Riding position

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by AndyCarolan, 19 May 2010.

  1. AndyCarolan

    AndyCarolan Do you smell fudge?

    Location:
    Norwich
    Im sure this has been asked and answered many times but is there any advice on here about correct riding position/setting up seat height etc?

    I have a new saddle arriving this week from Wiggle (hopefully) and I want to try and get the setup of my bike right this time (or at least in the ballpark)
     
  2. If you look for bike fitting there's plenty of good tips.

    Generally for saddle height, I use the heel on the pedal rule. Where with the pedal at its lowest point, with your heel on the pedal your leg should be almost straight.
     
  3. Gerry Attrick

    Gerry Attrick Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant

    There are hundreds of sites on the web giving bike fitting advice and if I recommend one, others will say another is better. Just Google "bike fitting" and choose your favourite.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    AndyCarolan

    AndyCarolan Do you smell fudge?

    Location:
    Norwich
    Thanks Guys - I used the Heal on the Pedal rule some time back, but either ive got taller, my bike has shrunk or ive changed the way I sit on the bike, but its not some comfortable any more

    New saddle has just arrived so I will go fit it now and set it up with that rule again :smile:
     
  5. g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    I can't remember the site it was from, but it had a good tip for saddle fore/aft and handlebar stem length.

    The 'standard' is that when the saddle is at the right height, put the cranks horizontal, sit on the bike and the front of your leading knee should be directly above the pedal spindle. Now, this doesn't seem to work for me, but I don't think my shin/thigh ratio is 'average'. Also, there are lots of arguments to counter this but it's a good starting off point.

    Anyway, the tip was. Stand up straight, then stick your arse out. As you do, your body leans forward to counteract. Now, what you are trying to achieve is having that balance on the bike - so you're not tipping too far forward and putting your weight on your hands - or vice versa.

    The more 'areo' you become, the more your saddle needs to be behind the bottom bracket and the further your handlebars need to be. the more relaxed, then the distances shorten. Play with these distances to find the best postion your bike will let you achieve (this assumes you have the right size bike).
     
  6. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    Frame seat tube length centre/top ( horizontal top tube ) is close as damnit to 2/3 leg length. Leg length is your standing height less your seated height ( not the book method, its too variable ).
    Seat tube angle is from a formula which involves the lower and upper leg measurements. When this is correct and the saddle is mounted at the manufacturer's mid point of adjustment, the very front of the knee will probably be 'over the pedal spindle'.
    Observations by lesser bicycle fitting people noticed this resultant coincidence, and adopted it as a 'short cut' to getting the fore-aft position correct.
    Saddles have an adjustment, of course, because a cyclist might purchase a stock '74 deg Parallel' frame. The seat tube angle will more than likely be incorrect for his leg measurements.

    Bike manufacturers like Specialized researched the average body dimensions of men, drew up a range of frames to suit the AVERAGE man of heights of 5 cm increments. It just so happens Spesh's angles and reach suit me perfectly, but maybe not the next man.

    Burrows' idea of a Small, Medium or Large frame for everyone was advantageous for Giant insomuchas they could vastly reduce their manufacturing costs, and increase the sale price through calling it 'compact geometry' and effectively con the bicycle buying public with ill fitting frames, relying on saddle adjustment and stem length to get a reasonable fit. The ONCE team were PAID to use and ride the bikes. Free kit, a good saving off the budget.
    In a recent edition of CTC's magazine, Burrows recommends putting your forearm between the saddle nose and the handlebars to get the reach correct. We all know this is codswallop because saddles vary in nose length from maker to maker.
    Reach is determined by many other body and arm dimensions and should result in a lumbar angle close to 45 degs when riding on the hoods.

    Seat height ( BB centre to top surface of saddle ) has been described as Leg length x 0.883. That's OK if the crank length is correct for your hip height. If the crank length is 2.5mm out, that won't be too drastic and I doubt if a new rider will notice the difference. If the cranks are 5mm out, it might be noticed by a very experienced cyclist.

    Yet again, my Spesh is 'cock-on', and Leg length x 0.883 works good.
    500 km in two days proved this OK for me.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    AndyCarolan

    AndyCarolan Do you smell fudge?

    Location:
    Norwich
    wow, thanks for all that... Im going to need to read that a few times I think lol

    Just been for a quick ride with the new saddle (BioFlex Ozone) fitted and although better, there is still room for adjustment to make it spot on for me :smile:

    Also used my new fingerless gloves which helped with the road vibration through my hands

    Thanks guys
     
  8. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Location:
    Manchester
    The general concensus is the opposite of this, pushing the seat back at the same time as lowering your upper torso closes your hip angle and your power output will go down dramatically. If you start to lower your front end you need to rotate your riding possition around the hip point to preserve the hip angle, typicaly done by pushing the seat forward, maybe lowing the nose of the saddle a bit and in terms of TT'ing surfing on the nose.

    I think this guide is quite good, but like someone above said, everyone will have a different opinion on the best size.

    http://www.andoverwheelers.com/Documents\Erics_bike_set_up_instructions.htm
     
  9. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull
    Agree.

    Once the crank length, seat angle and seat height are computed, based on a lot of human ergonomics research over the past 100 years, 'sit bones' position shouldn't change much between roadrace, TT and track bikes.

    Getting power with the torso flat is a matter of training, ie building the relevant muscles to make the bike go faster.

    If TTers 'surf the nose', Roadracers 'ride on the rivet'.. :smile:
     
  10. g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
    WHOOPS - soz. Let me try and find the docs and see what I've misinterpreted.
     
  11. g00se

    g00se Über Member

    Location:
    Norwich
  12. jimboalee

    jimboalee New Member

    Location:
    Solihull

    The only thing that can be gleaned from peterwhitecycles is the way he determines crank length. This is OK for the beginner.
    When the cyclist finds out whether he is a 'spinner' or 'grinder', he can shorten or lengthen his cranks to suit his style.

    On my Spesh, a roadrace bike, the cranks are 170mm – spot on. On my Dawes sports tourer, it's got 175mm cranks because I like to pedal slowly up steep hills. - Seat height lower by 5mm to suit, but honestly, I can't feel an uncomfortable difference.
     
  13. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Location:
    Manchester
    I worked on my possition by getting a basic race position using typical guides, then got my girlfriend to take a photo of me in aero possition, looked at my possition and angles from ankle to hip, hip to shoulder, shoulder to elbow. Then fine tuned best I could.

    Then I got updated picture and got feedback form someone with experience, made changes accordingly. Now I feel pretty comfy and relativelly fast. I realise I need some fine adjustments, mainly to open my hip angle some more, but at present my seat is as far forward as possible. I need a saddle with more travel or a fast forward seatpost.
     
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