Recent Bike Fit Changes Causing Interval Fails?

It’s possible I’m the weird one, but has anyone else experienced something similar?:

A recent bike fit moved my saddle position forward significantly (it was waaay too far back due to user-error during installation).

After logging a couple weeks of training rides, I’ve noticed that I can put out more power since my pedal stroke is now more “quad-y” than it has been for a while… but it seems I can’t hold that power for VO2 intervals lasting more than 2 and a half minutes or so.

This morning I started to lose it during Hurd -1 with 30 seconds to go in the third 3-minute interval. My power dropped off a cliff, my quads were screaming, but I felt like I still had some room to play with heart-rate wise.

After the longer rest period, I blew up even more spectacularly only 2 minutes into the next interval. To finish the workout, I dropped the intensity 5% for the last two intervals and was able to keep the power pretty close to target.

My hypothesis is that my quads don’t have the muscular endurance they need to take on their new, more pronounced role in my pedal stroke. Any ideas on how to speed up their adaptation?

I’m doing the low-volume cyclocross specialty plan, and I feel like I could add a fourth workout each week and still be able to recover. What 60-minute SweetSpot workouts should I try sneaking in?

Any ideas on how long it will take for my quads to “catch up” to where the rest of my body is at? Do you think that a little extra SweetSpot time will help or hurt?

Lastly, this morning all my bibs were in the laundry so I threw on a skinsuit and hopped on the trainer. I was hoping the aero-gains would help me get to the end of the 3 minute VO2 intervals faster, but THEY STILL TOOK A FULL 3 MINUTES!!!

Starting to think all this aero-talk is overrated…

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I agree with your assessment here. Think of the example of swapping from a recumbent position to a “normal” bike position, and the general shift in muscular loading seems like it would be similar to your recent change.

I think the SS work makes sense. You need to add Muscular Endurance and that should be a good way to do that for longer relative interval length, to keep the strain higher on the muscles. I would shoot for the 10-20 minute intervals to maintain sufficient loading. You can adjust to longer or shorter ones as needed.

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Thanks for the feedback. I’ll look for some SS workouts with 10 minute intervals and work up from there over the next few weeks.

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they will come around, but having different muscles firing will just take some getting used to. The right fit will be better for you in the long run so just let the body do its thing and play catch up. It’s all good.

Are you more knee over pedal spindle now?

I also had a bike fit about a month ago, and had some trouble for the first few weeks adjusting. I think what you should do probably depends on where you are in your season, but if it helps reduce the stress, after a few weeks I was able to complete them again.

If you moved the saddle forward without adjusting height it will be lower. If your only concern before was saddle setback then get it back to your preferred height.

Moving a saddle forward, as others said, will engage different muscles but throughout the whole body not just legs. Your back, neck, arm, hip angles will all have changed. Best to ease into it and make sure it works before trying too hard and then giving your body a chance to adapt over a few weeks before going all out.


Proper recommendations and they should have come from the fitter at the conclusion of the fit. Big changes mean more need for greater adaptation.

You might also have opened up your hip angle too much, becoming too quad focused. Lowering your bars or increasing the reach would fix that.

It’s like squatting low bar, high bar and front. Low is strongest, then high and last front. “Front squatting” on a bike is having a hip angle too open.

Yes. I believe my knee is more over the pedal spindle now than it used to be.


We added some height as part of the fit process. We also rotated the nose of the saddle up to be more “level”, but I’m not liking the way it feels and I’m considering dropping it a bit. It seems to have moved the pressure from my sit bones to being more centered and forward in the soft tissue area.

Initial sensations are great on short intervals. Felt like I had power to spare after Wynne and Striped. Repeated efforts longer than 2minutes (and a Ramp Test I’d rather not talk about) are the places I can’t keep the pace.

Thanks for giving me a sense of the timeframe. A few weeks sounds pretty do-able.

I’m skipping crit season (June-July here) this year to give myself more time to come back from breaking my back last August, and I’m hoping my form comes around in time for Cross Crusade (late October) and a run at cxnats in December.

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