If you are riding a TT bike then using the outer bars and not the TT bars is far safer and actually faster given that you can stear better, whilst still being aerodynamic. Leaning the bike into the turns and applying brakes before the bend to prevent skidding. There are a variety of positions that you will see in the Tour de France, but take care and practice and use what suits you. Sliding your body further back on the saddle and getting more aero will help increase and maintain your speed. But always descend within your own capability. Races are not won on descents.
Given that you are climbing and your speed will be relatively lower than level ground body position is more akin to being comfortable more as opposed to being super aerodynamic. Pulling your arms back slightly and opening up the chest to breath easier. Seated climbing is most efficient but if the climb is long getting out of the saddle to stretch your body is beneficial. If the climb is relatively short and sharp and its in a road race then, riding out of the saddle increasing your effort would be advisable.
Position on level ground:
- Your back must be parallel to the road and fairly straight.
- Your shoulders and elbows should be pulled in, owing to the TT handlebars.
- Your head should be slightly raised in order to see where you are going, whilst opening up the chest
- Your knees will be pulled in, lightly brushing the bicycle frame when you are pedalling.
Basic cycling Technique:
- Pedalling must always be "circular" whether you are sitting on the saddle or standing on the pedals. In other words, the effort must always be perpendicular to the pedal cranks.
- The pedalling speed depends on your temperament, your natural characteristics and the slope. Nevertheless, I would advise fast pedalling (high rpm) motion as this helps you save your strength for climbing or sprinting or for the running element if a triathlon.
- Adjust the gear ratio on your bike according to the pedalling speed that suits you, rather than the other way round.
Importance of Technique: - By improving your technique, you can gain time without any additional effort.
- It generally takes much longer to improve your physical fitness than to improve your technique. Good technique is more efficient.
Important Laws of Physics Governing Cycling Performances:
- The motion of a triathlete on a bicycle is affected by the following forces: ground adhesion, air resistance, friction and pedalling force.
- Ground adhesion ensures that you do not skid at a standstill instead of moving forwards and helps to prevent you falling in bends.
- All the other forces tend to cancel each other out. The pedalling force is opposed by air resistance and friction.
- Air resistance depends on the riders aerodynamics and increases exponentially with your speed.
- Friction depends on your equipment (quality, cleanliness, lubrication) and on your pedalling style. Indeed, only the effort applied perpendicularly to the pedal cranks generates forward motion. The rest is absorbed by the bicycle.
- Pedalling force is limited by the riders physical condition.
- The triathlete's aerodynamics depends on morphological characteristics and, above all, on his or her position on the bicycle.