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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been dealing with some back pain on and off the bike. Hoping some tweaks to my current bike setup may help. Looking for someone preferably near Santa Cruz, but would be willing to travel to the South Bay as well.
 

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Where are you getting pain?

I have zero faith in fitters anymore. I spent over a year going to 3 different fitters, one of which was an MD for a prestigious university's cycling team, physical therapists, and more only to find a youtube video that gave me the answer I had been looking for all along. The end saddle position was 10mm (MASSIVE change IMO) lower than they had set me up, 5mm back, cleats 2mm outward, cleat shims removed, and cleats rotated. In other words, COMPLETELY different than they had set me up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Alias530. Pain is in my lower back. Starts up on long seated climbs. I should mention I'm 6'5". Currently riding an XXL Hightower.
 

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Thanks for the reply Alias530. Pain is in my lower back. Starts up on long seated climbs. I should mention I'm 6'5". Currently riding an XXL Hightower.
I'm a taller rider as well (6'6"). Low back pain, in the absence of a muscle imbalance or weak core, it is probably because your seat is too far back and you are bearing too much weight on your back.

If everything else is perfect, go forward 3mm and up 1mm and test ride. This might not fix you but you don't want to make big changes. Going forward will effectively lower you, so you want to go up to compensate and it's generally a 3:1 ratio depending on seat tube angle. Try that and see if it's any better. It very well might not be enough to fix your back pain but you don't want to make huge changes so try that for a couple weeks and try another 3mm forward 1mm up.

Take pictures of your existing setup before making changes and pay attention to any pains that show up. If you get frontal knee pain, try going up another 1mm (so 3mm forward, 2mm up). Worst case you go back to where you were.
 

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The best bike fitter on the West Coast might be Wade Hall, at the Spokesman in Santa Cruz. I also like to recommend Aaron at Scotts Valley Cycle Sport, ten minutes from downtown Santa Cruz.
 

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Where are you getting pain?

I have zero faith in fitters anymore. I spent over a year going to 3 different fitters, one of which was an MD for a prestigious university's cycling team, physical therapists, and more only to find a youtube video that gave me the answer I had been looking for all along. The end saddle position was 10mm (MASSIVE change IMO) lower than they had set me up, 5mm back, cleats 2mm outward, cleat shims removed, and cleats rotated. In other words, COMPLETELY different than they had set me up.
A good bike fitter should do this for you and in my case did in fact do this. I was 10 mm too high for about 10 years and when they change it my efficiency went up immediately.
 

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Lots of info, yet provided no youtube video link? whut....
It was a brief video about cleat rotation. Not the culprit of the thread starter.

My feet naturally toe out and the cleats were set up to force me toe in. I was getting back pain due to being too far back, which pulled my feet straight. But when my fore/aft was corrected to fix my back, it allowed the cleats to toe me in a little more.

If you've tried a million fore/aft positions and heights and still getting knee pain, take a look at your natural toe in/out with your legs dangling and compare to your position on the bike. If your feet need to toe OUT, toe your cleats IN towards big toe. Counter intuitive but makes sense if you think about it. Vice versa is true as well.
 

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Wade is great. I'd consult him AFTER, exploring the information Alias 530 has provided to see if it helps resolves your issues. Having said that, if the OP has a bike a bike available that he is/was comfortable on - start there and try and duplicate that saddle position in relation to height/setback @ the pedals on the new rig. USE the same saddle make/model, a level, and a plumb bob to get those measurements. Good luck, it seems almost sorcery at times to find that happy place.
 

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Wade is great. I'd consult him AFTER, exploring the information Alias 530 has provided to see if it helps resolves your issues. Having said that, if the OP has a bike a bike available that he is/was comfortable on - start there and try and duplicate that saddle position in relation to height/setback @ the pedals on the new rig. USE the same saddle make/model, a level, and a plumb bob to get those measurements. Good luck, it seems almost sorcery at times to find that happy place.
A trick I've used when duplicating fore/aft (and this ONLY works if you have the same saddle) is put the bike in a doorway with the pedal at 3 oclock and mark on the wall where the nose of the saddle is. This accounts for different seat tube angles. Then measure from the same spot on the saddle rail to the center of the BB (sometimes this only works on the NDS for Shimano cranks--hard to tell where the center is otherwise).

You can also drop a plumb bob off the nose of the saddle and measure the line in relation to a specific spot on the bike. Usually the pedal axle works.
 

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While we’re on this topic, any fitter recommendations in the South Bay (or peninsula or east bay for that matter). I’m beginning to have “issues”, and after reading all these great posts am now wondering if my diy setup is a bit off.
Thanking you in advance.
 

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I have zero faith in fitters anymore. I spent over a year going to 3 different fitters, one of which was an MD for a prestigious university's cycling team, physical therapists, and more only to find a youtube video that gave me the answer I had been looking for all along.
+1, I threw a lot of money at issues before just learning how to fit myself. The knowledge is out there.

Seems like taking a ton of measurements, videotaping you, making some minor saddle tweaks, and slamming your cleats forward (ten years ago) or back (current crop) is the answer for quick cash these days.

As a taller guy, I'd definitely add in some core activity off the bike if you don't already. You'll probably notice an improvement in just a week or two.
 
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