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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had my first race using a dropper, long DH sections.
I can't compare results on this course to my previous ones as I am out of fitness due to other reasons, but I noted severe leg fatigue (femoral biceps) due to using a dropper post, although I did quite a few training sessions using it.

Is this anticipated? Would specific exercises help in this? I feel this hindered my result regardless of poor fitness, I could not rest legs at DH sections.
 

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OK, let me try to translate this for you OP. The dropper being there and easy to use, stopped you from staying seated while descending, is that what you're trying to say? If so, then all the dropper did was point to poor descending skills of staying seated, nothing else. More time spent doing longer descents without stopping and/or some squats in the gym would help build your leg strength.
 

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remove seat and seat post

go for a training ride 5 miles or more

that -will- teach your legs
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, let me try to translate this for you OP. The dropper being there and easy to use, stopped you from staying seated while descending, is that what you're trying to say? If so, then all the dropper did was point to poor descending skills of staying seated, nothing else. More time spent doing longer descents without stopping and/or some squats in the gym would help build your leg strength.
Thanks for the translation.

I don't sit on the descent, however there is a difference on micro rest on DH sections with seat up, or down, that I noticed.

I don't think that I have poor descending skills. Well, I definitely have compared to europe based elite racers, but I've had my share of good results in amateur masters ones.

I was rather specific with my question - is it anticipated that legs fatigue more with a dropper, or not. And if yes, are there specific exercises as prep work.

XC racing specifically, as topic folder indicates.
 

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You do realise or know how a dropper works right, you can raise or lower it when needed, you don't just have to lwoer it for the entire descent, or lower it the entire way if it's not steep enough. Obviously you lowered it all the way and don't do that with your fixed post and can therefor easily "grab a seat" part way down on a descent when your legs get tired because they're not strong enough. Again, practice doing long DH and/or leg work like squats in the gym.

Thanks for the translation.

I don't seat on the descent, however there is a difference on micro rest on DH sections with seat up, or down, that I noticed.

I don't think that I have poor descending skills. Well, I definitely have compared to europe based elite racers, but I've had my share of good results in amateur masters ones.

I was rather specific with my question - is it anticipated that legs fatigue more with a dropper, or not. And if yes, are there specific exercises as prep work.

XC racing specifically, as topic folder indicates.
 

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You do realise or know how a dropper works right, you can raise or lower it when needed, you don't just have to lwoer it for the entire descent, or lower it the entire way if it's not steep enough. Obviously you lowered it all the way and don't do that with your fixed post and can therefor easily "grab a seat" part way down on a descent when your legs get tired because they're not strong enough. Again, practice doing long DH and/or leg work like squats in the gym.
:thumbsup:

OP, your question makes no sense. Drop your saddle when you wish. But don't blame the dropper for your lack of conditioning and/or skills.
 

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I don't blame it - that is why I asked - "Would specific exercises help in this?".

Reading with understanding does help in many cases.
That's a loaded question. What are you asking exactly? Do you exercise and work out? If you want to be competitive at racing, you should be exercising and working out, not cardio stuff, you do that on the bike, but strength training. There are quite a few things that I could choose to not work out that I could try to "get by with" on my bike just by riding, but I'd end up with significant discomfort, loss of control and stability.
 

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I guess I'll be the lone dissenter and say "yes" to the OP's question.

For me, it probably wouldn't be an issue in shorter xco races (which I've no interest in), but I would NEVER consider using one in a 100 mile race.

Just one old, but still pretty fast, dude's opinion.
 

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On the WOR 50 mile this spring, at the end of the race I couldn't keep the seat down and pedal hard (last few miles is a DH into town on pavement) without starting to cramp. The fastest way is to slam the seat and pedal hard, because your body profile is the smallest so you get the least wind resistance. So I had to keep the seat up, which was slower. I'm not sure that's a dropper issue though, I was coming off a significant time off the bike due to surgery and trying to work up as fast as possible to the race and at that point, I think it's just general fatigue and cramp management, nothing specific to the dropper.


Also, the longer the race, the more I like having the dropper. On a 100 mile race, being able to relax on the DHs and having a "mistake margin" is important, as you start getting ultra-fatigued. A little more suspension, bigger tires, dropper, they all seem to help me significantly on something around 100 miles. Descending "tensed", standing all the time with your legs and but clinched is no good IME.
 

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If you’re using the dropper post correctly it should have no effect on leg fatigue but should increase performance.

/thread


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Can you try to better explain why having a seat lowered is causing more fatigue than a raised seat, yet you are still standing?

Maybe you are finding yourself crouching now that the seat is not against your backside when you may only slightly raise your body over the seat?

If that is the case, your next specific question is whether there are specific exercises? Sure, squats -or more rides. If you are in moderate shape, you should get 'those' muscles stronger in only a few rides with enough descents to become accustomed to working the new muscles.
I'm really struggling but can only assume you're getting tired because you're crouched more when your seat is down than what you are used to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So...we're having conflicting opinions here.

1. Do squats
2. Do core workouts
3. You are using the dropper in a wrong manner /end thread
4. It does matter
5. You have poor descending skills
6. A combination of above

So we do have a difference in opinions.

I am not a novice in the sport, my CP last year was 5.1 w/kg and ride enduro tracks for XC training but using a dropper for XC racing is new to me.

I am completely open to any suggestions and am willing to learn but would like to take advice from posters with experience in the matter.
 

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ride without a seat installed as I indicated
much like riding an SS > geared bike in one gear

that will tell you how tough you really are and your
legs have no choice but overcome that misery
 

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The dropper isn't the problem you technique is the issue. (Sorry to be blunt)

When descending you want to spend as much of time as possible in a relaxed neutral position. This means legs relatively straight and hinged at the waste. It is only when you need more stability that you will bend those legs to lower your centre of mass. Too many riders are in the full on attack position on trails that they really don't need to be. Nobody can ride that low all the time.

The other thing is only drop your seat when you need to. If the descent is an easy blue trail lowering your seat isn't going to make you faster.

In the right situation a dropper is an amazing tool but there are a lot trails where they make no difference and actually are a hinderance.
 

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I think Forest Rider nailed it, you were accustomed to standing with a fully extended saddle before, which meant you were probably close to straight legged, now with the dropper, you can drop your COG and sink into a lower position, which will inevitably work your legs more. So either do lots of extended DHs with your body squated low, engaging your legs and/or do squats in the gym - already said this way up the thread, but you don't seem to want to listen.

How do I know about this, well, I took a hard off a few years ago, but not fast enough to not have time to tense my entire body to brace for the impact, because of that I pulled nearly every muscle in my body, especially my legs and for the next month, descending was hard because I did not have that strength back to hold myself up for long periods. Now I am riding fully rigid, where all you do basically is stand and my legs are much stronger and descending on an FS, much easier, on the rigid, legs can still feel burned at the bottom of a decent, rough, descent.

So we do have a difference in opinions.

I am not a novice in the sport, my CP last year was 5.1 w/kg and ride enduro tracks for XC training but using a dropper for XC racing is new to me. I am completely open to any suggestions and am willing to learn but would like to take advice from posters with experience in the matter.
 

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or

wall squats

5x5min, 30sec rest between
rest 2 mins
repeat 5x5/30

do twice a week as part of your hard days

that will also brutalize your legs so anything seen on bike is nothing since your pain cave is much worse


it is all about introducing pain in those legs and the mental toughness to deal with it...wall holds will do it
 

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As a hack rider, I've noticed that droppers allow me to keep my heart rate higher on downhills.

Without a dropper, I would kind of ping-pong down rocky downhills and keep my legs straight. Less pumping and working the whole body. It was more of an arm fatigue thing.

With a dropper, I actually use my legs in a ready position. My heart rate barely drops on downhills if I'm trying to go fast. I kind wonder if I'd be better off going slightly slower and letting my body recover more in a ready position.
 

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If you're using the dropper post correctly it should have no effect on leg fatigue but should increase performance.

/thread

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Not true. It takes condition like anything else. I did an enduro a couple years back and the first stage was 25 min descent. Dropper down the entire way and man my legs hurt. I did not realize how many micro breaks I was used to taking on the seat that with it dropped did not work out. This is purely a skills/fitness thing however. Skills from the stand point of when to have the seat down and up as well as being able to operate it quickly. Fitness from the standpoint of training those leg muscles more. I did 24 hour solo effort with a newly installed dropper post on my XC bike and was learning when to use it and how to use it for XC. One concern I had was getting my legs tired on the descents. There were 2 major ones. First was 2 mintues in length, but the other was 15 mintues of downhill. Neither needed a dropper, but with the seat down I was faster. But in full race mode with seat down I was also using up more energy which is not good on a 24 hr race. So I learned to lower the seat, to get room to move, but also get comfortable with sitting on it in a lowered position. Even taking a few pedal strokes to maintain speed. I also had or learn to relax with the seat down too. Tensing the legs to takes energy. After a few hours in I used the downhill as coast/no brakes exercises. Not tying to go superfast, but try to conserve energy by coasting, but then not slowing for and turns or rocks. This where the dropper helped lower my CG for the turns and then get very active on the rocks to bash through for 10-15 seconds without slowing.

Point is you need to both learn how to optimized the use of a new tool and also train new muscles around that tool.
 

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Not true. It takes condition like anything else. I did an enduro a couple years back and the first stage was 25 min descent. Dropper down the entire way and man my legs hurt. I did not realize how many micro breaks I was used to taking on the seat that with it dropped did not work out. This is purely a skills/fitness thing however. Skills from the stand point of when to have the seat down and up as well as being able to operate it quickly. Fitness from the standpoint of training those leg muscles more. I did 24 hour solo effort with a newly installed dropper post on my XC bike and was learning when to use it and how to use it for XC. One concern I had was getting my legs tired on the descents. There were 2 major ones. First was 2 mintues in length, but the other was 15 mintues of downhill. Neither needed a dropper, but with the seat down I was faster. But in full race mode with seat down I was also using up more energy which is not good on a 24 hr race. So I learned to lower the seat, to get room to move, but also get comfortable with sitting on it in a lowered position. Even taking a few pedal strokes to maintain speed. I also had or learn to relax with the seat down too. Tensing the legs to takes energy. After a few hours in I used the downhill as coast/no brakes exercises. Not tying to go superfast, but try to conserve energy by coasting, but then not slowing for and turns or rocks. This where the dropper helped lower my CG for the turns and then get very active on the rocks to bash through for 10-15 seconds without slowing.

Point is you need to both learn how to optimized the use of a new tool and also train new muscles around that tool.


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