Saddle Position

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by MarkInNC, May 5, 2007.

  1. MarkInNC

    MarkInNC New Member

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    I have a Trek 6500 and I am new to bike ridding.

    I have had the bike for about a month and have gone on about 15 rides ranging in length from 5 to 19 miles. I am using the seat that came with the bike. There is lots of talk here and anywhere that bike talk is found about seats and seat (dis)comfort.

    I am pretty much uncomfortable on my seat. The dealer and a couple of friends all suggested giving it a try and attempting to change around the seat adjustments, tilt, for/aft adjustments.

    I seem to be sliding forward on the seat and my sit bones then no longer are on the seat. I push back and am more comfortable but slide forward again.

    I also feel that I am leaning forward too much and that makes my hands and wrists sore. I wanted to replace the handle bar riser tube to get the handle bars up about two inches. The dealer was leary about this and said I would then be placing too much weight on the rear tire and the bike would be out of balance.

    Could these two issues be related?

    thanks,

    Mark
     
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  2. RussB

    RussB New Member

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    As far as how much weight is on your hands, I've read about people having as much as 30%of their weight on their hands. The general opinoin is that is too much. I believe it should be between these two posioions: 1) on the bars you can let go without using back muscules to compensate. 2) on the hoods pedaling hard, be able to let go of the hoods. I other words, you should have a little weight on your hands but not alot. If you have too much, move the seat back a little.

    If you are sliding forward too often then tilt the front up a little.

    Before you make any adjustments, measure the angle and height of you saddle (both front and back) so if you don't like the change you can get it back to the same spot. And alway make small adjustments, and try it cor a couple of rides.

    Also soft seats are fine for short rides, but get very painful on long rides. Long rides need harder seats. As far as finding the right saddle, check out the following article.

    http://active.com/story.cfm?story_id=13529&sidebar=21&category=cycling
     
  3. Insaneclimber

    Insaneclimber New Member

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    Slideing foward is a common issue and probably related to the curv of your lower back. some of us (me included) need the seat to slope back. this will cause your weight to move back and put pressure on the sit bones. get this angle right first and then adjust the handle bars after. Otherwise you will end up chasing your tail. One thing to watch for when you start angeling the seat back is that your private parts may become numb on long rides, this means its slopeing to far back. I suggest takeing your alen key with you on a ride and just keep playing till you feel right.
     
  4. Camilo

    Camilo New Member

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    RE: just the saddle: Most guides to bike fit say to get the saddle height, angle and fore/aft position right before messing with the rise or reach of the handlebar stem. I am not an expert, but it makes sense to me.

    With my new (used) Cannondale CAAD 7 bike, I installed my old favorite saddle. I got the height and position right, but was having the sliding forward problem like you describe. To my eye, the saddle looked level, but when I actualy put a level on it, it needed to be tilted up at the nose about 1/2 inch (1+ cm). Now it looks like it's nose up, but the bubble don't lie.

    This saddle is built high at the very rear and high at the nose. I put the level across these two high points, as opposed to trying to estimate level-ness on the part that I actually sit on. This worked and I believe it is the correct way to do it.

    It is MUCH more comfortable. It makes my sit bones stay where they're supposed to. Seriously, it made a big difference, I expend absolutely no effort adjusting my position on the saddle. I sit down, and stay put.

    The first few times I rode it, I thought I might have to do a minor adjustment down because it seemed to be givng me a little pressure in that "area" that rests on the nose of the saddle (the perineum for those of you who like that kind of talk!). But either through unconscious adjustments in my riding posture, or getting used to it, that pressure no longer exists. I've been riding my bike much more miles since the adjustment and that part of my body is comfortable. The sit bones are more comfortable too, because they're sitting on the part of the saddle designed for them, not sliding forward to a part that's too narrow.

    I suggest you try that even if it looks strange.

    Sliding forward definitely puts more pressure on your hands and therefore writsts, tricepts (pushing), and even deltoids. If you're sitting back on the seat where you belong, more weight is on the seat, so less is on your hands. You don't have to exert anything to position yourself on the saddle. Then you can adjust the stem reach and rise to be more comfortable. You might find you don't need to but it doesn't matter either way, get the seat right first.
     
  5. MarkInNC

    MarkInNC New Member

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    OK, that makes sense and is certainly easy to do and I will. I have adjusted the tilt a bit but nowhere near what you are talking about on your bike. I will also put a level on it to see what that looks like. But, I believe Ill try and adjust the tilt in any case.


    thanks,

    Mark
     
  6. beth63111

    beth63111 New Member

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    I must chime in with the ones who say to do the seat adjustments first before saddle adjustments. When I bought my road bike earlier this year, that was the first thing that was adjusted on my bike. After that, it was handlebears.
     
  7. cyclingtodd

    cyclingtodd New Member

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    You may want to try the Body Geometery Avitar - first time I test rode my Specialized 2 years ago I forgot I was on a brand new seat. They have three sizes to fit different butt sizes. :cool:
     
  8. Mike Jacobs

    Mike Jacobs New Member

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    I did the same thing for a while and when you start riding more than 40 miles sitting on tissue instead of the sit bones is really going to bother you - to me, it's like an ache all over my backside & through my hips.

    I resisted upgrading my saddle from the manufacturer's, however, and eventually learned to remain on the sit bones though it took some constant attention. I remember one 50-mile ride in a group, thinking of almost nothing else. Now, just a few months later, I don't have much trouble staying in place and have saved me the cost of upgrading a perfectly good saddle... and, as we all know, upgrading becomes a compulsion!

    Just perhaps you may not be sliding back enough (I really have to PLANT my sit bones), or, more likely, that your seat is too far forward. I assume that you have already thought through seat angle.

    Oh, and don't expect it to happen immediately - it does take a little time to adjust even if you're doing it perfectly.
     
  9. Uterider

    Uterider New Member

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    agreed...
     
  10. mandovoodoo

    mandovoodoo New Member

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    After going through endless variations in position, generally to accommodate injuries, I always end up exactly back where I started, 35 years ago, as far as position goes. This is essentially a 1970s classic road racing position.

    Sliding forward often indicates a saddle too far forward, disturbing balance.

    Sliding forward often indicates too great a reach.

    Too great a reach often results from an inappropriately sized frame or too long a stem.

    Discomfort or instability on the saddle often results from inappropriate drop.

    There's lots of complexities possible. Most people seem to do very well with a bike sized for their height, top tube/stem length appropriate for that height, cleats a bit further back than modern fashion to move the foot more over the pedal (less calve work, more in the upper legs & butt), and saddle back until weight on the handlebars is right. Also, handlebar drop appropriate to the size of the frame & rider.

    I ride a frame slightly larger than my ideal because the frames go from 54 to 56 and I could use a 55! I chose one size larger because I'm more a distance etc rider than a racing type guy.

    The best simple setup/sizing system I've seen is at Moulton's site. He's forgotten more about making bikes work than most people ever knew.

    http://www.prodigalchild.net/Bicycle6.htm#FrameChart works very simply. I end up with a 55 x 55 as the ideal. I could go with a 54, but they're so short and tight that I choose a 56 x 56, with a slightly shorter stem. Also makes the bike handle more like I'm used to. Of course, a Colnago (slightly short top tubes) would be ideal, but people seem to want $$$$ for them!

    So. See if the bike is the right size. If you're one size up, which is usually the case, you can probably get a shorter stem and you'll be fine.

    And get the drop right for a road bike. See http://davesbikeblog.blogspot.com/2007/02/handlebar-drop.html I work up and down, always end up at 9mm drop in a distance bike. Which no surprise is what Moulton's chart shows.

    OK. So the reach and cleats and height right, then back the seat up and lower height gradually (or the other way) until bingo, smooth power and spin, comfort, etc. The magic spot is quite nice and generally further back than today's racers look like they're using.

    Then your butt is in the position that works and you find a saddle that supports it really well there. Different range and use can call for different saddles. For short rides (40 miles & under) I love a narrow, really secure saddle that locks me into a tight zone of supported comfort. Usually that type of saddle turns into an a** hatchet after 50 miles, at least for me. So I tend to ride a heavier, clunkier saddle with a wider nose and longer sitzbone support zone. I can shift around a bit, ride on the nose a little, slide back, and generally keep discomfort to a minimum.

    Problem. Good saddles that I like seem to cost lots of money. The short range saddle that works super for me is the Fizik Pave, old model. Really free to spin up etc, almost not there. But the rounded profile of the nose that gives this freedom tears thing up after 50 miles. The relatively tight sitzbone pocket that provides stability on short, fast rides gets old. The suspension feels a bit stiff after 3 hours, too.

    So. I use a different Fizik with a flat topped nose and longer support zone. The Pave is off the bike now that the season is in swing and I'm doing 200 miles a week. Both my Fiziks are obsolete and were pretty cheap on eBay.

    I'd get http://www.fizik.com/catalog.aspx?subid=Arione_Wing_Flex if I were shopping now and made lots of money.

    The cheap seats don't seem to work as well, although I've used Specialized with some success. roadbikereview.com has lots of opinions.

    Anyway, get the fit right and then get the saddle that works with your fit. Don't put the saddle too far forward or everything will hurt!
     
  11. Russ Reynolds

    Russ Reynolds New Member

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    This good advice was posted on another saddle related thread.

    You will find that if you remove the saddle but still leave the seat post, you get a really good fit. Height adjustment is made with muscle control. The downside is that when you stand on the pedals to sprint, you get a 'POP' sound, like a wine cork from a bottle, which unfortunately warns other riders that you are sprinting. Another downside is that tilt and forward and aft adjustment only brings tears to the eyes.
     
  12. beth63111

    beth63111 New Member

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    mandovoodoo,

    Thanks for taking the time to write that post. Good info. :)
     
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