My seat isn't to High!

PeteC

Warming-Up
Aug 20, 2010
6
0
0
Tokyo
#1
Hi All,

Firstly congrats on the site, very informative thank you.
I’ve been checking out this website for a couple of years now, knowing that I would be coming to Japan to live for a three year work contract, well I’ve now arrived and finally sorted myself out enough to start riding my bike properly again.
I’m a 38 yo ex road rider originally from the UK that is coming back from a serious knee injury, that nearly took my leg (ACL then big post op infection).
The injury happened in May 2008, unfortunately many op’s left me with a lot of scar tissue and initially very poor range of motion of just 20 degrees, so not so good for the bike!
But 18 months on and after starting out on 85mm crank length I’ve now got to ~ 95 degrees weather dependant! Or deep heat/stretch of the day dependant!
I now ride 165mm cranks but still have a bit of a limp whilst riding, which basically means my bad right leg throws my right hip up at the top of the pedal stroke. To many this looks like my seat is too high and last year whilst living in the bike crazy US Northwest many riders told me so, again and again and again and again... you get the point!
I’ve had bike fits along the way to get to my best position and believe me putting a 9cm 20 deg lift up stem in place of a perfectly balanced standard 13cm stem is a painful experience for any European roady, that with pushing my seat back 3cm and swapping my 172.5cm cranks for 165’s on my highly prized Scott Addict was more painful for me mentally than the knee issue!

Last year I starting racing again as a 5th cat in the Seattle area, this was initially with many complaints from other riders about my slightly wobbly style, but they soon got to know it and trust it (I could hold my line I just didn’t look to graceful!), also somehow during the season I managed to get enough points for a 3rd cat license.
So now that I’m here in Tokyo, I’m quite keen to get racing again and get properly fit, leg/weight/power (weight always an issue- I’ve always been a bit weighty for a roady!) I’m keen to meet up with a regular training group. I live virtually right on the Tama river near Denechofu and have done a few rides from here, just to about into the mountains and back, can’t wait to really hit them in better weather with no ice!

So are there regular group/chain gang training rides that are around this area?

Cheers

Pete
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#2
Welcome! There are several of us on the board here who have gone through some pretty nasty knee injuries and can empathise. Rides are posted and loosely organised. Just watch the forum. Interesting that an increased saddle height is better - generally speaking raising the sadlle puts more strain on the ACL and also more strain on your iliotibia ligament. Lowering saddle puts the strain more on the quads and upper part of the knee. I'd be looking more closely at this - and especially cleat position. A rehab tip: get a towel an while sitting on the floor, wrap it around your heel and do some slow resistance stretching every night. Both legs - even if the other one is fine. This will build more range of motion quickly.

As for weight - Japan can make you fat. I know. Lots of fried / high-fat foods and of course white rice, which is one of the highest GI foods ever. Lay off anything fried and don't eat 'white'.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#3
Welcome PeteC,

I know how you feel, Im one of the others Tim mentions.... managed to put my knee on backwards at the nationals in the UK which resulted in not being allowed to even look at a bike for 4 years!

Keep an eye on the forums and if you are interested in racing check out the stickies in the Racing section. Lots of information posted.
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#4
@PeteC - I'm also from PNW and used to race alot up there. Volunteer Park crits, Marymoor, BC, Idaho, pretty much everywhere. Mainly with Rainbow Schwinn (remember them?) and also with my own team.
 
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#5
Only ever given my knee-cap a hammering, so I can't properly sympathise, but I appreciate your pain; My broken elbow from a few years back hurts every time I ride.

Oh yeah; Hello!

Owen
 
Oct 15, 2010
669
10
38
#6
Welcome. I am just upstream from you a bit, in Futako Tamagawa. Looking to ride up into the mountains in some warmer weather as well. Just started road cycling in Japan recently, and from what I can tell, the warmer it gets, the more people are out walking along the river, and this can be pretty dangerous. Near the end of my 50km ride today, out to Haneda and then up to Noborito and then back to the Daisan Keihin and back home, I had the wind at my back and decided to get in the drops and go for it since there were few people in front of me and I was finishing up. Some jogger (who was on the left and running, in a straight line, away from me) decided to turn around and start jogging in my direction while I was doing 40km/h and only had between 30 and 50 meters to react and do something about it. In a state of shock I managed to make some noise and he got out of my way, but it was pretty close, and if he didn't move, I would have nailed him because my tires were skidding and I was not prepared to ride down the cliff/hill to the river. That was the second such incident of the day. If there had been a gate, or a post or some marker, I might have expected it, but he just changed direction, without looking in the middle of nowhere. Just a warning to be careful. I am starting to think the roads are safer than the rivers. I have not been out on the roads much though.... Ladies with strollers and homeless-looking people in the middle of the trail or going from side to side are also hazards.
 

PeteC

Warming-Up
Aug 20, 2010
6
0
0
Tokyo
#7
Guys thanks for the welcome and advice,

GSAstuto, I only lived in Seattle/Redmond for 18 months but had a blast on the racing circuit there, I lived right on the river trail in Redmond so perfect for riding my track bike down to Marymoor track, summertime in the NW is just perfect! I noticed your fixie passion I now also ride my winter/commuter bike to my office at Haneda airport, in fixed wheel mode (Kinesis convert2). I think riding a fixed helps my knee and also teaches me how to pedal properly again. Actually I was made to ride a fixed for base training back in my peak racing days by our coach...get that leg speed! Yep also been doing the stretches with the towel, I also use a foam roller and try and kneel down as much as possible, it’s going in the right direction and I hope to get up to 170mm cranks again this year hopefully.

FarEast – Ouch! I did a similar but not as extreme manoeuvre when racing as a junior, a nice crash in a crit caused by a well placed flattened coke can on a corner, my bike ended up buried in the steel pedestrian crossing barriers (it died) and I was put in plaster for 2 months! But then again I seemed to be famous for crashing out as a schoolboy and junior, I would just get too excited on the last lap which would mean either success or another trip down to A&E! (mum just loved it!)

ikedawilliams – I know what you mean on the river path a jogger also did a u turn right in front of me last weekend, I just try to avoid the peak times as per the advice in some of the threads on here and also head to the hills it’s cycling heaven up there!