Author Topic: Riding Position  (Read 4453 times)

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Offline bismarckgimpy

Riding Position
« on: July 24, 2010, 12:32:43 pm »
Been riding my LHT about 20 miles a day and I'd like to increase my mileage. I've been focusing on keeping a flat back and keeping my core engaged. I need to do exercises for my upper and lower back and upper and lower abs to have a stronger core. For those riding over 40 miles a day, how do you keep your core engaged constantly? Does it just come naturally after riding so many miles? Do you find yourself getting lax and having to adjust your position? I find riding on the hoods is the best way to keep the back flat. I find it hard to keep my back flat when riding on the straight part with my drop-style bars. Thanks for any help.

Offline whittierider

Re: Riding Position
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 03:33:11 pm »
I don't go along with the "strong core" doctrine that is popular with some.  I would say the only muscles that should be tensed that don't actually propell you forward would be the neck (to hold your head up) and, if on drop bars (as oposed to aerobars), the triceps and pectoral muscles to hold your top end up.  Trying to support yourself in a low position with back muscles for more than a short time is very unnatural and also makes for a sore, hunched back, without making you any faster.  There's no reason to do it that way.

I did a lot of core work in high school in the 1970's because the equipment was there making it more practical, then got a job right out of high school where I frequently mopped an auditorium (whose seats were not installed, and always got moved for different events), mopping with the biggest, heaviest string mop you ever saw, which was an incredible workout for my back muscles as I reached wide side to side, mopping the hall in four strips.  I was already heavily into cycling at the time.  Neither starting nor quitting these workouts had any effect on my cycling.  They were great workouts, but did not seem to have any value for cycling.

Offline Tourista829

Re: Riding Position
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2010, 06:12:01 pm »
You need a riding position that is comfortable for you. There are those of us, that have a shorter reach anatomically designed handlebar, which gives you a slightly more upright position. I no longer use the drops, as much, unless it is very windy. Proper fit, a good saddle, correct use of gears to keep your cadence high, hydration and proper nutrition will get you more miles than you think. Recently, I did a long weekend ride, from Tampa to St. Augustine. I hadn't been riding much, took full gear, and 95 degree heat. Mileage was 75m, 42m, 89m and it went well considering I am almost 60. 

Offline bismarckgimpy

Re: Riding Position
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2010, 06:32:35 pm »

Offline waynemyer

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Re: Riding Position
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 04:04:01 pm »
I don't explicitly "keep my core engaged," but I do take measures to keep my core muscles strong: push-ups, pull-ups, and lots of isometric ab exercises such as planks and clenching my abs many times a day, for up to a minute (usually while at work).  The core work has gone a long way for me to reduce back pains while riding long distances (>100 miles).

As Tourista points out: everything matters on the bike.  It's all interconnected and if any single aspect of the system is off, it will peck away at you until you're sore or broken.  (user:waynemyer)