Massage, rest and non-symetrical bottom brackets....



swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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So for the past few weeks I've felt pretty darned sore... just general aches, pains, lack of flexibility - some would call it getting old. I figured it was time to find somewhere that had a good reputation and hopefully knew what they were doing, which after the couple of places I tried in town, that wasn't guarenteed.

After the first visit, which to be honest was a straight sports massage, flexibility nightmare test and about as much fun as having your stem snap at 50mph on gravel roads whilst wearing no mits or helmets I was kinda surprised that upon getting off the massage table I didn't feel "wonky" anymore. I decided pretty much straight away that a second visit was in order and after an extra 15 minutes of stretching and exercise tution I was on my way. After 6 days of stretching, resting and much relaxation I was back on the table feeling like some victim of a mass UFC beating... That was two days ago. For the first time in at least a couple of decades I can actually not only touch my toes but hold them and relax during the stretch. All of my riding time has been devoted to stretching this past two weeks I feel human again. Well, kinda.

So, onto the first bike ride with my new found flexibility. A couple of minutes into the ride I was figuring the saddle was at least an inch too far forward but something else wasn't right. The discomfort I thought was caused by the shrinking beer gut was actually caused by a myriad of way to tight back and hip/pelvic muscles. I was slowly ramping up the watts and feeling much more at ease all the way upto 300watts and I'd had enough - something felt like it was either bent or not on straight. Stem, bars, seatpost all straight. Saddle pointing the exactly the right way, tilted slightly up and level from left to right - no bent rails. That was a concern as I'm pretty much at the weight limit for the saddle. Cranks not bent... cranks weren't the same distance from each chainstay. What the f#$k. I've been training for the past year on a bike that's got a bottom bracket that's out of whack by 9 mm and it took two weeks of rest, active stretching and two body pummelling massages to be able to feel it. I'll have to get a new one, but for now the Powercranks are off the bike and the FSA's are back on, which the rather splendid Phil Wood "uber bling" stainless steel outboard bottom bracket. Phil's getting a call tommorrow for a new bracket for the PC's.

The moral of this little tale - don't neglect to stretch after training and maintain flexiblity. If felt so much more comfortable and at ease on the bike tonight than I have since I started getting into silly aero positions when I was 20. I really wasn't aware that I was so stiff. The masseuse summed it up the best. I was "a lump of granite with legs." LOL

I can really recommend Psoas Bodywork in San Francisco. They have a full complement of staff, who apparently are all very good. If you figure that for me it's a 100mile round trip and a $100 charge for the hour - you can bet that Martina is well worth it.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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swampy1970 said:
So for the past few weeks I've felt pretty darned sore... just general aches, pains, lack of flexibility - some would call it getting old. I figured it was time to find somewhere that had a good reputation and hopefully knew what they were doing, which after the couple of places I tried in town, that wasn't guarenteed.

After the first visit, which to be honest was a straight sports massage, flexibility nightmare test and about as much fun as having your stem snap at 50mph on gravel roads whilst wearing no mits or helmets I was kinda surprised that upon getting off the massage table I didn't feel "wonky" anymore. I decided pretty much straight away that a second visit was in order and after an extra 15 minutes of stretching and exercise tution I was on my way. After 6 days of stretching, resting and much relaxation I was back on the table feeling like some victim of a mass UFC beating... That was two days ago. For the first time in at least a couple of decades I can actually not only touch my toes but hold them and relax during the stretch. All of my riding time has been devoted to stretching this past two weeks I feel human again. Well, kinda.

So, onto the first bike ride with my new found flexibility. A couple of minutes into the ride I was figuring the saddle was at least an inch too far forward but something else wasn't right. The discomfort I thought was caused by the shrinking beer gut was actually caused by a myriad of way to tight back and hip/pelvic muscles. I was slowly ramping up the watts and feeling much more at ease all the way upto 300watts and I'd had enough - something felt like it was either bent or not on straight. Stem, bars, seatpost all straight. Saddle pointing the exactly the right way, tilted slightly up and level from left to right - no bent rails. That was a concern as I'm pretty much at the weight limit for the saddle. Cranks not bent... cranks weren't the same distance from each chainstay. What the f#$k. I've been training for the past year on a bike that's got a bottom bracket that's out of whack by 9 mm and it took two weeks of rest, active stretching and two body pummelling massages to be able to feel it. I'll have to get a new one, but for now the Powercranks are off the bike and the FSA's are back on, which the rather splendid Phil Wood "uber bling" stainless steel outboard bottom bracket. Phil's getting a call tommorrow for a new bracket for the PC's.
What the f#¢k, indeed!

Who installed that crank on your bike?!? And, why didn't you notice, before?

AND, who made the frame? Is the BB shell really off by that much?
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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alfeng said:
What the f#¢k, indeed!

Who installed that crank on your bike?!? And, why didn't you notice, before?

AND, who made the frame? Is the BB shell really off by that much?
I did a bit more checking (the wonders of taut fishing line and rulers) and the frame is straight. The bottom bracket is a shimano UN sealed square taper but I'm not using Shimano cranks. I'm getting a phil wood unit as a replacement and apparently they're adjustable side-to-side.

I installed it and yes, I should have checked. My bad.

Why didn't I notice it before? Not sure... it felt a little odd but not that much at the time that I could put it down to me being a little oddball. When I was younger 'n fitter I always favoured my right side so my left leg always felt a little weaker. What I was feeling recently was just like that and I think to some extent with the PowerCranks I'd compensated for that. Until last nights ride, now that I'm all loosened up, it didn't feel bad at all... Last night it just felt like a I was overreaching on one side and I could almost instantly tell that something wasn't right.
 

dkrenik

Member
Dec 5, 2003
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16
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I consider stretching and massage mandatory (especially when one hits 40 and beyond). While cycling does many things that are good for us, there are issues with spending hours on end in what most would consider a rather odd position performing a highly repetitive, limited range of motion, exercise. IMHO, stretching, massage, core strength work, and pretty much anything that helps to "balance" out the imbalances caused by years/decades of cycling makes the "other" 98+% of one's life much more enjoyable.

Dave
swampy1970 said:
The moral of this little tale - don't neglect to stretch after training and maintain flexiblity. If felt so much more comfortable and at ease on the bike tonight than I have since I started getting into silly aero positions when I was 20. I really wasn't aware that I was so stiff. The masseuse summed it up the best. I was "a lump of granite with legs." LOL
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
254
63
swampy1970 said:
I did a bit more checking (the wonders of taut fishing line and rulers) and the frame is straight. The bottom bracket is a shimano UN sealed square taper but I'm not using Shimano cranks. I'm getting a phil wood unit as a replacement and apparently they're adjustable side-to-side.
Well, this may be stating the obvious, but here goes:
The 'problem' with square taper BBs (ignoring the fact that there are TWO standards) is that some are symmetrical ... and others aren't! It doesn't matter whether the crank was Shimano, or not ...
For example, some cranks apparently require a 118mm for a double, and some require a 118mm for a triple!?!

So, before you order your new BB, slip the crank onto the existing BB spindle AND check the Q-factor -- I guess that 150mm is the currently accepted standard for a double, BTW.

I also recommend that you measure the current length of the current spindle (hey, was that a UNiversal BB that was intended for a 73mm shell?!?) ... and/or (presuming the driveside is correctly offset ... i.e., you didn't have to adjust your front derailleur when you put the FSA crank on which presumably uses a different/ISIS BB-type), double the length of the driveside HALF of the spindle (if the cartridge was actually for a 73mm BB shell ... adjust the measurement, accordingly).

When in doubt, contact the manufacturer!
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
10,098
426
83
dkrenik said:
I consider stretching and massage mandatory (especially when one hits 40 and beyond). While cycling does many things that are good for us, there are issues with spending hours on end in what most would consider a rather odd position performing a highly repetitive, limited range of motion, exercise. IMHO, stretching, massage, core strength work, and pretty much anything that helps to "balance" out the imbalances caused by years/decades of cycling makes the "other" 98+% of one's life much more enjoyable.

Dave
What's ironic is that I did do some stretching, it's just that it wasn't exactly done correctly, held long enough to be really useful and missing a few key stretches too. So now I have a veritable shopping list of stretches to do and I've managed so far to do them all at least once a day but mostly twice. My 6 year old daughter likes doing them so she makes sure that I at least do them in the evening. :)

I also got a list of core exercises based upon the observations from the therapist during my first visit and despite being able to do crunches and situps until the cows come home I apparently have the core strength that falls somewhere between an arthritic chihuahua and a deep fried turkey.

But I'd agree with you on the massage - damn that was good. Uncomfortable as hell the first time... Worth even the couple of hours in the car driving to and from San Francisco and the hefty tab afterwards.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
10,098
426
83
alfeng said:
Well, this may be stating the obvious, but here goes:
The 'problem' with square taper BBs (ignoring the fact that there are TWO standards) is that some are symmetrical ... and others aren't! It doesn't matter whether the crank was Shimano, or not ...

For example, some cranks apparently require a 118mm for a double, and some require a 118mm for a triple!?!

So, before you order your new BB, slip the crank onto the existing BB spindle AND check the Q-factor -- I guess that 150mm is the currently accepted standard for a double, BTW.

I also recommend that you measure the current length of the current spindle (hey, was that a UNiversal BB that was intended for a 73mm shell?!?) ... and/or (presuming the driveside is correctly offset ... i.e., you didn't have to adjust your front derailleur when you put the FSA crank on which presumably uses a different/ISIS BB-type), double the length of the driveside HALF of the spindle (if the cartridge was actually for a 73mm BB shell ... adjust the measurement, accordingly).

When in doubt, contact the manufacturer!

Thanks for the info!

I'll be making a couple of phone calls and I'll be double checking everything after the next install. The front derailleur did need a little fine tuning but not much.