I just joined the forum. I'm a London commuter who cycles from time to time for exercise.
I have a new bike, a Terrain Ridge from Tesco. When I first used it I adjusted the seat and handlebar higher than the maximum point as I'm a bit tall for the frame, but reading the manual again it said to never do this so I adjusted them down again (still fits, maybe a tiny bit worse but only a small difference). I didn't notice anything working incorrectly when I had adjusted them beyond the maximum point. Would it cause extra stress/wear to the frame over time?
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Yes. Take it to the extreme - imagine the stress and leverage forces on the frame if just 1cm of the seatpost was inserted into it! The manufacturers undoubtedly err on the side of caution when setting the min marks, but I would be reluctant to test the theory myself...
Motorists' mantra: Cyclists must obey the law and the Highway Code AT ALL TIMES. Unless their doing so would HOLD ME UP.
Thanks that makes complete sense. I better keep to the guidelines as this isn't exactly high end equipment (with my infrequent use and very frequent thefts around my office area, I'd rather not spend any more).