Q: I'm not generating power at 3 o'clock on my pedal stroke? What can I do?
A: Check your butt and low back position on the bike. First, sit firmly on your saddle with your "sit bones" with an "easy" natural curve in your low back. Don't arch or press your stomach downward towards the top tube.
Feeling the small curve in your back, place your hands in the highest position on your handlebars—on the brackholds or elbow pads of aero bards.
More: 3 Steps to a Faster Bike Split
Holding your back and pelvic position, gradually reach for the next lowest position with one hand. Move your right hand to the right brake brakehood. As you lower your hand position, your mid back will naturally curve but do not simultaneously release or roll your pelvis, nor put your low back in a kyphotic (rounded) position.
Now move your left hand to the next lower position. Keep moving one hand at a time until you are at the lowest position either in the drops or aero bars.
This position is the strongest position to generate power from your largest muscle group—the glutes—which will ultimately help generate more power in the 3 o'clock position of your pedal stroke.
More: A Breakdown of the Cycling Pedal Stroke
Try This Drill
Sit on the edge of a chair, feet spread at pedal width. Set your pelvis and low back as described above and holding your hands forward as if they are bars on your bike. Now stand up. This should be easy. Try several chair squats to feel the proper position.
Now try this with a rounded lower back. Any success? Some of you may find that you cannot get up without swinging your arms or pushing off your chair. Notice the strength difference between the two positions, then give it a try during your next bike session.
More: Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Cycling Pace
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