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Hey all ! I have noticed that all the serious riders and racers have that perfect Veed- out flair in their arms/elbows when they are riding. When I had a bike fit done I was told that the rider has to really put a lot of effort into keeping a bend in the elbows. I have a bad habit of locking up my arms only because they won't naturally fall into a bent posistion. I have stayed in a fairly conservative stance ( seat level with bars, 100mm stem 6degree rise on an Anthem, knees 2cms behind the spindles) due to the fact that I ride a lot of tech and steep terrain. Anyways back to the problem. The locked out arms causes undue shoulder and neck pressure plus it looks lame. I tired a 90 mm stem but that made the situation worse. The 100mm feels pretty good overall but ai am wondering if going out further say 110mm may do the trick. Then again conventional wisdom dictates that a bend in the arms will be easier maintained by bringing the arms in not out. Also, the pros don't look like they have to work at keeping their arms bent. It looks like a darn good bike fit. But how does one achieve this? I want this position :D Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I'd say try the longer stem, it can't hurt to buy a cheapie to give it a try. On the bend in the arms I believe that it's muscle memory for them, just like unclipping becomes for most after a while. Like unclipping from clipless pedals though, it's something that has to have a conscious effort put in at the beginning when you're first trying to learn and then it just happens as time progresses. As for how it looks who really give a sh1t what anyone else thinks once it's comfortable to you. For me too it's a very big effort, but as soon as I do it I can feel the tension ease out of my neck and upper back - happens mostly on the road or long smooth sections of trail.
 

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Chances are your seat isnt up high enough. Try it higher. As your posterior goes higher, your upper body leans forward, thus creating less distance from your shoulders to the bars and you have.....bent arms. A rough rule of thumb is your seat should be no higher than a fist above the plane your bars are on. Obviously, this is assuming that your leg isnt almost straight when your pedal stroke is at the 6 o'clock position. Good luck!
 

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rocdog said:
I was told that the rider has to really put a lot of effort into keeping a bend in the elbows.
I question that advice. Under moderate to heavy effort, the upper body should be in a balanced position with the bars placed to provide a slight bend in the elbow and a comfortable upper body position.

If you are locking your arms to support your weight, then the fit needs work. Several things can cause too much forward weight:
1. Seat fore/aft.
2. too much reach (stem length, bar height, top tube length).
3. Core strength not supporting upper body.
4. Seat tilt.

Assuming correct saddle height, the first thing I'd check is seat tilt, and try tilting the nose up to a point that its uncomfortable, and then back it down a touch. If the nose is down, it will cause you to slide forward and make your arms support your body rather then the seat. Put your bike in a stationary trainer, make sure the two wheels are level with each other, and tweak on the seat tilt until its just right.

If that doesn't fix it then look at seat fore/aft and reach. Knee behind pedal spindle 2cm is a good starting point. You could try moving the seat back 1cm and putting that shorter stem on just for a test, it could adjust the balance just right.

Try a balance test while its still in the trainer. Get on the bike and put it in a moderately hard gear (like an effort you'd use for cruising at a fast speed across the flats). Start pedaling and see if you can remove your hands from the bars. Do you fall forward? Do you need to lift your upper body up and back to prevent from falling forward? Or can you maintain the same upper body position?

If you can hold hold your upper body position pretty solid for say 3,4,5 seconds, then I'd say your seat fore/aft and reach are probably pretty good. If thats the case, then practice relaxing your arms and letting your upper body lean forward a bit more. When crusing at slow speed, you'll need to use your arms more for support. At moderate to harder speeds, you should be able to relax your upper body and arms, with your elbows slightly bent (the force on the pedals will work to hold your upper body up, if your properly balanced on the seat for your core strength and reach).

If all this does nothing, then I'd look at top tube length, could it be too long?

Setting up MTB fit is tedious work finding the perfect balance of comfort, power, and balance/center of gravity for best handling and performance. It may take a while!

Some things to add to the mix anyway!
 

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Arms bent or straight...if there is a lot of weight being placed on your hands you will fatique. The reason the good riders can/do ride like that for a long period of time is that there is relatively little weight on their hands while they are pedaling. They are pushing so hard that they are putting most of their weight down in to the pedals and not to the bars.

It may not be a matter of bike fit, just fitness.
 

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You could take all these DIY considerations and try to figure this out yourself at the cost of purchasing various stems/posts/bars which may or may not achieve the results you are looking for.

Or you can visit a professional Wobble-Naught dealer and pay a single time with the confidence that your position & technique are optimal in regards to both effectiveness and efficiency.

Eddie O
 

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Zook7 said:
Chances are your seat isnt up high enough. Try it higher. As your posterior goes higher, your upper body leans forward, thus creating less distance from your shoulders to the bars and you have.....bent arms. A rough rule of thumb is your seat should be no higher than a fist above the plane your bars are on. Obviously, this is assuming that your leg isnt almost straight when your pedal stroke is at the 6 o'clock position. Good luck!
Saddle position is determined by the relation of your saddle to the pedals, not the bars. Bars can be adjusted according to saddle position but not the other way around.
 
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