Leg Length Discrepancy On The Bike | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

Leg Length Discrepancy On The Bike | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

– Hello and welcome to Ask GCN Anything. – Well, we say anything but
actually, we’ve got lots of questions and answers
about training today, cause that’s what you
guys sent in as questions. – Yeah and also, some tech
ones as well, let’s put those on the table as well, Emma. We need to address those. – Right, OK we will do our best to answer. – We will indeed. Right, first question. This one comes in from LorenzoS and this is a training question. So Lorenzo has asked: “How
do two riders with disparate levels of strength, fitness,
form, yet who ride together frequently cause they like to, actually influence each other’s form?” Specifically, he’s saying,
he worries about accumulated fatigue of the less strong rider, cause obviously forced
to try harder to keep up, and then with the stronger
rider, detrain effectively by having to ride at someone else’s pace. So, it’s a good question that. – Yeah, cause of for
lots, I think, you know, a lot of people like to
ride with their friends, and that’s a good thing,
it makes it more fun. And I used to find that
training with other people actually made me train
better because, you know, having other people to compete
against a bit on the hills. But if you, it’s just two of
you, and you’re riding next to each other and one’s stronger
then obviously one person’s gonna be training harder
relative to their threshold or whatever measure you
choose, than the other rider. So you could end up with
one rider getting too tired and the other one taking it too easy. And so there’s one simple way of cycling which is that the weaker
rider sits behind, and then you’d benefit from the draft. But that kind of defeats– – Less sociable, isn’t it? – It is a lot less
sociable, it’s hard to have a conversation when you’re
shouting over your shoulder. (laughs) – Yeah, personally, I
think there’s no problem when one rider going off and
doing intervals or whatever, as long as you sit down
before hand and say, you know what, on this climb
I’m going to go and do this and I’ll wait for you at the top. So that’s definitely one way of doing it. – And, in fact, both
riders can do intervals, cause you can do your
intervals at your own pace then regroup for the warm-down and it, and then got your sociable
bit and your anti-social bit. – Yeah, hey we used to do
this cool things actually on training camps, years
and years and years ago, where the stronger rider would do like a four minute interval, and
then the less strong rider would hang around halfway up the climb and do a two minute interval, but because they were fresher,
they would then end up putting the stronger rider
under a lot of pressure. So, you’d then end up, obviously,
you have to do two minutes as opposed to four minutes
but you could end up having quite a lot of fun
together, cause the less strong rider really puts the
hurt on the strong rider. – Yeah, and now I think
that’s what’s great about training with other people. Is it, you know, pushing people, as long as it’s friendly, it’s really fun. It’s way more fun and it’s
better training often. – Yeah, use your imagination, I think. But, conveniently, you made
a video about it, didn’t you? – Yeah, we did. How to train in a group without being too anti-social. I do think it’s also
important to remember that, not every ride has to be like thick zones, you know, three and a half
minutes at this cadence and this power or whatever. – No, thank goodness. – No, exactly, you know, a
lot of cycling is riding, and you don’t have to do
something specific in every ride, so riding with someone
who’s a different pace to you is not a problem, mostly. But maybe, if you’re trying to train for something specific,
maybe not every ride. – Yeah, anyway, some more tips
check out the vid behind us. – It’s only a little bit
of cobbles, Emma c’mon. – No, I don’t like those. – But you can be sociable and considerate, it’s just a bit bumpy. – I just, bumpy, bumpy, bumpy. – C’mon. (slow guitar music) – Now to a question about what
sounds like a training injury or almost a training
injury from monkeynkl. So this is Ballard T.
Edwards, V, good name. And he says, “Here I sit after two days straight riding vigorously with power. Today I’m in pain, my right leg is a half an inch shorter than the left. The inside and outside of
the leg are very stiff. I can feel like a stiff
ligament on both sides.” Doesn’t want just a band aid solution. “How can I compensate for the discrepancy you gurus of the cycling world.” Well thanks for calling
us gurus, first up. – Yeah, right, OK, well the first thing is if it is like a biomechanical
issue like a leg length discrepancy, I don’t think either of us are actually qualified
to advise you on that. So, I would seek out a very
reputable and experienced bike fitter because when
you start messing around with things like a bike fit,
particularly if you’re trying to offset a leg length
discrepancy, then you can end up doing more harm than good,
because I think that a lot of people probably do have
leg length discrepancies and they never know about it because it’s never actually
the cause of a problem. So, I wouldn’t necessarily
pin all the blame on that, there could be other factors
at play here as well. – Yup, I agree. And the other thing is
that everyone’s different, so while there are ways to sort out a leg length discrepancy, it doesn’t mean that it’s right for everyone,
so I actually always, don’t anymore, but I used to use shims to help my shorter leg be a bit longer. I even got a, I think more than an inch’s difference in leg length, so– – Wow, I always wondered why
you walk around in circles. (laughs) – Yes, well, yes exactly, so yes. So, you can compensate for it but would go into your bike fitter first. And then to the immediate
problem, to me it sounds like you need to see a physio
and possibly another thing that could help you is
doing some strength training because most injuries,
especially on the bike are actually caused by weaknesses and with the right kind
of strength training, which doesn’t have to take very long, you can really help yourself
to avoid those injuries. – Yeah, I guess the only other
thing I would add to that is that it’s kind of a warning
to all of us out there, and I’m not saying you have done this, but I certainly have in the past, and that if I suddenly
start doing loads and loads of riding, particularly long hard rides, vigorous, and with power, then actually that’s when you end up with
injuries, because you kind of need to build up to a
certain level of fatigue, or certain hardness of
ride, should we say. So yeah that might be the
cause of the problem actually, is that you’ve just simply
gone too hard, too soon, and your ligaments and your
tendons just aren’t up to it. But if you want a little more info on the whole bike fit thing,
then Emma did a cracking video with the Shimano bike fit
guys, and so I would definitely check that one out as well
to give you an insight about what goes on in a proper bike fit. – So here I see that your left
leg is a little bit longer. I see this by just looking at the position of your ankle bone. It’s, let’s say a four or
five millimeter difference, something we will almost
certainly see back on the bike. – Right on to the quickfire round that is never quick,
but anyway here we go. First one, xtd 8865: “I’m
training for a fairly flat 100-mile ride I’m aiming
for an average of 20-21 mph. Apart from structured
training on a turbo trainer, my weekend rides are mostly hilly. Shall I focus more on flatter
routes at higher speed or hilly routes at lower speed, will they prepare me equally well?” – Well, this is quick an interesting one, we don’t often get asked this. We normally get worried
questions from people who live somewhere flat,
doing lots of flat training, but they’re training for
something in the mountains. So it’s like a sort of obvious problem. But I actually think this
is a really good point, because it’s not so much the average speed that’s the problem, it’s the
duration of sustained power. So when you’re doing your
100-mile ride on the flat, you won’t get many opportunities to rest, unless you’re sitting behind someone. You won’t get any downhills, basically, whereas when you’re on
a hilly training ride, you could probably put out
more power on the climbs, and then you have a bit of a break. I found that I like
training in the mountains and I got really bad
at riding on the flat, because I felt I have to put
out power, sustained power, the same power level, for four hours. I can’t do it anymore,
I really don’t like it. – Yeah, it definitely
is a specialist skill, just like being able to
ride up hills really fast, the bonus about riding
on flat roads of course, is that you can eat as much as you like because weight is much less of an issue than it is when climbing up hills. But I would say and answer
your question, that you will get prepared really well
from training in hilly roads, but it’s definitely worth
doing specific work as well. Now, your turbo trainer,
as long as you’ve got the resistance backed off,
that’s gonna be really good, because your actual peddling style changes when you’re riding on flat roads as well. But then do some longer
rides on flatter roads as well, if you can,
just so that you’re ready for that kind of effort, like Emma said, without any kind of recovery. – I think it depends on
the person, so some people are just physiologically
suited to riding a long time at a steady power, and some struggle. So if you do a few rides
like that in your training, you’ll know for yourself how you feel and also if you get a sore back, because you change your position less when you’re on the flat than
you do going up and downhill. So you might find that
you need to sort of get up every now and then and jiggle around. – Yeah, absolutely. Told you
this wasn’t gonna be quick. Right, what’s next, Emma? – The next one is, oh this is
and interesting one, I think, this is from Apit Segan, his question is about power meter versus
heart rate monitor. – Oo, good one. – So, not just the simple
one about how to train with a heart rate monitor,
no, “for those that are using a power meter as a
training tool, they’ll see the improvement in their increased FTP. But for those using heart rate monitors, how do they track their improvement?” That is a really good point. – It is a very good point,
and actually the answer is brilliantly simple, isn’t it? Old school, just time
yourself over the same section of road, I always used
to use the same climb, and you just keep going back
to that at regular intervals. Make sure that you freshen up beforehand to a similar extent so
you’re not too tired. And basically ride up it as
fast as you possibly can. – Yeah, exactly, so the
complicated thing is you’ll see probably a change in your time and your heart rate as you get fitter. Because say if you rode
at the same heart rate, and you were getting
fitter, you’d probably do it quicker for the same heart rate. But as you get fitter you might be able to raise your heart rate higher. So when you’re really fit,
you might find that you can both ride the climb quicker,
and get your heart rate higher. But essentially at the end of the day, the game is not to get
more power or to change your heart rate, the
game is to do it quicker, so that’s the thing you should measure. – It’s not bob-on accurate, of course, you know, whether variation
is the main problem, if anything, isn’t it? – Yeah – You’ll know full well when you’ve got a tailwind going up a climb and when you’ve got a
headwind going up a climb. But, if you do it often enough, you will definitely get a feel for it. One other thing here actually,
and it’s just an aside, but we were talking about it
in the GCN show this week, about heart rate variability,
which you’ve actually dabbled with training
using that as a tool. – Mm-hmm, I have. – And it actually rather than measuring number of beats per minute, it measures the time gaps between each heart beat. Because there is a
degree of variation there and it changes depending
on your fatigue levels. So actually you can use super
accurate heart rate monitors to get a real gauge of how tired you are, and therefore you can
change your training load. How good is that? – It’s fascinating, I
looked into this last year, and yeah, worth it looking into. – And didn’t it tell you
you were really tired. – Yeah, but I kind of knew that already because I kept falling
asleep all the time. (laughs) So I could have probably guess, but yeah. I was fascinated to find out
about heart rate variability, I had no idea that it
was measurable at that, because it’s a very tiny difference. And also I was confused to find
that the more fresh you are the more your heart rate varies. Which I thought was the wrong way around. – Yeah that is pretty counterintuitive. – Yeah so it means that
your body is reacting more to the level of oxygen in your blood. So actually over the
course of breathing in and breathing out, your heart
rate changes ever so slightly, even though you might
have only a few beats. – I feel a video coming on. – Yeah, it’s fascinating, it really is. – Right, OK, watch this space. Heart rate variability coming up soon. Right, next up: sitting
up in the wind, from Mail. “If you have a strong
tailwind, should you sit up and use your body as a sail, effectively, to help push you along,
or keep in an aero tuck?” – Depends on how fast the wind is and how fast you’re going, I suspect. – I would agree with you there, I guess. If you’re not going
very fast and you’ve got a strong tailwind, then
you would definitely be advised to make yourself as big as possible and act as a sail. – But if you’re going pretty quick, it has to be a very strong wind, or a very fast wind I
should say, to be useful. So yeah if it’s blowing a howling gale and you’ve got a tailwind,
sit up and take advantage. – I guess you know,
don’t you at that point, where wind noise in
your ears kind of stops, and you get that beautiful
sensation of riding in like a silent bubble. That’s the point where you
can just sit up on the tops and be like, ah yeah check it out. But yeah there we go then,
I think that’s our answer. Right then, metabolic differences. – This is from Michael Hancox: “Should riders with fast
metabolisms take out more food than those with slow, or should it be the case of simply eating to hunger?” Well I think eating to hunger is always a bit dangerous, frankly. (laughs) I mean, it’s great to eat
when you’re hungry, but often when you’re riding that’s a
bit too late to be eating. – Yes, very good point. But the amount that people do eat, well when they’re on the bike
and then when off the bike, varies massively from person
to person, doesn’t it? And indeed from the person over time. We were just talking about
this before we started filming. When I was 18, 19 years old,
I used to really struggle through rides over four hours long. I used to stuff my face,
but I’d always blow. Whereas now my metabolism,
I assume it’s down to that, has slowed down to the extent
where I don’t need to eat half as much to ride, but I can ride for an awful lot longer without blowing. Slower, but– – Endurance training
over the years, as well. – Yeah yeah, and old age,
creeping up a bit I guess. Also, interesting story, for an anecdote from an old team
physiologist, who said that, I’m probably not allowed
to name names here, he said he didn’t want to at the time, even though that was four years ago. But he worked with one rider in particular who could basically ride
the whole Tour de France just with water in his bottles
and maybe one energy bar to get him through a stage, literally. And he said he worked with
another rider on the same team who needed an energy gel every
10 minutes to stop blowing. And that gives you an idea of the discrepancy between individuals. – Yeah there is a huge
amount of variability, and I think you’ll know as a rider, because you should find
this out in training, what you need to eat and how much. It is interesting when you meet people who are new in cycling and they do blow up quite a lot because they
don’t have the endurance base. There is some dependence on body shape and how much fat you store basically. Very skinny people really struggle, they’re not storing as much,
but it’s also, you can train yourself to metabolize far better. So it basically, yes. Eat depending on how much you need to eat. – Yes, basically. (laughs) Right then, anyway we’ve
got a video on that– – Yes, yes. – Not specifically on
metabolic rates, but the basic principles about what to
eat when you’re on a ride. I think we should check that one out. – Yeah well let’s leave
aside restricting carb intake to try and improve your training response to endurance training, let’s talk about what you need to eat to enjoy riding and get the most out of it. – Right, couple of cheeky little
tech questions for you now. First up from pastafari
Fsm: “what is the benefit of road bike pedals over
mountain bike pedals?” Now, this is a tricky one actually. I suspect, in performance terms,
there is no real difference between road bike pedals
and mountain bike pedals. But on feel, I personally
prefer the feel of road bike pedals because your foot
is kind of more secure. Now it doesn’t mean you can’t move it and it doesn’t mean you can’t get out. But it means that the shoe
doesn’t rock on the pedal, it’s a much bigger contact
area for cleat on pedal. – Yeah much bigger contact area, which gives you the feeling of security. – That’s it, yeah, it just kind of feels more positive really
whereas on a mountain bike you’ve got these little metal cleats and they rely on the shoe
for stability as well. Which you never notice
when you ride, indeed, but it’s just kind of in the back– – On the other hand, it’s
easier to walk in those shoes – True – So you could use mountain bike shoes and pedals on a road bike and
it’d be a lot easier to walk when you get off for coffee or whatever. But it’s less aero, and you do look a bit like a mountain biker. – Less aero, and you look
like a mountain biker, yeah two very important
points there are the end. But yeah I reckon in a blind testing I wouldn’t notice the difference. Actually no– – It would be extremely hard
to do that blind, because– – In a blind testing I
could tell the difference but I think if you suddenly
drop me in the middle of a ride and I was peddling and
looking at the view, I wouldn’t notice the difference. I think that’s what I mean,
yeah, anyway, there we go. What about this one, Emma, Avenz Llanto? – Asks “is it possible to convert from clamp brakes to disc brakes?” – No. No, unfortunately it’s not. You need a different fork
and a different frame in order to be able to go from
rim brakes to disc brakes. And indeed different wheels, as well. – So, can I ask GCN something now. Is it possible to buy, or does anyone make a frame or fork that does both? – I believe that they do,
but the trouble is you then end up with a frame that
over-engineered for rim brakes and then you wouldn’t necessarily get all the benefits of disc brakes either. You would have less
tire clearance in order to get a rim brake on
there, whereas obviously with disc you don’t need that problem. So no, it’s not, I don’t know. Depending on where you
live, it wouldn’t be worth selling your bike just to get
disc brakes I don’t think. – Depends what you’re using it for really. – Yeah, that is true. But I mean the difference between them is pretty major at times. Certainly here in the
UK where we put up with rain 364 days a year. – But actually we’ve got
a video on disc brakes verus rim brakes which you
might want to check out. (energetic music) – Right, run number three,
rain with a little bit of snow on discs, ready, off we go. Oh, god. – Final question, here we
go, this is from willbaren, it’s quite an interesting one actually, “when you crash lycra
shreds, so I was wondering did the old-fashioned wool
gear provide more protection? I’d imagine it might shred
less but wool fibers might get ground into the wound so it
might not be better long term.” That does sound gross actually. “It’s a long time since
roadies shifted to lycra with its many advantages so
it could be lost information. Does anyone out there know?” Well, I can’t say that I’ve ever seen neo-elbow protectors made out of wool, so. – No. I’ve got a bit of
personal experience on this. I used to go mountain biking
wearing old school wool jerseys and having fallen off using
those, I can definitely attest the fact that they
shred as well, pretty quickly. And also, I think you pointed
this out as well earlier, that you can still get cut
through your clothing anyway. – Yeah, I’ve had crashes
where my sock has been fine but my ankle has been trashed, so. And I don’t think the wool
fibers getting into the wound is such a problem, but there is problem in that wool is generally knitted. So once you’ve got a little
hole in it, it will unravel. Whereas lycra is not normally
knitted, I’m pretty sure, so you can get a hole in it
and you can still use it, although it does look a bit shabby. (laughs) But you can get away
with it without sort of your entire jersey disintegrating on you. – Yeah, don’t forget as
well though that there are there’s a whole kind of new
developments in lycra technology I guess, where things like
ceramics are woven in, or carbon fibers even, so
you actually get super, super, tough, durable lycra
that feels like a normal cycling short, but you can
actually slide down a road in and it’s not going to disintegrate. Again you still might get
a sore bum, but, you know. The lycra itself will stay intact. So yeah I definitely don’t
think you should go turning back to wool shorts and wool
jerseys in order to try and get some kind of robust crash protection. – No. – Basically. Yeah, anyway,
that is unfortunately an end to this week’s Ask GCN Anything. Do make sure of course that
you give us your questions that you would like
answered, stick them right in the comments section down below, or submit them on social media using the hashtag #torqueback. And then I think perhaps it’s
time to watch another video, what do you think about that? – Yeah, you could check out this video which we’ve made in Alta Badia, which is how to climb comfortably, on a beautiful climb.

100 comments on “Leg Length Discrepancy On The Bike | Ask GCN Anything About Cycling

  1. SAF1981 Post author

    Why has cycling kit gone ridiculously expensive in the last 5yrs? I'd challenge a £140 Sheep or Rapha jersey rider to a 30 mile race whilst I wear my £40 jersey. ?

  2. Simchi Rubenstein Post author

    Are there any good tips you could give for a turbo trainer beginner? How long should intervals be? What are the different types of training you can do? #torqueback

  3. Cecile Bodington Post author

    Be careful and have your leg length discrepancy evaluated by a doctor or physical therapist. Some apparent leg length discrepancies may just be due to sacroiliac joint misalignment or muscular imbalance and can be corrected with the appropriate treatment. A true leg length discrepancy is diagnosed by taking an X-ray of both legs and measuring the length of the bones of both legs to compare.

  4. Bram Lermitte Post author

    #aksgcnything #torqueback I have a question about shaving legs. If i shave my thighs I have a huge skin rash. How do I avoid it? thanks!

  5. James Kendrick Post author

    Si ups his game when Emma is co presenting. You guys rock! What is the maximum weight of a person that a road bike can take? #torqueback    Keep up the awesome work GCN!!

  6. Chris Capoccia Post author

    @monkeynkl (short leg): normally between the pedals and the saddle, the ankle, knee and hip take up the variation without a problem. if you have a short leg plus your ankle doesn't work right, then you might really start to see an issue, but normally people don't even notice.

  7. Imre Karap Post author

    #torqueback Could you do a video covering toe overlap "problem" whether it is a problem or not?

  8. Luis Solaegui Post author

    Is " Ankling Technique" a thing? I heard that term for the first time in Emma's bike fit, but i've never been aware of the movement of my ankles when pedaling. Is there an actual benefit on moving my ankles a certain way? #torqueback

  9. Dave Potter Post author

    What’s the best way of increasing your stamina for a short (but not too short) sprint? Holding an average speed of about 30+ mph, on the flat, for a minute. #torqueback

  10. Jesse Congdon Post author

    About people having different strengths just make the better rider go in the wrong gear so it's more difficult for them and it's equal.

  11. Adrian North Post author

    On leg length discrepancy, are you familiar with the Herdwick Sheep from the Lake District? There are two distinct genetic populations. One has the left leg shorter than the right, the other had the right shorter than the left. It allows then to stand and walk straight on the steep slopes, but not cause excessive erosion due to all walking the same direction around the contours.

  12. JB_outdoors Post author

    My trek 2018 Marlin 7 is making a tic tic sound like something grinding but it does it every few seconds and it's driving me nuts help please#torqueback

  13. Mike Savage Post author

    I use MTB shoes and pedals, double sided pedals on my trike and SPD-Flats on my bike. I haven't found a pair of road shoes that don't make my feet go numb and they're a complete pain to walk in.
    Road shoes and pedals do feel a bit more stable, specially out of the saddle. (Not a problem on the trike)

  14. E A Post author

    I have a road bike and have put zipps on it I have gone with a 404 on the front for aerodynamic s and a 303 on the back to save weight. As the front tyre hits the air first is this better then a pair of 404s

  15. Joe Bond Post author

    I wear wool in the winter (bib tights, knickers, baselayers, and jerseys.) I can attest to the durability of wool in a crash (it does surprisingly well compared to Lycra) BUT you do get what Americans call "rug burn" caused by wool against skin, and that's no fun either. I'm guessing it's cleaner than road rash (i.e., your wool jersey abrading your skin may be more sanitary than a road abrading your skin), but I've had it bad enough that the entire outer layer of skin is chewed away.

  16. Alex Drake Post author

    I’m relatively new to cycling (FTP of about 190w).. Recently joined the gym to try to increase my general fitness and power:weight, is there anything I could be focusing on? Is leg weight training beneficial? Or should I just get out on my bike? #TorqueBack

  17. SASHKO OFFICIAL Post author

    #torqueback sometimes when i am training or ride in competition i have for few minutes awful pain in the liver and this cauase too much on the race. How can i prevent this pain?

  18. Lisa Rogers Post author

    I usually mountain bike pedals on my road bike. When I use my Look Keo pedals I turn into Matt Stephens especially when riding in a group. I could use my Crank Brothers Candy pedals with the Crank Brothers 3 bollt cleats. I have used these in the past on my carbon sole Shimano road shoes.

  19. Lisa Rogers Post author

    #torqueback. I have a couple of questions. It there such thing as a comfortable climb? When I do them it pure tourture. I'm must happier going downhill. Also do you have any idea why I am more tired riding downhill than uphill?

  20. Barb303 Post author

    #askgcnything Nutrition question: glucose and fructose combo. Does it really work as 2 energy channels for the double power results? Is it backed up by science? If so, give some practical examples on the sources of those, please. Thanks

  21. Barb303 Post author

    #askgcnything Garmin Connect has that useful tool on measuring the progress based on the heart rate/heart rate zones and speed, aerobic and anaerobic training effect. it may not give you specific FTP, but still fairly easy tells you whether you did improve or maintaining your fitness level. What's your take on this?

  22. Stuart Dryer Post author

    Emma, after your bike fit did you feel better on your bike? Was it really noticeable?

  23. Stuart Dryer Post author

    Resting HR will drop as fitness increases as well as HR variability. Also in Training Peaks you can look at heart rate speed decoupling and how that occurs with ride durations.

    Temperature and heat index are confounding factors. There is a strong physiological cost to thermoregulation in hot humid conditions.

  24. samweis Post author

    #torqueback hey guys, i have a gravel bike, is it posible to change the tires on my wheel to road tires without any problems? or do i need a new wheel aswell?

  25. Pascal Joris Post author

    About the first question: one might think giving a handicap to the stronger rider to compensate. I'm specifically thinking about an inline trailer (Yak, or something like this), and changing the load to fine tune. Thoughts?

  26. Simeon Jones Post author

    Hi I’m an Osteopath with 20 years experience and lifelong cyclist. If you have an apparent leg length difference you need to see an experienced Osteopath who can treat the problem, before you see a bike fitter, you need to fix rather most important machine first. Leg length discrepancies can be caused by pelvic torsions, or back stiffness. Bike fit must be biometrically appropriate!

  27. John Senior Post author

    Have a leg length discrepancy as a result of not great treatment after car accident. GP informed me my body would adjust and not to worry- we’re talking 2cm here. Initially no problem running or biking ( was doing triathlons). Then 5
    years of running injury. Nuffield clinic sorted out- laughed at this difference being insignificant and have built up running and everyday shoes. Never been an issue on bike but I have about 4mm of shim under shoe plate. ( Am 60 now so if I was younger and aiming at elite then I’d be more worried about the 5/10% discrepancy in power my legs produce). For most people .5 or less is relatively normal and not sure how much good a bike fit would be. A good way of assessing whether you actually have a significant leg length issue is to stand in front of a mirror- draw a black dot in the same place on each hip and then place the foot of the leg in question on the pages of a phone directory until your hips are level. The thickness you are standing on will be the discrepancy. BTW – I rate bike fit, particularly if you have a recurring problem but when you’re talking about putting one shim half a mill thick under a shoe plate then you need to be1. A pro, 2, Well off 3. Have a tendency to think people selling you something are in fact a charity who’s only aim is to serve you.

  28. fleinsoppmannen Post author

    Which bike should I buy if I'd both be using it as my commuters bike and as a training bike? (I'll be using it 9/17 times to commute) Is it too much to ride your carbon bike to work?

  29. Joseph Camp Post author

    Beauty, brains, and Si…just kidding. Y'all are a bounty of bike-lightenment; out here we huddle alone with our bike obsessions or in small, isolated, and ignorant groups. Thank you for your indepth insight. I'm lost as heck on the whole "time between heartbeat" concept of training effort.

  30. BOo MonSter Post author

    In regards to the person when the question regarding leg discrepancy. I have the same issue around a cm. If you would like to know how I've gotten on leave a way for me to contact you.

  31. Ryan Zapotocny Post author

    Do you guys have a video coming that will review the results of Emma's bike fit? I'm super curious how she is getting on as she said she never had a formal fit previously. Just a thought.

  32. Robin Seibel Post author

    I've got two FTP test questions: 1. For an FTP test is a flying start or standing start best? 2. Then to find/calculate FTP do you use average power or normalized power? #torqueback

  33. keriezy Post author

    MTB pedals and shoes because I am a commuter.
    I did swap for some smaller pedals with less surface area recently and I miss the flatter/wider pedal but appreciate the newer ones are half the weight.

  34. alarsen21 Post author

    Cento 10 NDR does both rim and disc brakes (and it's blooming beautiful)


  35. Vee_DT Post author

    For frames with both disc AND rim brake compatibility, check out Wilier Triestina Cento 10 NDR

  36. Galen Kehler Post author

    Emma: I have about 1 inch leg length discrepancy.
    Bike fit guy in video: you have about 4-5 mm difference
    Dear GCN: Please get Emma a wallet card for metric conversions ?

  37. BuexxTM Post author

    Rose bikes often have both options for brakes, as they sell the same frame with both rim and disc brakes.

  38. Rasmus Wiman Post author

    #torqueback about that bikepacking trip in Morocco. You were riding a pair of rather pricey bikes, in a country that while not exactly poor, is a bit less wealthy than most European countries. How concerned were you about the safety of the bikes? After all, stealing carbon bikes is popular even in the wealthiest of countries.

  39. Big Ring Post author

    tail wind sail lol. For a reasonably fit rider you'd have been to going pretty insanely fast for rolling resistance alone to sap your full power capability. If the wind is going that fast, you'd probably be struggling to not fall off the bike. Of course if you just want to take a break instead of riding faster, then why not.

  40. se7enTse7en Post author

    The stronger rider rides in front, with the weaker in back… of a tandem.   (Or vise-versa).

  41. Richard Kendrick Post author

    You should never sit up and act as a sail for a tailwind. Tailwinds are evidence that you are riding too slow. Aero tuck and spin those cranks until you are fighting a headwind! If you find that you cannot spin the cranks fast enough, you should immediately pull over and swap on a larger chainring. It's for precisely this reason that I keep a 60t lashed to my saddle rails with an old toe strap.

  42. Preston Yardley Post author

    Hey I have a great ask GCN,

    Do pro riders have any tricks on getting good sleep during stage races? Like how to solve restless legs to hotel rooms?? #torqueback

  43. Nichole A Post author

    Like the Emma and Sia combo! And I really like having Emma as part of the team to represent us women folk on bikes.Cheers!

  44. apollo 74 Post author

    #torqueback: i've got a cyclocross bike currently, that i ride as a road/adventure bike as they were not making gravel/adventure bikes @ the time of purchase. my issue is, i tend to get sore riding during long rides( 35-50 mile rides over 1.5 hours on the bike). the soreness is usually in my neck/shoulder area and i notice it more when i ride on my aero bars. i do plan to change from an aluminum frame to carbon once i have the opportunity (n=1),but until then i'm doing what i can to make this bike more comfortable ex carbon seat post, wider tires etc. what do you all think of the Lauf front fork? from what i see, it's designed to help decrease the annoying high frequency road buzz that fatigues us and the only info i can find comes from the manufactures(they may be a little bias). any words of wisdom or have any of the presenters @ gcn ever used the Lauf front fork?

    thx for the info….if you respond!

  45. Thomas Bogaard Post author

    Hello GCN, I have two questions, so you can use it in the quick fire round 🙂 The first one is about cleats my Time cleats wear out too quickly for my taste. Apparently the old RXS cleat seems to last long, but you can't buy the pedals anymore. How are other systems holding up, can Emma comment on speedplay? Do those last? And the second one, I started shaving my legs any easy solution in keeping them smooth other than shaving twice a week? Thank you very much and keep the nice videos coming! #torqueback

  46. Jorge Salgueiro Post author

    About the tail wind question. Its very improbable that you could could use your body as a sail. Because wend riding you are making displacing air. So if your 40km/h your making at least that kind of wind. You would need that the tail wind would a suficient pressure on your back so thst would be greater than the wind your creating. Go aero always.

  47. Quentin Bennett Post author

    I always like to watch the videos from end to end, but some of the videos mentioned along the way sound interesting, and by the time I get to the end, I've forgotten about them and/or can't be bothered to go back and find them in the content. Is it possible to include links to mentioned videos in the text, along with other the other links and blurb. Thanks

  48. somersetfan1 Post author

    #torqueback, as someone who does both, what would be your rules on passing horses on the road. This: https://www.facebook.com/jennimortimer/videos/10160461100750635/?t=0 is NOT ok. Edit to add: turns out it was Windsor triathlon!!!

  49. Andy Gritton Post author

    #askgcnything #torqueback Loads of data out there proving tyre rolling resistance and aero impact, but where is the scientific comparison of actual tyre grippiness. It's all marketing blurb and anecdotes. Sounds like a perfect GCN does science!

  50. Kevin O'Brien Post author

    I'm very new to road cycling (new bike last month) and I'm planning on a 300k cycle this time next year, over two days hopefully. What kind of distances do I need to concentrate on in training? Is strength work really important? Should I drive over the route to plan what roads to use, where to stop etc? Lots of questions ?#askgcnything#torqueback

  51. Buster Brown Post author

    Question: If the UCI relaxed rule on seat position, how far forward would the pros go and would this influence new frame designs or saddle designs?

  52. Darrell Whitford Post author

    I use a couple pairs of Marino wool riding shorts in winter here in Australia as it gets really cold around here on the 21st June at 6am for about 2 hours. ?

  53. Ho il Post author

    #torqueback Hi GCN ! Sometimes after hard sessions my legs feel pretty well till the end of the day. Same wellness when I wake up next morning but after a couple of hours in the day soreness begins… I think, generally, it's more common to wake up sore, so why does it come late sometimes ? Any advice ? Thanks 🙂

  54. Muzza007 Post author

    #torqueback Which is faster? Turning a bigger gear at lower wattage or spinning a lower gear at higher wattage? Is there and inflection point which one is better than the other? Maybe some science required on this one.

  55. Lincon_s Post author

    #torqueback what type of food should i be eating to stay in shape, i know some of it depends on what I'm willing to do but what greens or proteins do you recommend, would artificial protein be better that milk or meat, by artificial i mean like protein powder, or protein bars.

  56. ΝΟΜΛ Post author

    question one: why not just treat it as a social ride and do your training individually at other times during the week. there's no need for every ride with your mates to 'fit' a training plan

  57. Jonathan Groom Post author

    #torqueback ?: What is your best way to clean off thick brake pad residue on carbon rims. I'm "breaking-in" a new set of ENVE wheels and I've noticed the brake surface has spots where thick residue from the brake pads has accumulated, rending a terrible jittery braking experience. I've read using acetone? rough part of a scrub brush? hard eraser? fine sand paper? could do the job… Not feeling very keen with the idea of scratching the surface, what are your recommendations?

  58. Greg Sweet Post author

    #torqueback How does one get oily road spatter out of hi-viz (florescent) kit? I have a few jerseys that are fine for on the bike but make me look a real mess anytime I am off the bike. No fenders and I commute year-round so there's stains on both the front and back.

  59. Dino Muratovic Post author

    #torqueback #climbing
    There are a lot of climbs where I live (Serbia) and I was wondering… How much does the tire pressure/width/weight matter when climbing compared to descending? Roads here are not bad, but not that good either.
    Thank you.

  60. Danny Best Post author

    #torqueback after recent events regards a horse being hit by cyclist can we have the correct way to pass a horse maybe get someone from horse community involved. It wasn't in cycling proficiency when I did it many moons ago

  61. Calum O Connor Post author

    If you are to young to consume energy gels or bars on a bike ride what can you eat?

  62. Michal Malicki Post author

    Hi, I just did Stelvio from Prato side followed by a second climb of the pass from Bormio. The second climb was horrible with cramps and general feeling of exhaustion. While I think my nutrition was okay during the ride I feel that there must be some kind of training I can do to improve endurance for rides like this one. Could you suggest something? I live in the flats of the Netherlands… thanks! Michal

  63. jrm250 Post author

    #torqueback I have found a local cycling club that offers daily group rides. The slowest paced group they offer on most days is 16-18 mph average. I currently average about 14 mph and want to know if I would be able to ride with the faster group since I would be drafting most of the time. I live in NW Ohio and the only hills are highway overpasses.

  64. Karlo Matić Post author

    I have question about pedals and cleats. I've recently experienced a problem with my look KEO easy pedals. When I clip in and start to pedal, I notice that my cleat feels loose on the pedal, like I can feel it sliding around. So is there a fix to stop it from sliding around? #torqueback

  65. Kamaldeep Singh Post author

    #torqueback #bikepacking – SI what do you do about your bike bag when you travel abroad or take flights . When you did Morocco who managed bike bags. I want to cycle from diff start and end points and take flights

  66. MrTrafficSafety Post author

    How much more Watts is riding on Gravel?! I ride a 10km of gravel, canal paths and rough roads on my commute and Strava seems to reads my avg watts a bit low #askgcn #ask #askgcnything

  67. Cormac Stapleton Post author

    #torqueback I have a question about clipless pedals. My road bike (entry level) came with toe clips and straps which I think are great. I leave the straps quite loose so I can get my feet in and out of them easily. I mostly use my bike for commuting and getting around town so the toe clips and straps are good because I can use any shoe. I also do some weekend rides of 1 or 2 hours. Am I missing out hugely on performance and enjoyment by using trainers and toe clips? Should I get a hybrid pedal that is flat on one side and clip on the other or just a road/mtb pedal and swap them on and off the bike? Sorry for the long question. Love the videos.

  68. DL Post author

    Question about hydration #torqueback. I live in Florida and I sweat, A LOT! If I don't drink at least 830 ml/hour (often more) I am left dehydrated and spend the rest of the day drinking fiendishly trying to rehydrate. My fellow cycling friends drink far less than me on longer rides. I use a mix of electrolyte tabs and carbs I'm not a big person either. Am I doing something wrong or do I just need more liquid than the average rider? cheers!

  69. Helen Wilkie Post author

    The answer to that tailwind question wasn't good enough, I need to see you in a wind tunnel facing backwards.

  70. Fred Wittleder Post author

    #torqueback I am looking into getting a new helmet and researching the aero road helmet. I have seen many reviews, but many helmets are left out, like the Giant Pursuit and Catlike Cloud 352. I know fit is different for everyone, but was wondering if you could do comparison to a number of helmets between your crew and give feedback on what each person likes and doesn't like. I am not big on finding out which one is faster, because they will all be faster than the one that I have now. I want to know which one feels like it has the best ventilation, looks better on the head, weight and any other categories you think would be pertinent. Love the show! Thanks.

  71. Tyler Uhlenberg Post author

    All I know is I went riding today and my right upper leg almost my hip was hurting.

  72. IDK Mapping Post author

    #torqueback If i were to do intervals on my mountain bike on the road would it have the same effect if I were to do it on my road bike?

  73. Lee Pownall Post author

    #torqueback I'd like some advice on warming up before crits, gran fondos and time trials. I always struggle with knowing how long to warm up for and how intense to make it. I am certain that I am making mistakes here. For example I ride the 160km Lake Taupo ride in NZ and have been told I should have warmed up better after getting dropped about 20km into the ride. Does it make that much difference over a big difference when you would warm up naturally? Anyway Warm up, would be a good video depending on distance and profile of the rie!??


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