BP4 Shows The Proof is In The Pudding
March 4, 2016
The data in the link(see big orange results button) shows a comparison of ten cyclist using standard “tops” position vs BP4 position. The workloads are identical, performed on a calibrated Velodyne Ergometer using the subjects own bikes. A medical grade SensorMedics Vmax metabolic cart was calibrated before each assessment and used to collect the metabolic data. Each workload was 5 minutes long and is used in the spread sheet below for rider comparisons. The two VO2 test for each rider were performed one week apart at the same time of day using the same training volume and diet for each week prior to testing.
As can plainly be seen, the BP4 position was beneficial for 6 out of the 10 riders in this experiment. This may or may not seem to be a huge win for us, but consider what the position of the rider was. Each participant rode on a flat grade in a lab. No wind, no changes in incline or decline. All we did was change the angle of the hands on the tops. Under those conditions, it was not expected that we would have much of a change in rider physiological response, but as one can see from the tabulated breakdown, 6 of the riders had a better VE and some had a better VO2. A better VO2 from changing hand position? That’s crazy, but it’s true. What is not seen in these results were the riders feedback about how they felt while riding in the BP4 position and the fact that 7 of the riders chose to keep them on their bikes. They rode them for 1 week and decided to abandon all they had ever known for a new innovation that not only delivered more comfort, but in the final analysis, improved performance.
If we now bring this improved performance out into the real world where we have headwinds and hills, the performance can be realized and experienced. We have done aerodynamics testing (ya, I know, I’m sick of the way this term is bandied about with little or no real world value) and we are more aero than any other bar. Why? Simple, we place the rider in an upright position, think VE (ventilatory equivalent) they breath easier and deeper per breath and less of the riders frontal area is presented to the wind. What we discovered over time was that this more upright position, and the fact that the upper body is now in a biomechanically superior position, that the hips are more open, you can sit back farther on the saddle, and the drive and power phase can begin sooner than on the standard tops (not an advantageous position because wrists are over pronated) and to a greater degree the hoods, because the body is more bent over and the hips are closed up. A more open hip position allows for a stronger pressing movement that begins sooner in the revolution. As an example, using a clock to illustrate, I can start start the drive phase at, say, 12:30 and instead of pushing down, I am driving forward. If my hips are more closed up, I have to wait until, say, 2:30 of 3 before I have the ability to engage my pressing muscles to generate the force needed to increase watts.
Since riders have the ability to start the drive force earlier and with more power, the BP4 position, with all things being equal, wins EVERY TIME! And since we can start creating more power earlier, 12:30 versus 2:30 or 3, we can travel farther in the same amount of time. It almost makes riders time travelers. If we had identical twins racing and one was on the BP4 and the other on any standard bar, the BP4 twin would finish first and then go back to tell the other twin what it was like in the future. I make light of these facts, but they are all true. Better aerodynamic position, longer and more powerful drive phase and and how that translates into climbing like a mountain goat and no one, and I mean NO ONE can match our performance. I hope I have made myself clear and you have a full understanding of what has, and what will continue to happen, in the world of better cycling performance. You have a clear choice to make, ride the same or ride better. Which twin do you want to be?