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Sometimes the fitting is better than you think: A delayed fit story?

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Sometimes the fitting is better than you think: A delayed fit story?

Old 10-30-15, 10:51 AM
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Sometimes the fitting is better than you think: A delayed fit story?

So, last August, I had a Guru fit done at a nearby LBS. I was having pain in the right knee which I just couldn't seem to get rid of. Got worse after my first half-century.

The fitter, a former road racer from Bulgaria, had a clear bias towards a longer, lower position; whereas I prefer to be a little more upright. We did a bunch of fits, and the one I settled on had a lower seat and a much further back saddle position--at the limit of the rails, essentially-- and with my saddle about 1cm lower. The fit also informed the purchase of wider bars, which got the hoods out just far enough so that I didn't have to buy a longer stem.

At first the fit felt pretty good. So I put about 100 miles on it. Then I hated it. Don't ask me why. My knee pain got worse, but that wasn't why. It just felt all wrong, with my balance all screwed up, with too much weight on my hands. So I slid the saddle back almost to where I had had it when I went in for the fit. I was cursing getting a Guru fit, rather than a Retul, and thinking I wasted my money, just letting some former racer make my fit decisions, rather than a compooter with numbers!

Sometime in here, I decided to lower my bars another 5mm or so, and all of a sudden, the saddle I'd been loving, a Selle Italia Max Gel, started to annoy me, rubbing my nether bits, and I couldn't find an adjustment to make it stop. So I did some saddle research, again, and decided to try an SMP Glider, set up as per Steve Hogg.

I went out for a ride yesterday, just a 20 miler, and everything felt PERFECT! I felt connected to the bike, and comfortable in a way I haven't before, as much as I have loved my fit, and balanced and light on my hands. Every time I looked, I was surprised to see that I was going 2-3 mph faster than I expected to be. So I was at a stop light, and looked down, and the saddle had slid all the way back on the rails, basically to the position the old racer though it should be! I hadn't gotten the clamps tight enough, and my pushing against the flare on the back of the saddle had done the rest. I just started laughing, because the dude was right, and it was my saddle that had been the problem. The SMP was holding me in position, whereas I must have been sliding around on the flat Max Gel, never really finding that sweet spot.

And so the lessons: 1) it's all synergistic. Sometimes it takes the right saddle to make the correct position work. and 2) Old racers are wiser than noobs.

BTW: The Glider is amazing. I had gotten rid of an SMP lite 209 when I got this bike, because it just didn't work on it. I had trouble getting the wider parts under my sit bones. I went with the Max Gel even though I have always preferred a saddle with contour and a flare, because I could get the support under the sit bones. I think the reason the glider works, where the lite 209 didn't, is because it's flatter in profile, therefore there's more usable width, whereas the lite 209 stuck up too far into my perineum unless I was on the widest part where it flattened out. I might try a drakon, just to see how that is, but I'm pretty happy with the glider at the moment.
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Old 10-30-15, 11:39 AM
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I find this fitting situation to be subtle. After 18.000 miles I've realized a good fit that is comfortable for many miles. What I find interesting is that a tiny change one way of the other can make all the difference. And those tiny changes don't stand alone. Often as not, a tiny change will only work combined with another change.

I'm glad you've found bliss on the bike.
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Old 10-31-15, 08:19 PM
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The positioning of an SMP saddle is VERY different from a traditional saddle. If you measure tip-of-saddle behind BB, the SMP will be 10 - 20 mm further forward to give you the same relative -- KOP, or whatever -- position as on a traditional saddle. Plus the rails being in a different position and/or different lengths, so you're comparing apples to oranges. Too much weight on the hands is usually a saddle too far forward, so getting it rearward -- albeit by accident -- was apparently what you needed.
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Old 11-02-15, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by pakossa
The positioning of an SMP saddle is VERY different from a traditional saddle. If you measure tip-of-saddle behind BB, the SMP will be 10 - 20 mm further forward to give you the same relative -- KOP, or whatever -- position as on a traditional saddle. Plus the rails being in a different position and/or different lengths, so you're comparing apples to oranges. Too much weight on the hands is usually a saddle too far forward, so getting it rearward -- albeit by accident -- was apparently what you needed.
I think that depends on what you are coming from. I went from a Romin, which has a fairly curved profile, to a Dynamic and ended up with almost identical setback if you measure from the tip of saddle. I found that the tilt made a huge difference in feel. The Dynamic was totally different at -4 degrees than at -1 degree or level (I ended up at -3.5).

Also really believe it takes more time than most of us give it to really settle into a position change.
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