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DIY Bike Fitting for Track

Old 03-15-18, 11:11 AM
  #26  
carleton
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I think the more nuanced hand positions would work on nice tracks, but at some tracks you have to fight for stability.

I've always liked J/Ski bend because it was more stable for me for the violently writhing away during a kilo and on bumpy tracks. I set my arm pads pretty wide (compared to others) and sort of used them to brace laterally.

In the past, I've described DLV like riding a horse. An DLV with aerobars is like riding a horse...with aerobars.

So, I guess, make sure to test the position on the track at high speeds (maybe a flying lap at your target speed) to see if you still have the control you need.

EDIT: I don't want to misrepresent DLV too much. It's generally smooth. There are just odd "gotcha" bumps here and there. The regulars that maintain the track actually perform maintenance on the track in the winter smoothing/griding out rough spots, filling cracks, etc... It's well-maintained for an older outdoor track.

Last edited by carleton; 03-15-18 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 03-15-18, 11:32 AM
  #27  
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The position I settled on was more like this:




Not that I'm comparing myself to Hammer. Her opening Kilo on a bad day is like 10s faster than my best ever kilo, hahaha.

I think I liked it because it was a really stable position for me. I wonder if Hammer settled on it because instead of blocking the air and making it go around her arms then body, she lets the air into her torso area then around her body? Not sure. But, she's probably seen more wind tunnel time than most elites and is G.O.A.T.

Also, not suggesting that you do this Morelock. Just throwing it out there as an option.
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Old 03-15-18, 12:08 PM
  #28  
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Hah, DLV is it's own track for sure... not another like it I've ever been on It's definitely not the most pursuiter friendly track!

My theory on arm positions... yes they matter some (aerodynamically) but the real sweet spot is finding the arm position that allows your head to fall into that -almost- turtling position naturally (not forcing it though as that's tiring) Whether that's mantis'ing, Tony Martin "scooping" with narrow pads, wide pads, whatever gets your head nice and tucked.

(Reason being... I've never seen anyone's aero data where "turtling" didn't make them faster... and it's usually a/the most significant gain.. so sacrificing something else to make that natural is usually going to be worth it.)

I think in things like a Kilo though, there's the extra stability you'd get from wider pads, which would have to be helpful at full gas.
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Old 03-15-18, 06:00 PM
  #29  
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Easiest way to drop the head us to supinate your hands. 45 degrees outwards works well. Try it.
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Old 03-16-18, 03:34 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
Easiest way to drop the head us to supinate your hands. 45 degrees outwards works well. Try it.
Interesting. So almost riding palms up? I'll play around with it this evening.
Would require some rigging to build a setup that would allow it naturally.
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Old 03-16-18, 01:25 PM
  #31  
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Just try it on your regular bars. It rotates the humerus outwards, which opens up the shoulder joint, allowing your collarbones to drop and take your head with it. All you need to do is rest your elbows on the pads with the heel of your hand touching your extensions while you position your palms up.

Also lets you really reef on the bars in the last lap of a kilo.

EDIT: I also found the palms up position to be easier to hold and control your line. With your palms vertical or slightly down, you end up relying more on strictly using the larger back muscles to steer, so basically pull back one way or the other. With palms up, you can move shift this control to using the pecs and delts as well, so you can more easily fine tune the input with push-pull from both sides, instead of controlling with pull-pull from opposing sides.

Last edited by taras0000; 03-16-18 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 03-16-18, 02:48 PM
  #32  
carleton
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Wow. All of this, turteling and supinating is really insightful.
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Old 03-17-18, 07:22 PM
  #33  
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Morelock, have you ever tested with the POC Tempor helmet? That helmet tests very fast for people with a position like yours.
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Old 03-19-18, 04:40 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
Morelock, have you ever tested with the POC Tempor helmet? That helmet tests very fast for people with a position like yours.
That's one of the few helmets I left out of my testing last year at a2 (I tested the Cerebel but not the tempor)
I agree, it looks like it might be a good fit. I saw that Martin Madsen went from the aerohead to the tempor for his second Danish hour. It looked good on him (and I know he tested it)
Unfortunately, it's a fairly pricey helmet and nobody has one to borrow
Now you have me thinking though! Could I be the one to rock the pac man ghost helmet!

Fwiw though, I seem to be pretty helmet neutral. I didn't find many watts between the aerohead (which was best) and the majority of others (cerebel, spec s-works/mclaren, selector, bambino, catlike crono)
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Old 03-28-18, 03:56 AM
  #35  
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I've enjoyed this thread

Re careleton's query of modern bike fitting equipment - I have some experience of this - I had a bike fit on a guru recently and have also had one previously had a retul. The guru was for a track bike fit and the fits came out very different. For the retul I went in thinking I needed narrower bars and a shorter stem and that's what I came out with, along with some weird cleat 'packers" on one foot, which may have been useful or vital but oddly threw my other foot out of kilter, not sure why but got rid of them after a month or 2. It was probably a waste of money especially as my shoulder still ached on longs rides.

The guru was a bit strange as you aren't on your bike but the results have been pretty good in that I'm more comfortable on the track bike but whether that's the optimum position for speed I'm not sure. It's less aggressive although more aggressive than many riders. We swapped the nitto sprint bars for some road bars which are more comfortable but look a million times less cool and upturned and shortened the stem which looks even worse.

Improving flexibility is what I should really be doing as I'd like to be comfortable at a lower drop - are there any stretching resources available for that?
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Old 03-28-18, 06:17 PM
  #36  
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I'm a horrible tight person in my hips and hammies, and this book did a lot for me when I was racing - https://www.thegeniusofflexibility.com/
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Old 03-29-18, 06:04 AM
  #37  
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I stretch every day. About 30 min. every morning. It has greatly improved my flexibility, though that isn't saying a whole lot.
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Old 03-29-18, 12:59 PM
  #38  
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I'm about as flexible as a Popsicle stick.

A few things that have helped over the years:

- Spend some significant part of your warmup in the drops (at home or on the track). This is "active stretching".
- On the road, do all efforts in the drops not the hoods. Also active stretching.
- After road rides, after I load up my bike, I'll step on the rear bumper and do deep glute and hamstring stretches. 2x15s on each leg.
- After track rides, I'll step on a bench and do deep glute and hamstring stretches. 2x15s on each leg.
- After a gym session, spend some time stretching. 2x15s for each leg = around 60s including transition time.
- I'll do "pigeon" stretches in bed if I'm especially tight and can't sleep. These are AWESOME.



I prefer head down:


For all stretches,

- Focus on feeling the muscles release tension.
- Stretching when cold or tight can lead to a muscle pull. Be cautious.
- Early in the winter when I'm lifting more or early in the spring when I'm riding more and I'm super tight, I'll sit in a hot bath to warm up the leg and back muscles then ask my wife to help me with partner stretches.


I haven't done much of this lately because I'm lazy. But, when I was most flexible, that's generally the menu I'd choose from.

Last edited by carleton; 03-29-18 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 03-29-18, 01:07 PM
  #39  
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Stretching is very important.

The key is to be able to stretch lower than your race position such that when you are in your race position, there is no tension on your muscles. If there is tension (even slight tension) on your muscles, they don't fully recover between pedal strokes.

I like to think of our muscles as workers and if they are working, they aren't available to take a micro-rest to receive nutrients.

A great way to illustrate this is with a heart rate monitor. There is a point above which when your warmup pace might have you at 110BPM then if you go down too low (just a few inches) your heart rate will go up to 140BPM. This is because you aren't letting the muscles rest between pedal strokes.

I've even had it happen when I'm on the bike being held waiting to be pushed off for a flying 200 or Keirin. I'll use my muscles to stabilize myself which is bad. Then you launch off with not-100% recovered muscles. The key in that situation is to focus on letting your legs hang and all of the weight is on your crotch and allow the holder to keep you upright.
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Old 03-30-18, 04:15 PM
  #40  
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That's an interesting post regarding benefits of flexibility Carleton - I'd always assumed it was only for improved arero dynamics.

I did the stretches in the pictures and it looked nothing at all like those 2 but maybe in a few months!

Thanks everyone for the info.
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Old 04-02-18, 08:00 PM
  #41  
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Some great information here... think I might have to go and have a play with my fit.

Hint on the photos... Add more light
it means that your camera will up the shutter speed and you will end up with clearer photos.
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Old 04-03-18, 08:40 AM
  #42  
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^Good point on the lighting. I normally do any of my fitting video's at about 4am, but I had noticed the one's I do in the evening are better quality. I guess I know why now
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Old 04-03-18, 06:17 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post

I prefer head down:

When did you dye your hair blonde?
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Old 04-09-18, 06:13 AM
  #44  
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Had a track specific fit done this weekend. It was interesting.

They lowered and moved back my saddle. (Those two usually go together to keep BB-saddle distance the same, but the change was enough to increase the bend of my knee at the bottom of my pedal stroke.)

It turns out my 170 crank arms are perfectly fine for me. (I am on 170s because I got a good deal on a used SRM, and I would have swapped to a shorter length if needed.)

We also lowered my bars about 1.5 cm. By objective measures, my bars should be moved about 1 cm closer, but I just felt too cramped, and I apparently looked it too.

I'll see how I adapt to it over the coming weeks/months.
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Old 04-09-18, 07:28 AM
  #45  
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@topflightpro Just curious, but at the Rock Hill / ERO's session?
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Old 04-09-18, 07:50 AM
  #46  
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Yes.
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Old 04-09-18, 08:09 AM
  #47  
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Did Missy do the fits? Did they use any of the alphamantis testing equipment on the track? I thought about coming down, but had other commitments.
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Old 04-09-18, 10:34 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
Was your saddle initially drastically different from your road bike saddle position?

I think a lot of people think on the track they should slam the saddle as far forward as is legal, and then raise it as high as necessary to get the right leg extension, but that doesn't always lead to a good fit or weight distribution on the bike.

Yes a more forward saddle position can give you a more open hip angle which can lead to more power, but more power is useless if you can't handle the bike well.
This is still a HUGE hold-over from the days when they used to say "buy a track bike that's one size smaller than your road bike". This advice, coupled with the seat advice you just mentioned makes for a very front-heavy bike. There used to be "track bikes", and then there were track bikes. The "track bikes" usually came from builders who mass produced their frames. They basically just put track ends and a tighter fork on their road frames, which you could do back then because the head tubes were steeper and the forks had more rake, so the steering actually got more stable, despite the increased weight on the front wheel compared to the road bike, AND you got a shorter wheelbase. The real track bikes had longer top tubes, steeper seat tubes, and higher BB's, so the geometry was designed to maintain a more balanced front center in an aggressive position, while keeping a short wheelbase.

Newer bikes have a much more tame geometry compared to the bikes of old. Nervous and twitchy has given way to stable and predictable. A true all-around track bike isn't going to be improved by swapping a fork or going a size smaller. It's best to buy the bike that is closest to your ideal fit, whilst having the geometry that you want for the type of racing you do.
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Old 04-10-18, 06:18 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Morelock View Post
Did Missy do the fits? Did they use any of the alphamantis testing equipment on the track? I thought about coming down, but had other commitments.
Yes, Missy did it. I don't know what alphamantis is, so I'm guessing no.


Originally Posted by spartanKid View Post
Was your saddle initially drastically different from your road bike saddle position?
It was similar. I had set it so my knee was in the same relative place to the pedal axle as on my road bike with similar leg extension. (I say similar because I had done most of it on the trainer while looking at a mirror to take my measurements.)

The new saddle position on the track bike is lower and farther back that the road bike.
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Old 04-10-18, 09:10 AM
  #50  
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ahh, alphamantis is a real time aerodynamic testing system. They hook some sensors up to you and have you pedal around the velodrome and measure your CdA. Erosports is one of the few places that has access to a system. Usually it's used at an indoor track since removing wind makes it much easier to get accurate results... was just wondering if they tried to use it at Rock Hill.

I've seen a good number of Missy's fits. There aren't (m)any fitters out there you could have picked that would have been better, especially in regards to a track specific fit.
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