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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:05 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:11 pm
Posts: 303
The cannibal was indeed famous for his obsession with bike setup, to the extent that it occasionally effected his performance. I recall one particular film where he set his saddle height and levelled it. And then repeated the excercise a few minutes later, like he thought it might have moved. He didn't actually get on the bike in between adjustments - he just did it twice.

There's a big difference between getting your position right and getting totally anal about milimetric differences. It's kind of amusing that riders will spend ages fiddling with seat adjustments, and stick with an off the peg bar. How can two different be in the right position on the tops, hoods, drops and hooks with exactly the same bar?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:18 am 
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Location: Surrey
Quote:
that can make the difference between correct position and back ache !!!


What, 1/64th of an inch, less than half a millimetre? Surely not.

+1 with Gareth's postings.

Merckx was obsessive about his saddle position - just watch the first 15 minutes of 'A Sunday In Hell'.

Correct positions are fine but to adjust ones position for chamois inserts is OTT - where does one stop?

Who considers lowering the saddle by 1mm to compensate for the fact that they're wearing a thicker pair of socks on a colder day?

Once the position is right, a variation of a millimetre or two either way shouldn't cause any problems. After all, your ankle isn't locked in a 100% rigid position and you're not bolted to your saddle.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:31 am
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Location: London
Re Merckx and saddle position.

He suffered from constant back pain on the bike after a serious crash on the track in 1969, IIRC his derny rider died in the crash. And the adjustments in saddle height were to try to relieve the pain.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:11 pm
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Getting wildly off topic here, but I knew a TT rider year ago who was obsessed with his adjustments. When it comes to excusing a poor performance some riders will blame their gear selection, the course not suiting them or maybe the weather. However in Phil's case it was always the setup. The funny thing was I could never figure out how he thought the adjustments changed from one trial to the next, but at every trial when everybody else was warming up he would be fiddling with his saddle, stem and bars. At the end of every trial he would exuse his middle order time with statements like, "the saddle was too high, my hips wear aching by the five mile mark" or "the bars were too low, I just couldn't get into a proper crouch without giving myself back ache".

Kind of like MTB riders with their tyres. :wink: <SHIELDS>

Now I'm note saying Phil was lying, just that he probably wouldn't have had these problems if he'd found a good setup and stuck with it rather than fiddling with it all the time. The riders who keep tweaking their setup to account for things like a thicker pad in their shorts are probably just creating problems for themselves.

You should also consider that a lot of static bike setups work on rules of thumb, such as the arms should be at 90 degrees to the torso. These are good starting points, but they are not necessarilly right for everybody.

And finally...

The last thing I will say about bike setup sessions comes from speaking to a rather successful time trialler last year. He was telling another rider he had wasted his money on a static bike setup session because it hadn't been in a wind tunnel. Partly he said because the "right" position isn't just the one that works best for your body, but also the one which is most aerodynamic. And also because at speed you need to take into account not only the way your body sits on the bike, but the affect the wind has on your body.

I suspect that a certain amount of this may have been down to psychology, but there probably is something in it. What is the most comfortable on a static bike probably isn't so good over cobbles at 30mph.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:02 pm 
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Location: Surrey
FWIW, I wear Santini bib shorts and would also advocate trying them on before buying. Being Italian, they tend to size up a bit on the small size - I'm halfway between XL and XXL whereas I'm usually either L and XL.

With any shorts, I believe that a decent make, not too expensive but with a decent insert, is the best bet. After all, one reasonable 'off' and they'll probably be ruined.

My mate Big Chris is lucky, as he seems to get lots of either XXXL or XXXXL stuff at very cheap prices.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:23 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
My quick tip is to look for a pair with a short zip in them - it's a lot easier when you need a 'comfort stop'!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:45 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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Location: Penarth
Bought some Lusso shorts today after trying a few items at my LBS....mid-range I supppose..might go for bibs when the wine belly has gone...ie...never :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:12 pm 
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Location: NFA
I donned a new pair of campagnolo bib shorts tonight, been using non bibs so far...

Theyre so much more comfy, no waistband is the way to go...


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:26 pm 
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Old Ned wrote:
My quick tip is to look for a pair with a short zip in them - it's a lot easier when you need a 'comfort stop'!


With Lycra, a quick 'forward bend' and 'front-end yank' works for me!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:28 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
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Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
Steve Kish wrote:
Old Ned wrote:
My quick tip is to look for a pair with a short zip in them - it's a lot easier when you need a 'comfort stop'!


With Lycra, a quick 'forward bend' and 'front-end yank' works for me!


I beg your pardon :shock: :wink:


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