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Interesting saddle height/position technique

dirkpitt74dirkpitt74 Posts: 518
edited October 2014 in MTB beginners
Guys,
Did a skills course yesterday with Chase Skills (highly recommended) and spent the first 20 minutes or so going over bike setup.

When it got to saddle height & position I was introduced to a technique I'd not heard of before.

Basically it involves putting the saddle under your arm pit and pointing directly down the tube at the centre of the crank. The idea being that the end of your middle finger should be on the centre of the crank axle.
I adjusted the seat and this gives a nice leg length (not too dissimilar from heel on pedal).

Then fore/aft position was adjusted by placing elbow on nose of saddle and adjusting until middle finger just brushes the inside edge of the bars. (obviously doesn't work if you have a mahoosive stem or a frame that's too big!).

Jumped on my bike and rode around the car park and it felt immediately better - felt more balanced on the bike and more efficient when pedalling.

Interesting technique - anyone else heard it before or indeed used it?

Posts

  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I know of it but I also know how I like my bike set up so I don't bother with it.
    It gives a good starting point but it's still worth experimenting a bit either side of those positions.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Commonly used, but easier to adjust saddle height to leg length (some people have long monkey arms).
    And reach where it is comfortable.
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  • Antm81Antm81 Posts: 1,406
    I've always gone of leg length, just used my arm thinking I'd never even reach, saddle is an inch higher now and can still comfortably pedal although getting on and off is a little harder, will have to give it a go next time I'm on the trails
  • Appreciate that it doesn't work for everyone.
    But it's given me a better riding position than previously.
    Will need a bit of tweeking but I'm more comfortable on the bike than I was before.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    dirkpitt74 wrote:
    Appreciate that it doesn't work for everyone.
    But it's given me a better riding position than previously.
    Will need a bit of tweeking but I'm more comfortable on the bike than I was before.
    God only knows how bad your position was before then.

    What you have had done is basically what has been done since the advert of the safety cycle.

    Where people sat on their bikes all the time.

    So bikes gave come on leaps and bounds the geometry has change out of all proportion.

    Mmmm
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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    cooldad wrote:
    Commonly used, but easier to adjust saddle height to leg length (some people have long monkey arms).
    And reach where it is comfortable.
    99% of people have arms and legs in proportion, so monkey arms means lanky legs.....

    As an easy to adjust (off the bike) starting position they work well for most people, but it is just a starting position, the for and aft is less accurate as it takes no account of torso length which does vary wildly versus arm length.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    It's a load of rubbish, basically. Go on feel, not formula.
  • rmissinrmissin Posts: 57
    edited October 2014
    supersonic wrote:
    It's a load of rubbish, basically. Go on feel, not formula.

    ^^^ This
  • paul.skibumpaul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Yeah but if you are running a skills day its a good way to spaff 30-40 mins of the day without teaching skills.

    Joking in part.

    If everyone's bikes are horribly setup this is obviously time well spent and sounds like the OP benefited which doesnt surprise me as a lot of people run their saddle too low and simply centred on the rails.
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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    supersonic wrote:
    It's a load of rubbish, basically. Go on feel, not formula.
    having tried it (when I did chase skills) I found that the saddle height was pretty much spot on for where I had it anyway, and as a first starter it's a good idea, as Paul says many people had their saddle to low, so it was pointless starting any training with them like that, especially when the second topic was seated climbing.

    The for and aft guide was pants for me as I have a long torso and short arms and legs for my height, so the technique said my saddle was too far back when if anything it's a little too far forward, but for the majority of people it's a reasonable starting point.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    The Rookie wrote:
    many people had their saddle to low, so it was pointless starting any training with them like that, especially when the second topic was seated climbing.

    Why pointless? It's potentially not as efficient, but everything still holds true. I'm in two minds really. I'd like to hope that a decent trainer would point out any massive issues, but I don't think you should start by messing around too much with what people know.

    I've done two skills sessions, one was extremely prescriptive: "saddle height needs to be this", "bars need to be here", "you need to run flats, you can't learn skills on SPDs" etc etc, the other one looked at bikes and just said "I'm gonna tweak your brake levers slightly", and that was it. I know which I preferred!
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    It wasn't prescriptive, it was done as guidance, and yes with the agreement of the rider they changed one guys levers to angled down at a sensible angle (they were dead flat), like most the training it was worded as guidance to improve riding.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I've done two skills sessions, one was extremely prescriptive: "saddle height needs to be this", "bars need to be here", "you need to run flats, you can't learn skills on SPDs" etc etc, the other one looked at bikes and just said "I'm gonna tweak your brake levers slightly", and that was it. I know which I preferred!

    Was that after he'd seen you ride? Or by just looking. I tend to say try this rather than you need this.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Both beforehand, second guy commented that my saddle was perhaps a few mm too high (which it was), but that was it. Made suggestions to the other guy getting tuition, but it was advice and suggestion, rather than an imperative instruction.
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