Sunday, November 18, 2007

Interesting handlebar setup

I was reading an old issue of Mountain Bike and saw a small skills thing from Mark Weir. He rotated his riser handlebar forward so that the Sweep of the bar sweeps more up than back. It looks pretty wierd. I also saw this tip on a video tip at Mountain Bike Magazine online (see video Dial in for more...)

By rotating the bars forward and getting the bar to sweep more up than the traditional back, it really promotes an elbows out position. This is something that Gene Hamilton, who've I've worked with in the past really emphasizes. In fact he considers elbows out to be the number two thing to vision in terms of the fundamentals. The elbows in position is a carryover from the early days of XC racing and the road riding influence on mountain biking. The narrow bars of the early days as well as the position of riding on the bar tops or hoods from a road bike promoted the elbows in position.

Elbows out helps to open up the ribcage more and promotes better breathing and it also provides a much more stable platfor for controlling the bike.

The rotation of the bars sort of forces your elbows into wide postion as opposed to having to really think about it which I liked. I rotated my bars a fair amount to try it out. The problem when I tried this was that it also elongates your cockput. In effect it increases the reach to the bars. It was enough to not feel good overall. It might have worked had I had a shorter stem to try. I then cut the difference and rotated them about halfway between my original setup and what I just tried.

That felt much better. My elbows stayed out more easily, and my reach felt better. I'd like to try a shorter stem with a more rotated bar to see how that feels. I run a 70mm stem right now. Which is pretty short from an XC perspective, but I like the short stem/long top tube combo. I'd like to try a 60mm stem with the bars rotated way forward.


At 11:26 PM, Blogger Carol said...

Off subject, but can you tell me if you have been able to pinpoint any certain eating pattern 2/3 days prior to a physical performance that rocked? I have an 8k Thurs morn!

At 5:54 AM, Anonymous muebles camobel said...

Thanks so much for the post, quite helpful piece of writing.


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