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  1. #1
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Bike fit/Non-standard bars/confused

    I know a lot of you have had a bike fitting done... I've set up several bikes and just found out my bikes look very* odd to a lot of people. I had no idea that they looked that weird.

    I just had a fitting the other day because I was having some baffling issues with my Mondonico.

    The fitter, while taking measurements, kept telling me the bike was WAY too big for me, and seemed doubtful it would work. It's a 59 cm bike. He told me I should be riding a 53 cm bike, and I told him that my 55 cm bikes were marginally too small for me. (BTW, at the end of the session, he said a 56-57 cm bike would be optimal for me, which is exactly what I thought.)

    All he ended up doing was moving the seat down a smidge and all the way back. He said my Giant Nitto Noodle bars were pulling me forward and making up for the short stem I had put on. He said that my bike was set up strangely, but that I looked exactly* the way I should on it.

    So I had been posting about this over in C&V, and I got a lot of advice that, once I started thinking about, I realized I didn't understand. Maybe you could help me? Here's the link to the original, if you're really bored: Hmmm...not sure I'm liking the Mondonico. Why?

    The gist of it is that I buy bikes that are too big because I have a freakishly long torso. Here are my FIT measurements:

    Inseam: 81
    Foot length: 25
    Arm length: 64
    Torso Length: 63
    Upper Body Measurement: 127
    Shoulder Measurement:40

    I compared to member who had an Upper Body Measurement of 113 with the same inseam compared to my 127.

    Many of the C&V guys told me to get a longer stem and bars with less reach, that I would be more comfortable--even though the bik fits well as it is. I don't understand that. The FIT guy at first said the width of the bars was a very minor issue, comparitively.

    I admit I chose a shorter stem because the Mondonico was longer in the Top Tube, and I was trying to match the reach of the Atlantis, which has the same bars on it. New bars and stem would cost over $100, which I'd rather put into components. Why are these giant bars focused on as something change, since the general reach is just the same and the bigger bars give me a lot* more options for hand position?

    Also, WHY exactly is it so bad to have your bars high? I admit that I'm getting ready to lower them now that my back is getting stronger, but I like the concept of having the drops comfortable to ride in for a lot of your ride time. Most people don't use the drops because they're too low. Why not set the drop bars in the middle so you can use drops, hoods, and flats with equal comfort?

    Is the main problem with giant 46" wide noodle bars set high is that it's ugly?

    Here's photos of 3 of my bikes set up. The Klein is set up a little differently but pretty much the same. I don't have any* shoulder, wrist or elbow issues, mostly because I move around constantly. I can't believe that this set-up hasn't contributed to a pain-free first season riding.



    Last edited by solveg; 10-05-07 at 10:37 AM.

  2. #2
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Solveg...this is almost impossible to do over the Internet. If the professionals are having trouble in person, how can we assist with only measurements and pics of various bikes.

    You could start with a pic of you on your bike in 3 riding positions, on the bars, on the hoods and in the drops.

    Edit: What are your objectives? Who cares what other people think.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  3. #3
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    No, the bikes fit GREAT. Even the FIT guy didn't charge me full rate because he didn't really have to do anything.

    I was just wondering why I was getting all this advice to swap out my (good-fitting but huge) bars, and why people generally discount having drop bars set high.

    To sum up, what exact benefit is having a longer stem and shorter reach bars when in my mind, all it does is reduce the number of available hand positions? Is it purely aesthetic, or does the advice I'm being given have sound handling reasons? I don't want to not heed advice if there's a rationale behind it, but I'm not sure what it is.

    All that background was just to explain why I had to ride giant bikes in the first place... I really need to.

  4. #4
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Fit for ladies, it sort of goes like this. Because they have more weight in their butt, the seat tube angle, is less i.e. they sit back further behind the pedals which helps them produce power. The seat height is adjusted and then the top tube length is set. When in the drops, the back should be FLAT.

    The idea is that in the drops, one achieves the most aerodynamic position. Now that assumes your back, hamstrings and neck have enough flexibility.

    Your seat is far below your handlebars so a flat back in the drops, is not possible. Does it matter...no. You will have more wind resistance when riding than others and will go slower for the same power produced.

    Short reach handlebars...women are smaller proportionally than men. Why would ladies use the same size bars as men who have longer arms, bigger hands and etc. My wife has short reach bars and it puts her in a better riding position with respect to angles of arms and legs. Here are a couple of pics of her in the drops. Her handlebars are a couple of inches below her seat and the stem in turned down.





    Here are some women professional riders we saw in Italy. Note that they are climbing and on the bars and sitting back. Note their positions.



    Now, do you have to have the above positions? No. You should choose the riding style that best suites your objectives and fitness. Are short reach bars worth the money? Who knows. I think for your new bike, you need lower gears.

    As a side note...I am a golfer and I took lessions from a pro who had the video. The video allowed him to compare my posture and swing with Tiger Woods and Ernie Els. Guess what, I wanted to swing and look like those guys. I worked very hard to mimic their posture, timing and sequence limited by my flexibility and strength.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Your bikes look great. Very BOBish. They are right, Grant would definitely approve. Short stem + long reach handlebars = longer stem + shorter reach handlebars. Nitto Noodles are the most comfortable bars I have ever used. No need to fix what ain't broke.

    You have to be careful in reacting to comments in discussions like this. People often reply without fully understanding what you are describing. Sometimes people seem to know much more than they really do. Sometimes people reply to early posts without realizing that the problem has already been resolved. You took the bike in for a fit and what the guy suggested worked. No more need for suggestions to improve conditions that no longer exist.

    If you like your handlebars a little higher than the saddle for comfort reasons, then that is what you should do. If you choose to lower them as you become more limber and stronger, go for it. One thing to remember is that as you lower the bars, the reach will get longer as it will move not only lower, but farther forward, following the angle of the head tube.

    Here is a good discussion on bar height from an old Rivendell reader:

    Raise Dat Stem!

    by Bob Gordon

    A flat back is one of the hallmarks of an experienced cyclist, particularly a racer, and over the years I have seen the prevailing attitudes towards rider positioning devolve to the point where if you don't cycle with your back parallel to the ground, you're cast off as a beginner.

    But like many other concepts recreational riders adopt, the low back originated in the professional ranks after extensive research in aerodynamics proved this would help the fast go faster. Competitive athletes routinely sacrifice both their short and long term health for the express purpose of winning, but you may have a different agenda.

    Lower back disc problems peak the ages of 30 and 50. There are many causes, but if your back pain is exacerbated by riding, it's a good bet the cause is bouncing around on your bike while your lower spine is extensively flexed (loss of lower back arch). A low, forward torso causes the inner portion of the disc (the nucleus purposes) to press back against the outer restraining fibers (the annulus fibroses). This pressure eventually causes the disc to bulge or herniate. The nearby nerves get squeezed, and the next thing you know, someone like me is telling you you have sciatica.

    Cycling mitigates some of the problems of a habitually flexed lumbar spine because of the "bridge effect" that's created by resting some of your weight on your hands. But the lumbar region and its soft tissues are still at risk just by being continuously hyper flexed, and if you sit all day at your job, the danger is compounded.

    On the flip side, cycling entirely upright does not solve the problem either. True, the inter-vertebral discs and spinal ligaments are in a more neutral position and absorb shock better, but the load is now transmitted axially, which is fatiguing and jarring. Also, in a bolt-upright position you can't use your gluteus or hamstrings to great advantage, which means your thighs (quadriceps) get overworked, you lose a lot of power, the unused hamstrings and gluteal muscles go flabby, and you catch all that wind. It's hard to be happy about all that, racer or no.

    There is, however, a position that allows good performance while minimizing risk of lower back injury. I like a stem height and length that puts your back about 50 degrees from horizontal, while your arms and legs bend slightly at the elbows, as shown in figure 2 up there. To achieve this, you'll probably have to raise your bars, and assuming you want to keep the same bar style (as opposed to riding with stingray bars or something), that usually means getting another stem, one with a taller quill or a steep rise to it. If you hit the sweet spot, a photo of you from the side will reveal a nice pyramid composed of top tube, torso and arms.'
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
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    It seems to me that the "standard" appearance for any bike set-up relates to what the "average" person is built like...and that bugaboo called tradition.

    I have wider and higher bars on my Rivendell, and shop people sometimes comment on it and urge me to get a professional fitting. But, I know I'm getting 95% to 100% of my available power into my pedal stroke, and I'm comfortable enough to ride 60 to 100 miles everytime I get on the bike. And, I can ride on the corners, on the hoods, and in the drops with equal comfort. I can even ride in the drops before I'm warmed up. (I'm a stiff, awkward person, with little in the way of athletic talent.)

    Your bikes look very much like mine in terms of set-up. My Rambouillet is a 62cm bike, yet my measurements call for a 60cm in the Rivendell paradigm, which is on the large side. I rode all the various frame size option, and 62 felt the best.

    So now I have a bike on the large size, with the bars set high and the stem not very long...10cm. And it works and feels fine. I've been riding 11 years as an adult, and average 6000 miles a year.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 10-05-07 at 02:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Big Paulie, I went to the Bugs, Pie and Ice Cream site (Wow! The site looks great!) and all I saw was a cartoon red bike! Post a photo of yours! I want to see how Grant Peterson sets up a bike, since apparently I'm doing it just like he would....

    It just feels* like my bike is really, really disturbing to people, and since I'm learning this stuff on my own, it's easy to doubt my logic.

    And, someone on the other thread said that my Mondonico might not ride very well if I set it up like this. I don't want make a pig-bike out of it, if that's what's going to happen. But, to be honest, I'm not that demanding a rider. I'm very sensitive to the "feel" of a bike, but I don't push it to its limits.

  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    I want to see how Grant Peterson sets up a bike, since apparently I'm doing it just like he would....

    It just feels* like my bike is really, really disturbing to people, and since I'm learning this stuff on my own, it's easy to doubt my logic.

    And, someone on the other thread said that my Mondonico might not ride very well if I set it up like this. I don't want make a pig-bike out of it, if that's what's going to happen. But, to be honest, I'm not that demanding a rider. I'm very sensitive to the "feel" of a bike, but I don't push it to its limits.
    You'll find a different perspective here

    and here.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    Big Paulie, I went to the Bugs, Pie and Ice Cream site (Wow! The site looks great!) and all I saw was a cartoon red bike! Post a photo of yours! I want to see how Grant Peterson sets up a bike, since apparently I'm doing it just like he would....

    It just feels* like my bike is really, really disturbing to people, and since I'm learning this stuff on my own, it's easy to doubt my logic.

    And, someone on the other thread said that my Mondonico might not ride very well if I set it up like this. I don't want make a pig-bike out of it, if that's what's going to happen. But, to be honest, I'm not that demanding a rider. I'm very sensitive to the "feel" of a bike, but I don't push it to its limits.
    I don't have a digital camera, so I can't post a photo of my bike easily. But, it looks virtually identical to your set up...with the bars maybe a bit lower, but not by much.

    I get cr*p every now and again about my set up, since it does look odd by other people's standards. And it does give me pause to wonder if I'm missing something. But I traded bikes with a friend who is 15 years younger, 80 pounds lighter, a MUCH more talented cyclist than me...and a proud owner of a 16 pound CF bike. When we finished our ride, I was dreading his review of my bike. But...he kept riding it around in the parking lot where we were parked. He didn't want to give it back.

    I would say I'm in the same space as you are, in terms of not being a fast rider, but very sensitive to even small changes. I keep fiddling with my bike until it feels right to me. I think you should set up your bikes solely for your comfort and pleasure, and forget the idea that you might not be getting the most out of a given frame. The motor is you, not the bike.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 10-05-07 at 04:36 PM.

  10. #10
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    Also, with a Brooks saddle, you have the option of sitting more upright and staying comfortable. With most plastic saddles, you don't have that option, so the riders get down low to take weight off their butts.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 10-05-07 at 04:37 PM.

  11. #11
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    We have often seen here in 50+ that the comfortable set up for one of our riders enrages the "must do it this way" crowd. That's why we have a 50+ forum, so that common sense can trump "conventional wisdom".

    If you've taken the time to get it to fit you then pay no attention to the complaints.

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have read so many versions of how to set up a bike- That I have just a few parameters to sort the bike out with.

    Saddle height and fore and aft. No set rules but I like to have the knee just slightly bent with the pedal at the bottom of the stroke and I do like to have the front of the kneecap just in front of the pedal axle.

    Bar height and I vary on the two different road bikes so anything from below the saddle height to above the saddle height seems to be OK. The Boreas is 3.5 inches below the saddle and the Giant is 1" below.

    Reach for the bars is easily achieved by changing the stem but a fantastic tip I was given is to sit on the bike with your hands on the flat top of the bars. Look down at yout front wheel and the flat of the bars should obscure the front wheel hub. 15 years on MTB's and I had the things set up to be comfortable. After a year on the Giant I had the bike comfortable and that was when I was passed on this tip. It works for me so I rode the Boreas for a month and got it comfortable and checked it out again- Same set up on the Boreas.

    Couple of attachments from just after the first ride on the Giant and Looking at the pics now- Bar height was just a fraction low and too near. A new stem 20mm longer with a higher rise sorted that problem. Saddle took a little longer to sort fore and aft but that is now right aswell.

    It does not matter how you set the bike up- providing it is how you want it and you can ride the thing without pain. The size of the bike is not a problem- unless you wish to conform to what everyone says you should have.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by stapfam; 10-05-07 at 04:37 PM.
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  13. #13
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    We have often seen here in 50+ that the comfortable set up for one of our riders enrages the "must do it this way" crowd. That's why we have a 50+ forum, so that common sense can trump "conventional wisdom".

    If you've taken the time to get it to fit you then pay no attention to the complaints.
    They weren't enraged*... they were just being helpful, and I had trouble with some of the concepts. I actually called the fit guy today and asked why a longer stem/shorter reach bar was preferable to the shorter stem/long reach bar. He said it really wasn't a big deal, but the longer stem makes a bike less "twitchy". This is offset by the wide bars I have, though, which make it more stable again.

    I don't know about this bike... I finally got to take it out today for a real ride, and I had* to ride it in the drops, which made my arms hurt. If I rode it on the brakes, I wanted about another inch in length and made me want to skooch back off the saddle. Riding on the flats made me feel like I was almost sitting up.

    I'm mark the measurements it's at now, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to play around on it some more.

    Stapfam, your "obscure the front hub" thing is exactly where mine is at, but it doesn't really take into consideration the reach of the bars...

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    .

    Stapfam, your "obscure the front hub" thing is exactly where mine is at, but it doesn't really take into consideration the reach of the bars...
    Agree there but The Boreas and the Giant have different reach bars and I don't ride in the drops often. Doesn't seem to affect comfort either- but all of these fitting tips are only guidelines- Yet another I heard of was when in the drops- you nose should be 2" behind the top of the bars- Never had a bike yet that worked with that one, or that I could set up to that. Even when I was racing the MTB with full race set up- which was short stem, long bar ends and Bars 4" below the saddle.

    One thing no-one has even remotely touched on though is body weight and position of that weight on the handling of the bike. Something that is understood on MTB's as for fast downhill riding- you get the weight back as far as possible on the bike. Then you suddenly have to steer on tight corners- but the front wheel is light. So you move the body forward to get more weight over the front wheel. Not something that a road bike has to think about but Body weight fore and aft- Over the bars- rear of the saddle will affect the handling of a bike as much as the Geometry of the bike. So long stem will put more weight forard of the bike- Give you a faster response on turning the front wheel but then again- you don't steer a road bike- you lean it on corners- So better if that part is not taken into consideration--- or is it?
    Last edited by stapfam; 10-05-07 at 05:15 PM.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    Big Paulie, I went to the Bugs, Pie and Ice Cream site (Wow! The site looks great!) and all I saw was a cartoon red bike! Post a photo of yours! I want to see how Grant Peterson sets up a bike, since apparently I'm doing it just like he would....

    It just feels* like my bike is really, really disturbing to people, and since I'm learning this stuff on my own, it's easy to doubt my logic.

    And, someone on the other thread said that my Mondonico might not ride very well if I set it up like this. I don't want make a pig-bike out of it, if that's what's going to happen. But, to be honest, I'm not that demanding a rider. I'm very sensitive to the "feel" of a bike, but I don't push it to its limits.
    This comment in your third paragraph is a good example of pure opinion that isn't IMO very pertinent. I really can't think of any

    1. reason you can't ride your Mondo with great enjoyment
    2. reason your very lively frame is going to turn into a pig in any communicable sense,
    3. reason you should make pre-emptive expensive changes to your bike without some clear reason why you need it.

    There is a list, called the IBOB list, a gathering (some would say infestation) of Grant Peterson Bridgestone and Rivendell fans. They have a strong philosophy in favor of high bars, usually by means of Technomic stems just like yours. As you know, I don't ride that way myself, but if it works for you, have at it! Find out if it works. I do know that riding in a lean that is lower than your flexibility will allow can lead to problems up to and including spinal disc damage. I'm near that point, but I don't think I'm at that point, despite my belly/thigh contact.

    You won't get full agreement with your current position or any other 'bar position. One strong fact in favor of using the position you have is thta the reach is now the same as that on your other bikes, and you already have at least one acclimation to make riding this one. Don't make it all too different at once. There's still the question of whether the longer cranks will agree with your hips and legs, as Deanster suggested in the other thread.

    There's no strong theory for handlebar reach and height. The biomechanics and balance are not as cut and dried as the saddle story, and even that is in part convention rather than science. You need to find what works for you, and only you can judge that.

    That said, pictures of you in the three hand positions would be insightful, and a pleasure.

    Road Fan

  16. #16
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    They weren't enraged*... they were just being helpful, and I had trouble with some of the concepts. I actually called the fit guy today and asked why a longer stem/shorter reach bar was preferable to the shorter stem/long reach bar. He said it really wasn't a big deal, but the longer stem makes a bike less "twitchy". This is offset by the wide bars I have, though, which make it more stable again.

    I don't know about this bike... I finally got to take it out today for a real ride, and I had* to ride it in the drops, which made my arms hurt. If I rode it on the brakes, I wanted about another inch in length and made me want to skooch back off the saddle. Riding on the flats made me feel like I was almost sitting up.

    I'm mark the measurements it's at now, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to play around on it some more.

    Stapfam, your "obscure the front hub" thing is exactly where mine is at, but it doesn't really take into consideration the reach of the bars...
    Try measuring the distance from the front tip of your saddle to the same point on each brake handle. If two bikes match in that dimension the reach feeling will be the same for those two bikes. That measurement accounts for TT, stem extension, 'bar sweep, 'bar reach, 'bar width, and brake handle size.

    You're right the "obscure" criterion doesn't really cover all the bases. Stapfam has found a criterion to which he is calibrated, but the problem is it might not work for others for any universal reason.

    Road Fan

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    Excuse me if you already posted this...

    ...but what are your crank lengths, Solveg?

  18. #18
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Oooh, Road Fan, that's a GOOD measurement. I'm going to go do that in a moment.

    Big Paulie... The cranks are 172.5. The FIT guy said that my range was 170 to 172.5. I think my Atlantis crank is about .25 inches shorter.

    I've been digging around the links everyone sent me, and I went to the Riv site. This was the front page photo!

    Last edited by solveg; 10-05-07 at 07:42 PM.

  19. #19
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Road Fan... that was so interesting.

    I am such a geek. I really am.

    My Atlantis, Klein and Bridgestone are all exactly 87 centimeters from the back center of the brooks saddle. My Mondonico is 86. That "inch" I was feeling was only a centimeter. I'm like the princess and the pea.

    So, I can't move the seat back, because that will throw off my knees over the crank. I need a new stem. May as well try out some narrower bars. I have some from the bikes I've already upgraded. Stems, too. Maybe one of them will work. This time I won't tape it up so fast.

    But, boy. My bikes are sure consistent in their set-up!

    My cranks are all over the place. I have 2 170's and a 175. The Mondonico is 172.5.
    Last edited by solveg; 10-05-07 at 08:26 PM.

  20. #20
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    BluesDawg, I know I've seen photos of your bikes before... where are they? Don't we have a thread here where people post bike porn?

  21. #21
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    BluesDawg, I know I've seen photos of your bikes before... where are they? Don't we have a thread here where people post bike porn?
    Well, there's the Red Shark


    Uncle Duke


    Norin Radd


    Lugnut


    and last but not least, Ribby , the love of my life


    I've been making a few changes to some of the bikes lately and I need to get some updated pictures.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  22. #22
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solveg View Post
    So, I can't move the seat back, because that will throw off my knees over the crank.
    That is not an issue. KOPS, knee over pedal spindle and associated theories have no basis in fact but are fondly clung to by many because they provide a 'formula' to work to. I tossed it aside about a thousand kms ago ... and cured the knee problems I was having. Interestingly, I also suddenly started climbing hills I hadn't been able to before though growing fitness and confidence was also a factor there.

    Steve Hogg, Peter White and others talk about being balanced on the bike - ie, your rump, your feet and your hands are all positioned so you are balanced in such a way that your hands carry enough weight to the steer the bike, your seat is as far forward as practical to allow that and all your muscles are working evenly. For example, Steve Hogg maintains that pain in any of the quads (as opposed to all of them feeling stuffed) is an indication that that muscle is doing more work than it should and thus you have a fit problem.

    Steve recommends setting the seat as far forward as allows you to lift your hands off the bars while pedalling and maintaining the same riding position without your shoulders wobbling. Unless you are very fit and have great core strength, this means the seat will be set well back and he maintains that few modern frames have the geometry to allow a normal human being to be fully comfortable on the bike. He designs custom frames that are put together by Baum cycles (at great expense) and offers a money back guarantee on his fittings - he claims not to have had to make a refund.

    With my bike, I have the saddle set as far back as I can get it, the bars just above the saddle and can just manage the 'take your hands off the bars' trick - when I'm feeling strong and fit I can, but as the ride wears on and I wear out, more and more weight goes onto my hands and by the end of the ride I'm in pain again. And I ride Trek's touring bike (bloody Trek don't have a clue).

    Steve maintains that your body will always direct effort to support your posture before it directs effort to producing power. Thus, the better balanced you are, the more effort is available to produce power and he claims that power meters support this claim.

    I like his approach. It's given me the most comfortable ride I've ever had, but has also convinced me to go down the recumbent route.

    As for how your bike looks. Modern fashions are based around pro cycling. Pro cyclists aren't interested in comfort and will wedge themselves into odd positions to minimise the aerodynamic drag. However, that's a wasted effort if your aren't efficiently producing power in the first place. To maintain low bars and a modern crouch, you need very good core strength and very good flexibility. So, to go for the modern fashion, you need to do a lot of extra work (not just riding) to improve your core strength and flexibility, and it can be done - I've seen film of Steve fitting a very experienced, very fit racing rider to a bike. This bloke was in a full on, horizontal backed racing crouch, pedalling smoothly, lifted his hands off the bars and put them behind his back and his body was rock steady as he pedalled. But he was an exceptional athlete.

    Me? I'm not interested in spending hours in the gym and waiting for thousands of kilometers to be comfortable on my bike. I want to be comfortable NOW. So my bars are above the saddle ... yes, I've turned myself into a parachute but it's a comfy parachute. I use a Brooks saddle ... and haven't worn padded knickers since. I've got very wide Nitto Noodle bars with their odd bends and long reach, and love them for the comfort they give me. Mind you, my bike now looks horrid because the frame was sized using modern trends and is consequently too small (serves me right for getting excited with me new bike and not being cynical enough) - I have a stem extender fitted to get the bars high enough. I'd like the bars higher but that starts to get the bars too far from the steering head and, having tried it, the steering starts to feel a bit remote - it'd be less of an issue with the right sized frame.

    The alternative for me is a recumbent. On that I'll be comfy (I hope - probably find other issues knowing my luck), I won't suffer the hand problems I have now (it's not unusual for me not to be able to feel the gear levers thanks to numb hands) and I'll have an aerodynamic position which I don't have now. I'm hoping it works because to test the experiment, the only choice I have is to buy a bent (there aren't enough around here to get a test ride of any sort). She'll be here by Christmas ... with luck.

    In summary. Don't worry about how your bike looks. Don't worry about your knee over the pedals. Don't apply formulae. Just mess with your bike and make it as comfortable as you can - my experience supports the 'balanced' line of thought. If it winds up looking odd, well you search out a new frame that does the same job without looking odd (which is all I'm doing with the bent).

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  23. #23
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Thanks... I just couldn't find them. I've got kind of a thing for Uncle Duke.

    Now, what is the stem he's got on?

    Your RB-1 is gorgeous... Is that a Shimano 600EX long cage derailleur on it?
    Last edited by solveg; 10-05-07 at 11:38 PM.

  24. #24
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by europa View Post
    TSteve recommends setting the seat as far forward as allows you to lift your hands off the bars while pedalling and maintaining the same riding position without your shoulders wobbling. Unless you are very fit and have great core strength, this means the seat will be set well back ...
    That was a really interesting post, and it made me feel a little more "normal". However, I was just making a mess out of fitting this bike. It appears that I don't know how to translate what I'm feeling quite yet. I know if it's "wrong" but I blame it on the wrong thing.

    Your statement above confuses me. Wouldn't it be easier to take your hands off the bar if the seat were closer* to the bars?

  25. #25
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    Mate, one thing I've discovered in my journey, is that you do NOT know what 'right' feels like until you've actually experienced it. I've suffered so much over the years simply because I thought what I was feeling was 'right'. My current set up is the most comfortable I've had, but I now know it isn't 'right' because for one ride, I had the bars set about 2" higher than they are now and suddenly realised what it means not to have pressure on your hands. I don't really like sitting that high and the steering was so remote it wasn't nice, so I've gone back to my current compromise. It works between about 10km out (once my body is warm) and 30km. After that, I'm getting tired and the weight starts to come back onto the hands as my back gives up on the effort.

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

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