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  1. #1
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    I noticed that my riding position LEANS!

    I'm posting this in the Commuter section because I use my bicycles to commute. Not sure if there is a better place to post this.

    I spend a decent amount of time in the saddle, and the alone time translates to lots of brain activity. For example: "How fast am I spinning?", "how are my tires rolling on turns?", "How does the fore and aft weight feel?", etc. Then one day about two months ago I noticed that I can see the down tube on the left side of the top tube (looking down from the riding position of course). During the past few months, I'll occasionally look down and it's always the same - downtube is visible to the left of the top tube. That means my head is on the left side of the centerline of the bike.

    So I got to thinking - like I mentioned, I think a good deal while riding - and I'm getting a little concerned. Is my whole torso leaning to the left? Does my head just naturally hang to the left? I experience a buzzing/numbing in my right arm on longer rides - is that because I'm leaning to the left and my right arm is therefore more extended than my left? I've sold my past three bikes to overcome my right arm issue - working progressively towards a shorter top tube and a more comfortable upright position. Not only changing bikes, but going to upright handlebars as well (currently running Soma Oxfords, inverted - a rip off of the Nitto Albatross as far as I can tell). I've been doing everything I can to get my hands closer to my body and less extended.

    I've never been able to ride a bike with no hands, which might be informative with regards to my left-leaning issue. This goes way back to the BMX days in my youth, through my adult road bike times, and now I'm on a Surly Trucker with 26" wheels. None of that matters - I have never been able to guide a bike in a straight line with no hands. It's not a bike alignment issue, as I've learned how to work on bikes from a young age, and I've owned 10+ bikes in the last 10 years alone.

    Is this bad?

  2. #2
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    the only advice I can give is don't start looking on WebMD, you'll end up diagnosing yourself with death.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I'm was sighted in one eye and far sighted in the other.
    How do you think things looked to me?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Well, let's see...

    1. Have you ever been professionally fitted? You may be slightly out of proportion and not realize it.
    2. Ever been to a chiropractor? You might want to consider it, as your spine may be severely out of alignment.
    3. Is the saddle in alignment with the top tube? I know, silly question, but if it is off by a couple of degrees, that could affect your posture.

    The no-hands thing... my understanding is that the rake and trail have more to do with this than rider ability.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I think it is just an optical allusion, has to do with eye dominance. Try this: hold your hand at arms length and close one eye at a time. Does your hand seem to move left to right? your brain doesn't actually see in stereo. One eye is dominant generally.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sthslvrcnfsn View Post
    Is my whole torso leaning to the left? Does my head just naturally hang to the left? I experience a buzzing/numbing in my right arm on longer rides - is that because I'm leaning to the left and my right arm is therefore more extended than my left? I've sold my past three bikes to overcome my right arm issue - working progressively towards a shorter top tube and a more comfortable upright position. Not only changing bikes, but going to upright handlebars as well (currently running Soma Oxfords, inverted - a rip off of the Nitto Albatross as far as I can tell). I've been doing everything I can to get my hands closer to my body and less extended.

    I've never been able to ride a bike with no hands, which might be informative with regards to my left-leaning issue. This goes way back to the BMX days in my youth, through my adult road bike times, and now I'm on a Surly Trucker with 26" wheels. None of that matters - I have never been able to guide a bike in a straight line with no hands. It's not a bike alignment issue, as I've learned how to work on bikes from a young age, and I've owned 10+ bikes in the last 10 years alone.

    Is this bad?
    If you lean (slightly) to one side, and you might, the side you lean towards should be the side that hurts. There is little to support a supposition that your right arm might hurt because it is more extended. It should hurt less if anything. Extension is usually a good thing. Hyper-extension is another matter entirely. However, there is this, After years of riding ever more upright bikes through the 90's and 20 oughts, I chanced upon a drop bar road-racer going cheap at an LBS. There has been a marked reduction in hand pain and arm numbness from a riding position that is radically lower than any of my commute bikes have been. The way your wrists rotate outward so your hands can straddle brake hoods is a good thing for many people. More to the point, the way ones wrists rotate inward to hold the grips of upright bars seems to cause a number of issues for many people, yours truly included. I haven't found that any amount of raising the bars completely solves this.

    I do have one bike set up much like yours: North Road bars, etc. I do not have arm or hand pain on this bike, but the riding position is not a performance oriented one by any stretch of the imagination. I am not a commuting martyr. I do not seek to handicap my performance on a bicycle to meet objectives of sweat reduction or anything unrelated to completing the mission with a modicum of dispatch. So, in a few hours my main commuter is going to be the latest vehicle in the fleet to get drop-bars. Compact bend, nothing extreme, but just because they are drop bars, with no other changes made to the stem length or angle, my riding position will be 3.5" lower on the flat top of the bars and 6" lower in the drops. Getting down out of the wind so I can maintain a decent road-speed is more important to me than anything else. I consider it a bonus that my hands seem to like drop bars more than they do any kind of flat-bar I've tried besides North Road Bars.

    H

  7. #7
    Senior Member GuitarBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg M View Post
    I think it is just an optical allusion, has to do with eye dominance. Try this: hold your hand at arms length and close one eye at a time. Does your hand seem to move left to right? your brain doesn't actually see in stereo. One eye is dominant generally.
    +1

  8. #8
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    No body is exactly symmetrical so the slight tilt might be due to you naturally compensating for some harmless irregularity in your physique. The pavement usually slants down to the right for drainage, so that might be a factor too.

  9. #9
    Kitten Legion Master
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    Oh gawd, my cat says you're gonna DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10
    a.k.a., Point Five Dude Surrealdeal's Avatar
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    Though I'm not a proponent of them myself perhaps a recumbent would solve your problem.
    Fat is sweat, on the wrong side of your skin.

  11. #11
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    99.7% probability that it's NOTHING, except something to get over. Ride and enjoy it.

    (If it IS the .3%, then ignore what I just said.)

  12. #12
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    I've had years of low back problems and when it is acting up I notice that instead of being centered over the top tube I'm off to the right. So bad at one point that my left eye was looking down the right side of the top tube.

  13. #13
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Do you have a trainer? Set it up in front of a mirror, or with a camera perhaps looking at you from the back, and see how it goes. See if you are still looking at the seat tube left of the top tube when the bike is stationary on a trainer.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  14. #14
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    I checked out my own situation riding in today. I found I tend to ride with my head tilted to the left (probably due to the morning sun always being on my left) so I see the downtube to the left of my top tube. But it also depends on my foot position. If I pause in pedaling to look down, and coast with my left foot down, I see more of the downtube on the left. If I deliberately coast with the right foot down, I see a bit of the downtube to the right of the top tube.

  15. #15
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    You might have scoliosis.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  16. #16
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    You might consider moving this to the bike fit section.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  17. #17
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    I think it has something to do with the gravitational pull of the moon.

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