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  1. #1
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    moving saddle forward

    Based on advice I've gotten here, I've converted an old MTB frame to give me a much more upright posture. I've added a stem extender, and swapped out the straight bars with trekking bars, and it's made a world of difference - it's night and day.

    A remaining issue is that the more upright posture is putting a lot more weight on the saddle and the parts of me that come in contact with it. The seat is already a little wider and more padded than a "serious" cycling saddle - I did that a while ago so that I could ride without wearing special clothing. I've noticed that if I make a conscious effort to push myself back on the seat, it seems to support my sit bones pretty well. But what's happening is that, as I ride, I tend to creep forward until I'm kind of perched on the nose of the seat, and that causes definite problems. (And yes, if anyone's wondering, it IS still an issue at 59! )

    The seat is as far forward as it goes on the rails right now, so I can't move it up. I saw the forward offset seatposts, but they're mega-expensive, and I don't want to spring for over $100 to try a new post. I was wondering -- is it possible to just turn the one I have around? That would give me an extra inch or so to play with. Or is there some problem with that?

    Thanks!
    L'asino di Buridano...

  2. #2
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
    ..... But what's happening is that, as I ride, I tend to creep forward until I'm kind of perched on the nose of the seat, and that causes definite problems. (And yes, if anyone's wondering, it IS still an issue at 59! )......
    You can try tilting the seat up in front a few degrees.
    In other word;, instead of the saddle being level, the
    front will be pointing up a bit.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
    Based on advice I've gotten here, I've converted an old MTB frame to give me a much more upright posture. I've added a stem extender, and swapped out the straight bars with trekking bars, and it's made a world of difference - it's night and day.

    A remaining issue is that the more upright posture is putting a lot more weight on the saddle and the parts of me that come in contact with it. The seat is already a little wider and more padded than a "serious" cycling saddle - I did that a while ago so that I could ride without wearing special clothing. I've noticed that if I make a conscious effort to push myself back on the seat, it seems to support my sit bones pretty well. But what's happening is that, as I ride, I tend to creep forward until I'm kind of perched on the nose of the seat, and that causes definite problems. (And yes, if anyone's wondering, it IS still an issue at 59! )

    The seat is as far forward as it goes on the rails right now, so I can't move it up. I saw the forward offset seatposts, but they're mega-expensive, and I don't want to spring for over $100 to try a new post. I was wondering -- is it possible to just turn the one I have around? That would give me an extra inch or so to play with. Or is there some problem with that?

    Thanks!
    You can reverse a seat post, but it may not allow the saddle angle that you want. You'll have to try and see. Otherwise you may want to tilt the nose upward just a couple of degrees and see how that works.

    You also don't want to move the saddle too far forward as it can effect your knees and pedaling efficiency.

    Brad
    Last edited by bradtx; 11-17-11 at 04:36 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member marmot's Avatar
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    Do you have a specific reason for wanting to sit bolt upright on your bike? I never found that very comfortable, and only partly because of the butt pressure problem you're having.

  5. #5
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    I was having this problem with my brooks saddle when I first got it, everything went away when I tilted the nose of the saddle up a little bit. It seams counter-intuitive to bring the nose of the saddle and the boys a little close but I've found that once I'm situated on the back end of the saddle this isn't a problem at all.

  6. #6
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmot View Post
    Do you have a specific reason for wanting to sit bolt upright on your bike? I never found that very comfortable, and only partly because of the butt pressure problem you're having.
    Even with the stem extender, my position isn't "bolt upright", but comes close with one of the hand positions made possible by the trekking bars. The other two positions give me more of a forward tilt, but not so scrunched over as I was with the handlebars below the seat, which was as high as the unextended stem would allow.

    But yes, I did need to get much more upright. I had a nasty scare a few weeks ago, where on a short ride, I suffered shortness of breath and chest pains radiating down my left arm, to the point where I had to pull over to the side of the road and rest for 10 minutes before I was able to get back on the bike. I subsequently had a stress test and a full cardio work-up, and my cardiovascular system is just fine. But what was happening was that my new and enhanced belly (+60 lbs in two years) was pushing everything up into where it didn't belong, and I couldn't breathe. Getting more upright has made a world of difference to my riding, even factoring in the more annoying wind resistance. Hills have even gotten flatter.

    If you're wondering, yes, it IS humiliating to have had to modify my bicycle to accommodate the effects of two years of gluttony. But it is what it is. I'm working to lose the weight, but in the meantime, upright is how I need to ride.
    L'asino di Buridano...

  7. #7
    2nd Amendment Cyclist RichardGlover's Avatar
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    If you find yourself having to slide back on the seat a bunch, it could be a few things.

    1. The nose of your saddle might need to be tilted up.

      A level or slightly down nose will cause you to slide forward, which rests your weight on the nose of the saddle - which is probably exactly what you don't want (but often why people lower the nose). If the nose is raised, you stop sliding forward, and your weight rests on the wider, rear part of the saddle (which will usually be close to level if you look at that part and ignore the nose).

    2. Your handlebars might be too far forward.

      You might be pulling yourself further forward because you're having to reach for the bars, then realizing your rear is too far forward and so you push yourself back again.
    3. Your saddle might be too far back.

      It might be. But a too-far back saddle will present itself in other ways - knee pain, for example. Fore/aft and up/down saddle position should be determined solely based on how your legs interact with the pedals - get that right, and THEN adjust the rest of the bike to deal with other problems.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardGlover View Post
    If you find yourself having to slide back on the seat a bunch, it could be a few things.


    1. The nose of your saddle might need to be tilted up.

      A level or slightly down nose will cause you to slide forward, which rests your weight on the nose of the saddle - which is probably exactly what you don't want (but often why people lower the nose). If the nose is raised, you stop sliding forward, and your weight rests on the wider, rear part of the saddle (which will usually be close to level if you look at that part and ignore the nose).

    2. Your handlebars might be too far forward.

      You might be pulling yourself further forward because you're having to reach for the bars, then realizing your rear is too far forward and so you push yourself back again.
    3. Your saddle might be too far back.

      It might be. But a too-far back saddle will present itself in other ways - knee pain, for example. Fore/aft and up/down saddle position should be determined solely based on how your legs interact with the pedals - get that right, and THEN adjust the rest of the bike to deal with other problems.
    Thanks, everyone. I'll try the tilt first, to see if that works. As far as handlebar position, the trekking bars brought one of the hand positions several inches closer to me, and I don't feel like I'm reaching. I'll try turning the seat post around as a last resort, if the tilt doesn't help.
    L'asino di Buridano...

  9. #9
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    Do Not reverse the seatpost.. The best way to achieve a more forward position is to use a seatpost with setback.. The best for this is the VO Grand Cru Seatpost

    http://store.velo-orange.com/index.p...g-setback.html

    I have also had good luck with the FSA Seatposts with 20mm of setback.. I did not have good luck with the Thomson setback, it kept slipping..

  10. #10
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    When I first was riding I also ended up sliding forward on my seat. I moved in further forward and it didn't help. I tilted it up and it helped some but was kind of weird.

    Oddly, it turned out that my seat was too far forward and too high. Once those issues were resolved the seat could sit level.

  11. #11
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    When I first was riding I also ended up sliding forward on my seat. I moved in further forward and it didn't help. I tilted it up and it helped some but was kind of weird.

    Oddly, it turned out that my seat was too far forward and too high. Once those issues were resolved the seat could sit level.
    I've now tilted the seat up a little, and, after three rides, I'd say it's better - not perfect, but better. But I still can't just forget about it - still have to keep changing my position, standing, etc, to avoid tingling. And I don't mean every once in a while - I mean I need to change my position every minute or so, and stand up to let the pins-and-needles subside every couple of minutes. I was figuring that this just goes with the territory of being 60-70 lbs heavier than I was when I used to ride a lot more. Now, I'm wondering if that's true.

    I think I'd like to try your solution. Did you approach it in gradual stages? I set the height of the saddle using the method of putting my heel on the pedal at the 6 o'clock position, and setting the height such that my leg was almost straight, but not locked. (This is what I was taught.) As far as the fore-aft position of the saddle, I always just sort of eyeballed KOPS, with me sitting in the saddle and looking straight down over my knee at the pedal (never really used a plumb-bob). Did you depart significantly from these guidelines?

    I've been considering something like a Selle-Anatomica saddle, but before trying a gear-oriented fix, I'd like to experiment with making some adjustments to what I have.
    L'asino di Buridano...

  12. #12
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    depending on the type of saddle you have, use a level.. Eyeballing it is just to hard when making fine adjustments, having a good micro-adjustable seatpost is also very helpful. A very slight up tilt is perfect for me personally, many people like a perfectly level saddle position.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mymojo's Avatar
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    Have you considered a professional fitting at your LBS?
    "It's the 41. If you don't have cool stuff, you suck. If you have cool stuff, you still suck" - Velo Gator

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  14. #14
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
    I've now tilted the seat up a little, and, after three rides, I'd say it's better - not perfect, but better. But I still can't just forget about it - still have to keep changing my position, standing, etc, to avoid tingling. And I don't mean every once in a while - I mean I need to change my position every minute or so, and stand up to let the pins-and-needles subside every couple of minutes. I was figuring that this just goes with the territory of being 60-70 lbs heavier than I was when I used to ride a lot more. Now, I'm wondering if that's true.

    I think I'd like to try your solution. Did you approach it in gradual stages? I set the height of the saddle using the method of putting my heel on the pedal at the 6 o'clock position, and setting the height such that my leg was almost straight, but not locked. (This is what I was taught.) As far as the fore-aft position of the saddle, I always just sort of eyeballed KOPS, with me sitting in the saddle and looking straight down over my knee at the pedal (never really used a plumb-bob). Did you depart significantly from these guidelines?

    I've been considering something like a Selle-Anatomica saddle, but before trying a gear-oriented fix, I'd like to experiment with making some adjustments to what I have.
    I tried approaching it in gradual stages but ended up getting myself in worse and worse trouble. I finally gave in and got a bike fit. It was worth the $85 it cost me.

  15. #15
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony_merlino View Post
    I've now tilted the seat up a little, and, after three rides, I'd say it's better - not perfect, but better. But I still can't just forget about it - still have to keep changing my position, standing, etc, to avoid tingling. And I don't mean every once in a while - I mean I need to change my position every minute or so, and stand up to let the pins-and-needles subside every couple of minutes. I was figuring that this just goes with the territory of being 60-70 lbs heavier than I was when I used to ride a lot more. Now, I'm wondering if that's true.

    I think I'd like to try your solution. Did you approach it in gradual stages? I set the height of the saddle using the method of putting my heel on the pedal at the 6 o'clock position, and setting the height such that my leg was almost straight, but not locked. (This is what I was taught.) As far as the fore-aft position of the saddle, I always just sort of eyeballed KOPS, with me sitting in the saddle and looking straight down over my knee at the pedal (never really used a plumb-bob). Did you depart significantly from these guidelines?

    I've been considering something like a Selle-Anatomica saddle, but before trying a gear-oriented fix, I'd like to experiment with making some adjustments to what I have.
    KOPS by eyeballing, but KOPS slightly behind the spindle for a bike I ride upright is the norm for me. The saddle itself makes a big difference, many are designed for a rotated pelvis position and those heavily padded things are simply montrosities. I guess the default recommendation for upright riding is a B17 with the nose slightly tilted up. (Most of the saddles I ride on fast bikes would be pure torture if I tried to ride upright, they are designed for another purpose.) I think overall fitness is big factor as well...when I started riding years ago I suffered all kinds of seat / position issues at first, then again when going over 60 miles. Now, I don't give it much thought...even if it's 8-10 hours in the saddle. So, I would lean toward the conclusion that assuming your saddle choice and its position is in the ballpark, you need saddle time and some improvement your general fitness to get where you want to go. I would also be nervous about getting a bike fit from someone skilled at putting riders in a "optimal" position, you may not like that idea so much.

    Also, if you stand when you accelerate and over short grades you will get fitter faster, and you improve circulation.. standing can be your friend.
    Last edited by FrenchFit; 11-23-11 at 09:06 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member tony_merlino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    KOPS by eyeballing, but KOPS slightly behind the spindle for a bike I ride upright is the norm for me. The saddle itself makes a big difference, many are designed for a rotated pelvis position and those heavily padded things are simply montrosities. I guess the default recommendation for upright riding is a B17 with the nose slightly tilted up. (Most of the saddles I ride on fast bikes would be pure torture if I tried to ride upright, they are designed for another purpose.) I think overall fitness is big factor as well...when I started riding years ago I suffered all kinds of seat / position issues at first, then again when going over 60 miles. Now, I don't give it much thought...even if it's 8-10 hours in the saddle. So, I would lean toward the conclusion that assuming your saddle choice and its position is in the ballpark, you need saddle time and some improvement your general fitness to get where you want to go. I would also be nervous about getting a bike fit from someone skilled at putting riders in a "optimal" position, you may not like that idea so much.

    Also, if you stand when you accelerate and over short grades you will get fitter faster, and you improve circulation.. standing can be your friend.
    All good advice. I know that when I used to ride 150+ miles/wk, I never had saddle issues. Overall fitness is definitely an issue.

    I'm going to try for KOPS a little behind the spindle - I checked again today, and I actually may have the saddle set too far forward. I'm going to try to get my son to help me with a plumb bob the next time he's here.

    I've been considering a saddle upgrade, but wanted to try adjustments first. The saddle I'm currently using is wide-ish (but not as wide as a some comfort bike saddles), is sprung and padded - a Selle Stratos HyperPlush that somebody gave to me. I used it on this bike because I wanted to be able to ride comfortably in street clothes. If I were to go with Brooks, is the B-17 the right saddle, or would something like a B-67 be better?
    L'asino di Buridano...

  17. #17
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    I would try the b17 first, the b67 saddle is very wide and I could not imagine doing any kind of mileage with a saddle that wide..

  18. #18
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    My experience with the Brooks line is with the B17, B17N and Pro. I don't think anything wider than a B17 is appropriate and I'm 6' with a large, wide body frame. As far a sprung saddles, I suggest getting your bounce in your tire & pressure choices, not in your saddle. Keep it simple, keep it light.

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