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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:50 am 
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Dude, save up and pay for Steve to video fit you. You're asking a forum for fit advice and its clear that you don't know what you're doing.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:14 pm 
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I have found steve's advice very helpful and I continue to use his site to help answer my questions regarding cycling however, I'm not just comfortable at all with paying $260 to having someone video fit me via youtube. I really am just not ok with that.

Aside from that I do appreciate the insight and time it must have taken to actually read my last response and think critically about it before just spouting out pay steve a shit ton of money to video fit you.

Moving forward now a variety of little tests and subsequent outdoor rides seem to continually be point to my right hip dropping and that leg being short. It seems that an inability to get that leg "evened out" in proportion to the reach and level of function of the left most likely is the root cause of my issues.

Little Tests:
-Saddle farther forward with NO change in seat height, right leg feels slightly more in control with saddle hurting less, right knee straightens out and dives less
-Saddle moved back with NO change to seat height, right leg starts to "wobble", dives in and generally not in control
-Right cleat moved forward *toward toes* seat height and fore/aft at middle position prior to other movement, leg more in control -again and basically same results as saddle forward
-Right cleat moved back *toward heel* "rest same as above" leg wobbles again and dives, identical to saddle moved back

Basically in all of these cases when I decrease the "length or reach" that my right leg must go it feels and tracks better. The opposite is true as well, increasing leg reach starts to cause a loss of control

In addition, during this whole time the left leg is fully able to reach throughout the pedal stroke.
Also, tested saddle height with Hogg's method of riding up a hill to feel for a "stepping sensation" as opposed to a smooth continual circle and guess what? :noidea:

The left one is fine and the right one is on a ladder >_< Also, saddle pain once again localized to only the left side which seems to be where it would be if following through with the short right side hypothesis

Looks like the leg length plate might be the best option here....

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:34 am 
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I think one thing you might be assuming is that you can find some fit which puts you in a position that you function 'correctly'. After years of your body learning to function on and off the bike with skewed hips to compensate for the LLD, there will probably still be propreoception problems with your muscle control, even if you don't have tightness and flexibility issues. You might feel a lot better walking in your orthotics, but cycling can be different.

Another thing that might cause a problem, which is less likely than a twisted pelvis, but still possible, is your sit bones might not be symmetrical. If you have more bone growth in your left leg, you might also have more bone growth in the left side of your pelvis. Have you ever tried an Adamo saddle?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:16 pm 
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MattSoutherden wrote:
I think one thing you might be assuming is that you can find some fit which puts you in a position that you function 'correctly'. After years of your body learning to function on and off the bike with skewed hips to compensate for the LLD, there will probably still be propreoception problems with your muscle control, even if you don't have tightness and flexibility issues. You might feel a lot better walking in your orthotics, but cycling can be different.

Another thing that might cause a problem, which is less likely than a twisted pelvis, but still possible, is your sit bones might not be symmetrical. If you have more bone growth in your left leg, you might also have more bone growth in the left side of your pelvis. Have you ever tried an Adamo saddle?


The idea that I might not be able to find a most correct or comfortable position has crossed my mind yes. I however I way to stubborn to accept that without first exploring every single possible option I can regarding saddles, fit and comfort.

I actually haven't tried an Adamo yet no. There is a triathlon store near me that stocks both cobb and adamo. I have tried the Cobb SHC and it was ok although not noticeably better than anything else. I will in the next few weeks hopefully get there to try out the Adamo and the v flow plus.

Something radically different such as an Adamo or SMP might be a good direction for me to pursue. Only issue with SMP is that nobody near me stocks them for a trial and they are way too pricey to just drop the cash on....

Also, I tend to be a *sit and mash* sort of rider in that I like to find a "good" saddle spot and then stay there. I'm not constantly moving around except if it's to stand to climb or to sprint.

I actually feel most comfortable and powerful when I do the "invisible aero-bar" type thing and hang my hands off the front of the bars and rotate even more forward.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:39 pm 
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I wish you the best of luck on this. I have a 1.5cm LLD resulting from breaking my left femur in two pieces - an injury I wouldn't wish on anybody. That said, you should get comfortable with the idea that LLDs especially above the knee will never result in a perfect bike fit. I've been to the pro fitters and I'm able to race and train with a more or less even pedal stroke. It's taken years of tweaking and many setbacks. That's cycling. It just doesn't always go your way. I know that sucks, but compile the marginal gains in your corner and slowly add them up. You'll get there, but you won't be pain free. Some nights after a hard race, my back kills me, but with good stretching and core work, you'll find a happy medium. I'll add, asymmetrical chainrings have helped me a lot. I'm currently on Rotor and fooling around with Asymetric rings at the moment. Both allow me to relax into the stroke a bit more. Again, best of luck with this!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:39 pm 
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grid256 wrote:
I wish you the best of luck on this. I have a 1.5cm LLD resulting from breaking my left femur in two pieces - an injury I wouldn't wish on anybody. That said, you should get comfortable with the idea that LLDs especially above the knee will never result in a perfect bike fit. I've been to the pro fitters and I'm able to race and train with a more or less even pedal stroke. It's taken years of tweaking and many setbacks. That's cycling. It just doesn't always go your way. I know that sucks, but compile the marginal gains in your corner and slowly add them up. You'll get there, but you won't be pain free. Some nights after a hard race, my back kills me, but with good stretching and core work, you'll find a happy medium. I'll add, asymmetrical chainrings have helped me a lot. I'm currently on Rotor and fooling around with Asymetric rings at the moment. Both allow me to relax into the stroke a bit more. Again, best of luck with this!


Thank you very much for this perspective. I understand that I will probably not ever have a totally even bike set up or feeling but I'm going to continue to work at it. I know this has been a long and frustrating process already but I feel like being stubborn and sticking to it will eventually get me to where I want to be.

In terms of lungs and legs I'm not limited, it's back and saddle pain that are holding me back from riding as much as I would like. I don't need to be pain free, just minimal would be ideal.

I have just started working on my core stretch and flexibility after never really taking either of those overly seriously. I will sometime looking into the Q Rings or something of that nature as it does seem like minimizing the time/effort in the dead spot would help out the short leg.

I have had a couple fits in the fast and never got really comfortable, it is good to know that others with a marked LLD have had a similar experience. It helps me from feeling like I made a poor choice or investment.

Also, would you mind sharing what you have done saddle wise to possibly help cope with the LLD? Saddle has always been a sore spot *bad pun* for me and I was wondering if you had suggestions or ideas regarding what has helped you. I find that saddles with a cut out like Specialized Toupe/Romin help keep away soft tissue discomfort however there are still issues on the left sit bone area.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:29 am 
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I agree with you on saddles. My best luck has been with those featuring cutouts. I've had a million saddles but my road saddle is a Toupe 155 and my tt is an Adamo Time Trial. The Toupe seems to work really well for me and the narrow nose is great because like you, my right leg swoops in so the narrower the better up front. I would stay away from Adamo's for road bikes though. They feel bizarre for anything other than the aero position.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:55 am 
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Sounds good to me regarding the Adamo and road bikes, that is what I'm finding out from doing a bit more reading on them. Basically it seems that they are "odd" feeling on a road bike. I can imagine myself having trouble with the no nose thing since I tend to turn using my thighs a bit, aside from my arms/rest of my body weight. Feel like that would be weird to do without a real saddle nose.

Anyhow, I actually have a Romin Evo and Toupe 143mm right now as that is what I was measured for but I'm wondering if going slightly wider *155mm* might actually help with the dropping hip thing? Did you find that a wider saddle was more helpful in stabilizing your pelvis/body as a result of the inherent instability that comes with a LLD?

Also have a Prologo scratch which I love the shape of but not too sure how it will last comfort wise due to lack of cut out.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:02 pm 
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The reason I suggest the Adamo is that it doesn't support you on the sit bones, but rather on either side of your perineum. In that case, you might be less inclined [pardon the pun] to sit with one hip up/down.

But it's certainly an acquired taste to use one on a road bike. So see if you can borrow one to try for a few weeks.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:13 pm 
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SolidSnake03 wrote:
Sounds good to me regarding the Adamo and road bikes, that is what I'm finding out from doing a bit more reading on them. Basically it seems that they are "odd" feeling on a road bike. I can imagine myself having trouble with the no nose thing since I tend to turn using my thighs a bit, aside from my arms/rest of my body weight. Feel like that would be weird to do without a real saddle nose.

Anyhow, I actually have a Romin Evo and Toupe 143mm right now as that is what I was measured for but I'm wondering if going slightly wider *155mm* might actually help with the dropping hip thing? Did you find that a wider saddle was more helpful in stabilizing your pelvis/body as a result of the inherent instability that comes with a LLD?

Also have a Prologo scratch which I love the shape of but not too sure how it will last comfort wise due to lack of cut out.


I have a functional LLD and had a lot of pelvic instability- wider saddles made it worse. Only solution was lowering my saddle and actually switching to a narrower seat. So did cutout saddles. Only way to know about the Scratch is just to try it out.

I've read everything you've typed but I again think its a case of knowing far too much about fitting, but not the nuance of being able to put it together. Very few people need very odd fit solutions. I know a guy with as big of a shim as you who has a functional/measureable LLD the same as yours who hasn't had to resort to any of the solutions you've mentioned. He's also a fitter himself and spent a lot of time reading, digesting, and reevaluating the fit literature to arrive at a solution. Two national titles this year to add to his 5 that he already has suggest that its worked.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:16 pm 
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The only thing a wider saddle will do is provide more saddle for your groin/inner thigh to rub against on the downstroke. The extra width will not stabilize your pelvis any more, and u will find u will just sit more off centre (to the right) so u can hang off to reach the R pedal.

I wouldn't bother changing out saddles until u have your setup sorted, and u are confident u are square on the saddle, without any hang, or rock from side to side. Until this is achieved, no saddle will be perfect, albeit some will be more comfortable than others. There's no guarantee however, that once the correct setup has been found, the current "comfortable" saddle will still be comfortable.

For example, I ran fizik aliante and ariones, but found them increasingly uncomfortable/numbnuts. I was rubbing considerable saddle sores on my right groin. I went through 20 saddles while tweaking my fit. Most were cutout saddles, to alleviate the numbness. All I found was because I wasn't sitting symmetrically on the saddle, the ridges either side of the cutout only produced more pressure, and soreness (I had no numbness tho! Lol). The only way I could alleviate this was to have my saddle below the height it needs to be (or adequately correct my LLD & correct cleat setup). Saddles tried were 4 selleSMPs, specialized romins/toupes, selle Italia cutouts etc.

Now with my setup near perfect the most comfortable saddle by far is my old fizik aliante! Ironic eh...

I guess what I'm alluding to is, keep the saddle constant. As it will only be another source or variation u don't need to add to the equation. You will know when your setup is right (eventually) and then the final step is to try a few saddles to test for comfort.

Just remember seaposts will need to be adjusted up & down with different saddles as they all have differing rail to saddle heights (measure from pedal spindle to top of saddle).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:16 pm 
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I'm the same as DrMutley with saddles. I've tried about 20 myself and after about 2 years of fiddling with different saddles I'm on the same Arione I started with, but the difference is that it's about 20mm lower than what I was originally fit to.

Are you watching yourself from the rear with regards to instability? Fore/aft shouldn't really help it that much, but if it does I would honestly wager that its a bandage for the actual problem. I'd try filming just from the rear or down at an angle to watch how each pelvic crest rises and drops and go from there. For starters I've found wedging to help quite a bit when one heel or toe tends to dip in on the downstroke or track differently. Also, you can over shim and produce some pretty bad instability. I've been riding shimless for about 6 months, but before that I had a 5mm shim on one foot. It actually made my hip rocking much, much worse and the pedal stroke feel very awkward. Removing the shim, lowering the seat, raising my arch support, and adding in heel wedges improved stability a ton. I would film from the rear and both sides with every 3mm change in saddle height and see exactly when a side starts rocking. Then, I'd check the knee tracking and start with wedging/arch supports first and go from there. As Steve says shims are often the last thing that are added. A collapsing arch can produce as much or more instability than an LLD in many cases. I run the Esoles blacks now with 3 heel wedges per side and it greatly improved pedal feel and stability. Once your tracking, q factor, and arch support is correct I'd then revisit the seat height test and note any positive or negative changes.

See if the side without the LLD is having any difficulty coming over the top of the stroke and if not do not raise the saddle any more. You say you had knee pain and I understand that it can be indicative of a seat height that is too low, but it can also indicate so many other things that I wouldn't think that that is necessarily the issue. After the asymmetry starts, raise in 3mm increments and see how much worse it gets. If you've raised it 6mm and the other side still tracks perfectly and you aren't increasing pedal velocity on the downstroke, then I'd start shimming 2-3mm at a time.

Lastly, maybe I've missed it but if you run your cleats further back this will all come out a ton more. I'd double check any asymmetries in cleating as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:35 am 
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as kwalker states, knee pain could be from other things. for example, someone comes in with front knee pain and a position that has been comfortable for a few seasons past. it turns out his mileage increased abruptly early in the season and it's an overuse strain. besides suggesting very easy miles for a couple weeks, one may raise his saddle 5mm to lower the leverage on the knee. even though his "ideal" position is one that currently gives him pain, his saddle is too high. possibly like you.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:34 pm 
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KWalker wrote:
I'm the same as DrMutley with saddles. I've tried about 20 myself and after about 2 years of fiddling with different saddles I'm on the same Arione I started with, but the difference is that it's about 20mm lower than what I was originally fit to.

Are you watching yourself from the rear with regards to instability? Fore/aft shouldn't really help it that much, but if it does I would honestly wager that its a bandage for the actual problem. I'd try filming just from the rear or down at an angle to watch how each pelvic crest rises and drops and go from there. For starters I've found wedging to help quite a bit when one heel or toe tends to dip in on the downstroke or track differently. Also, you can over shim and produce some pretty bad instability. I've been riding shimless for about 6 months, but before that I had a 5mm shim on one foot. It actually made my hip rocking much, much worse and the pedal stroke feel very awkward. Removing the shim, lowering the seat, raising my arch support, and adding in heel wedges improved stability a ton. I would film from the rear and both sides with every 3mm change in saddle height and see exactly when a side starts rocking. Then, I'd check the knee tracking and start with wedging/arch supports first and go from there. As Steve says shims are often the last thing that are added. A collapsing arch can produce as much or more instability than an LLD in many cases. I run the Esoles blacks now with 3 heel wedges per side and it greatly improved pedal feel and stability. Once your tracking, q factor, and arch support is correct I'd then revisit the seat height test and note any positive or negative changes.

See if the side without the LLD is having any difficulty coming over the top of the stroke and if not do not raise the saddle any more. You say you had knee pain and I understand that it can be indicative of a seat height that is too low, but it can also indicate so many other things that I wouldn't think that that is necessarily the issue. After the asymmetry starts, raise in 3mm increments and see how much worse it gets. If you've raised it 6mm and the other side still tracks perfectly and you aren't increasing pedal velocity on the downstroke, then I'd start shimming 2-3mm at a time.

Lastly, maybe I've missed it but if you run your cleats further back this will all come out a ton more. I'd double check any asymmetries in cleating as well.

Prior to setting up the shim stack initially I had adjusted my saddle in 3mm amounts all the way down to a full 2cm lower than it was at. I still had issues with the right side not pedaling as smoothly/comfortably. Basically all that did was cramp up my whole left side to the point that it was horribly uncomfortable.

I understand that saddle to high is quite common however, I have tested time and time again using the "ride up a big hill" method type of thing to see how each leg feels at the saddle height. Basically at the current height the left leg is functional and in control through the entire pedal stroke while the right just tapers off in terms of feeling/control as I go around. It's doing the "step ladder" type thing instead of a smooth motion. I have experimented with orange arch support *eSoles* all the way up to black+2 strips of cork tape on the right foot and NONE changed the feeling or control in any way. In addition, although I haven't tried heel wedging, varus/valgus wedges along with cleat wedging from 1 up to 4 wedges didn't change this feeling.

Every single time I would go out to ride somewhere between 5-20miles my back would start to feel strained and the inside of my left sit bone/pelvis would hurt. The ONLY thing that has made any different what so ever in my comfort/knee tracking has been shimming the right side substantially, basically equal to the amount my right leg is supposedly shorter.

These results have come over month's of testing a ride at a time and keeping notes. As I mentioned, I have been working on this for quite some time and shimming is the only thing that has helped somewhat improve my body/legs/pelvis feeling.

Also, forgot to mention that as I lowered my saddle in 3mm increments from it's current height, my left leg *longer leg* proceeded to bow out more and more causing increasing discomfort. Moving the saddle back to aid this only caused the right side to then drop more and "come up short" in terms of movement. I could feel myself getting pulled forward on the right side since I was too far back and my constant saddle nose riding showed that as well. I would catch myself with 1 hip forward "short side" and 1 hip back *long side* until I moved the saddle back to a medium fore/aft position and then raised it to a height the left leg liked.

Cleat set up is quite good I feel based on using Hogg's method and going by the fact that I can ride hard for about 2 hours and my feet are the 1 thing that doesn't hurt :mrgreen: they are stable and comfortable allow me to sprint/climb and sit and mash pretty equally.


MattSoutherden wrote:
The reason I suggest the Adamo is that it doesn't support you on the sit bones, but rather on either side of your perineum. In that case, you might be less inclined [pardon the pun] to sit with one hip up/down.

But it's certainly an acquired taste to use one on a road bike. So see if you can borrow one to try for a few weeks.


This suggestion along with the wider saddles not helping does make sense. I could see possible rub/chaffing issues with wider saddles as well as that not really helping the situation. I will see about trying the Adamo at some point if for nothing else but to curb my curiosity.

Regarding current saddle, I have the Prologo Scratch on right now and that actually feels ok. It seems that shape wise for someone that sits and pedal's a fair bit it meshes well with me. The Toupe *hip issue aside* shape didn't seem overly suited for the way I ride as the edged tended to dig in if I sat too long. The Romin like the Scratch seem to be a bit more "my shape" since I'm not a big mover. Aliante has my interest as well. I like feeling more supported by the saddle and having something to push against as opposed to the floating on top sort of feeling I got from the Toupe...


Also, thank you everyone for all your help so far, it has been awesome to even just talked with people about this and continue to explore and ponder different ideas. It's comforting to know others with LLD's have gone through similar things. I will be having another physician take a look at the leg/hip again just as part of a year physical to see what he thinks. Another opinion can't hurt and I'm there anyhow...

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:11 pm 
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Sounds like your a curved saddle preferrer like me... The prologo scratch I found quite comfy too, but gave me more numbness than he others. I'm sure it would be different now I've got all the tweaks pretty much sorted. U would find the aliante similar in comfort, and there's quite a few cheap ones around. Pretty easy to find places that test fiziks here in Aust, so I would guess its similar in the US?

I'm not sure what your doctors, specialists, & orthopedic people are like where u are, but I've found this group of professionals the most "unhelpful" in sorting out these issues (I'm a doctor myself ironically). I had a friend (with bilateral ITBFS) visit part of our Olympic cycling medical team a few months ago and he just sent her for some physiotherapy (physical therapy), with no addressing of the causative issues (her bike fit). Sorry to sound negative, I guess I just see too many people seduced by qualifications, when someone with a good understanding of the issues, and a diligence to work though them is far more useful, regardless of who they are. Having said that, we have a lot of bike fitters over here who couldn't fit a tricycle to a 3year old, let alone a complex road fit.


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