Saddle Height Confusion!

SteK Posts: 148
edited July 2008 in Road beginners
I'm a bit confused.

I've always been led to believe my legs should have only a slight bend at the bottom of my pedal stroke. I have recently bought a new road bike. Without thinking, I set the saddle height in my front room with a pair of very thin soled flip-flops on (obv. not taking into account the depth of the cleats on my shoes). An hour into my first ride my lower back started to ache, so, over the course of the next couple of rides I lifted the seat pin by 15-20mm and bingo, no back pain, comfortable position etc. With my ass on the saddle and one shoe in the pedal I can hold my self up on an outstretched other foot. It feels right.

Then I watch the first stage of the Tour!

Now obviously I'm no pro! But the correct position on a road bike is universal right? Regardless of age, ability, etc??

These guys seem to have a lot more bend in their leg at the bottom of the stroke... am I riding in an incorrect position?? Or should I just go with what's comfortable and is getting me up the climbs!?!

Muchos Gracias!!



  • z000m
    z000m Posts: 544
    i think it comes down to personal choice, i would go with whatever is comfortable.
  • scraggles
    scraggles Posts: 3
    You'll get a lot more power down with a bent leg, especially when using clip-on pedals where you can get extra benefit on the back-stroke and up-stroke.
    Sounds like you're bars are in the wrong place. Are you under reaching or over reaching? Maybe they're too low/high?
    Fitting a bike well isn't easy and takes a lot of tuning, but it makes all the difference to the pleasure you get from it. I really recommend getting a professional fitting if your serious.
  • SteK
    SteK Posts: 148
    I was measured properly for the bike, using the proper jig type bit of kit that seemed to measure everything except my manhood!!! however, I found it cheaper online so ordered the same bike to be delivered - I then set it up myself - hence taking an initial stab at the saddle height.

    It is an 'off the peg' machine, so they measured me and said "yeah, this one will work for you" - there was no option when it came to stem length, etc and, come to think of it, I haven't shifted the saddle back or forward on it's rails - which can account for a big variation in reach.

    Scraggles - are you thinking that the back ache I experienced at a lower seat-pin height could be reach related and not saddle height related?? If so - I can only imagine it's an 'under-reach' scenario, I certainly don't feel over stretched!

    Would under reaching lead to an aching lower back??