Pirate tuck
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Thread: Pirate tuck

  1. #1
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    Pirate tuck

    We've all seen the video footage of Pantani's decents; his belly resting on the saddle and ass hanging a millimeter over the rear wheel. But have we never seen it copied by other pro racers? I have my own theories but you certainly can't say it's any more dangerous or any stupider than the current fad of hugging the top bar like a monkey humping a football.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coondogger View Post
    We've all seen the video footage of Pantani's decents; his belly resting on the saddle and ass hanging a millimeter over the rear wheel. But have we never seen it copied by other pro racers? I have my own theories but you certainly can't say it's any more dangerous or any stupider than the current fad of hugging the top bar like a monkey humping a football.
    I don't know if Pantani did wind tunnel tests or not, but I think it is pretty standard now for riders to find THEIR best position by the numbers in a wind tunnel.

    As for general positions, https://www.velonews.com/2017/05/new...-faster_437636 Pantani's is pretty good, but what we see many doing now is a bit faster.
    .
    Stout beers under trees, please.

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    oh, you said "tuck". It was used in the late '90s and at wind tunnel tested with unclear data (control).

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    Too old to ride plastic

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    That's an interesting graph.

    I noticed this coming down Mt. Wlison, a long descent with nice straight aways to experiment with the effects of body positioning on aerodynamics. Nose close to stem, arms pulled in, legs pinching the top tube, fully stretched out on the saddle, I observed a 2 mph increase from standard 45 degree angles the upper body assumes on the hoods. The arms in the drops are too wide, good for sprints, but not aerodynamics.

    Go ahead and sit on the top tube, but I found it moved the center of gravity too much on the front wheel, nothing I would like going 40 mph on a 21 pound bike. Lots more fore-aft stability with weight over the rear wheel, like Pantani did it. Just don't hit any bumps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    That's an interesting graph.

    I noticed this coming down Mt. Wlison, a long descent with nice straight aways to experiment with the effects of body positioning on aerodynamics. Nose close to stem, arms pulled in, legs pinching the top tube, fully stretched out on the saddle, I observed a 2 mph increase from standard 45 degree angles the upper body assumes on the hoods. The arms in the drops are too wide, good for sprints, but not aerodynamics.

    Go ahead and sit on the top tube, but I found it moved the center of gravity too much on the front wheel, nothing I would like going 40 mph on a 21 pound bike. Lots more fore-aft stability with weight over the rear wheel, like Pantani did it. Just don't hit any bumps.
    The "tight tuck" position (knees and elbows on top tube, hands on the bars right beside the stem, chin as close to the stem as possible) reduces CdA (combination of drag coefficient and frontal area) by 33%. That means that when your downhill speed reaches something in the 33-35 mph (53-56 km/hr) range, you will go faster in a tight tuck than you will from pedaling. That's because in order to pedal you have to get out of that tight tuck and you pay a significant aerodynamic penalty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    The "tight tuck" position (knees and elbows on top tube, hands on the bars right beside the stem, chin as close to the stem as possible) reduces CdA (combination of drag coefficient and frontal area) by 33%. That means that when your downhill speed reaches something in the 33-35 mph (53-56 km/hr) range, you will go faster in a tight tuck than you will from pedaling. That's because in order to pedal you have to get out of that tight tuck and you pay a significant aerodynamic penalty.
    Exactly. Well said.

    That's why I often wonder why anyone has 53-11 or 12 gearing. Their legs can only use it on downhills, and moving the legs slows them down! It's a real cheap thrill to contract into a smaller projectile and coast past everyone frantically pedaling.

    Most riders spin out at 33-35 mph, so an aero tuck is like overdrive. On the hoods, the bike never went faster than 45 mph; very frustrating. I also noticed the air is thinner 5000 ft. above sea level, so gravity pulls the bike through faster. Never noticed this effect at 25 mph or on the short descents along the Potomac River valley.

    Seems like a lot of the time, when you see a TDF rider pedaling on the descent, he's just soft-pedaling to loosen up the legs from the previous climb.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 1 Week Ago at 10:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Seems like a lot of the time, when you see a TDF rider pedaling on the descent, he's just soft-pedaling to loosen up the legs from the previous climb.
    Or more likely accelerating back to speed after the tight switchbacks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Or more likely accelerating back to speed after the tight switchbacks.
    That too, sure.

    I've always wondered why riders off the front cresting the mountain and starting on the downside, often are pedaling gracefully, as if they were loosening the legs. This is usually before the first switchback.

    Ah, the good old days. The Appalachians are a little too far for a day trip bike ride from here in Arlington, VA. Too bad. LA had everything right there: flats, the Hollywood Hills, Mt. Wilson, the beach, and great cycling weather year round. :thumbup:

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