Issue with fit, and my bike fitter never had a response/solution. (Bib issue)

So, I will start from the beginning: I have mild scoliosis, and it’ been a treat on occasion, and I don’t know if it plays a role in this issue.

So I had a bike fitting, paid the money, and ride the measurements I paid for. I transferred them to the multitude of smart bikes I’ve had over the years, and have had one issue come up, repeatedly. I discussed it with the fitter, and he came up with a couple of ideas but nothing seemed to work.

The issue I have is when riding, my bibs seem to twist on my body. I end up with the majority of the pad on the right side of my backside, and have to pause and adjust the ‘creep’ and get it back a little farther to the left side. It’s been awkward to talk about, and have gotten the ‘if you keep riding, does it do all the way around?’ “HAW HAW HAW!!”

I have tried to sit still on the saddle (as much as possible) and it still seems to move. Some bibs move more than others, but they all do it to some degree. Someone jokingly suggested installing a seat belt which was so helpful, let me tell you.

I get some chaffing, but not enough to explain the movement of the bibs. On the smart bike I have, I’ve tried raising/lowering the bars, bring them closer/farther, tweaking the seat height, angle, smaller size bibs, etc. Apparently ‘normal people’ don’t have this happen?

The problem is the pad bunches up making riding interesting, and the exposed ‘cheek’ tends to get very uncomfortable. When I stop to adjust things, I am getting docked for time on Zwift, and wonder what TR might be doing. I haven’t noticed it outside, but I spend time OOS, and also ride mostly MTB and gravel bike outside.

Physically, my legs are the same length, which is great. Having different leg lengths is more common than people might realize actually. Is it the scoliosis? Is it some bizarre setting I haven’t tripped upon? Is it common? (I’m taking it from the fitter that it’s not exactly very common)

It’s a little embarrassing to talk about, but I’m looking for help. Thanks…

This sounds frustrating, sorry.

I would probably start by taking a video of myself while on the trainer from behind. Yeah, glorious. Maybe a few minutes each when fresh and during a later hard VO2 or threshold interval, i.e., when you’re more likely to show/expose less than ideal form.

There has to be an imbalance somewhere.

It’d be cool to have someone make a kinesiology tape line down your spine as a visual reference… I don’t know, why not—this is the internet. They don’t need to see the video. Or be hired off of Craigslist.

Best of luck.

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I almost feel like a custom seatpost that could tilt in the “x” axis and conform to your scoliosis would help. That way your sit bones could hit evenly

Right now the only tilt on the axis in the saggital plane and not the frontal plane.

If one side of you seatpost could be shimmed in the frontal plane would it help?

(I’m a PT but not a fitter. Trying to think through that lens)

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^ This is a much better answer than mine.

If you could figure out the shim thing, especially on a saddle with a significant split for ease of application, that could work and even be 3D printed eventually.

Bi-saddle might make something you could use. You can set one ‘wing’ of the saddle farther from the centerline than the other, for an example.

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Interesting. I assumed that since my legs were the same length, it had to be something else. Apparently it is. I thought I was shifting from side but it doesn’t feel like it. Someone, years ago, suggested putting something on the center of the seat. Hmm. Sure, but what, how large, do people really do that? Would it help? How would it help? I’m kinda lost.

Thanks for the responses.

If you start layering some 2mm shaped neoprene on the side that doesn’t grab the covers, you’d probably also add a shim under the cleat or insole of the same foot. The neoprene will collapse a little, but who knows how much, so it wouldn’t be a 1:1 stack.

Obviously this is a bit of a cowboy approach.

One thing I keep in mind is when I have an imbalance; do I want to try and fix it on the bike for the small percentage of life that I spend on the bike, or do I just want to accommodate whatever stage it’s in?

Maybe @mcneese.chad can chime in as a legitimate fitter. I’m just making stuff up.

I’ve never had any physician or specialist tell me it’s ‘bad enough to be a problem’, except in college, reading/studying/working, when I did have neck/shoulder issues. That’s probably why I tend to dismiss it so much as part of my problem, but am thinking it might play a role somehow. This problem is more comfort, but if you can’t be comfortable, why do it.

I can try setting up a camera and see what it shows over a ride. Maybe a time lapse thing somehow. I’m kind of pissed I didn’t push the fitter harder, but that happened just before the pandemic, and they closed down for a while, and he always seemed’busy’ when I tried to corner him. :roll_eyes: I’ve thought of doing another fitting, but maybe should look for a more specialized fitter, and system?

Thanks for the responses. :+1:t3:

Get out of the saddle more?
Especially, get out of the saddle before it becomes a problem.

Could also try a more slippy saddle. Or tighter shorts?

Bib size was my first thought, and it seems you looked at that. Can you give more info here? A looser fit would seem to me more likely to shift vs stay in place, but that is a guess.

Without seeing you on the bike, it’s hard to offer much more here. I think vid or two from right behind the saddle and maybe a rear 3/4 angle (both sides) could be helpful to see what your body is doing on the saddle. It seems possible that you are unlevel or unstable, which might lead to the garment creep.

I hesitate to offer much more without seeing or hearing more about what is happening on the saddle.

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Did the fitter confirm that your pelvis is symmetrical and you aren’t showing any signs of pelvic rocking on the bike?

There pretty much has to be some asymmetry somewhere in your movement to cause bibs to wrap around your body. And I’d expect the fitter to notice that.

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Sounds like a body/fit issue. I would seek out a professional fitter that also specializes in off the bike issues. Someone that can use extensive physical assessment off the bike to discover any pre-existing functional issues. This might be expensive but worth it in the long run.

I’m not a bike fitter, but…

If your legs are the same length then I’d guess that the “correct” bike fit for you is based around that - so that your pelvis stays level and legs/knees track in a plane that isn’t going to cause joint problems. But if you have a mild curvature of the upper body to one side, then that could be bringing in some extra movement during longer rides, possibly you are slightly unconsicously “correcting” your shoulders/upper body towards the position that your level pelvis is trying to push you into.
Even an hour or so bike fit might not pick up on this (the one fit I had was very focused on the pelvis/knees).

As you mention this happens on a smart bike then I can think of a few things to try - as others suggested try filming from behind with markers on your pelivs and spine. Ride for a longer period then play it back at high speed to try and see any movements. If your upper body is moving around then you could try switching from bib shorts to non-bibs (or riding without the straps over your shoulders) to prevent that pulling the lower part around. You could also try offsetting the shiftersslightly to match your upper body tilt, but that’s something that you should really only do after consulting at least one proper fitter!

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I have a related issue. My pelvis is obviously not symmetrical. If I sit on the saddle at what feels like the middle, I’m actually sitting about 2-3cm to the left.

I’ve noticed this for decades. Typically I would notice it at the start of a ride and then the issue would disappear.

A few years ago I was getting chafing on that left side and then burst a blood vessel down there which caused a lot of swelling. It turned out to be nothing and the issue repaired itself but it got me working on the issue.

I’ve tried many saddles. One thing I started doing was planting my butt square on the saddle even though it feels odd. This alleviates the chaffing.

I finally settled on an SQ Labs saddle that has the ability to rock back and forth, the Assos shorts, and intentionally planting my butt in the center of the saddle.

I also tried a Brooks style Selle Anatomica saddle and that worked pretty well. I ultimately didn’t stick with it because works better with a more upright position.

After becoming aware of the issue, I started looking at other riders in my club and noticed that most sit to one side of the other of the saddle. I also noticed the center seam of their bib shorts is also often off center. That reminds me of your rotating shorts.

My last idea for you is to look at SMP saddles. Lots of fitters love these. Steve Hogg explains why they work:

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He did check symmetry. Made a small adjustment He also checked leg length. I wasn’t peddling ‘at speed’, or with much resistance, so it wasn’t very definitive apparently. Someone did comment that there was some rocking on a group ride, so I lowered the seat a few mm, and it seemed to go away. I transferred the adjustment to the trainer, although, as an aside, I’ve had seat angle issues as it seems to tilt forward a bit. I’m not sure if that could play a role in this issue though. Thanks for your response.

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I rode with the Le Col Wahoo indoor bibs in a large, and had to go to a 2x for their new ‘race fit’ version that is still quite small, and the pad still shifts. Not as much, but there is still some movement. I had a hip replacement, and need another fit (I think) and need to find a fitter, or fit technology that will allow for measurement and compensation (if any) for this potential scoliosis issue. I’m leaning on it potentially playing a larger role than this issue than anything else. I don’t ‘feel’ any twisting on the saddle. I have wondered if OOS moments are causing the bibs to catch in the sides of the saddle. Grasping for straws…

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How does one locate such a person? There was only one ‘certified’ fitter (Specialized) in the area. I could try to locate someone if I travel to a larger city, but I would imagine such fitters to be hard to locate…

One one side, or both sides? That might change your pedalling style quite significantly.

What is the timing between this issue and the hip replacement?

Main point being that ANY joint replacement has a massive chance of changing fit and would necessitate a redo in all cases IMO. Fit is NOT a fixed target. We change over time from aging at the very least. Mix in huge changes from surgery and/or injury and all bets are off.

I get bilateral chaffing, usually. Back when I was using a Specialized Avatar, got saddle sores on both sides. Yeah, it was really uncomfortable.

I’ve gone through many saddles. I was using a Brooks C17 carved, and it worked pretty well, but has quite a bit of traction on the surface. I’ll check out the links you provided. Thanks…