Becoming more aero, and faster

Can you make a video with the longer stem?

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Here is some more random data - just because…

Last Friday’s road ride, Calfee tetra pro (round tubes), Jet 6’s, no aero kit, helmet or accommodations. Turbo tires, butyl tubes. e.g. Just riding a bike with no focus on aero or CRR

60:00 20.6 MPH AP 203w

Course was just a ride. Meaning rolling and with intersections, light traffic, etc. No full stops but caution and full slowing at intersections.

When I race that bike, on rolling courses, with TT helmet and skin suit, 235-250AP is usually good for 22.5-23.0 MPH Depends on conditions.

Time Trial bike (Shiv with Stingers and full aero kit)

40km 230-235w AP is going to give me a 57:00-57:30 on a flat course with either one turnaround or a few 90s (loop).

10 mile TT 245-255w AP on a one way course, flat will produce times in the 21:45 - 22:15 (27 - 27.5 MPH) range depending on winds, temps, humidity.

I’m 5’7" and in race trim about 135-138 pounds.

On the TT bike, I can get more aero but for physical ROM reasons cannot ride my most aero wind tunnel tested position. Backing off to a less aero position makes good power and injury free. Don’t think I can optimize training or aero to break 21:00 for the ten miler but am intrigued with seeing if I can get low 56’s or maybe a 55 over 40km by really going for it with training and aero tuning. Maybe in retirement…

For the OP - There is good news. You have huge potential improvements and have gotten good advice. Stick with it and take the journey one step at a time.

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Video below. Going from 120mm to 130mm hardly made any difference in position overall, not surprised by that. I wonder how long I’d have to go in order to get a flatter, more aero back angle. Or, what size frame I would need. I just don’t think a 1-2cm longer frame (would be going from 60 to 61 or 62) would make much a difference, honestly. My back is pretty darn upright even when I’m in the drops or in a lower position on the hoods.

Appreciate that. Just did a Sweet Spot workout outdoors. Out and back for both, so the same route just reversed for interval 2.

WU: 20min @ 175w
Interval 1: 295w NP, speed: 21.8mph
Interval 2: 290w NP, speed: 23mph

Wind was negligible @ 3 mph from the S. Not sure how y’all are hitting 23mph @ 200w…But, 21.8mph @ 295wNP seems so slow comparitively.

Full ride here:

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Thanks,

I think you have to work on your position on your bike, and i dont mean how long your stem etc. But lean yourself more to the front. It looks like you tilt your pelvis the wrong way. That will give more stress in your upperback.

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I’m not really sure what to do, I can’t rotate my hips/pelvis forward more, it’s just not possible w/o shifting how I bear my weight on the saddle. Right now I’m extremely comfortable with how I sit, as in my weight is well distributed across my sitbones. If I rotate forward more it puts all the pressure on my dude-parts and the soft tissues. Chalk it up to really bad physiology?

This is aero, but how to achieve such a position?

image

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I have no idea on the frame as I am not a fitter. You are a lot taller then me as are most people in this world. I can only comment on what I see vs what I myself had to deal with.

I can say you ride very upright when your in the drops vs how I myself ride. My back typically ends up fairly flat when I go into the drops.

As to how to get there the seat does become an issue. I had issues when I started to cycle to find the right seat as the pressure goes to where we dont want it. I ended up using an ISM saddle…PR 1.0 for myself.

The other issue for me is I didnt have the core strength at the start to not have my hands go numb. Lack of core strength and a fairly large 8 inch square of mesh in my stomach area meant I had to work at being in that position. It is fine today but it took a couple of years to get to where I am now.

If I were in your position I would see if you could get some advice from a good bike fitter in your local area for some guidance and options.

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Agreed. IMO flexibility isn’t the issue here as much as it is just having enough length to get stretched out. As you can see my elbows very quickly get to 90º or parallel to the ground, while my back stays elevated and upright.

I’m running a Zipp Service Course 80 (80mm reach, 125mm drop) handle bar which has hardly any drop, so I almost don’t change back angle when going from hoods to drops. My arms are so long it’s not like it’s a big drop to go 125mm.

I also think big people in general ride off the shelf frames that are too small, it’s really hard to find big bikes. For example, a Trek Checkpoint in 61cm has a top tube of 58.5cm. That isn’t a big bike at all, but it’s the largest Checkpoint you can get. Not an option for someone like me.

I’ve been experimenting A LOT with saddle tilt, trying to find the balance of comfort and what will let me rotate my pelvis. Of course there’s a balance of hip angle (too little is bad) and back angle.

I feel like I’m not really making good progress on fit with my current bike, and hope to someday see a fitter and start with a clean slate and purchase a new frame.

Looking at a Canyon Grail 6 in XXL (compared to my current frame). Much longer.

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When you get in the drops you aren’t as low as you can get, so I don’t think its necessary a size issue. Can you tuck your hands under the bend and form a 90? Also when you are using the IAB position your elbows are past 90 degrees which may be why you don’t feel comfortable on them. pelvic tilt is also easier if you ride on the rivet so slide forward when you want to be aero

I also struggled with this at the start. It really was a work in progress over a good year. I also worked with a physiotherapist who definitely helped me a lot in understanding what exercises would work to improve my weaknesses. I would of never thought of spending money on this years ago but when someone just seems to immediately grasp what you are dong and shows you how to fix it in a couple of weeks it just makes it so worthwhile. Neck, back and leg issues. All had to be dealt with and all happened at different points.

Yes I would definitely say you need a longer bike then what you currently have.

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Just throwing this out there being a forum and all…The fitter I use does a fair bit of work for Trek-Segafredo. He said in the world of L, M and S bikes vs. custom in order to get lower in the front they fit pros to the headtube as much as anything else. This results in riding a smaller than normal frames, longer than average stems and until recently more setback than average.

This was a couple years ago and when I saw him recently he said the younger generation of riders are doing (wanting) fits a little different than maybe what we think of a professional fit. That is they are really pushing the limits on being more forward on the bike. I honestly don’t know exactly what that means as there is only so far you go but, in my minds eye, you don’t see nearly the setback these days. For example, many guys riding 0 setback post or saddles slammed forward.

Anywho, you’re tall and you ride a large frame. The headtube is ginormous on that thing so I’m not sure besides bending your elbows more how low you can expect to get. FWIW I think you look ok when you rest your elbows on the bar top. When in this position your much more forward and your hands are so far in front of the shifters it’s pretty crazy. All this means (if flexibility were no issue) you could use a longer stem and one that gets you lower. I read all the above…but, if you can’t handle moving the cockpit away from you I’m not sure how low one could expect to get being that bunched up. You’re spending a lot of energy in that position I reckon and being bunched up like that can have negative affects on breathing/moving 02.

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Thanks, Landis. What you mentioned about current pro-fit vs say 5 years ago is what I’ve also heard. Specifically, from Deceuninck–Quick-Step–they are shifting to a more forward position. I’ll update with a link when I remember where I found it.

FWIW, here’s Kasper Asgreen’s Aethos. So much saddle to bar drop. I wonder what size frame this is as he’s listed at 192-193cm.

I’m resigned to what I have for a bike fit at the moment. It’s just frustrating as hell to not be able to achieve as aero a position as I would like to.

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I’d love to hear rough bike fit stats from fast, tall folks just to see if we’re even in the same ballpark. Nate for example…I bet his Venge is a 61 and I wonder what he runs for a stem and seat height. I know everyone’s proportions are different but it would be interesting.

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Asgreen said he rides a 56cm on instagram.
That seat post looks like it is less than an inch inside the seat tube :ok_hand: :joy:

I can’t make sense of that. He also said he runs 82cm seat height, which seem on the low side for someone who is 192-193cm. I’m that height and run 84.5cm (95cm inseam).

So how does a 56cm frame fit him and how is he so damn aero?

Likewise, I’m curious as well. Might have to start a tall people bike fit thread.

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funny you ask that. I finished the Master’s Nats time and Jonathan Jacob (SRAM, former Bissell, etc) said, “Hey man ,great ride, it’s incredibly hard for you to get so aero being so big”

I had never considered that, and was kinda thinking “damn, what am I doing out here” lol.

Then again, Tony Martin is 6’1" !

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I think people with long arms and legs prefer a smaller frame, and longer stem/seatpost. People with a longer torso prefer a larger frame and shorter stem/seatpost. But I’m not a fitter, so no real data on that, just from what I’ve seen.

I have about 15cm saddle to bars drop, and I’m sure I could go lower if I’d set it up real aggressively.

There is also this recent trend for bikes to have a tall headtube. I can’t decide if it’s to get the front end stiffer, or just a market thing, so that everybody can slam their stem. It makes it hard to set up low though when you actually want to ride like that. Many pros now run super negative, long stems (and a smaller frame).

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From your video I’d agree that the biggest change to get more aero would be sitting further forward. You’re sat quite far behind the BB which might be great for gravel but it makes getting aero incredibly difficult.

I ride with a zero offset seat post and then sit on the nose of the saddle when getting aero. When I’m really going for it I’m barely even on the saddle at all. It’s not comfortable but it rotates everything around, you normally would then raise the saddle a touch and you end up with a longer and lower position

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Not all heights are created equal. My brother and I are the same height but his inseam is roughly 4 inches longer than mine (10ish cm). My torso is enormous. I should have been a swimmer.

Also, at 6’3 I can get far more aero on my 59cm aero bike than I can on my 61cm trek boone. With my short legs, it is hard to get any saddle to bar drop on my boone. Well technically, I can get aero on my boone, but it is far more difficult to maintain over long periods. It feels like I put too much weight in my arms and shoulders when I am in an aero position on my boone.

Given that you mentioned you felt that you were putting too much weight on your arms and shoulders with a longer stem, I wonder if you might actually be better served with a smaller bike, longer stem, and more seat to saddle drop.

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Been moving my saddle all over the last couple weeks, mainly just to see what sensations occur in the quads, glutes, and hammies depending on where it is. The seat tube angle on my frame is fairly slack at 72º which I think accounts for how far behind the BB the saddle is. As of now saddle tip to center of BB shell is around 12cm with the saddle centered on the rails, but mounted to a 20mm setback post. I think the closest I could possibly get it would be around 7 or 8 with a 0 offset post and the saddle slammed forward.