Perfecting your Bike position – Our top tips
1. Comfort - This can sometimes be limited by your ability to sustain a position for the duration of your ride. If you're like me - over the age of twenty one - you will very likely have to sacrifice something (quite a lot!) from our other two other factors to increase comfort on the bike. This might mean that you may find a more upright position as possible suits you better.
2. Bio-mechanics - Predominantly what this means is the position of your saddle in relation to the other contact points - your pedals and handlebars. There are various ways to set the height of your saddle but basically what you are aiming to achieve here is good power generation and transmission of through the pedals. This will generally involve your leg extending significantly at the bottom of the pedal rotation - but don't overdo it, you'll end up working too hard and could burn out!
3. Aerodynamic drag - This will increase with the square of velocity. In other words, with all other things equal, it takes four times as much power to cycle at 20mph as it does at 10mph. So the faster you ride the more aerodynamically efficient your position needs to be - otherwise you need to generate loads more power output. I know which is easier...
Most of this is about minimising your frontal area so you don't have to push as much air out of the way. Look at the position of the riders in the time trial at the Tour de France for the best example. (But not for too long, get off the sofa and ride your bike at some point...).
The Final Word on Bike position
‘There a many factors to consider in improving your bike position - seek professional help or ask someone with plenty of experience if you don't feel confident about it. This will likely save you a lot of time in getting a good base-position quickly, which you can then fine tune over time. Note that your position will be different on a road bike as opposed to a time-trial, track, cross, bmx or mountain bike.
What must be remembered though is there is no perfect position. Consider your physical condition, flexibility and fitness and don't try and emulate Bradley Wiggins time-trial position or Mark Cavendish's sprint position too quickly - make the small changes required and evaluate them against these three criteria as you ride. If it doesn't feel right - stop, go back and try again! By constantly evaluating your physical condition, flexibility and fitness as you go forward. It may well be you can progress to a better compromise as you develop.