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Difficulty getting my bike fit tuned in

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Difficulty getting my bike fit tuned in

Old 06-16-16, 11:00 AM
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Difficulty getting my bike fit tuned in

Hi all,

I'm having some difficulty getting my bike fit dialed in. When I ride my bike, I have to use my arms to push myself back and onto the saddle or I keep sliding forward. I think I have the saddle height set correctly- I have a slight bend in my knee when my leg is at the 6 o'clock position, and my knee is over top of my pedal when the pedal is at the 3 o'clock position, and the saddle is pushed almost as far forward as it will go. I had previously dealt with this problem by having the nose of the saddle pointed up to prevent myself from sliding forwards, but I've been told by multiple people that this is the wrong solution to the problem.

Another issue I'm having is that when I have the saddle pushed forward to it's current position I can't stretch out on the handle bars as much as I would like to- I feel very curled over the handle bars as opposed to having a nice flat back. But if I have the saddle pushed back further so that my back can be nice and flat then my knees are behind the pedal when it's in the 3 o'clock position. It makes me wonder if perhaps the frame I'm on is too large (I am riding on a 55 cm 2009 Jamis Aurora Elite, I'm 6'0)

At the moment my bike has a setback seat post in it and a 100 mm stem. Does anyone have any advice? I'm debating going to get a proper bike fit at a local shop- but there are a bunch of different options at different price points and I can't figure out what the differences between them are and whether it's worth it to spend more or less. I'd like to try to adjust the fit myself a bit more first before spending money on a professional fitting, but if that's the way I have to go then I'll do that.

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Old 06-16-16, 11:32 AM
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Really, you were told putting some nose up in your saddle was a bad thing? I've not heard that. The opposite actually. So try some and see how that goes. And if you feel cramped on the bike why would you consider a new frame before you tried a longer stem? I got a very nice Salsa reversible 90mm stem for $15. But you will have a problem getting advice online if you cannot give more precise information. You haven't measured anything and that is a problem if you need advice. If you just want to go out and buy a couple of stems that isn't a bad use of money.
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Old 06-16-16, 12:52 PM
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Yes, I've had three cyclists tell me that lifting the nose of my saddle up was a bad thing, one of whom is a good friend of mine who used to be a cat 3 racer. He knows a lot more about cycling than I do, so I took his (and others) unsolicited advice seriously. I never said that I was considering getting a new frame, I just wondered if perhaps the problems I'm having is because the frame is too large. I would prefer to try swapping out different stems to see if I can get a better fit. As I said, right now I have a 100 mm stem, so if I'd need to go to a 110 or 120 mm stem if I felt I needed to stretch out further. I can give more precise information if people will tell me what kind of information I need to provide, but I don't which is why I'm here. Isn't that the point of a web forum?
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Old 06-16-16, 04:47 PM
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Ignore having your knee over the pedal spindle at the 3 o'clock position. There's no basis for using that as an element of fitting a bike.

Move your seat back. It's too far forward relative to the bottom bracket for the amount of forward lean you have. Your fore/aft balance on the bike isn't correct, and that's why you're sliding forward on the saddle. Get that right first then use whatever combination of stem length, stem angle, and spacers you need to fine tune that position.

Here's an article that explains what I'm talking about regarding balance and saddle position.


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Old 06-16-16, 05:03 PM
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To me it seems like you're wanting a race (flat back) posture/position whilst riding what seems to me a full-on touring bike geo.
So take what I say with a grain of salt.

First, I'd ensure the seat is level.

Get on the bike and get up to speed.
Place yourself in that low position with your hands in the drops. Lift your hands slightly up off the drops.
If you feel you are tilting forward/can't hold your upper bodyweight, then you're too far forward on your saddle ie move the saddle back a bit.
Repeat the same exercise, until you find yourself in a position where you can just hold your weight with your core.

Once you've found that spot, then I'd be looking at lengthening/shortening your stem to suit your reach to the bars.

You're probably aware of cleat position adjustments, and things like 'saddle-to'bar' drop, which can further tweak your position.

KOPS is only a guide. I'd be going with the weight distribution of your body/proportions to the bike.
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Old 07-06-16, 01:55 PM
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bar height

According to Phil Burt excessive weight on the hands can be caused by excessive saddle to bar drop so it is worth having a look at your bar height. This can cause a curved back if your hamstrings are not flexible enough. See this other guy from 41:20

Last edited by Ali89; 07-06-16 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 07-06-16, 04:19 PM
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Yes, IME raising the saddle nose is a bad thing, at least for my genitals. YMMV. Saddle should be level, so use a level. Some saddles have a slightly raised back. In that case, level from where your sit bones are, forward.

Ignore knee over pedal spindle. There's no mechanical reason for that, though it's a good starting point for many people. Push your saddle back until your balance is adjusted so that you can do what this woman is doing:

IME saddle to bar drop is not of great interest. Adjust your balance for your usual riding position. If that's aggressive, fine, you still need to be in balance.
Results matter
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Old 07-09-16, 02:32 PM
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I began my cycling career about 5 years ago. Initially, once I began doing slightly longer rides I had quite a bit of hand numbness. Bit by bit, and by paying attention to various threads here, my position on the bike and comfort improved along with cycling fitness.

One piece of advice was to maintain a relaxed grip on the bars with slightly bent arms. Locked out arms reduces ability to respond to road conditions and reduces control. I found by bobbing just a bit the arms have to be bent somewhat and over time I picked up that habit and am overall more relaxed on the bike. As said by Carbonfiberboy, saddle should be level or mostly so. If you read through many posts here on fit, you will pick up many tips on fit and comfort, some of which will apply to you.
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