General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bike setup affecting even utilization of muscles... Rss Feed  
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2007-05-18 1:34 PM

Subject: Bike setup affecting even utilization of muscles...
So, when I got fitted for my bike setup, the coach tugged, and pulled, and measured, and I'm virtually even from one side of my body to the other in terms of the lengths of my limbs. HOWEVER, my left foot is a tad bit longer than my right foot (it makes fitting ski boots a real joy!). Of course the coach setup my clips so that they're aligned under my third metatarsal.

What I've noticed is that I feel a strain in my right quadricep further towards my knee than in my left leg. The muscle strain in my left leg feels good -- if I pinpoint the locus of it, it is about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way down my left quad. It just feels like the strain in my right leg is too far at the end of the muscle.

So, as I think about this, intuitively to me (as a mechanical engineer -- not biomechanical now...) the force applied to the crankset is fixed. The distance from the center of the crank to the pedals isn't changing. The force then is being driven through the leg and ankles. So, to apply equal force, the distance from the ankle centerline to the clip needs to be the same. It doesn't seem right to me that the clip would go under the 3rd metatarsal.

I have two follow up fittings to go, and I think my first request is to have the clips adjusted, of course. I would also like to have the seat raised and bars moved forward a bit -- I think. So, my questions are:

Has anyone experienced what I'm feeling before?

Any opinions/thoughts/biomechanical facts for responding on my hypothesis of measuring from the ankle centerline instead?

Should I have only the clips adjusted before making other adjustments? (Disregard cost as an issue.)

2007-05-19 8:36 AM
in reply to: #806976

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Morse Lake, Noblesville, Indiana
Subject: RE: Bike setup affecting even utilization of muscles...
You don't have lots of posts, and your logs are empty, so I can't tell what your experience level or fitness level is, please let us know this - you could be a finely tuned machine and listening to your muscles may tell you lots, or you could be just getting into training, when lots of things can make you go "owie".

Please define "tad bit". If you are freakishly different in shoe sizes, then yes, it could/should be addressed in the fitting. If you are just a little bit, hell, I'd even venture to say even a shoe size different, you may be overanalyzing the issue, and you just need to go out and ride more.

It could also be a form thing. If you haven't ridden a bike in awhile, your form may not be the best, and you may spin your weaker leg, and mashing with your stronger leg.

Everyone is stronger on one side of your body, that could also account for the perceived differences in feeling from one side to the other.
2007-05-19 9:07 AM
in reply to: #806976

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Sarasota, FL
Subject: RE: Bike setup affecting even utilization of muscles...

My left leg is about 1/2" shorter than my right and my left foot is about a half size smaller.  I had the seat too high on my old bike which caused me to rock my hips too much.  When I got my new bike I worked with my coach and orthpedic surgeon to get shoe inserts before finalizing the fitting of my bike.  (I also got fitted for running shoe inserts at the same time which alleviated a lot of my back pain from running).

I also spent several Computrainer sessions with my coach on my new bike to fine-tune both my position and technique.  For the reasons above I had been a dominate right foot pedaler and we worked to get better balance side-to-side and also refined my spinning technique.  The result of all this was some sore muscles for a month or so until my legs got used to the new (& improved) alignment and technique.


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