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Drop your heels!

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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Drop your heels!

Old 05-08-22, 02:17 PM
  #76  
PeteHski
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Originally Posted by timtak View Post
The current pro peloton (first side on shot on Google images searching for Tour de France)

Grand Fondue
seem to have rather "endurance" set up because, I still think, they have turned the tour into a serial sprint relay where power is more important than being aero.
I've read that it's not unusual for riders to drop their saddle height 10+ mm during the course of a Grand Tour as the fatigue sets in. It's not that surprising that they favour a more "endurance" fit considering the event. Obviously their TT stage positions will be completely different.
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Old 05-08-22, 10:24 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I've read that it's not unusual for riders to drop their saddle height 10+ mm during the course of a Grand Tour as the fatigue sets in. It's not that surprising that they favour a more "endurance" fit considering the event. Obviously their TT stage positions will be completely different.
It tends to happen more during alpine stages.

And pro fitter Steve Hogg explains why and it's because the riders are subconsciously dropping their heels in difficult climbs. He even goes to recommend to adjust the saddle height based on the amount you're dropping your heel on a hard climb and if he's accurate about that statement, that means the majority of recreational riders have set their saddles too high - that might explain why many recreational riders develop knee issues after many years of riding.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/

To avoid reading the entire page, the topic is found in the middle paragraphs under the title heading "How to set seat height accurately if you are a bike fitter"


.

Last edited by couldwheels; 05-08-22 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 05-09-22, 04:11 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by couldwheels View Post
It tends to happen more during alpine stages.

And pro fitter Steve Hogg explains why and it's because the riders are subconsciously dropping their heels in difficult climbs. He even goes to recommend to adjust the saddle height based on the amount you're dropping your heel on a hard climb and if he's accurate about that statement, that means the majority of recreational riders have set their saddles too high - that might explain why many recreational riders develop knee issues after many years of riding.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/

To avoid reading the entire page, the topic is found in the middle paragraphs under the title heading "How to set seat height accurately if you are a bike fitter"


.
This renowned London based bike fitter agrees that most recreational riders have their saddle set too high. He reckons about 90% of the "men" that come to him for a pro bike fit have their saddle way too high. He goes on to say that he typically lowers their saddles by on average 20 mm, so there is obviously quite a culture (at least in London!) of riding with a high saddle. I strongly suspect it's a macho "pro look" thing, as with slammed stems.

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Old 05-09-22, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
This renowned London based bike fitter agrees that most recreational riders have their saddle set too high. He reckons about 90% of the "men" that come to him for a pro bike fit have their saddle way too high. He goes on to say that he typically lowers their saddles by on average 20 mm, so there is obviously quite a culture (at least in London!) of riding with a high saddle. I strongly suspect it's a macho "pro look" thing, as with slammed stems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJDeVD5YTo0
Apparently, it's a huge problem according to that video!

Coincidentally, my previous saddle adjustment was 25 mm higher. It was also 25 mm lower before that. I raised it because I felt like I'm not stretching my legs enough. Then it caused saddle discomfort. Worse than the problems it solved. So I lowered it again and discomfort problems went away.
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Old 05-09-22, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by couldwheels View Post
Apparently, it's a huge problem according to that video!

Coincidentally, my previous saddle adjustment was 25 mm higher. It was also 25 mm lower before that. I raised it because I felt like I'm not stretching my legs enough. Then it caused saddle discomfort. Worse than the problems it solved. So I lowered it again and discomfort problems went away.
That's what I've found too if I go to the high end of my saddle height window. I think it's because I tend to put more pressure on the saddle at the bottom of the stroke when my legs are reaching their comfortable limit of extension. When I lower the saddle approx 10 mm from that point the saddle feels more comfortable with a more even saddle pressure throughout the stroke. Going too high on the saddle also starts to induce hip rocking, which can also manifest itself as saddle discomfort. I have a saddle height window of about 20 mm where I can get comfortable and not have any other issues, but I tend to favour the conservative end of that range. Experienced fitters I've spoken to and most that I've read about seem to agree that there is much less downside to having your saddle a little too low than a little too high.
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Old 05-09-22, 01:52 PM
  #81  
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A couple of years ago, my coach had a 3 hour session at the track on pedaling technique on when and how to use it. We practiced different techniques doing efforts on the track. I use different foot positions as the situation lends itself. YMMV.
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Old 05-09-22, 05:11 PM
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My basic starting point for most things (pointed out by a fitter) is:

If, when someone follows you, your hips rock / dip, then the saddle is (probably) too high. Drop it 5mm and try again.

If, when you spin out past your highest rpm you bounce, then the saddle is (probably) too low. Raise it 5mm and try again.

Once you are within those limits, deal with joint pain and repetitive motion issues with a fitter. But stay between those limits unless there is a very good, and very unusual, reason for it.
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Old 05-12-22, 09:53 PM
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Whatever the reason for their being different styles of cycling I am not sure, but there seem to be different styles.

In my field of cultural psychology there is a theory (Tomasello, 1999) that there is a "ratchet effect" in cultural transmission and evolution such that once e.g. someone has worked out how to use a stone, then a stick with stone attached (i.e. hammer) to bash things with, these tools, or techniques tend not to be forgotten.

It seems to me that the "French" (ankling, cycling in circles, bunched up at the back, push pull, glute intensive) style of cycling is one which, despite the ratchet, I was in danger of never acquiring. The ratchet had, for me at least, slipped.

I am very grateful to say however that thanks to a few words by Greg LeMond, and some posts here by Carbonfibreboy (especially the one that suggesting using the glutes from the 5 O'clock position) however, the ratchet is working. Phew. Thank you!
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