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Positioning with stems and saddle position(4 posts)

Positioning with stems and saddle positionmr tornado head
Oct 27, 2001 9:03 AM
I was thinking... if you go with a shorter stem and move the saddle back, you could maintian the same "reach" while moving weight more towards the back, useful for long endurance rides. Or, go with a longer stem and move the saddle forward for a more "triathalete" or TT position.

I know the longer/shorter stems will affect handling somewhat, and of course has to be taken in to account.

For example; I have a 120mm stem which is actually a little further than the rule of thumb for my size bike, but it feels good to me (saddle is in the middle of the range). However I get very sore inside my left shoulder blade on long rides (I'm sure rasing the stem would help this as well). With this bike I plan on using more for longer rides than TT, so I was wondering about going with my 90mm stem (which has longer quill, btw, allowing me to raise the bars some) and scooting the seat further back.

For the record, I'm not a big observer of the KOPS (see the article on Sheldon Brown's web site).

Thanks for the input
re: Positioning with stems and saddle positionDINOSAUR
Oct 27, 2001 9:21 AM
I think a lot of it has to do with personal preference and how you feel comfortable on your bike. I kind of tinkered around with my set up for about three seasons until I got it dialed in to where I felt comfortable. I checked my KOP when I slapped on a new saddle and I could get it 1cm back because of the position of the rails. This setting works for me, perhaps because I have long legs and I do a lot of climbing. I also found that my flexibility had changed and I could obtain positions now that I couldn't when I came back to the sport three years ago. I find it's all one experiment and you have to see what works for you and don't get locked into any particular formula. My position also changes depending on the time of the season and my fitness level. Cycling is all one big experiment and it never stops. IMHO when you make a change in your set up, do it in small increments and give it a couple of weeks before you make another change. I threw my back out making a change with my saddle position while in the middle of a ride once. A word from the wise,(or should I say the dumb)....
re: Positioning with stems and saddle positionjacques
Oct 27, 2001 10:13 AM
A position further back will make it easier to push the pedal over the top. That's a good thing for long rides in which sprinting and time trialing abilities take a back seat to long-term comfort and efficiency. Having your center of mass further back neither improves nor degrades pedaling efficiency, but as you suspect, it does affect handling.

Re you pain under your left shoulder blade: there may be an imbalance in your bike setup. Check and see if the brake levers are at exact even height, if the handlebar is exactly 90 degrees to the top tube, if your saddle is level from left to right , and if your frame is tracking straight. You could also be positioning yourself off-center. Have someone behind you observe you closely. I ride with my left elbow slightly cocked out and have drawn comments on that from people behind me. Once made aware of it, I correct it. But after a few minutes, I'm riding slightly crooked again with the attendant discomfort in my left upper arm.
Positionig and shoulder painmr tornado head
Oct 28, 2001 8:19 AM
Thanks for the additional input... there are some things that I didn't take in to consideration. I do know if I bring the handlebars up the pain starts later and is less prominent. I'll definitely head up to my LBS and see if they can help with positioning.

I do suspect that I am "locking" the left elbow and using that arm to support the majority of the upper body weight which may be inducing or aggrevating the problem.

Thanks for your input!