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Mountain Bike Issues...Need Advice....

Discussion in 'Gym Equipment' started by HevyMetal, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    This is my mountain bike...it is made by Giant...

    I like it for what it is .....but...

    Whenever I ride it the emphasis seems to be on my arms and hands taking a lot of weight.
    I added those riser handlebars to make me more upright and the handlebar itself is adjusted higher....and also the sucky-baby gel handlegrips.....

    It is the right size frame for me......but I added the cushy seat and adjusted it for leg length.

    But still.....I can't seem to get around my arms taking a lot of weight. I can ride it for about half hour before it starts to get sort of uncomfortable...

    Any ideas or recommendations?
     

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    #1 HevyMetal, Mar 31, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  2. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    What kind of riding do you do? I'll assume XC (Cross Country) for the rest of my reply.

    I think there are a couple major problems here: your bike is not set up very well, and your riding position/style.

    The saddle looks extremely low. Your saddle (for XC riding) should be adjusted so that when your foot is at the very bottom of the stroke your knee should be just short of locking out. If it's not, you're wasting a lot of potential power.

    I would get rid of the riser bar and the crazy (looks like around 110mm/45°??!) stem. I can't even imagine doing a mild downhill or anything remotely technical with that setup.

    I get that you're trying to take the pressure off your arms, but you're actually making the problem worse and learning bad habits riding with your bike set up like that. Your LBS (local bike shop) would probably be able to help you get your bike dialed in and more rider/trail-friendly.

    Here's how my bike is set up for XC. Even though it looks like all the weight would be on my arms and hands, that's not at all the case (more on that below).

    Wekiwa_20130122_122957-Edit.jpg

    When you ride, always remember this: "Heavy feet, light hands". You need to use your core muscles along with your body position to keep your hands light on the bars. Some people think cycling is all legs, but nothing could be further from the truth. When I first started to learn how to ride properly in the attack position my abs were destroyed.

    Get more fluid in the cockpit. Get off the saddle, move your weight around in response to the terrain as your ride. Again, heavy feet, light hands.
     
  3. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    ^^ This.

    Due to my size, my setup looks even more extreme than John's...

    I used to train myself to use my core more by allowing the handgrips to "float" in my hands from time to time....(obviously on less demanding terrain). Where I would keep my hands wrapped around the grips....but not actually gripping....allowing my core to find the right/best position...

    It helped train me to properly position my body so my center of gravity remained in the right place whether going uphill or downhill.

    Again, due to being 6' 5"....when climbing, I can get my shoulders out over the handlebars....and when descending something extreme...my ass gets all the way behind the seat...:nod:

    Like anything that involves athletic ability....it takes training.
     
  4. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both for the knowledgeable input.....:tucool:

    I'm not at all versed in the art of mountain-biking finesse....back in the day all ever did was deliver newspapers on a generic Schwinn-knockoff.

    John.....when you say "foot is at the very bottom of the stroke and knee is just short of locking out".......is this measured with the flat of the heel on the pedal?......or is it measured with the front ball of the foot on the pedal?

    I realize this isn't the Cadillac of mountain bikes....but thanks to your input I think there is "wiggle-room" (no pun intended) ahead.....:)

    Maybe my approach was wrong now that you mention it....I thought I was supposed to ride this bike like any other bike......except when going downhill. But now I see from your info, it's a completely different ballgame.......

    Yep....basically I'm a dirt trail-rider plus some paved gnarly side-roads...
    haven't got too brave just yet. Maybe that's a good thing from what you are telling me......I need to correct "form" bigtime before I get "hairy"........:)
     
  5. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    Base it on how you normally position your feet on the pedals when riding. For me that spot is locked in close to the ball of the foot because I ride clipped in.
     
  6. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Well......it is set up that way already for front ball of foot.

    The seat probably looks too low because the handlebars are pretty high, creating a sort of optical illusion.

    I guess my original goal in this was too end up with a "hybrid"....a cross between a mountain bike and a "tour" bike....

    Trying to get the best of both worlds as it were......:)

    Per your info, I'm on my way to the bike shop.......Cheers......:tucool:
     
  7. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    Here you go.....ignore everything else in this picture....just look at his leg.
    (Pedal-on-foot position isn't going to apply to you)
     
    #7 digitalnebula, Apr 2, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  8. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    D/Bula......maybe I need to jack the seat another half inch up...

    My leg is close to lockout...but....not like that guy's.....
     
  9. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Jacked the seat up about another 3/4 of an inch.

    Also found out I needed to move the seat back as well.

    Supposedly when your pedals are parallel to the floor, the forward knee is not to be farther ahead than the axle of the front pedal.

    Mine was off a bit.....so I had to adjust.

    Tried a spirit level to get the seat dead level.....but this seat happens to be one of those ultra-finicky setups that refuses to adjust to exactly where you set it......and "close" only counts in grenades and horseshoes.......:doh:
     

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