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· Climbs like a sprinter...
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So as per my thread about growing a pair - I ride in the drops way more than I used to. In the past I would always sprint on the hoods. I've been sprinting in the drops now and when I really put the power down it seems that I am so far over the front wheel that the bike becomes squirrely and I have to ease up momentarily to collect the bike back in. I've started experimenting a little and keeping my upper body back a little mellows the bike out but I don't feel like I'm putting nearly as much power down. Suggestions?
 

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Keep sprinting from the drops, It will begin to feel more comfortable with time. By switching from the hoods to the drops you are changing the balance to which you are accustomed. You probably noticed the handling difference (twitchiness) between the upright stem and dropping it level.

P.S. If you are finished cooking, my mom wants her panties back.
 

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In the drops

bmxhacksaw said:
So as per my thread about growing a pair - I ride in the drops way more than I used to. In the past I would always sprint on the hoods. I've been sprinting in the drops now and when I really put the power down it seems that I am so far over the front wheel that the bike becomes squirrely and I have to ease up momentarily to collect the bike back in. I've started experimenting a little and keeping my upper body back a little mellows the bike out but I don't feel like I'm putting nearly as much power down. Suggestions?
If your bike is squirrelly when you're in the drops, then you need to adjust your body position. Sprinting (in a race) should be done in the drops to "protect" your handlebars from other sprinters. Watch the finish of a pro race some time - everyone is in the drops.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
If your bike is squirrelly when you're in the drops, then you need to adjust your body position. Sprinting (in a race) should be done in the drops to "protect" your handlebars from other sprinters. Watch the finish of a pro race some time - everyone [except Ivan Dominguez] is in the drops.
Fixed that.
 

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I have exactly the same problem. I'm pretty comfortable riding seated in the drops and feel well balanced, but when I stand to sprint, I have far too much weight over the front wheel and the back starts getting a little loose. This is especially the case if there's any water on the road.

I also used to race BMX. On the road bike, I never feel I can get the instantaeous power snap, like coming out of the gate on a bmx.
 

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Your not going to have the same power standing up with your hands on the drops if you have not spent much time riding in that position. Just like the TT position you have to spend some time with it. Do some big gear, low cadence, zone 2, 4 - 6 minute intervals up a moderate grade in that position and you will find it helps your balance and builds some power. Once you get more comfortable add in some sprint intervals from that position. Keep your butt over the saddle. Just got to get used to it.
 

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A guideline is "shoulders behind wrists", or something like that. On numerous occasions you see Pro riders who don't follow that guideline, but it's ideal to keep your weight distribution in check.

Gear selection is also important. Somewhat reflective on whether you're a spinner or not. You can try out several things on the trainer for 30 sec workouts or tabatas to carry onto the race day. I personally think that the rear becomes unstable with poor gear selection due to exaggerated "lifting" during the pedal strokes, etc.

Although it may conflict with your favored road settings, it wouldn't hurt to play/experiment with handlebar angles to see what gives you your best grip or feel.
 

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bmxhacksaw said:
So as per my thread about growing a pair - I ride in the drops way more than I used to. In the past I would always sprint on the hoods. I've been sprinting in the drops now and when I really put the power down it seems that I am so far over the front wheel that the bike becomes squirrely and I have to ease up momentarily to collect the bike back in. I've started experimenting a little and keeping my upper body back a little mellows the bike out but I don't feel like I'm putting nearly as much power down. Suggestions?
Not asking you to get another bike but....
Typically, a bike with the more relaxed head tube angle with a shorter stem takes care this problem.
Make sure to work on the form first before taking a drastic changes.
 

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I used to slip the back end a round a bit while sprinting, just takes time and practise to get the feeling of how to distribute weight and smooth it out.
Definately need to sprint in the drops. One thing that people neglect is the aero advatage of it. One you get up round 60kmh+ the amount of wattage to go up the next few kmh gets exponentially higher and higer. Ive seen some people put out some nice sprint speeds, but looked back at race photos and seen they've got their head up fairly high and scooping the wind. Would have like to seen what they can hit with the head tucked down and a straighter back.

Here's a nice video to look at sprint position from 08 tour.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkMpmQQTP5Y
 

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During your sprint, try to make the nose of the saddle brush against the back of your hamstrings, that's really as far back as you can go, without actually going over the saddle, which would make it impossible to rock the bike back and forth very far.
 

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88 rex said:
I saw a video from a race last year (TdF?) where the camera was filming Cavendish from the side and his sprint position was very low and very aero.

edit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCUD0CPKJSM

Chin is almost on the stem!
I think the biggest difference between Cavendish's position and Steegemans positions is Cavendish's head is tucked down more. If you watch you see he's just as far back on the bike, but he appears to be able to get down in a lower tuck.
 
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