The Perfect Hold
How do I hold the extensions? We get asked this question a lot and grip technique is a key piece of feedback that’s often required for athletes optimising their time trial position.
Why is this important? For the UCI athlete ….
There are two main rules that impact on position quality for a UCI compliant position: the maximum height of the extensions (height gain) and the maximum length of the extensions. If you want to make the most of your position within the UCI rules, then you need to learn how to hold your extensions, maximising both height and length.
Why is this important? For all athletes ….
Employing the correct grip technique ensures you are achieving a true high-hands position, in a consistent manner. Position consistency is vital for achieving optimal aerodynamic performance. In any race or training scenario, you don’t want to be occasionally aero, you want to be aero the whole time you are in your time trial position.
How should I hold my extensions?
It starts with the number of fingers you use to clasp the extensions (for Shimano users, the shifter body is the end of your extension). Three fingers is a good start, with your thumb and index finger at the very front of the extensions.
For the UCI performer looking to push the limits of height and length, it’s common practice to only use two fingers to clasp the extensions.
For the triathlete, where there are no rules dictating the length of the bike, it’s easy to achieve a four finger clasp. However, make sure that there is no exposed extension/grip beyond the front of the hand. This is a tell-tale sign that the optimal length has not been set.
The second key consideration with grip technique is the action employed at the wrist. We always encourage light ulnar deviation (cocking the wrists up slightly), flattening the hands and emphasising the inclination (angle) of the forearm.
Thanks to the angulation of the forearm (elbow flexion), this technique is easily performed and assists in “locking you in position”, effectively pulling the forearm into the arm cup. When performed correctly, this technique also assists in narrowing the shoulders, a vital characteristic for improving aerodynamic performance.
Want to read more on this? You can access one of our prior blog posts here.
Optimising your position
Position optimisation requires attention to product selection and setup as well as the techniques employed by the athlete. With time trial position optimisation, every detail matters. The Project 0.2 ecosystem has been designed to provide athletes with a well-supported high-hands time trial position, improving both comfort and aerodynamic performance. As the athlete using the Project 0.2 ecosystem, taking full advantage of the high-hands position requires attention to these vital grip techniques.
Images by Aaron Upson (@aaronupson) and Gene Kehoe (@sunlytstudios)
Featured athletes are Jordy Villani (Subaru-AnchorPoint Cycling) and Nathan Shearer
Words by Ken Ballhause of Sync Ergonomics