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Three inches is a lot to be "behind the neutral knee position," so I'm wondering how you arrived at that number. Did you have a helper?

It's not really as easy as it looks to make that measurement. There are too many variables. For starters, "just below the front of the forward kneecap" is pretty fuzzy, especially if you try to do this procedure yourself, sighting from above. The angle of your foot makes a huge difference in the outcome - heel down will move the plumb line way behind the pedal spindle, heel up way in front. How do you know the angle of your foot as you ride with power? If the crank or the entire bike wasn't exactly horizontal, the reading will be off again.

My point is not that the instructions are bad, but that it would be good to have a helper when doing this procedure. It would also help to do it at least three times and average the measurements. And even then, IMHO it's no more than a better-than-nothing starting point.
 

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Something sounds awry, and I assume that it is your measurement. If what you mean by "neutral knee" is KOPS (Knee Over Pedal Spindle) then it seems unlikely that a bike would leave you a full 3 inches behind KOPS... at least a bike that was close enough to your size where you could reach the bars.

Have a friend help you drop a plumb line and really evaluate your KOPS position. Even if you are using a seatpost with a lot of setback, it just isn't making sense.
 

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I think KOPS is pretty generally ignored anyway...

Full confession: I didn't look at the website. But if you're talking about Knee Over Pedal Spindle, I've read several things the last few years that say to regard that as no more than a starting point. Somebody looked at a bunch of pros in the Tour a few years ago, and they found that many of them were WAY off that mark, usually farther back. Something to do with leverage; I didn't pay much attention.
Also, as a couple of other people have said, it's pretty hard to measure closer than within and inch or two, and it's going to change as you slide back and forth on the saddle.
 

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Slight corrections

Cory said:
Full confession: I didn't look at the website. But if you're talking about Knee Over Pedal Spindle, I've read several things the last few years that say to regard that as no more than a starting point. Somebody looked at a bunch of pros in the Tour a few years ago, and they found that many of them were WAY off that mark, usually farther back. Something to do with leverage; I didn't pay much attention.
Also, as a couple of other people have said, it's pretty hard to measure closer than within and inch or two, and it's going to change as you slide back and forth on the saddle.
Anyone who EVER said that KOPS was anything but a starting point was blowing smoke or displaying their ignorance. The normal range, relative to KOPS is 1 cm forward to 2 cm back, though sometimes you will hear as much as 3 cm back. The pros are "genetically selected" to have relatively long femurs, and so tend to be around 2 cm back. 3 inches is 2.5X more than the most extreme reported rearward distance, and is more likely poor measurement. While it helps to have assistance in taking this measurement, it is actually quite easy to get much closer than "an inch or two."
 

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You know, I ignore KOPS completely. I've found over the years that my hips tend to want to be in a certain spot. This varies from bike to bike, because of seat tube angles, top tube lengths, stem - handlebar drop, lots of things. I simply set my saddle so that when I'm on the hoods or just behind, (Some call this area the "ramp", I've started to as well.), the wide part of the saddle (just forward of the tail, on most saddles) is directly under my sit bones.

This is backwards from most fitting methods, but it works. Instead of using the saddle to position your hips (and thus your trunk and legs) where you think they should be, let your body and the bike guide you, and put the saddle where your butt wants it to be. Not only do I fit my bikes this way, I fit most of my customers this way when I was a shop monkey. I'd typically use a drop line as a sanity check, but I've seen some way-outside-the-rules positions work for a specific rider on a specific bike.

The OP seems to be sitting pretty far back, but maybe they're a slower pedaller. I sit further back on my touring bike and my MTB than I do on my road bike. All of my bikes' setups are pretty well dialed in, and they're all different.

--Shannon
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for your help

My inseam is 32.5-33 inches (82.55-83.82cm)

Logic would dictate I would fit 55-56cm bike.

This bike is a 56cm Specialized Allez triple sport.

Judging from what I've learned from everyone here, I think I should have either gone with a 54cm for a tighter fit, or a shorter stem with the 56cm bike.

I took another measurement today, and made sure to take notice of the position of my feet and their angle.

I'm more like 1-1.5 inches behind the spindle and this is with the seat slid all the way forward.

My primary concern is to keep my sit bones on the sweet-spot of the seat, avoid the occasional left knee pain, and to keep my elbows from getting stiff.

I think for now, I’m going to keep the seat all the way forward (recent change), and gradually bring the handle bars back down, until I find the sweet spot for my sit bones.

I cant wait for the day when I can buy my next road bike, as now I will have a much better idea of what I need in the fit department.

Thank you everyone for your advice, as always it is greatly appreciated.
 

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I'd agree with Kerry's rundown on KOPS. It is not sacrosanct, nor is it ignored. It is a rule of thumb for getting a saddle fore-aft in the ballpark and then can be adjusted for a rider's unique preferences or physiology. Many riders are going just a bit beihind a KOPS position.

What you describe has you about 3cm behind KOPS would be an unusual, thought not unheard of, riding position. My concern, though, is that you didn't "chose" that position because of your riding still, but it kind of "chose" you because of your bike setup. That's not the way it is supposed to work.

How is your reach on the bike? If you are 1.5 inches behind KOPS, then you may also be dealing with a much longer effective TT than you anticipated, which may have you uncomfortable all over.

You may be able to find a seatpost with no setback to give you a little more room to move forward, but it sounds like you need a good all-over fitting.
 
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