Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Grarea
Posts: 340
Joined: 18 Jan 2017, 9:03am
Location: Truro (ish)

Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby Grarea » 5 Sep 2018, 1:57pm

Hi all.
I am still struggling for any type of comfort.

I have discovered that I have short limbs ..... or a longer torso...... not sure which sounds better.
I am 5' 8" and I have got loads of guys to sit next to me and my torso is the same length as people 5'10-5'11".

So, my torso/leg ratio is 3 inches out somewhere.

It got me thinking about my lower/upper leg ratio, I am wondering if my overall leg is shorter or if one section is.

1) I am mainly curious as to the ratio between femur and lower leg to see if that tries to pull me forward or further back. Or if they are just normal ratio but a little stumpy.
2) I also wonder just how short my arms are. Not sure whether to compare against overall height or not. But it really reduces my bar reach.
3) Just out of curiosity, while I am at it, I struggle with pressure on the back of my leg as well, so just curious if I have bigger thighs. I am sure this varies a lot.

1) I thought a good way to do this to avoid other discrepancies might be:
a) Measure height against the wall.
b) Measure height kneeling. (a-b = lower leg length (y) )
c) Measure height sitting on a table from the table to top of head against the wall. (b - c = Femur length (x) )
d) lower leg : femur ratio.
2) I suggest standing with back to wall in the corner holding arms out horizontally with clenched fists and measure to the knuckles.
3) Would you mind measuring thigh size where butt and leg join?

Obviously any measurements you are willing to do would be great, I am mainly keen on the leg ratio thing.

So, me:
1)
a) 171cm
b) 127.2cm (171-127.2 = 43.8cm (y))
c) 91 cm ( 127.2 - 91= 36.2cm (x))
d) y:x = 43.8:36.2 Or 1.21:1

2) 68.5cm
3) 57cm

I appreciate any input.
Let me know if this all makes sense, cheers.

Thornyone
Posts: 340
Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Re: If I measure mine, can you measure yours?

Postby Thornyone » 5 Sep 2018, 6:05pm

I definitely have short arms and legs for my overall height. I work in feet and inches, so I’m 5’6” and my inside leg is about 27”. Standing next to the average 10 year old kid at the pool, they had longer legs than me!
Years ago I had a Fiat car which was ideal for me, and it seems that short legs and arms were an Italian trait. Unfortunately when Fiat designed the Punto they worked with some bods at Loughborough University to get the ergonomics right for the “average” Brit, and I lost out.
My current bike is pretty comfy for me, just arrived at by trial and error. I don’t know what sort of bike you ride or what position you like/would like but I think that having short arms and legs is rather limiting.

Grarea
Posts: 340
Joined: 18 Jan 2017, 9:03am
Location: Truro (ish)

Re: If I measure mine, can you measure yours?

Postby Grarea » 5 Sep 2018, 6:42pm

:)
Yes, it has been quite amusing.
I have grabbed a good 10-20 guys to sit next to me,
Mostly they were amazed, it has been quite funny.
I am wondering if that makes me lean heavy on the bars.

eg if my femurs are short in comparison for example.
I am just trying to work out where I am at and hopefully i can then work from there.
One bit at a time before i put it all together.

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 9463
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: If I measure mine, can you measure yours?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 5 Sep 2018, 6:58pm

Hi,
I wish my legs were longer too :)

Try setting up the bike , saddle height and setback nose behind the BB, copy of your favourite bike.
Once this is done adjust bar height and length of stem to suit what lean and reach you prefer.
This is what I do.

What ever you do once you set the saddle height and setback, do not try to adjust to get reach etc correct!
If the frame is too small for reach then get a larger frame.
The more you push on the pedals the lighter your bum and hands will be.
If you are a twiddler..........spinner then you might never get comfort without every thing being spot on including a saddle which fits your rear.
If the bottom end setup is not right you will forever swap stems saddles and bikes.
good luck.
Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere

Grarea
Posts: 340
Joined: 18 Jan 2017, 9:03am
Location: Truro (ish)

Re: If I measure mine, can you measure yours?

Postby Grarea » 5 Sep 2018, 7:22pm

Yes, well I have tried all sorts.
I really like Colin's advice etc, I tried following that but to get weight off my hands, I had to go such a long way back (including getting a frame with a 67 degree sta) but it was so inefficient and I was getting strain in the top of my thigh where it meets my torso. It just didn't feel right and was pretty weak.

I have never had a bike that wasn't painful.
I just thought everyone had the same issues and it was the toughest person that got the furthest.
But I only get a mile and a half.
Plus I am getting a bit older now and a bit fed up of pain so I thought I would try and do something about it.
I was going to save the whole 'how do i make a bike fit me' for another thread once i had some figures.
Or at least a bit of an idea.
For example, if my femurs are a bit short, that would bring me forward, if my shins are a bit long, that might help explain my sit bone pain etc etc

Overall height can be misleading. (I have been looking at other men in much more detail than I ever thought I would :oops: )
Hence I was thinking my measurements might work as they ignore such things as head height and neck length which are irrelevant to limb length.
I was looking at this guy I know the other day and his head and neck are substantially longer than mine for example.

Apparently an inch here or there can make quite a difference I am reliably informed.

brynpoeth
Posts: 8428
Joined: 30 Nov 2013, 11:26am

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby brynpoeth » 5 Sep 2018, 8:13pm

Not normal? :?
There are many variations, short legs, long arms, doubtless scientists have investigated
One hopes you did not measure yourself, that would not be accurate

Maybe the best thing would be to accost a few dozen half-naked males at the swimming pool, line them up against a wall and take some photos to study at home
Last edited by brynpoeth on 5 Sep 2018, 9:32pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras & STOP signs

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 8677
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby horizon » 5 Sep 2018, 8:18pm

The conclusion I came to was that a diamond frame with drop bars and 700c wheels actually gives very little leeway in terms of forward/backward adjustment (height is no problem). If you put the saddle back to accommodate your longer-than-normal legs/thighs, you will struggle to reach the bars comfortably.

My recommendations are as follows:

1. Get the shortest real top tube you can. Ignore the bike sizes but look at seat angle and ETT: subtract 1 cm for every degree under 73 deg and add 1 cm for every deg over 73, then compare.
2. Check your riding position to make sure you are flexing your back where it matters.
3. If all else fails, swap to straight bars on a dropped bar bike.

I haven't got round to getting my new frame yet, but working on #2 has helped a lot.
It's autumn in England with the trees turning golden. So we say leaves mean leaves.

drossall
Posts: 4297
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 10:01pm
Location: North Hertfordshire

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby drossall » 6 Sep 2018, 10:34pm

This sort of thing used to be the classic reason for having a frame hand-built, back in the days when all frames were steel. Of course, lots of people had one hand-built to measure even though they were of much more average proportions. But a good builder could adjust the frame to suit the individual, just as with a hand-made suit.

There are still builders around doing this sort of thing.

Grarea
Posts: 340
Joined: 18 Jan 2017, 9:03am
Location: Truro (ish)

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby Grarea » 7 Sep 2018, 7:27am

Well, I have such a flexible pair of bars and with a normal and a setback seatpost, I reckon I could replicate any position of any frame couldn't I?

I can raise them, flip them, all sorts.

ImageIMGP8996 by chuffedas, on Flickr

User avatar
NATURAL ANKLING
Posts: 9463
Joined: 24 Oct 2012, 10:43pm
Location: English Riviera

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 7 Sep 2018, 9:02pm

Hi,
I have a long back and arms.
With a setback seat post I don't really see a problem with a bit odd shape body.
Certainly special frame an overkill I.M.O.

You have short lower legs for sure, so long thighs so did does Hinault!

I keep meaning to do a model for long femurs to see what is going on with ergonomics especially dynamic ergonomics.

There are web sites where you can input body sizes I think but not sure they are comprehensive enough for you.
Priority Is Still 500K In 24..Just Dreaming...Stay Focused Guys And Keep Sharp...
You'll Find Me At The Top Of a Hill...............Somewhere

Grarea
Posts: 340
Joined: 18 Jan 2017, 9:03am
Location: Truro (ish)

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby Grarea » 16 Sep 2018, 1:23pm

Well, I was hoping to find out if i did have long or short upper or lower legs from this.

I think (based on zero knowledge) that they are in proportion but both are short.
The short arms don't help either.

I think, to get the same position I am at for 'normal' people, one would need to bring the saddle forward by a couple of inches and lower their bars by a couple of inches.
It topples you forward.

I need to decide on a compromise.
When I set my saddle back far enough to balance the weight off my hands, I lose a lot of strength pedalling.
Especially noticeable uphill.
When cycling uphill the strain is in what feels like a tendon at the top of the thigh where it joins the torso.

I have settled on efficient pedalling and uncomfortable hands and arms for now as I only do short distances because my sit bones feel terrible after a very short time anyway.

None of the positions I have tried have helped those.

User avatar
Graham
Moderator
Posts: 5638
Joined: 14 Dec 2006, 8:48pm

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby Graham » 16 Sep 2018, 2:09pm

You may get some better information by searching the Interweb. e.g. there is a wikipedia page on Body_proportions.

Clothing manufacturers must base their sizes on standard measurements for target populations. It is difficult to believe that these would be trade secrets.

User avatar
al_yrpal
Posts: 6993
Joined: 25 Jul 2007, 9:47pm
Location: South Potholeshire also known as the Chilterns

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby al_yrpal » 16 Sep 2018, 2:25pm

horizon wrote:I haven't got round to getting my new frame yet, but working on #2 has helped a lot.


You take your time… it can only be measured in years :lol:

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

User avatar
NUKe
Posts: 3437
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby NUKe » 16 Sep 2018, 2:39pm

Thorn cycles seem to understand this problem quite well without going totally bespoke, they do a variety of lengths as well as heights. Have a look at their page,
https://www.thorncycles.co.uk
I think you will find though your not as unusual as you think.
Last edited by NUKe on 16 Sep 2018, 5:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
NUKe
_____________________________________

Grarea
Posts: 340
Joined: 18 Jan 2017, 9:03am
Location: Truro (ish)

Re: Atypical morphology ( I'm not like other men )

Postby Grarea » 16 Sep 2018, 3:10pm

That is what I am trying to find out.
I have bars and frame that allow me any position, so I should be able to find the right position.
Once I have done that I can think what frame to get.

I am just really struggling and couldn't work out why.
Then I realised my proportions are out, but I can't work out what to do.
I feel like I have tried most things over the last year.