Still trying to understand comfort.

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mjr
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby mjr » 20 Dec 2018, 7:28pm

pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:The use of neck muscles to look up and consequent tiredness/ache is rather unavoidable when crouched, but pain in the wrists when crouched and bum when upright sound like classic symptoms of imperfect setup, of too much weight going through those parts. As for anecdotal aches and pains, as some here may know, I've ridden tours and centuries on both road bike and more upright roadster with only muscular tiredness, not pressure pains.


And the news here is that not everyone is the same! I have issues sitting on the ground without a back support for any length of time, is that because the ground is "imperfectly set up?" I doubt it!

Doubt it all you like, but the ground is not an optimal seat, else we'd all sit on it!

As for incorrect setup on an opafiets... well there's not much to do, is there? Saddle up and down, saddle back and forwards a bit. I've always been happy to fettle these and do so until pedalling is as comfortable as possible, and still after a while I get a numb bum.

If you put a set of scales by a table and stand on them and lean some weight on your arms then the weight on the scales will, of course, go down. So there is more push on the arms than usual. If there is more push on the arms than usual they'll start to protest after a while, because they're used to supporting pretty much no weight. There is a popular misapprehension that somehow by wiggling the seat and bars around you'll not have any weight on your arms, but the only way to do that in a crouch is take it on your core muscles, and again they'd be doing work they're not used to. I have no interest in working out just so I can be comfortable on a bike, and my joints may well be a bit stiffer than yours.

No need to work out, for most people. Building up the distances on that type of bike will build up the core muscles. Far better to do that than wreck arms or bum IMO but it's your body. Don't pretend it has to be that way, though.

I did have something in the previous message acknowledging that core and leg muscles are needed more or less, but cut it in an edit.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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pjclinch
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby pjclinch » 20 Dec 2018, 9:32pm

mjr wrote:
pjclinch wrote:
mjr wrote:The use of neck muscles to look up and consequent tiredness/ache is rather unavoidable when crouched, but pain in the wrists when crouched and bum when upright sound like classic symptoms of imperfect setup, of too much weight going through those parts. As for anecdotal aches and pains, as some here may know, I've ridden tours and centuries on both road bike and more upright roadster with only muscular tiredness, not pressure pains.


And the news here is that not everyone is the same! I have issues sitting on the ground without a back support for any length of time, is that because the ground is "imperfectly set up?" I doubt it!

Doubt it all you like, but the ground is not an optimal seat, else we'd all sit on it!


By extension, if a bike saddle were an optimal seat they'd be in general use beyond bicycles. But they're not. Shame really, bus and train companies could save a fortune compared to upholstered seats and everyone's living rooms would have a lot more space.

mjr wrote:No need to work out, for most people. Building up the distances on that type of bike will build up the core muscles. Far better to do that than wreck arms or bum IMO but it's your body. Don't pretend it has to be that way, though.


My body is far more comfortable over a distance on a recumbent, so that's what I ride. I do plenty of riding of all sorts so have done the work for some degree of natural adaptation, and have spent a fair bit of time trying to tune fit, but once I've been in the saddle for a few hours I'm much less comfortable on any upwrong than the 'bent. My limit on drops was always about 50 miles, I wouldn't want to do any more than that sat bolt upright. It's precisely because I'm not pretending I have to be less comfortable that I ride a 'bent. Camping, I take a chair kit, because it's more comfortable than sitting without a back rest for any length of time. I know this doesn't affect all people, but I do know I'm not unique.

Pete.
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Grarea
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Grarea » 21 Dec 2018, 9:08pm

So, I borrowed a bike.
According to charts, it is about right for my height.

Pretty sure it is this.
we also think the year is right.
Although it is a white one.
White is lighter than black, so the white one is faster..... right?

https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/ ... 5cm-frames

I have brought the saddle forward to negate the setback seatpost.
The ETT is 53cm. (my measurement)

I feel fairly stretched to get the hoods.
Haven't had any daylight to have a go yet though.

Then I measure the hoods to the centre of the saddle rails and it is 72cm.
(in a straight line parallel to the frame, not point to point if you know what I mean)

So, not the biggest surprise when the guy set me up at 62cm (as per OP).
I shall go for a ride, trouble is, I have no idea what stuff is meant to feel like.
Not sure what to try and gain from this bike now.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 21 Dec 2018, 9:20pm

Personally speaking, I’ve found that ‘retro fitting’ a bike is an odd experience. You often find that the ‘wrong’ fit ( from a neuromuscular and mechanical efficiency aspect ) feels okay, because you get used to it. As soon as you get a scientifically determined ‘good’ fit, that feels alien. I had a couple of bikes ‘retro fitted’ and to begin with, it felt all sorts of wrong. However, once I gave it a chance, I found my stats improved no end, and the ‘proper’ fit was better.

Grarea
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Grarea » 21 Dec 2018, 9:25pm

Pardon?
When you say retro fitting, what do you mean?

The bike the guy fit me to I have ridden most days for over a year and when he changed it seemed to make more sense, the one I am trying out is completely new to me. It is just a random bike.
I am a bit lost though, I am not sure what to ry and gain from this bike.
If the fitting is correct it seems to me that I would need to lose 10cm, which seems a lot if i am transferring similar measurements to another bike.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 21 Dec 2018, 9:37pm

Grarea wrote:Pardon?
When you say retro fitting, what do you mean?

The bike the guy fit me to I have ridden most days for over a year and when he changed it seemed to make more sense, the one I am trying out is completely new to me. It is just a random bike.
I am a bit lost though, I am not sure what to ry and gain from this bike.
If the fitting is correct it seems to me that I would need to lose 10cm, which seems a lot if i am transferring similar measurements to another bike.


By ‘retro fitting’ I mean going with a ‘bodge’ fit, determined by riding the bike and tweeking it on the fly, then taking the bike for a Retul type fit. Then finding that the ‘bodge’ fit wasn’t actually as good as it felt. Don’t confuse comfort with efficiency. The efficient fit can ( and often does ) feel uncomfortable. It all depends on what you want from your riding. If you want to ‘smash stuff’ the uncomfortable fit may be better. If you just want a comfortable fit, that allows you to do lots of riding, that may be scientifically ‘[inappropriate word removed]’ but feels better for you, then don’t bother getting a proper ‘fitting’ done, it’s wasted money.

Grarea
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Grarea » 21 Dec 2018, 9:42pm

OK.
The efficiency fit definitely feels on the right lines.
Like I say, I think it needs the whole thing bringing forward compared to BB.
He was looking to see if we could reverse the seatpost when we were fitting.
It was alway a concern with this frame.

The efficiency fit brought me forward and somehow reduced weight on my hands.
All seems good.
Like I say in the OP, I am trying to work out how to pick up a bike that I can transfer that info across to.

yostumpy
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby yostumpy » 2 Jan 2019, 8:48am

If you want to be truly comfortable, then maybe you should try (hire?) a recumbent, alternatively, if your limbs are shorter than average, then might I suggest a custom frame, made to measure. With regard to your painful sitbones, 4 miles a day is not a lot to give your bones a chance. I'm trying out a new leather saddle, and after 2 miles, my sitbones hurt as well, so I pedal out of the saddle a few times, to relieve the pressure, and it goes, and I'm good for 50+ miles then.

Grarea
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Grarea » 11 Jan 2019, 2:33pm

I have considered a recumbent, but a) I like to nip off road when I am out and b) I can't afford one.

Same goes with the custom frame, can't afford one.
Edit: Also, it is a lot of money to go with a hope that the guy fitting you gets it right isn't it?
I imagine they ask what you like and I don't know as I have never been comfortable.

You don't think they have sorted out yet?
I have done minimum of 4 miles a day for 18 months.
Plus I did two months of going for 22 (cornish) mile rides once a week.
I am still in exactly the same boat.
Pretty keen to get off after a mile and a half.
On the 22 milers, I get to about two miles then struggle for 20.
I get off as often as I can,including every downhill.

I have also tried skipping a week to see if I needed to recover. The same.

I gave up and have been going MTB most weeks for the last two to three months.
It hurts less. I think because I am on the saddle less, not sure.
Edit: If I go a mile and a half on the flat (well, slight ride) in the saddle I know it gets pretty uncomfortable still even on the MTB.



Anyway, the main aim of this thread was about trying to work out what sort of thing might help.
As in transferring the measurements from one bike to another.
Last edited by Grarea on 11 Jan 2019, 2:56pm, edited 2 times in total.

Grarea
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Grarea » 11 Jan 2019, 2:45pm

Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Grarea wrote:Pardon?
When you say retro fitting, what do you mean?

The bike the guy fit me to I have ridden most days for over a year and when he changed it seemed to make more sense, the one I am trying out is completely new to me. It is just a random bike.
I am a bit lost though, I am not sure what to ry and gain from this bike.
If the fitting is correct it seems to me that I would need to lose 10cm, which seems a lot if i am transferring similar measurements to another bike.


By ‘retro fitting’ I mean going with a ‘bodge’ fit, determined by riding the bike and tweeking it on the fly, then taking the bike for a Retul type fit. Then finding that the ‘bodge’ fit wasn’t actually as good as it felt. Don’t confuse comfort with efficiency. The efficient fit can ( and often does ) feel uncomfortable. It all depends on what you want from your riding. If you want to ‘smash stuff’ the uncomfortable fit may be better. If you just want a comfortable fit, that allows you to do lots of riding, that may be scientifically ‘<i>[inappropriate word removed]</i>’ but feels better for you, then don’t bother getting a proper ‘fitting’ done, it’s wasted money.

Thing is, I can't find anything that approaches comfort.
I don't know what to do.
I have tried all sorts.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 11 Jan 2019, 3:00pm

Grarea wrote:
Marcus Aurelius wrote:
Grarea wrote:Pardon?
When you say retro fitting, what do you mean?

The bike the guy fit me to I have ridden most days for over a year and when he changed it seemed to make more sense, the one I am trying out is completely new to me. It is just a random bike.
I am a bit lost though, I am not sure what to ry and gain from this bike.
If the fitting is correct it seems to me that I would need to lose 10cm, which seems a lot if i am transferring similar measurements to another bike.


By ‘retro fitting’ I mean going with a ‘bodge’ fit, determined by riding the bike and tweeking it on the fly, then taking the bike for a Retul type fit. Then finding that the ‘bodge’ fit wasn’t actually as good as it felt. Don’t confuse comfort with efficiency. The efficient fit can ( and often does ) feel uncomfortable. It all depends on what you want from your riding. If you want to ‘smash stuff’ the uncomfortable fit may be better. If you just want a comfortable fit, that allows you to do lots of riding, that may be scientifically ‘<i>[inappropriate word removed]</i>’ but feels better for you, then don’t bother getting a proper ‘fitting’ done, it’s wasted money.

Thing is, I can't find anything that approaches comfort.
I don't know what to do.
I have tried all sorts.


Riding a generic type bike is never going to be armchair comfy, you have to learn to ‘blur out’ the slight discomfort you’ll inevitably always encounter. The more you ride, the more you’ll discover what works for you, by trial and error. Different components, and combos of components ( saddles, stems, bars, cranks etc ) will work differently for different people, riding in different conditions / durations / intensity, and there is no one size fits all answer. You could even experiment with such things as recumbent trikes / bikes, some people can’t ride a traditional type bike comfortably, and find they are the answer. It’s horses for courses, and only you will know what works for you.

Grarea
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Re: Still trying to understand comfort.

Postby Grarea » 11 Jan 2019, 4:10pm

Marcus Aurelius wrote:Riding a generic type bike is never going to be armchair comfy, you have to learn to ‘blur out’ the slight discomfort you’ll inevitably always encounter. The more you ride, the more you’ll discover what works for you, by trial and error. Different components, and combos of components ( saddles, stems, bars, cranks etc ) will work differently for different people, riding in different conditions / durations / intensity, and there is no one size fits all answer. You could even experiment with such things as recumbent trikes / bikes, some people can’t ride a traditional type bike comfortably, and find they are the answer. It’s horses for courses, and only you will know what works for you.


Yup, am happy to blur out slight discomfort, it is pain that stops me.
I am used to pain.
I push through pain.

I know what pain is, I have broken ribs before.
I have, strained/torn back muscles and arm muscles and carried on landscaping.
I am not looking for armchair comfort, just something where I can manage through.

But, boy I need to get up and off after two miles.
I think the hand pain wasn't 'too much weight on my hands'. It was me holding my body back on the saddle.
I have been getting the terminology wrong.
I seem to have managed to reduce that. (Well, it is now just quite uncomfortable)
I think that I have always kind of wedged myself in between the saddle and the bars.

In the last two years I have got rid of my numb feet and legs.
I didn't know other people didn't get that. I thought they just toughed it out more than me.

After a couple of miles, I would stand up and feel the blood running into my legs.
That turned out to be pear shaped and/or rounded topped saddles.

I think that it is positioning.
I have tried with a standard type frame.
I have tried taking the saddle back with a 67 degree sta and a very setback seatpost.
(This did reduce the 'weight' on my hands, but it was such a silly position and didn't fix the sit bone issue, so I went with dumping that one and bringing it forward again.)

I am now wondering if me sliding forward is more to do with the shorter limbs that I have discovered I have.
Perhaps my natural position is slightly forward than where I sit.
Also, as my arms are short, that might also be pulling me forward.
I don't know, I just know it is wrong because it hurts.


Like I say, over the decades, I have used all sorts of bikes but never scientifically worked it through which I am trying to do now.
That is what this post is trying to work out.
How to move forward. I am not after a magic pill.
I think that what I want might be a short top tube but higher bars.
To give you an idea I can manage some suffering, I have done a 120 mile ride in a day in the past with numb legs (and everything else) and saddle pain after two miles, but I did it anyway. I didn't know any different.

I was asking if that sort of made sense, when I have some measurements, but I don't think any body knows the answer to my OP, so I guess I just buy some random bikes and try some stuff as I can't work out what way to go.