Myth # 10 - There's only one place your knee should be "over pedal" and that's when the forward pedal is horizontal.

Actually there's a second place where your knee should line up vertically with the center-line of pedal  - when the pedals are at BDC (bottom dead center) like this picture shows.

Indoor cycle bike fit

From - I added the yellow line.

But wait John, for the knee to be over pedal, doesn't that mean that the lower leg would be perfectly vertical?

Isn't there supposed to be an angle in there some where? Of course there is and it's there right in front of you. It's created by rearward offset of the saddle which is a function of the Seat Tube angle, typically around 73°.

sadle offset 

Why I see this as a myth is because we all live in a world filled with right angles, created by perfectly horizontal and vertical lines. Floors are level, walls are plumb and bicycle riders need a soft bend in their knee - an angle of around 30°. Because we are looking for this angle, the tendency is to reject the premise and assume it can't be perfectly vertical/plumb, except it can and often is* 🙂

The easiest way to check this is to simply step back away from the rider. Observe them with still pedals at BDC and a relaxed ankle/horizontal foot.

*You'll find this applies when the saddle fore-aft is set properly.  Where it is not applicable is in those situations where the rider has moved the saddle all the way forward. Can you see how this will decrease the amount of offset = reduce the amount of the angle at proper extension?




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