So as I get faster, I feel like I have to flex my lats(muscle thats on the side/back under the arm) more through some of the turns at my local track to help with the pressure on my ribs. And if I don’t, I definitley had hit some bumps that have hurt quite a bit. First, is this a normal technique, or the characteristics of improper driver seat set up or wrong seat all together? Im just finding it becoming more and more distracting as my speed increases each week. I also would say I’m fairly conditioned to driving often which is usually every weekend.
You should be snug enough it the seat so that you do not flop around. The more you move and flop the harder it is on the body. Good handling chassis should not need you to lean into the seat.
That said too tight a seat and you will crack a rib. Sit in seat should be snug. you should be able to take a deep breath without feeeling like you are not able to fully breathe
Welcome to the forums @PFox. This topic might give you some pointers as well, both the comfort (Human performance?) and handling aspects are discussed
I got back into karting this year with a TAG kart on a sprint (GoPro) track. As my speed increased I found I was pulling 1.9 G’s on a sweeper (turn 4) and holding
on for dear life with my left elbow raised. WRONG! Eight
weeks later my shoulder healed and I now drive with my
elbows ticked in and a Tillet seat support on the left side.
No faster but no pain.
I think this may help you to read:
We went through a lot of stuff there and how to sit in a kart. If you’re holding on to the wheel so hard you may also want to look at the conditioning stuff. I believe @Trey_Shannon knows a lot on this, but an article is also here that covers some stuff:
Flexing your lats to relieve pressure on your ribs is normal. We are turning 2-3 Gs in the corners, no matter how good your seat fits that’s going to be painful on your ribs unless you brace your body somehow.
Should anyone mention a rib cage protector? It protects, but also improves comfort.
Thanks everyone. I am using the freem rib pads. I don’t have anything to compare them to unfortunately so I’m gonna assume they are good. Lol. I found out the hard way the first time I took my kart on the track and separated 2 ribs. Guess I’m a little paranoid now about breaking them.
Yep, using your lats to protect your ribs is normal. I’m currently working on an article that addresses the topic of building the muscles in your back to protect your ribs. Look for it on here before the end of the month!
@foxgoboy, GoPro is my home track too. Turn 4 is a monster. Not only is it high speed, it starts downhill and finishes uphill, so there’s a good amount of compression as well that increases the steering load. With that said, you shouldn’t have to hang on for dear life. You may want to look into a steering wedge to tilt the wheel a little more upright. I want to say KartSport sells them for like $25. It can make it just a tad easier to steer in the high speed stuff like T4 at GoPro. This is one of the reasons we talk about fitness in karting as well. Might be a good idea to hit the gym and work on some of the areas you feel are struggling. With how karts need to be driven, having good shoulder stability is critical. If you need any help with that, please don’t hesitate to DM me.
And don’t feel too bad about feeling a little woofed after a hard weekend at GoPro. Turn 4 will test even the most fit drivers, especially in high horsepower classes and on sticky rubber.
My neck and back get to their limit by the end of Sunday usually there too.
thanks for the tip on using a steering wedge.
I have seen them for sale and wondered if
they helped. I had some success years past
in a Hartman enduro with front wheel brakes
and a slippy pipe on large tracks. this is a
very different experience requiring an equally
different skill set.
Just wanted to update things in this thread that may or may not help new people that are having this issue. I’ve recently moved to a softer axel(for other reasons) and finally installed my Ribtech flush mount seat bolts and lowered my steering wheel as to straighten my arms a bit. I was having moderate discomfort through corners to the point I was focusing more on my ribs than driving… big distraction for me. This change is night and day! I’m rolling on earlier and longer with very little pressure now. Maybe the standard seat bolts were raised just enough to create a pressure point even with rib pads? Either way I feel so much better now and find my self hitting areas of the track that I had to go around due to too much pain.