Bike fit surprise

open topic, for anything cycling related.

Bike fit surprise

Postby Lots of steel bikes » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:36 pm

I was feeling too stretched out and uncomfortable on the bike. So I lifted the stem, not much difference. Used a shorter stem, still not much difference. So counter-intuitively I then lowered the stem about 2cm lower than the original position. Excellent! Don't feel stretched, more comfy and seem to have more power to the pedals. So what might be going on? Something to do with pelvic tilt perhap? Thanks in advance, Steve.
Lots of steel bikes
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:33 pm

by BNA » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:51 pm

BNA
 

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby winstonw » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:51 pm

yes it is possible you anteriorly tilt your pelvis more with a lower stem, and your knees thereby migrate forwards somewhat.
Your back may be flexing less in this position.

Things that limit back angle are lumbar disc irritation (and accompanying neurological symptoms like sciatica) or facet jt stiffness, thoracic facet jt stiffness, neck shoulder stiffness, excessive visceral fat, large thighs, compromised diaphramatic breathing, muscle imbalance or disturbance (iliopsoas, gluts, hams, posterior shoulder girdle)
User avatar
winstonw
 
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:18 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby ironhanglider » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:54 pm

Lots of steel bikes wrote:I was feeling too stretched out and uncomfortable on the bike. So I lifted the stem, not much difference. Used a shorter stem, still not much difference. So counter-intuitively I then lowered the stem about 2cm lower than the original position. Excellent! Don't feel stretched, more comfy and seem to have more power to the pedals. So what might be going on? Something to do with pelvic tilt perhap? Thanks in advance, Steve.


I've found the same. I suspect that it is to do with the angle of the spine moving your shoulders forward. Regardless, if it works it is good (and you can brag at the coffee shop how much more 'pro' your saddle to bar height difference is making you more aero and involving your glutes better blah blah blah)

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1084
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Lots of steel bikes » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:36 pm

winstonw wrote:yes it is possible you anteriorly tilt your pelvis more with a lower stem, and your knees thereby migrate forwards somewhat.
Your back may be flexing less in this position.

Things that limit back angle are lumbar disc irritation (and accompanying neurological symptoms like sciatica) or facet jt stiffness, thoracic facet jt stiffness, neck shoulder stiffness, excessive visceral fat, large thighs, compromised diaphramatic breathing, muscle imbalance or disturbance (iliopsoas, gluts, hams, posterior shoulder girdle)


I used to get lower back pain from cycling. I dropped the nose of the saddle a tiny amount as per this sport medicine paper http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/33/6/398 Have been pain free ever since. I wonder now if, with the lower stem position, I'll develop neck pain on longer rides.
Lots of steel bikes
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby greyhoundtom » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:07 pm

Lots of steel bikes wrote:I was feeling too stretched out and uncomfortable on the bike. So I lifted the stem, not much difference. Used a shorter stem, still not much difference. So counter-intuitively I then lowered the stem about 2cm lower than the original position. Excellent! Don't feel stretched, more comfy and seem to have more power to the pedals. So what might be going on? Something to do with pelvic tilt perhap? Thanks in advance, Steve.

I found the same about twelve months ago.........but after sitting on my butt for 8 months due to illness I have just recently had to lift the stem significantly due to the tops of my thighs banging into my fat guts. :oops: :oops:
User avatar
greyhoundtom
 
Posts: 2531
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 6:28 am
Location: Narre Warren, Victoria

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:03 am

greyhoundtom wrote:
Lots of steel bikes wrote:I was feeling too stretched out and uncomfortable on the bike. So I lifted the stem, not much difference. Used a shorter stem, still not much difference. So counter-intuitively I then lowered the stem about 2cm lower than the original position. Excellent! Don't feel stretched, more comfy and seem to have more power to the pedals. So what might be going on? Something to do with pelvic tilt perhap? Thanks in advance, Steve.

I found the same about twelve months ago.........but after sitting on my butt for 8 months due to illness I have just recently had to lift the stem significantly due to the tops of my thighs banging into my fat guts. :oops: :oops:


This Haha I can relate to but I just stay on top of the bars but may be different when I get on my track bike. :mrgreen:

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km
Image
User avatar
foo on patrol
 
Posts: 4400
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:12 am
Location: Sanstone Point QLD

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Nobody » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:15 am

Lots of steel bikes wrote:I was feeling too stretched out and uncomfortable on the bike. So I lifted the stem, not much difference. Used a shorter stem, still not much difference. So counter-intuitively I then lowered the stem about 2cm lower than the original position. Excellent! Don't feel stretched, more comfy and seem to have more power to the pedals. So what might be going on? Something to do with pelvic tilt perhap? Thanks in advance, Steve.
How much shorter is the new stem? The 2cm drop may be balanced by the shorter stem. So effectively a similar length, just in a different position. I've got a flat bar which the ETT is a bit small for me. Lowering the bar height helped lengthening the effective reach.
http://www.rivbike.com/v/vspfiles/asset ... xcerpt.pdf
Nobody
 
Posts: 6634
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:10 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Lots of steel bikes » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:47 pm

Nobody wrote:
Lots of steel bikes wrote:I was feeling too stretched out and uncomfortable on the bike. So I lifted the stem, not much difference. Used a shorter stem, still not much difference. So counter-intuitively I then lowered the stem about 2cm lower than the original position. Excellent! Don't feel stretched, more comfy and seem to have more power to the pedals. So what might be going on? Something to do with pelvic tilt perhap? Thanks in advance, Steve.
How much shorter is the new stem? The 2cm drop may be balanced by the shorter stem. So effectively a similar length, just in a different position. I've got a flat bar which the ETT is a bit small for me. Lowering the bar height helped lengthening the effective reach.
http://www.rivbike.com/v/vspfiles/asset ... xcerpt.pdf


2cm shorter stem. So, as you, a different position. The link you gave makes for interesting reading.
Lots of steel bikes
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby winstonw » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:09 pm

Lots of steel bikes wrote:
winstonw wrote:yes it is possible you anteriorly tilt your pelvis more with a lower stem, and your knees thereby migrate forwards somewhat.
Your back may be flexing less in this position.

Things that limit back angle are lumbar disc irritation (and accompanying neurological symptoms like sciatica) or facet jt stiffness, thoracic facet jt stiffness, neck shoulder stiffness, excessive visceral fat, large thighs, compromised diaphramatic breathing, muscle imbalance or disturbance (iliopsoas, gluts, hams, posterior shoulder girdle)


I used to get lower back pain from cycling. I dropped the nose of the saddle a tiny amount as per this sport medicine paper http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/33/6/398 Have been pain free ever since. I wonder now if, with the lower stem position, I'll develop neck pain on longer rides.


yep tilting the nose down can help by reducing lumbar flexion.
however, even in Masters cyclists, the body can adapt to a more aero position....over time. If you are 50, you could continue to make aero gains for 3-5 years.
The limits of one's ability to adapt to a more aggressive position and more time in the saddle is very individual.

Generally, my view is slowly increase your time and intensity in the saddle, get your body fat to around 10% for men, 12% women (lower %s should be cleared by your GP), do flexibility exercises, practice higher cadence riding, consider shorter cranks i.e. if using 175, try 170.
User avatar
winstonw
 
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:18 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby singlespeedscott » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:06 pm

So how low can you go?
What's the goal with saddle to bar drop? How small a frame is to small?
Image
User avatar
singlespeedscott
 
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:35 pm
Location: Elimbah, Queensland

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Lots of steel bikes » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:43 am

This is an absolute revelation. With yesterday's success I made changes to another bike. My Colnago is a bit small for me. It has a 58cm seat tube, so with a 93cm inside leg measurement I have a long seatpost, 24cm from top tube to top of saddle. I dropped the 120mm long stem down dramatically. Only 4cm of stem showing. So the saddle to bar drop is now 13cm. Saddle position then didn't seem quite right. Moved it forward 2cm. Went for a 30k ride with no problems at all.
Lots of steel bikes
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Lots of steel bikes » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:51 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:So how low can you go?
What's the goal with saddle to bar drop? How small a frame is to small?


Aesthetically a very long seat post on a horizontal tope tube bike looks terrible. But practically, I guess a limitation of a too small frame would be knees hitting the bars. The goal would be comfort and efficiency.
Lots of steel bikes
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby HLC » Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:51 pm

I ride a smaller frame with a shorter slammed stem and massive saddle-bar drop and find this is the best fit for me as well.

Have tried a larger frame more traditionally associated with my height/inseam with a longer raised stem and felt like superman (ie stretched out). Not a good feeling.

Fyi, 179cm,90cm inseam, 54cm frame, 80mm stem.

Both my trackie and roadie are set up the same.
User avatar
HLC
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: Sydney.

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Dr_Mutley » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:06 am

HLC wrote:I ride a smaller frame with a shorter slammed stem and massive saddle-bar drop and find this is the best fit for me as well.

Have tried a larger frame more traditionally associated with my height/inseam with a longer raised stem and felt like superman (ie stretched out). Not a good feeling.

Fyi, 179cm,90cm inseam, 54cm frame, 80mm stem.

Both my trackie and roadie are set up the same.



Shouldn't that be, u ride a LARGER frame, with a shorter, slammed stem?

Given the figures above couldn't u ride a 51 with a more normal length stem?
Image
Dr_Mutley
 
Posts: 2159
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:28 pm
Location: Flagstaff Hill, Adelaide SA 5159

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Nobody » Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:29 am

Dr_Mutley wrote:
HLC wrote:I ride a smaller frame with a shorter slammed stem...
Shouldn't that be, u ride a LARGER frame, with a shorter, slammed stem?


A smaller frame is like a smaller stem in that it allows for your arms to be more vertical and therefore to drop the bar more. That is if you can avoid hitting your knees on the handlebar when standing while going up hill. It appears logical that having your hands lower but more under your shoulders could be more comfortable for the same body angle. However, a shorter frame center to front also lowers braking performance, not that many seem to worry about that.
Nobody
 
Posts: 6634
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:10 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Ozkaban » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:25 am

I had a similar experience as the OP. Feeling a bit stretched, but they reduced the length of the stem by 10mm (expected) and dropped it by 10mm too (unexpected). Feels so much better in the new position and I'm riding with much better posture.
Ozkaban
 
Posts: 1101
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:18 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby ironhanglider » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:52 pm

Nobody wrote: However, a shorter frame center to front also lowers braking performance, not that many seem to worry about that.


My bike is made to go... not stop! (apologies to Etore Bugatti).

Cheers,

Cameron
ironhanglider
 
Posts: 1084
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:44 pm
Location: Bruce, ACT

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:41 pm

How do you go climbing and descending with such a short and low front end?

Getting out of the saddle must be difficult with your hands moved underneath your stomach.

Descending at high speed must be a handful as well. Not to mention the compromised front braking.
Image
User avatar
singlespeedscott
 
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:35 pm
Location: Elimbah, Queensland

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Dr_Mutley » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:13 pm

80mm stem descending at 80kmhr would be interesting! I shiiit myself cornering with a 120mm stem!
Last edited by Dr_Mutley on Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
Dr_Mutley
 
Posts: 2159
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:28 pm
Location: Flagstaff Hill, Adelaide SA 5159

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:29 pm

80mm is not to bad if your top tube is long enough. Definitely would be squirrelly for me on a 54cm top tube coming down the back of Mt. Mee on Campbell's pocket Rd. :?
Image
User avatar
singlespeedscott
 
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:35 pm
Location: Elimbah, Queensland

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Lots of steel bikes » Wed May 01, 2013 9:06 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:80mm is not to bad if your top tube is long enough. Definitely would be squirrelly for me on a 54cm top tube coming down the back of Mt. Mee on Campbell's pocket Rd. :?

No problem for me. I'm the worst descender in the world, ride the brakes like a scared little girl.
Lots of steel bikes
 
Posts: 448
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed May 01, 2013 9:48 pm

What's the point of riding a bike and not smashing the descents.

I don't get why people are afraid of descending. Often most are quite happy to tear it up in a crit. Jostling for position with 10 other blokes at 60km/hr to win a prime. But are to scarred to roll down a hill on an open road at 70km/hr.

Going downhill is my favorite thing to do. I am slow as a slug going up but catch most of my mates on the descent. :)
Image
User avatar
singlespeedscott
 
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:35 pm
Location: Elimbah, Queensland

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby HLC » Thu May 02, 2013 11:47 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:How do you go climbing and descending with such a short and low front end?

Getting out of the saddle must be difficult with your hands moved underneath your stomach.

Descending at high speed must be a handful as well. Not to mention the compromised front braking.


Fine climbing and descending and sprinting out of the saddle. I'm a far better descender than climber, and am pretty flexible. Even nailed a KOM on one of Perths few descents.

It's comfortable, it works and I won't be changing it any time soon!

Pic of bike for reference (Saddle has been moved forward about 15mm and up about 8-10mm from this picture)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/ ... irocco.jpg

Trackie for reference too (a little more reach on this one due to bar shape/steeper angles)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/ ... 74902e.jpg
User avatar
HLC
 
Posts: 644
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:23 pm
Location: Sydney.

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri May 03, 2013 12:35 am

HLC wrote:Pic of bike for reference (Saddle has been moved forward about 15mm and up about 8-10mm from this picture)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v654/ ... irocco.jpg

Nice Ciocc. What size is it? I.e. what is the top tube length? What is you saddle height?
Image
User avatar
singlespeedscott
 
Posts: 3148
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:35 pm
Location: Elimbah, Queensland

Re: Bike fit surprise

Postby Baldy » Fri May 03, 2013 12:46 am

Dr_Mutley wrote:
HLC wrote:I ride a smaller frame with a shorter slammed stem and massive saddle-bar drop and find this is the best fit for me as well.

Have tried a larger frame more traditionally associated with my height/inseam with a longer raised stem and felt like superman (ie stretched out). Not a good feeling.

Fyi, 179cm,90cm inseam, 54cm frame, 80mm stem.

Both my trackie and roadie are set up the same.



Shouldn't that be, u ride a LARGER frame, with a shorter, slammed stem?

Given the figures above couldn't u ride a 51 with a more normal length stem?


Fwiw... I'm 179cm, 87cm inseam just measured with a spirit level,barefoot. 56cm frames 120mm+/-7deg stems.

The centre-BB to top of saddle measurement means more to me than the inseam. Mine is 780mm which is enough that you run out of seatpost on a stock 54cm Tarmac. My 56 still has 12cm saddle/bar drop. I had a Specialized BG fit and this is what works for me.

Thats a long winded way of saying I'm his height and theres no way I'd fit on a 51!

Skinning cats n all that 8)
Baldy
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:55 pm

Next

Return to General discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Daus, minhyy, MisuVir, njosey17, silentC



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit