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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Of my two currently ridden road bikes:

Bike #1 closely follows the KOPS set-up and have ridden many-many miles without issues. Bike #2 is not quite KOPS and I've been putting miles on it without problems. It is comfortable in a different way. I do notice that my glutes and hamstrings seem to work more. If I were to judge my stroke efficiency, it's not quite as smooth when I'm on bike #1. I'm aware because there is that slight perceptible "feel".

Doing my usual loop, there isn't an obvious change in my times between the two so it isn't like I'm grossly effected by the set-up differences. The only change is I feel different muscles adapting to the position.

Since most of us have multiple rides, do you tend to duplicate your positions identically or do you have slight variances you can still ride on comfortably?

Part of me wants to duplicate bike #1 position over the pedals just for consistency... The change to a zero offset seatpost and 20mm longer stem will pretty much duplicate all other measurements down to a mm or so. Only the HT difference between the two frames does not allow me to obtain the same bar top and drop position. 1 cm is mild enough that it isn't as critical a change.

Your thoughts?
 

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Ignore KOPS. It's nothing but a coincidence. Either that, or we need to stop and adjust the bike every time the pitch of the road changes, and those poor sods on recumbents can't move their bikes at all. (BTW, as bents hold all non-paced speed records...)

It's also worth noting that if you read deeply on KOPS, every 'expert' that uses it has a different idea on exactly which bit of the knee belongs over which bit of the spindle, and how one should work to ackieve the measuring position. The slightest change in heel position completely whonkers the measurement, and folks routinely change foot style - even during a ride. All considered, any position on any bike you can comfortably ride would be judged as being ahead or behind KOPS, depending on which 'expert' you consulted.

Especially, don't pay attention to it WRT saddle fore-aft. Saddle height has 2-3 times the effect on KOPS that saddle fore-aft does. I've seen way too many folks do stupid things to their saddle fore-aft trying to acheive KOPS, when the real issue was that they had their saddles too high/low.

There are real ways to fit to a bike that are far superior to long-discredited rules of thumb.

Generally:

Base bar extension and drop on back flexibility and proper balance over the bb.

Then move the saddle up underneath your arse based on hamstring flexibility (mostly). Then fiddle with saddle fore-aft, remembering that adjustment also changes the effective seat height. You'll be in about the right spot when you really honk on the pedals and your butt simply gets light, with no tendency to slide forward or aft on the saddle.

The differences you are feeling are a result of a difference between saddle-BB distances, and perhaps changes in hip open angle. That doesn't suggest any particular adjustment to either bike, as there's no way to tell over the internet.

I never measure to try to duplicate positions, yet as I set up my bikes and settle in to them, they end up being nearly identical. Any differences end up as the result of different goals for a particular setup: If I want less drop on a given bike, the saddle will naturally end up being a bit aft and (vertically) lower, resulting in the same distances to the BB.

Worry about duplicating position only if you are duplicating intent.
 

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I'll differ, respectfully, with some of what Danl posted. Nothing wrong with measuring your different bikes and trying to duplicate the settings. I agree about KOPS being fairly subjective..Define Knee....(?) and can you sit exactly on your saddle each time? Also, foot/ankle angle plays into it.

One centimeter can make a significant difference. Especially saddle height and fore and aft adjustment.

I have two Ridleys with identical geometry, but one has an integrated seat post that limited my fore and aft adjustment to the range allowed by the saddle rails. I got the Damocles fitting perfectly (using my tried and true measurements from previous frames, and working from there) but the Noah, I could not put the saddle far enough back to get the same set-up.. It bugged the crap out of me, swapping bikes and using different muscles, though the difference was just about a centimeter. I tried moving the Damocles forward to match the Noah but that just made my quads hurt and I felt like I was slower than I should be. I finally had to do some major work on the saddle mount system of the Noah to allow me to cheat the saddle farther back by just one centimeter (actually 3/16") and now all is good.

KOPS?..as far as I can tell, I ended up near there..I go by my previous bike's measurments and then 'work' my position, over a few weeks or months, into what feels best and seems to leave me without any one muscle or skeletal area that feels over-stressed. Changes as little as 1/32" in both height and for and aft, I can feel. When I get very close to my proper fit, I leave any changes in place for a significant ride(couple of hours) or two to allow my body to adapt. I even sometimes can feel a different pair of bike shorts or bibs making a difference in my on-bike position. I could be wierd, though. It may be all in my head..

Start from your previous bike's set-up and improve from there...Tip: Only change one thing at a time, if you are doing very small changes..Yes, when you move your saddle back, you will probably want to lower it....but maybe not. You can't really know whether it was too far forward or too low until you put in some miles..

Good luck with it...Don Hanson
 

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thoughts...

I notice an increase in the use of the glutes and hamstrings when the saddle is further back. It also reduces the amount of weight on your hands.

I've been reading some posts from a coach who believes that most people concentrate too much on using the quads and ignore the glutes and hamstrings. He also contends that if you train yourself to use the glutes and hamstrings more, then your climbing will improve and you can push a bigger gear. I do a lot of climbing and I've always spuna low gear at a high cadence, so that idea interests me.

With that in mind, I moved my saddle back about 10mm and put on a 110mm stem instead of a 120, to maintain the same reach. I've ridden this same fore/aft position years before and even tried at least another 10mm further back at one point. Common sense would say that the saddle should be lowered about 3mm after moving it back 10mm. I chose not to lower the saddle at all. I was surprised that the saddle actually felt low on the first ride, so I raised it about 3mm and it felt better. On the second ride, I raised it another 3mm and then it felt about right. Overall, I've raised my saddle height a full 10mm over this season (but I have not raised my handlebars). This process also falls into the recommendations of this coach, who never checks KOP, but instead concentrates on balancing the rider over the saddle and adjusting the saddle height gradually as he monitors the riders pedaling.

The bottom line is, few people should need a straight-up seatpost on a road bike, unless the bike has a very relaxed STA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys! Appreciate this discussion. I've not precisely followed the KOPs set-up, it just happens that in tuning my position, it came close on bike #1. This may be in part a case of "same place-same thing" because of body familiarity.

I broke out the tape measure to see where I was at in tuning my position relative to the other bike. Finding that I was comfortable outside of what the other ride is set-up made me curious. I'll not change to a zero seatpost but continue working on where I'm at now to see where it ends up. I suspect that after a bit of minor tweaks, I'll get it dialed in. :) The glutes and hams are becoming adjusted as the soreness has lessened over the last month.

Danl- thanks...it gives me additional thought to my position and potential tuning.

Don- ironic you mention shorts...I was thinking after my last ride. That can be a difference of a mm or so of padding and seat compression. May be a wash or add a bit to actual height on the saddle.

C40- I'd be interested in reading this coach's posts. If you don't mind relaying the links here or PM.
 

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C-40 said:
The bottom line is, few people should need a straight-up seatpost on a road bike, unless the bike has a very relaxed STA.
This is interesting (and I agree) especially in the light that so many post producers primarily zero set backs. I think zero set backs are predominant because light weight parts sell better and command higher prices, coupled with the increased strain at the area of the set back makes lightly built seat posts more prone to failure. Easton up until last year offered an EC90 (full carbon) with a 25mm set back. I bought one, and the carbon teeth stripped out almost immediately (installer error I'm sure.:idea: ) This year they do not- zero offset only.
Marketing favors weight over fit. Throwing out KOP as a fit concept allows zero offsets (and longer stems,) but with the fashion of steeper STA's you have to wonder how wise that is...
 

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AlexCad5 said:
......... Throwing out KOP as a fit concept allows zero offsets (and longer stems,) but with the fashion of steeper STA's you have to wonder how wise that is...
Go back to Greg Lemonds book (1988?) and read his discussion of frame angles. He claimed it is almost impossible to get a proper fit with a seat tube angle steeper than 73 degrees. Setback posts solved some of this but they are harder to come by these days.

Of course Greg's concept of "fit" was the European model as opposed to the US model at the time. The difference essentially being the position of the knee over or behind the pedal (and by how much?)

I recall one US rider being accustomed to a more agressive "crit" position, then going to Europe and trying to adopt a position with his knee further back, and really creating problems. He went back to his original setup.
 

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Kuma601 said:
Part of me wants to duplicate bike #1 position over the pedals just for consistency... The change to a zero offset seatpost and 20mm longer stem will pretty much duplicate all other measurements down to a mm or so. Only the HT difference between the two frames does not allow me to obtain the same bar top and drop position. 1 cm is mild enough that it isn't as critical a change.

Your thoughts?
my two cents? pack your tri-tool and head out riding.
don't be afraid of stopping every block, or ten feet.
your body will tell you where it wants to go. listen to it.
i've tried a few concepts on fit. nothing seems to work like
simply adjusting to my body after thirty minutes on the bike.

my body relaxes from stress of the day and sitting at
a desk, into a more relaxed position. my back stretches out.
my neck relaxes, etc. what feels long and exaggerated at first
departure feels great after ten minutes on the ride.

next time you go to ride, your bike will "pull" you into the perfect
position for performance. one less thing to think about.
 

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I build a new bike duplicating the geometry of my old one with regards to seat height, handlebar to seat distance, bar height, etc.

Then I go for a ride on the new bike. I get about 10 feet before knowing exactly what needs adjusting, usually it's the seat height but sometimes I do have to slide the saddle forwards or backwards (I think this is mostly due to different manufacturer's bar geometries). Somehow your body knows what feels right.
 
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