Saddle adjustment help (lower back pain)

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by DanP, Dec 11, 2004.

  1. DanP

    DanP New Member

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    I know I've seen posts on this topic here but couldn't find them - I replaced my saddle a few weeks back and made some adjustments - by now I've lost my bearings and can't even go back to the way I used to have it.

    I have this increasingly worsening lower back pain which is probably related to the saddle position been a couple of weeks now.

    Wasn't there a general guideline as to what to adjust for lower back pain? Was it moving the seat back, or forward, or higher?

    I'm pretty comfortable so don't have any natural instinct to adjust in any specific direction (although feel slightly crunched when on the aero bars).

    Thanks!
     
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  2. High Gear

    High Gear New Member

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    The first place to start in setting up a bike is with the SADDLE. Height and fore/aft have to be set before anything else. You want the saddle height to be at a point that you have an ever so slight bend in the knee when at full extension of the pedal stroke, while the heel or foot stays in a flat plane. Once this is set you move to the fore/aft setting by dropping a plumb line from that bump just below the kneecap. This is done with the help of another pearson. You can set the bike up in the kitchen next to the counter. Back pedal a little and make sure you are sitting on the saddle like you would on the road. Bring the pedal around untill your are at three o'clock, have the helper check. Now have that person drop the plumb line. It should intersect the center of the pedal spindle to maybe .5 cm behind. Move the saddle front or back to achieve that setting. Now go back and recheck the saddle height, you may have to make a little adjustment depending how much you moved the saddle. One thing to note to is make sure the saddle top is sitting flat to nose up...a little. Use a three foot level to check it. If you go nose down, you'll tend to slide forward as you ride and put undue stress on your shoulders and hands. Flat to nose up, this will not happen. Once you have the saddle in the correct position, record two measurements. Center of the crank to saddle top, measuring in a way that the tape measure is in line with the seat tube as your following it up to the saddle. Next record the measurement of how far the saddle tip is behind the bottom bracket. This is done with the bike on a very level surface, drop a plumb line from the tip of the saddle and mark on the chainstay the spot the line hits. This is your saddle setback measurement.. ...Saddle height / setback. Duplicate this measurement on your other road bikes.

     
  3. wyllisx2

    wyllisx2 New Member

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    I'm just about to make seat adjustments myself. Thanks for the very detailed instructions. :)
     
  4. scottogo

    scottogo New Member

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    Thank you too Highgear. Also your explanation is easy to understand.
     
  5. DanP

    DanP New Member

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    Thanks a lot High Gear - I thought my seat was level but once I put my 3' level on it it was hugely nose-down (the slant is not that obvious on my Fizik saddle because of its shape).

    Feels more comfortable than before, hopefully this will be the end of that.
     
  6. High Gear

    High Gear New Member

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    I'm glad I could help. Dan, if your using the Fizik Aliante like me. I find that nose up with 1/4 of bubble over the line on the 3' level works best for me. It may for you too.
     
  7. DanP

    DanP New Member

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    Right, it is the Aliante so you can probably understand my "level" confusion given the front and rear undulations.

    I'll continue experimenting but figured I'd give it a week betwen adjustments to get a truer feel.

    Great saddle though! (back pain aside) <g>

    And thanks again!
     
  8. High Gear

    High Gear New Member

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    Yes, it's like no other saddle, the way it's made and flexes. Love mine and I have been through over ten or twelve looking for the right one.



     
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