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As you change - fit changes - fitting for the aged

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As you change - fit changes - fitting for the aged

Old 02-02-20, 04:41 PM
  #1  
Doge
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As you change - fit changes - fitting for the aged

A bit less than a decade ago I went to "Cyber Cyling Coach", Dave Jordaan (Google) to fit my kid. First thing he asked was his FTP (hour power). Because that has a lot to do with weight on hands and also speed/aero. Also about the type of riding/events, fatigue, pedaling style etc. For junior there were different fits targeted different events. Different riding, power figured into the best fit.

As my wife and I got older (we total age over 120) our power has gone down a bit. My slammed stem was not as comfortable. I was riding slower than I used to. I was aware that lower bars were less aero when the rider had to ride on the drops with close to straight arms and that getting the forearms parallel to the ground, pointing into the wind exposed less area to push the wind.

I raised my bars - I got faster. Not a whole bunch, but some.

Recently I did a rebuild on my wife's old '93 bike (13# something). She too had had a fairly aggressive setup most her life. Her other bikes had forearm rests and she likes riding like that. I had noticed that she would rarely have her hands on the drop with bent elbows. The bars were too low. IMO they may have always been too low. Anyway for this rebuild I got the Specialized bars that rise. I raised the stack about 2 cm and flipped the step.
We are still tuning, but these higher bars eliminated the need for "aero bars". Net is it is much more comfortable, body is up a bit and speed is up a bit. The hands on the drops are just an alternative to hands on hoods with forearms pointing into the wind.

My conclusion is slammed setups with flat backs are not much needed for those averaging much under 22mph or under 300W ftp.
This is a pretty good senior citizen setup.
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Old 02-02-20, 07:52 PM
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Sexy_Lugs
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The older and more injuries I get the more I find my power output has more to do with my comfort level than my aerodynamics. Comfort in skeletal positioning = comfort in power production. Especially over time.
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Old 02-03-20, 05:22 AM
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My bikes are going to tend to be over 45 years old and weigh a lot anyway, but I get the ones that have a tank.

I ride things from middleweights to ballooners and all 26", I don't recall riding with smaller wheels than one 24" and my sisters' banana bikes.
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Old 02-03-20, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Doge View Post
A bit less than a decade ago I went to "Cyber Cyling Coach", Dave Jordaan (Google) to fit my kid. First thing he asked was his FTP (hour power). Because that has a lot to do with weight on hands and also speed/aero. Also about the type of riding/events, fatigue, pedaling style etc. For junior there were different fits targeted different events. Different riding, power figured into the best fit.

As my wife and I got older (we total age over 120) our power has gone down a bit. My slammed stem was not as comfortable. I was riding slower than I used to. I was aware that lower bars were less aero when the rider had to ride on the drops with close to straight arms and that getting the forearms parallel to the ground, pointing into the wind exposed less area to push the wind.

I raised my bars - I got faster. Not a whole bunch, but some.

Recently I did a rebuild on my wife's old '93 bike (13# something). She too had had a fairly aggressive setup most her life. Her other bikes had forearm rests and she likes riding like that. I had noticed that she would rarely have her hands on the drop with bent elbows. The bars were too low. IMO they may have always been too low. Anyway for this rebuild I got the Specialized bars that rise. I raised the stack about 2 cm and flipped the step.
We are still tuning, but these higher bars eliminated the need for "aero bars". Net is it is much more comfortable, body is up a bit and speed is up a bit. The hands on the drops are just an alternative to hands on hoods with forearms pointing into the wind.

My conclusion is slammed setups with flat backs are not much needed for those averaging much under 22mph or under 300W ftp.
This is a pretty good senior citizen setup.
Her position looks perfect.
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Old 02-03-20, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Her position looks perfect.
Thanks. I thought so. But these are quite a bit higher and 1cm shorter cockpit than before. Speeds - seat -of-the-pants are up. The bike is 3# lighter, but speeds are up on flats.

One of her old riding buddies pretty much invented this position and used it too win RAAM after having forearm rests fit.
I was talking to him last year about the slammed stem and flat back popularity, being mostly copying pros, was making riders slower and less comfortable.
The discussion was also that today's bars might not need the forearm rests for the basic 1-3 hour rides IF we raised the bars and decreased cockpit space which was the exact opposite of the popular racers setups.
This was close to what I wanted - mid '80s sometime.


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Old 02-04-20, 09:26 AM
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Nothing is stable over time - your fit included! Re-fitting every few years is always a good thing. Cost much less than paying for a physical therapist!

Pros and young adults will sacrifice comfort to gain performance, but I don't believe you should do this at 120 years old combined
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Old 02-05-20, 11:46 AM
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My crit-racing days went away by '92, yet I rode that racing fit for many years, even transferring the numbers to a new bike. I first went to Dave in 2001-ish and he set up my bike for "touring" (by his definition, anyone who is not racing, even how hard you train). This might be considered an "endurance" fit in today's terminology. I loved it but found out that after several years had passed, my body had changed and the previous fit just didn't feel right. I'd lost height (was 6-1, now 6-0) and I felt I was reaching too far. The bike actually became too big for me--I'd probably size down if I got a new one, or at least one with a shorter TT. He saved it by going to a shorter stem but it's as short as you can go and not affect steering feel. I now get checked every 1-2 years but by another source (nearer to me and sponsored by). I'm stronger and faster with an endurance fit.

Last edited by bikeme; 02-05-20 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 02-06-20, 10:11 PM
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Hip angle depends on belly fat and breathing. Big Mig used less hip angle than most because he could breathe better and so his speed on the flat was higher that way. That's pretty common and doesn't have much to do with age. Belly fat has to do with age. It gets harder to keep it off as the years go by. But there's no intrinsic reason why an older person can't use the same fit with which they were faster as a young person.

I was always a self-fitter, but a couple years ago I developed a saddle sore and thought what the heck, why not try a pro fit. I went to best fitter in Seattle, who changed my fit slightly: 3 cm less reach, ~2 cm up. I gotta say, I'm absolutely no faster or more comfortable, but I've spent about $600 on the fit and equipment changes he recommended, and I'm no worse either, so I'll keep this new fit. My old fit had a slammed -17° stem and the usual bars of 25 years ago. My new fit has a slammed -7° stem and compact bars. Eh. I'm probably a tiny bit slower on the flat, but I don't care, my power is off anyway, so I just draft more, and I still beat everyone on the descents, so it's fine. Saddle sore is still with me, the fit didn't help at all. And 200k feels about the same either way. I'm just as flexible at 74 as I was at 25 and I squat almost the same. The saddle sore, just one one side, seems to be some hip alignment issue that no one can detect or offer a fix. I measure exactly the same both sides, one legged whatevers are the same both sides, Eh.

If my thighs hit my belly, that's a good reminder to eat a little less. It's all good.
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