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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help me with bike fit -

Fellow Niners some help would be appreciated

I have some slight but dull aching front knee pain especially when i wake up. That points to too low and too far forward - but forsure I am not too far forward. Now i am also pretty new so maybe i need to ride more. I have ridden about 150 miles (hard steep climbs) in the month but ***** raised my seat height and moved it forward about 30 miles ago.

Note that this bike - SJ-FSR 29er is pretty slack with slight seat setback. In order to help climbing i moved the saddle forward about 1 inch. Even with that my knee is not over the crank yet - so still not too forward. I measured from the knee to the front of the crank and from that bone under the knee to the middle of the crank - both still behind. So when i was initially setup on the bike i was really too far behind and not I am now closer to where i should be. Moving the seat forward has helped climbing BTW

My wife shot a video of me from behind and my hips are not rocking so I dont think I am too high but also check out the photo where i try to balance my feet - they barely touch. From what i have read that is correct and if i went higher i would not be able to touch

I also have a photo of my heel on the pedal extended. It felt straight but in the photo its not straight - maybe the seat should go even higher???

This is a large bike and I am 6-1" 1/2 and 35 inseam without shoes. The bike feels better than an XL and when riding and leaning over with proper position the front hub is blocked by the bars/stem - again this is supposedly correct.

Well i would love to hear your thoughts. Could the fit be causing the dull knee pain or really do i just need to get used to the recent adjustments?











 

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Looks fine - bring a wrench with you on rides and dial it in. Small adjustments make a big difference. I tend to like lower for center of gravity in tight situations, and my strength and body have adjusted to low. To be low you have to develop the low end torque, not everyone likes that. I like higher as well - but I have to be more balanced in the techy stuff. So I try to find a happy medium.
 

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~Disc~Golf~
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Definitely looks acceptable - with the exception of fore/aft...barely.
Like you mentioned, you may be a bit too far forward. KOPS looks to show that slightly as does the more upright position w/ hands on the bars.
As I said - it looks to be barely off ..and ultimately you should be the judge.

Andy's got the good idea - bring the multi tool and play with the fore/aft (try aft first) and do some climbing and descending.
Naturally, with MTB, there's bound to be some trade offs when compared to road bike fitment as we are moving around the cockpit MUCH more.

Good luck.

P.S. - have you considered tat your knee pain may be from not having any float at the pedal?
Possibly try some clipless pedals like Times that offer that?
Just a thought.
 

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highdelll said:
P.S. - have you considered tat your knee pain may be from not having any float at the pedal?
Possibly try some clipless pedals like Times that offer that?
Just a thought.
He's riding flats. He has as much float as he can have. I don't think locking his foot into a smaller range of motion is going to solve float issues.
 

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~Disc~Golf~
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R+P+K said:
He's riding flats. He has as much float as he can have. I don't think locking his foot into a smaller range of motion is going to solve float issues.
wha wha wha?? :confused:
flats have ZERO float (at least good ones don't) the only 'float' comes from how loose your shoes are.

Clipless pedals like Times (I won't mention the other 'popular' POS brand) have a much, much larger range of motion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hi all - thanks for the opinions so far.

i do have the drop post so although im pretty high i just drop is for downhills. I will tell you that i ended up raising the saddle about 1 inch and moved it forward about 3/4 inch about a month ago - climbing up steep hills is much easier.

yes my flats dont move so they are tight - but at the same time i adjust my feet pretty often - so while pedaling they are not moving but they are not in the same position the whole ride. I wonder though if clipless would be better on the knees.... i always heard it was the opposite
 

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~Disc~Golf~
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surftime said:
... I wonder though if clipless would be better on the knees.... i always heard it was the opposite
First, not all clipless are the same.
Yes, so you are 'locked-in' fore/aft across the board - but that's a good thing; your foot is always (once properly dialed in) in the right spot w/ the ball over the spindle.

(not necessarily speaking to just you)
What some clipless pedals allow you to do is to rotate the foot axially (perpendicularly) in relation to the spindle/cleat ~15degrees depending on the cleat.
This is not possible with flats (unless you have loose shoes :rolleyes) or with some varieties of clipless pedals.

Why float is advantageous to knees:
(Imagine your foot is 'locked' facing directly forward)
As your feet travel around in circles the relation of your heels to your hips varies greatly as your leg extends and contracts. < not sure if that's the right word, but you get the idea ;).
At full extension, the torsion/twist is minimal. At the last 1/4 of the upstroke to TDC, your heel is at it's greatest degree of deflection from your body. This is exaggerated by wider Q-factors.
During this part (especially) of the pedal stroke, joints have to accommodate for this. A little is done at the ankle, but mostly the knees and hips have to take it.
The hips are not so much of a problem due to their design (ball/socket). But even then, they do not even 'see' the most torsion. The Knees do.
As a 'hinge' design, knees primarily are meant to move in one direction. Of course there are varying degrees on how much ones knee can twist, that is their design.

Long story short, clipless pedals with float allow your heels to rotate inward on the upstroke (and back out on the down), maintaining alignment and taking stress off of the knee joint.

WHew! - I'm no joint expert (well kinda [diff. type of 'joint'] hehe:p) but I hope I explained it right.
 

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Have you considered being fit by a professional? Maybe the place where you bought the bike or take it to someone who specializes in fits...
 

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Looks OK to me, but might move the seat back a bit. Also in some shots you have your foot forward on the peddle and some further back, so not directly comparable.
How long have you been riding ?
I had some shoulder and back pain in the beginning, but mostly subsided as I got stronger and more accustomed to my bike(s)
 

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those pics don't tell you much since we cant' see your entire body in a true riding position. Need to be on a trainer spinning. Off the bat your nose of your seat looks just a tad high.
 

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Small Adjustments

Bring tools on the trail and make small adjustments. Or better yet, do it on a trainer. My right knee was bothering me. I moved the saddle back less than 3mm and up about 2mm - visually imperctible - but I noticed a big difference in terms of lack of knee pain.

Also - I use pedals that allow your foot to move when you are locked in. Without the ability to pivot a little bit when locked in, my knees always bothered me. Moving to Time on the road and Shimano SPDs on my mountain bike was a huge help.
 

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up n over
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Ok so i fit bikes,
your heel wasn't on the axle (nit Pickin)..
Ur knee should "pop" in and out of straight/ locked and barely
bent. Saddle LEVEL (unless ur parts are going to sleep).
Ride it, if u feel (on flat surfaces) like ur falling off the saddle
then shove it fore or aft to hit ur "sit bones".
Some saddles work better than others for different folks.
Also check your shoulders, they should be squared with your back, any fwd roll will pinch ur junk on the saddle and your hands may fall asleep cuz that means you are reaching.
Chest fwd roll can just be painful putting too much weight on your sciatic nerve (butt pain)
It's not science, just common sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
so does the saddle look too low?

Thanks Elsewhere

so if the knee is not straight and locked with the heel on the pedal does that indicate i could go even higher with the saddle?

thanks for looking!

elsewhere said:
Ok so i fit bikes,
your heel wasn't on the axle (nit Pickin)..
Ur knee should "pop" in and out of straight/ locked and barely
bent. Saddle LEVEL (unless ur parts are going to sleep).
Ride it, if u feel (on flat surfaces) like ur falling off the saddle
then shove it fore or aft to hit ur "sit bones".
Some saddles work better than others for different folks.
Also check your shoulders, they should be squared with your back, any fwd roll will pinch ur junk on the saddle and your hands may fall asleep cuz that means you are reaching.
Chest fwd roll can just be painful putting too much weight on your sciatic nerve (butt pain)
It's not science, just common sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
agree maybe i should do this

was hoping to get in the neighborhood here though

peacefrog said:
Have you considered being fit by a professional? Maybe the place where you bought the bike or take it to someone who specializes in fits...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BTW - my hips were ever so slightly sore now that i think about it.

So like others have said sometimes a recent change will make you hurt for awhile. My hips were not rocking so i dont think i am too high -but maybe i am....

I kind of want to ride it this way for a few more times to see if my body adjusts - or i might move it down and back just a little bit - maybe 1cm to see if that makes a difference

When i started this whole adventure about 3-4 months ago my knees hurt more - but that went away until this recent change.
 

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DynoDon
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there is a fit chapter in Zinn & the art of MB maintenance, that may help..
 

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OK, I guess you wanted opinions, so here's mine........

IMHO, your saddle is WAY too far forward and you should move it back the 3/4"-1" that you moved it from. Once you move it back you will need to lower the saddle a bit to compensate. I say this because if you take the photo of you with pedals at 3 O'clock, your knee is almost right over the pedal spindle and your arse is actually off the back of the saddle, indicating, that in fact your saddle needs going back a good bit.

What I think is happening, is you are trying to compensate for the frame geo, which from what you're doing doesn't seem to suit you for climbing. I'd definitely try pushing the saddle back and see if that helps with the knee pain, if it does and you don't feel comfortable climbing, then might be that the FSR is not the bike for you and you need to consider some different geo.
 

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highdelll said:
wha wha wha?? :confused:
flats have ZERO float (at least good ones don't) the only 'float' comes from how loose your shoes are.

Clipless pedals like Times (I won't mention the other 'popular' POS brand) have a much, much larger range of motion.
Clearly your idea of float is different to mine.

I ride flats and I can move my foot all over the pedal to suit how my legs and knees are feeling at the time. I fail to see how locking the foot into a single position with a limited range of motion somehow has *more* float.

IMO, float is something that had to be built into clipless systems to compensate for the fixed position - something that flat pedal riders have never had a problem with.
 

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R+P+K said:
Clearly your idea of float is different to mine.

I ride flats and I can move my foot all over the pedal to suit how my legs and knees are feeling at the time. I fail to see how locking the foot into a single position with a limited range of motion somehow has *more* float.

IMO, float is something that had to be built into clipless systems to compensate for the fixed position - something that flat pedal riders have never had a problem with.
Clearly, you have no idea what float is:rolleyes:
 
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