Road bike position – advice needed

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  • Road bike position – advice needed
  • Edric 64
    Member

    Your seat is quite low and I think you could experiment with a shorter stem ,especially if you get back ache

    meehaja
    Member

    Seat post up, seat forward a bit as you seem very over the back wheel.

    TheDoctor
    Member

    your saddle is too low, you are sat bolt up right on your saddle and bending your spine, which is bad!think more pelvic flexion and neutral spine. when your saddle is set to the right height you may find the bars too low, depending on your flexibility.

    RealMan
    Member

    Seat post up, seat forward a bit as you seem very over the back wheel.

    +1

    Bend at the hips, like TheDoctor said

    Should be a lot better once you’ve sorted the saddle, might even want to try a longer stem once you’ve done all that, but sort the saddle out first then see.

    Premier Icon Normal Man
    Subscriber

    ^ Along with saddle higher comment I would agree with longer stem. You looked very cramped to me.

    petrieboy
    Member

    Yup, get the saddle forwards a bit. Maybe try an inline post.

    glupton1976
    Member

    Dear god what a horrendous position. Dont be trying to copy the pro’s position – that’ll just give you more back ache.

    How tall are you and how big is the bike? Bike looks to small to me.

    ashfanman
    Member

    I bought my first road bike earlier this summer. As a dyed-in-the-wool mountain biker, I’d always viewed lycra-clad roadies with a certain suspicion, but I have to admit that I really enjoy it. I even entered my first race, doing what I guess constitutes a 25 mile TT last Saturday, as the bike leg of the Olympic Team Relay at the London Triathlon.

    Anyway, I’ve been finding that about an hour into any hard ride, I start to develop lower back pain. It may simply be that I’m still not used to the different riding position, but thought I’d check on here to see if there’s anything obviously not right with the way I’m positioned on the bike. Here’s a pic, from the aforementioned triathlon:

    Does that look okay? I suspect the saddle might be a bit low – I’m going to try raising it further for tomorrow’s ride – but anything else?

    Any help much appreciated.

    aP
    Member

    You look simultaneously stretched out and hunched, also you don’t actually appear to be sitting on the saddle. You don’t need an inline seatpost, that will not solve your issues.
    You don’t need to put the saddle forward as its at least 50mm too low. This will bring you back into a better position, although the bike looks quite low at the front. You may want to consider flexibility lessons such as yoga as I think you’ll need it.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Firstly, do not go out and buy any new parts (not just yet anyway).

    Secondly, your saddle is WAY too low.
    This article from bikeradar explains several different methods for setting saddle height, they should all come out roughly the same.

    Put the saddle in the middle of the it’s range of adjustment when doing that (clamp on the middle of the rails).

    Once that’s sorted you can move on to fine tuning the saddle back and forth (knee should be over the pedal axle), stem length, bar height etc. Bar height should be between 2 and 6cm below the saddle (depends a bit on the frame geometry and your level of flexibility). Pros often have it lower, don’t feel the need to copy them.

    There’s this old thread on setting bars and the position/angle of the levers.

    Try all that lot first and if you can post up another couple of pics of you from the side then, that’d be good.

    MrSmith
    Member

    You look like a commuter nodder on that bike. Look at your lower back! 😯
    I would ignore sizing advice and get fitted properly in a decent road shop.

    mudsux
    Member

    Is a bike fit really necessary?….

    Get saddle height and position relative to the cranks right first.
    That’s the seatpost height and the saddle fore/aft on the rails.
    and the rest just follows naturally…

    Last – look at the stem length and bar drop.

    Size of bike looks OK to me.
    (A lot of pro’s are sizing down!)

    You need to get yourself to a shop that does bikefit asap, that position is all kinds of wrong

    Premier Icon Wookster
    Subscriber

    The Doctor is right, saddle is too low mate you look cramped on the bike, so stem is too short, maybe bike is just too small.
    I can’t recommend getting a fit enough especially if your taking up road riding and racing. Don’t go by the pros its not a starting point.

    I wouldnt bother with a bike fit, at least not yet. You’ve only just started, your position will no doubt change quite alot once you’ve put the miles in.

    But looking at your position, it looks like you’re sitting as you would do on a sit up and beg mountainbike. Hence your back is all scrunched up, yet your arms are fairly stretched to reach the bars.

    To achieve a good position, you need to change the way you sit on the bike. You need to rotate your pelvis forward really, this will allow you to get longer and lower and maintain a flatter back.

    Looking at your picture, I’d suggest moving the saddle up for sure, a few mm at a time.

    You may also end up moving the saddle rearwards aswell. Really, you want to have your pedals and saddle supporting your weight, rather than supporting it with your arms and hands on the bars.

    Once you’ve figured how to sit properly, you’ll probably be able to lower and lengthen your stem.

    Hope this helps

    ashfanman
    Member

    Thanks all. Really appreciate the help.

    I certainly wasn’t trying to replicate any pro position or anything like that. I just really wasn’t sure how a road bike should feel, as I’d literally never ridden one before, so stuck with what I had. I knew the saddle was too low, but really had no idea what my position was like until I saw this photo. It didn’t look right so I thought I’d get some advice on here!

    I do struggle with lower back flexibility generally, but I’ll raise my saddle tomorrow and make a conscious effort to make sure I’m bending at the hips, rather than at my lower back. Hopefully that will improve matters.

    In response to the other questions, the bike is a 62 and the stem is 120mm. I’m 6’6, which is why the bike doesn’t look mahoosive.

    Anyway, I’ll head out for an hour tomorrow with a higher saddle and report back.

    Oh, and I was just wondering, what would constitute a reasonable time for a first stab at a 25 mile TT?

    m0rk
    Member

    Anything over 1hr15 (20mph) is a nice start for a 25. But if you’re new to testing – try a 10 first

    Edric 64
    Member

    25 mile time trial without tribars as a newbie roadie? 1hr 15mins is 20mph I reckon that is a good starting point as you get fitter and get tri bars you will be looking at under 1hr 5mins or you will be getting beaten by gnarled 70 year olds with veins like rope !!!

    ashfanman
    Member

    Anything over 1hr15 (20mph) is a nice start for a 25. But if you’re new to testing – try a 10 first.

    The one I already did at the triathlon was a 25 – I just wanted to know what’s a reasonable time as I honestly have no idea. I did it in 71 mins, which I was pretty pleased with, but also slightly frustrated as I know I could definitely have gone faster if my back wasn’t hurting.

    Edric 64
    Member

    That was a good ride then .The bench mark in timetrialling is to go under (the hour )You will always remember your first sub hour 25.Mine was 59.30 in our club open in 1994 and we won the team prize !!

    ashfanman
    Member

    The bench mark in timetrialling is to go under (the hour )You will always remember your first sub hour 25.

    Wow, that is quick. Not sure I’ll ever get that fast, but I guess it’s something to work towards. And sorting out my horrible riding position has to be worth a minute or two! 🙂

    Edric 64
    Member

    If you can do 1hr 11 in a tri with no tribars on a badly fitting road bike I would not be surprized to see you on here by the end of next summer having done a 59 min ride .Im not quick ,never was really .The fast guys do it in under 50 mins !!

    crikey
    Member

    Tall chap:

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    In response to the other questions, the bike is a 62 and the stem is 120mm. I’m 6’6, which is why the bike doesn’t look mahoosive.

    I could see it was a big bike by the length of the headtube but for reference I’m 6’3″ ish and I’ve got two Specialized road bike; one is a 61cm S-Works with a 120mm stem, the other is a 62cm Langster with a 135mm stem.

    I’d therefore guess that you’re right on the upper limit of frame size for your height. Get the position sorted first but you might well be looking at a longer stem if you can’t get it right.

    Edit:
    David Millar is about your height

    While replicating the position of the pros is never going to end well (unless you are also a pro!), you can get a rough idea of bike fit by looking at pics of riders of about your height – Brad Wiggins, David Millar etc

    ashfanman
    Member

    Great, that’s really helpful. I’m going to have a play around with it now.

    Once that’s sorted you can move on to fine tuning the saddle back and forth (knee should be over the pedal axle).

    Presumably that’s with the cranks level?

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Presumably that’s with the cranks level?

    Yep, cranks at 3 o clock / 9 o clock.

    Sit on the saddle, in your cycling shorts and shoes, clip in and there should be a vertical straight line though the little dimple behind your kneecap, ball of your foot and the pedal axle.

    ashfanman
    Member

    Well. Just raised the saddle about 3-4cm. Much, much better.

    I can already feel the difference with my back. Feels like the higher position has rolled my hips forward (not sure if that’s physiologically possible, but that’s what it feels like), meaning my back is now flat, rather than hunched. It also brought my knee directly over the pedal axle without even altering the saddle position on the rails.

    What a numpty. 😳

    basics (as discussed above) covered here.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAl_5e7bIHk[/video]

    Jamie
    Member

    basics (as discussed above) covered here.

    Dave Grohl does talk sense…

    avdave2
    Member

    Another consideration once you have the fit sorted is whether you are trying to push too high a gear. That can cause back ache if you end up rolling your hips.

    crikey
    Member

    What a numpty

    No, not a numpty, just someone who is learning something new.

    oldgit
    Member

    Saddle up. Looks like your arse is hanging off the back already, so not forward. It’ll go back a bit on it’s own as it goes up. It’ll lift you higher and might sort the back and reach.

    RealMan
    Member

    You might want to raise it even more then that – basically so that when you’re on the saddle you straighten both legs fully at the bottom of the pedal stroke with your heels on the pedal. That’s roughly where you want it.

    Hi,

    Saddle to low as suggested. To work out saddle height stand on a hard surface, stick a book between your legs with a pressure on your crotch similar to the saddle pressure. Mark a line on the wall (do three times and take the average measurement). Multiply the figure by 0.883 with will give your saddle height from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the centre of the saddle. There are other methods but as said above the are all similar.

    You get your saddle fore and aft position sit on the bike in your cycling kit, have the cranks at the horizontal (quarter to three position). Take a plumb line from the center of your knee and it should intersect with the centre of the pedal axle.

    Once you have got these two sorted you can start to look at stem length and saddle handle bar height. A rough guide for stem length would be if you are sitting on the drops with your elbows slightly bent there should be a couple of inches gap between your elbows and your knees.

    The lower you can get the better but it is a trade off in terms of comfort and flexibility. Start where you are and gradually lower your stem until you get to a comfortable position.

    Have a read of the various guides on line for bike position and you should be fine.

    Regards

    avdave2
    Member

    Don’t get too hung up on this knee over the pedal axle, it’s as good a place to start as any but you’ll find plenty of articles which question it’s validity.

    landcruiser
    Member

    I haven’t read all the posts yet. However I advise to only change ONE thing at a time..

    mjsmke
    Member

    It will take a while to get the position just right, and a lot of it is a personal thing. Once you get the saddle height sorted just make very small adjustments at a time. I found moving the saddle on the rails just 5mm, or a shorter/longer stem by 5mm made a huge difference.

    Ask some friends if you can borrow a spare stem/seatpost before spending any money.

    Premier Icon Wookster
    Subscriber

    crikey – Member
    What a numpty
    No, not a numpty, just someone who is learning something new.

    POSTED 14 MINUTES AGO # REPORT-POST

    +1

    Good time on your ride as well mate!

    ashfanman
    Member

    Dave Grohl does talk sense…

    I interviewed him once. Didn’t even think to ask him about bike fit. Opportunity missed.

    You might want to raise it even more then that – basically so that when you’re on the saddle you straighten both legs fully at the bottom of the pedal stroke with your heels on the pedal. That’s roughly where you want it.

    Just tried it and they’re dead straight, so hopefully things are more-or-less how they should be now. If only I had actually sorted this out before the bloody race… 🙁

    Still, I really, really can’t wait to get out on it now – see what I’ve been missing! :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Subscriber

    looking at that toppicture, I think I can see the tip of the saddle about halfway down your thig h and the saddle bag effectively under your wedding veg… I think your backside is so far back on the saddle it’s almost falling off the back?

    as you raise the saddle you will come forward naturally because with the saddle too low you’re trying to extend the leg by pushing backwards

    what crazylegs says is right about the knee/pedal position – look at the BMC rider in the picture behind millar, looks very well balanced and relaxed arms like he could sit on that bike all day

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 63 total)

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