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Saddle position

Dizzy the EggDizzy the Egg Posts: 153
edited April 2009 in Commuting chat
What would be the best saddle height for communting with a hard tail MTB? I'm not sure of it would be best raised or lowered.

Cheers

Posts

  • Jay dubbleUJay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    I have the saddle pretty much level with the bars on the Giant which is basically an MTB without any suspension and which I find works on and off road for me
  • brushedbrushed Posts: 63
    Saddle height ought to be a based on your inside leg measurement assumimg you have normal flexibility and same length legs both sides. Yes it does happen!

    To measure inside leg take a large book or phone directory, stand with your back to a wall, no shoes on, shove book between legs as high as it will go and get some nice friend to measure to the floor from top edge of book which should be at right angles to the wall.

    From old skool book Hinault / Lemond and I think also Bioracer multiply inside leg by 0.885 to reach optimum saddle height. ie when measured centre of bottom bracket to top of saddle.

    This is a start point.

    If your hips are rocking when you pedal then it is too high.

    Lower until hips stop rocking

    Your legs should be nearly at full extension at bottom of pedal stroke - slight bend at knee.

    Dont change height position too quickly - no more than 5mm at a time to allow your muscles to adjust.

    The other thing to worry about is can you touch the floor when you stop.

    These are the 2 ends of the spectrum

    It takes trial and error to find best happy medium.
    FCN 4 summer
    FCN 6 Winter

    'Strong, Light, Cheap : choose two' Keith Bontrager
  • laughingboylaughingboy Posts: 248
    edited April 2009
    As others have said, on any bike, fixing the saddle height is about determining how far your backside is from the bottom of your pedal stroke (how long your legs are, in other words). Don't get confused that it is about anything else.

    It is not about whether your feet can touch the ground when you are stopped.
    It is also not determined by the handlebar height (although the relationship can be altered once you have fixed the saddle height.)

    Try reading this for a fuller discussion of the issues:Peter White Cycles bike fitting masterclass
  • brushedbrushed Posts: 63
    It is not about whether your feet can touch the ground when you are stopped.

    ????? Surely it is to a point otherwise you would topple over
    FCN 4 summer
    FCN 6 Winter

    'Strong, Light, Cheap : choose two' Keith Bontrager
  • AlibranAlibran Posts: 370
    brushed wrote:

    ????? Surely it is to a point otherwise you would topple over

    I used to think this, and suffered from terrible knee pain from cycling with my saddle too low. Since someone on here explained how to get out of the saddle before I put my foot down, I don't think I can even touch the ground with my toes without tilting the bike to a dangerous angle.
  • laughingboylaughingboy Posts: 248
    brushed wrote:
    It is not about whether your feet can touch the ground when you are stopped.

    ????? Surely it is to a point otherwise you would topple over
    It does sound weird, but it's true. Putting your feet down while in the saddle should be no more the aim of a cyclist than an equestrian. On the other hand, for most people the height of the bottom bracket and the crank length combine pretty well to ensure that terra firma is in range of the toe tips.

    The height of your saddle should help you pedal comfortably and efficiently. Efficiency means cycling fast with minimal effort. It is mostly about efficiency. This basically means that the saddle should be as high as you can comfortably make it, with the emphasis on comfort. So, it is also mostly about comfort. I know - I'm not making sense. What I mean is, do your own maths and find a compromise between comfort and efficiency.

    So what are the two extremes of saddle height?

    1/ If your pelvis is rocking to compensate, then it's too high (or you are Elvis).

    2/ If you feel like Dolly Parton doing the high hurdles because your knees are smacking your chin, or you feel like you are climbing steep stairs rather than cycling then it is too low.

    Now, if you're still with me, for a personal anecdote.

    I had a stage where I set my saddle just a fraction too high. The result? Weird knee pain. The outside of my knees hurt. It felt like I was grinding away at the cartilage at the top of my fibula. Really not good.

    I couldn't work it out for ages, I wasn't rocking (except in the metaphorical sense, you understand, wherein, dear reader, I so totally rocked, it was awesome), so I read everything about knee pain, adjusted my cleats, pedals, the side that I dress, till finally I dropped the saddle by about a centimetre, and the pain vanished.

    It is important, saddle height.
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