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DinZ

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Bike set up Questions
« on: February 09, 2012, 08:53 »
Could not see anything on here yet so thought i would start a generalized thread for bike set up / physical questions rather a thread for my particular question

starting out is my question.

i have started having issues with my hands on rides and wrists afterwards. I am starting to feel this is to do with the set up of the hoods on my bike. Most of the time i ride on the hoods and i find i am stretching for the levers and can feel quite a strain when breaking heavily.

Maybe this is just because i have small girly hands but was not sure if this was just down to the way my handlebars / hoods are set up.

is there something i can do to change the set up that may make breaking easier, without buying some new gear?





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  • Anthony Moan

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 19:17 »
    Could not see anything on here yet so thought i would start a generalized thread for bike set up / physical questions rather a thread for my particular question

    starting out is my question.

    i have started having issues with my hands on rides and wrists afterwards. I am starting to feel this is to do with the set up of the hoods on my bike. Most of the time i ride on the hoods and i find i am stretching for the levers and can feel quite a strain when breaking heavily.

    Maybe this is just because i have small girly hands but was not sure if this was just down to the way my handlebars / hoods are set up.

    is there something i can do to change the set up that may make breaking easier, without buying some new gear?

    It is for sure issue with reach, ideally 1/3 of rider weight should be distributed on hands, 1/3 on legs, and 1/3 on ass, of course it is constant play with it.
    my 5 cents daveingambiachicken, try to rise/move levers without rotating handlebars, of course you must unwrap all those stuff. Then try to rotate handlebar up or down. Try to tilt saddle forward or...., just play with it, 2 or 3mm can make a big difference.
    Personally I prefer hoods way up, cos poor stretch. Gloves or stem maybe, it can be any of this issues without buying new levers, which of course per example 11spd Campy record are much more ergo and hands just slide and nice sit in those, than mine 10 spd Chorus. Not to mention that on those I can change and reach brake and gear levers without any issue even on drops, it is cool. If having good fitting dude which I am not having, try to visit him.

     
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  • « Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 19:27 by Sir Jammer »
    Reverend Fred Saves!!

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 01:02 »
    Hey Dave, I had a similar issue once when my saddle was tilted forward a bit too much. I like a little tilt, but for some reason I had gone overboard and started feeling it in my wrists.
    Good luck, Lad.
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  • Straydog

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 21:47 »
    It is for sure issue with reach, ideally 1/3 of rider weight should be distributed on hands, 1/3 on legs, and 1/3 on ass, of course it is constant play with it.
    my 5 cents daveingambiachicken, try to rise/move levers without rotating handlebars, of course you must unwrap all those stuff. Then try to rotate handlebar up or down. Try to tilt saddle forward or...., just play with it, 2 or 3mm can make a big difference.
    Personally I prefer hoods way up, cos poor stretch. Gloves or stem maybe, it can be any of this issues without buying new levers, which of course per example 11spd Campy record are much more ergo and hands just slide and nice sit in those, than mine 10 spd Chorus. Not to mention that on those I can change and reach brake and gear levers without any issue even on drops, it is cool. If having good fitting dude which I am not having, try to visit him.

     

    As a guess I'd agree on the reach part.

    But I'd actually say start with raising stem with spacers before adjusting levers etc. Also try bring saddle forward, but I would say DON'T tilt it. This will cause you to slip forward and possibly end up numb someone more important than your hands. I doubt very much it is anything to do with the type of levers, brakes etc. As said above, it is to do with your weight distribution, with too much weight being thrown forward to your arms/ hands.

    Do you get any neck ache as well?
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  • DinZ

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 22:59 »
    As a guess I'd agree on the reach part.

    But I'd actually say start with raising stem with spacers before adjusting levers etc. Also try bring saddle forward, but I would say DON'T tilt it. This will cause you to slip forward and possibly end up numb someone more important than your hands. I doubt very much it is anything to do with the type of levers, brakes etc. As said above, it is to do with your weight distribution, with too much weight being thrown forward to your arms/ hands.

    Do you get any neck ache as well?

    Neck ache has been less of an issue but i do get it when riding for more than 2 hours, especially in the evening after work
    After the initial responses i did try adjusting my saddle slightly. I actually moved it back a tiny amount and changed the tilt so it was flatter, before it was slightly tilted forward.

    this seemed to help slightly, i still had some numbness but it was less and took longer to come in. also felt like there was slightly less weight on my arms. Unfortunately due to a number of reasons i have only managed one ride since making the change so jury is still out.
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  • Straydog

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 23:18 »
    Neck ache has been less of an issue but i do get it when riding for more than 2 hours, especially in the evening after work
    After the initial responses i did try adjusting my saddle slightly. I actually moved it back a tiny amount and changed the tilt so it was flatter, before it was slightly tilted forward.

    this seemed to help slightly, i still had some numbness but it was less and took longer to come in. also felt like there was slightly less weight on my arms. Unfortunately due to a number of reasons i have only managed one ride since making the change so jury is still out.

    yeah this makes sense too....moving the saddle back and flattening it, can often help if the problem if basically you are being pitched onto your arms/hands. It flattens out your back and should reduce the load upfront...still monitor the undercarriage though....doing what I have just described can cause you to sit on your perinaeum.

    And I should have said before that just moving the saddle forward, without raising the stem, can actually worsen the problem, as it actually causes the drop angle from saddle tip to hoods/ drops to be greater leading to more neck flex and weight on arms etc

    sorry if I am making it sound confusing....it really is difficult without seeing you on bike and knowing how flexible you are. Trial and Error is unfortunately the way to go. I'd suggest that if the arms feel better in the position you've now adopted, but that you get neck ache, try raising the stem one spacer.

    Your saddle fore/ aft position should basically leave your leg position as (with pedals at 3 o'clock) a straight vertical line from just behind your kneecap to your pedal/ cleat. So if your leg position is correct, you should basically be aiming to set up the front end of your bike so you are able to rest your arms, with a slight bend in them, on the hoods whilst maintaining comfort and without feeling that you are "stretching"
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  • DinZ

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 23:28 »
    yeah this makes sense too....moving the saddle back and flattening it, can often help if the problem if basically you are being pitched onto your arms/hands. It flattens out your back and should reduce the load upfront...still monitor the undercarriage though....doing what I have just described can cause you to sit on your perinaeum.

    And I should have said before that just moving the saddle forward, without raising the stem, can actually worsen the problem, as it actually causes the drop from saddle tip to hoods/ drops to be greater leading to more neck flex and weight on arms etc

    sorry if I am making it sound confusing....it really is difficult without seeing you on bike and knowing how flexible you are. Trial and Error is unfortunately the way to go. I'd suggest that if the arms feel better in the position you've now adopted, but that you get neck ache, try raising the stem one spacer.

    Your saddle fore/ aft position should basically leave your leg position as (with pedals at 3 o'clock) a straight vertical line from just behind your kneecap to your pedal/ cleat. So if your leg position is correct, you should basically be aiming to set up the front end of your bike so you are able to rest your arms, with a slight bend in them, on the hoods whilst maintaining comfort and without feeling that you are "stretching"

    With regards flexibility, try imagining a plank of wood riding a bike. One with a large bulge in the centre, and you will be pretty close

    i had a bike fit last year to try and help with knee problems so think the leg set up is pretty close to what it should be so am reluctant to change saddle too much. Will see how i go. Flexibility and weak core is large part of my problems, which i am now working on through combination of physio exercises given to me by bike fit guy and doing Yoga.
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  • Straydog

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 23:36 »
    ha ha...ok...if you've had a bike fit...regarding saddle... stick with it, definitely.

    As for the rest....make small adjustments gradually...don't be too ambitious with how low you set your bars too soon...and lastly...just ride. Sounds obvious, but our bodies adjust to the strains we are putting them under and compensate, so your cycling specific flexibility will improve as you ride more, just don't ignore a pain and let it become an injury. Especially early in the season, and if you don't have any races planned yet, just ride in a comfortable position and slowly aim to make it more aerodynamic.

    Good stuff for getting out there and working on the er...bulge...though....just stay off the cakes at coffee stops ;)

    and p.s...yoga is brilliant regardless...bikram being my particular vice.
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  • « Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 00:42 by Straydog »

    DinZ

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 02:07 »
    ha ha...ok...if you've had a bike fit...regarding saddle... stick with it, definitely.

    As for the rest....make small adjustments gradually...don't be too ambitious with how low you set your bars too soon...and lastly...just ride. Sounds obvious, but our bodies adjust to the strains we are putting them under and compensate, so your cycling specific flexibility will improve as you ride more, just don't ignore a pain and let it become an injury. Especially early in the season, and if you don't have any races planned yet, just ride in a comfortable position and slowly aim to make it more aerodynamic.

    Good stuff for getting out there and working on the er...bulge...though....just stay off the cakes at coffee stops ;)

    and p.s...yoga is brilliant regardless...bikram being my particular vice.

     I am new to the yoga, just started two weeks ago. Hatha. Is entertaining. The guy is saying try to get your forehead on the floor, i am barely getting my hands there.

    thought makes me realised how many issues i have in my body and am hoping it is really going to help
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  • Straydog

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 02:29 »
    It's brilliant....it will definitely help....in so many ways. And don't worry about comparing your flexibility to anyone else's, especially instructors. When mine tries to "gently" coax my knees to the floor across my chest, whilst my head is facing the opposite way, I've given up feeling inadequate and just take a moment to enjoy a bit of a perve....she is quite hot ;D

    Cycling can shorten your hamstrings, but the yoga will definitely help counteract that, and it is generally just so good for all round, balance body strengthening.

    Have fun with what sound like some great life style changes.
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  • DinZ

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #10 on: February 27, 2012, 00:00 »
    OK finally got a decent ride in after changing my saddle slightly

    one thing i noticed was sore hamstrings afterwards. not sure if this is just using my hamstrings more due to moving saddle back and therefore body will adjust or using hamstrings too much and will result in problems

    going again tonight so will see how they last. Have pretty tight hamstrings anyway so hoping it is just a case of adjustment.

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  • Dim

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #11 on: February 27, 2012, 00:06 »
    also worth, if you get any hamstring troubles looking at the float on your pedals, and checking the quality of your cleats (obviously for some pedals this isnt relevant). I use eggbeaters, but previously spd, and aches where i shouldnt have them were generally a sign i needed new cleats.
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  • mew

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #12 on: February 27, 2012, 00:08 »
    Sometimes just as small as a mm can make an overall diff in things...my friend had similar probs after bike fit even and when she changed gloves it made a big difference for some reason. Maybe padding or gloves too tight ...whatever?
    Also tiny increment in saddle tilt maybe closer to level makes huge difference...
    good luck.

    w/r to tight hammies...my running coach once said do not try to stretch hams but instead stretch front quads for more equal balance of strength.  increased flexibility sure can't hurt though.
     :P

    remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and not pulled upwards when you ride... :)
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  • DinZ

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #13 on: February 27, 2012, 00:30 »
    Sometimes just as small as a mm can make an overall diff in things...my friend had similar probs after bike fit even and when she changed gloves it made a big difference for some reason. Maybe padding or gloves too tight ...whatever?
    Also tiny increment in saddle tilt maybe closer to level makes huge difference...
    good luck.

    w/r to tight hammies...my running coach once said do not try to stretch hams but instead stretch front quads for more equal balance of strength.  increased flexibility sure can't hurt though.
     :P

    remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and not pulled upwards when you ride... :)

    One thing that is certain is it is all very complicated!

    I was told most of my knee pain was due to tight hamstrings and issues with engaging the wrong muscles in my butt.
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  • mew

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    Re: Bike set up Questions
    « Reply #14 on: February 27, 2012, 01:46 »
    dave from what I have learned over the years from pros and a couple of ex-Olympians is that core strength is key to riding long and strong.
    It keeps you from back pain, if your bike is properly fit, and keeps you breathing correctly.

    Do more shorter rides and make them enjoyable and then as you feel more fit and comfortable on the bike increase your time....and cross train.
    Remember it is supposed to be fun!  :D

    oh, ps...I'm older now  :-[  and I really like the float in my pedals (speedplay) as I think it is kinder for my knees...although knock wood I have not had knee issues.
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