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Who wants to critique my bike fit?

Old 07-23-22, 02:36 PM
  #1  
VegasJen
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Who wants to critique my bike fit?

I've set this bike up as best I can personally. I never really read anything or watched any videos about bike fit until recently, and I certainly never got fitted by a professional. Not that I was opposed to it, I literally didn't know until a year or two ago that people actually did that.

So anyway, I got a really good photo on my bike during my last triathlon. I think this photo is a great tool because I didn't know the photographer was there so it is exactly how I ride. I'm not posing for the pic or thinking about my form, I'm just riding.



I've had some people tell me I'm riding too high, others tell my I'm riding too low. Some say I'm too far back. A lot of people have told me to lose the aero bars but that's not going to happen. I use the bars more to rest my upper body, especially after a swim, than for actual aero.
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Old 07-23-22, 05:00 PM
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So do you have any complaints or minor issues? If it feels good to you that's all that matters. Though you do want to be were you can put out the most power and have it transferred to the crank more effectively for a short tri course and maybe sacrifice some comfort.

Looks like you might be off the saddle in the pic so in that respect maybe the saddle is too low. But seeing how the saddle looks wide and cushiony, then you probably need to be out of the seat when pounding out the power. The longer you ride the more you'll find benefits in a narrower saddle... up to some point.

Might need to mirror image the pic. That threw me the most. Bike pic's are 'sposed to be from the drive side! So you should be going the other way. <grin> Lots of other criteria too. Just like there is for taking a pic of a analog wrist watch.

I don't use aero bars. So I really have nothing to guide me for how you should be positioned.
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Old 07-23-22, 06:44 PM
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No, you're seeing my toolkit. My butt is pretty firmly planted right there.

As for comfort, this is about as comfortable as I can get on a road bike. At least in a competitive sense. I'm sure I could get a cruiser and be a lot more comfortable but I like going fast, and I would like to be able to go faster. But at this stage, I *believe* I'm bumping up against the wall of my own stamina. What I'm looking for is any input on where I might be wasting energy that otherwise might give me speed or endurance.

Some people have said I ride too far back. I don't know. I've tried moving the seat a bit further forward, but then I always catch myself pushing my butt back. That's a 49cm bike and I tend to ride either a 49 or 50cm. The only other bike I've really ridden was a 54 and that's really on the very top end of my range.
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Old 07-23-22, 07:00 PM
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Looking at your leg stretch you definitely don't want to raise the saddle any higher. But what about dropping the stem a touch, since you ride on the aeros and not the drops when your cycling up after the swim. Have you tried that? I know when I am pushing hard I try to get as low in the front as possible so more of my effort is directed against the pedals and not the sky (raising my body). Did that make sense? Good luck,
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Old 07-23-22, 07:07 PM
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Honestly, your saddle height looks good and your for aft position does not seem out of wack either. I personally find that the further forward you get, more over the BB, the faster you can go.

Not sure why you would ever remove aero bars when doing a tri.
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Old 07-23-22, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by SpedFast View Post
Looking at your leg stretch you definitely don't want to raise the saddle any higher. But what about dropping the stem a touch, since you ride on the aeros and not the drops when your cycling up after the swim. Have you tried that? I know when I am pushing hard I try to get as low in the front as possible so more of my effort is directed against the pedals and not the sky (raising my body). Did that make sense? Good luck,
Thanks. As for the bar height, that's something I'm trying to do kind of incrementally just to get used to riding flatter. I've already taken about 1/2" out of this as it is and I need to go down again. Since you said something about it, I'll make it a point next time I play with the bike.
Originally Posted by vespasianus View Post
Honestly, your saddle height looks good and your for aft position does not seem out of wack either. I personally find that the further forward you get, more over the BB, the faster you can go.

Not sure why you would ever remove aero bars when doing a tri.
"BB" is not ringing any bells. Clarify please?

As for the aero bars, I think it's just a thing with dedicated roadies. It seems a lot of people don't like the clamp on aero bars on a road bike.
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Old 07-24-22, 03:05 AM
  #7  
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It seems like your saddle might be too high. The bend on your knee is close to the max limit and your dropping your heel. It's perfectly okay to drop heel but the style requires more conservative saddle height. Less height would be nice, in case you drop your heel all the way (tired calves), you won't over extend your knees.

Your dropbar looks in the right place but the aero bar seems too far away. Keep the dropbar position as-is but if you can move the aerobar closer, it might improve comfort.

If you're worried you'll get higher if you move the aerobar closer, arch up your lower back even more to keep you low.
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Old 07-24-22, 07:38 AM
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As you get fitter, you will be able to achieve a lower and more forward position. I'm old and can't get real low anymore, you can only do what your body allows at the time. With another year of training, you might find a more forward and lower position to be natural

Your upper body and head is high and you are really reaching on the aero bars.

Your saddle is slightly high (by looking at your foot and knee bend)

I would move your saddle forward as much as possible. This will effectively lower your saddle and bring the aero bars closer. I would experiment with reducing the spacers to lower the bar more. Closing the gap from your arms to your torso might also improve aerodynamics. Lowering your head just a little will make you faster.

I suspect you get shoulder and upper back pain?? If so, getting the bars closer would help.
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Old 07-24-22, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
No, you're seeing my toolkit. My butt is pretty firmly planted right there.

As for comfort, this is about as comfortable as I can get on a road bike. At least in a competitive sense. I'm sure I could get a cruiser and be a lot more comfortable but I like going fast, and I would like to be able to go faster. But at this stage, I *believe* I'm bumping up against the wall of my own stamina. What I'm looking for is any input on where I might be wasting energy that otherwise might give me speed or endurance.

Some people have said I ride too far back. I don't know. I've tried moving the seat a bit further forward, but then I always catch myself pushing my butt back. That's a 49cm bike and I tend to ride either a 49 or 50cm. The only other bike I've really ridden was a 54 and that's really on the very top end of my range.
If you want to have a better percentage of your power put into making the bike go, then for short routes that I imagine you'd have on a Triathlon you don't need comfort. You've probably already noticed since you've made some prior posts about such, but a bike that has a more vertical seat tube will let you put more power into the cranks. Won't be comfortable for a Century ride, or even a metric Century, but that isn't the length of course you are doing in a Triathlon.

If you haven't already got one on that bike, you might try a zero offset seat post to get you a little further over the BB to more closely mimic what a TT bike does by design. It puts your butt more over the BB than a road bike so you transfer more power to the pedals.

I like going fast too.
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Old 07-27-22, 06:21 PM
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Only make small adjustments at a time. Here's my totally non-professional take, based off being a lower power, but pretty aero rider who goes alright...

- Something "free" is you could try dropping your head. Shrugging down so it doesn't stick up above your back-line as much
- Front end could/should definitely be lowered. You could get FAR lower and more "horizontal" across your back
- Saddle height maybe a smidge too high? Hard to tell for sure. You could also move it forward, getting further over the bottom bracket

Now, some of the above may not be as comfortable, and you may even lose a little power, but the aero benefits will outweigh all of that over short distance races.


Oh one more thing! See if you can get a "front on" shot of you riding. That'll let you see exactly what is punching through the air!
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Old 08-03-22, 09:00 AM
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As a bicycle store owner for over 12 years, womens cycling coach and a guy who developed the pinpoint size system and raced three years as a junior as well as 1-2 pro for five years, I can tell you without a doubt that your seat is way too high. The simple fact is that you clearly have your leg so extended that you have absolutely no ability to drop your heel(s) to help turn big gears up while climbing/ going up hills.
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Old 08-03-22, 10:28 AM
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Moving your saddle forward will open your hip angle, which should allow you to get a little lower. You have to move your elbows forward the same amount as you move your saddle, i.e. longer stem and probably a 17° stem mounted so it's level. If your current seat post has set-back, trade for a zero setback post, get saddle even further forward.

What it's supposed to look like. Notice their leg extension - your saddle height is fine. But notice where their butts are w/r to their bottom brackets - they're perched on the saddle nose. Opening the hip angle is how you get low and still breathe. As you move your saddle forward, you'll have to raise it slightly
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Old 08-05-22, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen View Post
I've set this bike up as best I can personally. I never really read anything or watched any videos about bike fit until recently, and I certainly never got fitted by a professional. Not that I was opposed to it, I literally didn't know until a year or two ago that people actually did that.

So anyway, I got a really good photo on my bike during my last triathlon. I think this photo is a great tool because I didn't know the photographer was there so it is exactly how I ride. I'm not posing for the pic or thinking about my form, I'm just riding.



I've had some people tell me I'm riding too high, others tell my I'm riding too low. Some say I'm too far back. A lot of people have told me to lose the aero bars but that's not going to happen. I use the bars more to rest my upper body, especially after a swim, than for actual aero.
These days I'm more reluctant to do 'fit' comments, because photos don;t really give the whole picture. In person is, of course, the best way to do these things.
But lets discuss a few things. Overall the idea is to go faster by being more aero, and still allowing you to produce the greatest power for the duration of the event. And not injure yourself.
This is always best done in steps, incremental and small enough to not cause strain nor that small that no change happens.
You would rather not spend money, if you don't have to - I get that, and its a good way to start.
The bike you have is a good bike - maybe not a TT bike, but still more than good enough to get you improvement.
setup the bike
and at the same time, learn to effectively ride the bike
some things I would suggest you try in bike setup. - I won;t comment about saddle extension because without the crank arms being visible, I can;t tell where your feet are on the pedals.
It appears (from the shoe position) that the pedal is directly under your arch, not at the ball of foot. If that is the case, then your saddle most likely is a bit too high. There'sa whole tempest around where is best to position a pedal, but for now I suggest you put the Ball O Foot over the pedal spindle/axle.
Again, if the pedal in pic is under the arch, lower the saddle - I normally suggest 4mm, but in this case 1 cm (10mm) would prolly be a better start point.
Work towards stabilizing your foot over that pedal/axle. It's difficult as you get to spinning the pedals at higher rpms, which is why some method of holding the shoe to the pedal is important.
Hence cycling shoes with pedals to match - or that simple strap system - mentioned by a poster in one of your other threads.
Dealing with the saddle position - fore/aft - no way to suggest anything from this pic. But it doesn't seem way off, for now.
Bars and hands/arms/shoulders
Move all the spacers from under the stem to above the stem - seems like a lot, but it really isn't...
Move the aero bars back at least 2 cm/1 inch. DO NOT move the forearm cups back !!! Rotate/tilt the aero bars so that the aero bar tips are 2 cm/1 inch higher at the front.
What does this do? This brings your arms back a bit, which provides better support, drops your shoulders relative to your head and allows the head to be less constricted as you drop your torso more. It also puts your hands closer to the shifters/brake levers, allowing you quicker/easier access to both shifting (which you will find is now easier) and braking.
When you 'rotate/tilt' the aero bars. what happens is your elbows drop a bit. When the elbows drop, your entire upper body will also lower a bit, a flatter overall profile.
This, in combination with moving your spacers will lower you into a more aero profile. And still allow you to look forward. Important to keep doing that.
Riding the bike... too much to go into in this thread.
one thing though...
no course is completely flat, nor are you a machine, at least not a machine which won;t vary.
assuming you have a speedometer... and you're keeping some visual track of how your progressing, riding.
if you're having a difficult time holding your speed in a section, usually an incline. You're pushing the pedals hard and still slowing, shift to the next lower/easier gear you have, spin the pedals up. You will prolly find that you'll be going faster than you were in the larger gear, just before you shifted. Stay steady in that gear at that speed, for a distance. Then shift into the larger/harder gear again, see if you can hold it. If at some point you start slowing again - repeat the same process. This is a good way to keep your speed up whenever you're below your actual max speed and also a good way to handle longer inclines when you're not sure what your best gear might be.
Ride On
Yuri
EDIT: If you lower your torso profile, more than where it is in this pic, a consequence of that lowering will be that your leg extension will become greater. Given where you currently are, that extension may/likely will become too much. So lower your saddle extension, and this will allow better pedal power and not cause possible problems. IF your hips rock when you pedal, to get full power through the pedal stroke - YOU are too HIGH.
If you do my suggestions for lowering your torso profile - revisit the saddle extension setting. Get it to the point where you are not rocking your hips when pedaling.
Fillipo Ganna technique - watch his hips, his pedaling cadence, he rarely drops his head, he has his shoulders down allowing his head to be slightly raised and still aero... remain aware of all this whenever you get on the bike, into aero position.

Last edited by cyclezen; 08-05-22 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 08-05-22, 04:15 PM
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The speculation offered here is amazing. Obviously you're in the ballpark to at least ride the bike but that's it. If one rides a poorly fitted bike long enough, the body will adapt to it. You may potentially be causing injury down the road not to mention loss of power and comfort in the present. Go see a pro bike fitter and be sure.
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Old 08-29-22, 03:58 PM
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Pedal is not even all the way down and the leg is already overextended. Ankle is stretching to reach the pedal. Hips are visibly rocking because foot will not make it to bottom of pedal stroke without tilting hips.

So now you have yet another opinion that the saddle is too high. How sure am I? Not at all. Even if you posted a video I'd not be sure. Only way to know is to ride with you. I'd not give a nickel to a fitter who does not include a ride. And then your fit could be real different early and late in the ride. In competition you could sit different than when cruising.

What you need is expert eyes in someone who does know you and does ride with you. If that is not available time to experiment. First experiment I'd do would be saddle down a full inch. Bring the 'bars down together with the saddle. If that doesn't work you do not have to listen to me and you can send the saddle right back up. The advice is worth what you paid.
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