Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

How To Slam Your Road Bike Stem To Cycle Faster

– Slammed stems look cool. There is simply no escaping it. Whilst we might not all be
able to ride comfortably with our stems slammed, I’m sure many of us
would like to be able to. After all, it gives you
that pro look, doesn’t it? – It does, it’s a statement
of intent that says, “I’m a serious cyclist. “One that’s experienced and
that’s been riding long enough “to develop the requisite
core strength, flexibility, “to be able to ride in an
aerodynamic, aggressive, and faster position.” – So, in this video, we’re
give you some tips and tricks to help you get into a more
aggressive riding position, and check out a new modern saddle tech, courtesy of our friends at Fizik, that allows you to do
so with more comfort. – [Ollie] Yes, a slammed
stem is not for everyone In fact, for most people,
in all likelihood. But if your concerned with speed, it’s probably the optimal position. However, to actually go faster requires a bit of extra knowledge. (metallic stamping sound) (woosh) (bass heavy dance music) – Right, so just in case you’re confused about what we’re going
on about when we say, “slamming your stem” it’s the process of removing
the spaces beneath your stem and then pushing the stem
into its lowest position that it can fit onto on the bike. Now this is something that you often see on pro riders’ bikes and that’s because pros like to get as low at
the front end as possible. This can have an aerodynamic advantage, and it can also lower
your center of gravity, which can help cornering,
and it also looks cool. – It does. Now irrespective of whether you want to slam your stem completely or just lower it a
little, doing so does have the potential to make you faster for free. Check that out Ollie, minus 20 degrees of rise at 120 millimeter length, slammed. – Yeah mine’s, yours is longer than mine. Mine’s just 110 millimeters
long and it’s not quite slammed. I’ve lowered it compared
to what I normally do. I’m going to try to lower today. But I still have a few spaces in there. – You know what I’ve
heard on the internet. You can get completely flat top caps that are just three millimeter thickness if you want to go the full
hog and slam it properly. (dance music) Nothing will do more for
your ability to to maintain areo position than
training in that position and you don’t have to start out by training too quickly either. We recommend a lower intensity and shorter effort to get going. Think of blocks of around five minutes. This will help all your muscles adapt to getting into that home position. (dance music) – [Ollie] Off-the-bike flexibility
exercises can help too, such as stretching, and yoga. And remember, it may be a
question of strengthening muscles rather than trying to increase
their range of movement. (dance music) – Wind tunnel testing has shown that for the majority of riders, having your hands on the
hoods, and not the drops, will present lower frontal
area from your forearms. So aim to get these parallel to the ground and keep your shoulders hunched. (dance music) – All right Ollie? – Yeah, that’s all well and good Chris. I mean, I’m doing everything you’ve said but I’m finding it a bit
uncomfortable to be honest mate. I’m a bit concerned
about the family jewels. – Ooh, dear. Well, Ollie, I’m glad you mentioned this. Because it is indeed a
quite common complaint. Riding in a more aggressive aero position slammed at the front does indeed place a little
more pressure onto the gooch. Or to the more medically minded
amongst you, the perineum. Lucky though, there is a solution, and one that’s often prescribed
by bike fitters worldwide. And that’s the relatively
recent introduction of the short, snubbed nosed saddle. These shorter saddles
enable you to get into a much more comfortable position while slammed on the front of your bike. They’re more stable in the middle and they have a shorter nose which essentially removes
that pressure point. – [Ollie] The channel in the middle that takes care of that pressure relief can be found on all sorts of
different types of saddle. The short nose also does
another very important job. It allows you to move the saddle forwards while still staying within
those pesky UCI rules that stipulate that the nose
of the saddle needs to be at least five centimeters
behind the bottom bracket. That puts the bit of the saddle
you sit on further forwards. I mean, why would you want that? Well, it’s all to do with the hip angle. The theory is that sitting
on a short nosed saddle allows you to rotate your
pelvis further forwards. Which is crucial for
maintaining an open hip angle which allows you to better recruit the most powerful muscle groups, and also recruit them in the
most effective range of motion. Basically, as you lean further forward, you need to shift your bum further forward in order to maintain a
powerful pedaling position. – Whilst this is almost certainly possible on a standard saddle, such as my Arione, it’s almost guaranteed
to be more comfortable on a saddle designed specifically
with that purpose in mind. Not rotating your pelvis will result in a more closed hip angle, it’ll be harder to recruit your glutes, but it can also put more
pressure on your lumbar spine. (chill dance music) Lots of brands do now
have a short-nosed saddle in their range, but today we’ve got the Fizik Vento Argo which I have in my hands
and the Tempo Argo. As you can see the Argo
is noticeably shorter than the saddles Ollie and
I usually use on our bikes, the Fizik Arione. The Vento is tailored more towards races with a dropped nose, a wide
pressure relief channel, and low sprung foam density. – Just a quick note and tip for you. If you’re thinking trying
a short nosed saddle but you’re normally using,
well, a normal length saddle, then a good way to fit it to your bike is to actually measure it from the bars to the back of your existing saddle and replicate that measurement
with the short nosed one. Then begin to move forward. (chill dance music) – Now whilst I do find the look
of a slammed stem appealing, and I’m sure many of
you at home do as well, we are by no means suggesting
you do this at home unless you are 100% confident
in what you are doing. If you are going to slam your stem, test it out first before your commit to cutting the steerer tube because that is something
that you cannot undo. (chill dance music) – Not everyone is bothered about being more aerodynamic on the bike, but if you are, then getting lower and having a more aggressive
position at the front is one of the best things
that you can do to get faster. And you don’t have to go
fully slammed like Chris does. You can lose just one centimeter, go one centimeter lower, or get better and more used
to riding in the drops. Doing both of those things
takes a bit of time to adapt to, but they’re likely to give
you wattage savings that are, well, roughly equal to
a really expensive set of deep section wheels. Both are worthwhile doing and, well, a short-nosed saddle can help. – I think that’s a very
good point Ollie, advice. Also worth pointing out we are physically all very different. And it could well be that
you try slamming your stem and for whatever reason,
you don’t get on with it, discomfort or actual pain. If that’s the case, then you’d be better of putting your bars back up to where they were. You’ll be more powerful and
likely, therefore, faster. – Yeah, now I hope that
you’ve found this video informative and useful, and if you have, then please give it a thumbs up and if you’d like to support the channel, then you can do so by
clicking subscribe down there and also the bell icon too, and let us know in the comments how you’ve got on experimenting
with lower positions and potentially slamming your stem. – And if you’d like to see a video on adjusting your bike stem or headset, click just down there. – That’s going to be useful,
I like that, topical too. – Huh?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *