BP4 Shows The Proof is In The Pudding
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…Read More
BP4 Handlebars Asks, Does Better Climbing Matter?
You’re damn right climbing matters. Look how many great races have been won on grueling days in the Alps and other rigorous areas. This years Vuelta (2015) was decided on a mountain stage. Fabio Aru was a minute behind going into stage 20 of this years edition and made up that time, and more, on where? You guessed it, a mountain stage. The mountain stages are where the real metal of a rider is pushed to the limits and often it is not WHO is the best rider, but who can stand the most punishment. There are many factors that go into what kind of day a rider will have on race day. These factors include nutrition, hydration, equipment(the right equipment, but I’ll get to that later), mental state, conditioning, and the list goes on. If all of the factors were even(crazy idea to think so, but go with me on this) what could make such a glaring difference that, with all things being equal, you could win every time. What the hell did I just say? Hold your horses, I’ll get to that. In the last few decades there have been some amazing changes in bike components and positioning. It seems today that everything is about being “aero”, and that is a good thing right? Well, not always. There is a point when too much emphasis is placed on “cuuting” through the wind better than the next guy. This all well and good until “power starts to get sacrificed…Read More
BP4 Design Handlebars-Fixing A Century Old Problem
You know when you see the same thing over and over and you know there is an answer to the problem? I see it on the roads. I see that in these photos. Do you see it? I made it real easy. Just look for the arrows. Do you recognize what’s going on here? If not, let me lay it out for you. There are over 7 billion people on this planet and we all have the same basic body. When you stand with your arms next to our sides, what do you see? What you see is your hands rotated in at about a 45 degree angle. Now look at the arrows again. What is plainly obvious is the riders hands are naturally rotating to our anatomically correct position, but the bars are straight and do not support a natural hand position. All 3 photos were taken on various climbs to demonstrate when working hard on any climb, the body wants to be in it’s most effective and natural position. Up until the beginning of 2015, cyclists did not have a remedy for this apparent over sight in handlebar design. Well, fortunately for all cyclists the world over, there is finally an answer to a very old problem. The answer is the BP4 Handlebar designed and manufactured by BP4 Design. I’m really going to connect the dots for you now. Scroll down to the 4th photo(sans arrows) and you can easily see what we did to the shape. Yes,…Read More
BP4 Design Rider of the Month-Stan Achey
There are those out there in the world of sports that are always looking for equipment, supplements and training methods that can make them perform better. When it comes to equipment, I find that cyclists are what you might call “traditionalists”. It can be a hard nut to crack to get riders to adopt something that looks a little different from what they are used to, even though that change can create so much added benefit to performance that looking a little “different” can be a real mental hurdle to over come. This month we would like to give our first ever “rider of the month” shout out to Stan Achey of Vermont. Stan found BP4 online and called to see if we could ship as soon as possible. It didn’t matter to Stan that there were 4 feet of snow in his front yard and a full 8 weeks before he would be able to take them out for some great riding. It took him a few tries to get them dialed in to suit his style, but once he did the KOM’s started coming fast and furious. Did I forget to mention that Stan is 75 years old and a masters criterium champion? Here is a little note he sent to tell us how things are going with his BP4 handlebars. Hi Rich, It is now beautiful here in Vt. It’s taken me awhile to adjust the new bars. I finally installed a Ritchey adjustable stem and raised…Read More
Are Road Cycling Handlebars Aerodynamic?
To be aerodynamic or not aerodynamic, that is the question: That is a very good question. The industry would like to think so, but the bottom line is that handlebars are NOT aerodynamic, you are, or you should be. Let’s take a look at how this all got started shall we. Bike companies are always trying to improve how fast a human can move through space. They do this by tweeking the tubes of bikes, use different shaped spokes, cool pointy helmets, water bottle cages etc. All this to make you, the rider, cut through the air like a hot knife through butter. These can all add up to improved speed and reduced times, especially for racing, but they do not address the main factor in getting aero, and that is you, the rider. When we look at how we are on the bike, there are 3 points of contact, the seat, pedals and handlebars. What I have seen over the years are innovations in pedal technology for comfort and function (no improvements in aero here), and the seat just needs to be as comfy as possible. You know where I haven’t seen any work done? You guessed it, the handlebars. Why is that? All this wind tunnel testing to decrease the drag coefficient, did I mention they do most of this testing without a rider? But I digress. The last big change was when Greg LaMond used aero bars to win the Tour De France, he came out of…Read More
What Are The Best Handlebars For Climbing?
So, you want to know about the best handlebars for climbing. Lucky for you, you found this article. I will go through what you should look for when finding the right handlebars to help you climb like a mountain goat. For the better part of a century, road cycling handlebars have not made much headway in giving you, the rider, the best of all worlds when it comes to differing conditions and situations. Let me explain. The real estate that all bars provide are the tops, the hoods and the drops. These 3 positions, up until now, have been what you got to choose from to ride uphill, downhill, headwind and any combination of those situations. So, what are you looking for when it comes to climbing? A biomechanically correct position, that’s what you are looking for. I have been riding for over 30 years and I can tell you from experience that I didn’t know what I was missing, position wise, until I got what I was missing. Well, that sounds confusing! Since all bars give you the same standard positions, you either used the tops and the hoods as your “go to” positions. There is a problem with that. The tops are not comfortable (admit it) because they are flat and twist(over pronate) the wrists, thus causing you to bring muscles into the effort that don’t belong, like the pectoralis major, minor and deltoids. This added added workload takes energy away from where it needs to go (the…Read More
Climb Like A Mountain Goat With BP4
It’s been about a century since a fundamental change has been applied to the road handlebar. Wasn’t it about time!Read More