Saddle Height and Speed

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Motobecane11, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Motobecane11

    Motobecane11 New Member

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    Hey guys, when I first started riding, my saddle was about three or four inches lower than it is now, and I had trouble keeping any kind of speed. When I raised the saddle the first time, (about two inches) I saw a dramatic increase in both my speed and my endurance: I was riding faster and farther.

    Well I was on my normal commute yesterday pm, and I was watching my shadow, and saw that my knees still had a lot of bend in them at the bottom of the stroke. So when I got home, I raised the saddle another inch. Should I expect to get faster again?
     
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  2. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. If you're saddle was too low, then to a point raising the saddle will allow you to pedal more efficiently, maximize what you put out, but you can obviously raise your saddle too far. The rule of thumb for bend in the knee when your foot is at bottom dead center of the crank cycle is that it should be about 10 -15°. Again, that's just a rule of thumb. I'd suggest, however, that you be careful making such big changes in saddle height. Raising the saddle too much all at once can cause knee pain or injury. Another rule of thumb is to only change saddle height by 2-3mm at a time in order to allow your legs to adjust to the new geometry. Of course, if your saddle is way off in height, making big changes might be necessary. At any rate, as you closer to the optimum saddle height for you, the changes in performance you see will get smaller.
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Also, be aware that fore-and-aft position may have an effect on how efficiently a person can pedal their bike ...

    KOPS is a popular starting-and-ending point ...

    KOPS doesn't work for me.
     
  4. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    An inch is a lot to raise a saddle all at once. There are some fitting videos on YouTube. They might be helpful. Instead of watching your shadow, maybe you could get a cyclist friend to check out your fit.

    I mark my saddle and handlebar positions so I can quickly recreate the placements should I try/make adjustments. I think many if not most people start with the seat too low. Raising the seat can help eliminate knee pain as well as improve your stroke. But too high is hard on the knees as well. I found that I rocked from side-to-side (just a tiny bit) once my seat was too high (by less than quarter of an inch).
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Better to note the actual measurement. Especially if you have jokester teamates that like to move the marking tape on you.
     
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