Seat position VS. bar position

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by gman0482, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. gman0482

    gman0482 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    17
    Hey everyone, I a few hours I'm going to test myself again and see if I can do over 40+ miles. Two days ago did 36mi. I just raised up my seat about 1 inch or so on my last ride. It felt like my legs were more comfortable and got more power, but on the negative, My arms and shoudlers (mostly rear delts) were hurting more (I think because of the bigger angle from the seat).
    My question is, should my seat be high enough so that on the bottom of the down stroke my leg is straight ? At the moment it's not straight but straightER than before. The fact that I'm 6'4" kinda makes it harder also.
    Second question is, should I or can I adjust my bars higher to compensate for the angle my arms are in?

    Thanks for any input,

    -Greg
     
    Tags:


  2. Steady Rolling

    Steady Rolling New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm still in the process of fine-tuning my position, so am no authority ... but a few days ago, I started believing my leg wasn't straight enough and planned to lift the saddle a bit.
    I didn't do it though, and after Sunday's 40-mile ride I developed a bit of a knee problem. Did a bit of a search on here yesterday and attributed it to saddle being too high, which I was surprised about. (Had a bit of a lower backache too, which maybe should've given it away).
    So last night I dropped saddle by 3/4inch - initially it felt less efficient, and I was unable to beat my PB on my 15-mile TT route - but this was mainly due to being stuck behind a couple of tractor/trailers for a couple of minutes on a downhill and not risking an overtake, so I estimate that I could have beaten it by 15 seconds or so. And to top it all, knee problem has vanished overnight (for now, anyway).
    So on that basis, I'd say, no, you definitely don't want your leg completely straight...
     
  3. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sit on the saddle on your best "sweet spot". Then set the saddle height so that when you put your heels on the pedals and you pedal backwards, you are able to barely keep your feet on the pedals (it's easier if you have a trainer or somebody can hold the bike while you pedal backwards ). Do not rock your hips. Then measure the distance (along the seat tube) from the bottom bracket to your saddle center. Write it down. From this point on is just a matter of adjusting by mm only. I may move my saddle up or down 3 mm maximum. Write the new distance after you have finished adjusting. This number will be applicable to any road bike frame.
    Also check your saddle forward/aft position and re-set the height accordingly. As you move the saddle forward, you should raise it a tiny bit.
    After the saddle height is set, then you can adjust your saddle to bar drop and/or reach. I keep mine about 1 cm below the saddle, this keeps my arms from bearing too much weight and my neck does not hurt on long rides. Some people like a huge drop. I've seen it as much as 6 inches (I could never do that)
     
  4. tonyzackery

    tonyzackery Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,517
    Likes Received:
    46
    The trial-and-error method of bike fit may get you there - eventually, and with possible injuries along the way. My suggestion is to go to a LBS you frequent and ask one of the workers there if they'll evaluate your position. They'll probably do it for free; if you don't want to pay. Otherwise, ask them to refer you to a well respected bike fitter.

    On-line critiques/advice well never be as accurate as someone looking at you while on or riding your bike.
     
  5. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,687
    Likes Received:
    4
    Nearly, but not quite, straight at the bottom of the stroke. Also make sure that you're not reaching for the pedals by extending your foot at the bottom of the stroke. Best way to check this is while pedalling, rather than while standing still.

    If you're having arm/shoulder pain on a ride < 40 miles, then I would recommend you raise the bars (if possible) until you get more comfortable with the times and distances involved.

    If you were just riding to school or around the neighborhood then I wouldn't put too much emphasis on having someone fit you to the bike, but if you're going to be spending a lot of time riding then the time spent getting comfortable on the bike is much more valuable. At your height, finding the right fit from a garage sale bike is going to be more challenging than for someone of average size. I agree with Tony that a newbie is only going to get so far using online advice and fit guides. Once you know how things should feel it will become easier to tweak your position, but for now someone who knows what they're doing should look at you on the bike and get you on the right track.
     
  6. kenren3

    kenren3 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with the last post. I just adjusted my bars higher due to the same pain. I just rode a 30 miler with no arm or delt pain. The bars look high, but the results are what I was looking for.
     
Loading...
Loading...