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Old 02-21-08, 09:16 AM   #1
bdcheung
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Too much guad use - saddle too low or high?

I've noticed an overuse of my quads when riding on flat roads or the trainer/rollers. My saddle is pretty far back, enough that my knees are a good 1-2cm behind the pedal spindle. Could this be a saddle height problem?

Eventually I'll have time in my schedule for a fitting, but for now any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:19 AM   #2
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Seat further back should elicit more hamstring/glute usage.....
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Old 02-21-08, 09:19 AM   #3
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but oddly it doesn't
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Old 02-21-08, 09:19 AM   #4
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Quads are for extending your lower leg. It seems to make sense that your saddle being so far back
is making your legs work pretty hard at the top of your pedal stroke when you are moving your foot forward. Try moving the saddle forward.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:21 AM   #5
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Get pics with your leg at the top of the pedal stroke, at 90 degrees forward, and at the bottom of the pedal stroke of your current setup
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Old 02-21-08, 09:21 AM   #6
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Get pics with your leg at the top of the pedal stroke, at 90 degrees forward, and at the bottom of the pedal stroke of your current setup
k, that'll have to wait till tonight though. On the vertical, should the camera be level with my shoulders, hips, knees, BB?
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Old 02-21-08, 09:24 AM   #7
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if it's too low, you'll know.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:28 AM   #8
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if it's too low, you'll know.
will Jack Sparrow let me know?
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Old 02-21-08, 09:30 AM   #9
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Knee area, but set back a bit so it shows you on the bike as well
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Old 02-21-08, 09:30 AM   #10
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will Jack Sparrow let me know?
That be Captain Jack to you matey! Aaargh!
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Old 02-21-08, 09:31 AM   #11
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That be Captain Jack to you matey!
Actually he was promoted to Admiral after his heroic performance last week.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:32 AM   #12
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Actually he was promoted to Admiral after his heroic performance last week.
Aargh!
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Old 02-21-08, 09:47 AM   #13
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I've noticed an overuse of my quads when riding on flat roads or the trainer/rollers. My saddle is pretty far back, enough that my knees are a good 1-2cm behind the pedal spindle. Could this be a saddle height problem?

Eventually I'll have time in my schedule for a fitting, but for now any thoughts would be appreciated.
wtf is a quad?

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Old 02-21-08, 09:50 AM   #14
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wtf is a quad?
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Old 02-21-08, 09:50 AM   #15
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Try lowering it a little. My seat was too high when I developed ITB, and it turned out it was from working my guads and not my gluts. I dropped the saddle a good 3-4cm (I was way too high) and my gluts started burning while the knee started healing.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:52 AM   #16
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wtf is a quad?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadriceps

The quadriceps femoris (quadriceps, quadriceps extensor, guads or quads) includes the four prevailing muscles on the front of the thigh. It is the great extensor muscle of the knee, forming a large fleshy mass which covers the front and sides of the femur.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:52 AM   #17
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^^ you sly fox

edit: oh, wow, you didn't add "guads". That reference has been there for quite some time now.
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Old 02-21-08, 10:21 AM   #18
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^^ you sly fox

edit: oh, wow, you didn't add "guads". That reference has been there for quite some time now.
Yeah, I don't know who added it, but someone made a post about it last Summer to see if anyone on here would fess up.
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Old 02-21-08, 10:37 AM   #19
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Quads tend to be used more when you're not bent over, i.e. sitting more upright. This is related, I think, to walking.

Glutes/hamstrings are heavily recruited when you have an acute angle between your torso and your upper leg. Their main job is to help you walk/run uphill or keep you from toppling forward when carrying something heavy. On a bike they provide power when your body leans forward a lot. This is part of the reason why you automatically hunch over when climbing a steep/hard hill - your body tries to recruit those very powerful muscles.

Although moving the seat back helps make the torso/leg angle more acute, if you adjust yourself to sit upright, it doesn't help that much.

You can experiment by putting your hand on your glutes, upper hamstring, and quads, letting you feel when the muscle fires and how strongly it fires. Pedal a big gear on a trainer and vary how low you hold your torso. You'll find that a lower torso causes a much more powerful glute contraction.

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Old 02-21-08, 10:43 AM   #20
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Good insight as always, CDR.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:27 PM   #21
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I'd say move it forward and up. That may seem counterintuitive, but you're a pretty fast spinner. From personal experience, I was able to give my dominant quads a little bit of a break and work on hamstring strength by moving the saddle to KOPS and then up as high as I could while protecting the backs of my knees.

Have you ever felt the need to scoot forward on the saddle for hard efforts, especially climbing? (harder efforts seated, of course)

When I was riding flats exclusively for a while this summer, I raised the saddle even more to get a more balanced pedal stroke, because I wasn't dropping my heels as much on that terrain.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:29 PM   #22
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Have you ever felt the need to scoot forward on the saddle for hard efforts, especially climbing? (harder efforts seated, of course)
I did some longer (>1mi) climbs on Monday and was very comfortable in terms of saddle fore/aft. Didn't feel like my body wanted to scoot forward or backward. During my attack/break at Tradezone, I was chugging at about 140-150% FTP tucked down pretty low and my butt actually wanted to move back a little more.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:37 PM   #23
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Gotcha. Based on your last statement, I'd say raise it up first. If that feels like too much reach, then go forward a bit too.
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Old 02-21-08, 12:58 PM   #24
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How are you determining that you are using too much quad and not enough glute? Percieved exertion?
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Old 02-21-08, 01:11 PM   #25
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How are you determining that you are using too much quad and not enough glute? Percieved exertion?
extreme and early-onset cramping, plus excessive soreness (compared to the rest of my legs/body) the next day.
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