Bike fit / correct riding position

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  • I'm thinking about doing the Dunwich Dynamo this year. Previous longest ride is London to Brighton. Even on some shorter rides of around 20 miles I get back pain climing hills, sore wrists etc so I assume my bike is not set up right. I'm pretty sure my frame is correctly-sized but there are lots of other variables like seat post height, seat fore-aft position, stem length and height, type of bars and so on.

    I know one can get 'bike fit' sessions where they help you sort these things out. Can anyone recommend somewhere to do this; or how about a lfgss meet-up dedicated to this, with some of the more experienced riders doing a workshop of sorts?

  • This is a really difficult area.

    1/2cm difference on any one thing can make a huge difference to your power output and levels of comfort.

    If you go for a professional cyclefit it generally takes at least a couple of hours and a great deal of information is assessed and measured before they will make any suggestions.

    I can say that paying cyclefit.co.uk to do the work for me has resulted in a great deal more pleasure on the bike and dealt with all the issues I had prior to visiting them.

    There are general rules of thumb regarding bike fitting, but if you have ongoing issues and cannot be bothered to spend months moving one bit of your bike at a time to see how each affects you I would suggest you pay a professional.

    My attitude to it is that if you have no pains and are comfortable then stick with what you have got. If you are in discomfort pay someone to sort it out. The initial outlay may be high but the frustration of being unable to cycle while waiting for problems to resolve and ythe cost of physio help is not worth it.

  • +1

  • +2

    http://www.cyclefit.co.uk/
    Cyclefit are not cheap, but compared to the cost of a bike (or bikes) and possible physio if you continue to be in pain, etc it's money well spent.

  • http://www.cyclefit.co.uk/
    Cyclefit are not cheap, but compared to the cost of a bike (or bikes) and possible physio if you continue to be in pain, etc it's money well spent.

    +3

  • I would ask to borrow a turbo trainer/set of rollers off of someone you know for a week or something. Put in some miles, with a set of allen keys next to you so you can adjust there and then.

  • anyone else find that moving their seat even the tiniest bit higher will make a world of difference on the amount of pressure you can apply to the pedals? i think my frame is very possibly slightly too small for me so the process of adjusting my seat and bars for comfort is ongoing..

  • as i said in my earlier post 1/2cm difference can make a huge difference.

    these are the main variables (assuming your frame is even near a correct fit for you):

    saddle height, saddle position with respect to bottom bracket, saddle to handle bar length, saddle to bar drop

    you then have to take into account a riders degree of flexion, core strength etc

    generally peoples legs are not the same length, so wedges may be required to even this out too.

    at this point the simple option is to pay someone who knows what they are doing to make it right

    cyclefitting is a mixture of science and voodoo art

    if you are having regular pain etc then pay someone to help, or spend months fiddling around, buying different stems, spacers etc and still not get a correct fit.

  • Would cycle fit potentially sort out knee pain (only in one knee)?

  • I'm not quite sure I get the point of having frames that can be bought at 1cm difference - for example, 55cm/56/57/58/etc. Surely if you raise the seat higher it would correct the smaller frame. Or is it more to do with the geometry? If that is so, then surely if you bought a frame that was too small, but the geometry would allow for the seat height to correct the size then you don't need to buy such a specific size.
    Also, the size always seems to be written down in terms of the seattube, but surely the size of the toptube is more important?

  • I would ask to borrow a turbo trainer/set of rollers off of someone you know for a week or something. Put in some miles, with a set of allen keys next to you so you can adjust there and then.

    +1

    Free rollers might be better for this, because you're riding the bike, rather than sitting on it.

    Remember that your spine stretches during the course of a ride, so what might feel fine sitting on a fitting jig could feel scrunched up after 2 hours in the saddle.

    Conversely, your hamstrings actually tighten, so setting your saddle right on the edge of what feels like maximum extension could result in ligament/tendon strains when applying force through the pedal stroke a few hours later.

    I think cyclefitting is easy money for the (admittedly well-meaning) fitters, and not necessarily appropriate unless you've got a lot of miles under your belt, and are beginning to develop metaphysical awareness, but are unable to shake off certain niggles.

    If it comes free with a bike, it's a good starting point.

  • Condor size you up for a bike when you buy from them don't they? I asked about their sizing jig when I was in there and they pretty much shrugged me off. I look like someone with no money and they just said something along the lines of "we fit you to a bike when you are serious about buying one from us".

  • I think that your 'fit requirements' will change after you've done more miles on the road. Proper long rides are very different from tootling around town in terms of being on the drops etc. As you get fitter, you'll want your bars lower and find it easier to get tucked in for longer periods of time.
    Get tinkering with your seat height/position, read some boring articles in C****y W*y about 'core strength', and finally HTFU...

  • As a cyclist of a "certain age" I can highly recommend Cyclefit. As you get older, your body is less forgiving of errors in cycle set up and it is well worth making sure that it fits perfectly.

  • Not been on a fitting session but probably going to over the next month. Been looking at this place

    http://bespokecycling.com/

  • I would ask to borrow a turbo trainer/set of rollers off of someone you know for a week or something. Put in some miles, with a set of allen keys next to you so you can adjust there and then.

    In addition to this buy this book: Andy Pruitt's Complete Medical Guide for Cyclists by Pruitt, Andy. It gives you a wealth of information how to effectivelly fit yourself to the bike.

    anyone else find that moving their seat even the tiniest bit higher will make a world of difference on the amount of pressure you can apply to the pedals? i think my frame is very possibly slightly too small for me so the process of adjusting my seat and bars for comfort is ongoing..

    I had this problem before I went to cyclefit. Even they could not fit me properly to a frame which was fundamentally too small for me. I sold it to fellow forumite.

    Would cycle fit potentially sort out knee pain (only in one knee)?

    There are some good articles on bike radar about knee pain and cleat positioning. I cured my left knee pain, by moving my left cleat by 4mm.

    Condor size you up for a bike when you buy from them don't they?

    Yes they do but I do not rate their fitting jig or their "fitting".

    Get tinkering with your seat height/position, read some boring articles in C****y W*y about 'core strength', and finally HTFU...

    Worst advice ever.

  • In addition to this buy this book: Andy Pruitt's Complete Medical Guide for Cyclists by Pruitt, Andy. It gives you a wealth of information how to effectivelly fit yourself to the bike.

    +1 - It's a very good start to learning the fundamentals of how to set up your bike and your cleats and WHY. If you know nothing about this sort of thing then this book will allow you to make some improvements to your position.

    Some people are more in the middle of the bell curve for cycle frames and fit and as a consequence are somewhat bemused by these discussions.

    You will hit a wall in your knowledge and ability at some point. If you are interested enough and/or you know that you have some physical issues (for me - spine defect + 2 surgically corrected knees) then Cyclefit, or a similar service from Mosquito, is a worthy thing to consider.

  • Condor size you up for a bike when you buy from them don't they? I asked about their sizing jig when I was in there and they pretty much shrugged me off. I look like someone with no money and they just said something along the lines of "we fit you to a bike when you are serious about buying one from us".

    I got fitted by Condor when I bought my bike. My understanding is that they mostly - if not always - use it to fit you to their bikes rather than get general position information from it. When they use it they configure it to the basic frame size (of the bike from their range) that they think is appropriate and then fiddle with the seat, bars, etc.

    I know Sigma will measure you up for about £35. If I remember correctly they use the "bikefit" system and you come away with a diagram showing the various important measurements.

    I'm thinking about getting measured up by Cyclefit as I get some knee pain which may need some specific changes to my bike that will probably have been beyond the capabilities of the relatively simple - but doubtless mostly effective - approach used by Condor. I'll report back as I expect to do it over the next few weeks.

  • I'd agree with Aroogah, he recommended the book to me but out of frustration and not being able to do all the fitting as the book sets out myself (you really need a turbo) I booked a cyclefit.

  • I thought I recognised Andy Pruitts name, I read this this morning. A good read about what bike fitting can do for you

    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/article­/training-fitting-saxo-bank-20304

  • Some helpful replies here - thanks. Anyone have rollers and enough experience to get me at least some way towards the "optimum biomechanical interface with the bike"? Could pay something or provide 'training beers'...

  • I fitted my own bikes for years by reading lots about fitting, riding lots (with allen keys at hand to make on the fly adjustments) and trying different things. I have since had a cyclefit which essentially confirmed my position and measurements but also helped with other things (I have severe ankle rotation from some young age ankle fuckups).

    If you have the cash to spend then go to cyclefit, if not, then I'd recommend setting your bike up using rule of thumb measures (like saddle height = inseam x .883) or the online cycle fitting system (someone find me the link).

    The key is to make small adjustments and then ride a good distance to check them. You can't expect to adjust 4 things at once and get any useful feedback. Of course, the problem with this is most people are impatient 'tards and change too much at once or don't ride long enough with one setup to really test it.

  • Cheers, Hippy - will start there, then. If anyone has that link to the online cycle fitting guide then please do post it.

  • Is it this one?
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY­?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO

    I found the "eddy fit" came out a bit too large to be comfortable for me and I've read other people having similar results.

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Bike fit / correct riding position

Posted by Avatar for Timmy2wheels @Timmy2wheels

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