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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone else sit unevenly on their seat ? (I do, off to the right)

I have been riding for 20 years, on quite a few (most Selle Italia, but several models) different saddles -- minimal ones (I seem to like the Selle Italia SLR Carbonio Flow best of late, have it on 2 of my 3 bikes, and putting a somewhat wore one on the third soon), not so minimal ones, the original Flite back almost all of those 20 years ago.

I have always had the same issue -- I sit to the right, off center, apparently. I can see this visibly by looking down at the nose of the seat, where my legs (thighs) are in relation to the seat (more space between seat and right thigh, then seat and left thigh.

I also wear out seats / shorts faster, this is the real problem -- I wear out seats, rubbing away the covering, eventually, on the left side of the nose. And I will wear a hold on the left side of the shorts, inner thigh, and/or under the chamois, on the left side - before the shorts really appear to be done (I am going to try to patch a few I have hung on to).

Been this way as long as I have been cycling. Anyone else have a similar situation ? Done anything (what ?) to remedy the matter ?

I am thinking that my body / bones is not the same from left to right, in which case there might not be a solution for my problem. Curious if anyone else has encountered anything like this ?

Doug
 

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Actually a very common problem. It can stem from a number of causes:
1. Incorrect saddle width - this causes a proprioceptive adjustment on the part of the rider to avoid the "wedgie" sensation of a saddle burrowing into the nether regions. Solution - get measured and get the right width saddle.
2. Leg length discrepancy - causes a pelvic drop/rotation to compensate for the discrepancy. Can be fixed with cleat stackers or cleat shift.
3. Longitudinal arch (foot) collapse causing medial rotation of the knee in towards the top tube and resulting pelvic drop/rotation.

Get to a really good fitter. He can sort this out. The shorts/saddle wear apart, this will also improve your efficiency/power output.
 

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Extremely common. Not only does 50% of the population have a leg length discrepancy, which can be the cause of the problem, it's also a lesser known fact that all of us walk with one hip forward of the other. Read this article from the VeloNews web site.

As long as you're not experiencing any pain while riding, it should not be a problem.

As you can see, you're not alone:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4920024468/" title="Worn Saddle by Peter Polack, on Flickr"></a>
 

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Sometimes all that kind of wear pattern means is that you always wear your package on one and the same side. :)

But as pointed out by cyclequip, there are many other possible causes. I'v got a a functional leg length discrepancy, but used to adjust saddle height for the longer leg and get that pronounced wear pattern on the shorter leg side. Dropping my saddle 5 mm to accommodate the shorter leg fixed that for me. But the better way, as said, would be cleat stacks if that turns out to be your problem. Still, a temporary 5 mm saddle drop could be a good diagnostic tool.
 

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Fairly common, I think..

However if it does not cause any problems otherwise, I'd just leave well enough alone. Otherwise you will open up another kettle of fish...which could lead to an injury...
 

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This is timely post since I've recently noticed the exact same issue. I've been riding for 20+ years using the same saddle type/brand on all of my bikes with a few minor tweaks to my setup after being fit using the Serotta system. Lately, I've become obsessed with the fact that my right leg pumps much closer to the top tube than my left, and no amount in-saddle adjustment seems to remedy the issue. I'm not experiencing any pain or discomfort; it's just an annoying thing I notice while riding solo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Excuse my mis-spelling of "uneven" in original post :)

I did a quick read of the post, but neglected to re-read the title, can't edit it later. Oh well.

In response to the posts - I was measured for a Specialized Toupe saddle, at my LBS. Came up with 143, which I tried, for about 1000 miles. Developed a little, I'll call it a hot spot, not a full blown saddle sore, but sore enough, near the wing front edge on one side, just wouldn't go away, so the Toupe went away :)

I have had various saddles, various styles, various widths. The ones that have been most comfy for me, are 130mm width Selle Italia models (Flite, original and a later revision, and now the SLR Carbonio Flow).

I have read that velonews piece on how we (people) are asymetrical, differ from side to side. Interesting.

A chiropractor that I see from time to time, if I have any back issues (haven't had for like a year+), usually muscle spasm related, when I am having issues, one leg shows shorter, but when those difficulties get worked out, no leg length discrepancy so she says.

I may well just leave it alone, or see a fitter about getting fitted, and specifically bring up that. Just a bit leary to change things up, I have 3 bikes, all fit a little diff, but all comfortable, I have ridden going on 20,000 miles in last 3 and a half years. Just a note, I have been riding 20 years, am 51 years old. Hate to bring many changes into the picture, since I don't really have issues (well, from time to time, on long rides (109 miles yesterday) my body isn't totally happy at the end, but after 109 hard miles, whose body is ? ) that cause me pain or discomfort, not on a routine basis.

It would be nice to NOT wear out shorts what I feel is prematurely, I usually wear a hole on the left leg, and the rest of the short / chamois is looking good.

I was curious to hear from others on this though, thank you much for your input.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My left knee travels closer to the top tube than the right.

MerckxMad said:
This is timely post since I've recently noticed the exact same issue. I've been riding for 20+ years using the same saddle type/brand on all of my bikes with a few minor tweaks to my setup after being fit using the Serotta system. Lately, I've become obsessed with the fact that my right leg pumps much closer to the top tube than my left, and no amount in-saddle adjustment seems to remedy the issue. I'm not experiencing any pain or discomfort; it's just an annoying thing I notice while riding solo.
If I look down, as I am pedalling, my left knee tracks closer to the top tube than the right knee. Riding pals can see it from behind me as well. Left leg is the side that rubs on the seat more than the right side. But I have a riding pal, who has the same situation with where his knees track, but not the same issue regarding where he sits on the saddle (and wearing out shorts due to sitting unevenly, as I do).

Sometimes, mid ride, I will "place" myself on the seat, making a conscious attempt to "center" myself, but after pedaling for a short time I am back to the same place, which is slightly off center (based on where my thighs are compared to the seat) to the right.
 

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no one is simetric. you can try wedges if u got a shorter leg and that makes u rotate ur pelvis. maybe ur hip is not centered . you can try and rotate a bit the saddle to the left. this will help.
 

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My saddles all point to the right :)

This is one issue with integrated seat posts. They generally are all stuck perfectly straight, which doesn't allow for side to side movement...which many people do need.
 

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I hate to say this..

DBtheCyclist said:
I did a quick read of the post, but neglected to re-read the title, can't edit it later. Oh well.

In response to the posts - I was measured for a Specialized Toupe saddle, at my LBS. Came up with 143, which I tried, for about 1000 miles. Developed a little, I'll call it a hot spot, not a full blown saddle sore, but sore enough, near the wing front edge on one side, just wouldn't go away, so the Toupe went away :)

I have had various saddles, various styles, various widths. The ones that have been most comfy for me, are 130mm width Selle Italia models (Flite, original and a later revision, and now the SLR Carbonio Flow).

I have read that velonews piece on how we (people) are asymetrical, differ from side to side. Interesting.

A chiropractor that I see from time to time, if I have any back issues (haven't had for like a year+), usually muscle spasm related, when I am having issues, one leg shows shorter, but when those difficulties get worked out, no leg length discrepancy so she says.

I may well just leave it alone, or see a fitter about getting fitted, and specifically bring up that. Just a bit leary to change things up, I have 3 bikes, all fit a little diff, but all comfortable, I have ridden going on 20,000 miles in last 3 and a half years. Just a note, I have been riding 20 years, am 51 years old. Hate to bring many changes into the picture, since I don't really have issues (well, from time to time, on long rides (109 miles yesterday) my body isn't totally happy at the end, but after 109 hard miles, whose body is ? ) that cause me pain or discomfort, not on a routine basis.

It would be nice to NOT wear out shorts what I feel is prematurely, I usually wear a hole on the left leg, and the rest of the short / chamois is looking good.

I was curious to hear from others on this though, thank you much for your input.



This is the usual response- you should consider being professionally fitted and have your stroke analyzed. Or have someone who is knowledgeable ride behind you and watch you ride. Some custom frame builder do this, even after a fitting..something ain't right. Sounds like a leg length discrepancy, but that's just a guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dinosaur said:
DBtheCyclist said:
A chiropractor that I see from time to time, if I have any back issues (haven't had for like a year+), usually muscle spasm related, when I am having issues, one leg shows shorter, but when those difficulties get worked out, no leg length discrepancy so she says.

I may well just leave it alone, or see a fitter about getting fitted, and specifically bring up that. Just a bit leary to change things up, I have 3 bikes, all fit a little diff, but all comfortable, I have ridden going on 20,000 miles in last 3 and a half years. Just a note, I have been riding 20 years, am 51 years old. Hate to bring many changes into the picture, since I don't really have issues (well, from time to time, on long rides (109 miles yesterday) my body isn't totally happy at the end, but after 109 hard miles, whose body is ? ) that cause me pain or discomfort, not on a routine basis.
This is the usual response- you should consider being professionally fitted and have your stroke analyzed. Or have someone who is knowledgeable ride behind you and watch you ride. Some custom frame builder do this, even after a fitting..something ain't right. Sounds like a leg length discrepancy, but that's just a guess.
I am a bit leary to get fitted - I have heard from some other riders, or from riders who know riders - who were "fitted", only to end up with more problems than they had, or to get fitted, then back in the same shop some time later, recommend they get fitted (again), and after paying a 2nd time, things get all switched around again. Almost always have to buy something new, usually a stem. I am sure there are good fitters out there, but how to find one ? I don't want to pay my hard earned cash, for nothing.

How does one find out if they have a leg length discrepancy ?

Can ones bones (say, pelvis, sit bones) be asymetrical ? That article that velonews states a belief that at least some have, that none of us are the same, from side to side. Maybe I am just not made equal, from one side to the other ?
 
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