Bike Setup

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by richardj5, 19 Apr 2010.

  1. richardj5

    richardj5 New Member

    Hi All, new to the forrum and am after advice

    Been using my MTB for a few years without any issues, decided to go back to my youth and got a road bike for my 40th last week, it was from Halfords and I built it myself (the other hald bought it a few weeeks earlier).

    I'm after some advice in getting it "right" for me. The first few miles I've done on it have casued pain to my calves, something I never experienced on my MTB, and I'm hoping its just a set up problem, trouble is I don't know where to start, I've put the seat at a hight I think is correct, but the pain in continues. Is it just trial and error, raising and or lowering handlebars and seat angles etc or is their a specific remedy for my problem, or do I just have to ride through it and get use to it?

    Any help appreciated

  2. zacklaws

    zacklaws Veteran

    The pain you get in your calves is probably caused by your saddle being too high so you are having too overstretch. But as I see you have been riding a mountain bike for a few years, there could also be a possibility that you may have had a saddle position which was too low and now, your seat may be OK for height but your muscles are not used to it. I am basing the last comment on the fact that I see so many people riding mountain bikes with the saddles very low.

    It may also be caused by your saddle being too far back, once again causing you to overstretch, in theory your knee should be over the centre of the pedal when the pedal is horizontal at the 3 o clock position.

    A quick method of checking your saddle height is to put your heel of your foot on your pedal and your leg should be straight, some say with your shoe on, some say without. I prefer to measure my inside leg, with my feet the same distance apart as where they will rest on the pedals, I then make a calculation to make the saddle height between 105% to 109%, my saddle is set at 106%. I take my inside leg measurement in just my socks, but when I apply the measurement from my pedal to centre of saddle along the seat tube, I clip in my shoe to the pedal and measure from where the ball of my foot has made a mark on the insole of the shoe and that will then take account of the thickness of the sole etc.

    Once you get your saddle into a position which you think is almost right, if it does cause discomfort, then adjust it but only in small increments and try it, but it could take a few rides to get used to it, otherwise you could end up constantly altering the position needlessly looking for the sweetspot.

    Also forgot to add, doing some stretching before a ride may also assist.

    If you have a look here and also throughout the website, you may find the answers you need.
  3. on the road

    on the road Über Member

    Are you using Cleats?
  4. OP

    richardj5 New Member


    I am just using normal trainers

    Adjusted my saddle this morning

    1. It was too low (leg was bent when foot on pedal)
    2. It was at the wrong angle (pointing upward)
    3. It was too far back (knee was not over pedal when horizontall)

    Just been out for an hours test run, and it felt much better, no aches or pains leg wise, so fingers crossd.

    Now to just stop my elbows from aching (I suspect this is me leaning on them too much)

    Many thanks for your help

  5. zacklaws

    zacklaws Veteran

    You've lost me with that one as I have not come across it before, do I take it you lean on your handlebars or tribars if fitted.
  6. OP

    richardj5 New Member

    Sorry, probably didn't explain myself very well, not my actuall elbows that hurt but from about half way between my wrist and elbow to halfway between my elbow and shoulder the muscles ache, I think it may be the leaning foward more than I would have done on the MTB.


  7. killiekosmos

    killiekosmos Über Member

    I read elsewhere that you should have your weight distributed evenly across pedals, seat and handlebars. If you are happy with the saddle position you may wish to try adjusting the bars, perhaps raising them a little.

    It may also just be a new position for your body to adjust to.
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