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Sidewards slide on the saddle.

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Sidewards slide on the saddle.

Old 05-09-21, 01:30 PM
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willhub
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Sidewards slide on the saddle.

So I recently started up doing longer rides again last year, and one thing I started to notice was that I am sliding off the saddle sideways, I'm not literally sliding off, but my left sit bone is essentially hovering to the left side of the saddle, so this seems to really effect my ability to be comfy on the bike and get the power, any strong wind blowing a certain way or bump can easily make it hard for me to keep the bike in a straight line because the way I imagine it is because I'm not putting any force on my left sit bone, if something caused the bike to nudge right, the bike will swerve as my sit bone isn't in the way.

I've also realised I'm more comfortable on my commuter bike, especially whilst maintaining high efforts, and that bike usually has two panniers heavily weighted, interesting having a pannier only on the left side with a few D locks in increased my stability as I imagine it's pulling the bike sideways so my left sit bone is actually in contact with the saddle.

I've had numerous bike fits and they've all failed to look at this or correct it even when I've specifically mentioned it, to the point I feel I'm done with bike fits because it's A LOT of money thrown away, I need to try and troubleshoot it myself now.

It's very tiring for me this problem as it's effecting my ability to go more than 25-30 miles and I used to be doing 100+ miles but that was 5+ years ago, It just makes me upset that I'm loosing lots of cycling time and spending lots more time I could be cycling messing with the bike and I feel I'm getting closer and closer to giving any cycling apart from commuting up, but I don't want to do this, I see the hills in the distance and aspire to be munching the miles tearing it up in the hills again like I used to, but I'm really upset how bad my form is getting due to all this disruption and trying to figure how to fix it.

Honestly, I can waffle and waffle forever about this I'm that frustrated, literally half of me wants to quit but the other half wants to get those long miles in because the achievements are so worthwhile and the fun that it is but I feel alone and like I can't get any help with it, and money is an issue too so I can't be spending all the time.

I've just bought some 20mm pedal axle extenders to try as when I look at my knees I can see on the left side my knee is pointing in towards the top tube, the right knee pointing out, my stance standing is duck like, feet pointing out, cleats adjusted the same trying to mimic this.

Re the saddle I am using it's a Specialized Bridge Sport, every single saddle I've tried has the same issue, I've stuck with this saddle as in general it's the most comfy.

Last edited by willhub; 05-09-21 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 05-09-21, 02:58 PM
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I'm just wildly guessing, which probably is what I do most of the time...

One leg slightly shorter or cleat position off slightly on one side? Maybe the saddle height is a tad too high. I'd try lowering it maybe 4 to 6 mm at a time (1/8th to 1/4 inch) and see if that helps.

Measure to some point on it so you know where it started out. If you don't think anything better is happening by the time you made several adjustments, then probably that's the wrong thing to be doing. Put it back where it was.
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Old 05-10-21, 03:11 AM
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Sorry those are the only ones I had from a video, I've done this in my phone, hopefully they're big enough for you to see.
I don't seem to be rocking side to side, just literally always offset to the left and as such left sitbone hovering.
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Old 05-10-21, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
It looks like your left leg is stretched too much in the first picture.

Is your left leg shorter? If it is, you'll need to lower your saddle - adjust for the shorter leg.

But if your legs are the same length, It might be your pedaling technique. You could be pointing your heel down more with the left leg than with your right leg. You'll have to correct this with practice

I'll try do this with my left side, I've tried to use some software to work out angles, hopefully the points are in the correct plane.
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Old 05-10-21, 07:01 AM
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Oh here is the other side, tried my best to check angles.

I think the bike fit guy said I have "functional leg length" and didn't recommend shims or anything.

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Old 05-10-21, 07:38 AM
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Maybe you just need a wider saddle. Saddles do come in different widths because we aren't all the same shape and size.
Based on the pictures I would be inclined to raise your seat height as there is too much bend in your knees at both the top and bottom of the stroke for my liking.
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Old 05-10-21, 09:01 AM
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I used to find more wear on bike shorts on the starboard side, just below the crotch. Then I noticed that one leg tended to flop inward almost brushing the top tube. I've made an effort to maintain knees the same distance from the top tube, with a bit of help from a cleat on the shoe on the same side. Over time the asymmetrical wear pattern has disappeared.

I would say you have some sort of asymmetry that needs to be dealt with. Perhaps one keg is very much stronger than the other. Good luck with this.
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Old 05-10-21, 09:24 AM
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Forget the numbers and angles. If you are dropping off one side, your saddle height is most likely too high for you, taking into account your own flexibility. Drop it slightly.

Read these: https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...d-can-it-be-2/
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Old 05-10-21, 10:01 AM
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I definitely favour my right side it gets the most power out.

I'm worried about lowering the saddle because any lower and I get horrible knee pain and my knees feel like they're crumbling when it comes to hills.

Could pedal axle extenders help in anyway by changing my stance ? I often wonder if my stance is too narrow given my heels bash the frame and chainset
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Old 05-10-21, 10:10 AM
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If your knees feel like crumbling when on a hill, then you are probably in too high a gear ratio. Shift !

Sure you might slow down, but as you get better your speed will pick back up.
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Old 05-10-21, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If your knees feel like crumbling when on a hill, then you are probably in too high a gear ratio. Shift !

Sure you might slow down, but as you get better your speed will pick back up.
I wouldn't attribute it to that because my power output wasn't something I can't maintain (using a power meter) and I was in 34 / 28 on a 10% gradient.

It's so hard because some say raise it (but then lower saddle why would that cause tipping off one side as opposed to a higher saddle?) And some say lower it, but the knees defenitly don't like any lower it seems.
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Old 05-10-21, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by willhub View Post
I wouldn't attribute it to that because my power output wasn't something I can't maintain (using a power meter) and I was in 34 / 28 on a 10% gradient.

It's so hard because some say raise it (but then lower saddle why would that cause tipping off one side as opposed to a higher saddle?) And some say lower it, but the knees defenitly don't like any lower it seems.
Not a question of whether you have the power to push that big a gear.

It's a question of whether your knees can handle that much torque going into the cranks.

In what way do your knees not like a lower gear?

Perhaps you have several issues going on and cleat position needs something too.
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Old 05-10-21, 11:47 AM
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If my saddle is already at the right height based on the general methods like heel on pedal as my heel easily gets on the pedal. How do I know how much power to go?

If I'm lowering it so left leg is at right height right leg would be too low? Should I get wedges under the left?
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Old 05-10-21, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by willhub View Post
If my saddle is already at the right height based on the general methods like heel on pedal as my heel easily gets on the pedal. How do I know how much power to go?

If I'm lowering it so left leg is at right height right leg would be too low? Should I get wedges under the left?
You left off part of the instructions for that general method.

After setting it to that position, you ride it then adjust the saddle up or down a few times till you find what works.

None of the "general rules" are intended for you to think that is the exact position you must stay at. They are only to get you in the ball park.
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Old 05-10-21, 03:41 PM
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Do you think lowering my saddle by 5mm will fix this?

I'm worn out all the videos and web pages I've been reading, I'd give up cycling if I wouldn't miss it so much.
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Old 05-10-21, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by willhub View Post
Do you think lowering my saddle by 5mm will fix this?

I'm worn out all the videos and web pages I've been reading, I'd give up cycling if I wouldn't miss it so much.
Lowering your saddle will not help as I suspect that its already too low.
There are lots of things going on with your fit and just adjusting the saddle height is not going to be the magic fix.
My view is that your going to need to carefully isolate issues one at a time.

If you just gently ride around in a low gear without much power, do you sit comfortably and balanced on the saddle?
Is the saddle balance problem always there when riding gently or is it just an issue when you're applying power to the cranks?
Maybe you need a wider saddle.

I think that your cranks are too long for you based on your leg angles in the pictures but this may be exacerbated by your seat height being too low.
I want to see the saddle go up and see if this opens up your leg angles. Low saddles are only OK for gently riding around the neighbourhood. Raising the saddle will take some stress off your knees and give you more power. You can go too high with the saddle of course and start rocking yet you look too low to me.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:59 AM
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I've on 170mm cranks, my Kineses is on 172.5mm

Now I've managed to acquire a Wahoo Kickr Snap as I'm moving into a house so I'll be able to use it now.

How about I take videos from every angle and upload them? Might be able to do it tonight, I was going to try earlier but my workplace has shackled me back to the desk on the phones.

​​​​​​And I'll try raising the saddle on the turbo too.

I find I'm unstable riding steady.

If it's the case because it seems to low for my right leg and as such I'm pushing myself to the side, why would it feel like my saddle is too high for my left leg?

Also my left knee is pointing towards the top tube, closer to it and my right knee is pointing outwards slightly, but away from the top tube.

Last edited by willhub; 05-11-21 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 05-11-21, 02:24 AM
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OK, if your unstable on the saddle when taking it easy then the saddle has to be considered to be one of the culprits. I think that you have multiple fit issues going on yet getting yourself a new/better saddle has to be on the priority list.
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Old 05-11-21, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Your left leg might also compensate for it by sliding to the left if the saddle is too high for it.

Did you have old, past injuries in the legs like fractures? Such injuries can cause one leg to become shorter or longer.
In 2000 I broke by tib and fib in right leg when i was about 11

And deffo raise the saddle? Just seeing "saddle too high" and "too low" in the same set of comments confused me.

Last edited by willhub; 05-11-21 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 05-11-21, 07:46 AM
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Just FYI on the cranks, I use 165 mm and I have a 34.5" inseam. Try everything else though. But if you get no luck, then as another seemed to hint, shorter cranks might help you.
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Old 05-11-21, 10:39 AM
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I'll try make some videos and also try my kineses commuter too which feels more stable with a pannier on the left side.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by willhub View Post
I definitely favour my right side it gets the most power out.

I'm worried about lowering the saddle because any lower and I get horrible knee pain and my knees feel like they're crumbling when it comes to hills.

Could pedal axle extenders help in anyway by changing my stance ? I often wonder if my stance is too narrow given my heels bash the frame and chainset
No, your saddle is too high for you. Guaranteed. A person can adapt more easily to a lower saddle, with no issues, than a too high saddle, which can, and will cause issues with your back. knees, and hips. After any change in bike fit, you need to take it easy for a while for your body to get used to it. Your legs will adjust. Your knees won't have issues, unless you push a too high of a gear. On the other hand, if you are dropping to one side, you WILL damage your hips, and you WILL end up with back pain, or worse. Read this one carefully, as it documents the damage done to a woman's back, requiring spinal surgery to correct, as a result of a professions fitter putting her seat too high based on angles, numbers, and formulae, instead of setting the seat height based on paying attention to how her body actually interfaces with the bike while in motion. https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...d-can-it-be-2/

If you look closely at your pictures, your heels are raised slightly, you are reaching slightly at the bottom of the stroke. So to me, between that, and the other signs, the seat is too high. You are pedaling toes down.

If and when your flexibility improves, you could raise your seat, but at he moment, if you are sliding off to one side, the saddle is too high. I would make that change first, and go from there. Use the method for setting seat height as detailed on Steve Hogg's site. See if it works for you. It will give you a seat height that gives you maximum power for your body's ability, and at the same time, it will give you a fit that prevents injury. See if the method puts your seat lower, or higher. My bet, is it will put your saddle lower.

People get hung up on the old mantra. "Your seat is too low," to the point that so many now run their seat too high. I see it all the time around here, then I watch the pros, and look at the bend of their leg, and see it is bent more at he bottom of the stroke than in the majority of the images I see here on the bike fit section.

I personally had this issue, I noticed the dimples on my B17 were biased to the right side. I was dropping to the right side. I also experienced perineum discomfort. I began dropping my saddle, which helped the dropping to the right, but I still had discomfort, but not as bad. I held out dropping the saddle that last little bit, until I was on tour and having issues. I ended up dropping it just 5mm more, and surprise, the pain went away. I am now more efficient pedaling, and can ride all day, with zero pain, and get up and do it again. After 70 miles on the saddle, I feel fine. I just wish I hadn't waited so long to take the advice of Hogg, and others, like BikefitJames. Look him up on Instagram. Before I lowered the saddle, I experienced issues with my hip, and lower back, but according to the fit "experts," my saddle was set at the perfect height. By the way, it took years, and steroids for the hip pain to go away. I never want to make that mistake ever again.

In the end, none of us are symmetrical. I would definitely start with lowering your seat, but definitely work on flexibility if you think you could potentially set your seat higher. Just pay attention to how your body interfaces with the bike in motion. Hogg has another article regarding this that shows sometimes there is not fix for this, but generally speaking, of you drop to one side, your set is too high. Do you get saddle sores?

Last edited by phughes; 05-11-21 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 05-11-21, 01:47 PM
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I'll try 5mm lower tonight on the turbo see how it feels
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Old 05-11-21, 06:47 PM
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I'm also with phughes. What caught my eye is that you set saddle height using heel-on-pedal and then pedal toes down, which means you're reaching for the pedals. You're probably reaching when you do the heel-on-pedal test, which mistake is really common. I think the earlier comment about climbing in lower gears might be something to look at more closely. Most riders want at a 75-85 cadence when climbing. If you're running out of gears to be able to do that on 10%, get lower gears. It used to be a thing to have a small cassette, In time, most riders get over that.

When trying to get saddle height just right, I go out with an allen wrench in my pocket and mess with saddle height on a relatively gentle hill, say 5%-6%, until using my heel cups to pull the pedal back at the bottom of the stroke with my usual cadence feels powerful.
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Old 05-11-21, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
The real experts on bike fit will tell to err on the side of being too low. They're right, you can adapt to an excessively low saddle but NOT with too high. Too high can lead to injuries.

Have you guys got any references for these WILD claims?
Seriously.

Being too high will cause you to rock and you will know quite quickly that your uncomfortable at that height. No injuries though. Seriously. What can you injure from being too high?
Being too low will cause you to grind on the cranks and put too much stress on your knees. The risks are well known.

I think his cranks are too long and this is the source of his problems. Adjusting the seat height probably won't fix his problems however I want to see his seat height up in order to confirm that his closed up leg angles aren't simply from a low saddle height.
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