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  1. #1
    Mentor Roadie1's Avatar
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    Question About Leg Length

    I have always ridden a road bike but at times more seriously than at others. This is one of my more serious times and my age and the amount I am out of shape is starting to rear its ugly head and I need advice from the group.

    I am 6'2" tall and weigh 220 lbs. I have a leg length discrepancy of approx 3/4", my right leg is longer than my left. My hips are rotated (left hip rearward) and my left tibia and fibula are shorter than my right amounting to the discrepancy.

    I am riding a 60cm c - c road bike with traditional geometry. I have my saddle set at 81cm from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle. I arrived at this figure by standing in my socks against a wall and placing a book firmly between my legs and then measuring. When I am riding I consciously drop my right heel during my pedal strokes to try to mitigate in part the leg length discrepancy. I also have a 1/8" shim inserted between my cleat and the sole of my left road shoe.

    I am noticing as I am doing my longer rides that I am riding more on my right cheek as if my longer right leg is pushing my hips across my saddle which is probably the case.

    The question I have is how should I be setting my saddle height? Is the 81cm figure good or should I be setting it for my shorter left leg or my longer right leg or is there something else altogether than I need to be factoring into this. Any thoughts will be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I'd sure consult a pro fitter on this. One thing I wonder is if it might be possible to use different length cranks? When you use the heel-on-pedal method to measure saddle height, do you have a slight gap on one side and a slightly bent knee on the other?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    In the world of skiing, boots cost anywhere from $800 up to $1500 and more for race boots and boot fitting is a specialized craft for which one goes to school. Those boot fitters deal with leg length discrepancies on a regular basis. I am in no way trained in this area but I know that issues such as yours are dealt with successfully on a regular basis by trained people. A basic bike and generic bike fit will do for most people but when there are physiological issues and when distances get longer, professional help is called for. A good bike fit is the difference between pleasant riding and much pain. Find the best bike fitter in your area. The bike shops which sponsor racing teams where you live will know who that person is. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Thread Killer
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    Something else that may be of interest is the American Classic Seatpost, which allows saddle tilting side-to-side, and which they say can be used to mitigate leg length discrepancies.

    AC|SEATPOST

    Universal Cycles -- American Classic Alphatype Seatpost
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Adding a Brompton SAP, saddle adapter pin, to a common tubular seat post will too , just less fancy. more utilitarian ..

    and can be done to any diameter seat post.. it clamps on then runs horizontal places either forward or behind the post.

    +a common saddle clip sitting o top.. (or Bromptons, w a smooth angle adjustment)

    ++++++
    + the adding to the pedal height , or running a shorter crank arm on one side.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-11-14 at 04:40 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dfrost's Avatar
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    Leather saddles (Brooks and others) will break in to your anatomy. All mine show that my hips are slightly twisted, and the right side sits deeper.

  7. #7
    Thread Killer
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Adding a Brompton SAP, saddle adapter pin, to a common tubular seat post will too , just less fancy. more utilitarian ..

    and can be done to any diameter seat post.. it clamps on then runs horizontal places either forward or behind the post.

    +a common saddle clip sitting o top.. (or Bromptons, w a smooth angle adjustment)

    ++++++
    + the adding to the pedal height , or running a shorter crank arm on one side.
    Oh my, that Brompton SAP is the definition of a kludge, isn't it?!
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Oh my, that Brompton SAP is the definition of a kludge, isn't it?!

    Works.. I use mine for extra seat post set back . in my old Stump-Jumper, now upright snow/ice bike..

    OP with a taste for higher end roadie gear may not be the right customer .
    then the $C note candy cane Am-Classic post may be suitable .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 06-12-14 at 12:25 PM.

  9. #9
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    Roadie,
    If you want to adress the symptom (functional leg length)... set seat height for longer leg and put spacers under the cleats to address the short leg. If you want to address the problem get a bike fit from some one who knows howto see the big picture... by setting the bike up to your physical abilities, helps you with posterior chain leaknesses, and pelvic malalignment.
    Good Luck,
    V.S.

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