Myth #9 - Handlebar height isn't really very critical on an Indoor Cycle.
An alternative of this myth is; handlebar height should always be set to where it's most comfortable.
When the enemy is the wind... the drops are your friend 🙂
Every cyclist in your class knows how important it is to be as aerodynamic as possible. They realize that something like 80% of the energy needed for them to ride their bicycle on flat ground, at 20mph, goes to over coming wind resistance. Add a stiff headwind that has you wanting to crawl inside the paint on your bike and it's probably more like 100%... or more if that's even possible
Reducing your frontal area has the greatest impact on aerodynamics, smaller = better. So many cyclists have a goal to get as low as comfortably possible on the bicycle. In fact road bicycles have a special bend in the handlebars specifically designed to help a cyclist ride low & comfortably... the drops.
Trouble is that very few people use them because they don't have the lower back or hamstring flexibility needed to get low and stay there comfortably.
So why not help our cyclists to develop some additional flexibility... or maintain the flexibility they developed over the summer?
As a fitness professional you realize that gains in; strength, endurance and flexibility all come over time. Please forgive the pun here but any desired change will only come when we stretch beyond what is comfortable/easy/normal.
Indoor classes are the perfect place to work on flexibility for a number of reasons. The limited time (45-60 minutes) is long enough to help, while not as intimidating as the thought of committing to a 4 hour group ride with low bars.
Here's how you can help everyone get down low.
- If your club has the Livestrong / Tomahawk Indoor Cycles you can encourage your riders to spend time in the drops.
- Lead by example by keeping your bars low, demonstrating good form and then make mention that you are doing this on purpose to help increase your flexibility.
- Encourage everyone to observe where they have their bars set and then ask the question; "would your outdoor riding improve if you could spend more time comfortably in the drops?
- Use Periodization - suggest a series of small changes over time.
- Consider partnering with a personal trainer to lead post class stretching that focuses specifically on the hamstrings and lower back.
- Incorporate a short stretching segment into your class. Now that I'm teaching longer endurance classes I'll have everyone stop and stretch at the 15 minute mark when we are all warm - and yet not fatigued.
The typical handlebar height to saddle height on a road bike is ~level and yet you can find pictures of road bikes showing the handlebars considerably lower than the seat.
Originally posted 2019-01-10 07:15:41.
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