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Poor Bike Fit, Advice Required

LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
Hello,

I purchased a Giant road bike back in 2016, it has a ISP (integrated seat post) upon collection of the bike from the Giant store I was given a full bike fit and the seat post was cut to size.

I have been riding the bike for the last 18 months and in that time I have suffered from a painful right hip (which went away over the winter when I was off the bike (I ride mountain bike in the winter) I have recently started riding my road bike again. About 20 miles into each ride I have been getting a twinge on the outside of the back of my knee (along the lateral hamstring tendon) the pain would get worse until I had to limp the bike home by peddling with my right leg alone. The pain then goes away around 48 hours later, this has happened the last 4 rides I have done.

Safe to say I have been trying to get to the bottom of the problem, read up and found out checking my bike fit would be a good place to start. Sat myself on the bike and set pedal at 6 o'clock, to my surprise my heel was more than an inch away from the pedal! :shock: so I got on my other half's spin bike and set the saddle hight so my heel was sat on the pedal at the 6 o'clock position. Clipped in and had a pedal, straight away this felt a lot more natural and I was able to sustain a higher power output for longer than usual.

I am weary that my measurements may be a bit out and as my bike has an ISP and I don't want to rush into things and cut the post. So I have booked myself in with a reputable bike shop for a second bike fit in 2 weeks time.

My question is, would it be likely that the bike fit at the Giant store was that far out? and if so would I be within my rights to approach the Giant store and politely request them to refund me the cost of the new bike fit? (long shot I know)
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  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    It's possible.

    Have you got any video of you pedalling the bike on a turbo from the side and behind ? That would help us judge.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Why not go back to the original shop, show them this post and ask them to sort it out?

    Unless you've shrunk.
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  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Livewire wrote:

    My question is, would it be likely that the bike fit at the Giant store was that far out? and if so would I be within my rights to approach the Giant store and politely request them to refund me the cost of the new bike fit? (long shot I know)

    What - after two years? Good luck with that...
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    It's worth a go. If it's obviously wrong then they should
  • LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
    Thanks for the advice guys, I will sort some images/video out and add them to this thread. It is quite surprising how far away my heel is from the pedal.

    The Giant shop I use are in the process of having a new bike fit studio fitted so I will have a word with them and see if they will offer a refit for free. I have the email they sent with the original measurements which should show the saddle hight was set to high. Just want to get it sorted in time for summer.
  • I would say going back to the original shop 2 years after the fit is going to be a bit cheeky. People’s ideal bike fit does change with time as they become more/less flexible and powerful. So what was right 2-years ago may indeed be wrong for you now.

    But there are loads of other factors that can contribute – for example moving your cleats along the shoe back by 1cm is about the same as moving the seat up. Similarly changes in saddle or seat back position can affect effective seat height. It would be difficult to assert to the previous LBS that you haven’t changed anything much over the past 2 years. Changes to the pedalling style (such as preferred gears) will also change your ideal position.

    Having pain on the outside of the hip however is usually because the saddle is too high. But having your heel 1-inch above the pedal is not necessarily too high – it would depend on whether you have toe-up or toe-down pedalling styles.
  • svettysvetty Posts: 1,904
    Cannot comment without some photos TBH.....
    FFS! Harden up and grow a pair :D
  • plowmarplowmar Posts: 1,032
    There again if you don't ask you don't get. Nothing to loose.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    Nothing to lose, either ;)
  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    There isn't one perfect fit. I'm the same height as my dad but I have my saddle about an inch higher.
  • LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
    edited April 2018
    Thanks again for the advice, I have taken some measurements this evening which were interesting...

    My Inside leg measurement is 84.5cm
    My current saddle height is 95cm from saddle to pedal set to 6 o'clock, or 77cm saddle to middle of crank.
    Lemond method says my saddle should be set to 92.1 cm (Saddle to pedal at 6 o'clock)
    The 88.3% method says my saddle should be set to 74.6cm (Saddle to centre of crank)

    So both the above methods show my current saddle height is to high. Now if I didn't have a bl**dy ISP I could just drop the saddle/stem and go for a ride and see if it solves the issue. I have spacers under the stem so can drop that by 2cm's max.

    My options are I pay for a second bike fit, or trim the ISP by 2.5cm and see how it goes from there.

    I have set up my spin bike with the saddle height 92.1cm, I will take an angle measurement tomorrow when the missus can help to see what angle I am getting when leg is fully extended, will report back.

    ps; I don't want to post pictures of me on my bike as you lot will only take the pi** out of my trim (skinny) legs :lol:
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    frisbee wrote:
    There isn't one perfect fit. I'm the same height as my dad but I have my saddle about an inch higher.

    Are your legs the same length though ? Doesn't sound like it.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,003
    cougie wrote:
    frisbee wrote:
    There isn't one perfect fit. I'm the same height as my dad but I have my saddle about an inch higher.

    Are your legs the same length though ? Doesn't sound like it.

    Quite. Saddle height more relevant to leg length, not overall height.
  • Cycling inseam minus 10cm does seem a decent starting ballpark for BB to saddle top, then consider raising a fraction to take account of your clipless shoe cleat's stack height.
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  • zefszefs Posts: 484
    77cm is too high for your inseam. Should use what Lemond gave you and go up from there by 2mm or so each time if you feel it's a bit low. Lemond was about 5mm too low for me, it depends based on your flexibility as well.
  • LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
    Decided I am going to cut 2cm off the ISP and see how it goes, I will also lower the stem 2cm.

    I have been riding the bike with the saddle at its current height for so long I would think my pedal stroke would naturally want to have my heel up slightly so I wont trim it by the full 2.5cm.

    My only question now is as my saddle and stem will be lowered by 2cm, should I be moving my saddle backwards? and if so roughly how much by?
  • As we are all pros, saddle tip no less than 50mm behind the BB.;)
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  • LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
    As we are all pros, saddle tip no less than 50mm behind the BB.;)

    Ok so I should be good if I just measure the current distance between tip to BB (horizontally) and adjust to keep the same distance once the saddle has been lowered.

    That is good enough for me, my body is generally quite forgiving so I am sure all will be fine. After all I have been riding with the saddle far to high for a long while now and have only just recently suffered the consequences. :D

    My stem will also be slammed now so my life is complete. 8)
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    frisbee wrote:
    There isn't one perfect fit. I'm the same height as my dad but I have my saddle about an inch higher.

    And I'm an inch shorter than my son but have my saddle an inch higher. He's all upper body and I'm more legs.

    (Which reminds me, when I took my summer bike out on Sunday I felt the saddle was a bit low. Maybe he was the last one to ride it last year....? Actually, when we went out together the week before, me on the winter bike and him on his for the first time this year, he found his saddle too low.
    So thinking back to last September, son and his GF (and all their censored ) were staying with us between renting and buying. She'd just had her new bike nicked from the station but they wanted to go out on a bike ride, her on his bike and him on mine. It all makes sense now :D )

    Anyhow, back to the OP: I'm still using the bike fit measurements from 11 years ago, and I'm 60 now and they still give me a comfortable position on both bikes. I can't imagine a rider changing physically so much in 2 years. I'd agree you should go back to the Giant store and discuss your concerns / findings. Could be something as simple as a typo or somebody misreading a number when cutting the ISP originally. (although if I was cutting one I'd want to be absolutely bloody certain I was doing it right...)
    They may be happy to use their new kit to see if they cocked up first time. At least it's a better scenario than cutting it too short..
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 5,512
    perhaps you used to point your toes (on tip-toes) when riding and now you are flatter, so your style has changed.
    If you are now short of the pedals just lower the saddle!
    HAve you changed your shoes, shorts or saddle since you had the bike-fit?
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    perhaps you used to point your toes (on tip-toes) when riding and now you are flatter, so your style has changed.
    If you are now short of the pedals just lower the saddle!
    HAve you changed your shoes, shorts or saddle since you had the bike-fit?

    Did you gloss over the bit about the integrated seat post or are you suggesting the OP gets out the hacksaw and does his own bike fit?
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 5,512
    keef66 wrote:
    perhaps you used to point your toes (on tip-toes) when riding and now you are flatter, so your style has changed.
    If you are now short of the pedals just lower the saddle!
    HAve you changed your shoes, shorts or saddle since you had the bike-fit?

    Did you gloss over the bit about the integrated seat post or are you suggesting the OP gets out the hacksaw and does his own bike fit?
    Did you not read my post at all?
    Where did I say he should do his own bike fit? goodness, that would just be impossible to do! Especially as the OP has already suggested cutting his seat post by 25mm or alternatively 20mm, depending upon which post you read.
    FWIW the ISP head comeswith spacers so the OP might be able to just remove one to lower the saddle.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,272
    At least the thread title makes sense, as this is exactly the right place to come to get poor advice on bike fitting, or anything else for that matter ;-)
  • LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
    Thanks for all the advice, I dove in yesterday and cut 2cm off the seatpost, dropped the stem by 2cm and moved the saddle back slightly to match the previous measurements.

    Took the bike out for a quick 40 mile ride, it felt a bit weird at first but my legs soon got used to it, I also feel I am getting more power through the lower part of the pedal stroke however It didn't feel as comfortable spinning up above 100rpm, maybe I just need some time to adjust.

    Didn't feel any pain throughout the ride or afterwards so fingers crossed the issue has now been resolved.

    This is one of the downsides with an ISP as it is not possible to lower the saddle without cutting the post, I have a range of spacers that allow the saddle to be raised by a maximum of 2cm and that was the reason I chose to remove 2cm of seat post, I could then if need be always return the saddle back to its original height.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    and ironically- on my way in this morning I was thinking that perhaps my saddle is a bit low - I'll raise it up at lunchtime ..
    fortunately it's not an isp - so it's simple :)
  • LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
    edited April 2018
    slowbike wrote:
    and ironically- on my way in this morning I was thinking that perhaps my saddle is a bit low - I'll raise it up at lunchtime ..
    fortunately it's not an isp - so it's simple :)

    But I can also easily raise my saddle (by a maximum of 2cm) just not lower it as easily :?
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    Livewire wrote:
    slowbike wrote:
    and ironically- on my way in this morning I was thinking that perhaps my saddle is a bit low - I'll raise it up at lunchtime ..
    fortunately it's not an isp - so it's simple :)

    But I can also easily raise my ISP saddle (by a maximum of 2cm) just not lower it as easily :?

    exactly - I can shuv mine up and down to my hearts content - or - take it off and put it on another bike - l like I did the other weekend ....
  • LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
    slowbike wrote:
    Livewire wrote:
    slowbike wrote:
    and ironically- on my way in this morning I was thinking that perhaps my saddle is a bit low - I'll raise it up at lunchtime ..
    fortunately it's not an isp - so it's simple :)

    But I can also easily raise my ISP saddle (by a maximum of 2cm) just not lower it as easily :?

    exactly - I can shuv mine up and down to my hearts content - or - take it off and put it on another bike - l like I did the other weekend ....

    Well I agree it is not that convenient, I do prefer the look of an ISP and hopefully won't ever need to raise or lower the saddle again. (fingers crossed)
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    ISPs are one of the bits of cycling tech I've instinctively avoided thinking they sounded like a lot of pain for very little gain. Along with internal cable routing, aero brakes hidden behind the fork or BB, one piece bars / stems, and suspiciously lightweight factory wheels with undersized / ineffectively sealed bearings, proprietary parts, and nipples you have to coax around a sealed rim using a magnet.

    I'm clearly not TT material...
  • LivewireLivewire Posts: 91
    keef66 wrote:
    ISPs are one of the bits of cycling tech I've instinctively avoided thinking they sounded like a lot of pain for very little gain. Along with internal cable routing, aero brakes hidden behind the fork or BB, one piece bars / stems, and suspiciously lightweight factory wheels with undersized / ineffectively sealed bearings, proprietary parts, and nipples you have to coax around a sealed rim using a magnet.

    I'm clearly not TT material...

    I don't even think there is any gain with an ISP, any weight saving is wiped out by the seat clamp. I am the type of person who like to look at my bike as much as I ride it :lol:
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