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How Much Of A Difference Does 2 Millimeters Make?


April 2012

I’ve written a few posts on bike fit, specifically about the importance of how well my road bike fits to me (not the other way around), here, here, and here.  While I haven’t tinkered much with my setup of late, I did raise my saddle the other day by about 2 millimeters because I felt like my butt was riding a little low. I have my seat post marked with a Sharpie so I can always get back to the proper height if one of the shop techs moves it, I couldn’t see the end of my mark so that suggested it indeed was a touch low.  I assumed that it wasn’t tightened properly the last time I had it to the shop.  Figuring that the post slid down a little, I raised it to the proper level so I could just see the end of my mark.  To give you a firm idea of just how insignificant that is, it’s less than a tenth of an inch.  I made this change after my 39 mile ride on Tuesday (after which I felt fantastic) and before my 16 mile ride on Wednesday evening.  Riding on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday was fine, but after my longer 30 mile ride yesterday, I noticed that my “hot spot” on my right sit bone is back – if I let this go, the soreness will spread all the way down my hamstring.  So, to sum this up, I went from feeling great to having a hot spot on a sit bone because of 2 millimeters…  That’s how important a proper fit is.  I’ll be lowering it back to its previous position when I get home this evening and should be right as rain by tomorrow morning.

If you’re on a bike and it hurts, if your form is even close to fair, it’s more than likely your setup (unless you just doubled your mileage in the last week or so in which case you should expect to be a little sore).

That said, what led up to my misdiagnosis of a low saddle was actually a good change in progress – I was becoming incredibly comfortable in the saddle.  Live, Ride and Learn.


PS:  By the way, that just got me to thinking…  I did write about slamming my stem a couple of weeks ago (along with changing the angle of my bars/drops/hoods)…  That took a little bit of getting used to, but I’ve been stretching quite a bit to try and limber up to try to fit better on the lowered bars.  It hasn’t been perfect, but I’m getting a lot better, and that really showed some positive results yesterday on that 8  mile trip headed into the wind…  The location of my hoods is absolutely perfect and that’s taken some of the pressure off of my shoulders.  Truth be told, it would probably wouldn’t hurt to raise that stem a couple of millimeters too – I’ll have to toss that one around for a bit.


  1. […] 1 millimeter adjustment on my saddle that I wrote about the other day worked fantastically well by the way – my hot spot is gone…  It’s surprising to […]

  2. […] to reduce that as much as possible. The main trick is to get your saddle height properly adjusted, then dial it in over a few longer rides (mine is dialed in within a millimeter or 39 thousandths of an […]

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