Earlier this year I spoke about bike set-up, and how handlebars are being placed lower and lower these past half century. Of course evolution doesn’t go that fast, riders today are no more flexible than Merckx was. Rather than “regular” riders trying to get as low as some of today’s pros, it would be better for pros to go higher (like Merckx, not exactly a chopper in his hayday, was he)?
Of course this topic always leads to all sorts of macho nonsense like “slam that stem” and other (sometimes tongue-in-cheek) efforts to look “pro” when you’re not and remove any pleasure from riding a bike. This is not to say that a low position doesn’t work for some, only that people should look for their correct position, not their lowest position, and that in many cases – pro and “regular” – that correct position is higher than people often try to squeeze themselves into.
Recently, somebody commented that apparently I know Cancellara’s position is wrong and somebody should tell him. But it’s not a matter of his position being right or wrong, it’s about the bars being so low you lose the benefit of the drops. If a rider puts his hoods where his lowest comfortable and aero position is, then why not have flat bars?
Don’t take my word for it, just look at the photo and tell me if you see anything odd: