Help me get a better fit

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Sam123, May 23, 2012.

  1. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im 6"3 58 frame (wont be able to change frame size)

    Pictures of what I look like now

    http://i45.tinypic.com/35i0rjd.png

    http://i48.tinypic.com/35hkz0h.png

    http://i49.tinypic.com/rkbeyg.png

    http://i48.tinypic.com/foenhj.png

    http://i48.tinypic.com/2drrmg9.png

    http://i45.tinypic.com/2znu1he.png

    Did raise the bars by couple of cm find that my triceps are in pain a little bit, like putting to much weight there making me think lower it again and put on a longer stem?

    Do get lower back pain.. but do have a mild disc bulge and wear and tear in bottom 3 discs usually just suffer with it

    What changes do you think I can do?
     
    Tags:


  2. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    OK, the position looks fine if you're a track sprinter, but you're not going to keep that up all day long. In general, it looks like your hips are too high and too forward, dumping all the weight of the upper body on your arms. Then, you're pulling your hips further forward because it improves the mechanical advantage of your arms supporting the body. By the size of your frame you've committed yourself to a low, athletic posture, but I don't think this is a problem if you commit yourself to finding a way to be comfortable with it. There are pro riders who are 6'3" who ride 58 cm bikes.

    Basically, you need to find a neutral "athletic ready" posture over the bike. The sensation should be knees slightly bent, torso forward, and weight over the feet, as if you're about to bump a volleyball, ski a giant slalom, return a tennis serve, etc. Lower the saddle to facilitate moving around and experimenting with increasing setback. When you've found a point where your upper body feels free and easy, able to move between high and low angles without the aid of the arms and hands, and without too much lower back effort, you're pretty much in the right place. Then you can start working on hand position (stem length and height), and saddle height.

    In a prescriptive nutshell I'd say you need more saddle setback, less saddle height, and perhaps a longer stem. But this isn't going to feel right until your body understands what it feels like to be low and aerodynamic but still balanced over the bike. Check out this photo series of this old pro, Francesco Moser, mixing it up in Central Park. http://nyvelocity.com/gallery/image/7129?page=24.
     
  3. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Looking at some other photos my toes seem be pointed down prehaps this means my saddle is too high if I was to lower it by a couple of cm I may pedal more flat footed and less pressure on the blood vessels minimizing the burning or preventing maybe? And may get rid of some lower back pain?
     
  4. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    You could always try a longer stem as your current setup seems a little short. Get something cheap and cheerful and test.

    At the end of the day your position will be a compromise of aero, comfort and what lets you produce the most power. Power wise - from what I've seem on my PowerTap, I either have to go very high to the point that it's not comfy or way to low for the power to drop off. If you get it in the right ball park then power wise you'll be set. Aero - that's a different ballgame completely. Small changes can yield big results and it's worth figuring those out even on a road bike.

    Comfort - as you discovered, raising the bars can increase pressure on the hands. Think of your back and arms kinda-sorta like a cantilevered roof. The action of you pressing on the pedals, if you're sat anywhere other than way too forward, will push your back up a little. The trick is to adjust your bars - both up/down and back/forward to find the sweet spot to where you don't have too much weigh on your hands, arms and shoulders and your back isn't so low that you get lower back and neck pain.

    As for back pain, I went to shorter cranks. It didn't effect power but I can ride all day without any back issues. I had a set of 145mm's made - they're old school square tape and some folk give me crap about how they're too small, you can't get enough power from short cranks (tell that to track sprinters on 165mm putting out a couple o' thousand watts) but the truth is that my powertap displays the same numbers as it did when I was on longer cranks except I don't get back pain. A side benefit is that now I can pedal through corners that noone else can and after tweaking my position I'm more aero.

    Lower back pain could be a result of an over taxed psoas muscle. The illiopsoas, aka hip flexor, attaches at the lumbar spine and works its way through the pelvis and down towards your knee and is responsible for lifting your thigh. If it's tight the you'll get back pain. This tends to be more of an issue for folk that spend all day sitting at a desk or bent over - ie car mechanic.

    I think the real solution might be a bigger frame. It's not the seat height that's the reason for that, it's the toptube length and the fact that it also puts the front wheel a couple of cm further forward too.

    Steve Hogg has an excellent website on bike fitting. The best articles require a subscription but the small fee is more than worth it. Have a read about John Cobbs' "slam" positioning. John is better known for his decades of aero testing and working with the likes of Greg LeMond and Lance Armstong.

    http://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/

    http://cobbcycling.com/positioning.cfm
     
  5. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    For some riders, pedaling toes-down is their natural posture. Jacques Anquetiel, for example. But pedaling toes-down does indicate that you can try shortening the distance between saddle and pedals.

    I recommend a more holistic approach. Think about your balance over the bike. In the neutral hands-over-the-hoods position, is your center of gravity over the feet, or do you depend on your hands to keep your chin from hitting the handlebar? Your photos give me the impression of the latter.

    Try this experiment to understand what I'm getting at. Stand with your back, butt, and heels against a wall. Then bend forward to simulate reaching for the handlebar. Can't reach very far without falling over, right? Now step away from the wall a couple feet and repeat. See how easy it is to get as low as you want, and hold this position, with your hips back and your weight centered over the feet. The lower the torso goes, the farther back the hips must go, relative to the feet.

    Guys who ride with taller handlebar positions can get away with little saddle setback because their torsos are closer to vertical. You are compelled to ride with a nearly horizontal torso by the size of your frame, but you can still get in balance by moving the hips back.

    By the way, I arrived at my balance approach to position through 30 or so years of personal experience and intuition. A couple of years ago I started reading Steve Hogg's web site, to find that he had arrived at pretty much the same place through a more scientific approach. Later, I found that custom frame builder Peter White had been using balance as his paradigm for several decades.

    About a year ago I had jumped into a long discussion on saddle height and setback on bikeforums.net, citing Peter White, Steve Hogg, and personal experience with my own back issues and that of friends and customers. Many in that forum reported improved back comfort and the ability to ride lower and longer with more saddle setback.
     
  6. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Saddle was too high by about 3-4 cm back feeling better.. saddle feeling more comfy.. lets see how it goes.
     
  7. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    Send photo updates?
     
  8. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will do when I next race.
     
  9. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will do when i do some races
     
  10. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    here is 3

    http://i46.tinypic.com/3rb5x.jpg

    http://i46.tinypic.com/5sm86.jpg

    http://i48.tinypic.com/zkr02v.jpg

    http://i48.tinypic.com/hv89rt.jpg
     
  11. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    10,057
    Likes Received:
    185
    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/ROTF.gif

    1, 2, 3....

    and?

    Its the anti-Nigel Tufnell school of math - "it's one less, in'it"
     
  12. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    i edited 1 and forgot to put 4
     
  13. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    I presume you're the guy in the black and orange kit.

    If that's right, well it looks like a tremendous improvement. How does your body feel in the saddle and after a few hours in it?
     
  14. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cant really say yet havent done much of a long ride am just doing the hour crit races and time trials will let you know next week
     
  15. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok well my still get the burning feel i cream up before cycling and i also get a bit of chafing more to side of like dry skin not saddle sores or anything would this mean a new saddle i guess i use a fizik arione wingflex 130mm wide used it for about 5-6 weeks was a hard saddle at first but its the softest it will get now.
     
  16. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    2,432
    Likes Received:
    92
    I dunno. I had tilted my saddle just a degree a few weeks ago that resulted in a saddle sore so bad it needed cutting out and antibiotics. Many things can go into saddle comfort or lack thereof. Sadly that question is one that can not really be adressed efficiently in the public forum and success is usually the result of personal trial and error. Good luck.
     
  17. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    3,233
    Likes Received:
    95
    Most guys who use the Arione, like myself, like it dead-level. Or maybe a hair higher in the back, depending on other factors. With that saddle, in your neutral position, you should not be hanging off the back, but the side skirts should make their presence felt. If you're hanging off the back, try sliding it back or raising it a bit. If your riding the nose, try lowering it or sliding it forward.
     
  18. Pat Stowe

    Pat Stowe New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    2
    You likely aren't going to get good reliable answers to your problems from guys like us/me from looking at few very small poorly focused pictures, no offense intended.
    I have some simillar issues, even though I have been riding "seriously" 40 yrs, raced, toured, ski raced done martial arts dance and yoga, done lots of research, worked in some highly regarded shops etc etc I am somewhat hesitant to give any specifice advice especially when ( back) injuries are involved

    Your issues could range from or be a conbination of: poor/radical racing bike fit- perhaps a higher bar and longer stem?, is your saddle nose pointing down?, flexibility issues- do you have a stretching regimen?, muscle imbalance problems-do you do core/stomach/hamstring/front of neck exercises?, push-ups? pullovers? or other exercisces that work muscles the bike doesn't?
    Are there any local expert trustworthy coaches, long time riders, mechanics, shop owners or even (sport)doctors your have good relationships with who would be willing to help?
     
  19. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes i have muscle imbalances i do core exercises and stretching my left side is tighter then the right side due to my bulge on the left saw specialist today on backs he said about taking more tablets like codeine still alot of basic stuff to do before the aggressive stuff like acupuncture another manipulation and something about burning the disc/bulge or something?
     
  20. Sam123

    Sam123 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    0
Loading...
Loading...