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  1. #1
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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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.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  2. #2
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Seat further back should elicit more hamstring/glute usage.....
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  3. #3
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    but oddly it doesn't
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  4. #4
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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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.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  5. #5
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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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
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  6. #6
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarWizard View Post
    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?
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  7. #7
    . botto's Avatar
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    if it's too low, you'll know.

  8. #8
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    if it's too low, you'll know.
    will Jack Sparrow let me know?
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  9. #9
    Used to be a climber.. GuitarWizard's Avatar
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    Knee area, but set back a bit so it shows you on the bike as well
    1999 Trek 2500 - hit by a car on it in May, 2011 and currently bikeless

  10. #10
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    will Jack Sparrow let me know?
    That be Captain Jack to you matey! Aaargh!
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  11. #11
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoRacer View Post
    That be Captain Jack to you matey!
    Actually he was promoted to Admiral after his heroic performance last week.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  12. #12
    Isaias NoRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    Actually he was promoted to Admiral after his heroic performance last week.
    Aargh!
    2009 mileage = 14,738 miles; 2010 mileage = 15,234 miles; 2011 mileage = 17,344 miles; 2012 mileage = 11,414 miles; 2013 = 12,169

  13. #13
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    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?

    Captain Jack will get you high tonight. 'nuff said.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

  14. #14
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kudude View Post
    wtf is a quad?
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  15. #15
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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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.

  16. #16
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kudude View Post
    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.

  17. #17
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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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.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
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  18. #18
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    ^^ 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.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator
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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.

    cdr

  20. #20
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Good insight as always, CDR.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  21. #21
    Senior Member aicabsolut's Avatar
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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.

  22. #22
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aicabsolut View Post
    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.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

  23. #23
    Senior Member aicabsolut's Avatar
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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.

  24. #24
    cmh
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    How are you determining that you are using too much quad and not enough glute? Percieved exertion?

  25. #25
    Carpe Diem bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmh View Post
    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.
    "When you are chewing the bars at the business end of a 90 mile road race you really dont care what gear you have hanging from your bike so long as it works."
    ΛΧΑ ΔΞ179 - 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order!

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