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  1. #26
    Sloth Hunter Trouble's Avatar
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    30 minutes into a ride I moved my seat back about 2 mm, 45 minutes into the 3 hr 15 min ride I dropped my 110 mm stem down 2 cm and it felt great, especially on bumpy road, there was no transmission to my upper back/shoulders. Perhaps that was a result of my shoulder rounding and elbow bending...dunno.

    Legs feel good too... no localized soreness in the quads. I have a feeling I'll feel it in my hammies/glutes in the next couple of days due to the position change.

    I did have to keep focused on the pelvic tilt and I must say, no real discomfort to speak of...I did have a hard time getting flat though - felt hunched, not sure why (more drop? less drop? more reach? less reach?), but I'm thinking I need to go back to the 120 stem with the same drop concept...I'll experiment.
    Last edited by Trouble; 03-27-11 at 02:12 PM.
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  2. #27
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Wow, looking forward to trying some of this stuff. The low handlebar positions in the John Cobb videos look pretty radical -- in none of those videos does the rider actually have to look forward. My neck would never be sore if I could just look down at the ground all the time. But I'm open to things, and would be happy to get a little aerodynamic advantage.

    I'll try the OPs suggestion first, then might lower my handlebars.

    This is about how I sit now, with handlebars that are crazy high:

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  3. #28
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Both John Cobb's videos are excellent. Keep in mind Trom...reach is a function of horizontal reach AND drop. Mr. Cobb's videos did not address horizontal reach. If you drop your bars down, it is possible you may need a companion 'decrease' in reach...perhaps even a smaller bike with shorter top tube.

    The points Cobb makes in the video in my experience are correct...sit bones grinding causing butt pain if riding too upright and the bars pushing back on the shoulders which can cause neck and upper back pain and raising the bars having the opposite intended benefit. But...like anything, a little medicine can be helpful and too much can create more problems than solve. For example, a 12cm drop for what he calls a B back rider is a bit extreme. Lance rides with a 80mm drop or much less than what Cobb suggested...Lance's position being almost recreational except for being stretched out...and George Hincapie as discussed in the other thread rides with a 114mm drop and he has very long arms...and less than what Cobb suggested for the average cyclist. The A back cyclist he showed had fantastic flexibility. My personal view is 2-3 inches drop or 5-10 cm of drop is good for the average cyclist but it does vary and horizontal reach is in the mix as well. A flexible average rider can endure and benefit from more. Also flexiblity and tolerance for drop can improve with more time in the saddle.
    In my personal experience, you want to offset drop with saddle setback to keep the weight off the hands.

    As to neck pain...visualized your riding position above with the bars pushing back through your arms putting tension into your shoulders, traps, upper back and neck. By lowering the bars, the compression goes out of your arms which actually frees up your neck...even with a lower torso position relative to the top tube. Stress can transfer however to the lower back if there isn't suitable pelvis rotation which is key as Cobb explained in his video. It is pelvis rotation that creates the aesthetically pleasing flatter back.
    A final note is reading this thread, I really didn't read why many prefer a higher handlebar along with their pelvis rotated rearward as shown in the B back video with the heavier rider starting out with only 1 inch of drop or so with riser stem. In my opinion, this is because for a male, rotating the pelvis forward may be the worse of evils...sit bone pain versus perneal or pain in the nuts. To me, this is why saddle selection is critical. With a cutout or relief in the saddle, it is so much easier and more comfortable to rotate the pelvis forward into a straighter back position which allows for more drop. If you try this on a Brooks with prominent up turned nose section, it is painful for many including me.

    Below is a chart for drop furnished by Dave Moulton comprised of thousands of fits over 30 years:

    PS: Does anybody recognize the two white saddles that Cobb talked about in B back video?...one what he called a plus and the other a Max or maxi?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Campag4life; 03-28-11 at 06:07 AM.

  4. #29
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post

    PS: Does anybody recognize the two white saddles that Cobb talked about in B back video?...one what he called a plus and the other a Max or maxi?
    Those are Cobb's own brand of saddle: http://cobbcycling.com/
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  5. #30
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    I like the concept of the video about sitting upright-weight bearing along with the back explanation and visualization. I like the second position, not sure how comfortable the third position would be.
    Those positions is relative. Depending on your leg and torso length as well as wingspan, the actual amount of saddle to bar drop may vary significantly for the same position. A person with an average build might get a seriously aggressive position with 8-10cm of drop. For someone with unusual proportions, they might need a 15cm+ drop to get the third position.

    As for comfort in the most aggressive position, that would depend on your body mass and how regularly you ride, which are going to be somewhat related since cycling inherently requires fitness.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    The rotating forward off the sit bones is still a problem for me...what do you end up sitting on? He calls it something at the 6:00 mark. Rami horns and abductor muscles?
    It's hard for me describe, but it's definitely not the perineum. With the right fit/correct saddle fit/angle it wont crush your junk. I find that, as Cobb mentions, tilting the saddle up slightly helps to promote the pelvic rotation, though unintuitively.

    The first thing he mentions at 6:00 mark, I have no idea what he says, but the other I'm pretty sure, is the abductors. Which could be described as the muscles on the inside of the thigh that pull your legs inward. Another thing about the position, is it causes to redistribute your weight, taking some of it off of your bum and spreading it to your legs and arms. The odd thing is, at least for me, it feels like it's taking weight off of the legs, too. I think what it's really doing, is redistributing some of the static load (holding you up) to the core and arms, while allowing the body to put more of that energy into rotational load (ie torque).


    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    The other thing, I wish he had stayed consistent with the elbow bend from 1st to 2nd position.

    Me too. As others have noticed, he's not really looking up much in the video. However, that doesn't surprise me as he is on a trainer, and it's hard to find a natural position when you aren't going anywhere. You can tell that the rider flexible enough that he can probably keep his head up, too. The important thing is that his body is fairly relaxed and supple. That's important, because one of the benefits of the position out on the road, is that the rider can move around a lot on the bike. It allows one to move fluidly back and forth, side to side, up and down on the bike to absorb shock, change weight distribution for braking/maneuvering, recruit different muscle groups, and descend confidently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    Lastly, how comfortable is this if you're NOT a Cat I racer
    That's also relative. In theory, anyone who rides often, is reasonably fit, doesn't have any major medical problems, etc. should be able to hack it, but there are lot of people who could be described that way who can't reach below their knees with straight legs, or would have trouble doing a plank for 10 seconds. For such people, I recommend gradual change. Such as, lowering your bar a spacer at a time. When you flip you stem, move it back to the top and start again.

    This is a position that will work for the average cyclist as much as the racer, if done right. It's very natural once you are used to it, and will likely decrease pain (again, if done gradually). There are a lot of people who say that racers compromise comfort for speed, and the aero position is part of that. I call BS on that. Most (cat 3/4 and up) racers spend more time training in that position than a lot of rec riders do riding altogether. On top of that, racing is largely about efficiency. No racer that I know would tell you that there is anything to be gained by being uncomfortable on the bike, because any advantage gained over a short time will be outweighed by energy wasted over longer durations that will result in a slower time, (a slight exception made for time trialing and track racing).

    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    ...and NOT hammering the pedals?
    This is an interesting question because, to me, it's somewhat paradoxical. One of the caveats of this position, is that while you don't have to be on the gas all the time to be comfortable, you probably will be. It just seems to feel best if you are always pedaling and moving a reasonably rapid pace.

    Many riders describe the way it feels this way: it gives you an extra dig into your pedal stroke. That dig is leverage. When you are leaning over so far, part of what is actually happening is that your legs are pushing against your torso, and vice versa; your torso against your legs, with the saddle as the fulcrum. What this means is that a large part of your upper body is still being suspended by your legs, but instead of your legs holding you steady and on your saddle, the rotation of your legs is both propelling you forward and keeping you aloft. You are pulling upward slightly on the bar anytime you are pedaling. In most efforts though, that simply means you aren't leaning as heavily on bar as you otherwise would be.

    That doesn't prevent me from being able to go on rides at a pace that my girlfriend would enjoy or anything, but I am probably more tired by that than I would be going at whatever casual pace I would normally settle into on a recovery ride.
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  6. #31
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
    Those are Cobb's own brand of saddle: http://cobbcycling.com/
    Thanks rat fink. I had never heard of Cobb saddles. A quick look reminds me of the Terry fly in shape. John Cobb is a pretty prolific and articulate guy and sure has a nice website. Of all his fit principles, I find his idea on saddle rotation left or right as it relates to pelvis tilt interesting. Have you experimented with this? It may play into the idea that there is no such thing as a symmetric pelvis...nor do we sit perfectly square on the bike...or...perhaps relief for rotating the pelvis forward. In any event, I have never heard it stated before. Have a look below and let me know if you have played around with this. I will likely give it a try.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #32
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    I went on a 71 mile ride yesterday, consciously rotating my pelvis forward (not the same bike as in the photo above).

    I had significantly less sit bone and neck pain during the ride. Many thanks to Bike Eagle for that.

    But, last night, after the ride, I had more prostate-related pain and nut pain. This is despite having a Specialized Alias saddle, with a complete cutout and tilted down a bit in the front.

    So, some more experimentation is going to be necessary.
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  8. #33
    Klickety-Klackety Jeepnut22's Avatar
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    Having issues lately on longer rides with lower back pain and stiffness in my neck. This thread is excellent! Going to have to experiment...
    Wut

  9. #34
    pbd
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    Good thread. This thread really got me in the tinkering mood over the weekend.

    I was relatively happy with my position, but I had a constant feeling that it could be better. My neck gets a little stiff but never bad, my quads get a lot more involvement than glutes, etc. Never uncomfortable, but definitely room for improvement.

    So I'm tinkering, a spacer at a time, minor adjustments here and there and keeping track of what I do in writing so I can undo something if I get off track. My focus so far has been on dropping the handlebars a little at a time and adjusting the seat around that, and it's helping so far. Yesterday I felt my glutes more involved than usual, my sit bones felt a little better better, my wrists and neck felt a little better. I know I'm likely getting some placebo effect too, but so far making some little changes that this thread inspired seems to be helping my comfort.

    One anecdote does not definitive data make, of course, but it's a starting place for me.

  10. #35
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Thanks rat fink. I had never heard of Cobb saddles. A quick look reminds me of the Terry fly in shape. John Cobb is a pretty prolific and articulate guy and sure has a nice website. Of all his fit principles, I find his idea on saddle rotation left or right as it relates to pelvis tilt interesting. Have you experimented with this? It may play into the idea that there is no such thing as a symmetric pelvis...nor do we sit perfectly square on the bike...or...perhaps relief for rotating the pelvis forward. In any event, I have never heard it stated before. Have a look below and let me know if you have played around with this. I will likely give it a try.
    I had heard a little about that before, but have never tried it. I tend to have my saddle completely aligned with the top tube. If more than a degree or two off, it grinds, a lot. Due to past experience and how it felt on today's ride, I'm going to temporarily conclude that it's incompatible with myself and the SLR saddle.
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  11. #36
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    I went on a 71 mile ride yesterday, consciously rotating my pelvis forward (not the same bike as in the photo above).

    I had significantly less sit bone and neck pain during the ride. Many thanks to Bike Eagle for that.

    But, last night, after the ride, I had more prostate-related pain and nut pain. This is despite having a Specialized Alias saddle, with a complete cutout and tilted down a bit in the front.

    So, some more experimentation is going to be necessary.
    There's a possibility that having your saddle nose down, or even level could be contributing to the pain you describe. When the saddle is level or slightly nose down, your pelvis tends to walk forward as you ride. Why? Because, your body moves forward when you lean forward, decelerate, or pull against the handlebar (which is pretty much any time you pedal). That unnecessary pelvic movement grinds your taint and crushes your vital manhood parts.

    The reason a slightly nose up saddle (usually between 2 and 7 degrees, largely dependent on the saddle and rider in question) should help, is because the right angle of pitch is just enough up that it neutralizes the 'walking' effect. The combination of your forward lean, forward motion and slight pull on the bar keep you from sliding of the back of the seat.

    You could liken it to sitting on a regular lawn chair on a hill, faced downhill; that feeling like you are going to slide off... Now, imagine what that would be like if you were already leaning significantly forward, with > 20% of the contact area that you would normally have when sitting, holding your legs up. That's what is happening when your saddle is too nose down. If that is not your problem in this instance, then keep what I said in mind in the future, because it's counterintuitive. At least, it was for me.
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  12. #37
    Sloth Hunter Trouble's Avatar
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    Hi, my name is ___ and I'm a position addict. Yep, I jacked with my Sunday position...badly...I put on the 120 stem, flipped it down, lowered all the way, came home, put on the steeper drop 110 stem, put it all the way down, moved my seat up, down, back, forward, tilted it up and down and then I exploded.

    Back to Friday's position. I need to do what pbd does, minor adjustments and just ride for a while and document more.
    Part of my addiction, which leads to my own discomfort, is doing too many things at the same time...when will I learn.

    rat fink, thanks for the great response. The rami that he refers to is a anterior position of the ischium, the posterior being the ischial tuberosity, the ramus being the whole thing...I think. When I look at a lateral view of the pelvic girdle I get how this could be more comfortable than sitting on just the i.t.

    Campag, thanks for the graphic.

    I'm going to start first with saddle height. I really think that I have been riding with my saddle too high. A long time ago I was "fitted" and the saddle measurement (different saddle) was 78.4 and fixated on this measurement. When measured from the BB up the ST to the saddle, it makes my seat too high. My metric for this is that I am unable to spin a fluid high cadence. Plus it has been causing me discomfort (then again maybe I have been sitting wrong). Anyway, something that allows me to power through a smooth pedal stroke, especially while climbing. Not sure if I'm measuring correctly as I've seem measurements going from the back part of the saddle down to the BB.

    Next, I'm going to find that balance point, taking into account saddle tilt and fore-aft . I just can't ride long distance comfortably with the seat forward. Maybe I'm more torso and femur long and the measurement that I was put at was based too much off of KOPS.

    Then, I'll experiment with stem length and drop.
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  13. #38
    Senior Member surgeonstone's Avatar
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    Thanks OP. I tried this today and found my almost constant neck pain relieved . A further benefit is that following a posterior repair for hip replacement I developed scar tissue that seems to be right over the sit bone on the right. By angling my pelvis forward and down this shifted the contact on the sit bone relieving the pain. Wished I had learned this 40 years ago when I started to seriously ride.

  14. #39
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    Hi, my name is ___ and I'm a position addict.
    Ha, me too. I have spent a lot of time and money researching and trying new stuff. The end result on my now best fitting bike is so good, that I almost can't stand to ride anything this isn't just about identical. Of the three bikes in my signature, can you guess which one I'm the most comfortable on?
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  15. #40
    Peripheral Visionary spock's Avatar
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    If I am understanding the OP correctly about the sitting position, I think I did the same thing not too long ago. Very good results.

    Post 17

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...28self-done%29

  16. #41
    Senior Member Kevinative's Avatar
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    the flat back position, needing to be more limber. is it possible some of us are just anatomically unable to comfortably stay like that? I've noticed in TDF vid pro level riders cruising along all day with flat backs. then I see other riders like LA for instance in their time trial gear with a large bow in their backs, looking like their sitting right on the bottom of their sit bones. more aero but less powerful with flat back? is it more of a euro thing? seems like yoga on a bike. soft tissue? personally can't manage to even come close to a flat back pos without offsetting a decent bit to one side or other of the saddle, is this std?

  17. #42
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    Part of the flat back thing is rotating the pelvis forward so that the back is already "flat" without having to bend forward. Alexi Grewal has such a position on his bike when he raced for Coors Light (the UCI made his position illegal when it specified saddles had to be x cm behind the BB axle).

    More recently Jens Voigt has a similar position.

    I have a position like that, except I'm short, fat, and slow. hahahahaha. Okay, I'm much shorter, esp my quads, so my saddle is extremely UCI illegal (too far forward).

    As an FYI - I have a few burst discs in my back, a bunch of bulging ones (both these statements confirmed by MRIs and my doctor), and have collapsed to the ground now and then due to debilitating back pain (last one was couple years ago, first one back in 1995 or so). I'm totally comfortable on the bike in my "aggressive" position. It's not a position I chose to be cool or to be aggressive, I got to that position because it's comfortable and it allows me to sprint with some semblance of power (my one and only physiological cycling strength).

    I'm also pretty inflexible. I have a hard time touching my toes. I don't have a flat back because I'm flexible, I have it because I've adjusted my position to tilt my pelvis forward. It is a lot more comfortable than when I'm upright.

  18. #43
    Iconoclast rat fink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    Part of the flat back thing is rotating the pelvis forward so that the back is already "flat" without having to bend forward.
    Bingo. That is how/why it works.
    Last edited by rat fink; 03-29-11 at 11:59 PM.
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  19. #44
    Senior Member Kevinative's Avatar
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    FWIW, don't mean to hijack the thread but some relevance to genetics and flat back. LA on position...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXg3ce44Xnw

  20. #45
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinative View Post
    then I see other riders like LA for instance in their time trial gear with a large bow in their backs, looking like their sitting right on the bottom of their sit bones. more aero but less powerful with flat back? is it more of a euro thing? seems like yoga on a bike. soft tissue? personally can't manage to even come close to a flat back pos without offsetting a decent bit to one side or other of the saddle, is this std?
    Lance's position, at least on the time trial bike, was supposed to be the result of extensive wind tunnel testing. I don't know if the hump is a result of the testing or just part of his shape. It does seem to have grown a bit after his first retirement.

    Whatever the cause, his back is higher than his shoulders, which puts that exaggerated crook in the neck.

    Regarding offsetting to the side of the saddle, I've never felt compelled. Occasionally I find my parts hanging to one side or the other, but my skeleton is centered. Check your saddle angle. My Arione, which is almost flat as a 2x4, is dead horizontal. The deeply scooped Concor on my old bike is aimed down a bit, enough to take some pressure off the perineum but not so much as to cause that sliding off the front feeling.

  21. #46
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rat fink View Post
    There's a possibility that having your saddle nose down, or even level could be contributing to the pain you describe. When the saddle is level or slightly nose down, your pelvis tends to walk forward as you ride. Why? Because, your body moves forward when you lean forward, decelerate, or pull against the handlebar (which is pretty much any time you pedal). That unnecessary pelvic movement grinds your taint and crushes your vital manhood parts.

    The reason a slightly nose up saddle (usually between 2 and 7 degrees, largely dependent on the saddle and rider in question) should help, is because the right angle of pitch is just enough up that it neutralizes the 'walking' effect. The combination of your forward lean, forward motion and slight pull on the bar keep you from sliding of the back of the seat.

    You could liken it to sitting on a regular lawn chair on a hill, faced downhill; that feeling like you are going to slide off... Now, imagine what that would be like if you were already leaning significantly forward, with > 20% of the contact area that you would normally have when sitting, holding your legs up. That's what is happening when your saddle is too nose down. If that is not your problem in this instance, then keep what I said in mind in the future, because it's counterintuitive. At least, it was for me.
    Really explained well.

  22. #47
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinative View Post
    the flat back position, needing to be more limber. is it possible some of us are just anatomically unable to comfortably stay like that? I've noticed in TDF vid pro level riders cruising along all day with flat backs. then I see other riders like LA for instance in their time trial gear with a large bow in their backs, looking like their sitting right on the bottom of their sit bones. more aero but less powerful with flat back? is it more of a euro thing? seems like yoga on a bike. soft tissue? personally can't manage to even come close to a flat back pos without offsetting a decent bit to one side or other of the saddle, is this std?
    Good question. We all have to take a deep breath with our fit really...especially at the amateur level but even at the pro level. There are no absolutes when it comes to what works best for each of us. To borrow a golf metaphor from Hogan who was an inverate practicer...he said the answer is in the dirt. He is right of course. Trevino also said, if you want it bad enough, you will find it. My favorite is though ...for every day I don't practice, it takes me one more day to be good. How true. What all that means is the answer for each of us is through exhaustive trial and error and you have to experiment to find what works as each of us are different in shape, condition, flexibility and even preference plays in.
    Lance compared to the rest of the peleton is a notable example. Lance rides different really then the vast majority of top riders in the world. He rides hump back on all his bikes..just like a lowly amateur even though he is much faster. Which begs the question, for a guy who does it for a living and is more successful than others, why does he ride this way as every aspect of his cycling technique is scrutized by so called experts that critique him at every opportunity. Lance isn't successful by accident. He is extremely detail oriented and scruitizes every minute detail of his cycling. The answer no doubt is because this is what works best 'for him'. An aesthetically pleasing flat back aka hip rotated forward sitting position obviously doesn't work for him or otherwise he would join the legion of other top pros who ride this way. In fact, Lance's position on the bike is why I have never been that plussed about my riding position where I don't ride with a perfectly flat back. There was or maybe still is an article out on the web that compares the two positions. The point to all this is it is hard to argue with one of the best cyclists in the world who has had success doing something contrary to what is considered the correct position on the bike.
    Cheers.

  23. #48
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Roadwarrior, what metrics in 'a bike set up' or fit promote a hunched back?
    Thanks.
    I'll use myself as an example...I got my newest bike, correct size frame, too short of a stem and way too short in reach and drop in the bars. I have longer forearms, and in order to ride in the drops with a relaxed grip and a straigher back, I need to have a longer stem and deeper and longer bars. With the bars that came with the bike, riding on the hoods I was almost sitting upright. In the drops, to get enough room to get down there I had to hunch my back. Very uncomfortable.

    Most people with the correct length stem (we measure for this, as well when doing frame sizing) are fine. Most have been riding a setup that's too short and as a result use locked elbows to hold their torso up rather than a correct setup allowing more room to drop down further on the bike.

    Simply put...honestly though, the vast majority of people we fit are more entry and recreational so we fit, let them ride and report back any issues. If something hurts, we'll just adjust accordingly.
    Last edited by roadwarrior; 03-30-11 at 06:36 AM.
    "Nothing is so typical of middling minds than to harp on the intellectual deficiencies of the slightly less smart, but considerably more successful."
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  24. #49
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trouble View Post
    Hi, my name is ___ and I'm a position addict. Yep, I jacked with my Sunday position...badly...I put on the 120 stem, flipped it down, lowered all the way, came home, put on the steeper drop 110 stem, put it all the way down, moved my seat up, down, back, forward, tilted it up and down and then I exploded.

    Back to Friday's position. I need to do what pbd does, minor adjustments and just ride for a while and document more.
    Part of my addiction, which leads to my own discomfort, is doing too many things at the same time...when will I learn.

    rat fink, thanks for the great response. The rami that he refers to is a anterior position of the ischium, the posterior being the ischial tuberosity, the ramus being the whole thing...I think. When I look at a lateral view of the pelvic girdle I get how this could be more comfortable than sitting on just the i.t.

    Campag, thanks for the graphic.

    I'm going to start first with saddle height. I really think that I have been riding with my saddle too high. A long time ago I was "fitted" and the saddle measurement (different saddle) was 78.4 and fixated on this measurement. When measured from the BB up the ST to the saddle, it makes my seat too high. My metric for this is that I am unable to spin a fluid high cadence. Plus it has been causing me discomfort (then again maybe I have been sitting wrong). Anyway, something that allows me to power through a smooth pedal stroke, especially while climbing. Not sure if I'm measuring correctly as I've seem measurements going from the back part of the saddle down to the BB.

    Next, I'm going to find that balance point, taking into account saddle tilt and fore-aft . I just can't ride long distance comfortably with the seat forward. Maybe I'm more torso and femur long and the measurement that I was put at was based too much off of KOPS.

    Then, I'll experiment with stem length and drop.
    With 78cm saddle top to BB height, you obviously have long legs. I do too incidentally...that is my saddle height. A good starting point for you which works for many and close for me is, use Competitive Cyclist's on line fit calculator. Have somebody help with your measurements.
    Set your bike up with the appropriate reach and start with a 2 inch drop. As rat said, position your saddle level to 2-5 deg nose up...which will level out the saddle where you sit on it in back as most saddles have top curvature. As to fore and aft position, depending on your frame spec for seat tube angle, set the nose of your saddle about 8cm behind the BB by dropping a plumb line. I prefer the setback of Hincapie which is almost 10cm and you may prefer to ride behind KOPS a bit as well...his legs are longer than ours and rides with a saddle height of 80cm.
    That should get you close. Your riding position in the pic does not look correct with a huge stem height...perhaps due to too short a head tube but a two inch drop for the 'proper' reach is a very good starting point for many recreational riders.

  25. #50
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadwarrior View Post
    I'll use myself as an example...I got my newest bike, correct size frame, too short of a stem and way too short in reach and drop in the bars. I have longer forearms, and in order to ride in the drops with a relaxed grip and a straigher back, I need to have a longer stem and deeper and longer bars. With the bars that came with the bike, riding on the hoods I was almost sitting upright. In the drops, to get enough room to get down there I had to hunch my back. Very uncomfortable.

    Most people with the correct length stem (we measure for this, as well when doing frame sizing) are fine. Most have been riding a setup that's too short and as a result use locked elbows to hold their torso up rather than a correct setup allowing more room to drop down further on the bike.

    Simply put...honestly though, the vast majority of people we fit are more entry and recreational so we fit, let them ride and report back any issues. If something hurts, we'll just adjust accordingly.
    Thanks. Performing fits at the bike shop has to be a bit of a shell game. No doubt the vast majority of newbs that come in and want a road bike when set up initially prefer an upright position. But you know ultimately...like you described for yourself, a scrunched position is always less comfortable as miles accumulate out on the road. Fitting somebody clearly isn't easy...what they think they want generally isn't the best.
    I have such a friend that I ride with who moves along pretty well in spite of riding bolt upright...never uses the drops etc. I have explained to him why his position slows him down and he would not only be faster but more comfortable with a proper fitting and yet he hasn't morphed his position yet. Will see in the new riding year.
    Last edited by Campag4life; 03-30-11 at 06:48 AM.

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