BODY POSITION AND SUITABLE ROAD TIRE PRESSURE

Although it might not be so obvious, positioning ourselves on our bike and suitable tire pressure are two factors that are closely connected. They both provide the rider with the confidence to manage any situation that can arise on the road.

FREE BODY MOVEMENT

Cyclists should always feel natural when riding their bikes. The trunk and the whole body need to be relaxed and the bike needs to be able to move forward without any significant loss of momentum. The rider’s position should always reflect the shape of the road and promote rear wheel grip.

  • On climbs, the centre of gravity moves forwards depending on the gradient of the road.
  • When riding downhill, the centre of gravity shifts backwards.
  • On a flat road, the body stays in the natural position with the centre of gravity in the middle.

 

RIDING OUT OF THE SADDLE

When riding in the saddle the body stays still. On the other hand, when we ride out of the saddle it is important to engage the whole body and synchronize both arms and legs. This is very helpful when we need to transfer maximum power to our pedals, especially when accelerating on climbs or in sprints. Ideally, the bike copies the movement of the body. It is best to hold the bars at the drops to stay in a more aerodynamic position.

THE RIGHT TIRE PRESSURE

Tire grip is crucial for safety. If the tires are overinflated or underinflated, we will face various problems, the tires will lack grip and we will be more likely to get a puncture.

In general we can say that the recommended road tire pressure is between 7.5 and 8.5 bars, and for tubular tires between 8.5 and 11 bars. We should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and take the rider’s weight into account.

If the road is wet, the situation is a bit different. We should go for a lower tire pressure to ensure a wider surface contact area. The same rule applies for rough surfaces and cobblestones.

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