I posted just below about Lance’s new TT position, which to me looks far superior to any of his positions in recent memory.

Lance looking like a human airfoil at Murcia

Lance looking like a human airfoil at Murcia (Bosco Martin photo)

Let’s look at a few shots of Lance’s ever-changing TT profile:

2001 TT training. Low and flat but slack seat angle = very tight hip angle and knees hitting chest

2001 TT training. Low and flat but slack seat angle = very tight hip angle and knees hitting chest


2004 TDF. Using extended reach to lower torso and shoulders

2004 TDF. Using extended reach to lower torso and shoulders


2005 TDF. Shorter reach, more upright torso, probably in an attempt to generate more power via improved hip angle

2005 TDF. Shorter reach, more upright torso, probably in an attempt to generate more power via improved hip angle


Wind tunnel 2008. Surely trying to find best combo of power output and low drag. This would be a great app for the TTFitBike - his position could be changed via remote control and drag and power output monitored continuously.

Wind tunnel 2008. Surely trying to find best combo of power output and low drag. This would be a great app for the TTFitBike - his position could be changed via remote control and drag and power output monitored continuously.


2009 Tour of CA - less drop, more upright torso. Doesn't look very aero.

2009 Tour of CA - less drop, more upright torso. Doesn't look very aero.


2009 TDF

2009 TDF


Last week, warming up for 8th place finish at Murcia. Steep seat angle thanks to his new Adamo road saddle (see below), vertical upper arms, lots of drop, flat torso angle.

Last week, warming up for 8th place finish at Murcia. Steep seat angle thanks to his new Adamo road saddle (see below), vertical upper arms, flat torso angle.

The most dramatic difference between Lance’s new TT position and his previous ones is a far steeper effective seat angle, as illustrated in this video:

Because the UCI mandates that the saddle nose must be 5cm behind the bottom bracket, the only way Pro Tour riders can get steep on a conventional saddle is to ride the nose, which they typically do. But Lance has instead chosen an Adamo Road saddle to achieve the steep angle more effectively. In the picture below we can see an Adamo lined up next to a conventional saddle.

Adamo race saddle lined up with a conventional saddle in approximately equivalent position

Adamo race saddle lined up with a conventional saddle in approximately equivalent position

Note that the position of a saddle’s “wings” largely determines the rider’s natural seating position. When you line up the wings of an Adamo with a conventional saddle, you notice that the nose of the Adamo is a good 5cm shorter. Therefore when Lance sets his Adamo at the 5cm behind the BB UCI limit, he effectively matches the position of a conventional saddle with its nose directly over the BB or even slightly ahead of it (a common triathlon position). At a typical saddle height of 74cm (rough estimate of Lance’s saddle height), the effective seat angle of a conventional saddle set 5cm behind the BB is approximately 74 degrees (as measured through the center of the saddle rails). With his Adamo he can obtain an effective seat angle of about 78 degrees. Note that the 5cm rule handicaps smaller riders more. At 5cm behind the BB with a 68 cm saddle height and a conventional saddle, the rider has an effective seat angle of about 72 degrees. An Adamo would at least bring such a rider up to about 76 degrees.

Lance finished 8th at the Murcia TT. It will be very interesting to see if he sticks with this new position, and how his results progress as he comes into form.

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