Bike fit issues-psychological?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by rparedes, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    I don't know if anybody has these issues but I'm having trouble with my bike fit.
    It seems that I can never get it just right. When I think I have it perfect (and at times it does seem to be perfect), it only lasts a while and something begins to bug me. It may be great for two or three months and then I feel like the seat is off or the reach; I adjust it and seems great again for a while, but then later on I'm back into messing with something. I don't know if it has to do with me, the time of year, temperature or what!!
    I really have not changed any equipment... well... I did add FSA compact bars about 1 year ago and they were great until about a couple of months ago; now they bug me.. I think it's the oversized flat part which is oval, but they were great at the beginning.
    I started thinking it may be the kind of riding I do.. Some real long rides (3-4 hrs), some short (1 to 1.5 hrs) but intense, some on flat terrain, some on very hilly terrain, frequency? (3 times/week on weekends only)...

    Is this normal? or do I need to rethink my bikefit (BTW, bike sized and fitted at LBS; 4 years ago when I got the bike) or my fitness? :confused:
     
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  2. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    Could it be a fitness issue? Are your abdominal muscles strong? If not, that alone can give you the feeling that fit isn't right. Same for weak shoulders or tricepts.
    Do some crunches everyday for a week and see how that effects your perception of comfort.

    Then go and get a fitting.
     
  3. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    +1 on that. Go get a fitting from someone who specializes in bike fittings, not just the sales guy at your LBS.

    FWIW, some folks are never completely satisfied, Eddy Merckx for instance was famous for making tiny adjustments to his seat height all the time including some while on the roll during races with his mechanic leaning out of a car window wrenches in hand.

    But get a really good fitting, put some faith in it and don't change it unless your fitness / flexibility changes quite a bit.

    Good luck,
    -Dave
     
  4. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

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    Well, remember that a body is flexible and you move all around the bike when you ride. Obsessing about fit can rot your brain. I think you need some 'measures', like power out or lack of injury or something. If ya just 'think' something isn't right, you will convince yourself something is. I had my fit dialed in once and a wife of a prominent local fit person(initials AP), said I 'looked' like my saddle was too high. I fiddled and screwed around with saddle height and even fore aft for weeks...until I just stopped. Now, no injury, no pain. Sometimes I 'feel' more comfy than other times but with varibles like clothes, weather, route, speed..I leave my fit alone.
     
  5. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    There are times I feel perfectly "dialed in"; it could be for weeks and then it starts... should I move the saddle up a little bit to get more power? should a push it back to get less weigh on the bars?... and I start messing with it...
    One thing that I've noticed though, is that I seem to be tweaking things more when it starts getting colder... so maybe it's the extra clothing?
    A previous poster mentioned fitness; but I do sit-ups and leg raises every morning (abworks machine), lift weights twice a week for upper body work and do Yoga at least one a week; so I'm fairly flexible (but 55 years old)

    How many of you change your fit for winter riding?
     
  6. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    You raise a good point. Thicker padding in your shorts might change your position slightly, but not fore/aft. I wouldn't worry about that though.

    So what specifically happens that makes you question fit? do you get sore in a certain place? Low back feel strained? Knee pain? What is it?
     
  7. ibi-m

    ibi-m New Member

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    You generally have a good fit if you don't experience any pain in any body part, only fatigue, regardless the length and the ride intensity. So, good fit means no pain (my humble opinion).
    To reach good fit is hard - it takes time and patience and taking static bike fit data with great reservation.
    Fact - our bodies change with age. An older biker I know (56) told me he's been going through changes in his mid 50's, starting just about around after his 52 birthday. I suppose this makes sense.
    Fact - changing the clothing may require the fit adjustment, particularly if you ride in extremes (say, 40 to 100 degrees F, which is an average range for me) and go from a light jersey to a jacket, or 2 long sleeve thick layers etc. I would try with slight handlebar angle change, say 5 degrees.
    Forums cover this topic at length - check out this site, it's been recommended before by others.

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/fitting.htm

    Cheers.
     
  8. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    Lately, on longer rides... say 3 or 4 hrs, my right elbow gets sore (outer edge of elbow; almost like tennis elbow or elbow tendonitis) and my right seat bone also gets sore from a saddle pressure point. This is totally new for me; it's never happened before. It's only happened in the last 2 or 3 months. I've had the saddle for about 18 months with no problems.
    For the elbow, I raised the bars a little bit (about 2 cm; now they almost level with bars) and also moved the saddle back 2 cm to get more of my weight on the seat; my knee is now a little back of the pedal spindle but i move forward on the saddle as needed.
    6 months ago the saddle was a bit higher... maybe 1 cm higher
     
  9. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

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    Moving anything 2cm is a pretty big change in my opinion...moving the seat back that much might account for the sitbone pain, and almost certainly for the elbow strain.
    The bottom line is that you need a good fitting. Go to a professinal (not a LBS), and get evaluated. This will tell you a lot more than a bunch of advice on a forum (including mine).
     
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