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calling the fit experts: pic review

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calling the fit experts: pic review

Old 01-23-21, 08:59 AM
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oik01
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calling the fit experts: pic review

So i got a bike fit earlier in the year... Felt better but still continued to have neck pain. One thing we uncovered during the fit was that i had a bit of a leg length discrepancy and we shifted cleat positions. Since then, I also read about knee angles and noticed mine was reported higher than the upper range for a dynamic fit. I also noticed my upper body sway during efforts a lot more than usual and wondered if my pelvis is rocking to reach the pedals more comfortably. I reduced saddle height further and I do feel like im more stable. With that, I have also dropped the bars gradually since my fit and feel like the lower handlebar makes me not bear weight on the bar and instead activate my core. This is my final position. an application measured my knee angles as being too flexed though my own measurements were very different. My torso angle is measured as much more aggressive than I thought it would be particularly since I am 6 feet tall and on a 58 cm bike so plenty of stack for my size: So questions: Saddle height too low ( look at both right and left- left leg is the shorter of the two)? Bars too low? or is it within acceptable range? I also know my saddle is a bit backwards but is it in acceptable range? I drifted back because I liked the transfer of weight to the rear.




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Old 01-23-21, 09:37 AM
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Not an expert but can offer the benefit of my years of experience!
I'll start by saying that we have to assume you are comfortable and have no specific localised aches or pains after a long ride? We also have to assume your 'intentions' as different types of riding require slightly different positions. So I'll assume you're not going for a TT or Tri fit and conversely you're not looking to be doing crazy long distances.
If correct, I don't think there is much wrong with your position.
Your torso is proportionately quite long (and much straighter than mine & many others!) so you've moved the seat back to counter balance the weight of your upper half being cantilevered forward; no issue there. The only way it would be TOO far back is if you feel that all your effort is engaging the glutes / hamstrings and the quads remain unfatigued. An hour of moderate effort would bear this out; you want to strike a comfortable balance where both muscle groups are used evenly. Other things can affect this also (saddle tilt, heel drop etc.) but most common is fore / aft.
Your right leg extension looks good in the static photo; your left leg looks stretched. You can only settle the discrepancy with trial and error really and what you find comfortable; the two general rules on this are to either set your seat height based on the shorter leg or split the difference between the two.
My personal opinion would be to go with the shorter leg. Reason being that you are far less likely to damage the longer leg by having the saddle slightly 'optimally' lower than you would do to the shorter leg by having it too high! All in all I think you aren't far from where you should be; based on static images of course; video may tell a slightly different story but then again; so would video of you riding on the road VS the turbo.
Interested to hear others opinions....
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Old 01-23-21, 10:27 AM
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Thanks... thats really why I dropped the saddle... I figured if I am at the upper range of knee angle it could be because of pelvic rocking to get me there and that might explain my neck pain... it really improved with me going down but I also made lifestyle changes and brought the handlebar down at the same time so its unclear what helped.... the bike app was suggesting I can go up with the saddle based on the right knee angle ( never inputed the left there). I guess if anything I can go down some more based on your input to favor the left knee. Its honestly hard for me to judge pelvic rocking but looking at my reflection in the window I see my upper body bob far less than before and im assuming that likely has to do with less pelvic rocking. I also felt a lot more stable weight on the saddle/ sit bones since moving down a bit.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:31 AM
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Do you think this measurement here is accurate? Maybe a different pedal stroke than above... this one is later in my clip once I got to a groove:
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Old 01-23-21, 10:44 AM
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Looks reasonable. A few longer rides will sort things out and you'll likely make some minor adjustments.

One comment on your saddle adjustment..sliding the saddle fore-aft isn't to increase/reduce reach or shift weight fore or aft. The fore-aft adjustment is to get your knees/legs in the proper position over the pedals..starting point is the front edge of your kneecap, when your crank arms are parallel to the ground, in line directly above the pedal spindle. Use a plum-bb or vertical laser line to check. Once the proper position is in place, the saddle fore-aft is essentially a constant. Reach is then adjusted via the stem.

Deviation too far from the starting setup can yield ergo issues eventually.
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Old 01-23-21, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by oik01 View Post
Do you think this measurement here is accurate? Maybe a different pedal stroke than above... this one is later in my clip once I got to a groove

Hard to tell to be honest without seeing the top of your leg.

To me it does still look like that leg is stretching little. Is the length discrepancy significant? What I'm getting at is that depending on your flexibility and preference, fitters usually allow about a 10 degree tolerance on that angle which is quite a lot of wiggle room. If you can't find a comfortable compromise you may consider cleat packers.

Don't forget that if you go lower you will need to go back slightly also (as lowering the saddle carries you forward)

Comfort is really key; you'll likely do a lot more damage by having a saddle too high than one too low (within reason) and unless your chasing those last couple of watts a saddle that's a few mm too low won't affect your power output compared to what you'd lose in fatigue and over-reaching by having it too high.

Fitters aren't infallible and they can't feel what you can feel; I've been told to straighten my back for years but I have a hunch; it's physically impossible for me to straighten my back without breaking my spine yet (most, not all) fitters have told me I'm too scrunched up in my cockpit when I'm actually super comfortable.

So a fitter or app can (to a degree) correct the large errors in position but the final tweaks really have to be down to you.

Don't worry too much about a tiny bit of 'bobbing'; too much definitely suggests rocking pelvis but I bob a little on an indoor trainer compared to outside with the exact same settings. I've come to the un-scientific conclusion that it's just a symptom of being stationary!

I would say lower the saddle 3mm and ride 80 miles. Do you have any specific pain? If so, is it bad enough that you really feel like something is wrong or do you think your body will adapt after another few rides? If you have pain behind the left knee only or hamstring pain in the left leg only, the saddle is probably still too high. Bear in mind that you might find yourself (subconsciously) sitting crooked on the saddle as your body is trying to even out the reach between both legs; it's a real tough one to get just right without actually being you! Just make single, small adjustments and give your body time to get used to them.
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Old 01-23-21, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
sliding the saddle fore-aft isn't to increase/reduce reach
This I agree with.
Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
or shift weight fore or aft
This I disagree with.
Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
The fore-aft adjustment is to get your knees/legs in the proper position over the pedals
No; knee and leg positions are by-products but primarily it's to get your body (or centre of gravity) in the proper position over the bottom bracket.
People with longer (effective) torsos or people with a lot of upper body weight tend to need their saddles further back to avoid having too much weight on their shoulders, wrists and hands. Overweight people will tend to prefer a more upright position for the exact same reason. People with low upper body mass or short torsos can afford a more forward position. Both positions dependent of course on balanced muscle recruitment.

The system you're referring to is KOPS; also referred to as the myth of KOPS. It's been long since proven to be a myth.
It's incorrect to assume that this system will work for different body types as well as different types of riding. There's just too much variation in people's proportions and muscle strength to assume it's a fixed relationship. On my road bike I'm slightly behind KOPS; on my track bike I'm about 2cm in front of KOPS and on my TT bike I'm about 3cm in front of KOPS.
Additionally; it's a dynamic relationship; toe down will bring you in front of KOPS, heel down behind. Then add that most cyclists will shift their weight fore and aft on the saddle depending on the type of riding their doing and KOPS is moving still. Add in the different selections of crank length based on physiology or cycling discipline and again you move KOPS.
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Old 01-23-21, 12:16 PM
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I also think your saddle could be a little bit too high. You're right at the upper limit, which could be fine. When mine is just right I feel powerful at the bottom of the pedal stroke, during the pull-back phase. If my saddle is too low, that feels cramped, too high and it feels weak. Best knee angle will vary with the rider's physiology and pedaling preferences. There's not one answer for everyone.

I think you could use another 1-2 cm of stem length. You want your upper arms to form a 90° angle with your torso and you aren't quite there. Nice position and good back! Looks fast. I like my elbows to clear my knees when on the hoods and forearms horizontal.
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Old 01-23-21, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by aniki View Post
This I agree with.

This I disagree with.

No; knee and leg positions are by-products but primarily it's to get your body (or centre of gravity) in the proper position over the bottom bracket.
People with longer (effective) torsos or people with a lot of upper body weight tend to need their saddles further back to avoid having too much weight on their shoulders, wrists and hands. Overweight people will tend to prefer a more upright position for the exact same reason. People with low upper body mass or short torsos can afford a more forward position. Both positions dependent of course on balanced muscle recruitment.

The system you're referring to is KOPS; also referred to as the myth of KOPS. It's been long since proven to be a myth.
It's incorrect to assume that this system will work for different body types as well as different types of riding. There's just too much variation in people's proportions and muscle strength to assume it's a fixed relationship. On my road bike I'm slightly behind KOPS; on my track bike I'm about 2cm in front of KOPS and on my TT bike I'm about 3cm in front of KOPS.
Additionally; it's a dynamic relationship; toe down will bring you in front of KOPS, heel down behind. Then add that most cyclists will shift their weight fore and aft on the saddle depending on the type of riding their doing and KOPS is moving still. Add in the different selections of crank length based on physiology or cycling discipline and again you move KOPS.
..learn something new everyday. In part, that's why I'm here.

That said, KOPS has worked well for me as a starting point for 45+ years. I've seldom needed to vary far from it. While not a rule for all, perhaps it survives as a starting point for people of average proportions. It's easy to find this technique still used on the web and in bike shops(I have two local ones in mind that do just that..) I've had a couple instances when riding unfamiliar bikes where I get a pain in one knee or the other. Adjusting the saddle fore-aft closer to KOPS has eliminated the pain. Maybe I'm an anomaly..or just average.
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Old 01-23-21, 03:05 PM
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having read quite a bit before adjusting my position, I saw that a new school is that KOPS works well because it approximates a position with a good weight balance. One guy advocated for a test of releasing the handlebars when on a trainer and seeing if you need to increase your cadence to maintain your position. He said if you do or if you slide forward usually your weight is more forward than healthy and going back with the saddle gets you to a more balanced position. I can say for me i always fail the test and I think its because my handlebar is too low. having said that I have recently been able to lift off the handlebar and pedal while balanced in real life so I took that as athe ultimate testament to me not being too far off a reasonable weight distribution. I still worry though since I do fail his test... but I am behind the KOPS rule.
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Old 01-23-21, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I also think your saddle could be a little bit too high. You're right at the upper limit, which could be fine. When mine is just right I feel powerful at the bottom of the pedal stroke, during the pull-back phase. If my saddle is too low, that feels cramped, too high and it feels weak. Best knee angle will vary with the rider's physiology and pedaling preferences. There's not one answer for everyone.

I think you could use another 1-2 cm of stem length. You want your upper arms to form a 90° angle with your torso and you aren't quite there. Nice position and good back! Looks fast. I like my elbows to clear my knees when on the hoods and forearms horizontal.
Interesting all of you think im still at the higher end of saddle height. I think thats comforting for me at first I was worried I overdid the saddle height drop. I used bike-fast-fit which suggests a knee angle of 145-155. It put me lower than that but in green so suggesting that if anything my saddle could move up so I am at a higher angle. Though reading more, other sources say those cutoffs are for a stationary angle and rely on a lower range for video dynamic angles. weird that the app uses the stationary angle.

Ive tried being longer at the front and invariably feel too stretched out. My torso angle is already low and I am almost certain it will go lower if I stretch more. Keep in mind I do have a natural hunched posture and walk hunched in real life. After my first 10 miles or so I invariably hunch forward and lose some length in my torso. I think thats a factor though I have made it a point to remind myself to keep my core engaged and straight but you can only do so for a period before old habits and poor conditioning take over unfortunately.

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Old 01-23-21, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by oik01 View Post
Do you think this measurement here is accurate? Maybe a different pedal stroke than above... this one is later in my clip once I got to a groove:
Quit measuring angles. How are you sitting on the bike? Are you stable? Can you pedal fluidly throughout the entire stroke? Are you dropping to one side? From the looks of this picture, you seem to be dropping your toe. Yes, many people do this, but in a static picture like this, since I believe you are not pedaling, you look to be reaching. Maybe your saddle is still slightly too high. Look at the link below. He has a second article on it as well, and one on seat setback, that you should read as well, since you keep talking about KOPs, which is essentially useless, with the exception of a starting point, but it is virtually meaningless.

Good luck!
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/
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Old 01-23-21, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Quit measuring angles. How are you sitting on the bike? Are you stable? Can you pedal fluidly throughout the entire stroke? Are you dropping to one side? From the looks of this picture, you seem to be dropping your toe. Yes, many people do this, but in a static picture like this, since I believe you are not pedaling, you look to be reaching. Maybe your saddle is still slightly too high. Look at the link below. He has a second article on it as well, and one on seat setback, that you should read as well, since you keep talking about KOPs, which is essentially useless, with the exception of a starting point, but it is virtually meaningless.

Good luck!
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/

these are single frames from a video with me cycling. As i said above, my saddle fore aft was adjusted for balance. But I expected it to be closer to the KOPs position than it ended up.
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Old 01-23-21, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by oik01 View Post
these are single frames from a video with me cycling. As i said above, my saddle fore aft was adjusted for balance. But I expected it to be closer to the KOPs position than it ended up.
I know it is a single image, posed on the bike, not pedaling. That's my point. It looks like you are reaching, pointing your toe down. I would read the article I linked, and check height based on that. It works.
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Old 01-23-21, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I know it is a single image, posed on the bike, not pedaling. That's my point. It looks like you are reaching, pointing your toe down. I would read the article I linked, and check height based on that. It works.
i cant tell if your serious.

its not a single image. these were all VIDEOS of me pedaling. the video was paused at important frames. it is during pedaling
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Old 01-23-21, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by oik01 View Post
i cant tell if your serious.

its not a single image. these were all VIDEOS of me pedaling. the video was paused at important frames. it is during pedaling
Sorry, I was doing multiple things at once, and missed that. Okay, anyway, my advice still stands. You are toe dipping, it looks like, from the frame from your video. Yes some people do it, but it is also a symptom of incorrect seat height, for you. I would read his articles, and think about his method, and analyze your fit accordingly. Your seat may still be slightly too high. I don't know, but it is just an observation. Slightly too high prevents you from pedaling efficiently, and can cause serious injury. You are asking about your fit, and that is my recommendation. I have helped numerous people around my area get their fit right, and most of the time their seat has been set too high. Mine was as well, about ten years ago. I had all sorts of issues, some that lasted years, even after I got the seat height correct for me. Damage was done. It took years for my hip to heal, and required steroids. Do yourself a favor, get it right now, before you have issues.
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Old 01-23-21, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Sorry, I was doing multiple things at once, and missed that. Okay, anyway, my advice still stands. You are toe dipping, it looks like, from the frame from your video. Yes some people do it, but it is also a symptom of incorrect seat height, for you. I would read his articles, and think about his method, and analyze your fit accordingly. Your seat may still be slightly too high. I don't know, but it is just an observation. Slightly too high prevents you from pedaling efficiently, and can cause serious injury. You are asking about your fit, and that is my recommendation. I have helped numerous people around my area get their fit right, and most of the time their seat has been set too high. Mine was as well, about ten years ago. I had all sorts of issues, some that lasted years, even after I got the seat height correct for me. Damage was done. It took years for my hip to heal, and required steroids. Do yourself a favor, get it right now, before you have issues.
Thanks. I really appreciate your effort.
I think the sentiment from you and everyone else seems to be consistent: That I am still a bit high. I think I will experiment with bringing it down and assess the results accordingly.
I read the article you referenced but I think the scientist in me gravitates to measurable objective repeatable testable methods instead of going by "feel" which to a novice like me might be especially misleading. I also have no real sense of how to assess the acceleration at the bottom of a pedal stroke which he refers to.
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Old 01-23-21, 06:56 PM
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It's more about developing power than about some exact knee angle. I go out with a wrench in my pocket, find some seated hills to climb, and experiment, see what feels more powerful, see what develops more power for the same apparent effort. Outdoors! You want to run your outdoor position on your trainer, not the other way 'round.
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Old 01-23-21, 07:12 PM
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Probably the best way to protect shoulders and elbows is to bend your arms at your elbows. I think your arms a too straight for long term comfort.

I've read some of the shoulder at 90 degree stuff, and I don't get it as a rule of thumb for many people - too much variation in bone length from person to person. For eample, I think you'd need a longer stem and flatter back to get 90 degrees and an elbow bent enough to protect wrist, elbows and shoulder - and that might put too much weight over the front wheel.

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Old 01-23-21, 07:26 PM
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Have you tried using different stems?

Do you want to be slightly more upright, or is this good for you?
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Old 01-23-21, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
Probably the best way to protect shoulders and elbows is to bend your arms at your elbows. I think your arms a too straight for long term comfort.

I've read some of the shoulder at 90 degree stuff, and I don't get it as a rule of thumb for many people - too much variation in bone length from person to person. For eample, I think you'd need a longer stem and flatter back to get 90 degrees and an elbow bent enough to protect wrist, elbows and shoulder - and that might put too much weight over the front wheel.
I've read that the 90° rule is between the hip, shoulder, and wrist joints -- e.g., where they put those dots on the video capture fits -- NOT the torso to upper arm angle. Meaning, if you have the recommended 15° bend in your elbow, the torso/upper arm angle would be more like 75°.
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Old 01-23-21, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
Have you tried using different stems?

Do you want to be slightly more upright, or is this good for you?
I have tinkered around with anything from 110 mm to 80 mm including during a bike fit... After my bike fit I was at 100 mm with angle up and a few more spacers but since then I've increased my saddle/handlebar drop after realizing I have a tendency to rest on the handlebars and disengage my core when they are closer to me

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Old 01-23-21, 11:20 PM
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Google "arm torso angle cycling fit." Most say between 85° and 90°. Structurally, I think 90° makes more sense. The upper arm should be like a strut, as little muscle involved as possible. Oddly enough, if one looks in the mirror while bending the elbow, one will see that the upper arm/torso angle varies surprisingly little, all the way from barely bent to horizontal forearm. Also interesting is that increasing reach does not load the hands more as long as hip angle remains constant. In fact, the hands are loaded less because torque = force * distance. Increase distance, force becomes less. Not only that, but the arms are more free to pivot and take up the shock from the road. Less shock is transmitted to the the shoulder as reach is increased.
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I think the OP is referring to this w/r to torso shape:
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/
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Old 01-24-21, 08:59 AM
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Final Question:
Part of the reason Im tinkering so much with my setup is I want to upgrade to a new madone soon. My current bike is an ancient 5200. It is 58 cm. Im 182 cm tall with an inseam of 86.2 cm. Most other brands had me at 56 cm which seemed similar in stack/ reach to the trek but the trek website lists me at 58 cm. What do you guys think? 58 or 56? Or is it a mute point I would be able to fit my self on either reasonably? There's far more 56 cm frames out there and I suspect selling them would be easier down the road though I doubt I'd be doing that.
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Old 01-24-21, 09:01 AM
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oik01
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Google "arm torso angle cycling fit." Most say between 85° and 90°. Structurally, I think 90° makes more sense. The upper arm should be like a strut, as little muscle involved as possible. Oddly enough, if one looks in the mirror while bending the elbow, one will see that the upper arm/torso angle varies surprisingly little, all the way from barely bent to horizontal forearm. Also interesting is that increasing reach does not load the hands more as long as hip angle remains constant. In fact, the hands are loaded less because torque = force * distance. Increase distance, force becomes less. Not only that, but the arms are more free to pivot and take up the shock from the road. Less shock is transmitted to the the shoulder as reach is increased.
Numb Hands
I think the OP is referring to this w/r to torso shape:
https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/
Im no physicist but I would think that the force is determined by the terrain / bumps etc and the torque your joint experiences is higher as you are more stretched out.
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