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Lower saddle for better moves ?

MarvintheAndroidMarvintheAndroid Posts: 409
edited August 2007 in XC and Enduro
Being mostly interested in XC / trail riding, I ride with my saddle at what I consider to be the "normal" height - that is to say, leg straight with the heel on the pedal etc etc - not somewhere round my knees.

However I am struggling a bit with certain moves such as reasonable bunnyhops and small dropoffs, and I was wondering whether my saddle position is part of the problem. Whenever I see pics or vids of guys doing clever stuff, it always seems to be with lowered saddles. I am nervous about landing heavily and wrecking the crown jewels, or getting caught up on the rear of the saddle.

Normally I ride for fitness, going for 1.1/2 - 2 hours without stopping, so it isn't really a big deal, but I would like to be better at this stuff.

Do I need to lower the saddle, or should I be able to perfect these moves just with more practice and with the saddle as it is ?

Help appreciated.

What tree ? ...........

Trek 8000 ZR XC hardtail.


  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Over standard XC terrain I have the saddle at max, but if I tackle more extreme terrain I drop it 3 inches to give more manoevrabilty. many people do the same.
  • jjojjasjjojjas Posts: 346
    what he says^^^^^
    I always drop it before I go down hill. Got caught out once and couldn't get far enough over the back of the bike .....and the pain still sticks in my mind :oops:
    Buy a QR post clamp ....
    it looks a bit steep to me.....
  • lost-timelost-time Posts: 549
    I always used to drop the height by a few inches for the rougher stuff but got fed up stopping and re-adjusting it and watching other ppl ride the same stuff without lowering their seatpost. As I mainly ride XC and more aggressive XC such as trail centers in Wales or the Downs in Surrey/Kent I now don't need to lower it at all.
    You could try a narrower saddle?

    Obviously if you're doing for free-ridey stuff then yeah, drop it.
  • schmakoschmako Posts: 1,982
    For freeride I have the seat right down on the Orange, which is unless i'm going uphill. Then its at its highest. Same applies for the Club Roost, but have the seat slightly higher for decents as they're not as extreme!
  • mtb.boymtb.boy Posts: 208
    Drop the seat all the way down for technical sections. Takes a bit of time (even with QR) but you can then move about on the bike a lot easier
    The first rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is.

    The second rule of cycling is - Tell everyone how great cycling is !!!!
  • LukeeeLukeee Posts: 3,838
    With the guys i go riding with we tend to drop the seats when we know were gonna hit a technical trail. Its amazing the difference an inch can make.
  • 4NGU54NGU5 Posts: 9
    i picked my bike up from the shop after a service yesterday
    at the seat was higher than i normaly have it , i got a lot more drive on the flat but i dropped the front end twice around the fast gravel turns 8)
  • It's definitely worth doing until you build up a degree of skill and confidence with the moves in question. As you build confidence you may not feel the need to do it after a while.

    It also depends on your bikes geometry - I never lower the saddle on my HT, but on my FS I have to or I get caught behind the saddle and can't get back up - so I clean the difficult bit, but have to dismount when it flattens out!

    Have a look at Gravity Dropper if it becomes too much of a pain to keep moving the saddle.

  • SpankySpanky Posts: 165
    Lukeee wrote:
    Its amazing the difference an inch can make.

    That's exactly what my girlfriend was saying last night.

    Different subject though....

    I've given up on bunny hops as not sure I'll ever be able to reliably pull off 1 foot hops and so they seem like they will never be of use on the trails.

    Drops are definitely worth getting a bit of confidence on though as having to suddenly stop to avoid them can cause the people behind you some problems.
  • NoodooNoodoo Posts: 214
    I've managed to ride down some really steep stuff, with the seat at full height, (had to ride down with my chest behind the seat!) but it's much easier if your not worrying about getting your shorts stuck on the back of the seat.

    My bike still has an allen key adjuster for the seat height so it's a pain in the butt to adjust it every 2 minutes...

    See if you can get used to riding down silly stuff with it at full height. it's quicker than stopping to faff about with the seat height.

    Saracen Mantra with Marzocchi MX Pro ETA\'s, 24-7 Silverstar pedals... and a map holder.
  • AmosAmos Posts: 438
    By the time ive reached the top of a climb im usually so wasted i have to stop anyway, which gives me ample time to lower the saddle for the descent :D
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Riding with your saddle in your chest can cause a few nasty injuries though, and for adjustable seatposts the maverick one is supposed to be very good.
  • TomRTomR Posts: 50
    I always have mine at the regular height but drop it everytime i get to the steep and twisties - not only is it easier its a lot more fun chucking it about too - although i keep forgetting how long my stem is compared to my DMR trailstar and that i cant corner as sharp as i think i can!
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