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Bike fitting myth debunking

The purpose of this article is to discuss the myths that are associated with bicycle fitting, and to examine their merits and faults.

Bike fitting is a simple process, however some bike fitters confuse people, ( offering an expansive resolution ) by using overly complicated words and ideas. As they are often just trying to impress you with how much he does not know, if he was to simplify his language and ideas, you would already know what they do.

“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” — Albert Einstein

The law of unintended consequences is at work always and everywhere. The simple intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes. Some bike fitters wants the intended consequence of an action so much that they purposefully choose to ignore any unintended effects. ( That type of willful ignorance is very different from true ignorance. ) Their belief is just the psychological state in which they holds a proposition or premise to be true.

1. Knee tracking
The misconception is that knee movement while cycling should remain on a single plane of movement, and is used to determine the effectiveness of a bike fit, rather it is a complex 3D motion.

Cycling is a dynamic power endurance sport, where the effort ranges between 0 and 100%. To observe an effort at a given load, and to draw conclusions from the response can result in inaccurate and inconclusive data.

The motion created when pedaling does not exist on a single plane, that many of the bike fitters and bike fitting systems would like you to believe. As a matter of fact, pedalling is a complex 3D motion, as the knees locus changes according to the differing loads applied in real time.It is almost any shape but a plane. Time, the renowned pedal manufacturer discovered this more than two decades ago, through their extensive research and development in laboratories. The research allowed them to develop their Bio-performance pedal system, which has free angular float and lateral movement to help tackle this issue. Knee tracking is a variable orbit, not a linear up and down vertical action. Here are some images that show how the knees movements respond to various loads and situations.

P1070486.JPG

Andy on Lemond trainer 52 x 19 @ 90 rpm with TIME RSX full folating pedals

P1070536.JPG

Nick on Lemond trainer 53 x 19 @ 90 rpm with Speedplay pedals

P1070529.JPG

Andy on Lemond trainer 52 x 12 @ 60 rpm with TIME RXS full floating pedals

P1070562.JPG

Nick on Lemond trainer 53 x 12 @ 60rpm with Speedplay pedals

Marketing applied to running, has also been applied to cycling, where people will try to sell wedges to consumers. In general, bike fitters, with very few exceptions, do not have the formal training in anatomy and physical therapy to competently administer shims and wedges.Often, it does more harm than good, where it fixes problems that do not exist, or are better addressed by a qualified physical therapist. Most joint alignment is facilitated by the normal physiological development of a new cyclist, and it changes as the cyclist develops. Very few professional cyclists use wedges or shims, as they train their body to achieve and maintain an efficient pedal stroke. It should be noted as well, that the stroke may not necessarily be in perfect visual alignment. having a straight alignment is not always optimal.


Some experts believe it does not require foot correction for over pronation in running.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAW87NsiGuI

Usually out of alignment knee tracking is caused by one, or a combination of all the below:
1. Pushing too high of a gear
2. Cleats are out of alignment
3. Saddle height is too low
4. Inefficient movement patterns




Pronation is a natural protection mechanism. Unlike running. Proper pedaling does not have the strike at the bottom of the stroke ( ie no pronation occur ). The pedaling force should be rather tangential to the crank near the bottom of the stroke.

Andy pedaling.jpg

Andy's pedaling analysis with Power Pedals, the latest OZ innovation.

85 to 90% effort @ 90 rpm. 2 minute average

It show both magnitude & direction of the individual foot pedaling vector, sampling rate 120Hz/min

light years ahead of other similar product ( Velotron, Wattbike, ......... which just give you the sausage )

note : green = push force on downstroke or push force against the pedal in upstroke

shade = push & pull force working simultaneously

red = pull force on upstroke or pull force against the pedal in downstroke. ( Fixie only )

2. Pelvic Asymmetry

It is common for humans to have a pelvis that is asymmetrical due to differing factors, many bike fitters will use a mechanical shim to recreate symmetry, however this does not solve the problem. The solution lies in neurology and technique.The most common explanation of right side bias, is due to our left cerebellar dominance. This theory does not have any validity, though I’m sure there are a few left cerebellar dominance bike fitters with linear way of thinking out there. From my observations, more than 99% of my customers are right side bias, however customers that come from speed skating backgrounds are 100% left side bias.


250px-Beixing_Wang_(09-12-2007).jpg

MYTH

on bike pelvic asymmetry is caused by some form or combination of physical / functional / neural challenge, and NEEDS to be corrected via correctional device, such as wedges or shims, to become symmetrical and thus operate in an efficient and comfortable manner.

FACT

The bicycle is an asymmetric apparatus by design. The drive train is mounted to the right side of the frame and thus an untrained rider, one who is unaware of proper pedaling technique, will often pedal a challenging gear with a right side bias to improve efficiency. Thus, asymmetry in the rider becomes amplified.

Due to lower aerobic capacity in the untrained rider, riding a more challenging gear at a lower cadence appears to yield greater performance. Their metabolism shifts to more anaerobic, but these performance gains are only short term as anaerobic energy resources are limited.

Now teach the rider proper pedaling technique, including the importance of high cadence thus broadening their aerobic capacity, and their own bodies can magically overcome these asymmetrical tendencies and operate more efficiently with greater symmetry.

TEST PROTOCOL

With the bike mounted on an indoor trainer, use a high speed camera such as iPad mini, iPad Air, GoPRO, etc, and film the rider from behind. Now have the rider push the most challenging gear possible for each of the cadences specified. Watch the rider’s position on the saddle and leg alignment carefully!!!

1. @60 rpm

2. @90 rpm

3. @120 rpm

4. @150 rpm

You will discover that as the cadence increases so does the rider’s symmetry and with that follows their efficiency, their power, and their speed!!!! Now isn’t that what we’re all trying to accomplish???



3. Leg length discrepancy


There are two main causes for short leg syndrome, the first being an actual physical difference between the left and right leg, while the other is a functional discrepancy, developed from altered mechanics of the lower body, such as foot hyper pronation/supination, pelvic obliquity, muscle/joint imbalances, poor trunk stabilization and deep fascial strain patterns.

During running, it has been suggested that limb length discrepancy makes no real difference, due to the fact that only one foot ever strikes the ground at any given time. Pedaling motion is very similar, but in a more controlled manner, The saddle fulcrum, the sit bones and the two legs extend away from the body from an independent manner, with 180 degree absolute phases.
Erik Dalton article on short leg syndrome

A. Physical discrepancy.

short leg causing scoliosis.jpg

When dealing with physical leg length discrepancy, shimming the shorter leg. which to many would indicate a smoother pedal stroke. But instead what this does, is upset the kinetic chain equilibrium and amplifier the upper body lateral tilt & compensation !!

Once the shoe is distanced away from the pedal, it induces an extra rocking torque. TIME has tried to tackle this issue, almost two decades ago, they inturn invented the 4 bolt pattern cleat to reduce the distance from the cleat to the pedal. Unfortunately it did not become the industry standard, Currently the lowest shoe/pedal stack height combo, is a custom drilled 4 hold Bont Zero shoe, with speedplay pedals. Without the three bolt adapter, Bont Zero shoes have a thin carbon sole, and even thinner inner sole. Only 3.6mm to be precise, which was Bradley Wiggins 2012 TDF winning combo, His feet remain very close to the spindles, and he pedals in an extremely efficient manner.


.

zero.jpg

ax.jpeg

Shimano produced Dura Ace AX pedals 30 year ago with zero effective stack height

sometimes I wonder if pedal technologies have any advancement in the last 30 year ( in term of bio efficiency )

interestingly, the Shimano mountain bike SPD pedals & cleats system have very low stack height

Most riders today settle for the 3 bolt pattern for their shoe and cleats, giving the average stack height of roughly 30mm (10mm sole/inner thickness plus 20mm plastic cleats and half the pedal thickness) Based on my observations, the total stack height would be around 37mm on a shimmed shoe/pedal system, technically this generates 3 times more “rocking torque” than Wiggins TDF winning combo of (3.6mm sole + 8.5mm cleat). So you can imagine that pedaling with shims is like riding a bicycle with high heel shoes, what this does is add a secondary leverage system into the crank, where efficiency begins to drop dramatically, and therefore so does absolute power. What this does is cause an imbalance of output between the two feet, which induces asymmetric pelvic movement.

The extra stack height also clouds the proprioceptive feedback from the feet to the central nervous system. Meaning one will never learn how to pedal in the correct manner, according to VivoBareFoot (World leader in Proprioceptive feedback shoes)

“About 70% of that {proprioceptive} feedback comes via pressure receptors, mostly located in the feet. The human foot needs protection, but thick, shock-absorbing soles greatly reduce sensory feedback and therefore limit the quality of movement.” written by running coach Lee Saxby.


http://trainingclinic.vivobarefoot.com/proprioception/stepbystep.php
http://www.vibramfivefingers.it/education_why_barefoot.aspx


b. Functional discrepancy
It would seem that shimming the functionally shorter leg, would instantly improve the imbalance, however, I disagree, as it creates an imbalance in the opposite side of the pelvis to make it look balanced, Shimming is a quick fix, and does not solve the key problem, which is neural induced muscle imbalance. Functional leg discrepancy is usually the result of left or right side bias. Shimming will create a physical lower leg length discrepancy. Secondly, the functional leg length discrepancy amount changes according to the load applied in real time. Low intensity is in negative territories, high intensitive is in positive territories. On certain lods, there is no functional difference.
http://biomech.byu.edu/Portals/83/docs/exsc362/assignments/walking_impulses.pdf

Remedies.
For small physical and functional asymmetrical imbalances within a person, changing motor pattern, pelvic rotation and plantar flexion will help to auto adjust any discrepancies. They are the best solutions without the negative impacts, and its free. If the physical discrepancy is worse than, deferential crank length would be more appropriate, (Eddy Merckx's approach) Large amounts of discrepancies however require improvement through training and adaptation resulting in the balancing of muscles
http://www.kennedykrieger.org/research-training/current-research-projects/funded-research/human-locomotor-plasticity-health-disease



4. Pedals extension spacer

Graeme Obree, aka The Flying Scotsman broke the world hour record with a homemade bicycle, which famously incorporated washing machine ball bearings into his bottom bracket. He was aiming to decrease his frontal area of his body, improving aerodynamics, however he unintentionally decreased his Q-factor drastically , which in turn improved his bio efficiently without his knowledge. His extremely low Q-factor also resulted in the removal of any external rotation of his hip, giving him an almost linear knee tracking, which meant the Q-factor of his crank was perfect.

Graeme Obree was so successful that the UCI banned his bike in 1994, Grame Obree, The man, the machine, the mania

My observations about this finding, is that the Q-factor of a modern road bike with double front chainrings, (180mm, havn't change since the 50’s) is often way too wide for an average sized person to achieve maximum bio efficiency, explaining rub marks on cranks. While track bikes with single chainrings (150mm Q-factor) often has less chain rub. Also, If a person's pelvis is not over 50mm wider than average, installing pedal spacers can have unintended consequences. Although the knee tracking is more vertical orientated, one will start to ride with the knees/toes out to compensate, then the tracking soon takes form of a half moon shape

1353032183015-8688.jpg

Mr. G ( 130 kg ) have an bike fitting a few month ago, cost him about $2000. ( including interstate travel time & other expanses )

Pedal extension spacers, left cleat wedge, right toes support ? heel wedge & leg length discrepancy shims was installed by SH

Unsatisfied with the result he got. He came to us for help.

Pre BikePRO fit scary movie scary movie 2

G2.jpg

We removed his pedal extension spacers, left cleat wedge, right toes support ? heel wedge & leg length discrepancy shims

Shoes was replaced by Fizik R1 with 3D Flex bedding, pedals was replaced by TIME I-clic 2 carbon

2 week after BikePRO fit video analysis

Our observation : He riding in a relatively more symmetric & stable manner

Mr. G subjective impression : He find the new position more efficient & comfortable

Fact : He loss 3 kg 2 week after BikePRO fit

5. Unweighting upper body from the handlebar


MYTH
“You should still be able to play the piano when riding” Bernard Hinault
A rider’s position is best determined by having little or no body weight on the handlebars.

FACT

This methodology can have many negative effects on a rider’s comfort and performance. Some fitters believe that low back pain can be attributed to too much handlebar drop. In reality, there is greater pressure and weight put on the lower spine and sit bones with this higher handlebar position. The rider’s body weight should be distributed between both the handlebars and the saddle.

Hinault’s comment is open to interpretation in regards to handlebar position. Perhaps Hinault was gifted with exceptional core strength, and this, as such, is arguably the most appropriate takeaway from his quote.

One of my fitting clients had endured years of pain, discomfort, and injury on the bike. A victim of many bike fitting myths, the back pain led to higher handlebar position which led to increased body weight and pressure on the saddle. This led to more pressure on the hips (particularly the left as the pelvis referred to this position unevenly) which led to other injuries due to overcompensation and constant position changes outside of the bodies natural mechanics.

The higher handlebar position also exposes more of the sitbone itself with less musculature to protect and pad it. This also will amplify any structural imbalances in the pelvis. With a lower handlebar position, the pelvis is rotated forward. In this lowered position, there is more padding provided by the body in the form of muscle as you sit more on your perineal area, but with less weight bearing!!! The pelvis then functions more like a fulcrum rather than 2 separate moving points of contact( the sit bones), and better distributes the bodies weight on the saddle between left and right.

Some bike fitters suggest that by sitting further back, it shifts your centre of gravity, placing more weight onto the seat, and less onto the handlebars,

while having initial positive effects, you soon discover it is not only useless, it is also one of the most adverse and preposterous piece of bike fitting advice that I have ever heard. With a single good intention, it creates more than 20 unintended consequences.

1. It transfers most of your upper body weight from your load bearing arms, to your pelvis-spine complex, which induces lumber spine injuries and saddle soreness.

2. Some weight shifts to your feet, as your pelvis-spine complex seeks extra support. Your feet then applies downforce onto the pedals during the upstroke, an undesirable after effect.

3. Your upper body and arms need to work much harder to counter the extra pedaling up thrust when in high loads.

4. With spinal flexion, the geometry of the psoas causes the front rib cage to compress, as there are vital internal organs, the restriction of the abdomen against the thighs limits the movement of the diaphragm, leaving the persons breathing restricted.

5. The lower back extensor muscles (psoas antogonist) strains to counter the spinal flexion, which eventually induces back pain and injuries.

6. This causes your body to be supported by 1 static point (saddle) and 2 dynamic points (feet) instead of 3 static points. (saddle and two hands). As the points are not static, this causes the upper body to need to make constant adjustments to keep balanced, wasting energy.

7. Without both hands to support the upper body, the spine deals with bending moment, shear stress and torsional stress simultaneously

8. The position which allows your body to remove weight from the handlebars, is the setback position, this creates another 20 unintentional consequences.

arch.jpg

When applying load from your hands onto the handlebar, the spine works like an arch bridge, dealing with the compressive loads evenly.


canti.jpg

In the process of unweighting your upper body from the handlebar, your spine begins to behave like a cantilever beam, this induces bending moment , torsional and shear stress to the lumbar spine, which will cause bulging L4/L5 Discs.

Proper riding technique is about distributing the upper body weight evenly between the spine and the hands. Applying load from your hands to the handlebar is very desirable, as it forms a perfect supporting structure and reduces the usage of the upper body metabolic cost dramatically. Zero upper body muscular usage can be achieved.


Often upper body pain, numbness and soreness is caused by

1. incorrect usage of the handlebar.

2.Pushing too high of a gear,

3.poor upper body condition,

4.too little handlebar drop/reach ( very rarely too much ),

or combination of the above 4

7. Set back position is desirable.

spine.jpg

Spinal cord dictate the ignition timing of a human bio engine

Upright spine have advance ignition effect, set back position is required to delay the advancement.

if you have a stiff & weak upper body & couldn't able to ride low. Setback position is desirable.

The American call it Flat Foot technology.

bicycle_0001.jpg

1930 Raleigh Roadster with 69 degree seat angle, designed for upright riding position

British engineer Harry John Lawson already incorporated setback position with his invention Safety Bicycle in 1876

Hogg design.jpg

It been fusion with flexiholics position recently, I don't think it is a very good idea.

8. Mid foot position

Mid foot position, is where the Tarsometatarsal (TMT) joints of your foot, are over the centre of the pedal axle. The reason cyclists and researchers have tried this method, is to decrease the amount of energy expenditure by eliminating the use of the calves. However the calves are the main engine which drives the secondary pedaling mechanism.By trying to placing the foot over the pedal, and eliminating the calf muscle, it decreases the total power output. It also leads to heel drop and produces poor pedaling mechanics and poor movement behaviour patterns. Another issue with the mid cleat position, is that the shoe sits too forward and the cyclist will begin to have wheel overlap issues, which affects your turning radius and potentially cause you to crash

nerves.jpg

Mid cleat position would reduce proprioceptive feedback from the feet to the central nervous system. since most nerves are concentreded in the forefoot.

Believe it or not, mid foot placement is the most popular pedaling style in the world. Hundred's of millions of cyclist around the world pedal like this everyday for more than a 100 year. It is the most effective way to simply push a pedal with dorsiflexion ( heel drop ) & a set back / upright position, @ low rpm & intensity. Ideal for 'pedal pushers'. For high performance cyclists, the aim should not be to simply push the pedal, but rather to keep a continuous rotation-type action on the cranks.

mid.jpg

A gentleman pushing his pedals with mid foot Placement (MFP) with heel drop, setback, upright position and low cadence

It all come very neutral, ideal position for low intensity cruising

In high performance bicycle land. Pedaling is a multi-phase complex motion. That is why toe clips/straps or clipless pedals apparatus are deployed. With MFP, other phases ( the non green area in the pedaling analysis diagram above ) are not able to executed effectively. Overall performance will decrease dramatically. That is why you would never find MFP in the pro peloton

http://www.cycleops.com/en/training/training-resources/380-achieving-optimal-power-through-your-bike-fit-part-2-cleat-position.html

Having said that, we do not 100% rule out MFP. We have done a few mid foot cleat placements for customers who have a limited range of movement due to ankle issues. We re-drilled Bont shoes for them, and you could do It yourself at home.

9. Shoes bedding

a. non corrective foot bedding

Most of the non corrective foot bedding would improving support & comfort in certain degree. There is no evidence that it have any other functions

b. corrective foot bedding

You should only buy corrective foot products / service from a podiatry, not from a unqualified person.

bed.jpg

A " neuroptimal " foot bedding made by a prominent bike fitter with handlebar tape & cleat wedge.

Vibramfivefingersfitness advisor Stacey Lei Krauss quoted :
" Your feet contain 52 bones, 66 joints, 40 muscles, and hundreds of sensory receptors, tendons, and ligaments—collectively forming two of the body’s most beautifully efficient mechanisms.Yet most people assume that there is something inherently “wrong” with their feet: too wide, too narrow, arches too high or flat, etc. Traditional shoes have become a way of “fixing” these assumed abnormalities. And, as a result, the powerful architecture of our feet has become hidden, disliked, and incredibly sensitive – even weakened. Feet have taken the brunt of a cultural notion that your foot is “wrong;” that corrective shoes will make it “right.”

10. Proprioceptive feedback

When a functional / structural asymmetries person walking, the person would be forced to move a little bit sideways with each step, his body’s intricate proprioceptive system won’t stand for it and immediately begins to make adjustments.

http://erikdalton.com/low-back-pain-foot-posture/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception

Bicycle is a symmetrical apparatus in a propulsion sense, no matter how big the power output different between the 2 leg is, even if you riding with one leg. The bike still going straight, it won't go sideways. Proprioceptive feedback mechanism from the feet is not applicable in symmetric pedaling. Because their is no feedback, therefore no adjustment possible to make. If cycling have the same feedback mechanism as walking, everybody would pedaling in a very symmetric manner without foot correction. Just like we all could walking in a straight line without foot correction. I hope there isn't anyone who still seriously believes proprioceptive feedback from the feet play the decisive role in functional symmetric pedaling.

Proprioceptive feedback from the legs work in tandem with visual-vestibular feedback system during the learning phase. I rely them with auditory feedback to teach my clients to learn pedaling. After the learning phase, my clients could pedaling in a relatively more symmetric manner without the aid, ( after the new motor pattern have been established )

Shimming the cleats will increase the stack height & corrupt the input. One could sense the negative impact as little as 1mm of shimming. It will take longer for one to learn the proper pedaling skill. ( Bullshit in / bullshit out )

11. Instant power gain

If the heart rate, cadence, duration & other environmental factors are not controlled. The claim is meaning less.

13. Set back position

http://bikepro.com.au/set-back-position

14. Flexiholics position

http://erikdalton.com/media/published-articles/bike-body/

15. K.O.P.S is crap

KOPS is very crap,

1. if the rider upper body's center of mass is too rearward or forward.

2., saddle height too low or too high.

3. pushing too high of a gear or quick accerlation, when pedaling peak force ( F = ma ) exceed the body weight

4. faulty movement patterns ( wrong technique )

5. Ball of the foot is not over the pedal axle.

6. Shoes have too little heel lift

or a combination of the above.

Giovanni Alfonso Borelli Father of spinal biomechanics (1608-1679) elebriated it, 300 year before bicycle was invented.gif

Giovanni Alfonso Borelli " Father of spinal biomechanics " (1608-1679)

Elebriated KOPS with the ball of the foot over the pedal axle & proper heel lift will minimal usage of postural muscles, the upper body mass will transfer to the foot by passive skeletal mechanism. Set back position with arch cleat position will induce the " G " force which wasting energy & destroying knees at the same time. It rely active neurological and muscular mechanism to reach the " point of balance ".

If you insist using midfoot cleat placement, do not move your saddle forward to compensate. Defying conventional bike fitting wisdom, move your saddle backward the same amount. It will optimise the poor movement behaviour patterns

b. They think they are in KOPS position, but they actually not !

1. The ground is not level

2. The crank is not level

3. The foot is not level

4. The cleat is not over the ball of the foot.

5. incorrect saddle height

or combination of the above.

16. Pelvic stability is the foundation of a good position.

MYTH

The pelvis must be square and static on the saddle, as a starting point for a proper bike fit.
Pelvic stability is the foundation of a good mechanical bike position.

FACT

While this, in part, is true, it is often confused with static pelvic stability. Your core musculature and muscle firing patterns in conjunction with the proper bike fit and saddle, should provide the rider with a stable and efficient foundation. Although, static stability on the seat is not desirable on a bike. Keep your pelvis rotating while pedalling through each revolution. It is the key to prevent injury & produce more power.

this is a video of the elite men’s ITT world championship. Notice the pelvic movement with each pedal stroke.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNboQxBChfc

Furthermore, if someone has any form of body asymmetry (leg length discrepancy / knee replacement / frozen ankle, etc. ) , asymmetrical pelvic movement is crucial to gain overall harmony between the human body, the bike & the road as this is that particular bodies natural way of functioning.

17. " Perfect " pedals.

Their Pros and Cons of different pedals systems, different riding situation require different pedals, I use Coombe pedals with super low stack height, they are the " perfect " pedals for my needs. But they already out of business, It have full metal body & full metal cleat. But I won't recommend this sort of pedals to cyclist with certain setup & condition. For example if you have a very stiff carbon frame, very stiff crank & very stiff carbon shoes, the system has very little flex for energy to dissipate, pressure on the foot increases considerably. Pedals with plastic cleats would be more appropriate in this situation.

P1.jpg

P2.jpg

18. Wearing certain wristbands will cause pelvic tilt & the mechanisms behind it

IMO : It is a masking agent for a similar claim. the other object ( insole wedges ) are also made by plastic. The claim create a false sense of insecurity, as opposed to false sense of power that the wristbands implied to bring. The extra power is not sourced from the wristband, it is from the drugs & needs masking agent to cover up.

19. Carry certain magnet will increase power output by 100w

If it were true, UCI should ban it, instead of EPO :) I would carry 5 of them & get 500 extra free watts !

20. Curvy saddle is more comfortable

Apparently it's the most comfortable saddle in the world for upright riding position ( horse riding position ), The saddle's contour is matching the upright pelvic seamlessly

If the pelvic rotate 30 degree with a full on racing position. ( clockwise in the following diagram ) The flat part of the sit bone ( Inferior pubic ramus ) will make contact to the curvy front slope of the saddle. It will create a hot spot to the perineum. If the curvy saddle have a big central channel, Pain will exacerbate. The front part of the saddle work like a couple of knives & cut deep into the perineal tissue.It may cause prostatitis :Cyclist's worse enemy. I have a customer hospitalized for a few week for this reason. In this situation, using a flat saddle would be more appropriate. If you ride low with a very expansive curvy saddle & don't want to throw it away, the best compromise you could do is tilted the saddle head down by 5 to 10 degree.

Most of the non racng cyclist should seating with certain degree of anterior pelvic tilt, using a semi curvy saddle would be more appropriate.

S1.jpg

English horse saddle, design for upright riding position

S2.jpg

Pelvic in upright position

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwkbuhipZZ0&feature=endscreen&NR=1

22. Lower saddle height from neutral would improve efficient.

For untrained cyclist, it may be ture. Lower saddle height limited the range of knee extension mechanically, but with much higher risk to damage their knees in long term. Correct saddle height is crucial for healthy knees, For a trained rider, they use their motor pattern to control their knee & ankle extension. Corrrect saddle height will maximize the output of their phasic muscles & efficiency at the same time. Saddle too low is as evil as saddle too high.

Usually knee & ITB pain is cause by

1. not warm up properly

2. pushing too high of a gear

3. wrong technique

4. incorrect seat height, setback & cleat position

5. wrong shoes / pedals combination

6. Inappropriate shoes ( too much heel lift, sometime too little. sole too stiff, sometime too soft. Inappropriate canting, Not enough heel support )

7. Not enough cleat floating

8. excessive arch support

9. Inappropriate canting

23. " piont of balance test "

Some bike fitter suggested conducting the " point of balance" test in the handlebar drop with 85% max effort @95 to 105 rpm. However, It have false assumptions. The test should conduct in the brake lever hood with 80% max effort @ 90 to 100 rpm. You would spent more than 90% of your riding time with this scenario. As far as modern bike concern, the handlebar drop is for sprinting, acceleration, high speed conering & down hill. Comfort is not the priority in those situation. Please observe the lastest Tour broadcast, and you know what I mean. If you fitting an antique bike from the 50'S. Handlebar drop test is applicable

24. Midfoot cleat position have more leverage.

No, midfoot cleat position have less leverage. When Moto GP rider braking @300 kph. the braking force is so great, The rider must shift their foot from having the heel rest on the footpeg to the ball of the foot resting on the foot peg. When body builder practicing calf raises, ball of the foot placement is the only position which they use. The ball is at the end of the body's only first-class lever, Cricket batting is a complex third class lever motion, Using it to compare pedaling motion is totally out of context.

cl1lever.gif

cl3lever.gif

Calf muscles act as the ankle extender & seconardy heart in cycling, it pump the blood back to the vein system & generate pedaling power at the same time. It can generate more than 500 kgf ! Deactivating it will decrease your cycling performance & cause damage to your heart in long term.

vein in leg 3.gif