Q factor / stance width sensitivity and pelvic tilt

I’m really curious about how sensitive everyone is to stance width?

A friend of mine says he can’t feel any difference and it doesn’t bother him at all.

It bothers me to the point I swapped cranksets to a setup that (on paper at least) was 4mm narrower. That meant I gave up my power meter for comfort, a sensible but unfortunate compromise. I would happily go even narrower if I could.

I particularly find if I have a wider stance I cannot rotate my pelvis forward as effectively (think Steve Hogg’s photo of a short effective spine!).

Anyone else have similar sensitivities and any thoughts? Have not put this into bike mega fit as equipment dictates the base q-factor and I am pretty sure most people just hop on a bike and give it no thought at all.

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Any thoughts on this or am I alone in super-sensitivity?

I do feel a change in q-factor too. But it doesn’t feel that different.
Going to a wider one I do notice a :

  • small increase in power (strength)
  • the ability to get lower on the bike (more pelvic rotation)
  • not feeling as squeezed up (blood flow/breathing)

The opposite of you it seems.
I believe everyone’s body shape/skeleton is different,
everyone probably needs a different setup?

That said, I do believe that q-factor is an underrated thing.

Thanks for the response that is really interesting at how differently it impacts you (and I would happily swap outcomes to yours!).

I’ve got an old pair of Specialized road shoes that have loads of cleat adjustability. I’m going to have a play with cleat position on them on one of my bikes to see if I can get back onto a ‘wider’ q factor setup with same stance width. Given the relatively small differences in Q factor between road cranksets I think it might come down more to clearance to crankarms and the scope of positioning on the shoe more than the actual crankset width.

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I ride a fat bike a lot in the winter. That has a wide Q factor. And I have an old school airdyne bike with a very wide Q factor (although I don’t ride for long durations on the airdyne).

I don’t notice any consequences, other than a different feel of the bike. Although I’m not riding in a very aggressive position on any of my bikes, so maybe Q factor matters more if you’re in an aggressive aero position.

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I prefer a wider Q than most & I’m a pretty small guy at 5’5" with 28.5"ish inseam. See, I’m duck footed & my damn inner heels rub on crank arms & seat stays. No buenos. I finally found a solution, though. On my mtb, I’m running a Shimano XT crank with 172q but that’s still to narrow so I added 16mm pedal extenders which puts me at about 188, I reckon. No more heel rub & it feels normal to me.

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I know this thread is old but… I have the same exact situation and experience. Over 20 years of riding and racing and I’m very sensitive to requiring a narrow Q factor. On my gravel bike I changed to a standard road crankset instead of the GRX set that came on the bike (Which is only slightly wider) and also bought short spindle XTR pedals to get back to my road Q factor and it made all the difference. I have a hunch that it has something to do with pelvic width, but I know that muscle firing patterns could play a significant factor.