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10-81
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Odd thing happening this season by position on the bike seems off. I am on the same bike, same setup and no big changes in me as far as injuries, weight loss/gain, etc. Basically everything is the same as last season.

From last year to this year I feel like I have zero power on the bike. I am spinning like crazy keeping my cadence in the high 90's and low 100s nearly the whole time. I feel like I am pedalling through mud when I hit the low 90's and so I immediately shift to an easier gear.

I have noticed I feel better when my saddle was moved forward but now i have it to the point saddle is almost maxed out and thinking of getting a zero offset seatpost. But moving this far forward just seems wrong to me.

Should I go with what just feels right and keep moving forward? Just suck it up and figure out how to turn a bigger gear?

Thank for the help
 

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Moving forward is not a problem. Yes, you should do what feels right.

Running high cadence is a good thing, not a bad thing. It means your saddle position is correct. Running high cadence puts a lot more pressure on the saddle and less on the bottom bracket. You can't run high cadence with a bad saddle fit. So higher cadence naturally is a sign that you're doing it right in terms of seat placement.
 

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I agree that riding with higher cadences is a good thing. But if you can do this only in small gears, it points to the possibility that you've lost a significant amount of leg strength.

Power (in simple terms) is a product of pedal force and cadence, and you can't neglect one over the other. Perhaps some work on developing the ability to push a bigger gear would be helpful, even if it means a few training sessions riding in an excessively large gear at a really low cadence.
 

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From last year to this year I feel like I have zero power on the bike. I am spinning like crazy keeping my cadence in the high 90's and low 100s nearly the whole time. I feel like I am pedalling through mud when I hit the low 90's and so I immediately shift to an easier gear.
How long were you off before getting back on cycling? Couple weeks can make noticeable setback in strength and cardio level.
Did you record your speed last year that you can compare to this year's?

I have noticed I feel better when my saddle was moved forward but now i have it to the point saddle is almost maxed out and thinking of getting a zero offset seatpost.
You now changed the saddle position from last year's? If so, then all bets are off as far as comparing to last year's performance.

But moving this far forward just seems wrong to me.
Not if it's getting you a better fit for the frame. It's possible that your frame has longer reach than ideal for your own proportion.

Should I go with what just feels right and keep moving forward? Just suck it up and figure out how to turn a bigger gear?
Try this link.
 

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Generally when we are fatigued and or pushing with all we have we tend to sit forward on the seat and use our quad muscles to push the pedals. I know for me when Im maxed out both aerobically and muscularly I find myself sitting on the nose of the saddle pushing hard on the pedals.

From what you're saying maybe you dont have the leg strength yet that you did last year. Sounds like you may have just started riding again this year within the past month or so and your strength isnt where you want it?

Force yourself to push harder gears even at a slower cadence for varied duration's on different days to get some strength. Also focus on sitting toward the back of the saddle to work other leg muscle groups too. Even if your body and mind are telling you that you cant and you want to sit forward because its easier. Use the whole seat through out a ride, front and back of the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One thing I did change over the winter is I moved to calisthenic style workout versus weight lifting. Overall I feel better balanced but maybe that has something to do with my power output.

Since last year I have been about 2 mph slower than I use to be on the same road and routes I always ride. What really stands out to me is when I hit the hills. I live in the midwest so not talking mountain climbs or anythings but usually in a group ride I am working hard on the flats and just waiting for the next hill so I can catch up or pass people on. Now the same people I use to pass with ease are taking the screws to me on each hill.

This is where the real feeling "off" occurs. Before this year I would remain seated for most climbs and only stand here and there for a burst of power or just to change it up. Now standing feels better since seated feels like I am too far behind BB versus standing over the top of it. This is where I have the desire to keep pushing my saddle forward. Maybe I am just weaker than last year and am just not realizing it.
 

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10-81
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Generally when we are fatigued and or pushing with all we have we tend to sit forward on the seat and use our quad muscles to push the pedals. I know for me when Im maxed out both aerobically and muscularly I find myself sitting on the nose of the saddle pushing hard on the pedals.

From what you're saying maybe you dont have the leg strength yet that you did last year. Sounds like you may have just started riding again this year within the past month or so and your strength isnt where you want it?

Force yourself to push harder gears even at a slower cadence for varied duration's on different days to get some strength. Also focus on sitting toward the back of the saddle to work other leg muscle groups too. Even if your body and mind are telling you that you cant and you want to sit forward because its easier. Use the whole seat through out a ride, front and back of the seat.
Thanks for the advice. Good part is I ride an SMP saddle and with its deep pocket there is not alot of room to move forward. If I was on a flat saddle I think you are right and I would be riding right off the front of that thing.
 

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If I was on a flat saddle I think you are right and I would be riding right off the front of that thing.

There's nothing wrong with sometimes riding on the front of the saddle ("on the rivet") if that gets you a little more power. Reading between the lines, I get the feeling your concern about position is a red herring. Try dialing back a bit on your compulsion to "keep a high cadence" and start routinely putting some force on the pedals and see what happens.

It's rarely productive to point to the pros when giving advice. But in this case, it might be useful to keep in mind that when pros ride ride fast, they turn 90 - 100 rpm in a high gear (say, a 53 x 16 or 17), putting together leg speed and leg strength to produce power.
 
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