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Best tuck position

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03 Aug 2014 21:06

42x16ss wrote:Interesting, Cadel is descending just like a MTB'er there.

There are reasons for that - the hanging out over the back wheel leaves you with a bike that you can still handle should you run amiss with a rock or a pothole, yet is more aero than keeping your buttocks on the saddle. And it actually improves the dynamics of the bicycle in response to the road - as it puts the weight back more towards the rear, closer to the ratio when riding on a flat surface. Also improves your ability to apply braking forces, in a hurry, should the need arise. It is still higher than buttocks on the top tube, though, and the arms are still wide, not centered on the bars. Sooo - depending on WHICH descent you are doing - it may be preferable. It is, however, extremely hard on the abs. I used to find it a very difficult position to maintain - and I had very strong abs.
It is of great use to the sailor to know the length of his line, though he cannot with it fathom all the depths of the ocean. ~ John Locke
User avatar hiero2
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03 Aug 2014 22:51

hiero2 wrote:I used to find it a very difficult position to maintain - and I had very strong abs.

Even more so with a saddle bag, I would imagine. You'd have to be even further back to get clearance, and to allow yourself to remount.

No thank you.
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04 Aug 2014 01:13

MonkeyFace wrote:Descending is about taking the correct line through a turn. All this stuff is silly in comparison. When Cancellara bombs a decent, he only goes deep into the drops and doesn't do any silly stuff and he is an incredible descender. I would say some of this might even be counter productive since you have to hold up your weight so you can't rest and you are giving up control. I don't think Salvadelli even descending with any of these silly positions. A descender only makes up time on people through the turns. A cat 5 rider can bomb a straight downhill as any pro.

One study showed a 25% drag reduction in a wind tunnel at 56kph, the difference over a 5km 10% descent was calculated to be 30 seconds, position being the only consideration. Given that corners exist, cornering technique would either add or subtract from this number comparing one cyclist to another, but I'd rarely see an instance where on your own on a long straight it wasn't worth sitting, in one form or another, on the top tube. Who knows maybe getting in and out of the position for corners eats up all the advantage, on a non tech descent I'd suggest not.
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05 Aug 2014 00:53

Interesting there are so many positions even with the pros. I believe it matters a whole bunch on certain roads, less on others.

The other component is being pushed. It is quite common [for me to see] the tucked rider in front of a group being pushed to stay in front. That rider is shoulders on the bars, **** under the saddle on the top tube. Other riders push him/saddle and keep him in front. They stay on their seats, in a tuck drafting.
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Re: Best tuck position

16 May 2017 16:58

Road Bike Review has an online report of testing on this subject conducted by Holland's Eindhoven University. According to their result, this is the slickest "tuck:"


Also according to their result, Froome's ultra-far-forward position actually would be more aero if he would slide his bum back on the top tube until it contacts the seatpost.
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20 May 2017 19:46

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23 Jun 2017 23:24

Very interesting thread. I've learnt a few things.
However I have a question about aerodynamic position while descending around corners.
I am taking the stance that sitting far back on top tube, with forward body tuck, is best practical aerodynamics. Then the centre of gravity is now lower and ideal for cornering. Is it possible to corner in this position, or is it best to get back on the saddle for better control, though losing that lower C of G?
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