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perfect bike fit

Old 08-01-20, 09:37 AM
  #1  
jim p
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perfect bike fit

My fit must be perfect because my hands, feet and behind all are uncomfortable on the bike. My theory is if just one point of contact is uncomfortable then the fit is wrong. Everything has to be comfortable or everything has to be uncomfortable to have a perfect bike fit.

I have not ridden for the last 5 years and have been riding for about 2 months now. I know as I get stronger and tougher some of the discomfort will go away.

I think that bike fit changes as a rider gets more fit.
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Old 08-01-20, 09:43 AM
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Interesting theory.

Would it follow that having the runs, a sore throat, headache, fever and back ache equals perfect health?

Good luck getting back in cycling shape!
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Old 08-01-20, 09:48 AM
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GlennR
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Not so sure... i'm comfortable on all 3 contact points. But I "dialed in" my fit and made some minor adjustments over the years.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jim p View Post
I think that bike fit changes as a rider gets more fit.
While this is true, a couple months of frequent riding -- maybe a few hundred miles -- should be enough to for your body to be acclimated to cycling again unless you're really out of shape. At that point it's time to address fit issues. And then maybe again after a few thousand miles.

Our bodies all fit bikes differently. We generally become less flexible as we age. A person in better cycling shape has the flexibility to ride in the posture that's most effective for their preferred discipline, e.g., road racing, off-road, etc. If you were that rider 5 years ago, you would know it, and know what it takes to get back there.

So 'm assuming you belong to the rest of us, for whom perfect fit is a bike that we can ride comfortably. Probably the biggest single issue is whether your body would prefer drop bars or a more upright posture.

My bikes have no pain points.

Last edited by Gresp15C; 08-01-20 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:27 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by jim p View Post
My fit must be perfect because my hands, feet and behind all are uncomfortable on the bike. My theory is if just one point of contact is uncomfortable then the fit is wrong. Everything has to be comfortable or everything has to be uncomfortable to have a perfect bike fit.

I have not ridden for the last 5 years and have been riding for about 2 months now. I know as I get stronger and tougher some of the discomfort will go away.

I think that bike fit changes as a rider gets more fit.
Hmmmm. That's an interesting hypothesis. On my first ride on my newest bike, my butt hurt and my hands kept going numb. My feet were okay. I replaced my saddle and adjusted the bars and now all three are comfortable, but I could have just screwed around with my cleats...

I think your bike fit is good if you don't find yourself wanting to stop because any or all of your contact points hurt, but rather you need to stop because you've run out of legs or time. So, I'd be leery of thinking, after two months, that you just need to tolerate the discomfort and it will go away. When I start riding after a long layoff, my butt hurts after the first ride or two, but not more than a week or so later it doesn't.

On the plus side, if you've been riding regularly for a while, your form may have stabilized a bit, so a fitting will be more meaningful.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:37 AM
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I am 67 years old and I have always been a very weak rider. In the past I have ridden this bike 6 hours at a time. It has never been really comfortable.

I have noticed in the past that riding up hill on the bike was more comfortable that riding on flat ground.

We have some nice riding weather and I hope that everyone is enjoying their rides.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:46 AM
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https://www.bikeforums.net/fitting-your-bike/
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Old 08-01-20, 11:14 AM
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As an 82 year old bike rider, have ridden several different types of bicycles, I can tell you that the three major point of contact on a DF bike will not really and truly make you comfortable. And that includes so called bike fits. Just to mention one other thing, on long rides holding you head up for long periods of time is a pain in the neck.

And yes, for the past 15 years I have ridden recumbent bikes and trikes for comfort. However do not forget all bent riders started out on DF bikes and rode them for decades, so we know the truth about DF bikes. Dont get me wrong they have their place in many situations, but comfort is NOT one of their prime attributes. Many of us when we were young and light could tolerate the discomfort, but when we got older and heavier the pain becomes more accute.
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Old 08-01-20, 11:26 AM
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Expecting a race bike posture to be comfortable is an expectation problem..
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Old 08-01-20, 11:32 AM
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Ride your bike, make note of what you don't like and then use the generally accepted principles to begin the adjustment process. After maybe 5 rides start making small adjustments and ride with those adjustments for another 5 rides. It takes time, but it's not really that hard to find the settings that suit you best.
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Old 08-01-20, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jim p View Post
My fit must be perfect because my hands, feet and behind all are uncomfortable on the bike. My theory is if just one point of contact is uncomfortable then the fit is wrong. Everything has to be comfortable or everything has to be uncomfortable to have a perfect bike fit.

I have not ridden for the last 5 years and have been riding for about 2 months now. I know as I get stronger and tougher some of the discomfort will go away.

I think that bike fit changes as a rider gets more fit.
That seems like a great way of rationalizing away your lousy bike fit.
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Old 08-01-20, 03:19 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by jim p View Post
I have noticed in the past that riding up hill on the bike was more comfortable that riding on flat ground.
Interesting. I’m not a fitter, but my first thought was saddle tilt. You may also be sliding back a bit when going uphill. Obviously reach is not an issue. Even though I don’t use one, micro adjust seat posts allow for “in-between” settings.

John
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Old 08-01-20, 04:57 PM
  #13  
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Like you, I am 67. I haven't stopped riding, but I have observed my body changing. What was all day comfortable when I was 62 isn't now and I have to make real changes to bike fit. When I get off the bike for any time at all, I have to raise the bars. The reach I could do through my 50s is no longer. Shoes and cleats need far more attention. I've gone to laced shoes because they are so much more forgiving and dialing in tightness can be done with an accuracy not possible with 3 straps. Handlebar rotation and lever position are now critical form me, both for while riding and to be pain free after.

I would never accept that if everything is uncomfortable, all is good. Maybe a good time for a bike fit? (Of course, safety first.)

Ben
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Old 08-01-20, 04:59 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Like you, I am 67. I haven't stopped riding, but I have observed my body changing. What was all day comfortable when I was 62 isn't now and I have to make real changes to bike fit.
Great. I'm 62. I guess I have this to look forward to.
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Old 08-01-20, 07:57 PM
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In my experience, symptoms at all contact points would indicate less than optimal fit for the intended riding purpose.

Otto
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Old 08-01-20, 08:19 PM
  #16  
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The perfect fit can only be found after riding few hundred kilometers in each different riding positions. I found it for myself it isn't something you find after a few sessions with a professional fitter. Most of the fitting work must come from the rider unless you're PRO or have plenty of $$ to waste to see a fitter on a regular basis.

I think we have slightly different variances (genetics) in how we employ muscle groups at optimum performance. This means even between two persons with identical measurements, fitness, and training there is bound to be slight changes in bike geometry between the two.
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Old 08-01-20, 09:23 PM
  #17  
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Getting the right fit is an iterative process. I had problems mostly with my hands and wrists. I got a pro fit and it helped immensely, especially with saddle selection and position. I tweaked the fit a bit, mostly bar height and reach. It's not perfect, I still get some numbness in my hands, however I can go 50 miles without too much discomfort in the hands. Much farther than I could before the fit. Being 67 years old I expect to have some pain, hell, I get pain doing nothing sometimes! Pre-medicating yourself with ibuprofen helps.
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Old 08-01-20, 10:37 PM
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I had a really great fit experience at the Specialized Retul facility in Boulder in January. Fixed problems in my feet with custom insoles (I had already shimmed my left cleat 2 dgrees, and was running stock, OTC insoles). The fix corrected two issues I was having; 1) outer left toe pain/numbness and 2) left hip pain after as soon as 10 to 12 miles when dismounting the bike. Also helped with numb hands, but I have a lot of core work yet to do for that.

Those guy out there are really great. No affiliation, blah, blah.

Glenn
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