Have my legs got longer?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
David9694
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Have my legs got longer?

Postby David9694 » 8 Sep 2018, 7:00pm

It’s been a great summer of cycling for me. But I’ve found myself raising all my saddles by at least an inch recently, finding myself dissatisfied with my position. This kind of dawns on you, unless you ride a sportive and someone points it out. I got a saddle height (relative to the pedal with the crank parallel to the seat tube) a couple of years ago in a bike fit when I’d been having problems.

Really good cyclists are often quite “leggy” (e.g. Wiggo) in appearance and I’d always assumed they were born that way. Are there any other changes I can expect?

brynpoeth
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby brynpoeth » 8 Sep 2018, 7:35pm

Have you got significantly fitter, developed more muscle? It is worth experimenting with different positions, reach, bars &c
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fastpedaller
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby fastpedaller » 8 Sep 2018, 8:00pm

There a 'many different' saddle heights in the peleton - When I look at Froome, I often think his saddle looks too low - but then who am I to judge, as he's a lot quicker than I :oops: . I believe a certain Mr Merckx would often more his saddle (even during a race). Although a 'bike fit' may give an 'ideal position' I think it's fair to say there are many criteria, such as what type of riding are you doing eg long or short distance? The ideal positin to get maximum power if on the velodrome sprinting 400m may be very different to the position you would want for a 12hr time trial. What feels 'right' probably is, with the proviso that it's prudent to only make small changes (maybe only 3mm) at a time. I question whether 'bike fits' achieve any more than a little research and experimentation (coupled with the 'eye' of an experienced clubmate or 2) can.

David9694
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby David9694 » 8 Sep 2018, 10:00pm

I just do half-day rides in my local country lanes. The bike fit guy seemed to be saying that the most powerful saddle height is with cranks at 7 o’clock/ 1 o’clock, the knee of the lower foot should be bent - just. Leg at full stretch is too high, too much bend and your power is less efficient. My ordinary trousers fit the same, so - having advanced my cycling fitness this year - I’m guessing this has to do with leg muscles stretching and flexing.

What hasn’t changed is I don’t go on the drops other than for the occasional downhill. Plus I don’t understand how brifters work to change gear from that position (braking torque much improved, of course.)

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 8 Sep 2018, 10:36pm

Hi,
What problems were you having.............knee pain...........

Why are you recently raising saddle?
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You'll Find Me At The Top Of A Hill...............Somewhere...After Dark..

eileithyia
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby eileithyia » 9 Sep 2018, 6:18am

Even bike fitters will have their own personal views on how to set up a bike. Thats an interesting take on lining up the saddle height because I was taught; pedal at 6o'clock, heel on pedal and knee should be slightly bent, to my mind the 7/1 slight bent approach puts your leg/knee at full stretch when at 6.
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ANTONISH
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby ANTONISH » 9 Sep 2018, 8:17am

fastpedaller wrote:There a 'many different' saddle heights in the peleton - When I look at Froome, I often think his saddle looks too low - but then who am I to judge, as he's a lot quicker than I :oops: . I believe a certain Mr Merckx would often more his saddle (even during a race). Although a 'bike fit' may give an 'ideal position' I think it's fair to say there are many criteria, such as what type of riding are you doing eg long or short distance? The ideal positin to get maximum power if on the velodrome sprinting 400m may be very different to the position you would want for a 12hr time trial. What feels 'right' probably is, with the proviso that it's prudent to only make small changes (maybe only 3mm) at a time. I question whether 'bike fits' achieve any more than a little research and experimentation (coupled with the 'eye' of an experienced clubmate or 2) can.


That's good advice.
There was a previous thread about this. I read an article some years ago where a chap went to three different bike fitters.
None of them agreed - and there was a difference of 1" in the recommended saddle height.
As said above - if you are going to change position do it in small increments and allow yourself time for the new position to become familiar enough to decide if it feels right.

JamesE
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby JamesE » 9 Sep 2018, 9:03am

If you've been cycling much more than normal: have you lost weight? A few kilos can easily add up to a centimetre or so of padding lost from your backside, which means raising the saddle to compensate.

David9694
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby David9694 » 9 Sep 2018, 9:04am

NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
What problems were you having.............knee pain...........

Why are you recently raising saddle?


In 2016, it was pain developing in my sides when riding. I’d been working too hard in the preceding months, literally not moving a muscle for long periods at work, so things were siezing-up. I had the bike fit to see if there was anything I was doing wrong in my set-up. I think the moral of the story was continuing to do gym work to strengthen your core.

It just seems strange now that l’m inching-up my saddles...

David9694
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby David9694 » 9 Sep 2018, 9:07am

JamesE wrote:If you've been cycling much more than normal: have you lost weight? A few kilos can easily add up to a centimetre or so of padding lost from your backside, which means raising the saddle to compensate.


Yes.

That’s an interesting point thanks, and would explain why my long trousers haven’t needed adjustment - I wonder if the ends ride up quite so much when I sit down..?

David9694
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby David9694 » 9 Sep 2018, 9:12am

eileithyia wrote:Even bike fitters will have their own personal views on how to set up a bike. Thats an interesting take on lining up the saddle height because I was taught; pedal at 6o'clock, heel on pedal and knee should be slightly bent, to my mind the 7/1 slight bent approach puts your leg/knee at full stretch when at 6.


I’d heard the same thing, but he was adamant. I think, but I can’t quite remember his argument (or rather the fitting system that shop used) was that parallel to the tube was the longest extent from the saddle, not 6 o’clock.

brynpoeth
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Sep 2018, 9:22am

Are the bike fitting methods used by GT public knowledge?
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yostumpy
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby yostumpy » 9 Sep 2018, 9:53am

I too, very recently came to the conclusion my saddle was too low, as I was lacking power up hill whilst seated, and my legs ached. So I raised it 4mm+/-, and what a difference, over a 50km ride my avg speed shot up!! from 19.5 to 22 kmh. I know its not fast, but I suppose i was riding faster because I was more efficient. Any way, the mind is a powerful weapon, and next ride, it felt all wrong, felt too stretched, bars too low, so I raised bars by 5mm spacer, then that was better. Next ride it felt wrong, too cramped, so I lowered the bars again, 5mm, and I've left it a few days, then went out yesterday, and all was well. So My saddle ended up 4mm higher and bars left where they were. I do tend to have the saddle further back , and I guess this also affects the height /leg extension. When I look at photos from 10 years ag, my saddle was MUCH higher,and further forward, with a longer , raised stem. I guess its evolution .

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 9 Sep 2018, 10:52am

Hi,
To me, an inch is two miles, 20 mm is a mile :)
Yes, 5mm can do that!

Little confused over the 6 O'clock 7 O'clock..................when you sit on bike and straighten leg it would be nearer 7 than 6 O'clock?
So I always measure with crank in line with seat tube and up the seat tube to top of saddle.

I.M.O. most riders have the saddle a tad or too low.

Different styles......as different as walking styles.

Ergometer is the real truth.

If you are an age then weak core can be substituted by "Facet Impingement".......collapsing spine, which I have.
Backs can be complex so seek advise.
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gxaustin
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Re: Have my legs got longer?

Postby gxaustin » 9 Sep 2018, 3:33pm

Maybe you are cycling more toe down? Changed shoes or pedals?