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Old 12-07-08, 07:31 PM   #1
ridethecliche
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A cry for help: Muscle knots and fit?

Background:
I had one of my best rides ever on thursday and I decided to change my fit a little when I got back. I recently installed an SRM and a new saddle and things haven't felt 'right' in my fit since I did that so I wanted to try and bring myself back to center again.

Task at hand:
Basically, I messed up my fit and even with things around where they should be, I don't feel right at all. Power is down about 25-30 watts in a 20 minute interval, and body hurts during that duration when it just felt stressed earlier.

Also, I've found a lump on my left calf which is on my muscle and really tight and painful to the touch. I think it's a muscle knot and I have no idea how to get rid of it. I've applied icy hot and massaged the crap outta it and it's still there. Anyone have any issues like this? What did you have to do to get it resolved?

I had a feeling the knot might have something to do with the tightness in my calf which makes me think my fit is off when it really might not be that bad in reality. I think my saddle fore/aft is the same but the height isn't, when can I know if my height is right?

I've heard 'when it's low you know' but I was sort of looking for a guide to find the happy medium to narrow down on what works.

Thanks!

Help?

Last edited by ridethecliche; 12-07-08 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 12-07-08, 07:42 PM   #2
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For muscle knots, I've heard good things about foam rollers, but I haven't tried them yet.

For the saddle height, a good starting wild guess would be Sheldon's method of pushing it to an extreme and backing off: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html#height
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Old 12-07-08, 07:44 PM   #3
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Foam roller works great, but it will hurt loosening it up.
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Old 12-07-08, 07:51 PM   #4
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Foam roller works great, but it will hurt loosening it up.
I have 'the stick' to massage my legs, but no foam rollers. Is there anything I can do with my hands/the stick to get it to go away?

Also, WR, should I get rid of the PM while I'm trying to find what works and carry forward based on feel?
And for the saddle height hip rocking test, what should I do? Should I move to an easy gear and try to spin at about 110 and move the saddle down if I'm all over the place? Also is the 'best' position slightly below the 'too high' bit or will this get me into the ball park enough that I can play with a few mm up and down and dial it in.

Thanks a lot!

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Old 12-07-08, 08:03 PM   #5
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Didn't you take measurements before you started changing stuff?

The SRM shouldnt' affect your fit, unless you got different length crank arms than you are used to. In which case that might be the problem.

When I have tried to set my seat height using the "raise it till your hips rock, then lower a bit" method I have wound up with a seat that's way too high, and pain in the back of my knees on long rides. I lowered it until I could feel that my pedal stroke was effective all the way through at the bottom, and it wound up being close to the LeMond formula.
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Old 12-07-08, 08:12 PM   #6
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I have 'the stick' to massage my legs, but no foam rollers. Is there anything I can do with my hands/the stick to get it to go away?

Also, WR, should I get rid of the PM while I'm trying to find what works and carry forward based on feel?
And for the saddle height hip rocking test, what should I do? Should I move to an easy gear and try to spin at about 110 and move the saddle down if I'm all over the place? Also is the 'best' position slightly below the 'too high' bit or will this get me into the ball park enough that I can play with a few mm up and down and dial it in.

Thanks a lot!
I have the stick also, it will work but will hurt also. The foam roller seems to work better for me, but the Stick works well also. With the foam roller you use yer body weight. You can also try a softball( I know its not soft). Set it on the floor, sit down with legs strethed out in front of you with tight muscle on ball. Lift yer butt off the floor with yer hands, one leg over the other so your weight is on the ball. Roll back and forth to loosen. It will hurt, but should loosen up pretty quick. Roll for a minute, then get up and stretch it lightly, repeat.
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Old 12-07-08, 08:14 PM   #7
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A)Didn't you take measurements before you started changing stuff?

B)The SRM shouldnt' affect your fit, unless you got different length crank arms than you are used to. In which case that might be the problem.

When I have tried to set my seat height using the "raise it till your hips rock, then lower a bit" method I have wound up with a seat that's way too high, and pain in the back of my knees on long rides. C) I lowered it until I could feel that my pedal stroke was effective all the way through at the bottom, and it wound up being close to the LeMond formula.
A)No. The *ONE* time I got ahead of myself... I had a piece of tape stuck on my seatpost, but I threw that away after I had to lower my post past that point. Bleh...

B)Q factor changed by a bit. I have a leg length discrepancy that I had adjusted my cleats for and a dartfish fit had shown that my knees and such were about the same. I might go back for a fit in the spring and try to see if shims and such will help.

C)Will try this.


Just as a question for everyone. When you set your seat height, if you're pedaling on a trainer and you stop with your foot at the very bottom of the stroke, can you push your butt off the saddle only by applying force instead of moving your foot?

This might be totally wrong, but I think that might correlate to having your seat too high if you can't move your behind at all, and if it's too low you're going to be moving it a lot?

Last edited by ridethecliche; 12-07-08 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:01 PM   #8
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if you're pedaling on a trainer and you stop with your foot at the very bottom of the stroke, can you push your butt off the saddle only by applying force instead of moving your foot?
Yes.

Regarding the PM, there's no reason to remove it while you figure this out. You need to detach the numbers on the display from your emotions. They're data, and they're valuable, but you need to keep it objective.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:09 PM   #9
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Yes.

Regarding the PM, there's no reason to remove it while you figure this out. You need to detach the numbers on the display from your emotions. They're data, and they're valuable, but you need to keep it objective.
So you should be able to move it a little bit, but you shouldn't be able to lift yourself a cm off the saddle by applying force right? I guess this would lead to hip rocking because of saddle too low!
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Old 12-07-08, 09:09 PM   #10
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Yes.

Regarding the PM, there's no reason to remove it while you figure this out. You need to detach the numbers on the display from your emotions. They're data, and they're valuable, but you need to keep it objective.
+1. The numbers go up and down. It's the trend that matters. We all have off days, so don't place too much value on one ride.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:16 PM   #11
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this is the part that confuses me:

"I had one of my best rides ever on thursday and I decided to change my fit a little when I got back"

Uh.. what?
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Old 12-07-08, 09:18 PM   #12
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this is the part that confuses me:

"I had one of my best rides ever on thursday and I decided to change my fit a little when I got back"

Uh.. what?
You can have a nice hard ride where you come back and things still feel pretty off. Things were bothering me even though my efforts were good.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:20 PM   #13
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Lots of gatorade and bananas.
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Old 12-08-08, 01:53 AM   #14
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So, I found an old set of notes that I worked off from and I think I have my position down to about .5mm of saddle height. Not bad.

One thing though. My left leg feels pretty good, but when I pedal hard, my right quad fatigues a lot faster. I.e. my left leg isn't even hurting and my right quad is starting to get annoyed. I have a feeling this is a cleat position issue. Anyone have any ideas about the fore/aft requirement in order to alleviate this a little bit?

Thanks a ton for all the help!
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Old 12-08-08, 07:54 AM   #15
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I'd leave it alone for a couple rides and see if things straighten out. 0.5mm change in your saddle height should affect anything at all, so I think you may be worrying a bit much about this stuff.

When I first started riding, I had to have everything "just so" to perform well -- or so I thought. I was picky about which socks I wore, making sure my gloves didn't wrinkle in the wrong place, etc. etc. In reality none of it makes much of a difference at all. I've since loosened up to the point that I am much more versatile (borrowed bikes and shoes are even fine). Humans are flexible and adapt well.

Just putting on a pair of tights will effectively raise your saddle 0.5mm or more. Different bibs with different chamois will do the same thing.

If your cleat position has been fine to this point, don't touch them!
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Old 12-08-08, 11:08 AM   #16
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I'd leave it alone for a couple rides and see if things straighten out. 0.5mm change in your saddle height should affect anything at all, so I think you may be worrying a bit much about this stuff.

When I first started riding, I had to have everything "just so" to perform well -- or so I thought. I was picky about which socks I wore, making sure my gloves didn't wrinkle in the wrong place, etc. etc. In reality none of it makes much of a difference at all. I've since loosened up to the point that I am much more versatile (borrowed bikes and shoes are even fine). Humans are flexible and adapt well.

Just putting on a pair of tights will effectively raise your saddle 0.5mm or more. Different bibs with different chamois will do the same thing.

If your cleat position has been fine to this point, don't touch them!
Too late. I have this weird feeling that I'm pedaling much bigger circles with my right leg.

When CDR helped me out with my fit, we had done measurements. While our measurements weren't 100% accurate, we found that my right lower leg was about 1cm longer. I find myself compensating for this by moving my right cleat back, which helps a bit but makes me feel like I'm losing my 'snap' on sprints.

My left cleat position doesn't bother me, but I have a feeling my seat height is set for my shorter leg. Maybe I should buy a set of wedges and put a 5mm wedge under my left cleat and dial in my saddle height and cleat position using one of those. My cleats on my right foot were about 4mm further behind the cleats on left foot.

I had a fit done, but the cleat position looked okay (I set it up myself with trial and error over miles and miles of riding and adjusting), so nothing was changed.

I feel better pedaling with my right cleat further back, but I feel like I'm losing my snap in a sprint when I do that. It's rather annoying...

Thanks for the help
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Old 12-08-08, 09:30 PM   #17
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Little bit of an update:

1) I think I found a good enough fit. (I wrote it down this time)

2) It's not a muscle knot, it's a fat deposit. Saw my cousin today (he's a doc in England) and he had a look at it cause I said it was weird, and he said that it moved when I flexed so it was between the muscle and the skin aka a fat deposit. I'll keep an eye on it, but it doesn't look to be serious. It does hurt when palpated and is a pain in the ass. Then again, so is my saddle, and that doesn't stop me from riding now does it?
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Old 12-12-08, 02:07 PM   #18
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could it be a cyst?
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Old 12-12-08, 02:37 PM   #19
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could it be a cyst?
Refer to the post right above yours

It's a fat deposit. Weird, huh?
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Old 12-12-08, 04:20 PM   #20
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Lance it.

Oops wrong thread.
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Old 12-19-08, 11:08 AM   #21
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But I would think a fat deposit wouldn't hurt to touch....
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Old 12-19-08, 04:27 PM   #22
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But I would think a fat deposit wouldn't hurt to touch....
It doesn't really hurt to just touching it, but pinching and massaging hurts a bunch. Hasn't bothered me in a while though.
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