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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
You know, I hate to say it... But given where you are you might want to consider cutting down on riding and spending a year in the gym with a good guide like Mark Vestagens’s first book. Maybe start out with a PT to make sure you don’t mess up the back. I had an awful strength imbalance and was able to fix it with a dedicated effort to do so.

As for the bike, you are doing great, getting the information you need and asking questions! You have enough miles in you to know what will work and what wont work.


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Can't say I disagree. Thanks for the feedback and I am in the midst of putting in a lot of core work and trying to right that ship.

I find a leg length discrepancy really makes all that work a PITA because there are further imbalances that normally wouldn't be there. But, onwards and upwards I guess lol

Thanks for the honest feedback.
 

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Getting the bike fitted by a certified physio with years of bike fitting experience was part of my attack plan. She lowered my bars down, brought up my seat and stretched me out, despite knowing my issues. Maybe she wasn't they right person to go to. She kept saying I looked like a sail up there on my bike. I wonder if she was more concerned about that than my issues. She even suggested I bump up my stem to a 120 from 110 if I felt I could.
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So, in other words, she was concerned with making you COMPETITIVE, rather than comfortable? Is that what you wanted? Sounds to me like you found a fitter who just wouldn't_fuckin'_listen to you.

I've run across quite a few people like that in the medical 'arts'. I went to a gasto-enterologist who thought the solution to all my gastric problems was to take more and more fiber supplements. I had a vascular surgeon once who operated on me without ordering a minimal vein-mapping first. There are a LOT of medical 'experts' out there who are full of shit, but unless somebody actually dies from their incompetence, they just continue with their malpractice until either they retire, or their insurance carrier drops them.
 

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Can't say I disagree. Thanks for the feedback and I am in the midst of putting in a lot of core work and trying to right that ship.

I find a leg length discrepancy really makes all that work a PITA because there are further imbalances that normally wouldn't be there. But, onwards and upwards I guess lol

Thanks for the honest feedback.
I would solve the leg length problem before doing anything else. Find a really good athletic Podiatrist/Podiatric Surgeon. Have them help you get full custom shoes made. I’m a Bont guy so I’m biased. I have full custom Bonts for my Speed Skating shoes. They are perfect. You are an anomaly. You may need this level of a fix. You need a PT and a Podiatrist, but a real one, who does sports foot stuff. I have one, he’s the Podiatrist to a few US Olympic teams. Full custom is cheaper than you think... I paid $750 all totaled. Moldings were done by podiatric surgeon. They will get this 100% dialed in perfectly.

In the meantime, work with a PT and get the lifts you need. You clearly have gone too long without recognizing this problem. Remember, cycling isn’t a good fitness sport. In fact, it sucks for fitness. It’s great at making you faster on the bike! I that useful otherwise? No.

37 is far too young to be hobbled as you report. I’ve been there, I know. I’ll spare you the details but I was a mess in my late 20s. I had enough and I swore I’d be a lower body fat every birthday on the decades. 30 was 25+. 40 was 14.7. 50 was 12.5. My goal for 60 is 10%.


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Yea, a lot of fitter's want to fit you into the 'race' fit. Sounds like you can go, but ?
This is a problem I have with these "pro fitters". They will fit you for greatest efficiency without regard to personal issues.

With those long legs, looking at the picture it sure looks like your knee's are not bending enough.
Not bending enough? I would say legs are not extending enough on the down stroke. I never heard of 140° a.k.a. 40° from fully extended. 20° - 30° is considered optimal.
 

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So, in other words, she was concerned with making you COMPETITIVE, rather than comfortable? Is that what you wanted? Sounds to me like you found a fitter who just wouldn't_fuckin'_listen to you.
BINGO! And I've seen this more than once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
This is a problem I have with these "pro fitters". They will fit you for greatest efficiency without regard to personal issues.



Not bending enough? I would say legs are not extending enough on the down stroke. I never heard of 140° a.k.a. 40° from fully extended. 20° - 30° is considered optimal.
Everywhere I look is 140ish to 150ish. I have not seen 160. For sure at 140 am on thrower end of the range, but to bump that to 160, what is going to happen to my handlebar drop then? My bike already has a super high stack at 654mm. I could put my spacers under the stem and make it positive, I'll decrease the handlebar drop by 1.5-2 cm. But if I raise my seat to get the extension angle to 150-160 degrees I will be back at square one or worse.

Unless I get get longer cranks I guess. Right now I have 175mm cranks. The cranks the bike came with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I would solve the leg length problem before doing anything else. Find a really good athletic Podiatrist/Podiatric Surgeon. Have them help you get full custom shoes made. I’m a Bont guy so I’m biased. I have full custom Bonts for my Speed Skating shoes. They are perfect. You are an anomaly. You may need this level of a fix. You need a PT and a Podiatrist, but a real one, who does sports foot stuff. I have one, he’s the Podiatrist to a few US Olympic teams. Full custom is cheaper than you think... I paid $750 all totaled. Moldings were done by podiatric surgeon. They will get this 100% dialed in perfectly.

In the meantime, work with a PT and get the lifts you need. You clearly have gone too long without recognizing this problem. Remember, cycling isn’t a good fitness sport. In fact, it sucks for fitness. It’s great at making you faster on the bike! I that useful otherwise? No.

37 is far too young to be hobbled as you report. I’ve been there, I know. I’ll spare you the details but I was a mess in my late 20s. I had enough and I swore I’d be a lower body fat every birthday on the decades. 30 was 25+. 40 was 14.7. 50 was 12.5. My goal for 60 is 10%.


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I would only be able to adjust for half the discrepancy with cycling shoes because the discrepancy is split between the femur and tibia. You only want to adjust for part of the LLD in my situation, otherwise things get weird on the up stroke.

So we are talking about 85mm of adjustment or so. I could probably put spacers under my cleats first to see how it works and then maybe get custom shoes.

I am making it sound worse than it is. I have pain, but I am in decent shape, I just have some stuff to work on. I snowboard (which oddly enough helps my back out big time), play tennis and am a strong swimmer. I just like the freedom of cycling and the challenge of doing tough climbs. I still cycle and enjoy it, but the tough climbs are what I have had to drop.
 

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Everywhere I look is 140ish to 150ish. I have not seen 160. For sure at 140 am on thrower end of the range, but to bump that to 160, what is going to happen to my handlebar drop then? My bike already has a super high stack at 654mm. I could put my spacers under the stem and make it positive, I'll decrease the handlebar drop by 1.5-2 cm. But if I raise my seat to get the extension angle to 150-160 degrees I will be back at square one or worse.

Unless I get get longer cranks I guess. Right now I have 175mm cranks. The cranks the bike came with.
The reason for the knee bend on the downstroke of 150 to 160 is so you don't bend your knees too sharply on the upstroke. That can cause potential knee problems down the road. Longer crank arms would exacerbate the problem. Lowering your saddle in order to get less handlebar drop is a hack at best. If you need your bars higher, then yes, by all means you need to put your spacers under your stem. You could also flip your bars up a bit and change to a more upright stem to get less handlebar drop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The reason for the knee bend on the downstroke of 150 to 160 is so you don't bend your knees too sharply on the upstroke. That can cause potential knee problems down the road. Longer crank arms would exacerbate the problem. Lowering your saddle in order to get less handlebar drop is a hack at best. If you need your bars higher, then yes, by all means you need to put your spacers under your stem. You could also flip your bars up a bit and change to a more upright stem to get less handlebar drop.
I have seen 140 on quite a few road bike fitting websites, and my fitter set me up that way as well. Its on the farther end no doubt. I don't think it was a "hack", its an acceptable angle to ride with.

I guess it confirms that I basically need one of the biggest frames available from most manufacturers. No point in getting smaller sized frames that are going to result in ridiculous seat to HB drop or having to put on stem extenders and a million spacers. This Motobecane is a 64 cm with a 250 mm head tube and 654 mm stack, it is a big bike... I find it very odd that Canyon recommends an XL on their calculator.

I may as well get the highest stack and modify the reach issues through stem length which is a much more straightforward adjustment IMO. If a bike comes with 120mm stem, I could easily downsize to 90 or 100mm to bring the reach back if needed. At least that is the way I see it. I get that it affects handling by making it more twitchy, but there are plenty of road bikes out there with 90-100mm stems with no issues whatsoever.

I set up an appointment with another fitter that is experienced. He is a physio that still actively treats musculoskeletal injuries as well and has strong reviews. He is also a pretty established competitive cyclist. He is going to have a look at my bike and we are also going to discuss what to look for if buying another bike. Hopefully it works out.
 

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This is the fit order....
Adj seat up/down & forward/back such that: When heel is out of clip and sitting on the pedal the knee is slightly bent, slightly. When pedal is clipped in and crank is 90deg, the front part of knee below the knee cap is straight above the centerline of the pedal axle (use a nut tied to a string and taped to your knee). You may have to move everything several times to get both these accomplished. Your seat is done!
Now adj your handlebars so that you can get on the hoods, in the dropps, in the forward dropps without pain. Your elbows should be slightly bent comfortably. That is the starting point, adj from there.
I don't know anything about leg differences, but what ever dimension they said it was different, I would put a spacer of that dim under the clip on the bottom of the shoe and try it. You have 85mm of difference in leg lenghts? ... that is 33.5", don't compare it to that other thing hanging down (wow, it must be short).
....IMO! ... I got 8 pedal bikes & 2 moto's in the garage ready to roll, I've done this before, many times.

note: On many of my bikes I have 60mm stems, it doesn't really change the handling that much. Some are flat out, some are 17deg up, it varies by the bike. The fit dimension doesn't change much.
 

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I have seen 140 on quite a few road bike fitting websites, and my fitter set me up that way as well. Its on the farther end no doubt. I don't think it was a "hack", its an acceptable angle to ride with.
Hmmm. Looks like thoughts on this have indeed changed. Granted I find if I go to a lower saddle height than 20-30 degrees, I feel cramped.

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I guess it confirms that I basically need one of the biggest frames available from most manufacturers.
I think you already knew this. :)

No point in getting smaller sized frames that are going to result in ridiculous seat to HB drop or having to put on stem extenders and a million spacers.
Nothing wrong with putting spacers under the stem as long as there is no stem above the steerer. Extenders are not recommended and can be dangerous on carbon steerers.

This Motobecane is a 64 cm with a 250 mm head tube and 654 mm stack, it is a big bike... I find it very odd that Canyon recommends an XL on their calculator.
Different online calculators can be wildly off. And just like some bike fitters, online calculators can be geared toward performance without regard to specific rider issues.

I may as well get the highest stack and modify the reach issues through stem length which is a much more straightforward adjustment IMO. If a bike comes with 120mm stem, I could easily downsize to 90 or 100mm to bring the reach back if needed. At least that is the way I see it.
Here is a good one:


I get that it affects handling by making it more twitchy, but there are plenty of road bikes out there with 90-100mm stems with no issues whatsoever.
This is way overblown. I have not found shorter upright stems to affect handling.

I set up an appointment with another fitter that is experienced. He is a physio that still actively treats musculoskeletal injuries as well and has strong reviews. He is also a pretty established competitive cyclist. He is going to have a look at my bike and we are also going to discuss what to look for if buying another bike. Hopefully it works out.
Good idea! I like the fact that he is a physiologist who treats musculoskeletal injuries. He sounds like someone who will work with you on fitting for YOU, not some ideal racer. Hope this works out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
This is the fit order....
Adj seat up/down & forward/back such that: When heel is out of clip and sitting on the pedal the knee is slightly bent, slightly. When pedal is clipped in and crank is 90deg, the front part of knee below the knee cap is straight above the centerline of the pedal axle (use a nut tied to a string and taped to your knee). You may have to move everything several times to get both these accomplished. Your seat is done!
Now adj your handlebars so that you can get on the hoods, in the dropps, in the forward dropps without pain. Your elbows should be slightly bent comfortably. That is the starting point, adj from there.
I don't know anything about leg differences, but what ever dimension they said it was different, I would put a spacer of that dim under the clip on the bottom of the shoe and try it. You have 85mm of difference in leg lenghts? ... that is 33.5", don't compare it to that other thing hanging down (wow, it must be short).
....IMO! ... I got 8 pedal bikes & 2 moto's in the garage ready to roll, I've done this before, many times.

note: On many of my bikes I have 60mm stems, it doesn't really change the handling that much. Some are flat out, some are 17deg up, it varies by the bike. The fit dimension doesn't change much.
I need to correct that, I have 17mm of difference between right and left. But it is between the femur and tibia, so to adjust for that on bike shoes, I can only adjust for half, which is 8.5 mm. There was a decimal missing.
 

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When I said to get an adj stem, that was not for permanent use, it was for testing, not under high stress conditions. Just to try different adj to see how it feels. Once you get close or decide on 'your' dimensional requirements, then select a bike reach/stack/drop using stem/spacers to get your new bike there. ... or if you can get your present bike there do that at your option.
Setup is not a fixed adjustment, if your not close now, it will be a project moving forward, but at least your bike should be close enough to make component changes as your body adj to the new setup.
 

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I’m in the minority here because it looks like your riding position is pretty upright already. Maybe it’s the locked out straight arms that makes it look more upright than it is?
I ride with a 1mm shim under my left cleat to help with leg length difference. It helps but it also makes an imbalance in my hips which then effects my hip flexors. I don’t see how people ride with 3+ mm of shims under a cleat
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Quick update. I put the spacers under my stem, flipped the stem and raised my seat about a 1/2 inch.

Then went to the physio therapist who does bike fitting as well. It was a worthwhile visit. He said what I did with my stem made sense considering the situation with my back and what are tight hamstrings. He raised my seat another 1/2 inch. He also shimmed my left cleat with 3mm to start. Finally, he adjusted my hoods to level them off a bit. We will see how that goes.

He recommended a stack of 650 to 666 mm and a reach of 400-415 mm. The Canyon XXL would fit the bill he said and maybe just go on a 100mm stem instead of a 120mm.

Anyways I will ride this for the next few months and see how it feels. I will also being doing some work to increase my hamstring flexibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Update, I received my Canyon CF-7.0 and put on a 100mm stem instead of 120mm and the bike feels great. My physio will have a look with me to make sure we really dial it in, but I am quite happy. It feels more comfortable than my Motobecane.

Another thing I noticed, I went from an aluminum to carbon frame and carbon seat post... I never thought I would notice it much, but I have noticed the ride is much less jarring compared to my Motobecane. A lot of the vibration and road buzz is dampened, which I am sure helps with my back too.

If you look at the seat height, I can't imagine having gone with the XL instead of the XXL and having to put the seat up an extra 3-4 cm 🤣🤣🤣

Thanks to everyone who chimed in.
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