tips?

    cheers,
    Alex

    ps am doing core exercises to help protect my back, on advice from a physio, which seems to be working.

    surely youre not actually talking about race pace, but a good brisk pace? therefore imo you dont really need to be in the drops, do you? im not saying it wouldnt help,...but.
    from what ive read and my own limited experience cycling is very activity specific, so if you climb a lot youll get good at climbing . if you do lots of steady miles...guess what. i think you know where im going now? Get out and do some fast pace intervals and you will start to improve. good luck.[/b]
    Death or Glory- Just another Story
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810

    Didn't even begin to answer my question - or even attempt to justify the assertions, just repeated the same thing you said.

    Why if core strength is important - is my core still really weak despite lots of cycling?

    How many watts am I losing with my weak core?
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • plowmarplowmar Posts: 1,032
    Rightly or wrongly I used an exercise machine for sit ups to flatten the tum and so that I can actually feel the muscles - but not see them in any meaningful way.

    When excercising or cycling concentrate on these muscles so that you can feel them working. Improvement will come but will not happen quickly.
  • P_TuckerP_Tucker Posts: 1,878
    jibberjim wrote:

    Didn't even begin to answer my question - or even attempt to justify the assertions, just repeated the same thing you said.

    Why if core strength is important - is my core still really weak despite lots of cycling?

    How many watts am I losing with my weak core?

    About a million, I told you already.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I personally think, unless you're a pro, that doing core work is always a good thing. It makes your body generally stronger for day to day life, doing jobs around the house/playing with kids etc and it can boost your metabolism.
    However, I don't think it'll improve your cycling per se, otherwise we'd be working our cores whilst on the bike :?

    Just get it in the big dog and pedal hard, you'll eventually get quicker.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    NapoleonD wrote:
    I personally think, unless you're a pro, that doing core work is always a good thing. It makes your body generally stronger for day to day life, doing jobs around the house/playing with kids etc and it can boost your metabolism.

    Absolutely - loads of reasons to do stuff that won't improve your cycling that will make you fitter, strength exercises for all muscles almost certainly help with aging particularly. I do think people should do it. But beyond a functional minimum (which applies to everything really) I can't see how core strength is a determiner at all, as otherwise it would be trained by cycling.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • ozzzyosborn206ozzzyosborn206 Posts: 1,340
    jibberjim wrote:

    Didn't even begin to answer my question - or even attempt to justify the assertions, just repeated the same thing you said.

    Why if core strength is important - is my core still really weak despite lots of cycling?

    How many watts am I losing with my weak core?

    well there isn't going to be a set answer as to how many watts you are loosing or how many you will gain by doing it, it helps being stronger because as in the name it is your core, your other muscles come off the big muscles in your lower back and censored , having massive legs with no strength in your back would cause you to become unbalanced, just because a certain activity doesn't work a certain area it doesn't mean improving it won't help, having a stronger upper body will help with sprinting, but sprinting won't improve your upper body
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    jibberjim wrote:

    Why if core strength is important - is my core still really weak despite lots of cycling?

    It may not help your riding by a visual margin however it may alleviate some of the back problem.
  • SlackSlack Posts: 326
    If you can climb hills well, then you must have a good power to weight ratio.

    To improve improve on the rolling flats my technique would be: take a ride on a flat route. After a warm, reset the speedo, and just ride at a steady pace which you feel you can maintain, for say 10miles, Record your average speed (worth doing this on a few occassions to take account of dfferent conditions, like wind and your energy levels).

    If the mean average speed is 18mph, for example, then look to do intervals to hold your speed at say 22-24mph. Start with 5 intervals of 3mins in length and see how you get on in terms of adjusting the intervals to be either longer or at a faster speed.

    The idea is to push you out of the comfort zone, to man up the legs to push a harder gear.

    Give it several weeks and then go back and re-do the same 10 mile course, to see if there is an improvement in your mean average.

    Getting on the drops is probably a flexibility thing, reletive to your bike geomentry. Stick at going down in the drops, it will come in time.
    Plymouthsteve for councillor!!
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