Pro Triathlete Bike Position: Sebastian Kienle


– New video board at the
pool is absolutely lit! (music) How tight in can we get our elbows without feeling any sort of pinch? – So I should clarify
that Taren didn’t actually pass off to me, he just kept running. (engine whirring) – What’s up trainiacs? In an effort to get more vitamin D as per the last couple weeks, figured I’d come out here. Somebody had mentioned to me just recently that they’re feeling a
little bit sore on the bike. I said is it bike fit, is
it something structural, did they need to be
stronger in a certain area? I don’t know, can’t say from here. But, I thought that talking
about bike fit now that everyone at least that I can think
of, because it’s Winnipeg and we’re outside, so
everyone should be outside, is out on their bikes
and not being bike fit. What I want to show as an example is how Sebastian Kienle probably, what I think is the fastest full Ironman distance pro-triathlete out there right now. How his bike fit looks, and look, we as regular human triathletes
can learn from that. What we’ve got here is footage from Sebastian Kienle in Kona in 2015. I think that was probably his
strongest cycling performance because he dominated the
field, passed everyone, and then got off the bike
and ran really fast, too. So, that says how fresh he was after annihilating the field in the bike. We’ve got some really good close-up slow motion footage here
that I’ll just play through. There’s a couple of things
that we can learn from that, that if you see as you scrub through here, that his shoulders are
rocking back and forth. Now, do you wanna emulate
that as a triathlete? No, you don’t. Why Sebastian can get away with this, and with everything basically that he does and a lot of pro
triathletes do on the bike that we shouldn’t be emulating
is that these men and women are freaks of nature,
they’re more flexible, they’re stronger, their
bodies can recover faster than we can, but we can look
at the things that they do on super-human levels and say alright, they’re generating a lot of power, but… what are the things that
I should be looking for as not to do’s, typically? Because a lot of us aren’t
superhuman freaks of nature. So, as you play this through,
look at how much his shoulders and his entire body is
rocking back and forth. There’s a little bit of
movement from side-to-side. We don’t want that as
triathletes because typically in our core, we aren’t nearly as strong as folks like Sebastian are. We wanna be as steady as we possibly can. So, as you are in a bike fit, make sure that you can stay steady, and you can turn the pedals
over without having to go ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh. This next slow-motion clip
here is a perfect spot to look at the side view of
how a bike should be set up. You can see that at the
bottom of his pedal stroke, Sebastian’s leg is almost
straight, but it’s not quite. You wanna have a little
bit of bend in your leg because if you go
straight and lock it out, you’re losing the fluidity
to pull that pedal back up. You can also see at the
bottom of the pedal stroke… What I want you to look at is how his foot is fairly horizontal to the ground, if you go back and forth. He’s not pointed down,
and he’s not pointed up. The motion that you wanna
think of in your head is as you’re coming to the
bottom of the pedal stroke, it’s kind of like scraping mud
off the front of your foot, and he’s got a perfect mud scrape going on at the bottom of his pedal stroke. As we scrub forward
here, there’s one thing that Sebastian is able to do, that a lot of pro
triathletes even can’t do, that we certainly shouldn’t be thinking that we have to emulate, and
that is his body’s position from the saddle to the handlebars. If you take a look at this, it’s probably, I’m guessing about a
six- to nine-inch drop from the saddle to the handlebars. You can see that over top of the stem that there’s basically no space. No space whatsoever,
and that gets Sebastian extremely aero with his
back going basically, perfectly horizontal and flat, he’s tucked in under the wind. For years, the thought
was aero is everything. The more aero you can get, the better. You would actually have triathletes that would be getting lower than this. They would have handlebars that would bring them down past the top of the stem. What we’ve since learned
is that if you aren’t flexible enough in your
lower back, your glutes, and your hamstrings to get that low. When you get that low,
and you work on being nothing but aero at the
expense of your body, you’re gonna burn out your body. When you hop off your bike, you aren’t gonna be able
to run nearly as well. When somebody more like Jan Frodeno, which we’ll show you later, even he is quite a bit further up,
and what he’s realized is that two things, number one,
the further up he is, the fresher he is for the
run, and the further up he is, the more he can stay tucked
in that tight aero position. He’s actually more aero being higher. That said, we’ll go forward here. The position that Sebastian has got, if you are a superhuman freak of nature, strength-wise and flexibility-wise, he has the exact aero
position that you want. This clip here is from the
Half Ironman World Championship a couple of years before. Sebastian was just breaking out as an unbelievable biker,
and you can see why. He is still, at that point, very very low. His body is right forward on the saddle, and being that far forward on the saddle allows you to put a ton
of power into the pedals. He’s got his hips, basically,
perfectly over his foot where the bottom of the pedal stroke is. That puts you forward on the entire bike, and it opens up your hip angle so that you don’t have
a crotched hip angle, and you’re burning out your glutes more than you are your quads. You want that hip angle
to be as open as possible, like so, at 90 degrees if you can. That’s kind of a neutral quads, glute, hamstring, burnout position. Now here’s Jan Frodeno,
and what you can see that’s different between Jan and Sebastian is that his elbow pads
are raised up quite a bit off the top of the head tube. What that allows them to
do is get his arms in this inward V-shape, so his
elbows are really tucked in. Can we do that as regular triathletes? Typically not, most of us don’t have the shoulder flexibility
to be in that position. But, what we wanna think
about is how tight in can we get our elbows without
feeling any sort of pinch. I’ll tell you that since
this race happened, that Jan has even brought
his body up further. So, you can see from
this photo right here, that both Jan and Sebastian in behind him are tucked in as tight as they can be. Just watch Sebastian
here for a few seconds. It’s just pure power, and granted, we can’t do that as triathletes, but we can take some of the
good aspects of his bike fit and think about how close we can let our bodies get to that
without injuring ’em. Get ’em back as close to
horizontal as you can. Get your arms tucked
in as close as you can. Get your body positioned as far forward on the saddle as you can. Keep your back flat,
without any sort of humps. But, you’ve gotta do it all within your body’s natural abilities. Go any further than your
body’s natural abilities, and you’re gonna be doing it
at the expense of your run. Guaranteed, go to a
professional bike shop. Here ya go, Trainiacs, into
the office for a little bit. This morning was a solid swim with some disco fantabuloso lights that I didn’t know were
coming into the pool. New video board in the pool
is absolutely lit, literally! Yellow kickboard, yes! (bright techno music) Trainiacs, take a look at who this is. – No triathlon Jesse? – Triathlon Teran. – Ugly man? – Very attractive man. – Out of shape. – Stud. – I would still beat the
crap out of you, you mind? – Very pregnant, adorable sister, Cara. Also, no triathlon Cara. – I’ve done, like, a
couple of half marathons. – True, that’s Cam, he’s got
the best beard in the family. – I’ll take it. – It’s family time, it’s their birthdays. So, we’re gonna eat a lot of burgers. (happy music) We’re going to retell the
Gazelle family relay marathon five legs, and there are
five of us in the family. I did the first leg, passed off to Cara. Oh, and then I went to go around a 131. – So, actually clarifying that Teran didn’t actually pass off to me, he just kept running. – Yeah.
– Just passed, yeah. – Yeah, he just passed me. – I passed to you, past you.
– Yeah, I had to as a 180 pound, five-foot-six girl who barely walked down the
block, had to chase him down to get the bib number, and I
got it after a while and then, about five minutes into
running after that, I realized I was with the same people that were running at
the pace that Teran was, and that isn’t a pace that I could run at. So, I quickly felt like
I was tasting pennies. No triathlon Kim sent
me a couple of messages being like, are you done? I was like, no! I was like, how are you Tweeting? Oh, I’m just walking. – Then you passed off to Mom, that went really well (laughing) – Yeah, she was not in the
spot she was supposed to be, she was in the Porta Potty,
and I felt like I was dying for the last hour and a
half because literally, children were passing me and older women in their 80s were passing me. So, when I finally found her, I slammed the bib on her
chest and told her to run! – The next year, we found
out that Laurie was running as soon as she got the bib, and as soon as you got to her
around the corner, stopped. – (laughing) – Walked, strutted, and
then, she could get to where she could see that there
were people cheering again, and then started sprinting towards them. (group laughing) Every single photo of her was like, full-on sprint, feet up
to her bum and (laughing) meanwhile, her six mile time
was like an hour twenty. So, she runs, runs. – Passes it off to this guy. – Mama comes in and
she’s tried her hardest. No, you can see it on her face, she really pumped it
through the entire way. So, I embrace her and it’s
a real heartfelt moment, everybody’s loving it and I grab the bib, and I’m off like a shot ’cause
you know I’m a real athlete. Never trained for these
things, but I run for soccer and play all sorts of
sports, so I’m an athlete. I do this, right? Pumping, going hard.
– You look like an athlete. – Exactly, little doughy,
little doughy now, back then? Fast, so I’m running, I’m
running, I’m running, I’m running. Thinking I’m doing it
well, then I start seeing these mile markers, or
kilometer markers and going I don’t know if I’m doing so well, don’t know if I’m doing so
well, so I’m still pumping, pumping, finally up, seeing
more people, more people. Okay, I’m getting closer, getting closer. I see who I have to pass off
to, I pass it off to my dad. When I get to him, I pass off
to him (nervous breathing). Take couple steps, all hell
broke loose and everywhere… Pasted the tree
(group laughing) – The tree didn’t see it coming. – But hey, I ran, ran hard.
– Wasn’t even a public tree. – In some dude’s front yard.
– Yeah (laughing) – We are a fit bunch trainiacs (laughing) – I’m also pretty sure Barry had just finished his cigarette. (group laughing) – We were very fit in our
younger days, it was one of these (imitating smoking
cigarette) let’s do this. (group laughing) – It was also Barry
crossing the finish line, it’s like a scene in Rocky. – Oh yeah.
(group laughing) Pull a stadium chair up. (group laughing)