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Itís amazing how a few millimeters really change things

Old 09-11-21, 11:25 AM
  #1  
Lbxpdx
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Itís amazing how a few millimeters really change things

I took my handlebar wrap off to adjust the brake levers and went for a ride last night with some tools. A few tweaks here and there, adjusting the bars a touch, I even had to raise my seat a hair and everything fell into place. My final adjustment was to turn a brake lever in towards the tire a smidgen. Surprisingly the last little adjustment took the tension off of my left shoulder.

Iím going to go for a ride again today to see if I need any more adjustments, but Iím always surprised at how little can do so much.
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Old 09-11-21, 01:10 PM
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Some people are ultra-sensitive to this kind of thing, others not so much. I fall into the latter camp. I don't really notice small adjustments and I can run my saddle anywhere in a 20 mm window with little effect.
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Old 09-11-21, 02:46 PM
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You are right about mms. Have a Ďnew to meí bike and have been tweaking it here and there - bar height, seat height, fore-aft, stem length to get it dialed in. Seems like an adjustment a week to get it just right. Glad to hear yours is working for you. Comfort canít be underrated.


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Old 09-11-21, 02:53 PM
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Nice Orbea you have there Rick. I would imagine you don't see very many of them over there?
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Old 09-11-21, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
I took my handlebar wrap off to adjust the brake levers and went for a ride last night with some tools. A few tweaks here and there, adjusting the bars a touch, I even had to raise my seat a hair and everything fell into place. My final adjustment was to turn a brake lever in towards the tire a smidgen. Surprisingly the last little adjustment took the tension off of my left shoulder.

Iím going to go for a ride again today to see if I need any more adjustments, but Iím always surprised at how little can do so much.
If your brake is rubbing on your tire you're gonna need to adjust a little more. You're aiming for the rim which is part of the wheel .
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Old 09-11-21, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
If your brake is rubbing on your tire you're gonna need to adjust a little more. You're aiming for the rim which is part of the wheel .
brake lever on the drop bars, not the cantilever.
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Old 09-11-21, 05:07 PM
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Funny thing is that on a new bike I need to make a million tiny adjustments until it feels right, but once it does I could move anything by an inch and it would be ok.
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Old 09-11-21, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Nice Orbea you have there Rick. I would imagine you don't see very many of them over there?
I have seen only a handful of these Spanish bikes. I prefer the darker colored ones but got a smoking deal from a friend, so how could I refuse? It rolls really well and is a fair bit faster than my Infinito CV. Climbs well - better than me
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Old 09-11-21, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Lbxpdx View Post
I took my handlebar wrap off to adjust the brake levers and went for a ride last night with some tools. A few tweaks here and there, adjusting the bars a touch, I even had to raise my seat a hair and everything fell into place. My final adjustment was to turn a brake lever in towards the tire a smidgen. Surprisingly the last little adjustment took the tension off of my left shoulder.

Iím going to go for a ride again today to see if I need any more adjustments, but Iím always surprised at how little can do so much.
When i bought my first carbon bike I got a professional fit. I quickly realized that my left cleat needs to be moved back a few mm and I felt much better. In the 5 years since i've replaced the 90mm stem with a 110mm, dropped the stem 15mm and rotated shifers out a few degrees.

A professional fit is a "mathematical" fit but our bodies are far from symmetrical or uniform. You need to do some tweaking every now and then.
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Old 09-11-21, 10:11 PM
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I found this to be especially true with saddles. Years ago I'd throw a new saddle on a bike, make sure height was good, get it fairly level and call it good. After having problems time and time again I really got into tweaking things...bumping it forward or back slightly, tilting nose up or down etc. etc. Wow, those small changes made a huge difference.

I'm currently going through a "millimeters make a difference" situation with an old mountain bike I just started riding again. This time I'm dealing with handlebar height, reach distance, and brake lever placement. I've found small changes to find the sweet spot make riding better.
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Old 09-12-21, 01:53 AM
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When you're a new rider you can't tell much difference in small adjustments or changes like that but as you get experience you're very sensitive to them.
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Old 09-12-21, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
When you're a new rider you can't tell much difference in small adjustments or changes like that but as you get experience you're very sensitive to them.
Not me. Been riding for nearly 50 years and have never been sensitive to micro-adjustments.

The question of micro-adjustments came up in the Trainer Road podcast a few months ago and their take was that it's very much a personal thing. They also suggested that people who are less flexible or have specific joint issues are more likely to be sensitive to tiny changes in their position. As it happens I'm not naturally very flexible, so that part doesn't apply to me, but I don't have any history of joint aches or pains so I'm very lucky in that respect. As long as my basic fit is in the ballpark I'm good to ride all day and moving things around by a couple of mm makes no difference. Things have to be moving by 10 mm increments for me to even notice.

Interestingly it's apparently the same in the pro-peloton. Some riders are hyper-sensitive to changes in position and others not. Probably a combination of both their physiology and psychology!
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Old 09-12-21, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
When i bought my first carbon bike I got a professional fit. I quickly realized that my left cleat needs to be moved back a few mm and I felt much better. In the 5 years since i've replaced the 90mm stem with a 110mm, dropped the stem 15mm and rotated shifers out a few degrees.

A professional fit is a "mathematical" fit but our bodies are far from symmetrical or uniform. You need to do some tweaking every now and then.
Our bodies change over time too. So it makes sense that our ideal fit might also change over time.

There is also no single professional "mathematical fit". If you went to 10 highly regarded professional fitters, you would get 10 different positions recommended.
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Old 09-12-21, 04:43 AM
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I just went from a 100 mm stem to a 110 mm. My bike was always comfortable but after the switch my hands and arms felt even more comfortable. It allows me to stretch out just enough more to be one with the machine.
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Old 09-12-21, 06:42 AM
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This thread reminds me of something a bike fitter said recently. On really long rides (300 km Audax) he often lowers his saddle height as fatigue sets in later in the day. I also read about Merckx changing his saddle height multiple times during long races. Your position on the bike doesn't have to be fixed in stone. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest.
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Old 09-12-21, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Our bodies change over time too. So it makes sense that our ideal fit might also change over time.

There is also no single professional "mathematical fit". If you went to 10 highly regarded professional fitters, you would get 10 different positions recommended.
So true. I have a custom titanium bike but it was custom for me six years ago. The custom ME is now six years older, shrinking fast, heavier and, did I mention - six years older.
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Old 09-12-21, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Not me. Been riding for nearly 50 years and have never been sensitive to micro-adjustments.

The question of micro-adjustments came up in the Trainer Road podcast a few months ago and their take was that it's very much a personal thing. They also suggested that people who are less flexible or have specific joint issues are more likely to be sensitive to tiny changes in their position. As it happens I'm not naturally very flexible, so that part doesn't apply to me, but I don't have any history of joint aches or pains so I'm very lucky in that respect. As long as my basic fit is in the ballpark I'm good to ride all day and moving things around by a couple of mm makes no difference. Things have to be moving by 10 mm increments for me to even notice.

Interestingly it's apparently the same in the pro-peloton. Some riders are hyper-sensitive to changes in position and others not. Probably a combination of both their physiology and psychology!
I herniated a few discs when I was 21 in a motorcycle accident. Iíve been tight in my lower back for 22 years. That probably has something to do with it. I do know when I have edibles and a toke before a longer bike ride, my body is much more relaxed and pliable.
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