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setup advice sorry

ashleydwsmithashleydwsmith Posts: 693
edited September 2013 in Road beginners
Evening, I am currently working on getting my bike setup ideally for me, as I do not have the money to pay for a retul fit.
I have been moving my saddle forward in small increments as I felt I sitting to far on the nose. Today my cheeks felt further back on the saddle and thus more comfortable.
However my hands were hurting me more than normal. I found I was having to shift position a lot, I thought the opposite would happen as I would be sat further forward. Thinking about it now I see that I haven't shifted forward at all. But whats the next step? Shorter stem just to bring me in a bit to eleviate pressure?
Any advice greatfully received.
Ash
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  • city_boycity_boy Posts: 1,616
    I think sometimes you just have to give yourself time to adjust to a new riding position. I recently increased my saddle height and moved it forward and although everything else seemed more comfortable, I had a similar problem with my hands, which would go numb after a while. After a few rides though, I got used to it and now they're fine.

    Give yourself a reasonable length of time to adjust. If things are still not right, then try something different.
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  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    Set the saddle so that it's correct for height, angle and fore/aft shift over the pedals first. Then adjust the stem length to fit.

    It sounds as if you may have shifted the saddle too far forwards and are therefore not 'balanced' on the saddle when pedalling. Think of bending over and reaching forwards and holding something in your hands, your bum goes backwards to balance your weight. If you now try to move your bum forwards, you are leaning more on your hands to compensate your weight shifting forwards.
    Cycling weakly
  • Skydog, the position on the saddle feels much better, as in more comfortable. Its just the hand position. In fairness though I think I may have been over conscious which caused my problems. E.g was very concious of keeping my shoulders relaxed which may have caused me to tighten up. May just go with it and see what happens.
    I was 3 minutes faster on a route I did the other day woth the new saddle position but cannot be sure it was that!
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,983
    You should just be able to keep yourself from falling forward when you let go of the bars.

    Google Steve Hogg, some very interesting tips on fit on his web page (down the right hand side)
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  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,961
    You should be using your hands to steer (partly, you do this with your body mainly), brake and change gear. You should not be using your hands to support any or all of your weight.

    What's your core strength like?
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  • Core isnt great tbh, not overly fit.
    But feeling as if i am pushing down in the bars instead of resting them if that makes sense.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    It's not perfect but KOPS (knee over pedal spindle) is a good method to set the saddle fore-aft position. You'll find videos on youtube. It certainly works for me. If you feel too stretched out after that try a shorter handlebar stem.
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  • Ok, I have taken a photo which I can share but its not pretty.
    Im now concerned that my bike is too small for me, which is causing me the hand pain. Knee is over the spindle but my back looks arched and my arms too locked out.
    The top tube is 54cm, however if I work on my core will I get lower reducing the oressure on my hands?
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    my back looks arched and my arms too locked out.

    If your arms are locked out straight the bike is too big, not too small.
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  • 9649078766_aceda9728d_b.jpg[/url]
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  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Ah right, now I see what you mean about your arms being locked out. Never seen it happen quite that way before. I'd say that frame was a good bit too small.
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  • Interesting, the guy who had it before is the same height and build j0but better core strength.
    What can I do? Arrrrrrggggggghhhhhh
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    First thing I'd do is flip the stem. Looks like it's pointing down at the moment, flipping it will help a bit. I must admit you said it had a 54cm top tube but the head tube looks very small for a 54 frame. If you looked at the manufacturers geometry chart for that frame I think you'd find it's a 52 - just guessing. I say that as your head tube seems really short.

    Also think about the saddle angle. If your back isn't flexible then pointing the saddle slightly forwards can tilt your body a bit and that'll help.

    Lastly I'd check you've not made the common fault of putting your saddle too high. In my experience it's right when you feel it's a tiny bit too low! It's easy to raise it and feel it's doing good, it can be counter intuitive. If you get lower back pain it's often due to a high saddle.
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  • Its a 51 according to geo chart. Bollox peed off now.

    Am I better off trying to sell and replace?
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    I had a similar problem with the riding position on my new bike. I was too stretched out on the hoods with my arms locked out. After a few changes all is fine now.

    You may be OK if as suggested you flip the stem the other way up and put all the spacers below the stem. This will increase the height at the front and shorten the reach.

    When levelling your saddle use a spirit level if you have one to get it exactly level. One tip is to put the spirit level on the ground is to see how flat it is first and allow for this. If you use a spirit level to level your saddle when on a slope as soon as the bike finds level ground your saddle will be tilted fowards or backwards not level. (I made this mistake !)

    Then check the vertical drop from the front of your saddle to the top of your handle bars. Most non racing road riders have anything from no drop up to a couple of inches. Any more and it can get a bit uncomfortable.

    Finally you seem to have the saddle in about the right position on the rails going by your knee position but this is only a rough guide. Try moving the saddle foward as far as you can and also as far back as you can to see if either feels better.

    Make the above changes one at a time and test. If it feels right or better to you then that is your best guide. I have been through all this with my current bike which is now after tweaking great to ride. To begin with on my bike the front end was too low, the saddle tilted foward and the saddle too far back on the rails. Just take your time as it can be very frustrating. From the photo your bike may be a size too small but give the changes a go and good luck ;)
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Try moving the saddle foward as far as you can and also as far back as you can to see if either feels better.

    I'd be wary of that. I was getting knee pain on my new bike despite the fact it felt right. I thought I needed to move the saddle back a bit, tried KOPS and actually moved it forwards a bit which solved the pain. What feels right isn't always the best thing, bike fitting is a black art!
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  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    unixnerd wrote:
    Try moving the saddle foward as far as you can and also as far back as you can to see if either feels better.

    I'd be wary of that. I was getting knee pain on my new bike despite the fact it felt right. I thought I needed to move the saddle back a bit, tried KOPS and actually moved it forwards a bit which solved the pain. What feels right isn't always the best thing, bike fitting is a black art!

    Very true, the same in my case the saddle was too far back by quite a bit. I only found out by trying KOPS. Your not wrong about bike fitting being a black art :)
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Moving the saddle forward might not be the right idea. You may have been sliding forward because it's set too high.

    It looks to me like you arent sat right on the bike. You're sitting bolt upright and then bending your neck and stretching to reach the bars.

    You need to rotate your pelvis and straighten your back. This will make you longer and lower, reaching the bars will be easy. You'll probably have to slide the saddle back a bit to help with this. Looks like your knee is infront of KOPS position anyway. Although KOPs is just a starting point, best to ignore it if you arent comfy. Core strength has little to do with it aswell IME. It's all about sitting right.

    Here's the lovely Tom Boonen looking pretty good!

    jd12tocstg1033_600.jpg
  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    edited September 2013
    It doesn't help to get a true reflection of your posture, as you're clinging on to the dressing table with one hand. Try increasing the spacers under the stem / flipping the stem first to see how that feels ...and possibly lower the saddle. It doesn't look a million miles off.

    You may find as your core strength increases that your 'ideal' position changes over time.
    Cycling weakly
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    It's obvious when the two pics are next to each other. Look how much "length" boonen makes up with his torso compare to you. Your arms are having to stretch really far because you're sat way to upright. So many people seem to think pro's can get really long and low because of their super human flexibility or massive core strength, it's ebecause they sit proper!

    9649078766_aceda9728d_b.jpg

    jd12tocstg1033_600.jpg
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    And FWIW, I do barely any core strength exercises and can only just touch my toes, yet my postion on the bike is fairly close to Boonens I'd imagine, judging by my bike setup anyway. So practice sitting properly
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Wish I had the flexibility Boonen has, can't get my back anything like that flat for any length of time.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • Cheers for all the responses everyone. I will keep trying little moves! Hope I dont have to sell it as I really like it.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    unixnerd wrote:
    Wish I had the flexibility Boonen has, can't get my back anything like that flat for any length of time.

    :D

    I've already exaplained how you achieve that position on page 1 of this thread!
  • Styxd will give it a whirl although the lump of fat doesnt help :-)
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    :-D

    Good luck, but it is really about sorting how you sit on the bike first. Don't bother changing stems/bar height/frame size etc. just yet. High bars and short stems really are a censored idea on a road bike thats going to be ridden fast down hills. So many people seem to just assume that short stems and high bars will sort their issues, instad of looking at what's wrong with their body position.

    If oyu're going to change things, try moving your saddle back a bit, and make sure it's level. Aswell as moving it back, you may want to move it down a touch aswell, do everything in small (3mm) increments. This should help you rotate your pelvis.

    If you want to know more try searching the web. Slow twitch and Paceline forums have loads of good fitting advice, also, checkout Steve Hogg and John Cobb.
  • Ok Im confused now. I watched a video on john cobbs website regarding saddle placement. As a guide the nose of the saddle to the centre of the bars should be roughly the same as the length of my forearm which is 48cm. When I measured the bike its 54cm. So if I move the saddle back im going to be even more stretched out!
    Help
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    unixnerd wrote:
    Wish I had the flexibility Boonen has, can't get my back anything like that flat for any length of time.

    Boonen has the advantage of not holding a chest of drawers in his left hand, propping yourself up will make you sit more upright
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  • Yeah that was me not unixnerd. Im the one who is also carrying a chest of drawers.
    But as above new problems now arise.
  • styxdstyxd Posts: 3,234
    Ok Im confused now. I watched a video on john cobbs website regarding saddle placement. As a guide the nose of the saddle to the centre of the bars should be roughly the same as the length of my forearm which is 48cm. When I measured the bike its 54cm. So if I move the saddle back im going to be even more stretched out!
    Help

    Havent read it but that's complete shite. John Cobb doesnt have a clue, check out steve Hoggs site instead!

    Just measured mine and my arm is nowhere close to the centre of the bars, so dont worry.
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