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Old 08-13-09, 05:49 PM   #1
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Symetrical position - do you or don't you?

It seems that whenever I'm in a pace line, or just riding with a group, and have a chance to study the body position of the rider in front of me, they are almost always asymetrical relative to their bike.

Most commonly, it's one knee or the other out further from the centerline, or a shoulder that seems "hunched" in relation to the other. I commonly see necks that are cocked, especially when the pace quickens.

Wish I could say I'm the exception. But the fact is, I've become aware that I have a tendance to raise my left shoulder (I call it "hunched") whenever I'm fatiqued or attempting to put the hammer down. I discovered this because my left shoulder always seemed tired after a long ride. I'm working to eliminate this habit, but have a ways to go.

So I'm wondering - for those of us who are guilty - what price are we paying, particularly on longer rides? Risk of injury? Increased fatique?

I'm guessing that if I could ride the TOUR, and observe the guys in front of me - and they would all be in front of me - I would see riders who are perfectly posititoned on their bikes. But I could be wrong.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-13-09, 08:44 PM   #2
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I'm going to speculate that almost everyone has their little biomechanical quirks and irregularities. And these probably show up more in highly stressful max effort situations. I'll bet this is also true (though to a lesser degree of course) of world class riders if you really look closely enough.

Last edited by billydonn; 08-14-09 at 06:37 PM. Reason: fix grammar... duh!
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Old 08-13-09, 08:55 PM   #3
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I have congenital scoliosis and fracture-shortened left clavicle and right radius. The guys with unequal leg lengths must also ride pretty asymmetrically.
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Old 08-14-09, 07:12 PM   #4
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I don't know why, but my left shoulder is always pushed out toward the front. I think I've even adjusted the shifters forward to accomodate it a tad.
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Old 08-14-09, 07:42 PM   #5
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I have a number of congenital and polio related anatomical vagaries. As a result I'm pretty sensitive to morphology. We tivo'd and watched the entire TDF this year and I was acutely aware of the consistently symmetrical posture.

All of my limbs are somewhat short for my height, which makes fitting a bike (or clothing) a lot of fun. Absolute Bikes in Flagstaff spent a lot of time figuring out what size frame would work best for me and then what tweaks to add to actually make it fit. Since my left leg is even shorter, I had a choice of cleat position or a spacer - I've chosen cleat position, It doesn't permit as much adjustment but it is easier to deal with. I do tend to lean to the right which shifts my butt a little to the left for the final adjustment. It works for me.

I'll never look or ride like the pros, but I enjoy the heck out of riding and I think that's what it's about. If you don't like looking at my ugly form, try to pass me
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Old 08-14-09, 07:55 PM   #6
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I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. I'm perfect in every way! (cough cough!)
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Old 08-14-09, 08:21 PM   #7
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I toe-out more on the right and my heel clips the crankarm, even with Kneesavers. My right knee brushes the top tube sometimes.
When I ride my Cannondale, both heels hit the chainstays and my right knee hits the rear water bottle, unless I use a small one.
We are all different and I've seen people with knees way out, heels out, etc.
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Old 08-14-09, 08:51 PM   #8
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If I stand against the wall, both my shoulders won't touch at the same time. How will I ever sit on a bike straight?

My left foot sits on the pedal fine, but my right foot sits on the pedal at an angle. I trust my body knows how it wants to fit onto the machine.
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Old 08-15-09, 09:36 PM   #9
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I went for a professional fit and the guy put two 1mm shims on the right pedal, none on the left. As small as that seems it made a big difference in knee pain. The guy was amazing, raised my seat 4mm, put 2 shims on the right pedal, shifted my seat back 3mm. I was really surprised. My right knee now travels in a straight line (almost). The problem is that if you buy a production bike you get the BB that use. That same BB is there on all sizes and it doesn't matter what your body measurements are. The shims helped to compensate for that.

Find a really good LBS that has a trained and experienced person who can give you a real fit. If you are still out of alignment after that it's not the bike so see a good massage therapist who concentrates on body alignment. And if that doesn't work I guess your just warped
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Old 08-16-09, 08:37 AM   #10
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I don't ride behind myself very often, even on solo rides, so I haven't noticed.

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