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Time Trial Riding Position

I’ve had my time trial bike now for about 6 months, and I’ve been playing around with riding position whilst down on the aerobars. I’ve found that the most comfortable is with my backside sat right back on the sweet spot of the saddle, however I’ve also read in magazines that you should be on the nose of the saddle whilst down on the aerobars!! I’ve tried that and its agony, I practically have to surgically remove the saddle afterwards! Does anyone else ride “aero” on the nose of the saddle?


  • kevfkevf Posts: 9
    basically pdunde - for triathlons, i would say ride in a position where you can get off and run well!!! if you were purley time trialling, then different advice would probably apply, i.e. ride in the most powerful position.
  • Intersting question....Im not sure about Time trial bikes, but when i'm on my bike on my aerobars, i find that i get more power when im sitting back on the saddle(as well as being more comfortable!) Does this mean i need to increase the height of my seat, as my legs are not getting enough power, or that i should just sit back further???
  • pdundepdunde Posts: 99
    At least im not the only one then! Did some digging around on ggogle, and according to the theory, in order to maximise power you should "nose ride" as it effectivley increases seat tube angle. However i too find it most comfortable at the back of the saddle on the sweet spot. A wider nosed saddle may improve matters for me and i am going to the shop to try out different saddles fairly soon. Even so i cant imagine riding on the nose for too long even on the widest of noses! Ouch!
  • TTX PROTTX PRO Posts: 225
    As a time-trialist myself i find that having your saddle tilted slightly helps relieve the pain from the lowers.Also playing around with your seat hight will also help you find the right position.May i just ask you your lenth of your stem and the lenth of your aerobars your hight and the frame size.To give you a better idia take a good look at this chap.Take note of hes leg wich as you can see is flexed,so should your,the hight difference between the bars and the saddle,hes position on the saddle and arm position on the aerobars, put these into good practice and you should be ok.Dont forget to tell me those details otherwise i cant do a lot to help [:D] [:D] [:D] [:D]

  • pdundepdunde Posts: 99
    Cheers TTX, I have a Scott Plasma Medium (54”). Its sizes are 21.1” top tube. Roughly 26” from BB bracket centre to seatpost . I am 5"11 with a 32" leg. I had to size the integrated seatpost by about 3 inches (originally it was 29” I should have gone for the small size frame I think!). Thanks for the image, I don’t think I was too far off the saddle height, however my aerobars may have bee too far forward. I have moved the arm rests backwards and shortened the extensions – I don’t have dimensions unfortunately but they are profile T2 bullbar and carbon stryke extensions. I will ride it tonight and see if it helps!
  • pdundepdunde Posts: 99
    I have managed to sort my saddle "problems" out at long last! Thought my solution might be useful, mainly for the guys out there rather than the ladies, specifically anyone who regularly gets into the aero tuck position!…Its basically to do with my positioning on the saddle, I was sat dead centre on the saddle and had a pressure build up on the "taint" (blokes see attached link.. [color=#606420]http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/prodreview/saddles/bodygeometry.html[/color]

    ). After reading this and other articles on the here said "taint", I’ve changed my position fractionally to the left of the saddle - problem cured!!!! I am now able to get right on the nose (ala Faris Al Sultan) without any pressure build up!

    A simple cure and most of you may have figured this out by trial and error anyway, but for those of you like me who thought they were having saddle issues, try this out it really works! Saved me forking out 80 quid on another saddle! When I am sat “properly” on my Fizik now I can finally see why people rave about it!
  • aero blobaero blob Posts: 29
    Hi Pdunde

    I'd say stick to the position you've got. Your bike frame is designed so that you are optimised positionally when sitting centrally on the saddle - assuming that your bike frame is the right size for you. In my experience (I'm a bikefitting specialist - www.kinetic-one.co.uk) people who are sitting on the nose of the saddle are doing so cos they cannot feel comfortable in the correct position, which in turn may be caused by a range of other problems.

    Most commonly a poor postion of this type is as a result of (a) having the front end too low in relation to the saddle, or (b) being too stretched out on the aerobars. Both these positions tend to reduce the angle between thigh and torso and result in the thigh encroaching onto the torso. To reduce the discomfort and increase this angle people tend to shift forward on the saddle and often without meaning to or realizing they are doing it. Another common effect of this same poor positioning is that some riders tilt the saddle down at the front to releive perineal pain that often results. This tilting of the saddle often forces the rider forwards onto the nose whether he/she likes it or not.

    My own view is that us time triallists, and to perhaps a lesser extent triathletes, have often become slaves to aerodynamics and forget the basics of biodynamics and if we aren't careful end us as super aero bad pedallers. Both the bad psotions summarised above are most often the result of a quest for greater aerodynamics!

    One of the other intersting issues cropping up in this debate is around seat angle and therein hangs a tale. It seems to be accepted now that triathletes should have steep seat angles (The Garside Study being the seminal work on the subject) as it aids the trasnition to the run phase by protecting the thigh muscles and concentrating cycling effort on the lower legs. A couple of points on this: Firstly if you want to get forward to acheive a steep angle then you should really get a steep angled bike and not try and artifically create a steep angle. The reasons for this are very good. Bikes are designed specifically to keep your centre of gravity in the right place. Shifting your centre of gravity forward compromises handling and safety. Steep angled bikes are designed specifically to keep the centre of gravity back even though you are forward. The second point is more about Time Trialling really. It remains a matter of debate as to whther tt riders should be getting forward at all or whther they can generate more power using conventional angles. my own view is that getting forward is advantageous in biodynamic terms insofar as it opens up the angles mentioned above. What isn't clear or proven, at lest in anything i've read is whether you generate more or less power in a forward or back postion.

    Sorry for hogging the space here. Perhaps the most comprehensive body of work can be found hidden away at http://www.bikefitting.com/English/Frame.aspx Click on "theory" then on "reading list" and then just click "submit"
  • aero blobaero blob Posts: 29
    Hi TTX Pro

    not sure I'd agree entirely that playing around with your saddle height would lead to you getting the right position as there are so many variables all impacting on each other - many of which you mention in your posting. Many of the riders I see are over-extending in the leg which is potentially very likely to cause injury and a drop-off in performance. Isn't it often the case too that when we are not postioned well we are just as likely to overcompensate in other areas as we are to make the correct adjustments. For example riders who have their saddes too high are just as likely in my experience to lift their heels at the bottom of the pedal stroke as they are to realise that their saddle is too high. Lifting your heels may reduce discomfort but your power falls away dramatically.
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