Flat back in aero position does it matter?


#1

I have recently noticed that as I become more fatigued I begin to get a bit of a hunch in my back when riding in the aero position.
After doing a bit of research (most articles were at least 7 years old) and remembering some of the things Chad has said about sit bones I think it might be a case of my pelvis rolling back. I also figured that this might be because I favour my quads as I become more fatigued?
Anyway, my question is does a bit of a hunched position matter if it doesn’t affect my power. I have noticed a few pros in the tour had a bit of a hunch while others were dead flat.


#2

A flat back is only any good if you can maintain decent power in that position. You need to find the position that gives your the optimum balance of sustainable power and minimal drag coefficient. Having said that, the more you train in the aero position the better adapted to it you will be, the more power you will be able to generate in that position and the longer you’ll be able to hold it.


#3

Aero position really depends on individual characteristics, flexibility, body proportions, bike fit, etc. As you mention, looking at Pro Tour riders, you see many variations. All are doing their best to adhere to the universal aerodynamic principles of presenting the smallest surfaces to the wind while maintaining power. I imagine, through experimentation, video/photo/power analysis, you can see what is optimal (or possible) for you.


#4

From my experience (and I’m a second year triathlete), I always do my TR workouts in aero position and constantly train my body in aero position on the bike. It takes practise and I also find when the workout is getting so hard, I tend to rock a bit, my knees track outwards a bit, and I hang my head. After a few seconds I force myself to snap out of it and get back in control. It’s a mind set that I continually practise. I also think a really good bike fit helps, as well as weekly strength and mobility training and daily yoga and stretching.


#5

I do the same thing when getting fatigued. I think it depends on how it affects frontal area. Meaning, in addition to that part of the back protruding more into the air stream, does it cause your head to come up/down? Does it cause you to widen/narrow shoulders etc…


#6

Head position seems to be a higher priority than the flatness of your back. You can have a flat back, but periscope your head and ruin everything :joy:.


#7

This could be a result of multiple different factors, i.e. bike fit, genetics, your strength and flexibility.

Just to pick one, if say at the beginning of your workout, you are comfortable sitting with a flat back.
As the time goes by and the fatigue settles in, your pelvis starts moving forward and the back becomes hunched, there is a great chance that you need to work on strengthening your core muscles and and the same time work on your flexibility.

Yes, it is a lot easier said than done, but this is something I wish I’ve had done a lot earlier when I picked cycling as my main hobby.