2 points on arm position in cycling – #2

July 27, 2011

The second point on arm position comes from Gabriel Rasch. He is the inventor of the Gabba jacket that Castelli developed with the Cervelo TestTeam, a tight-fitting aero rain jacket that works best in the worst conditions. I hear it will be sold in stores in the future too.

Gabriel has the most amazing position on the bike that I have ever seen. I noticed this at the first ever training camp of the Cervelo TestTeam. We went on a ride with sponsors, media, etc and on the way back to the hotel we were riding side-by-side for a long stretch (The only thing I remember more than Gabba’s arms was that the ride ended with a sprint where Gabba dragged me to the front group, at which point I misunderstood his intentions. He slowed down because he knew where the line was, I didn’t so I passed him to circle through and was surprised nobody took over from there. When finally somebody did pass me, it was Thor in full sprint. Suffice to say I was unable to catch that wheel. He never thanked me for the lead-out).

Anyway, the brilliance of Gabba’s position is in his arms. When he rides on the hoods or in the drops, his elbows don’t stick out to the sides at all, his forearms come straight back from the handlebars and straight down from the shoulder (nitpicking trigonometrists will now point out that this would require the bars to be the width of the shoulders, as per the myth I ridiculed in an earlier blog). In fact he twists his elbows inwards. He is not aware of it being anything special, it’s just what his arms do naturally, but try it on your next ride and see what happens when you twist those elbows inward.

Gabriel Rasch on his Cervelo

Not a great example of Gabba's position as he is not on the hoods or in the drops, but a nice shot of the Gabba rain jersey/jacket

7 Responses to “2 points on arm position in cycling – #2”

  1. Michael Wilson of Australia used to do the same thing. I noticed it watching him race the nationals, when i was a young kid.

  2. wisey17 Says:

    Hey, I thought I was the only person in the world who remembers Michael Wilson! Nice! I don’t remember his elbows though.

  3. Martin W Says:

    You’re right Gerard, that *is* unusual: http://flic.kr/p/9jFd8w

  4. Jim Says:

    I THINK my elbows go down instead of out – am semi-conscious of it, but I’m betting it’s not as much as I think it is and they probably do point out, at least some. I would expect many think similarly.

  5. Dale Newnham Says:

    Some guys also bend their knees in close to the top tube while pedaling…I think Cadel did in his TT at the tour. Not sure if it messes with your knees over time but it must be fast…

  6. James Says:

    I tried both of the arm technique tricks on my commute home yesterday. Could hold the elbows bent and turned in for about 2k before my arms really started to burn but it felt fast and low. Going to have to get some better arm strength.

  7. Gerard, is this the difference you are talking about?

Comments & Questions

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: