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stem length. what's too long?

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stem length. what's too long?

Old 11-06-14, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiserhead
has a level to slightly upward tilt to the saddle and the nose of the saddle is behind the bottom bracket.

Put your saddle in this position, and then lets see you ride your bike
As I have mentioned twice, earlier in the thread, that thanks to Bandera's advice, I am trying a horizontal (and briefly Cobbs recommended slightly upwards pointing saddle). All you say is true regarding the initial reason for the downwards slope of my saddle - I am or was stiff. Thanks to karate however, I can put my saddle horizontal. I am not yet sure of the overall advantages yet, since having some weight on my hands (as TTers have weight on their elbows, and superman-ers like obree had weight on their hands or chest) does not necessarily result in a disadvantage but my saddle is now horizontal. Since I put less weight on my hands, I can get even lower - completely horizontal in the drops I think - because it is easier to bend my elbows.

I find I prefer a more forward saddle, about over the crank as to most people that take part in time trials (afaik). Wiggins added tape to the tip of his saddle so that he could sit on it. A more foward position (long stem, forward offset seat or upright post) may result in a variety of disadvantages such as less accelleration, less use of ones glutes (and thus less stamina on long riders) less manouvreability, less ability to see foward, but also has advantages in presenting less area to the wind and also perhaps muscule related advantages (using ones thing muscles more) on shorter riders. I can see fowards by lifting my head or using my hoods. I am not sure why you keep recommending that use a conventional saddle position. I have tried them.

If you have set it up conventionally your TT bike has a forward and possibly horizontal position.

I think I am aiming for (when I rationalised it) a tried and tested TT position (e.g. as provided by a Triathlon bike), with the greater control provided by using tried and tested round bike handlebars: a Triathlon-road bike hybrid bike.
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Old 11-06-14, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by zymphad
Err... Gerry Hull races, real competition and rides with a real team. And he rides a Cervelo aero bike, as appropriate for his position on the bike. He is the opposite of timtak.
Uhh...have you read any of the crazy he has posted on this site? He may race but they are kindred spirits in many other ways.

Last edited by Dominae; 11-06-14 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 11-06-14, 07:06 PM
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Old 11-06-14, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Dominae
Uhh...have you read any of the crazy he has posted on this site? He may race but they are kindred spirits in many other ways.
I think he may have just been having fun, trolling. But he seemed like he knew what he was doing, fit, athletic etc.

He rode a bike that was built for riding with an aero bar...

And he was flexible and athletic enough to ride like that.

Two massive differences so I wouldn't compare timtak to Gerry Hull. It's an insult to Gerry
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Old 11-06-14, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by zymphad
Err... Gerry Hull races, real competition and rides with a real team. And he rides a Cervelo aero bike, as appropriate for his position on the bike. He is the opposite of timtak.
You must be thinking of another Gerry Hull. The one on BF was a nut who posted creepy videos. I think he was banned. In fact, tim may be his sock puppet....
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Old 11-06-14, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
You must be thinking of another Gerry Hull. The one on BF was a nut who posted creepy videos. I think he was banned. In fact, tim may be his sock puppet....
I think Gerry's sense of humuor was simply unappreciated by all the MAMILS who take their cycling a bit too seriously for what they actually represent.
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Old 11-06-14, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by timtak
My pleasure. I have posted these pictures of me on https://www.bikeforums.net
Hoods by timtak, on Flickr
Tim,

We're still awaiting your posting of a fit photo of this rig with your foot at bottom dead center.

I'm really looking forward to seeing that. :-)
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Old 11-07-14, 02:19 AM
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No, I see my saddle is still not horizontal.

Still not horizontal
by timtak, on Flickr
I tried putting it more horizontal but I find that, rolled forward, I am putting my weight on my gonads. I think that Cobb saddles have less or a nose so it is less of a problem but my saddle has a long nose. ISM saddles (though stumpy) are designed to be set sloping slightly forwards. As long as one does not have too much weight on ones hands, it matters little.

Here is a video of me pedalling backwards while stationary on my bicycle.

Last edited by timtak; 11-07-14 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 11-07-14, 02:22 AM
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You do realize you're supposed to have 30% bend at the bottom of your stroke? You're hyperextended. Even Cobb would tell you that for a triathlon setup. You look stupid on that thing. Bike is way too small.

Your arms/shoulders are hyperextended too... It's not healthy for your neck and back. If you want to get lower, you should be bending your elbows more and supporting your upper body with core strength and legs, not by extending your arms...

You keep quoting Cobb, but you're doing everything Cobb says not to do... Ridiculous.

Hilarious to watch you constantly fidget because you're falling off the saddle. Hahahaha.

Last edited by zymphad; 11-07-14 at 02:32 AM.
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Old 11-07-14, 02:38 AM
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Originally Posted by zymphad
You do realize you're supposed to have 30% bend at the bottom of your stroke? You're hyperextended. Even Cobb would tell you that for a triathlon setup.
Yes, he has a video recommending 35% degrees I think
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNPNe-suoLE
I did try a lower seat, and found myself using muscles that I never knew I had but, and it was quite interesting but, old dog that I am, I put my seat back where I am used to it. It seems likely that if I were to put my seat down, then I would go faster.

I might also need an even longer stem to get a similar amount of drop, which I like.

Originally Posted by zymphad
You look stupid on that thing. Bike is way too small.
Cavendish who is about my height rides a 49cm frame (mine is 54cm). He probably looks ridiculous to you too, but frankly my dear...

Originally Posted by zymphad
Hilarious to watch you constantly fidget because you're falling off the saddle. Hahahaha.
Hahahaha.

I think I am falling off because my bike is stationary.
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Old 11-07-14, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by timtak
Yes, he has a video recommending 35% degrees I think
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNPNe-suoLE
I did try a lower seat, and found myself using muscles that I never knew I had but, and it was quite interesting but, old dog that I am, I put my seat back where I am used to it. It seems likely that if I were to put my seat down, then I would go faster.
Good idea, go back to the seat height where you're hyperextending your knees. Good job!

Originally Posted by timtak
Cavendish who is about my height rides a 49cm frame (mine is 54cm). He probably looks ridiculous to you too, but frankly my dear...
Cavendish rides a Venge, an aero bike. It's a custom edition, it's a one off. Cavendish is also known for having stubby legs, short legs for his height. It's why he can get so low and difficult for his competitors to get on his draft. The saddle to stem differential isn't extreme, looks almost standard. His stem is long because remember, shot legs, long torso. But it's not at a -30 degree angle... Maybe -10? And he's a professional and faster than you. He can sprint 40 mph after riding 200km. You keep comparing what you do to professionals, when you're not even a tenth of what they are.

Originally Posted by timtak
I think I am falling off because my bike is stationary.
You're falling off your seat because you're falling off. With backward force from pedaling reverse, you're still falling off? Also you shouldn't be falling off your saddle when stationary. I can pedal stationary and not have to fidget. Oh right, that's because my weight is more balanced on my bike... I'm not claiming my position and fit on my bike is perfect or ideal, but at least I'm not falling off my saddle.

Last edited by zymphad; 11-07-14 at 03:05 AM.
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Old 11-07-14, 03:14 AM
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While my knees are at about 30 degrees at full extension, my problem is that I dig with my feet.
Cobb recommends 15% off flat. My feet are at 35% off flat in a pretty downwards sloping "digging position".

Leg position
by timtak, on Flickr
Anyway, I am recommending Cobb's stem height. I am sure his recommendations on foot position are good too. I am not recommending my foot position.

I assure you that I do not fall off my bike while in motion but I do have some weight on my hands. If there is some lore that says that one should not have more than the UCI minimum of 20% (i think - it was the UCI rules that I linked to earlier in the thread) then I may have broken it. Oh no.
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Old 11-07-14, 03:15 AM
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Oh no, everything you do is contrary to what Cobb advises. Also John Cobb fitting is for triathlon/time trials. You're riding an ENDURANCE road bike and you don't do triathlons or time trials. It's so dumb...

Even for his road bike fitting videos, it's for people who don't have a TT bike... He's showing you how you can still get an aero form on a road bike, and it looks 100% moronic.

Do yourself a favor and watch this instead since you're obsessed with watching youtube videos of bike fitting. A video in which someone who is educated and uses biomechanics.

Hints: If you watch this... You have the wrong saddle. Your bike is the wrong size. You're saddle position and height is wrong. Your stem length, angle, and height is wrong. Your drop and reach is wrong. If going by biometrics, everything you do is wrong...


Last edited by zymphad; 11-07-14 at 03:28 AM.
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Old 11-07-14, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by DocRay

The correct stem length is easy to determine. Once the correct saddle setback and height is determined by knee alignment over the pedal spindle, a good rule of thumb is that the front axle should align with the handlebar when you are looking down in the drops. For some racers, they prefer 10-20 mm longer to get lower on the bike.
It depends on the rider's torso length and the top tube length of the bike, you can't just say any stem size is the correct one.

Exactly what I was told!!!!! It works for me.
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Old 11-07-14, 04:04 AM
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Just curious...since you said you commute in traffic, and it's horribly unsafe to do so in a traditional TT position, and that's why you adopted this "Cobb lanced anti-gran fondo anti-UCI aero Strava position," do you signal with your hands?
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Old 11-07-14, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by timtak
Here is a video of me pedalling backwards while stationary on my bicycle.



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Old 11-07-14, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by zymphad
Oh no, everything you do is contrary to what Cobb advises. Also John Cobb fitting is for triathlon/time trials. You're riding an ENDURANCE road bike and you don't do triathlons or time trials. It's so dumb...

Even for his road bike fitting videos, it's for people who don't have a TT bike... He's showing you how you can still get an aero form on a road bike, and it looks 100% moronic.

Do yourself a favor and watch this instead since you're obsessed with watching youtube videos of bike fitting. A video in which someone who is educated and uses biomechanics.

Hints: If you watch this... You have the wrong saddle. Your bike is the wrong size. You're saddle position and height is wrong. Your stem length, angle, and height is wrong. Your drop and reach is wrong. If going by biometrics, everything you do is wrong...

Oh no, wrong, wrong, wrong! But I am having such a good time, and at nearly 50 back to my high school weight. I like cycling, but I started cycling, and cycle so much now, to be non-fat. I also get a kick out of being KOM on the segments I ride and I am that too. At 50! Yeah :-) Nothing that anyone can say can tell me that I am doing the wrong thing because I am doing what I wanted and want to do. Maybe if I put my saddle down, rode flat or 15 degress off flat footed, developed my glutes, got that cyclist butt, I would go faster. But my position works for me.

I think it may be related to the fact that I jogged until I was about 40. If you take up road bike cycling at 18 or so, then you grow up with a cyclists bottom and the ability to ride long distances at high cadence using the muscles on both side of your thighs. If you jog (or I like to claim "run") until you make children and work responsibilitiy enduced stress encourage you to get plump, then running becomes difficult because you hurt your knees. And then you can learn, in your forties to be a cyclists and develop those butt muscles and spin. OR, you can get well forward, and like Cav on his final sprints, get out of your saddle in a high gear and feel like you are running down hill, and ride a bike in a "digging," runners style. That works too. It works for me.

Originally Posted by k_kibbler
Just curious...since you said you commute in traffic, and it's horribly unsafe to do so in a traditional TT position, and that's why you adopted this "Cobb lanced anti-gran fondo anti-UCI aero Strava position," do you signal with your hands?
Yes, I do signal with my hands. I am really big on signalling. Japanese cyclists do not signal (I think that they are embarassed).

"hen on my hoods, with my arms straight or slightly off straight (such as 15 degress as recommended here) I can see forward well. I am only horizontal when in my drops. Yeah!

If you have a Gran Frodo and can and want to get long and low then lance your bars. 150mm -30 degree trial bike stem for the win:-)
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Old 11-07-14, 06:18 AM
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For some reason this thread reminds me of a song my parents used to listen to when I was a kid:

The Kingston Trio - M.T.A. - YouTube
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Old 11-07-14, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Campag4life
For some reason this thread reminds me of a song my parents used to listen to when I was a kid:
The Kingston Trio - M.T.A. - YouTube
I am not sure the reason for your association but mine is that weird also is good. Like this....
There are many ways to ride. There are many positions. There is no right way. The UCI-industrial complex wants to tell you that only their expert expensive guru magic will give you the "fit" that is a must but it is pole axe. You can find you own way. You don't even need to get your fit right initiallly yourself because, as long as your your frame is not too big (which is difficult to rectify with afterparts), you can rectify it later because long stems and long seat posts are okay.

Indeed, long stems and long seat posts have advantages: goodly flex.

Goodly Flex
by timtak, on Flickr

Last edited by timtak; 11-07-14 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 11-07-14, 06:47 AM
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Actually yours is quite apropos and a good metaphor for your fit...awful.


Here is a good metaphor for a classic fit which has been around since the turn of the century...one of the greatest folk songs ever:

The Kingston Trio - Tom Dooley (1958 Capitol records) HQ Audio - YouTube
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Old 11-07-14, 07:03 AM
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I love your song, but non-UCI unexpectedly long stems, forward positions, digging pedals and the appearance of a super model (skip to 1:52)
weird is good too. If approptriate, we could exchange songs variously, methinks.
But, my point is, I like trad, and weird too.

And, looking at this video, I have a long way to go before I am as thin as Ferry was then. Look at those legs! To become Brian Ferry thin (this is what I will now aim for), lance a trial bike stem on your Gran Fredo now.

Last edited by timtak; 11-07-14 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 11-07-14, 07:11 AM
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[/QUOTE]

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Old 11-07-14, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by robabeatle
[/QUOTE]

Morgan Freeman is my hero! And his first big role (at least according to wikipedia) was at the age I am now (49) when he was as thin as rake
I want to aim for Ferry and Freeman, using a mega-slammed stem.
You can lance your Gran Fodo to become a Grand Freeman acolyte too.
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Old 11-07-14, 07:40 AM
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I saw this post heading a couple of days ago and it didn't really interest me so I never clicked on it. I noticed today that it had grown to 12 pages so I decided to see what the heck was going on. I wish I hadn't. The first two pages seemed about what I expected so I clicked to the last page. Wow! Now I see why Timtak needed those snooker glasses. Interesting position. I am not going to knock it though. From the look of his bar tape it looks like he rides plenty. He even transferred that position from one bike to another. If he's happy with his position then that's all that matters. Let's hope he is still riding in 10 years.

I just noticed that this is a really old thread and that Timtak brought it back to life. 1.5 pages before Timtak, (about what I would have expected) and then 11 pages after Timtak. I don't think I'll read the in-between pages I skipped.

Last edited by Bluechip; 11-07-14 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 11-07-14, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by timtak
Here is a video of me pedalling backwards while stationary on my bicycle.

Thanks! Now, that is quality entertainment. You can't keep you ass positioned on the saddle, keep sliding forward and having to fuss budget back into position, you're hyperextending your knees, rocking your hips excessively and have what probably just about any qualified fitter in the world would label extreme ankle flexion at the bottom of your stroke.

So far, your position appears to be uncomfortable, unstable, not capable of extracting maximum power from the rider and non-aero.

What were the positives about this again?
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