My position, is it wrong? pics

♠ChumBucket♠
♠ChumBucket♠ Posts: 388
edited April 2013 in Road beginners
Hi all

This may be a bit premature- I'm 3 weeks & approx 170 miles into my first road bike, coming from a road kitted MTB. I am struggling a bit with the transition to be honest.

My position just doesn't feel right. I understand it will take getting used to & adjusting to but at this moment in time I feel like that will not happen. :? When I first get on the bike it feels great, like it fits, but after a few miles this seems to diminish. I feel stretched out on the hoods, not massively but enough to feel not natural. I'm comfortable on the tops but the drops are a complete no no!! At this moment in time I cannot, efficiently or with any degree of comfort whatsoever ride along on the drops. I've gone from a 100mm stem down to 70mm AND even flipped it!! This made things better (steering a tad more twitchy, but nothing major). I changed the saddle this morning to my MTB one & this has helped, I'm going to buy a new saddle tomorrow. One thing that's really annoying me & making the rides unhappy at times is pressure on my perineum (hope I've got that right). The saddle I intend to buy tomorrow will have a cut out (so any tips welcome) & I hope this will relieve this problem somewhat. My hands go numb after 2 to 3 miles but this is a known problem (carpel tunnel) & I could handle this solely but the added perineum thing is taking it's toll on my enjoyment of cycling. The lower, or further I get on the bars the more pressure goes on it. I have proper padded bib shorts too.
The strangest thing is, when I'm on the bike, it goes through my mind that it's too big, I think I'm convinced it is but when I looked at these pics it actually looks small!! :?: :?: It's a 54cm & I'm just over 5'6 with a 30/31" inside leg. This felt much better than the next size down which was 51cm with 650c wheels (looked & felt way too small in the shop)

So here goes, any advice & comments greatly appreciated.

DSC01260_zpsd0692005.jpg

DSC01268_zps6d74514f.jpg

DSC01266_zpsa1aa2ee0.jpg

DSC01264_zpsc994a531.jpg
B'TWIN Triban 5A
Ridgeback MX6

Comments

  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    Maybe its just me but your bike looks too small for you. You seem to be very upright and not strecthing out enough - rather than over stretching (bike to short in length)

    I'd suggest you need to pop the 100mm stem back on and give yourself a chance to get used to the more stretched out road bike position. You do look like you're on a mountain bike in that position.

    Can you get a fitting done where you bought the bike?
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,001
    I'm no expert but it's all looking a bit cramped to me. I think shortening your stem was going in the wrong direction, but as you note, the frame looks small for you.

    On a side note, do you still have the peak on your helmet? I found this gives me a lot of problems because I have to bend my neck uncomfortably to see when I'm on the hoods and the drops would be right out.

    A lot of shops do a fitting service for about £50-£100 (and will offset some of this against stems or new purchases). Sounds like quite a lot but many people swear by it. You get to keep the measurements and can apply to future purchases.

    I don't want to think about your numb nuts, but sorting out the fit will influence the spread of weight between your arms and arse.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,001
    Also the feel is very odd when you are used to a MTB, you may want to try for a bit longer with the longer stem. You are looking very upright at the moment. When I made a similar move to you I spent the first few months convinced my bike was too big, but I now think it's on the small side. This is mostly due to getting more flexible and into a more horizontal position. It takes a while though.
  • dnwhite88
    dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    When your hands are on the hoods, can you see the front hub? It looks from the picture that you could see the hub whereas it should be hidden by your bars. Longer stem may be a good idea like others have said. Your back is nice and straight, any chance the saddle could go up a bit without forcing you to curve your back?
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • dnwhite88
    dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    Also like others have said, after buying a bike the best investment you can make for your cycling is a professional bike fit
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • Thanks for your replies.

    I have to say, I was taken aback when I saw the photos, bear in mind I'm only just over 5'6. When I'm on the bike it feels long but I agree, I do look a little cramped in the pics. I'm hoping a better saddle ease the comfort/perineum issue which will help greatly I think. Probably doesn't help that I'm back at 13 stone from 12 last year! :oops:

    I might explore the bike fit if these issues persist. I will also fit the original stem back on once I've got the saddle sorted.

    Thanks. :wink:
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • dnwhite88 wrote:
    When your hands are on the hoods, can you see the front hub? It looks from the picture that you could see the hub whereas it should be hidden by your bars. Longer stem may be a good idea like others have said. Your back is nice and straight, any chance the saddle could go up a bit without forcing you to curve your back?

    Thanks

    I can see the hub with the 70mm stem, it's in front of the bars. With the 100mm stem the hub is hidden. The trouble is, the longer I reach, the more it hurts my perineum- this is what has been holding me back I think, maybe making me constantly try to get more upright to ease it?
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • Mad_Malx wrote:
    I'm no expert but it's all looking a bit cramped to me. I think shortening your stem was going in the wrong direction, but as you note, the frame looks small for you.

    On a side note, do you still have the peak on your helmet? I found this gives me a lot of problems because I have to bend my neck uncomfortably to see when I'm on the hoods and the drops would be right out.

    A lot of shops do a fitting service for about £50-£100 (and will offset some of this against stems or new purchases). Sounds like quite a lot but many people swear by it. You get to keep the measurements and can apply to future purchases.

    I don't want to think about your numb nuts, but sorting out the fit will influence the spread of weight between your arms and ars*.


    Yes, good point, one shal remove it. :)
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    Firstly you do looked cramped,so put the 100mm stem back on.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAl_5e7bIHk
    Watch this vid,I did this on my first bike and it works a treat to get you pretty much where you need to be.The rest is little adjustments over time.Do it in the order on the vid and you will be surprised at the result.
    good luck.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • dnwhite88
    dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    dnwhite88 wrote:
    When your hands are on the hoods, can you see the front hub? It looks from the picture that you could see the hub whereas it should be hidden by your bars. Longer stem may be a good idea like others have said. Your back is nice and straight, any chance the saddle could go up a bit without forcing you to curve your back?

    Thanks

    I can see the hub with the 70mm stem, it's in front of the bars. With the 100mm stem the hub is hidden. The trouble is, the longer I reach, the more it hurts my perineum- this is what has been holding me back I think, maybe making me constantly try to get more upright to ease it?
    By sitting upright you have more weight on it! The trick is to make sure your 'sit bones' are resting on the saddle and taking the weight. Also, make sure the saddle is level-mine was tilting back slightly so the nose was effectively digging in where I didn't want it!
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • TakeTurns
    TakeTurns Posts: 1,075
    edited April 2013
    Get the saddle level with a small plank of wood and a spirit level. That should help with the saddle pains. Especially if it's hurting more with the longer stem. Goes to show that it's putting pressure on your genitals.

    A Boris bike is undoubtedly more aero than your current set up. Tempted to say get a longer stem, flip it downwards and get rid of the 700 spacers. However, as suggested, a bike fit may be the slightly more sensible route - if you have poor flexibility.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I was just about to suggest tilting the saddle forward. Mine seems to fit best when actually tilted forward quite noticeably beyond horizontal.
    Remember that when you change one thing it will/may affect the position of something else.
    Looks like you could raise your saddle (and go back?) a bit too.

    As others have said, put the longer stem back on (I do not think bike is too small personally) and take peak off helmet (or get a road one).
    I would not worry about riding in the drops right now.
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    Yes try tilting the saddle slightly - I did this to relieve similar pressure - just a degree or maybe two less than level worked for me. Certainly worth trying before buying anything!

    and another vote for the 100mm stem.
  • woodywmb
    woodywmb Posts: 669
    The bike is the right size. Raise the saddle until it's slightly too high. Take an Allen key with you and keep dropping saddle height until you're seated comfortably. This will have a bearing on stem length but not so much that there will be a big difference. Experiment with the stem (length and position) when you return from your seat height experimenting ride. Stretching to the drops is not a natural position and will take time and experience. It will become second nature but I suggest you enjoy all three hand positions on the bars, changing constantly when you switch from climbing to downhill, slow on the flat or fast on the flat.
    The smaller size bike would have been your fit if not for the long inside leg measurement. Someone who's 5ft 6in generally has an inside leg of 28/29 and would take a 51/52 or small size bike. You have lots of enjoyment ahead when you get his nailed.
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    Have a look at John Cobb's videos. One here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz-VlJjqQhY
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/143173475@N05/
  • Thanks for all your replies, advice & links, much appreciated. :wink:

    It's nice to get the sizing issue put to bed, at least I can stop driving myself mad over that!! :)

    I will take it all on board & try all the things mentioned next week & hopefully get things sorted. :)
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    First things first, there is no point in talking about the stem and reach until the saddle height and position are sorted. To me they look too low, you knee is too bent and the bottom of the stroke. So the saddle needs raising in small increments. This will move the saddle backwards away from the BB so you might have to bring it forward on the rails a touch. You'll then find yourself stretched a bit more with the current stem. I would ride it for a while to see if you can get on with that position. Only then I would start to experiment with the stem and it's position, it all depends on what sort of riding you want to do.
  • duckson
    duckson Posts: 961
    Check the help out online, get the saddle height set (looks ok though to me, we had another thread recently where it was very similar and people said it was too low) and the position on the rails (plumb bob from the knee as a good starting point) and then you can see how the reach is to determine if you need a shorter or longer stem (or no change).
    Cheers, Stu
  • Steve236
    Steve236 Posts: 212
    I can't quite tell from the pictures but judging from your knee position when the cranks are at 3/9 o'clock, your saddle might well be too far forward. As suggested above, get that right with a plumb bob line from the boney bit under your knee cap. Don't do what I did and try and do it myself by sticking the line to my knee with a plaster and trying to judge it from above. After, a few rides where my arms and shoulders ached like a bastard after, I got my Missus to check and I was way too far forward. It seems counter-intuitive to push the saddle back if you feel too stretched out but it does help a lot (and according to the John Cobb video mentioned here it well take some weight off your saddle too).
  • Thanks again.

    I've now got a new saddle, Selle Italia shiver XC flow. It's softer & has a cut out. The next time I get chance I'm going to set some time aside & do the things advised here. Starting with saddle height & position. I think I will then go out solely with the purpose of trialing these adjustments & make any minor alterations while out.

    It's funny, I watched that video above, after the guy makes those dramatic alterations & the guy's back is almost flat- that's how I feel when in actual fact after seeing those pics I'm almost "sit up & beg" :lol::lol::lol:

    At this moment I think it's safe to say that I wasn't expecting a different riding position to be so "different" & by making these changes & putting the miles in hopefully soon it will feel "natural" I now look forward to doing it!! :):)
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • Camcycle1974
    Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    I have lowered my position after watching the video above as I have realised I actually have a flexible back and feel more comfortable being down low. I now feel like I need to stretch out more so might need a longer stem. My problem is a sore neck, not a sore a**e.
  • BINGO!!!!

    I have found the perfect solution, one session through this baby should make me a perfect fit!!!

    mangle_zps593d4f66.jpg
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • team47b
    team47b Posts: 6,424
    I realise we are all different and our bikes have different geometries but I thought that it might help if you had someone else's measurements for comparison.

    I am about the same height (maybe an inch shorter) same inside leg as you, as a comparison the measurement from the top of my saddle to the top of the pedal axle at it's furthest point measured along the seat tube is 84cms. From the front of the saddle to the bars is 46cms, I have my saddle set-back to maximum. My saddle is 140mm at it's widest point. My top tube is 508mm centre to centre. I weigh 55kgs, which I think is 8 stone six.

    You look as if your balance is too far forward, which will put your weight on your perineum and hands, you are bending your back and not staying on your sit bones and swiveling your pelvis or taking your weight on your legs and using your stomach muscles. Being to far forward causes compression and makes you roll round onto your perineum, move the saddle back to allow you to stretch more.

    Core strength improvement will help posture.

    (Bike measured is a Cube Streamer)
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • team47b wrote:
    I realise we are all different and our bikes have different geometries but I thought that it might help if you had someone else's measurements for comparison.

    I am about the same height (maybe an inch shorter) same inside leg as you, as a comparison the measurement from the top of my saddle to the top of the pedal axle at it's furthest point measured along the seat tube is 84cms. From the front of the saddle to the bars is 46cms, I have my saddle set-back to maximum. My saddle is 140mm at it's widest point. My top tube is 508mm centre to centre. I weigh 55kgs, which I think is 8 stone six.

    You look as if your balance is too far forward, which will put your weight on your perineum and hands, you are bending your back and not staying on your sit bones and swiveling your pelvis or taking your weight on your legs and using your stomach muscles. Being to far forward causes compression and makes you roll round onto your perineum, move the saddle back to allow you to stretch more.

    Core strength improvement will help posture.

    (Bike measured is a Cube Streamer)

    Thanks for this, I'll check those measurements on mine to compare & report back. :wink:
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6