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Raising the front wheel on a turbo

iglooboyiglooboy Posts: 15
Excuse me if this has already been covered. I plan to do a lot of mountain passes this year in France and started some specific workouts in December. Last Friday, a friend suggested raising the front wheel with a block of wood which I did. I could not believe the difference it made (much harder). I had been happily knocking out hour long grinds at 80% ftp but struggled to reach 35 minutes before I had to change to an easier gear.
I suppose my question is, does raising the front wheel change the body position enough to target the muscles differently and if so, should I continue training for climbs with the front wheel raised.

Thank you

David

Posts

  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,357
    You were going downhill before, so it was bound to be a bit easier.
  • buckmulliganbuckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    Interesting. There's bound to be a slight shift in the muscle recruitment, but I'd be surprised if it makes that much of a difference.

    Is your FTP based on power from an actual power meter and what turbo are you using? Is it by any chance one of those Elite turbos with the pivoting frame that uses your body weight to apply pressure to the roller?
  • davidof wrote:
    You were going downhill before, so it was bound to be a bit easier.

    I would assume OP was already using a riser block to have the bike level, but then is raising it further?
  • Thank you for your feedback.
    I'm using a Wahoo KickR so pretty good power readings which seems to match what I feel from my PowerTap. No need to level the bike on a KickR. I could feel it more in my Glutes, hamstrings, calfs and interestingly in my lower back. Perhaps it makes you slide back in the seat a bit. I seemed to be pedalling by pushing forward on the pedals rather than up and down if that makes sense. I looked at some videos of the Pro's last night and they seem to be more stretched out when climbing. As if they are sitting to the back of the saddle and straightening their arms. Mind you it was an old video (drugged up US Postal) so maybe bike design has changed.
    Standing up made much more sense and feels much more like you are climbing.
  • Ah yes, the good ol Kickr. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't raise your bike like this. I would work out what an average grade is of some of the climbs you're going to do and set your bike to be at that angle.
  • I've ridden and won Mt. Washington (for 45+, 50+ and 50+ it's 12% for 8 miles) a number of times and the best training I did was on the Computrainer with the front wheel elevated to approximate the slope -- it does make a significant difference in neuromuscular firing patterns especially given the duration of the effort.
    Bill Black
  • Ah yes, the good ol Kickr. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't raise your bike like this. I would work out what an average grade is of some of the climbs you're going to do and set your bike to be at that angle.

    I did all my turbo work in Marmotte campaigns with the front wheel raised to give a position equivalent to typical gradient. My theory was that there would be a slight difference in position vs flat which would affect which muscles were recruited and I wanted to prepare specifically for the climbing.

    TBH I didn't notice any difference in performance, but I don't think it did any harm. The main benefit is actually that when I sit up, with the bike in a conventional position, I seem to end up taking a lot of weight on my crown jewels whereas with the wheel raised, this doesn't happen, thus making long sessions more comfortable, as I can easily add in a few bouts of sitting up to ease the strain on the lower back.
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