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Does my fit look reasonable?

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Does my fit look reasonable?

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Old 08-02-18, 06:01 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Any idea how long I should try out a lower saddle position before I decide it's not going to work for me? Whenever I lower the saddle it feels like I can't really get any power down and my knees are cramped up. However I did notice that my glutes and hamstrings were more active with a lower saddle, and there was less discomfort.

Thanks a lot!

I'd give it a couple of weeks. You can also adjust the saddle fore/aft to get it under where your butt wants to be, as you get used to the position.
In the videos, it looks like your whole body moves up & forward as the right leg comes up, so maybe look at some youtube videos on hip opener & IT band stretches.
One leg pedaling ala CFB's video also good to identify hitches in the pedal stroke.
You could also flip the stem up to get a more neutral position for now, & maybe lower it again as things get dialed in.
I get something out of looking at pro riders- particularly women, WRT knee bend, hip angle, & arm bend.
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Old 08-02-18, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Re saddle height: Not just 100 rpm. Cyclists should be able to spin at least 135 w/o bouncing on the saddle. So what I'd do is put it in a really low gear, probably your lowest, and spin it up to where you start bouncing. Then adjust saddle, try again. See if one height is better than another for you. I spin best at the same height that gives me the best power. Another thing you might think about is pedaling in the drops, like going hard upwind. Try that at different saddle heights, drops, flat back. May take some time to decide what's right for you out on the road.
Probably a silly question, but if I'm bouncing at high rpm, that means I should set the saddle higher?
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Old 08-02-18, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
I'd give it a couple of weeks. You can also adjust the saddle fore/aft to get it under where your butt wants to be, as you get used to the position.
In the videos, it looks like your whole body moves up & forward as the right leg comes up, so maybe look at some youtube videos on hip opener & IT band stretches.
One leg pedaling ala CFB's video also good to identify hitches in the pedal stroke.
You could also flip the stem up to get a more neutral position for now, & maybe lower it again as things get dialed in.
I get something out of looking at pro riders- particularly women, WRT knee bend, hip angle, & arm bend.
Ok. I'll set it and forget it for a couple of weeks, unless I start to get knee pain or something. I'll also try to pay attention to how my body moves out on the road. I think I might just be bouncing like that because I had the trainer set to a lower resistance setting. I have also been looking at pro positions (ignoring slammed stems and whatnot) and I do see riders with a lot less leg extension than I have. It wouldn't surprise me if my hips are tight too, since I work a desk job.

Thanks very much for the help!
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Old 08-02-18, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Probably a silly question, but if I'm bouncing at high rpm, that means I should set the saddle higher?
No, it means you have to learn how to pedal.

What happens is that the downstroke leg hits the bottom of the pedal stroke, and good ol' Newton's 3rd law, up goes your butt. So you have to learn how to control the momentum of that downstroke leg and convert the momentum into a rearward force at the bottom. It helps to relax the leg and foot and try to pedal with the shoe uppers, especially the heel cup, leaving a cushion of air under the foot. Hurts like the devil after a few minutes, until your legs and nerves get used to the motion.
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Old 08-02-18, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
No, it means you have to learn how to pedal.

What happens is that the downstroke leg hits the bottom of the pedal stroke, and good ol' Newton's 3rd law, up goes your butt. So you have to learn how to control the momentum of that downstroke leg and convert the momentum into a rearward force at the bottom. It helps to relax the leg and foot and try to pedal with the shoe uppers, especially the heel cup, leaving a cushion of air under the foot. Hurts like the devil after a few minutes, until your legs and nerves get used to the motion.
Ok, that makes sense! I'll definitely try that out. Thanks a lot!
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Old 08-02-18, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Ok, that makes sense! I'll definitely try that out. Thanks a lot!
As noted by Woodcraft, in the video your head bobs up and down with each pedal stroke. Ideally there's no upper body motion at all when one is going easy. Going really hard, one does have to hammer the downstroke which results in upper body bob, but that's seldom necessary. Some riders bow over every downstroke knee, back and forth, side to side, but that's tiring. Better to engage more and different leg muscles to just move the cranks around. Another thing to think about is that a portion of all force not at right angles to the crankarm is wasted. That's kind of what I was talking about in the previous post. Pedal force wants to be steadily tangential to the pedal circle.
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Old 08-03-18, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
No, it means you have to learn how to pedal.

What happens is that the downstroke leg hits the bottom of the pedal stroke, and good ol' Newton's 3rd law, up goes your butt. So you have to learn how to control the momentum of that downstroke leg and convert the momentum into a rearward force at the bottom. It helps to relax the leg and foot and try to pedal with the shoe uppers, especially the heel cup, leaving a cushion of air under the foot. Hurts like the devil after a few minutes, until your legs and nerves get used to the motion.
Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
As noted by Woodcraft, in the video your head bobs up and down with each pedal stroke. Ideally there's no upper body motion at all when one is going easy. Going really hard, one does have to hammer the downstroke which results in upper body bob, but that's seldom necessary. Some riders bow over every downstroke knee, back and forth, side to side, but that's tiring. Better to engage more and different leg muscles to just move the cranks around. Another thing to think about is that a portion of all force not at right angles to the crankarm is wasted. That's kind of what I was talking about in the previous post. Pedal force wants to be steadily tangential to the pedal circle.
Thanks again! I'll try to keep that all in mind when I'm out on the bike.

I did my commute this morning with my saddle set to 79cm, and it really doesn't feel good. My legs feel cramped up, and I didn't feel like I could really pull through the bottom of the pedal stroke. So, I'm going to set it back up to maybe 80cm and see how that goes.
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Old 08-03-18, 08:37 AM
  #33  
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The saddle height formula works for me: 88.3% of the inseam* from top of saddle to BB center. I don't know that there's anything scientific about it, beyond the advice of Greg Lemond, but on the other hand why not?

The precision is kind of a joke BTW, implying less than a millimeter adjustment and I can't even measure the inseam that precisely. Or the top of saddle for that matter.

*cycling inseam, not pants. Including shoes, all the way up.
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Old 08-03-18, 08:57 AM
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I am 6'0" with a 32 inch pants inseam (33.75" from crotch to floor, cycling inseam), and comfortably ride a 58CM older Cannondale. At 6'2" with a 35+ inseam you should at least try a 60 or 61CM frame. I'm not an expert, just going by my personal experience, and some of the online calculators, etc. Ride some bigger bikes, take some pics, and post them.
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Old 08-03-18, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
*cycling inseam, not pants. Including shoes, all the way up.
Oh. I'm supposed to have my cycling shoes on when I measure? My 90cm measurement is taken barefoot. I also used a thin book when I measured, so I'll use a thick one and check my inseam again tonight.

Thanks!
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Old 08-03-18, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Oh. I'm supposed to have my cycling shoes on when I measure? My 90cm measurement is taken barefoot. I also used a thin book when I measured, so I'll use a thick one and check my inseam again tonight.

Thanks!
*I* say wear the shoes, others say bare feet. My reasoning is that Lemond's method (came from his coach at the time) is from the distant past when they used toe cages and shoes were different, and some people suggest now adding 2 mm or 3 mm or other adjustments. The heck with that, it's more logical to just measure with the shoes on.

Disclaimer: I'm not a "bike fitter" btw, just a cyclist who does his own thing. I am a firm believer in applying reason and common sense to the bike fit, with as little "magic" as possible.
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Old 08-05-18, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
*I* say wear the shoes, others say bare feet. My reasoning is that Lemond's method (came from his coach at the time) is from the distant past when they used toe cages and shoes were different, and some people suggest now adding 2 mm or 3 mm or other adjustments. The heck with that, it's more logical to just measure with the shoes on.

Disclaimer: I'm not a "bike fitter" btw, just a cyclist who does his own thing. I am a firm believer in applying reason and common sense to the bike fit, with as little "magic" as possible.
I had a look at my shoes and there were some big protrusions at the heel, so I decided wearing the shoes probably wouldn't give an accurate measurement. I used a wider book to make sure that I wasn't measuring past my sit bones, and still came out at 90cm.

I rode my first metric century yesterday and experimented with various saddle heights. I found that 81cm is what feels best. Too much lower and my knees don't like it, too much higher and I get saddle discomfort and I don't feel like I can shift my weight around on the bike as well. I still had some neck and shoulder pain with the higher handlebars, but I probably need to relax my upper body. That or my reach is still too short.
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Old 08-05-18, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
I had a look at my shoes and there were some big protrusions at the heel, so I decided wearing the shoes probably wouldn't give an accurate measurement. I used a wider book to make sure that I wasn't measuring past my sit bones, and still came out at 90cm.

I rode my first metric century yesterday and experimented with various saddle heights. I found that 81cm is what feels best. Too much lower and my knees don't like it, too much higher and I get saddle discomfort and I don't feel like I can shift my weight around on the bike as well. I still had some neck and shoulder pain with the higher handlebars, but I probably need to relax my upper body. That or my reach is still too short.
Or that your reach is too long. You shouldn't take everything written here as gospel. People here aren't fit professionals and they advocate things that work for them. For some a really long reach works, for some it doesn't work at all. For example the hand thread that was linked to this thread earlier would be a highway to pain and injury for me if I were to use the reach advice given there.

Personally to me the new position would look long even for some professional cyclists. Now this one is a biggie. Don't try to emulate the pros! They have the endurance, stamina and most importantly, power output to hold a long, low aerodynamic pose for hours on end comfortably. However if you're a new cyclist you do not have the muscle endurance or the training to hold a professional cycling pose comfortably.
That does not however mean we cannot use the same principles professionals use to get a comfortable fit since all humans work over the same principles.

One of those principles is that you'll want to have your arm / torso -angle near 90 degrees. With professionals it's often a bit more, with amateurs often a bit less, especially if you're new to cycling. With you in some cases it would seem your torso / arm angle is more than 90, way more in some instances.
Why do I think you have too much reach?
I also felt like I was sitting on the nose of the saddle and was getting some discomfort
That clued me into it. When you need to reach too far for your handlebar you'll actually pull your pelvis forward on the nose of the saddle.
The second thing is that you seem to have your elbows almost locked with shoulders rounded forward almost constantly on the video. That is a pretty clear sign that you have too much reach for your current fitness level / anatomy
The bobbing can also be due to too much reach because your upper body is not stable.

What I would suggest is to flip the current stem you have so that it's pointing upwards. That will raise your handlebar even more (don't worry about that, you can lower it as your fitness level rises if you so choose) and it will shorten your reach. See how that feels and do not, I repeat, DO NOT care about whether you look like a cyclist or not. Many beginners have cycling poses which look shortish, but that's to be expected.
What you are looking for is a neutral roll of the shoulders, effortless bending of the elbows, little to no pressure on your hands and no sliding forwards on your saddle. If you think you have the correct reach and are still sliding forwards on the saddle, you need to increase setback.
Relaxing on the bike shouldn't really be about trying. When you have the correct length cockpit you'll get there pretty naturally. Usually when you need to try to relax there's something off. In this case I believe it's both too much reach and still too much drop. Ideally you'd start with the bar level with the saddle, but in this case I think that may not be possible.
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Old 08-06-18, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Probably a silly question, but if I'm bouncing at high rpm, that means I should set the saddle higher?

More the opposite.

With a high saddle, the leg goes from straight to bent w/ each stroke,

& with a lower saddle it goes from bent to more bent, so less movement & less potential for bouncing.

Not the issue for you, however, since both of your saddle heights show the same movement.

Last edited by woodcraft; 08-06-18 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 08-06-18, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
What I would suggest is to flip the current stem you have so that it's pointing upwards. That will raise your handlebar even more (don't worry about that, you can lower it as your fitness level rises if you so choose) and it will shorten your reach. See how that feels and do not, I repeat, DO NOT care about whether you look like a cyclist or not. Many beginners have cycling poses which look shortish, but that's to be expected.
What you are looking for is a neutral roll of the shoulders, effortless bending of the elbows, little to no pressure on your hands and no sliding forwards on your saddle. If you think you have the correct reach and are still sliding forwards on the saddle, you need to increase setback.
Relaxing on the bike shouldn't really be about trying. When you have the correct length cockpit you'll get there pretty naturally. Usually when you need to try to relax there's something off. In this case I believe it's both too much reach and still too much drop. Ideally you'd start with the bar level with the saddle, but in this case I think that may not be possible.
Thanks for the feedback! I'm going to play around with my position a bit more today. I have a 6 degree 110mm stem that I'll swap on in place of the 17 degree 130mm one. This should bring the bars up and a bit closer. Then I'll shoot some more video.
I've been setting my saddle up to be pretty much level. Should I maybe tilt it nose down a couple of degrees?
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Old 08-06-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
I've been setting my saddle up to be pretty much level. Should I maybe tilt it nose down a couple of degrees?
The starting point for most saddles should be level. Some start with a slightly nose down orientation but most start level.
If one needs to tilt the nose up, that is generally because they do not have enough setback to remain stable on the saddle. Or they are using a leather saddle such as a brooks.
Tilting the nose down should only be done if it is required and even then not by much, maybe one to three degrees. Usually saddle nose is tilted down due to too much pressure caused either by the nose area of the saddle or the wings of the saddle. If the nose is the issue, check that the saddle is the right shape, ie, not too T-shaped for your pelvic bone structure. A too T-shaped saddle will not support the whole of your pelvic bones and your ischial rami will fall of the saddle, thus causing pressure in the perineum region. If the wings or sides of the saddle are the issue, ie. causing pressure either on the inner thighs or hamstrings, check first that the saddle is not too wide for your sitbones. Sitbone measurement is a useful metric but it usually tells more when a saddle is too wide, rather when a saddle is too narrow. A saddle should not usually exceed 2cm wider than the sitbones from center to center, but that also depends greatly on the riding position.
If the saddle is the right width it can be too pear shaped thus causing pressure, or it can be too flat at the sides causing a kind of cutting pressure at the hamstrings or innner thighs.
If you are sure the saddle is the right width, shape and curvature and it is still causing you issues, you may want to drop the nose by a little bit.

So to put it shortly, don't drop the nose if you don't know why you're dropping it. It usually increases weight on hands, which is a big no no.
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Old 08-06-18, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
The starting point for most saddles should be level. Some start with a slightly nose down orientation but most start level.
If one needs to tilt the nose up, that is generally because they do not have enough setback to remain stable on the saddle. Or they are using a leather saddle such as a brooks.
Tilting the nose down should only be done if it is required and even then not by much, maybe one to three degrees. Usually saddle nose is tilted down due to too much pressure caused either by the nose area of the saddle or the wings of the saddle. If the nose is the issue, check that the saddle is the right shape, ie, not too T-shaped for your pelvic bone structure. A too T-shaped saddle will not support the whole of your pelvic bones and your ischial rami will fall of the saddle, thus causing pressure in the perineum region. If the wings or sides of the saddle are the issue, ie. causing pressure either on the inner thighs or hamstrings, check first that the saddle is not too wide for your sitbones. Sitbone measurement is a useful metric but it usually tells more when a saddle is too wide, rather when a saddle is too narrow. A saddle should not usually exceed 2cm wider than the sitbones from center to center, but that also depends greatly on the riding position.
If the saddle is the right width it can be too pear shaped thus causing pressure, or it can be too flat at the sides causing a kind of cutting pressure at the hamstrings or innner thighs.
If you are sure the saddle is the right width, shape and curvature and it is still causing you issues, you may want to drop the nose by a little bit.

So to put it shortly, don't drop the nose if you don't know why you're dropping it. It usually increases weight on hands, which is a big no no.
The saddle I have is a Specialized Romin Evo in 155mm. Its entirely possible that it is the wrong shape. When I am on the downstroke I can often feel pressure on my pubic bones. I don't know if this means It's too wide or too narrow, or just too high.
Looking at this photo, I always experience discomfort in the red area. Perhaps right on the line where red and purple meet.

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c1/35/76/c...an-anatomy.jpg
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Old 08-06-18, 12:31 PM
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Here's another video I shot this morning with a shorter/higher stem. I put the trainer on a decent resistance setting and got my heart rate up to around 150bpm so I wasn't just spinning on the trainer lightly. As you can see in the video my body movement is even worse.
I also turned the bike around and filmed from the front for a little while, in case that happens to reveal anything else I should change.
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Old 08-06-18, 06:35 PM
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I also just measured my sit bone width, which came out to ~120mm. This likely means I should be sitting on a 143 saddle. Would there really be much difference between a 143 and 155? Other than 12mm obviously. Perhaps that's part of the reason I'm bobbing so much?
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Old 08-06-18, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
I also just measured my sit bone width, which came out to ~120mm. This likely means I should be sitting on a 143 saddle. Would there really be much difference between a 143 and 155? Other than 12mm obviously. Perhaps that's part of the reason I'm bobbing so much?
When you roll your hips forward, you're going to be up on your pubic ramus. If you aren't used to it, I suppose it could take a while to break the tissues in. I think if you aren't numb and aren't chafing, that's as good as it gets. The rest is just getting used to it. I think you could roll your hips further forward, flattening your lower back more. The bobbing and side-to-side motion is from hammering the downstroke. That's a style. Some ride like that, some ride with no upper body motion. It's all in the pedal stroke.
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Old 08-07-18, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
When you roll your hips forward, you're going to be up on your pubic ramus. If you aren't used to it, I suppose it could take a while to break the tissues in. I think if you aren't numb and aren't chafing, that's as good as it gets. The rest is just getting used to it. I think you could roll your hips further forward, flattening your lower back more. The bobbing and side-to-side motion is from hammering the downstroke. That's a style. Some ride like that, some ride with no upper body motion. It's all in the pedal stroke.
Ok, Thanks! I'll try to roll my hips further forward while I ride. I am getting some chafing, but I think if I get my pedal stroke cleaned up, there will be less saddle discomfort overall. It looks like I'm really rubbing my sit bones on the saddle from the choppy motion.
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Old 08-07-18, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MeanSekine View Post
Ok, Thanks! I'll try to roll my hips further forward while I ride. I am getting some chafing, but I think if I get my pedal stroke cleaned up, there will be less saddle discomfort overall. It looks like I'm really rubbing my sit bones on the saddle from the choppy motion.
Honestly it could just be that your saddle is too high. You seem to be ankling down, ie. your foot points down at the low point of the pedal stroke. This in itself is not an issue and is actually relatively common, but combined with the fact that you are bobbing and chafing at the saddle would suggests that you are not entirely stable at the lowest point of your pedal stroke.
You may not need to lower your seat however as stretching your hamstrings (and all other leg muscles as well at that) can give you the mobility to you need. This is where it gets tricky but many riders do not have the sufficient flexibility in their hamstrings to reach a high enough pedal stroke to maximize their power output by extending their quads properly. This means that some cyclists are performing suboptimally since their mobility does not grant them the full power output they would be capable of. I am saying this because that may be the case with you.

Personally I would put all power and efficiency related issues in the back burner and concentrate on comfort and injury prevention as the power and efficiency will come as you develop as a cyclists. If hills seem harder with a lower seat, it may be something that you need to deal with for a while as you gain more mobility. But do not sacrifice the knees. Any knee discomfort, especially at the front of the knee is alarming and should be dealt with asap.

About the saddle. The Romin and its evo line are both effectively narrow saddles. This means that their effective seating area is narrower than their actual width because of the aggressively sloping sides. For this reason it is often suggested to size up with the romin. In this instance the 155mm will likely be fine. And as long as you are not getting any soft tissue discomfort (meaning at the center, the skin over the bones is also soft tissue, but generally that's not what's talked about) or pain at the very tip (where the pubic rami meet at the front) you should be ok. Personally I like to have my saddle so that no part of the pelvic bone structure gets a majority of the pressure so I tinker with the tilt so that I get a balanced pressure feeling. If you are experiencing all the pressure at the front, you may want to lower the nose of the saddle just a little bit. Try it out and see how it feels. Just keep in mind that this should not put any more pressure on your hands.

And again, we are all working with limited info here so take all advice, mine especially, with a grain of salt. Also do small adjustments. Sometimes 1mm is enough to solve an issue, especially when it comes to saddle height.
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Old 08-08-18, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Honestly it could just be that your saddle is too high. You seem to be ankling down, ie. your foot points down at the low point of the pedal stroke. This in itself is not an issue and is actually relatively common, but combined with the fact that you are bobbing and chafing at the saddle would suggests that you are not entirely stable at the lowest point of your pedal stroke.
You may not need to lower your seat however as stretching your hamstrings (and all other leg muscles as well at that) can give you the mobility to you need. This is where it gets tricky but many riders do not have the sufficient flexibility in their hamstrings to reach a high enough pedal stroke to maximize their power output by extending their quads properly. This means that some cyclists are performing suboptimally since their mobility does not grant them the full power output they would be capable of. I am saying this because that may be the case with you.

Personally I would put all power and efficiency related issues in the back burner and concentrate on comfort and injury prevention as the power and efficiency will come as you develop as a cyclists. If hills seem harder with a lower seat, it may be something that you need to deal with for a while as you gain more mobility. But do not sacrifice the knees. Any knee discomfort, especially at the front of the knee is alarming and should be dealt with asap.

About the saddle. The Romin and its evo line are both effectively narrow saddles. This means that their effective seating area is narrower than their actual width because of the aggressively sloping sides. For this reason it is often suggested to size up with the romin. In this instance the 155mm will likely be fine. And as long as you are not getting any soft tissue discomfort (meaning at the center, the skin over the bones is also soft tissue, but generally that's not what's talked about) or pain at the very tip (where the pubic rami meet at the front) you should be ok. Personally I like to have my saddle so that no part of the pelvic bone structure gets a majority of the pressure so I tinker with the tilt so that I get a balanced pressure feeling. If you are experiencing all the pressure at the front, you may want to lower the nose of the saddle just a little bit. Try it out and see how it feels. Just keep in mind that this should not put any more pressure on your hands.

And again, we are all working with limited info here so take all advice, mine especially, with a grain of salt. Also do small adjustments. Sometimes 1mm is enough to solve an issue, especially when it comes to saddle height.
I think my hamstring flexibility is decent. I can almost put my hands flat on the floor with my knees locked out when I'm warmed up. I have pretty small feet for a guy my height as well. I wear a size 10 shoe, so that could possibly be why I toe down too much?

I think I'll drop my saddle a bit again and see if I can smooth out my pedal stroke, stop toeing down so much and engage more of my leg muscles. I think the toe down is causing me to rely heavily on my quads.

Good to know about the saddle. I tried rotating my hips forward and it actually seemed to feel better, but I was on a pretty short ride. I won't go out and buy a 143 saddle just yet.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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Old 08-09-18, 10:15 PM
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Looks good to me.

Got some knee bend, neutral shoulders , some arm bend, flattish back, able to change hand positions fluidly,

Knees track well, relaxed grip.

I've found that as I get lower in the torso, I like the brake hoods higher on the bars- more pointing up, so that wrists are in a neutral position.

Nice job on the videos.
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Old 08-11-18, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Looks good to me.

Got some knee bend, neutral shoulders , some arm bend, flattish back, able to change hand positions fluidly,

Knees track well, relaxed grip.

I've found that as I get lower in the torso, I like the brake hoods higher on the bars- more pointing up, so that wrists are in a neutral position.

Nice job on the videos.
Thanks a lot! I'll use this video as a reference to go back to after I make changes. I've since moved my seat foreward a bit to bring my knee closer to KOPS and it seems to feel easier to pedal smoothly.

I'll keep working on my pedal stroke for now and not worry about going "fast".

Thanks again!
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