Seatpost - Moving seat forward - question
I have been working to adjust my new Sequoia Elite over the last couple weeks and I need some advice on a seat post. The thing I found using a Forte seat post LINK, that I couldn't get the seat far enough forward, so for the heck of it I turned the post around and tried that. Well it made a huge difference. I found my sit bones! So the issue I have is this post used backwards doesn't quite have the tilt adjustments I need for the fine tuning. So I need suggestions for an offset seat post that I can use "backwards" and still have enough tilt adjustments.
I am sure if I had the money for a fitting they could adjust the stem and other stuff to get me centered over the seat with out need of an offset seat post, but this actually feels good, and if I can get a fair priced seat post I will try this route for now.
So has anyone else ended up using an offset post in this manner with success?
Thanks for any input.
You usually see tri guys using forward-offset seatposts. I'd be concerned if you couldn't properly fit on your bike without using a post like that.
That said, would a zero-offset post do the trick? Lots more road guys seem to use those.
Are you sure you need to be that far forward? On a normal road fit your saddle should be set so that the front of your knee is plum with the pedal spindle with cranks level. Maybe 1 or 2 cm either way for fine tuning your comfort. The tri guys pull there saddles forward because their bars are extremely low.
If you are adjusting your saddle to change the cockpit length, you need to invest in a few stems of different lengths to try out or get a fitter to spend some time with you swapping them out.
What he said. The saddle should be adjusted to the cranks, otherwise you'll have knee problems. Then the stem and bars may need swapping out for your upper body position.
It sounds like you have found the comfortable distance between saddle and bars. Measure that, turn your seat post back around, get the saddle adjusted so your knee is over the pedal (as noted above) then figure out what length stem will get your bar to saddle length where it is now.
Sounds like good advice. All I know is that as soon as I moved the seat forward almost all of my foot pain went away and I felt "centered" on the seat. I am trying to sell the other bikes I have so I can afford to be fit properly and be able to swap the stem and whatever else I need to, plus get the wheels I want built up. I guess till then I will work with what I have.
Thanks for the replies.
I am storing my information on setforward seatposts here
You said your bike was new so we have to assume it was bought with your height and body in mind. You haven't mentioned any of that? Self fitting is ok IMO but it should be gone into with some general understandings. Your body rests on the bike in 6 spots hands, feet and sit bones. The first thing I like to think about is try standing with your heals against the wall and try leaning forward. You will find you will fall forward as soon as your posture tries to become aerodynamic. Now put a chair out there to rest your hands on and you will feel most of your upper body weight on your hands. that’s the seat forward position. Now move out from the wall and bend over, what naturally happens is your butt moves back and your center of gravity stays over your feet rest your hand on the chair and you can put as little or as much of your weight on your hands as you want the weight is shared between your arms and your core muscles and even legs.
For me it starts with the crank it's fixed then seat height and position to have you balanced over feet and sit bones. Then frame length (top tube) You need to make that hand position last. If your body is totally "proportional" and the bike frame is sized perfect then you are one in a million and the stock setup should work. But for most there has to be some adjustment and the place for that is the bars and stem. Stem will adjust height and reach. Bars can also do both also, but most like to experiment with stems. If your stem has a cover plate that comes off to loosen bar you can try things without even removing bar tape. I like to use an adjustable stem and then after a few weeks of tweaking and I know it's what I want replace it with a fixed setup that has same measurements. But there is nothing wrong with using the adjustable long term. I have a adjustable on my tour bike and it's nice to know if need I can move it while on the road.
I am not the OP but I am in a similar situation. Folks recommend "fitting" but I would not have been able to afford my bike had I bought it at the LBS, so it is very nice to get fitting advice online. This is my form on my bike.
The seat post is really high so that I am the distance I like from my pedals. Since the seat post is slanted backwards and up so high, my butt, and my knees appear to be behind my cranks. I know that I want to sit further forward because I alwas find myself sitting on the front end of my saddle. I bought a saddle with offset (USE Sumo 40cm with 10mm forward offset) but still my knees are behind my crank I think in the above photo. The distance to my handlebars feels okay as it is but I would like to get an even more forward offset set post and and then a longer stem.
I am aiming for the 30mm offset seat post (which can be reversed safely or not I do not know) but I have had no reply from USE
I think that it may be discontinued, as they said it was two years ago.
Had I bought a larger framed bike I guess this would have been corrected. I bought the M sized which was apparently for my height range. I have unnaurally long legs and a short torsoe it seems. I am glad I did not get fitted though. I would have had to purchase another aluminum frame. The poorly fitting Carbon frame has allowed me to shed 12 pounds and my knees do not hurt, yet.
If anyone knows another LONG forward offsetable seat post then please let me know.
I am still on the lookout for a massive forward offset seat post, especially now that I know that the UCI's saddle 5cm behind crank ruling has little to do with performance or "fit."
We now know that the UCI regulation that saddles by 5cm behind the cranks is mainly a lot of tosh. We know this because all the folks that want to fast in UCI time trials such as Landis, Wiggo and Cancellara sit on the tips of their saddles, or chop off the tips of their saddles, or add saddle tape to the tips of their saddles. It is ridiculous. Putting our saddles 5cm behind the cranks is antiquated, uncomfortable, and bad.The stipulate this rule for (1) tradition and (2) because a rear mounted saddle improves manoeuvrability in the peleton. For those of us that are rarely in a peloton, and not constricted by the UCI< both reasons are utter tosh.
In the meantime, most road bikes are geared up to put the saddle where the UCI stipulates. This means that there should be a massive market for forward offset seat posts, to put the saddle where we can apply power, at least when we are not being controlled by the UCI.
Alas, such seat posts are rare. I need one for my backup bike so I am searching now. Here is what I have found
Oval Concepts Aergo are offset posts but I don't think that they are flippable.
Tomson Elite (16mm or more. Triathlete recommended, so flippable)
Profile Design Fast Forward (Aliminum 30mm, Carbon 38mm *forward*)
Nitto S84 37mm (can it be flipped forwards? The seat post is not long enough for me)
Ritchey WCS Wayback 40mm (can it be flipped forwards?)
Boardman E4P seatpost about 40mm (can it be flipped forwards?)
Truvative Stylo 25mm (Flipable?)
Canyon VCLS seatpost 15-35 setback (not the twin barralled shock absorbing version. Does not look foward flippable)
Dixna Arc 35mm (flippable?)
Velo Orange Grand Cru 30.2 (flippable?)
3T Iconic 25 25mm (looks flippable)
FSA K-Force Light Carbon Seatpost 37mm setback (flipabble ?)
Sakae Ringyo (SR) MTE-100 60mm adjustable (but it does not look flippable and has a really short post. But perhaps I can stuff it in a carbon post. I think I may try it! But 435 grams is heavy!).
USE Sumo (they used to produce a 30mm forward, which I have, now only 10mm offset seems to be available)
I want a seat post that puts my saddle about 100mm forward:-)
Nitto Lay Back Seat Post! This is more like it. BMX posts with massive layback. Trouble is that they are thin.
Again, perhaps I could slot one into some carbon pipe.
Such a seat post, if it were an upside down L (or much more radical version of the USE sumo above) would have the added advantage of providing suspension, by allowing the seat post to flex, as really long handlebar stems allow carbon forks to flex (my new 150mm stem is great), and like the V bikes of yore**.
See this bad drawing for an illustration how a very forward seat post could help not only position but ride quality too.
I am sick of sitting on the tip of my saddle. I hope someone makes a road bike stem, or road bike, that actually "fits" soon. (Despite all that talk of 'bike fit', ha ha ha!)
(I know I could pay a lot of money for a tri/trial bike but I don't want to, and want road bike handlebars)
** E.g. see this comment on a modern V bike.
The Falco V of Chris Kemp - Slowtwitch.com
What Pro's do does not really apply, unless you are a pro.
TikTak: that's a teenie frame!
> What Pro's do does not really apply, unless you are a pro.
Well, I have just replaced my saddle because it is worn out at the nose. I always thought I was doing something wrong, as I read about "fit," until I read and see that the pros were sitting on the tips of their saddles too.
I do this shuffle too
Or see where Landis had his saddle. Ouch! Chris Boardman and Graeham Obree look like they are generally on the tips of their saddles too.
> TikTak: that's a teenie frame!
It is a 54cm frame, a size which was recommended to me by an LBS (at least in a Cross bike) and my height was in the manufacturers recommendations for that size. I am fine with the size of the frame now that I have a LONG stem on it (and I recommend long stems for their suspension properties, and pros are using them too) but even if my bike were bigger it would still probably comply with UCI rules - unless it were an expensive non-road-bike-handlebarred triathlon bike. Since it is not I am perpetually looking out for forward offset seat posts. Maybe I will wrap my saddle tip in tape, like Wiggo did until the UCI told him to take it off (Weird!). See this thread and the image of brad on the nose (even though his seat post goes straight up).
UCI Banned 'grip tape' on saddles? « Singletrack Forum
The teeniness allows me to get down low, with a long flipped stem as the pros do also. If it were a bike that "fit" then I would need a minus 40 degree stem which are not made these obese days. It is only minus 30 at present, and that could be found only by using a flipped trial bike stem. Recommended.
Most of the people I pass on the road are riding on their own. Most of the people who ride with Strava are racing on their own. No UCI. No Peleton. This should mean TT style and a fair proportion of people in a forward position.
Pros on the nose of the saddle are doing so only for TT stages. Look at regular riding position for distance, and you'll see that riders are perched across rear of the saddle.
Looking at the setup you're rocking there, I'm glad that you're happy with your bike, but everything about that makes me cringe as a mechanic.
Your bars are so far forward and low that you're front-weighting really heavy. You've put your steering ahead of your front axle, and I'm amazed that you can descend without flipping over the bars.
More frightening is that the Primo has a carbon steerer, and you're putting a flipped trials stem on it like a breaker bar. That is begging for a faceplant.
Is that seatpost in the frame past the minimum insertion mark?
If you ride nose-heavy on the saddle, you're going to break those rails with having it clamped back so far.
If a shop suggested you ride a 54cm and that's how you have to set it up to fit on it, NEVER go to that shop again.
I'm not trying to be a dick. The shop I wrench at fits and coaches world class TT and Tri racers. I know from dangerous setups, and you *really* need to change some things on that bike.
The American Classic seatpost is specifically designed to provide rear or forward offset.
Universal Cycles -- American Classic Alphatype Seatpost
Thank you for the American Classic recommendation. It has a forward offset of 2.5cm. Alas, I think that I need 4cm, plus a bit so as to be able to move my saddle further back on its rails.
Thank you for your advice reagarding my frame set up. So far, I am loving it.
Fortunately I don't descend much and I don't like descending at speed and do so at a leisurely pace.
My view of my axle is obscured by my handlebars so I don't think that my weight is forward of the front wheel or the bars. I have faceplanted through braking in the past on a yet smaller upright rental mountain bike but I am long and low on this bike with lots of weight well behind the bars so I can't see my self flipping. I will try some progressively rapid braking today [I was fine]. I want to be this low, so I am not sure how I would have done it otherwise. If I had purchased a bigger frame it would have had a bigger headset and I would have been higher up, requiring even more negative angle on my stem. I have not seen any stems with more (or is that less?) than -30 degrees other than the adjustable one used by Cobb in a video I posted somewhere recently.
How do people on bigger frames get low? It seems obvious that being upright is unaerodynamic. Do people spend all that much on Pinarello frames, Dura Ace and other weight weenies only to take the wind in their chest? Why not go low?
(It is not as if I am all that low. I think I only just get to horizontal, or 10 degrees off, when in the drops. )
When I slammed my stem I cut my carbon steerer and it was very difficult. It was difficult even with an angle grinder. I have faith in the strength of the steerer bar. Since replacing the stem I have noticed that the forks are flexing over road bumps, but less I would say that the rear triangle with its far thinner carbon parts.
The seat post is not past the minimum insertion mark. It is designed for mountain biking and heavier riders and I believe that the forces on the offset are greater when it is offset rewarded on bumpy downhills. Since my weight is divided equally by my handlebars, saddle and pedals, my saddle does not do all that much work. The rails on my Selle SMP saddles appear to be very strong undeformed after five years (I have just replaced a worn at the front saddle with another of the same type), but I would like a post with about 4 or 5cm of forward offset so that I can put the saddle back on the bars a little. The saddle is at the "0" point marked on the saddle bars, not beyond it.
Now as I find myself getting used to the longer stem, I find that I am going further back on my saddle. It is still not too far forward but I am not on the front of my saddle nearly so much if at all. I think that all I have really done is converted a road bike to time trial bike geometry, with added benefit of hands-on-brakes road bike handlebars.
I did stop going to that LBS because they were grumpy with me for purchasing online.
I have been improving my personal best Strava times since fitting the stem. I am 49 years old.
I suppose my question regarding your fit should have started with, "What type of riding are you intending on?"
If you're treating every ride like a TT, then an appropriately forward and aero position is what you want. It's not going to be very comfortable, because that's not what TT/Tri bikes are about. Your reference pix point to people set up on bikes for attempting The Hour; which is one of the least comfortable and most grueling velodrome records to take a stab at. Certainly not an optimal position to aspire towards for any sort of road riding.
But if you look at general ride position for professionally fitted large riders on big frames, or for that matter, even small riders on little frames, it's about being properly balanced between efficiency, aerodynamics, and comfort. Take a look at photos of Magnus Backstedt if you want to see a big dude getting aero on the track and road to see how they do it. Backstedt is 6'4".
BTW - An angle grinder? All it takes is a hacksaw, a saw guide, and a wrap of electrical tape to keep the fibers from splintering where you make the cut.
I think that road bikes are set up in such a "relaxed" way that they are now is because
(1) people are fat. I was fat and that is why I took up cycling and keep cycling, now, bellyless, in a lower position.
(2) The pros who ride road bikes do so in a peloton, drafting other riders.
Bikes did not always used to be for fatties. Top tubes were horizontal, headsets were shorter, and quill stems bent downwards at sometimes 45 degrees. So, my advice is, when you loose your belly lose the imaginary peloton too and slam that stem!
Timtak, your position is quite extreme. I do not believe most people need such an extreme position even to achieve good aerodynamics for a time trial race. How do people do this, on bigger bikes with less drop? I think two main reasons:
1. I think people are able to achieve close to horizontal torso position, because they are angling their torso at the hips more than you are? More acute angle between torso and the femur at the top of the stroke? While with a larger angle have to rotate the entire body even more to get horizontal, hence your extreme drop and looking to get more forward.
2. Bent elbows! If one bends their elbows, you can get fairly low on the drops or hoods even with the bar higher, than someone who rides with straight elbows.
If I were you, I would sell the road bike and get a time trial/tri bike instead. The road bike geometry is really working against what you are trying to achieve. With your long legs, and the slacker seat tube angle, as you raise the saddle it is naturally being pushed back. With something like a Giant Trinity, the seatpost is vertical, it would be easier to achieve a forward position without going to the extremes of your current setup and difficulty finding suitable seatpost.
Also, most riders aren't looking for optimum aerodynamics at any cost, we value comfort and handling. Most of us aren't racing or pretend racing time trials all the time, most don't race at all. We'd rather be comfortable and have a nicer view of the scenery than be as fast as possible. We want to be able to see more than just the ground 2-3 meters in front of our bikes without craning our necks to an uncomfortable degree.
Here are three positions taken just now outside work, sparing your eyes the pain of lycra.
On my hoods where I am most of the time - comfortable
On my areobars (home made spinachi, to be near the brakes) - comfortable
On the front of my drops -- this is a bit harsh and I can't hold this except perhaps for a Strava segment finish (not that I have)
I am not keen on bending my elbows on my drops or hoods because it is more effort to keep my body up. I do it a bit on the front of the drops.
I wonder why road bikes are not made with the geometry of a Giant Trinity, or with downwards pointing stems, flat cross bars and short headsets like the used to be made.
I think that I would feel a cost if I were using a brand name frame, and various weight weenie stuff, which folks deliberate and pay through the nose for.
But if I were riding in groups, with drafting, then I would go with the standard peleton designed frame (except perhaps as you say on race days).
I am commuting too, but at the same time it is a bit like a time trial in that I would like to go fast and get a good workout. Not that I am going all that fast.
Timothy Takemoto | Cyclist on Strava
Addendum. "Any cost"!? I see that a Giant Trinity is RRP $10499 (!!) or on sale at $6750! If I bought one I'd have to spend another $300 to have an ergonomic, practical, fitting road handlebars. A mere $7000! My carbon bike was $1500, plus a couple of stems, a super hollow saddle, seat post, pedals, trispoon (cut down profile design tribars). Maybe 1800USD. The thing about all the weight weenie, peleton chasing brand -named bike and "fit" is that it costs a lot of money, makes a lot of money for local bike shops, and that imho opinion is why the lBS 'fit' myth persists. There is a fit, for all those that just want to get fit out there, but that truefit is cheap, so you have to read forum posts to find it.
Look at photos of pro riders from the 70s and 80s, when tall headtubes, large frames, and straight top tubes were the norm. The days before compact geometry. Even Merckx' hour record bike didn't have the type of "low" setup you've built. I'd like to see a side-shot of you on that bike in your most aero positioning so I can really analyze what's going on there.
We have an angle grinder in the shop. It gets used for things like sawing locks off top tubes when someone loses their keys. Right tool and technique for the job, and it's easy.
OK, your reply with pix went up when I was typing, so I've seen them and here's my professional opinion:
There's nothing wrong with your aerodynamics. NOTHING.
You don't need to find a way to get lower. You don't need to drop your bars or hike your saddle or anything else.
Your back is already really flat. Your head is way down. Lift the front of those aerobars and get your forearms parallel to the ground, that will help with comfort.
Want to know what the primary issue is? It's frame sizing.
Seriously, man. You should be on a bike at least 5cm larger than what you've got there. If you had a longer top tube you could ditch that ridonkulous stem and run a regular old 8-deg negative drop at about 100-110mm. You'd be able to get rid of the Attack of the 50' Seatpost, and get yourself a shorter, lighter carbon post.
The secondary issue is a lack of understanding in bike fit.
That gigantic-assed stem and forward shift of the saddle by a similarly insane amount have done only one thing for you: Shifted your entire fit forward over the cranks, effectively increasing your ST angle. You haven't lengthened the cockpit to accommodate fit, you've just slid all your components forward a couple inches. Here's what that's done for you...
Nothing good. Shifting forward changes the balance of muscles you use in your pedal stroke. Tri-racers do it to save their legs for the run. Pro cyclists do it on TT stages on properly fitted TT bikes because it helps them get more aero. But doing what you've done on a frame which is 2 sizes too small isn't helping you.
If you came into our shop and said, I ride on the road for fitness and I like to ride fast... I don't race, I commute on the same bike, and I have a cap of $2000 I'm willing to spend. Here's what you'd have rolled out with:
1) Trek Domane 2.3
2) Scott CR1 20
3) Felt F5
All of them are compact geometry endurance race bikes. Unless you're battling fierce headwinds all the time, I'd attempt to talk you out of wasting money on the aerobars. At the speeds you're averaging (under 20) you're not getting much of an advantage from the position, while doing nothing more than adding weight to the bike. That's right... I work for a bike shop, and I'd have tried to talk you out of spending money. Imagine that! A shop that doesn't want a reputation for gouging customers for stuff they don't need. (That's how you build a good customer base and reputation.)
The "fit myth" you speak of isn't a myth. I will state this very harshly to make it clear.
People pay for a bike fit so they don't end up looking like a circus bear on a minibike.
Any reputable shop will take the cost of a fitting (or at least part of that cost) off the price of any bike you purchase from them. They'll also size you up properly so even if all they do is adjust the saddle and stem height for you because you didn't opt for a full fit session, you'll at least be on the correct size frame and within a centimeter of your optimum fit adjustments.
Look at these two pictures:
You, on your aerobars (can't embed photo due to restrictions)
Look really carefully at the fit between those two photos and tell me again that all you need is a few small tweaks to be properly fitted.
Bike fitters and bike mechanics get paid because of their expertise in the field. I don't try to stitch my own wounds or bleed the brakes on my car, because I'm not trained on how to do those things properly. I bring those issues to a professional.
The problem is that too many people, yourself included, think "it's just a bicycle, how hard could this really be?" and assume themselves to be competent TT bike fit specialists and bike mechanics while only possessing enough knowledge to be dangerous. Fitters understand bike geometry and kinesiology, and take things like your back issue into consideration when determining proper fit. They use power generation analysis to set you up for the most efficient pedal stroke, while making sure that your long-term comfort on the bike isn't sacrificed. Even in the case of a TT fit, there's a difference between mild discomfort for aerodynamics' sake versus just a ridiculous positioning and equipment because you refuse to acknowledge you bought wrong size bike.
But I'm glad you got a great deal on the internet.
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