Fitting Tips Between Bikes (Calf vs. Knee Pain)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fitting Tips Between Bikes (Calf vs. Knee Pain)

    Hey Guys,

    I've got a Trek ProCal and a Trek TopFuel. Both are identical models (9.9RSL's), minus of course one being a HT and the other FS.

    I had a fitting done on the HT a couple years back with good results. However now, I'm finding that on the HT - I get calf and back pain on longer rides, where on the FS - I feel great, but get knee pain on longer rides.

    I've matched saddle to crank height on both bikes. Have also matched handlebar to saddle (length) on both bikes. Same stems, same saddles, etc.

    My question - what is a better/more accurate measurement to make? While the bikes are similar, the geometry, top tube length, etc. are not the same. I'm trying to find the best way to make measurements for comfort, that I can equate/make relative to both bikes.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekraft84 View Post
    Hey Guys,

    I've got a Trek ProCal and a Trek TopFuel. Both are identical models (9.9RSL's), minus of course one being a HT and the other FS.

    I had a fitting done on the HT a couple years back with good results. However now, I'm finding that on the HT - I get calf and back pain on longer rides, where on the FS - I feel great, but get knee pain on longer rides.

    I've matched saddle to crank height on both bikes. Have also matched handlebar to saddle (length) on both bikes. Same stems, same saddles, etc.

    My question - what is a better/more accurate measurement to make? While the bikes are similar, the geometry, top tube length, etc. are not the same. I'm trying to find the best way to make measurements for comfort, that I can equate/make relative to both bikes.

    Thanks.
    I can't answer your question as I've struggled with this in the past. I've also struggled with certain bike fit results like you have where what seemed comfortable for a 2 hour ride, wasn't comfortable for a 4 hour ride.

    A few things to consider as you work through this process:
    -FS bikes have sag you need to factor into their geo numbers. This will shorten the reach while maintaining ETT.
    -Not sure about your age, but at my age (near as makes no difference, 40) and after back surgery, hard tails are out of the question for the exact reasons you are stating. I can put power down better, I'm more efficient for sure and faster for the first 2 hours of the ride, but after that, my low back starts limiting me. All of the micro adjustments that I am making to absorb the impacts to my low back and the increased reliance on a good hip hinge that hard tails require, leaves me toast after 3+ hours. On rides over 2 hours, I'm for sure better off on a FS.

    If I had to guess, this is a combo of factors. On the HT, you have zero sag so your bar to saddle offset is going to stay consistent while just riding along. On the FS, with sag and rear suspension, your actual bar to saddle offset is less due to the suspension. Regarding the knee pain, knee pain is always a factor of saddle height, knee to pedal spindle relationship (cleat position) and saddle location.

    Where is your knee pain, front back or side?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by minimusprime View Post
    -Not sure about your age, but at my age (near as makes no difference, 40) and after back surgery, hard tails are out of the question for the exact reasons you are stating. I can put power down better, I'm more efficient for sure and faster for the first 2 hours of the ride, but after that, my low back starts limiting me. All of the micro adjustments that I am making to absorb the impacts to my low back and the increased reliance on a good hip hinge that hard tails require, leaves me toast after 3+ hours. On rides over 2 hours, I'm for sure better off on a FS.
    Thanks. And agreed. Although with the HT providing calf (and back) pain, and the FS having knee pain (and with the FS having suspension/added sag as you mentioned), part of me thinks lowering the saddle on the HT could help.

    Quote Originally Posted by minimusprime View Post
    Regarding the knee pain, knee pain is always a factor of saddle height, knee to pedal spindle relationship (cleat position) and saddle location.

    Where is your knee pain, front back or side?
    Sides generally. Outer side, more than inner.

  4. #4
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    Same pedals on both bikes?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Same pedals on both bikes?
    Yep, egg beaters on both.

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