Different positions on the saddle - is there any hard and fast rules?

daniel_b
daniel_b Posts: 11,766
Eveing all,

so on my second visit to Trainerroad swet spot base, the workout today had me changing saddle positions - and I tried it in more detail in a 45 minute warm down session as such.

So I dat right back on the saddle (Fizik Arione R7), probably where I would normally do, which I think is referred to as the 'wings' - is that correct?

I then moved forward a bit, so I could still see the nose of the saddle when I looked wodn pretty clearly, and then, and never have i done this before, went right forward onto the nose of the saddle, and tried that position.

For whatever reason, for all of these I was in the drops, and alternated over 10 minutes, 2 minutes in each of the middle and furthest forward positions, and the middle 2 minutes in the rearmost wings position.

I was a little nervous, as I have suffered from saddle sores in the past, but no sign of any issues after the session, although the power required was pretty low, so perhaps a contributory factor.

I was surprised how ok it felt in both of the positions I do not normally attempt, especially the furthest forward one - that felt good, as it seemed to shorten the bike, and although I was in the drops, I was that bit more upright.
One thing I did notice, which makes sense I guess, is that I was not getting full leg extension in that position, which I thought was generally a bad thing?

So is there any laymans reasons for when and where certain positions are good or bad?

I'm aware of riders riding on 'the rivet' in TT's etc, or for endurance events on the track, but have never understood the why's and wherefores of this practice - can anyone educate me, or simply share their findings, opinions and experience.

Thanks

Dan
Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Comments

  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    A not overly indepth google turns up very little on the subject, which is why I guess I have never chanced upon anything before about it - guess it's still a bit of a black art :-(
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Sit where you like. Using a turbo places additional pressure on your 'sit' areas, for obvious reasons - much more so that it would out on the open road...
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    Thanks Imposter,

    I get the fact it is 'my saddle' and I can sit on it where my like :-)

    I was trying to find out if certain positions on a saddle, were meant to give better short term power, or work better at higher cadences or something.

    The bit about being right on the nose of the saddle (Though it felt comfortable and pretty ok power and cadence wise) and not getting full leg extension seemed somewhat counter intuitive, as surely that is not uber efficient, and yet pros seem to do that on TT's and especially when they are getting tired, if the commentary is to be believed.

    If it's just a case of shifting to where you want, depending on how you are feeling at any given time, then fair enough, but just thought there might be some science, research or findings behind it somewhere in the mists of time, but it would seem not!
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    Next year , I suggest - do a 25 mile TT.
    After 5 minutes you'll be on the rivet.
    After it's finished , see if you can get off the bike.
  • Daniel B wrote:
    So is there any laymans reasons for when and where certain positions are good or bad?
    If you get low and aero by just leaning forward, you might uncomfortably scrunch up your body's angles. By sliding forward on the saddle when you get into more aggressive postures, the angle between legs and torso is kept more open, which can allow easier breathing and pedaling.
    The idea is, more or less, to produce aggressive postures by rotating your entire body forward relative to the bottom bracket. Not just leaning low.

    If you lean forward by rotating your hips/pelvis forward (versus the "flexibility" approach of bending your back), a more aggressive posture will also result in you riding on a narrower region of sitbone, which might work fine with the narrower parts of the saddle farther forward.
    The bit about being right on the nose of the saddle (Though it felt comfortable and pretty ok power and cadence wise) and not getting full leg extension seemed somewhat counter intuitive
    You should still be getting fairly decent leg extension while on the rivet. Often a bit less (depends on the saddle and how you have it set up), but not necessarily enough to make a huge difference in ability to power the bike.
    and yet pros seem to do that on TT's
    TT bikes are specifically set up for a forward aggressive posture. If someone thinks their leg extension isn't sufficient on their TT bike, they'll raise the saddle a little.

    TT is also a special case in that the aerobars allow an "on the rivet" position to be more comfortable. Rotating your posture forward puts more weight on your front/upper body/arms, so on road bikes, people usually only do it when they're going to seriously hammer.
    On a TT bike, you can "comfortably" and stably support your upper body with the aerobar elbow pads, so it's less of an issue.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Daniel B wrote:

    I was trying to find out if certain positions on a saddle, were meant to give better short term power, or work better at higher cadences or something.

    That's what I was getting at when I said 'sit where you like' - find out what works for you..
  • zefs
    zefs Posts: 484
    You can put out more power by sitting forward on the saddle since that puts you nearer to the bottom bracket. That depends on the bike size of course.
    When I want comfort I sit further back on the saddle "wings".
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,766
    HTupolev wrote:
    Daniel B wrote:
    So is there any laymans reasons for when and where certain positions are good or bad?
    If you get low and aero by just leaning forward, you might uncomfortably scrunch up your body's angles. By sliding forward on the saddle when you get into more aggressive postures, the angle between legs and torso is kept more open, which can allow easier breathing and pedaling.
    The idea is, more or less, to produce aggressive postures by rotating your entire body forward relative to the bottom bracket. Not just leaning low.

    If you lean forward by rotating your hips/pelvis forward (versus the "flexibility" approach of bending your back), a more aggressive posture will also result in you riding on a narrower region of sitbone, which might work fine with the narrower parts of the saddle farther forward.
    The bit about being right on the nose of the saddle (Though it felt comfortable and pretty ok power and cadence wise) and not getting full leg extension seemed somewhat counter intuitive
    You should still be getting fairly decent leg extension while on the rivet. Often a bit less (depends on the saddle and how you have it set up), but not necessarily enough to make a huge difference in ability to power the bike.
    and yet pros seem to do that on TT's
    TT bikes are specifically set up for a forward aggressive posture. If someone thinks their leg extension isn't sufficient on their TT bike, they'll raise the saddle a little.

    TT is also a special case in that the aerobars allow an "on the rivet" position to be more comfortable. Rotating your posture forward puts more weight on your front/upper body/arms, so on road bikes, people usually only do it when they're going to seriously hammer.
    On a TT bike, you can "comfortably" and stably support your upper body with the aerobar elbow pads, so it's less of an issue.

    Thankyou very much for this!

    That was the kind of reply I was hoping for, some actual mechanics behind why you might want to ride on one area over another.
    I've yet to carry out any time trials, but plan to start with some 10s in the spring.
    My saddle is set pretty much perfectly flat, maybe a touch of downward slope, but really marginal.
    I suspect I could heighten my saddle a touch, but am nervous about doing so, as last time I did, although I have no proof, I think it might have been a touch too high, and caused a saddle sore - and I REALLY do not want that, screwed up my training somewhat.

    When I was on the nose of the saddle, it did feel more like the pedals were more under me, for any runners out there, it felt a bit like the method (Which I was never good at) of trying to run on the balls of your feet, in that respect it kind of felt like you were falling forwards all the time, but it is meant to be efficient at least with regards to running.

    I guess a variety of positions available on the saddle too, means yoiu can vary stresses and aches on the body, and possibly marginally target different muscles as well, so can spread the load somewhat - really interesting information, and I can see some more experimenting on the turbo happening :-)
    zefs wrote:
    You can put out more power by sitting forward on the saddle since that puts you nearer to the bottom bracket. That depends on the bike size of course.
    When I want comfort I sit further back on the saddle "wings".

    Thanks zefs - I am imagining that is for a shortish period of time, hence the fact we normally sit further back on the wings, which is where I normally reside too, just curious to investigate the advantages, and possible pitfalls of seating in other areas - otherwise the saddle may as well be a chop off one!

    Thankyou all :D
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18