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Riding position

markwb79markwb79 Posts: 932

This is a general question, below (I hope, first picture post) is me on the track this weekend. My question is, I want to get a flatter back and lower frontal area. If I was you buy a new frame, would I go smaller. To create a bigger saddle to bar drop? Or go up a size to make me more stretched on the bike? Currently I am already riding a 130mm stem, and I feel comfortable with my saddle position.

Scott Addict 2011
Giant TCR 2012


  • PhilPubPhilPub Posts: 229
    I'd be interested to see others' opinions but a couple of things occur to me.

    1. From the photo it's difficult to tell much about the saddle height because the pedals are at 3/6 o'clock rather than 9 and 12, but it looks ok and if you say it feels ok...
    2. At risk of sounding facetious, one way of obtaining a flatter back position is with using the same bike set-up but bending your arms a bit more. It's a shame the photo doesn't show the full position of the rider in front but I would guess there's more of a bend at his elbow, and his forearms are closer to the horizontal. Your position reminds me of when I'm on the drops on the track but bimbling around; I'll simply get lower at the front when giving it some by bending my arms. In your case this may make you feel too tucked up, in which case you might need a larger frame, or at least one with a longer top tube, since your stem is already pretty long.
  • markwb79markwb79 Posts: 932
    Thanks for the reply. I do try the bent elbows sometimes, but it just doesnt feel as comfortable. I want to carry the position to my road bike also. And I dont think I could ride with bent elbows for too long!

    Below is another picture, with a rider in front. The garmin guy looks to have a far straighter back.

    I feel ok with saddle height, 2mm higher and I start to get pain in the back of my left knee.

    Scott Addict 2011
    Giant TCR 2012
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,029
    You may want to work on your general hip flexibility, but I wouldnt worry unduly too much about achieving the 'Voeckler' position if it is not naturally a given.
    if you begin to ride 'stressed' then your will perform 'stressed' as well and probably be worse off.
  • Zoomer37Zoomer37 Posts: 725
    Get your bike on a trainer with a mirror set up a few feet away. Sitting on the saddle, rotate your hips forward. Now holding that postion lean (dont bend over to reach, fold from the waist) into the drops keeping the hips forward and back flat. Check yourself out in the mirror. You should be almost there. Now slightly drop the shoulders and bend elbows to level everything out flat.

    Trust me on this one though, it takes a lot of time and effort to be able to ride in this postion and for it to feel natural.
  • You have a few options:
    Longer stem.
    New bike with a longer top tube.
    Move your saddle back a bit (only if it doesn't effect your power output or comfort).
    Bend your arms.
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    Have you tried lowering the stem. It looks as if you have a fair stack of spacers or a tall bearing cap. Are you sure you have a 130mm stem. That Garmin guy's bars look much further forward than yours. This could be all BS but that is how it looks on the photos. My track bike has a 120mm stem and the bars are about 20mm in front of the hub.
  • markwb79markwb79 Posts: 932
    Thanks all, I sort of knew I could get lower by bending my arms. But I see so many getting into that position with straight arms.

    Great idea Zoomer, will try and work that one out.

    My stem could go down 5mm more with a new top cap, will have a search through my bike bits. Pretty sure my stem is 130mm, will check it tomorrow night. Looking at my pictures I have thought that I could roll my bars a little but, that would create more reach.

    My next question, if I was to buy exactly the same bike again. To get a better position, do I buy a size up, or a size down. The bigger frame will have a slightly longer top tube, but less of a saddle to bar drop. Or a size down, obviously a slightly shorter top tube, but a greater saddle to bar drop????!!!!!

    Thanks agin for all your help so far
    Scott Addict 2011
    Giant TCR 2012
  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    Based on current info I would not get the same bike. It would be longer and lower at the front.
  • CrimmeyCrimmey Posts: 207
    You seem to have the same problem I had except you seem to have the legs to go for a bigger frame . The thing is your stretch already looks fine as with track bikes you aren't supposed to stretch yours arms out too far ( dunno why?) The only way to solve my problem was to buy a ridiculous stem or I guess a custom made frame. ... track2.jpg

    That was the first time I used the stem (im at the front) and there was instant improvement in position - obviously. Didn't even feel strange but you might find it will be depending on your flexibility, if you go down this route. Its a 17cm stem with 35 degree ( or more?) drop. Due to the angle, effectively I have dropped the stack height for not much more reach. BEWARE.... It looks stupid :) I have since tweaked the position to open up my hip angle and lifted my saddle and it is working great.
  • markwb79markwb79 Posts: 932
    Thanks for the idea Crimmey, I had already seen pictures of your stem in a different post!

    I was at the track last night and tried bending my elbows and pivoting from the waist more. Hopefully the photographer caught me so I can compare!

    As for a new frame, thanks for the info. Longer and lower it is!
    Scott Addict 2011
    Giant TCR 2012
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