I had been having a sore groin/hip for about a month, and while it was not too noticeable when I was riding, it wasn’t getting better. According to my doctor at a recent physical, it turns out it was a sore iliopsoas (inner hip muscle). It was starting to impede on my cycling activities, so I jumped at the chance for a referral to a PT who specializes in bike fit. I’ve been tweaking my fit for years, but never have I seen a “professional” before. According to the internet fit gurus I’ve consulted, I should have a 75-76cm saddle height based on my pubic bone height (87.5cm). Since I ride a Brooks B17, it is evidently hard to get this saddle back “far enough” for comfort. I’ve always measured it at the saddle nose to the center of the bottom bracket with a thread tied to a bolt (poor man’s plumb bob). As such, I had varied this between 65-85mm.
At the fit, he did two things that I haven’t thought much about. First, he moved my shoes out and straightened my right foot. I had always walked with my right toe pointing out slightly, and I set up my clipless shoes to angle out on the right a few degrees to make it similar to my gait. Second, he brought my seat down 5mm to 74.5cm, and forward 15mm putting it 55mm behind the bottom bracket. That was it. He had me on a pedestal with my bike mounted in a roller and watched my form after measuring the knee angles and knee over pedal spindle (classic KOPS). He also wanted to change my seat angle, but after I protested that it was pushing me forward into the bars, and he hopped on to check it, he agreed and we left it at a 7 degree angle up.
I didn’t think it would make a difference, but after commuting 66 miles this week, I seem to be over the sore psoas. My knee doesn’t hurt either. I thought having my foot straight would be a knee killer, but perhaps it was the other way round. I’ve set up my other active bikes to the same measurements, and everything feels pretty good. Now I need to get a 100-miler under the belt to see if this will stick. For now, I’m leaving it alone…