Bigger guys need bigger Q?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bigger guys need bigger Q?

    Any big guys out there find that the Q of normal cranks is a bit small? Anyone have any url's to websites which discuss Q and how to determine the best fit for a particular person?

    For several years I have been trying to dial in the fit of my road bike. I carefully position the seat in the same position relative to the BB as on my mountainbike, but my pedal stroke on the mountainbike always felt much more comfortable. Then about a year ago I started experienceing pain in my knees and hips. Thanks to the archives on the "training" board I was able to trace it to a new pair of shoes I began using for lifting weights and that it was likely something known as IT band syndrome. Another suggestion on the training board for IT band syndrome was that the Q factor was too low. This makes me think that the wider Q of the mountainbike cranks is a better fit for me.

    Wider hips of a Clyde = wider cranks? Seems to make sense to me.

  2. #2

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    maybe, maybe not

    [Forgive me if I'm asking the obvious, but have you had a professional fit done on your road bike?. I love to mtb but started road riding to give myself more options. When I began I just about quit because I was so uncomfortable, but then I had a pro fit and saw a huge inprovement. I also learned in that session that I needed to work on my flexability, I was pedaling with my knees bowed out instead of up and down. Its a work in progress, but definetly made the rides more enjoyable. It seems to me that the setup on the road bike was alot more critical than on my mtbike.
    Regards , Jim S.






    QUOTE=npstaehling]Any big guys out there find that the Q of normal cranks is a bit small? Anyone have any url's to websites which discuss Q and how to determine the best fit for a particular person?

    For several years I have been trying to dial in the fit of my road bike. I carefully position the seat in the same position relative to the BB as on my mountainbike, but my pedal stroke on the mountainbike always felt much more comfortable. Then about a year ago I started experienceing pain in my knees and hips. Thanks to the archives on the "training" board I was able to trace it to a new pair of shoes I began using for lifting weights and that it was likely something known as IT band syndrome. Another suggestion on the training board for IT band syndrome was that the Q factor was too low. This makes me think that the wider Q of the mountainbike cranks is a better fit for me.

    Wider hips of a Clyde = wider cranks? Seems to make sense to me.[/QUOTE]

  3. #3

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    agree

    I have wide hips and have never been bothered by cranks with a wide Q factor.
    That said, I also feel fine on road bikes with a narrower Q factor, and was fine on my old track bike with an even narrower Q factor.
    But yes, if you're built wide, I doubt a wide crank is gonna trouble you any.
    BTW, did you know the Q stands for Quack Factor, as in paddling like a duck vs pedaling like a skinnyass stickboy.

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys for the input.

    I'd be interested to hear more about the "professional fit" on your roadbike. Sure I've been to the bikeshop where some highschool kid tries to guess the right size frame, but nothing that would take into consideration something like Q. My fit has just been trial and error over the last 10years of road and mountain riding. I've been through several stems and frames to get where I am at now (I think it's good, but am open to any suggestions for improvement). If there is a service where a very experieced person would evaluate my fit and take everything (Q, handlebar width, cleat placement, etc.) into account, that would be quite interesting and worth pursuing. I'd also want fit geared toward comfort and efficiency of pedal stroke. Some pro trainer worried about wind tunnel effects probably woudn't get me in a position I consider "better".

    I'm not really uncomfortable on the roadbike and don't experience any pain from riding it. I ride it 45 minutes at a time 3 days a week on rollers so I think if there was a severe problem in fit I'd notice it. I was mostly curious if anyone had any ideas of how to dertermine optimum Q for a particular person. Maybe it has as much to do with technique as body size? You mentioned knees pointing out. If so does a wider Q promote poor pedaling technique? Could I have developed a bad habbit in my stroke?

    Being flexible is definitely a plus and can help with comfort on long rides. But, shouldn't I be in a position on the bike that doesn't require much stretching - especially in my knees, hips, and/or ankles? When I'm on my roadbike I feel a very slight stretch along the sides of my hips when I first start out. After a few strokes it goes away. I don't feel this on my mountain bike. I think it is because of the wider Q. So lets say I start stretching my hips a lot and get to the point that I don't notice the slight stretch on the roadbike. Would I still not be better off with the slightly wider crank position like on the mountainbike? I would think this to be a more neutral position for my legs.

    Most of what I can find & read indicates that low Q is desired. I don't understand why. I think there may be cases where a person wouldn't want Q to be as low as possible.

    Q is Quack factor? I'm just gullible enough to believe that. So if you're kidding, please let me know before I start using that in conversation.

  5. #5

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    pro fit, pro shop

    I think you need to find a shop that is considered a pro shop. I'm fortunate here in so-cal to live 30 min. from such a shop. When my fit was done they spent 2 hrs. setting up my bike taking into consideration my size and riding style. The owner (who did the fit) was a cat 1 racer and was a wealth of info. The cost was $70 and was well worth it. Your right as well that cleat placement plays a big part in road riding. If I were you I'd post over on RBR for more info, as well as ask for info on a good shop that is closer to you that might help you out. Good luck, Jim S.

  6. #6
    Sirstopsalot
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    When I bought my VPFREE I had no idea what a fitting was when they told me to put on my riding shoes but first he starts looking at the bottom inspecting them I though that was weird then they told my to ride my bike the two guys helping me started watching me real close and pointing at me I though it was a test ride but they told me to come back and then they start changing parts I didnt know what they were doing .Everthing took about 2 hrs getting fitted is the right way to go
    Quote Originally Posted by bigkahunadad
    I think you need to find a shop that is considered a pro shop. I'm fortunate here in so-cal to live 30 min. from such a shop. When my fit was done they spent 2 hrs. setting up my bike taking into consideration my size and riding style. The owner (who did the fit) was a cat 1 racer and was a wealth of info. The cost was $70 and was well worth it. Your right as well that cleat placement plays a big part in road riding. If I were you I'd post over on RBR for more info, as well as ask for info on a good shop that is closer to you that might help you out. Good luck, Jim S.

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