Unusual bike fit problem

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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:28 am

NeillS wrote:There is 7-8cm of setback using a plumb line from the front of the saddle to the centre of the crank arm. I took some video footage which I'll upload - found some interesting stuff which could explain my problems


Lol - photo's can be deceptive! Mate of mine was certain my TT setup was illegal with regards to setback, but it's just over the 5cm required.

Re. barefoots comment about saddle length, that's what I was alluding to re. "no saddles are created equal". Width of the saddle also affects where you stick your sit bones, so a wider saddle will put you further forwards than a narrow saddle.
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by BNA » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:17 pm

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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:17 pm

My setup... I'll link properly later. http://pbckt.com/pp.Uc7lOP



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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:29 pm

^^^Nothing like long legs on a compact frame! :P .

Is your saddle on a big angle or is it just exaggerated by the photo angle? ( if thats how they let you leave after your fitting )... If it is tipped down that much then why?... if you say because it is more comfortable like that then for me it still points back to tight hips. Add in a pretty big saddle bar drop as well. Even with a gazillion spacers under the stem... that bike doesn't really fit you to well.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:47 am

Hey NeillS - note my pic, my saddle is ~7cm setback, and it's easy to see that the nose of the saddle is behind the crank spindle. You said in your post (and I only just noticed), that you said "centre of the crank arm".

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Last edited by twizzle on Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:52 pm

Awesome, thanks for all the advice everyone - good to see I'm not the only one with a strange shaped body out there! The different seat tube is a good idea, I'll look in to that if I can't find a happy compromise with my current gear.

I spent a chunk of time last night on the trainer using http://www.dartfish.com/en/software/index.htm Dartfish software and a video camera setup. I found that with my current setup (seat forward and up a long way to stop my left glute pain) both my knees were reaching 157 degrees maximum extension - as most of you know that angle should be 142-147 give or take a bit, so essentially saddle too high. In this state, footage taken from behind showed virtually no hip rocking, and no major spinal lateral flexion even under loaded conditions. Footage from in front showed minimal ovality in the knee plane, but a small flicker in the top of the right knee's stroke. Side footage showed KOPS to be roughly right, with my tibial tuberosity slightly in front of the pedal when the pedal arm was horizontal. So most things look good, except I'm up too high.

Next step is to just start again from scratch - I'm going to drop the seat until I reach 145 degrees maximum extension to get me roughly right, which due to the seat tube angle will probably require me to push the seat slightly back again.

One important piece of information I forgot to add (idiot!) is that I rode for 18 months with SPD cleats which don't have much internal/external leg rotation adjustment. A month ago I finally got some SPD-SL shoes and cleats and found that internally rotating my legs helped the left glute pain a bit, however at the same time I lifted the seat and moved it forwards - so I committed the sin of changing too many things at once, and now there's no way of knowing which portion of it helped.

I'll take some stills of my "before" setup and "after" setup and post them up for you guys, I'm just going to go back to basics and try to fit myself using the footage to get it roughly right and see if my pains stop.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby Reman » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:46 pm

Have you tried adjusting which way your cleats point on your shoes? I had some knee pain until I had my cleats pointing slightly towards my big toe.

Also, why does everyone say SPDs have no float? I can wiggle my heel around a fair bit without disengaging. I do have it set at the lowest setting though.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:00 pm

OK well the video doesn't lie, attached are some stills from my crappy video camera, sorry about the blurry nature of the photos - it only does 30 FPS.

Setup before;

Image

Setup after;

Image

Before;

Image

After;

Image


What is most unbelievable is how much I was able to drop the seat, and how far I was able to shuffle it back as well to achieve reasonably correct position. You'll note that I dropped the stem down a notch and also flipped it back the other way again as well. Pretty incredible that I was able to cycle for 100+km like that first image shows! Even in that horrible position "before" I was reasonably comfortable on the bike, aside from my afore-mentioned hip problem of course. Even with 156 degrees of maximal extension, my hips were solid as a rock with no wobbling - so there was no obvious indication that I needed to lower it. The video doesn't lie though!

I suspect the reason that I was able to sustain that position without wobbling is my calves. They are incredibly flexible. For the physios out there - I can stretch my gastroc and reach over 55 degrees of dorsiflexion from vertical, and my knee-to-wall soleus stretch is over 20cm - I've only ever seen a few people with more ankle and calf range of motion than me. I think my calves were adapting to the motion really well and absorbing the seat height problem so my hips didn't show it. You can sort of see in the "final" image above that I went from a heel "lifter" to a heel "dropper" as the seat went down and my calves just lengthened to absorb it. In fact, I dropped the seat nearly 9cm in all, but interestingly after dropping it 5cm my knee angles were unchanged - in other words the calves absorbed the seat drop and the knee extension angle didn't change. I suspect that when I had the bike fitted, I was very different in terms of muscle activation patterns, and I was probably using my calves and ankles completely differently to what I am now. Perhaps that was it all along. Another interesting bit of trivia is whilst I appear completely symmetrical in terms of my legs, my right first ray is plantarflexed and will not extend anywhere near as much as my left. This could explain possibly why I was only getting the hip issue on the left - it's the only bit of assymmetry I've been able to find in my legs so far. Could be time to get my podiatrist to give me some lateral forefoot wedges for that shoe if I still feel uneven on the bike.

Well I'm off to do a ride with it tomorrow - wish me luck. If you guys with more experience can pick a few little things there to change to optimise it even further, please do. I was thinking of going up maybe 2mm to get the knee angles slightly larger but you get differing opinions on what is "optimal" depending on who you ask - so I'm not 100% sure on that yet. Now I know why people go see steve hogg - this stuff is just as complicated as running biomechanics!
Last edited by NeillS on Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:02 pm

And here's a view showing KOPs, a bit in front of pedal spindle - worth shifting the seat back further perhaps..... will see how it rides.

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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:09 pm

... or you could fit longer cranks more appropriate to your leg length. :P

I prefer 172.5 myself, though only my TT bike has that setup.


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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:52 am

Bugger. Went for a test ride this morning with the new setup - initially elt very different and very stable, nice and strong and fluid. left hip perfectly fine, right knee sore after 25km, had to turn back and limp it home - very painful. ITB on the right side tightened up badly and caused patello-femoral pain. Off the bike it's gone within 30 seconds so it's definately bike-specific pain. Reviewing video footage shows my maximum knee angle is 146 or so, but my minimum knee angle gets right down to 65 on the right and 67 on the left as the pics show. Too low? Interesting problem hey!

I tried fiddling with the setback and the seat height and the cleat angles and nothing really influenced the pain much, but that could be because it was already there and was mildly inflammatory - once it starts hurting it probably needs rest. It's also possible that it's simply leftover inflammation from my ride on sunday when it got really sore and that my bike setup is actually fine at this point. I've looked over my footage a hundred times and I cannot for the life of me see any side-to-side differences.

Anyway when I got home I cracked the shits and I've booked in to get another fit done with someone who was recommended, that's next wednesday so hopefully he can see something that I can't.

Image

Image
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:09 am

Twizzle my cranks are 172.5, I'm wondering if in fact I need shorter cranks to lessen my minimum angle now?

Curse my stupid giraffe body!
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:14 pm

NeillS wrote:Twizzle my cranks are 172.5, I'm wondering if in fact I need shorter cranks to lessen my minimum angle now?

Curse my stupid giraffe body!


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Or here.
Or here.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:54 pm

Yeah I think we've established that conventional formulas don't really apply to people with stupid shaped bodies like mine. Although extrapolating from that, it could be said that the conventional formula of minimum knee angle being over 70 degrees for best power production and minimum knee pain also may not apply.

Spoke to a bike fitter on the phone just now who suggested changing to a pedal system that floats around the front of the cleat rather than the rear - mine are currently SPD-SL's and he suggested to try a Look cleat/pedal setup which is easy - can borrow them from a mate and test. Going to see the podiatrist tomorrow to check my right foot doesn't need a forefoot wedge too.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:45 pm

I think you should ignore that KOPS crap for a start. And, if you are used to one setup and you suddenly change something, pain and suffering often follows. As for angles, best power etc. etc., I'd be more worried about finding something that works first and then doing small tweaks towards 'optimal'.... whatever that is. Once again - Steve's video's of the fundamentals of fitting are worth a watch, as he shows the effect of bad positioning as well as what he considers good. I set my bike up myself, he had a look over it in Jan on a camp, I was one of only three riders he was 'happy' with (I drop my left hip, but I'm still stable on the saddle). Then I went and lost weight, and I've had to change it again.

FWIW, I had bad knee pain on one side when I switched from a Hybrid to a road bike, I couldn't ride 20km without severe pain. I ended up fitting 20mm spacers and then switched to Speedplay with longer axles and the cleat moved to the inside edge of the shoe, so about 16-17mm wider than 'standard Q' per side.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:59 pm

I should also point out that saddle position relative to the cranks is pretty much meaningless - at the end of the day, it's about the distance between your hip joints and the pedal spindles at BDC relative the the hip joints. If the distance is correct for your knees, you can move the hip joint point in an arc around the crank spindle, to suit your weight/flexibility/aero desires.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:24 pm

Where can I find these videos? Have to pay some money somewhere along the line I'm guessing
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:41 pm

Here for $59.95.
Or here for $69.95.

Or you could post in your state forum seeing if anyone will loan you them. Hopefully the real thing rather than pirated...
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby cpical » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:56 pm

Just for distraction, you could try my old bike, frame a bit bigger than your Orbea, but you have longer legs than me I think.

I often ride with Mr Giraffe. Have ridden for many, many years, never had a bike fit, and only moderate pains in knee and lower back.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby PawPaw » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:38 pm

How did your ride go after lowering your saddle x cm, Neil?

edit:
Whoops missed your new set of pics and ride post.
Bummer... Gee, seems harder than putting your money on a SLAP vs a LHBB strain.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:36 pm

NeillS wrote:I tried fiddling with the setback and the seat height and the cleat angles and nothing really influenced the pain much...


What? All at once?
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:24 pm

Getting the impression it's an arch drop/rearfoot varus problem now that I think about it. I changed saddle height as well as shoes and cleats simultaneously when I was trying to get rid of my left hip issue - and I was fine for about 3 weeks, now this right knee pain. Changing saddle height lower made me feel great at the start of this ride today, but severe pain again by the end, and height/setback adjustments seemed to make no discernible difference - so it must be the feet logically.

Bill; nope, stopped about 8 times and changed one thing at a time..... no dice. The only thing I couldn't change when I was out there was the shoe alignment (I did try cleat alignment but that made no difference either). Makes some sense that it must be the foot angle I guess.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:28 pm

Podiatrist found some unusual stuff in my right foot - first ray is very stiff into extension functional hallux angle is pretty low - so essentially my first toe drops and won't extend well. There is mild pronation and rearfoot eversion which is pretty equal between the feet. We put a bit of arch support in the shoe and some 2nd-5th metatarsal raise in temporarily to test if that's what it wants. Going to do an hour nice and hard on the trainer tomorrow night and see if it starts to get sore - but the foot is so far the only thing we've found that's assymmetrical so there's a good chance that might be it. Fingers crossed.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby NeillS » Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:46 pm

OK well I went and had a bike fit this morning and found two major issues - number one is the seat was making me very unstable which was immediately noticeable when I tried a seat which actually fit me properly - so that helps things a lot. We also found the reason for the right knee problem - it's definately cleat angle as my right tibia (shin bone) has a pronounced torsion to it, in other words when my kneecaps are aligned perfectly, my right foot sits out in external rotation due to the torsion angle of the bone (twist along its length). So essentially the fix is to externally rotate the leg at the cleat a fair amount, which is great, except now my heel hits the rear wheel stay as I cycle. To fix this, we need to space out the right pedal a bit, about 5-6mm I think will be enough. We will also space the left one out around 3mm to maintain as much symmetry as we can without going too far.

I've been googling all morning and haven't found an easy option for this. I know I can get 20mm bolt-on spacers (adaptors) which moves me a long way outboard - this might be okay? The only other way is to go longer pedal spindles, and due to the fact that I'm using LOOK pedals/cleats that isn't so easy. You can't really just put 6mm of washers between the spindle and crank as then there is only 5mm of thread "gripping" inside the crank arm and it could tear out too easily I guess.

Anyone have any suggestions on what to do apart from going to Speedplay pedals? The bike fit guy hates them for a lot of reasons and I was hoping to not have to buy ANOTHER pair of pedals/cleats.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby toppity » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:19 pm

You guess correctly, 5mm of thread engagement is too little. If the only option is new pedals then perhaps try Keywin. Keywin pedals offer a variety of offsets. I use them and have the +6mm offset after going through the specilaised bike fit system. I bought mine from Canada.
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Re: Unusual bike fit problem

Postby twizzle » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:45 pm

Speedplay, longer axle option in stainless, buy the stainless steel wear shims to go under the cleats & buy the coffee covers. You might also want the extended base-plate option to move the cleats further back (depending on the shoe) : costs you some stack height though, but I run 6mm of spacers under the cleat on my left foot anyway. And you buy a complete CrMo pedal set every 18 months or so as your replacement pedal bodies and they come with 'free' cleats! Buy some LocTite "anti-tamper" (green) and use this on the cleat screws. I can send you a link for the appropriate grease gun if you buy these pedals.

Your fit guy is a numpty if he has a problem with the pedals. Yes, the company are a bunch of asses, but the product is reliable. Once you have dealt with all of the setup & maintenance issues, anway. :P

Note : The cleats will slip to the outside of the shoes (lateral adjustment slots) giving you some free Q factor (3mm?), I always set mine up to the ends of the slots so that I don't have to wait for it to happen on its own. You need to check that your shoes are compatible with the provided shims - or become handy with sand paper.

Pain point for you : I think they only sell the longer axles in pairs, so needing a 1/2" and a 1/4" longer pedal (if you go that path) might mean buying two sets of axles. I got mine from the U.K., up to ~ $135 a pair but they (at least) don't wear out. And I've bough three sets of the damned things.

I find that with my knee pain issue (both tibias twisted, right leg more so), I have to tuck my knees in to the top tube when climbing out of the saddle, which forces the heel out and needs a lot of float angle. Speedplay is awesome, I used to use CB egg beaters previously... nbowhere near as durable as the speedplay.
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