Laguna Beach, CA
News & Updates
- Experience: Advanced
- Interest: General Fitness
- Goals: Optimize pedal stoke efficiency and climbing position
- Injuries: None
- Notables: Athlete is an experienced mountain and gravel cyclist with several upcoming races (2021 season.
- Brand: Pinarello and Santa Cruz
- Model: Grevil and Blur TR
- Size: Medium
- Year: 2020 and 2020
- Notables: The athlete was experiencing shoulder and saddle discomfort.
For the purpose of this post, I will focus on the gravel bike (the second post will focus on the mountain bike).
Starting with the saddle fore/aft I found that the position was too far forward and was causing increased pressure on the athlete’s hands. Much of this is due to the lack of balance and the sit bones are pull off the sit and weight that should be held up by the saddle is transferred to the handlebar so I pulled the saddle to the aft position by 8mm. It should be noted that the bike had a zero setback seat thus resulting in the saddle rails being close to the max limit. Next, I lowered the saddle by 5 mm. This adjustment is based upon a number of anatomical measures as they correlate to the bike’s geometry but are largely dependant on the athlete’s trochanter height. As such, the lower saddle will help this athlete’s hamstrings from strains that can lead to pain behind the knee or up into the pelvis as the pelvis can start tilting down from side to side to provide extra reach to the pedals. This position engages the lower back muscles to help stabilize the pelvis, which ultimately is using energy and generating fatigue, not power. The last major adjustment was leveling out the hoods – the athlete had been in a crash a few months early during which the hoods made contact with the ground and resulted in the drive side lowering 4mm from the original position. Having the hood off-kilter like the can affect the center of gravity and reach issues both on the tops and drops.
The last step in the process was a 10-minute ride on the trainer with several changes in intensity while manually adjusting the front wheel to simulate grade changes. Athletes’ feedback a positive so i recorded the final alignment and updated the cad drawing and finally added a saddle height sticker. Happy customer 🙂