Eddy Merckx from a 1969 Peugeot catalog. He pedaled, Toe Down. Photo uploaded to Flickr by Stronglight

Eddy Merckx from a 1969 Peugeot catalog. He pedaled, "Toe Down". Photo uploaded to Flickr by Stronglight

Have you thought your saddle was too low? Too high? Sometimes both? You are not alone. I see people debating this issue all over the internet. My observations are as follows:

1) Saddle height is determined by knee angle and by foot angle. If you pedal heel down your saddle will be much lower than if you pedal toe down. This could be a couple of inches! I have subtle tricks I developed that I use in my fitting system to get the proper foot angle. Once this is established, then we can deal with the saddle height.

2) It is a hyper critical dimension, meaning that too low, you lose power and put undue strain on your knees. Too high, even a little bit, and it can put a lot of strain on your Achilles tendon, make the back of your knee sore, and make your saddle most uncomfortable.

This is an area where I disagree with lots of the other fitters out there. Using a sophisticated tool such as RETUL, one can accurately measure those angles. It is easy to get you “in the acceptable range”. What next? What if your body requires a very specific place that is “within the range” but is so critical that it is the only place that works?

The answer to this question is, “This is why I still have a job.” I have great success helping people who need absolute accuracy in their position. Most people can get away with a much broader range of positions, but since I have the tools and knowledge to work with those who need more accuracy, the folks who can get away with something “a little off” still benefit from having their position dialed in like the suspension on a Formula One racecar.

I hope you think about your position on the bike and how it affects you. Here is a question. Do you try to fit the bike, or does the bike fit you? What is more important, and ultimately more expensive, you, or the bike?

Thanks so much for reading and for your comments. I really appreciate hearing from you.

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Originally posted 2009-02-10 07:09:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Lance Armstrong in Team Radio Shack Jersey

Who wouldn't want to be sponsored like Lance?

As spring approaches, more and more people are contacting KGS Bikes to ask us to fit them to their new bikes that are provided by sponsors. Some are wanting to get fitting data so they can choose a bike that a sponsor provides. In all of these cases, we have to educate and in many cases we can’t help folks no matter how badly they want us to.

We have always promoted the unusual concept of avoiding sponsor bikes because we feel that it is not a good relationship for either party. We suggest instead that a money sponsor be found and that we are then commissioned to design a custom bicycle that will provide better results.  What? Turn down a free or discounted bike? Here is our perspective.

Bike manufacturers have relatively low basis costs in their equipment. It is relatively easy for them to snag people wanting sponsorship and then get them to commit to promoting that bike. They can get exposure if they give out equipment or deeply discount it, with the logic that if the riders perform well, it is a good deal. The problem is, riders have been conditioned to look for sponsorship deals and the deal is more important than the benefit to the rider.  If the bike fits perfectly, then it is a fantastic deal to the rider. The problem is, the manufacturer has no real incentive to get things perfect, or even close, for that matter, because they know that many riders will go for a sponsored bike over it’s performance enhancement to the rider.

If things are not right, the manufacturer has a disincentive to improve the lot of the rider, as they have already done their part, which is to deliver a free or cheap bike. The rider then has to live with this problem and is obligated to try and make the ill fitting bike work, and to promote the brand. This is where problems happen.

In our experience, the design of the frame is critically important to your success. If properly designed and built around you, it is a success tool that will allow you to train harder, recover faster, corner better, sprint better, and will be more comfortable and much more fun. If you paid for it with your hard earned dollars (either your own or those you got from a money sponsor) you have the leverage to get the provider of the bike to make things right for you!

This happens in all areas of bike racing and triathlon, as everyone wants to reduce their cost and they also see themselves providing value to the sponsor. If the important thing is results, however, why tie yourself to a sponsor who is not in it to help you? This is like the fox guarding the henhouse. Once you are committed, you are committed. You will have to live with the consequences of that decision for the season or however long your contract is.

Seth Godin made a great comparison as to the difference between being actively skeptical and willfully ignorant. I believe that most people fall into the latter category and will compromise their season for the sake of getting something free.

It is a big leap of faith, but the performance increases that can be gained by balancing quads and glutes, stabilizing the low back and ankles, balancing over the wheels so handling is improved, increased ability to jump out of the saddle, more power, quicker recovery, are in addition to comfort!  Consider your season and what you want to achieve. Do you really want to compromise in the bike, especially if you can get one for a little less?

We are happy to explain our position in more depth. Just contact us!

Originally posted 2011-02-08 13:37:42. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Masters Bicycle Racers, photo credit mnorri

Masters Bicycle Racers, photo credit mnorri

I just returned from a productive weekend in Dallas doing bicycle fittings and wanted to share with you an experience I had with a client there. Since I do so many fittings I am used to seeing people from all walks of life and every level of fitness. It is unusual to see someone like Z. Yes that is how he is addressed. Z is 62 years young and started racing bicycles about a year ago, but had transitioned from running over the last few years. He looked super fit and could have easily passed for 52, but that happens pretty often when I meet cyclists as they prove my point regarding the Fountain of Youth. He had a sign on the back of his saddle bag on his bike stating “Old People Rule!” Z said that he liked what that sign did to youngsters, and he really liked the challenge of competing with them.

What was unusual about Z was the amount of power that he could generate. He told me that he was keeping up with some of the younger, faster riders in Dallas and I have heard that before, but when he got on the setup bike and started riding at 375-400 watts and was maintaining that pace I perked up immediately!

The fitting gave him another 20 watts or so, but any way you slice it, this guy was amazing! The best part was his attitude. The best part of my job is seeing and working with people who defy the odds of aging and being a grown-up in today’s society. It is so inspiring to see a guy like Z who at the tender age of 62 has qualified for Master’s Nationals in the road race his first year and was only 11 seconds off the winning pace in one of his first road races.

I can’t wait to see the next few years as Z has not even scratched the surface of his talent and potential as a cyclist. Examples like this abound and I am constantly reminded that we can rediscover ourselves and expand our horizons no matter what age we are.

Thanks Z, for making my day!

Thanks to you for reading and I look forward to seeing your comments.

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Originally posted 2008-12-29 17:33:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Lisa Trixie Taylor, ultra runner-duathlete-triathlete, photo courtesy www.gotrixie.com

Lisa "Trixie" Taylor, ultra runner-duathlete-triathlete, photo courtesy www.gotrixie.com

I am always on the internet, blogosphere, you name it, building relationships one at a time for KGS Bikes. My business is involved in helping others move forward through cycling and one of the joys of this job is crossing paths with people who are working incredibly hard for their passion.

As my friends know, I really enjoy working with women and seek them out to help them improve their cycling game. Triathletes are a big focus in 2009 and I am constantly blown away with the programs that these incredible athletes put together and the discipline it takes to do three sports, make a living and eke out a family life.

I met Lisa “Trixie” Taylor today in Facebook and of course was thrilled to see she has a website and blog.

People are always blown away when they see my bicycles and I tell them that the bikes are a small part of the story. My fitting and technique consulting are what makes the creation of a high end bike an extension of the rider and an investment in a lifestyle. Without that, the bike is nothing but a collection of parts.

Trixie’s website and blog shows what is involved in doing ultra marathons, triathlons, duathlons and the amount of work that is required. This is proof that these endurance sports create an increased capacity for work, the ability to extend one’s boundaries and the satisfaction of really living life to the fullest.

As always, I appreciate your comments and thank you for taking the time to come to the KGS Bikes blog!

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Originally posted 2009-02-04 06:05:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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KGS Bikes – Parlee Z3 Custom, Nude, Larry

25 September 2016

KGS Bikes – Parlee Z3 Custom, Nude, Larry Originally uploaded by KevinSaunders Our friend Larry wanted a Parlee Z3 custom that was “stealthed” out. From the nude etched finish on the frame to as many unfinished or black carbon parts as possible, this 12 lb beauty was commissioned to perform yet blend in to the […]

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Do you own the bike, or does it own you?

24 September 2016

I get calls every week asking if I can “fit” someone to their bike. This is the way most people view the process in my opinion. They may not even own the bicycle yet, as they may see one in a bike shop, read about it in a magazine or be exposed to advertising and […]

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Does your seatpost limit your saddle angle?

23 September 2016

The seatpost is a part of bicycles that gets lots of attention for style points. Some people like straight posts, others set back. Many carbon seatposts are on the market and some are incredibly light. The function of the seatpost is to locate the saddle in the right place for your body. It is not […]

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What’s up at the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show?

22 September 2016

I am taking a couple of day trips to Austin to see the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show. Of course lots of friends will be there and I hope to meet many more. I will tote my camera along and am sure to have some great shots to post soon. Tweet Originally posted 2011-02-25 06:27:08. […]

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Learn from Navy Seals – Compared to them, anything in cycling or triathlon is easy!

21 September 2016

“The only easy day was yesterday.” – Displayed at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. This statement gives a glimpse of the rigors of Navy Seal training, considered the toughest military training in the world. Active.com Triathlon featured an article on a couple of Navy Seals, SO1 David Goggins and CDR Keith Davids, Commanding Officer SEAL […]

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This is what it’s all about. The essence of triathlon.

20 September 2016

I just got home from the Champion’s All Women’s Triathlon produced by Red Licorice Events at Pace Bend Park. The photo of two winners was nice enough to share. Here is the entire set on Flickr. Thanks for looking. I appreciate your comments too. Tweet Originally posted 2009-04-25 16:25:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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