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Thread: Perfect Fit

  1. #1
    Senior Member avidone1's Avatar
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    Perfect Fit

    Since I bought my bike back in October I have been fussing over the elusive and perhaps mythical "perfect fit"
    I am of the obsessive persuasion, so getting the bike professionally fitted would do nothing because I would be tinkering with the adjustments regardless.
    So I turned to web resources including this forum.
    The first issue I had was with the saddle. It was a wide, sprung, cushy, "comfort" saddle that hurt my sit bones despite the hype.
    I responded by adding gel padded shorts which did nothing to help the sit bones, but added leg numbness to the equation.
    Following recommendation on this forum and some independent research I selected a Selle Anatomica. BIG IMPROVEMENT
    Seat height had to adjusted due to the thinner saddle. I followed standard guides for seat height...Got hip pain...more research, lowered saddle -BIG IMPROVEMMENT
    Got neck/back pain..this forum recommended shortening reach..did so by moving saddle forward, stem in...pain improved but was sitting too far back on saddle.
    Moved saddle back a little, raised stem a little.....BIG IMPROVEMENT
    After my ride yesterday I felt great, but the proof is always the next morning.
    Woke up with a little back pain, stretced my legs....BIG IMPROVEMNT
    There is one more test before I can declare "Perfect Fit" and that is an extended ride.
    After that the biggest challenge will be leaving it the hell alone.
    thanks bike forum for all your help
    age ... 65
    Treasure Coast Florida

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    After you make fit adjustments I believe you're still going to experience at least some minor discomfort. I've made a few adjustments here and there and it usually takes a couple of rides before everything gets accustomed to the new position.

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    it might be perfect for now, but in 6 months... who knows? you might just git to fiddle around with it some more.

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    Plan on two or three "extended" rides. The first one's going to hurt because you're not used to that distance or time on the bike. You'll find a new ache (or three) every time you ramp up the distance; give your body time to get used to it.

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    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    And some of the discomfort equation has that nasty little conditioning factor.

    Good move you did with ditching the pillow seat. I have acquired a Fizik Pave or better known to critics as an "_ss hatchet". I think I'll like it.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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    alpine cross trainer Ludkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
    it might be perfect for now, but in 6 months... who knows? you might just git to fiddle around with it some more.
    I agree with Obed7. For me, what's comfortable early season usually gets some minor tweeks as the Summer progresses.

    I usually mark my current setup locations and have at times made adjustments mid ride. If it doesn't help I go back to my old setting when I get home. I find that I become somewhat more limber as the miles pile up mid season. This than let's me readjust into a more aerodynamic position.

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    I've come to the conclusion that the perfect fit is a moving target that changes with level of fitness and time in the saddle. This is based entirely on a sample of one; me. For several years I've been recording bike measurements as they changed. It is interesting and I think instructive to look back over that period of time at the different measurements as I fiddled with the fit. I believe your experience will be similar.

  8. #8
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by obed7 View Post
    it might be perfect for now, but in 6 months...
    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    I've come to the conclusion that the perfect fit is a moving target that changes with level of fitness and time in the saddle.
    ^^^ This. ^^^

    Fit is a moving target, especially early on as your own fitness and flexibility improve.

    In my case, it was six years before I wasn't changing things. These days, my bikes fit like a prosthetic. I'm seldom aware that there's a bike under me.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  9. #9
    Senior Member avidone1's Avatar
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    Well, another day, another ride and all is well.
    I like the idea that I'll have to adjust the fit again every so often.
    I love fussing over my bike.
    age ... 65
    Treasure Coast Florida

  10. #10
    Senior Member BobbyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by avidone1 View Post
    After that the biggest challenge will be leaving it the hell alone.
    That's my problem, too!
    "When life hands you lumens, make lumen-aide!"

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    after years of trying, there is no perfect fit. Fit evolves over time as your body changes, plus different styles of bike need different fittings. On occasion one does hit sort of a plateau - where body and bike seem to be of a similar mind about fit.
    ride long & prosper

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    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Agree with those above, about your fit needing some adjusting, as you gain fitness and cycling miles. Just look at it as something to tinker with, and feed your CDO (got to have letters in the proper order, you know.)

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  13. #13
    Senior Member osco53's Avatar
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    On my Scott Spark 760
    I ride a dropper post so seat height depends on the trail and how fast I'm riding.
    I like it down about 2 to 3 Inches below fully extended, gets the saddle out of my way.

    Handle bar position, The standard base line works for me,,, In Ride/Attack position I like my bar visually over/covering my front axle.

    I won't ride a DF road bike, too confining, position is too fixed. As for my LWB recumbent, It's just comfortable plain and simple..

    To me Its all about small half and quarter Inches changes to lessen pain untill my body comes up to speed, then Its a non Issue.
    For me just the basic first ride set up is good.

    I found that most of my problems like knee, hip, hand, or shoulder pain were due to bad technique or more often due to Improper Hydration or diet, That is after my physical condition was up to the demands of my rides....

    Mashing is bad, spinning is good,
    Moving my hands around and not death gripping the bars was good,
    Proper stretching AFTER my body was warmed up and learning to NOT stretch cold muscles was a major realization...
    Last edited by osco53; 02-14-15 at 05:45 AM.
    Scott Spark 760, Tour Easy LE, Sun EZ-3 sx

  14. #14
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Once I have fiddled with seat position and handlebar position, the most telling test for me is the hand clap test. While riding at a steady, moderate effort on flat ground, if I can lift my hands from the bars and clap them twice without falling toward the bars or rising up, then I have achieved the balance I'm after.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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