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If road saddle was 20mm too high ?

DCI Gene HuntDCI Gene Hunt Posts: 138
edited January 2015 in Road general
I set my saddle height usig the heel on the pedal method, but today I read a cycling weekly article saying to measure inseam and for starters subtract 10cm to get saddle height from centre of bottom bracket. I had my wife measure from right up into my nads vertically down to the floor whilst I was barefoot. This was 79 cm ( im 5 ft 9 ) so removing 10 cm gets me 69 cm from centre of bb to saddle top when measured following seat tube and post angle. I was surprised when I measured existing set up to find it was at 71 cm or 20mm higher than what the fitting article recommended. I have been plagued with hamstring tightness and wonder if this ties in with a too high saddle fitting ? If I set the saddle 20mm lower as per suggestion is it right to assume a similar handlebar drop to even things out even though 20mm is quite an adjustment.

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  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    20mm is probably height of your shoes and cleats.

    What is comfortable is what matters, not some one size fits all rule
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • Dippydog3Dippydog3 Posts: 414
    Inseam is a very inaccurate method due to the male anatomy.

    Much better to measure the leg angle. Get the Bike Fast Fit app for an ipad and do it yourself.
  • type:epyttype:epyt Posts: 783
    Or sit on your bike in a door frame and adjust it until it feels 'right' ... No one set of numbers is going to give you the best height for you but your body will work it out ... Just take an allen key on your first few rides to adjust +/- 5mm 'til you get it just right.

    Also, if you find you have to change saddle height when you wear different shoes you likely never had it right to begin with (or at least that's what I've found).
    Life is unfair, kill yourself or get over it.
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    It's what fits best for you. If the saddle is too low it puts pressure on your knees and reduces power. If it is too high you will be rocking on the saddle as you stretch to reach the pedals at the bottom rather than being stable. Any rule or system just puts in roughly the right position after which you have to adjust to best fit you. Take some Allen keys out on a ride and experiment.

    The saddle to bar drop depends on your personal preference. Some go for level , some for several inches of drop. Just do what suits you.
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    I set my saddle height usig the heel on the pedal method, but today I read a cycling weekly article saying to measure inseam and for starters subtract 10cm to get saddle height from centre of bottom bracket. I had my wife measure from right up into my nads vertically down to the floor whilst I was barefoot. This was 79 cm ( im 5 ft 9 ) so removing 10 cm gets me 69 cm from centre of bb to saddle top when measured following seat tube and post angle. I was surprised when I measured existing set up to find it was at 71 cm or 20mm higher than what the fitting article recommended. I have been plagued with hamstring tightness and wonder if this ties in with a too high saddle fitting ? If I set the saddle 20mm lower as per suggestion is it right to assume a similar handlebar drop to even things out even though 20mm is quite an adjustment.
    Read
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html#adjustment
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • I set my saddle height usig the heel on the pedal method, but today I read a cycling weekly article saying to measure inseam and for starters subtract 10cm to get saddle height from centre of bottom bracket. I had my wife measure from right up into my nads vertically down to the floor whilst I was barefoot. This was 79 cm ( im 5 ft 9 ) so removing 10 cm gets me 69 cm from centre of bb to saddle top when measured following seat tube and post angle. I was surprised when I measured existing set up to find it was at 71 cm or 20mm higher than what the fitting article recommended. I have been plagued with hamstring tightness and wonder if this ties in with a too high saddle fitting ? If I set the saddle 20mm lower as per suggestion is it right to assume a similar handlebar drop to even things out even though 20mm is quite an adjustment.

    CSB

    I'd probably only make adjustments of 2.5mm either way. Drop it too low and you'll get knee pain amongst other problems.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • JayKostaJayKosta Posts: 635
    The saddle is too high if:
    1) your hips rock up-n-down while you pedal.
    2) you feel that your foot is forced to reach downward at the bottom of the stroke.
    3) it feels like your leg is over extended at the bottom of the stroke.

    Using calculated settings that are based on body measurements can be a starting point.

    Jay Kosta
    Endwell NY USA
  • norvernrobnorvernrob Posts: 1,448
    It probably won't help, but my inseam is 2cm longer than yours @81cm and my saddle is the same height as yours @71cm. I'm going for a bike fit with Adrian Timmis soon though so I'll be interested to see if any changes are made.
  • I spent some time this afternoon making adjustments and lowered my saddle to the 69 cms distance between bb centre and saddle top ( 2014 selle italia flite , lovely and flat ,) as the lowering moved my saddle tip closer to the bars I was careful to reinstate the distance. When I hopped aboard for a test ride it was painfully obvious the seat was too low as my knees were coming up far too high and it felt plain wrong. After much adjusting and re-testing I found that the distance of approx. 69.8 cm felt a lot more accommodating. I lowered my hbars by 5mm as id reduced my saddle height by 71cm - 69.8 cm = 1.2 cm overall. So far it feels fine but a test run of about 25 miles should tell me if any further tweaks are required. With my saddle being initially too high I really felt it in the hamstrings and had to keep standing out of the saddle to alleviate the discomfort. I had also felt discomfort in the sitbones and I wonder was the too high saddle contributing to excess weight being placed upon them .
  • norvernrob wrote:
    It probably won't help, but my inseam is 2cm longer than yours @81cm and my saddle is the same height as yours @71cm. I'm going for a bike fit with Adrian Timmis soon though so I'll be interested to see if any changes are made.


    Id be most interested in how your fit goes and what changes, if any, are required.
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    type:epyt wrote:
    Or sit on your bike in a door frame and adjust it until it feels 'right' ... No one set of numbers is going to give you the best height for you but your body will work it out ... Just take an allen key on your first few rides to adjust +/- 5mm 'til you get it just right.

    Also, if you find you have to change saddle height when you wear different shoes you likely never had it right to begin with (or at least that's what I've found).


    Well thats definitely not true. Going from most shoes to Bont you have to drop your saddle as the Bonts have such a small stack height. 5mm in my case which is very noticeable if you were to not change it! Saddle sores allround.

    I assume it is the same with all other top end shoes.
  • Bar ShakerBar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    The saddle is also too high if it feels perfectly comfortable but tears your IT bands to shreds after an hour of riding.

    Been there, done that... and it took me a long time to find out that my saddle being 25mm too high was to blame.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    I'm with the others here.. Lots of people told me I had my saddle to high, but to me it felt right, I kept trying to change it and going back to the original set up, people kept telling me it was too high as I was rocking and reaching.

    In the end I moved it down a couple of mm a week and until I got it right. I also lowered the bars too. It was only when I dropped the front did I feel the new correct height worked.
  • I'd say it's all going to be very personal as it's going to depend on crank length and cleat position\foot length as well. I'm very sensitive to saddle\bar position, I know if the LBS has moved something a few mm and I'm similar height and inseam to the OP, but have BB to saddle at approx 73cm C-T if measuring along the seat tube (710mm BB to tip of saddle). I do have a very forward position with an inline seatpost and good hamstrings (can touch toes easily) hence might seem high. I got to this height by starting low and moving it up until it just felt to high when climbing in the saddle, then went back down a fraction. As has been said you will soon feel it in the IT band and side of the knee if it's too high
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