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Saddle positioning, shortening stem, help me!

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Saddle positioning, shortening stem, help me!

Old 04-26-20, 02:11 PM
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SlvrDragon50
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Saddle positioning, shortening stem, help me!

I've got a new bike trainer which has made fitting my bike way easier. Unfortunately, this also results in a lot of uncomfortable riding, and I'm kind of at a loss with how to progress. What I have done:
  1. Raise saddle to 28.5" from the crank spindle using inseam measurement.
  2. Lowered saddle tilt angle to 3 degrees.
Problems:
  1. I constantly feel like I'm going to slide forward. I am having to put a lot of pressure on the bars. I've read this guide which was a nice explanation of everything. But there is absolutely no way I can do this:
  2. Pretty much guaranteed as soon as I take my hands off the bars, I will fall forward unless I am sitting straight up.
  3. KOPS also seems pretty much impossible for me. I have my saddle slammed all the way forward. I'm not sure if I'm just like sitting on the saddle wrong or something, but even with the saddle all the way forward, my knee is barely over the pedal spindle.
  4. My left knee has also started having pain on the superior and anterior portion since messing with the saddle. My ischial tuberosities also hurt like crazy even with pads.
What I am thinking of doing:
  1. Going from my 25mm setback seatpost to a 0 setback seatpost.
    1. Possibly going from a 100mm stem to a 90mm stem. Or raising the handlebars up to the top of the headset.
  2. Lowering my saddle. Uploading a video currently, but it looks like it might be a bit too high as my foot appears to be plantarflexed at the bottom of the stroke for maximum reach. But I think this might also be due to not feeling stable on the saddle?
  3. Going back up to >8 degrees of angle tilt? From everything I've read, this should be absolutely destroying my crotch, but it's so much more comfortable.
  4. Possibly looking at a different saddle.
Video:
0:00 - 0:42: warming up
0:42 - 1:12: 10-15 minutes in
1:12 - end: cadence ramp up
https://vimeo.com/412095292
Attached Files
File Type: pdf
bike-set-up-2017a.pdf (1.73 MB, 10 views)

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Old 04-26-20, 07:39 PM
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Old 04-26-20, 07:43 PM
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Your saddle is probably too high and too far forward. Can you rotate the crank with your heels on the pedals or do they come off at the bottom? Rotate your pelvis forward so weight is evenly distributed between the ischial tuberosities and ramus. Set your cleats all the way back if you can adjust them. What's your saddle nose-to-center-of-bottom-bracket measurement? Saddle setback should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-90mm. As you lower the saddle it requires increased setback by a corresponding amount. Pressure on your perineum indicates you need more saddle tilt and/or a lower saddle.

Last edited by duckhuntr; 04-26-20 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 04-26-20, 07:46 PM
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I would "cheat" and slide way way back on the saddle, so far your butt is hanging off the back an inch or two, and see how that feels. Doesn't have to be a position you can comfortably pedal in. Should give an indication of you're adjusting in the right direction or not.
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Old 04-26-20, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by duckhuntr View Post
Your saddle is probably too high and too far forward. Can you rotate the crank with your heels on the pedals or do they come off at the bottom? Rotate your pelvis forward so weight is evenly distributed between the ischial tuberosities and ramus. Set your cleats all the way back if you can adjust them. What's your saddle nose-to-center-of-bottom-bracket measurement? Saddle setback should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-90mm. As you lower the saddle it needs increased setback by a corresponding amount.
I can rotate the crank with my heels on the pedal, but it does feel a bit too high as I don't have the same amount of leverage at the bottom.

Saddle nose to center of BB is ~698.5mm (27.5 inches)

I am kinda getting what you mean about the ramus. I think with the way my saddle is set up now, I was sitting too much on the ramus which was giving me a lot of pain. Previously, I was able to sit more on the tuberosities. Also saddle tilt, am I correct to assume you mean positive tilt?

Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I would "cheat" and slide way way back on the saddle, so far your butt is hanging off the back an inch or two, and see how that feels. Doesn't have to be a position you can comfortably pedal in. Should give an indication of you're adjusting in the right direction or not.
So if I slide way back, I definitely feel more comfortable in that I don't feel like I'm going to fall off. I definitely cannot pedal as I am way too far from the pedals now, and my knee is probably a good 20-30mm from the pedal spindle.

Should I just throw away KOPS?

Last edited by SlvrDragon50; 04-26-20 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 04-26-20, 10:53 PM
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Saddle setback is measured by dangling a weight from a string that extends from the tip of the saddle down and over your front derailleur behind the bottom bracket. On a flat surface (not a driveway or garage floor) you then measure the distance of that string from the center of the bottom bracket. Typical setback measurement is around 80 plus or minus 10mm.

Yeah tilt the front of the saddle down a few degrees to relieve pressure on your perineum and to equalize the distribution of weight between your pubis-ramus bone and sit bones. Then you can tilt forward with your pelvis so your lower back will be straight instead of rounded. That gives you additional reach and it's more comfortable over extended time. It sounds like you'll have to lower the saddle and move it back a bit, maybe 10/10mm or more.

I would ignore KOPS.

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Old 04-27-20, 05:06 AM
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So if I slide way back, I definitely feel more comfortable in that I don't feel like I'm going to fall off. I definitely cannot pedal as I am way too far from the pedals now, and my knee is probably a good 20-30mm from the pedal spindle.

Should I just throw away KOPS?
Yes, it's just a starting point anyway.

Like the guy in the pic, you want as much as your body mass as possible, to be centered directly over that pedal / bottom bracket as you begin to push down. That way, your are putting your center of gravity right above pedals, at the moment when you start applying power.



I would keep sliding the saddle fore and aft until you can get your weight directly above the bottom bracket like this guy. This is how you want to be positioned to apply maximum power on the downstroke. THEN start worrying about stem length, saddle height, etc.

This ought to be the starting point of any fitting.

Last edited by Lemond1985; 04-27-20 at 05:09 AM.
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Old 04-27-20, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by duckhuntr View Post
Saddle setback is measured by dangling a weight from a string that extends from the tip of the saddle down and over your front derailleur behind the bottom bracket. On a flat surface (not a driveway or garage floor) you then measure the distance of that string from the center of the bottom bracket. Typical setback measurement is around 80 plus or minus 10mm.

Yeah tilt the front of the saddle down a few degrees to relieve pressure on your perineum and to equalize the distribution of weight between your pubis-ramus bone and sit bones. Then you can tilt forward with your pelvis so your lower back will be straight instead of rounded. That gives you additional reach and it's more comfortable over extended time. It sounds like you'll have to lower the saddle and move it back a bit, maybe 10/10mm or more.

I would ignore KOPS.
Ok, here's where my saddle nose is relative to the bottom bracket with the saddle slammed all the way forward.


So this is suggesting that I need to probably lower my seat a good bit to get the saddle nose a good bit more forward.
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Old 04-27-20, 11:24 AM
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There seems to be a communication problem here. So: Level your saddle, then move it back until you can take your hands off the bars like the guy in the photo or at least almost being able to do this. Move it back as far as it takes. AFTER your butt is moved back so you're well balanced, then apply the heel-on-pedal measuring technique to establish saddle height, leaving the saddle in the fore-and-aft position you have already established. After that, recheck for balance. Then worry about saddle tilt. Changing saddle tilt may or may not affect saddle height. Check with the heel-on-pedal measurement technique to see.

Here's a simple list of how-to-do-it, in order::
https://www.bikeforums.net/21296948-post3.html

After you've done all this, check to see where your seatpost clamp is on your saddle rails. If it's very far from the center of the rails, you'll need a setback seatpost to avoid possibly breaking a rail sometime down the road. If your seatpost already has setback, you may need one with more.

Ignore any measurements other than those taken with your body. IOW ignore KOPS and saddle position vs. BB. You adjust your bike to fit you.
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Old 04-27-20, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
There seems to be a communication problem here. So: Level your saddle, then move it back until you can take your hands off the bars like the guy in the photo or at least almost being able to do this. Move it back as far as it takes. AFTER your butt is moved back so you're well balanced, then apply the heel-on-pedal measuring technique to establish saddle height, leaving the saddle in the fore-and-aft position you have already established. After that, recheck for balance. Then worry about saddle tilt. Changing saddle tilt may or may not affect saddle height. Check with the heel-on-pedal measurement technique to see.

Here's a simple list of how-to-do-it, in order::
https://www.bikeforums.net/21296948-post3.html

After you've done all this, check to see where your seatpost clamp is on your saddle rails. If it's very far from the center of the rails, you'll need a setback seatpost to avoid possibly breaking a rail sometime down the road. If your seatpost already has setback, you may need one with more.

Ignore any measurements other than those taken with your body. IOW ignore KOPS and saddle position vs. BB. You adjust your bike to fit you.
Gotcha, I definitely was doing it out of order. I don't know why all the other guides I was looking at said to set saddle height first then start messing with the saddle positioning/angle.
So for that photo where I put my hands behind my back, am I correct in assuming this should be a static hold with relatively little muscle use? In my current saddle position I can maintain the position, but I am pressing quite hard on the pedals, and it's definitely a core workout.
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Old 04-27-20, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
Gotcha, I definitely was doing it out of order. I don't know why all the other guides I was looking at said to set saddle height first then start messing with the saddle positioning/angle.
So for that photo where I put my hands behind my back, am I correct in assuming this should be a static hold with relatively little muscle use? In my current saddle position I can maintain the position, but I am pressing quite hard on the pedals, and it's definitely a core workout.
The "light hands" idea is that while you are pedaling normally, you should be able to lift both hands off the bars without sliding forward and while still pedaling. Certainly some core is involved because that's all that's supporting the torso. However the key word is "briefly". OTOH, one should be able to lift either hand off with no problem for longer periods and without losing position. (sorry folks, I'm posting this thing again.) This rider's fit is, IMO, perfect.
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Old 04-27-20, 04:22 PM
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Some good advice here. Subscribing to see what happens when you follow it.

Don’t expect pedaling to feel exactly the same when you move your saddle back and low. As long as you pass all the checks for a good fit (no hands, no reaching, soft bend in the knee etc) give yourself some time to adapt to that new position.

Last edited by smashndash; 04-27-20 at 04:25 PM.
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Old 04-27-20, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The "light hands" idea is that while you are pedaling normally, you should be able to lift both hands off the bars without sliding forward and while still pedaling. Certainly some core is involved because that's all that's supporting the torso. However the key word is "briefly". OTOH, one should be able to lift either hand off with no problem for longer periods and without losing position. (sorry folks, I'm posting this thing again.) This rider's fit is, IMO, perfect.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z04uoO7U_SA
Okay, I totally get what you're saying now. I slammed the saddle all the way back, and I am finding it much easier to keep my torso up. Before, I was way too far forward and had raised the saddle so my knees weren't kicking my chest. So now I guess where I am a little unsure is my butt's position on the saddle. When I watch that video, it looks like she's quite far forward on her saddle. I can hold and pedal for maybe 2-3 seconds before I need to grab the bars again. Though, if I am keeping my torso at like 30-40 degrees like in the photo, I can keep my body up much longer. I am guessing this part is now more a matter of fitness?

This is where my saddle is at now.


I did just measure my saddle and my sit bones, and the saddle should in theory be a good fit for me. So I think if it's okay to be performing the no hands test with my torso at like 30-40 degrees, the current setback is good, but if I should be able to maintain like 10 degrees, then I likely need more setback.
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Old 04-27-20, 09:22 PM
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Torso angle mostly depends on the bike's proportions. Most folks ride with maybe 10°-15° of elbow bend. Actually most folks ride straight-armed, but that's not how it's supposed to be. The elbow bend is to absorb shock. So however that works with your bike is how it should be.

Exactly where one sits on a saddle depends on the rider, the saddle, the terrain, and the intensity of the effort. I wouldn't worry too much about it now. Just ride. As you accumulate hours on the bike, your ideas of what your fit should feel like will change. Just keep coming back to those basics of balance, leg extension, and bar position. One's ideas of what's correct for oneself in all these categories normally changes with time, even decades of it. I carry an allen wrench in a jersey pocket when I'm in your position and never worry about stopping to fiddle with something. Keep fiddling until it feels right.

Where one sits normally on the saddle can vary and is the reason for the heel-on-pedal idea of saddle height. Ideally, one should be able to pedal very slowly, heels on pedals, with the leg going completely straight at the bottom of the stroke, yet not losing contact with the pedal or rocking the pelvis. That's usually about right, but "about" is a meaningful word there. Saddle height adjustment from that point is a matter of millimeters up or down until the pedaling action feels smooth and strong.
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Old 04-27-20, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Torso angle mostly depends on the bike's proportions. Most folks ride with maybe 10°-15° of elbow bend. Actually most folks ride straight-armed, but that's not how it's supposed to be. The elbow bend is to absorb shock. So however that works with your bike is how it should be.

Exactly where one sits on a saddle depends on the rider, the saddle, the terrain, and the intensity of the effort. I wouldn't worry too much about it now. Just ride. As you accumulate hours on the bike, your ideas of what your fit should feel like will change. Just keep coming back to those basics of balance, leg extension, and bar position. One's ideas of what's correct for oneself in all these categories normally changes with time, even decades of it. I carry an allen wrench in a jersey pocket when I'm in your position and never worry about stopping to fiddle with something. Keep fiddling until it feels right.

Where one sits normally on the saddle can vary and is the reason for the heel-on-pedal idea of saddle height. Ideally, one should be able to pedal very slowly, heels on pedals, with the leg going completely straight at the bottom of the stroke, yet not losing contact with the pedal or rocking the pelvis. That's usually about right, but "about" is a meaningful word there. Saddle height adjustment from that point is a matter of millimeters up or down until the pedaling action feels smooth and strong.
Gotcha! I'm only biking indoors on the trainer so at least adjustment is super easy for me. Also probably why I don't care much for the aero position as when I bike around town, it's more of a leisure thing.
I think part of the thing that is frustrating me the most with adjusting the saddle is the Ritchey 2 Bolt seatpost I have is absolutely awful for making small adjustments to the saddle. I am really thinking about getting a new seatpost just for a better clamping system to make these adjustments. I am glad that I delayed the purchase since now I know I do need a seatpost with setback rather than 0 offset. Time to sit on eBay and hunt down a Thomson Elite!
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Old 04-28-20, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
Gotcha! I'm only biking indoors on the trainer so at least adjustment is super easy for me. Also probably why I don't care much for the aero position as when I bike around town, it's more of a leisure thing.
I think part of the thing that is frustrating me the most with adjusting the saddle is the Ritchey 2 Bolt seatpost I have is absolutely awful for making small adjustments to the saddle. I am really thinking about getting a new seatpost just for a better clamping system to make these adjustments. I am glad that I delayed the purchase since now I know I do need a seatpost with setback rather than 0 offset. Time to sit on eBay and hunt down a Thomson Elite!
The standard road position is also about comfort: the less upright the torso, the better it absorbs shocks. Our backs don't like compression loads, but tolerate bending loads just fine. That said, riding around in town, the higher your head, the better the visibility, comfort be damned. Accident prevention takes precedence.
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Old 04-28-20, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
The standard road position is also about comfort: the less upright the torso, the better it absorbs shocks. Our backs don't like compression loads, but tolerate bending loads just fine. That said, riding around in town, the higher your head, the better the visibility, comfort be damned. Accident prevention takes precedence.
Alright, so I just did a 1h15 min, 20 mile ride. This is the longest I've ever ridden so there may be some fatigue factors at play, especially since the workout I did today was a lot more low cadence, high power.
  1. I am starting to see that my pelvis was definitely in the wrong position before which is why I needed such a steep positive saddle angle.
  2. I still am unsure if I need more setback than my seatpost allows. I can take my hands off the bars, but I am definitely unable to maintain pedaling for more than 3 seconds without having to start putting more pressure on the pedals to prevent myself from falling over. My shoulders/neck do feel a little tense, but this may just be fatigue. I basically went from biking max 6-7 miles in a session to 15+. I am also spending a lot more time on the bars than just sitting upright with no hands on the bars.
  3. I really struggled to get get higher cadence (105+). Once my cadence got this high, I would start to bounce off the saddle. I am sure there is a technique issue at play here as well. I feel like this is more related to saddle height?
  4. I've also adjusted so the cleats are at the front of the shoes pushing my feet as far back as possible.
  5. Overall, I felt like I struggled with power on this new setup compared to previous rides, but I can definitely see how changing saddle positioning may cause different muscle activation.
I think I need to low the saddle height back down a bit since the heel-pedal measurement is leading to a bit of hip rocking. However, I am worried that if I lower the saddle, then I'm going to lose power. I can grab another video if it makes it easier.
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Old 04-28-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
  1. I still am unsure if I need more setback than my seatpost allows. I can take my hands off the bars, but I am definitely unable to maintain pedaling for more than 3 seconds without having to start putting more pressure on the pedals to prevent myself from falling over. My shoulders/neck do feel a little tense, but this may just be fatigue. I basically went from biking max 6-7 miles in a session to 15+. I am also spending a lot more time on the bars than just sitting upright with no hands on the bars.
  2. I really struggled to get get higher cadence (105+). Once my cadence got this high, I would start to bounce off the saddle. I am sure there is a technique issue at play here as well. I feel like this is more related to saddle height?
  3. I've also adjusted so the cleats are at the front of the shoes pushing my feet as far back as possible.
  4. Overall, I felt like I struggled with power on this new setup compared to previous rides, but I can definitely see how changing saddle positioning may cause different muscle activation.
I think I need to low the saddle height back down a bit since the heel-pedal measurement is leading to a bit of hip rocking. However, I am worried that if I lower the saddle, then I'm going to lose power. I can grab another video if it makes it easier.
1) You almost certainly do not need more setback unless the bike is undersized or you are riding very slowly (like under 10mph average) and want a beach cruiser fit.

2) If you are bouncing at only 105, that is almost certainly a saddle height issue. I’d lower it.

3) Why? Cleat position generally should always be just behind the ball of your foot. Remember that, if you adjust your cleats backward, your feet will move forward and you will need to lower/slide forward your saddle once more.

4) A more rearward setup will generally make it harder to put down a ton of seated power for those short bursts (think beach cruisers) but will take weight off your hands and thus reduce discomfort on long rides. If there existed a system that intelligent moved your saddle depending on your power output, that would be cool - but right now, you have to optimize your fit based on what you think is best overall.

You can start incrementing your saddle up and forwards VERY slightly as you start making big gains. Remember that there isn’t a huge difference in saddle position between a pro blasting 6W/kg for an hour and an amateur doing maybe 2-3.

Don’t worry about losing power by lowering your saddle. You’ll only start to lose power if your knee is at a really acute angle at the top of the stroke, which is probably not where you are right now... unless you are short and have long tibias (shins) and thus need shorter cranks.
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Old 04-28-20, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
1) You almost certainly do not need more setback unless the bike is undersized or you are riding very slowly (like under 10mph average) and want a beach cruiser fit.

2) If you are bouncing at only 105, that is almost certainly a saddle height issue. I’d lower it.

3) Why? Cleat position generally should always be just behind the ball of your foot. Remember that, if you adjust your cleats backward, your feet will move forward and you will need to lower/slide forward your saddle once more.

4) A more rearward setup will generally make it harder to put down a ton of seated power for those short bursts (think beach cruisers) but will take weight off your hands and thus reduce discomfort on long rides. If there existed a system that intelligent moved your saddle depending on your power output, that would be cool - but right now, you have to optimize your fit based on what you think is best overall.

You can start incrementing your saddle up and forwards VERY slightly as you start making big gains. Remember that there isn’t a huge difference in saddle position between a pro blasting 6W/kg for an hour and an amateur doing maybe 2-3.

Don’t worry about losing power by lowering your saddle. You’ll only start to lose power if your knee is at a really acute angle at the top of the stroke, which is probably not where you are right now... unless you are short and have long tibias (shins) and thus need shorter cranks.
Awesome, thanks. That hit on a lot of my worries. I am only having issues with maintaining position with really slow pedal speed. That makes a ton of sense with the rearward setup and loss of power, explains why I was able to have so much more power with the completely forward setup. I think I will need to replace this seatpost before I'm able to make minute saddle adjustments since it's just impossible to make those small adjustments with the Ritchey 2-bolt. I'll bring the saddle height back down again in the meantime.

I had pushed the cleats forward because that is what people were recommending in the previous posts as to find a better saddle position. I will move it back to just behind the ball of the foot now.
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Old 04-28-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
Awesome, thanks. That hit on a lot of my worries. I am only having issues with maintaining position with really slow pedal speed. That makes a ton of sense with the rearward setup and loss of power, explains why I was able to have so much more power with the completely forward setup. I think I will need to replace this seatpost before I'm able to make minute saddle adjustments since it's just impossible to make those small adjustments with the Ritchey 2-bolt. I'll bring the saddle height back down again in the meantime.

I had pushed the cleats forward because that is what people were recommending in the previous posts as to find a better saddle position. I will move it back to just behind the ball of the foot now.
“Set your cleats all the way back if you can adjust them.”

^this? They meant move your cleats back and feet forward. Generally speaking, there are very few issues caused by cleats being too far back (you could ride a bike with pegs for feet) but tons of issues that crop up with cleats too close to your toes.
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Old 04-28-20, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
“Set your cleats all the way back if you can adjust them.”

^this? They meant move your cleats back and feet forward. Generally speaking, there are very few issues caused by cleats being too far back (you could ride a bike with pegs for feet) but tons of issues that crop up with cleats too close to your toes.
Oooh gotcha. Yea I did it completely wrong hah. I previously had my shoes setup with the cleats behind the balls of the feet. I assume that the shoe setup is more simple, and I can't really go wrong by having them behind the balls of my feet, right? Like I imagine it can't be impacting my saddle fit that much.
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Old 04-28-20, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
Awesome, thanks. That hit on a lot of my worries. I am only having issues with maintaining position with really slow pedal speed. That makes a ton of sense with the rearward setup and loss of power, explains why I was able to have so much more power with the completely forward setup. I think I will need to replace this seatpost before I'm able to make minute saddle adjustments since it's just impossible to make those small adjustments with the Ritchey 2-bolt. I'll bring the saddle height back down again in the meantime.

I had pushed the cleats forward because that is what people were recommending in the previous posts as to find a better saddle position. I will move it back to just behind the ball of the foot now.
Cleat position has absolutely nothing to do with saddle position, though it may affect saddle height. That cleat position is related to saddle position is based on the theory that the knee should be over the pedal spindle, called KOPS. KOPS really has nothing to do with anything. If it were true, recumbent riders would not be able to ride at all.

When you move your saddle fore and aft, you need to reset saddle height each time.

Normal cleat position is with the center of the cleat even with the ball of the big toe. No one rides with them further forward than that, though many prefer them further back. It's preference, nothing really to do with average power. Cleats more forward make it possible to engage the calves briefly for extra power. Moving the cleats back reduces calf action, which works both ways: it's harder to develop a little extra power here and there, but OTOH the calves do less work and thus are less susceptible to cramping.
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Old 04-28-20, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
Alright, so I just did a 1h15 min, 20 mile ride. This is the longest I've ever ridden so there may be some fatigue factors at play, especially since the workout I did today was a lot more low cadence, high power.
  1. I am starting to see that my pelvis was definitely in the wrong position before which is why I needed such a steep positive saddle angle.
  2. I still am unsure if I need more setback than my seatpost allows. I can take my hands off the bars, but I am definitely unable to maintain pedaling for more than 3 seconds without having to start putting more pressure on the pedals to prevent myself from falling over. My shoulders/neck do feel a little tense, but this may just be fatigue. I basically went from biking max 6-7 miles in a session to 15+. I am also spending a lot more time on the bars than just sitting upright with no hands on the bars.
  3. I really struggled to get get higher cadence (105+). Once my cadence got this high, I would start to bounce off the saddle. I am sure there is a technique issue at play here as well. I feel like this is more related to saddle height?
  4. I've also adjusted so the cleats are at the front of the shoes pushing my feet as far back as possible.
  5. Overall, I felt like I struggled with power on this new setup compared to previous rides, but I can definitely see how changing saddle positioning may cause different muscle activation.
I think I need to low the saddle height back down a bit since the heel-pedal measurement is leading to a bit of hip rocking. However, I am worried that if I lower the saddle, then I'm going to lose power. I can grab another video if it makes it easier.
1) good.

2) Setback is probably fine. I'd leave it alone.

3) Yes, bouncing is all about pedal stroke, nothing to do with saddle height. Newton's 3rd law is responsible for bouncing. At high cadence, your neuromuscular ability is failing you because you don't have that perfect pedal stroke built in yet. What's happening is that when your foot reaches the bottom of the pedal stroke, your leg is still pushing down. When your foot hits the bottom, your leg muscles are pushing your butt up off the saddle. For one thing, if your saddle was too high, your leg wouldn't be hitting the bottom of the stroke that way. That said, if you are rocking your hips, it could still be a little high. Try using the heel on pedal, being careful not to rock your hips, then dropping the saddle about 5mm, no more.

To fix the bouncing problem, remember that your pedals move in a circle. Thus to move them around without wasting energy, you have to always be applying force to the pedals tangent to the pedal circle. Thus at the top of the pedal stroke you are pushing forward and at the bottom you are pulling back. Only in the middle of the stroke are you pushing straight down. On the backstroke you don't pull up on the pedal, you only try to lift your leg as much as you can without overtiring those muscles. Think of your feet at being attached to turbine blades. You want them to go around. That's what clipless pedals (and toe clips) are for: pushing forward and pulling back. It takes most folks many months to get this pedal stroke down so that they never bounce, not even at 200 rpm. All that said, it's easier to learn a good pedal stroke at lower rpm, say 75-85. Once you get the feeling for it, you can try pedaling fast, but only for a few minutes at a time. Most folks in your situation do well to pedal at 85-90 on the flat and 70-80 climbing.

4) I've already discussed this.

5) Keep messing with saddle height in very small increments. The saddle height which makes you the most powerful is the correct one. That said, you'll find that trying to pedal in circles will have an effect on your most powerful saddle height.
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Old 04-30-20, 02:05 PM
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Alright. Did another session today for about 1h15m. My butt hurts a lot, but I think it's the shorts I wore today that don't have as much padding as my other ones.
  1. I've got a new Shimano BBR60 installed so no more lateral play which made high cadence much much easier. Also no more bouncing.
  2. I lowered the seat to where I can comfortably pedal with my heels. However, now I feel that I am not far back enough. I felt a lot of strain on my wrist/shoulders the entire ride and spent a lot of time biking upright. However, I can bike for maybe 5 seconds keeping my body unsupported with my hands off the bars. Is it time to start looking at a shorter stem or do I still spend time tweaking the saddle?
  3. I have a Zipp Service Course SL seatpost on the way so hopefully that will make adjusting and tuning the saddle easier and more consistent.
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Old 04-30-20, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by SlvrDragon50 View Post
Alright. Did another session today for about 1h15m. My butt hurts a lot, but I think it's the shorts I wore today that don't have as much padding as my other ones.
  1. I've got a new Shimano BBR60 installed so no more lateral play which made high cadence much much easier. Also no more bouncing.
  2. I lowered the seat to where I can comfortably pedal with my heels. However, now I feel that I am not far back enough. I felt a lot of strain on my wrist/shoulders the entire ride and spent a lot of time biking upright. However, I can bike for maybe 5 seconds keeping my body unsupported with my hands off the bars. Is it time to start looking at a shorter stem or do I still spend time tweaking the saddle?
  3. I have a Zipp Service Course SL seatpost on the way so hopefully that will make adjusting and tuning the saddle easier and more consistent.
When you think your butt's in the right place, put a mirror beside you or have someone watch. With your hands on the hoods, lean forward enough so that your forearms are horizontal and your back as straight as you can get it. In that position, your upper arms should make a 90° angle with your torso. That's how you determine stem length. Oddly enough, when you get that angle correct, your upper arms make almost that same angle with your torso throughout the range of upper body motion.
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