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  1. #1
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Bonking and Seat Height?

    I don't know if I am posting in the right section, but here goes....

    Last Thursday, I had my bike tuned up. Friday, I went on a 18 mile ride which has some mammoth hills. I ride these hills all the time, and even though they are tough, I have been improving each time I ride. I bonked out on the first hill and had to notch down to granny gears just to make it up the first hill. I struggled through the ride to the halfway point and decided to make it home I would have to buy a Sobe Adrenaline drink. (2 bucks!!!!) When I was drinking my Sobe, I was looking over my bike and noticed that my seat looked a tad high. They must have moved it at the LBS. (The reason I could tell is the paint on the tube is slightly worn there.) So I adjusted to what I thought it should be. Needless to say, nothing felt right and I ended up adjusting it 4 times on the way back. I am not sure it will ever be right. I went again yesterday, but only made the first hill, barely. I bonked again, feeling as if lead were in my butt. I am not sick, I drink plenty of water, no soda, I ate about 3 hours before my ride, I really didn't do anything different. The only thing I can think of different is my seat. Could the seat change cause me to work different portions of my muscles and cause a bonk? Why can't I find my prized position?

  2. #2
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    Could the seat change cause me to work different portions of my muscles and cause a bonk?
    IMO... no.

  3. #3
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    Why can't I find my prized position?
    Try this:
    SEAT HEIGHT (cm) = Inseam (cm) x .883

    To determine your proper frame size, you’ll first need to get an accurate inseam measurement . Stand with your back against a wall, your bare feet 6" apart on a hard floor, looking straight ahead. Place a book or carpenter’s square between your legs with one edge against the wall, and pull it up firmly into your crotch, simulating the pressure of your saddle while riding. Have a helper measure from the top edge of the book to the floor, in centimeters. (You can convert inches to centimeters by multiplying inches by 2.54.) Repeat two or three times, for consistency, and average the results to get your inseam length.

    This formula assumes that at the bottom of the pedal stroke, the knees should be slightly bent, about 15 degrees. Riders who pedal slightly toe-down will find the resulting number a bit short. Riders with reduced flexibility or other special considerations want the saddle slightly lower to start (This tends to change as the rider gains experience).

    In general, the resulting number will be within a cm or two of "correct". So, use this as a starting point. Many riders may never need to alter this setting. For the rest, make small adjustments as needed. Use the FitStik to track changes so you can return to a previous setting if need be.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    I know that already, what I am talking about is very fine adjustments to the seat height. Something that may not be noticeable to you right away. Anyway, if the seat wasn't the problem, then what could be the cause?

  5. #5
    Member rottieruff's Avatar
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    how often is "I ride these hills all the time"? are you taking any rest days? perhaps you are fatigued or overreaching or overtraining. give it at least a few days for recovery. from what i understand bonking is mostly from dehydration and failure to eat enough before and during a ride - not from minor adjustments to the bike. perhaps you didn't bonk though.... what were the physical symptoms?

  6. #6
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Did you bonk or just ride too hard and build up lactic acid? A bonk is running out of glycogen in the muscles. Drinking an 'energy' drink will not relieve that. However, if you rode too hard and build up too much lactic acid, the muscles just quit working when the pH drops too low.

    I doubt that a small change in seat height would account for your problem.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Did you bonk or just ride too hard and build up lactic acid? A bonk is running out of glycogen in the muscles. Drinking an 'energy' drink will not relieve that. However, if you rode too hard and build up too much lactic acid, the muscles just quit working when the pH drops too low.

    I doubt that a small change in seat height would account for your problem.
    I ride the hills at least every other day, sometimes consecutive days, but I do get rest. It seems like on the last few rides, I would get about 1 1/2 miles into the ride, get to the first big hill and have no steam to climb. I use a camelbak so I get plenty of water during the ride, I drink ice tea at night, and water during the day at work. I eat breakfast, carbs and protein. I usually eat chicken for lunch, and a huge salad and pasta (sometimes add a little chicken) for dinner. I really don't get what the problem is. I was doing so good and improving then it was almost back to the starting line. Just a total lack of energy.

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    take some time to ride flats for a couple of days, get extra sleep, and eat a little extra protein to help with muscle repair. It sounds like a case of going hard every day, and bodies don't like that. After this rest, alternate hard days with easy days. Hills with flats, etc. You'll improve quicker. Remember, progress is made in the rest.
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  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    I ride the hills at least every other day, sometimes consecutive days, but I do get rest. It seems like on the last few rides, I would get about 1 1/2 miles into the ride, get to the first big hill and have no steam to climb. I use a camelbak so I get plenty of water during the ride, I drink ice tea at night, and water during the day at work. I eat breakfast, carbs and protein. I usually eat chicken for lunch, and a huge salad and pasta (sometimes add a little chicken) for dinner. I really don't get what the problem is. I was doing so good and improving then it was almost back to the starting line. Just a total lack of energy.
    It sounds like you may be overtrained.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Nelf's Avatar
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    I would check your brakes out, make sure they didn't adjust them so that they're rubbing against your wheels.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nelf
    I would check your brakes out, make sure they didn't adjust them so that they're rubbing against your wheels.
    I rode yesterday again up the huge hill and it happened again, and I was short of breath. So today will either be nothing at all, or a flat ride.

    I did a sleep study in June and found out I have OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). The study found that my sleep pattern is disturbed about 65 times per hour, so I never reach the level of deep sleep that repairs your muscles. However, I have a CPAP machine which I wear every night that provides air pressure into a mask that fits over your nose and allows you to get the proper oxygen, to in turn get the proper kind of sleep. Lately I have been removing the mask in my sleep and maybe bad sleep could be partially behind this.

    I was wondering if anyone here has sleep apnea. For now, I am going to try to get more sleep, more water, more protein and see what happens. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

  12. #12
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    I know that already, what I am talking about is very fine adjustments to the seat height. Something that may not be noticeable to you right away.
    Fine adjustments to the seat height are best done through a fitting process. If you don't want the whole enchilada involved with a complete fit, then ask for a just a pedal fit.

    If you put in a lot of miles or have a penchant for the precise then it's well worth the ~$50.00 bones. I see you have a technical occupation so I can understand your wanting to get to the fine level of adjustment. I'm that way.

    The pedal fit process will align your cleat/shoe/pedal and may involve canting and Q adjustment. You'll get seat height and fore/aft adjustment. All of the above may be tweaked again and again while your leg's tracking is fine tuned.
    Last edited by telenick; 07-27-04 at 11:06 AM.

  13. #13
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    Anyway, if the seat wasn't the problem, then what could be the cause?
    Hard tellin' not knowing, Redhed. I do feel confident in saying that you didn't bonk. Bonk is an often misused term. As was said above, you can't easily and quickly recover from a bonk.

    No one can say what the problem you're having is with any certainty. ...But I can relate a story to your situation. The director of my company's ski patrol went through a serious bout of hepatitis last summer. The first symptom he noticed was a "weird loss of energy" when he cycled above a certain heart rate. He's a very fit man and didn't know how serious things had gotten until he went to the doctor to learn more about his loss of energy.

    Having said that, I would suggest you go see your doctor.

    I hope things improve for you, Redhed.
    Last edited by telenick; 07-27-04 at 11:09 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telenick
    Hard tellin' not knowing, Redhed. I do feel confident in saying that you didn't bonk. Bonk is an often misused term. As was said above, you can't easily and quickly recover from a bonk.

    No one can say what the problem you're having is with any certainty. ...But I can relate a story to your situation. The director of my company's ski patrol went through a serious bout of hepatitis last summer. The first symptom he noticed was a "weird loss of energy" when he cycled above a certain heart rate. He's a very fit man and didn't know how serious things had gotten until he went to the doctor to learn more about his loss of energy.

    Having said that, I would suggest you go see your doctor.

    I hope things improve for you, Redhed.
    Thank you. What kind of hepatitis? When I was in first grade, I got Hepatitis A from a cafeteria worker. Other kids got it too. I was out of commission for months. I can't get that again. Really, for the most part, I am very healthy. I have allergies and asthma, both of which are under control. I never get colds or flu, and I never take vaccinations as an adult. NO FLU SHOTS! I am now leaning towards my Sleep Apnea and lack of rest between workouts as a possible cause. I have to go to a follow up with my doc soon for the sleep thing, and I will be telling him about this, just in case.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by telenick
    I see you have a technical occupation so I can understand your wanting to get to the fine level of adjustment. I'm that way.
    How could you tell? Also, where did the smileys go? I can't find them anymore!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    I rode yesterday again up the huge hill and it happened again, and I was short of breath. So today will either be nothing at all, or a flat ride.

    I did a sleep study in June and found out I have OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). The study found that my sleep pattern is disturbed about 65 times per hour, so I never reach the level of deep sleep that repairs your muscles. However, I have a CPAP machine which I wear every night that provides air pressure into a mask that fits over your nose and allows you to get the proper oxygen, to in turn get the proper kind of sleep. Lately I have been removing the mask in my sleep and maybe bad sleep could be partially behind this.

    I was wondering if anyone here has sleep apnea. For now, I am going to try to get more sleep, more water, more protein and see what happens. Thanks to everyone for the advice.
    Contact N_C via PM. I believe he has sleep apnea and could probably offer some advice.

    It looks from first glance that you may be overtraining. Do you have a heart rate monitor? What are the numbers you usually get vs. the numbers you are getting now? How have you been riding so far this season? How many days do you take off per day? I don't know how old you are, but what's your background? So many questions- it's difficult to say where the problem is when we don't know what your habits are.

    For future reference, raising the saddle or lowering the saddle won't affect bonking. Eating, drinking and rest will....

    Koffee

  17. #17
    Senior Member Redhed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
    Contact N_C via PM. I believe he has sleep apnea and could probably offer some advice.

    It looks from first glance that you may be overtraining. Do you have a heart rate monitor? What are the numbers you usually get vs. the numbers you are getting now? How have you been riding so far this season? How many days do you take off per day? I don't know how old you are, but what's your background? So many questions- it's difficult to say where the problem is when we don't know what your habits are.

    For future reference, raising the saddle or lowering the saddle won't affect bonking. Eating, drinking and rest will....

    Koffee
    No heart rate monitor, but I would like to get one. Any recommendations? I am 30. (whoa, typing that was scary!) I have been riding the hills on a regular basis for about 4 months, getting better every time. I used to go 4-5 times per week, now I go every night after work. My man is finally interested in riding again, (thanks to Lance) and he wants to go all the time. What kills me is the cig he smokes right before he takes off. I keep telling him if he keeps it up......well, that is another discussion. Maybe my problem is a combination of overtraining and my sleep problem.

  18. #18
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    Yes, overtraining. 4-5 times a week should be sufficient. If you're starting to feel those effects of overtraining, it's time to cut back. The body needs rest, and it always needs at least one day off! Two would be great, but at least one...

    Koffee

  19. #19
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redhed
    How could you tell? Also, where did the smileys go? I can't find them anymore!
    How could I tell that you're technical? Your profile said so.

    The smileys are french. So it should come as no small surprise that they are on strike again. ...except for this guy. He crossed the picket line. Heh!

    If you respond with the quick response window you get no smilies and like it! If you click reply or advanced then the smilies come back from strike.

    I'm not sure what type of hepatitus but as long as you're seeking professional advice then you're covering your bases. You never know ...right?

    Scary typing 30? You're funny.

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