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Thread: Saddle position

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    Saddle position

    I am riding farther now (Yawhoo!) and am building leg strength & seeing the need for gears. But I'm still having a problem with the saddle. It was completely flat when I first started riding, and was causing some rear pain so on the advice here, I lowered the nose slightly. Much improvement with the pain, in fact no pain at all, but then the problem was sliding.

    How can I keep from sliding?

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    My thinking is freedom from saddle pain has more to do with riding position and bike fit than the saddle itself. Very difficult to do correctly via a fourm. Swing by your LBS with the bike and just ask them how does your riding position look? May give some good pointers on proper fit, etc.

    Every cycling book I have ever seen says to start with the saddle level. If pointed down too much of your weight will be shifted to your hands.

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    Saddle

    Hey, turn off gravity. Just kidding. Maybe now that you're accumulating more miles your butt has acclimated more to the saddle. Try making the saddle level again.

    Good luck

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    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieM View Post
    I am riding farther now (Yawhoo!) and am building leg strength & seeing the need for gears. But I'm still having a problem with the saddle. It was completely flat when I first started riding, and was causing some rear pain so on the advice here, I lowered the nose slightly. Much improvement with the pain, in fact no pain at all, but then the problem was sliding.

    How can I keep from sliding?
    Sliding usually means I have the nose tilted too far downward. Are you wearing cycling shorts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycler39 View Post
    Try making the saddle level again.
    +1, and lower your saddle maybe 1/2 cm. Often times that works better than tilting your saddle nose down, with the same result in comfort.
    Last edited by Big Paulie; 10-08-07 at 05:27 PM.

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    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    There's no guarantee that you can make your present saddle work perfectly. It is worth the effort to make it as good a fit as it can be. If you just can't make it work well, then there are hundreds of alternatives on the market. I did my best on two saddles and was struggling. Then on the third, after a couple of adjustments, it was much better than the other two.

    So I think you are on the right track in learning how the various adjustments can affect saddle comfort, but that's no guarantee that you have a saddle that is right for you.

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    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    try tipping the nose back up a little at a time toward where you started from. If that does not help, put the nose of the saddle back down to where it is comfortable and move it forward a little at a time.

    The difference between the sweet spot and uncomfortable is often a very small adjustment.

    If none of the small changes seem to help then it probably is time to seek outside advice.

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    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Practice pedaling out of the saddle for longer periods of time. Yes, it's only a partial solution but making a habit of it will benefit many aspects of your riding.
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    Um, no, not wearing bicycle shorts. But I will be next time, after I heal a bit. It was while pedaling out of the saddle that I got my shorts caught on the handlebar.

    But putting the saddle level again brought back the rear pain, so I need to find another solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieM View Post
    But putting the saddle level again brought back the rear pain, so I need to find another solution.

    Leave it level and lower it 1/2 cm...

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    Since you are riding further now, it could be that you might need to change to saddle for something that works better for you on long rides. Most saddles will be comfortable enough for short rides, it's when you start riding a little further that their shortcomings become noticeable. If adjusting the current saddle doesn't work, see if your LBS has any loaner saddles you might try out on longer rides, to see if it is the saddle, or just and adjustment.

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    To further complicate matters, the saddle may be too far to the rear. You may be unconsciously skooching forward instead of (or in addtion to) sliding forward.

    Whatever the case, as record measurements as you make adjustments, so it's easer to undo them. Better saddles and seatposts will have markings on them. In other cases, you'll have to create your won.
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    One thing I did with my Brooks was to ride standing up for a bit and then just sat back down again.
    My thinking was I would naturally park my hind quarters where they wanted to go.
    I then moved my saddle a bit to put it under my butt. It's not perfect yet but it's pretty close.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieM View Post
    Um, no, not wearing bicycle shorts. But I will be next time, after I heal a bit. It was while pedaling out of the saddle that I got my shorts caught on the handlebar.

    But putting the saddle level again brought back the rear pain, so I need to find another solution.
    Caught in the handlebar?


    We are joking, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Paulie View Post
    Leave it level and lower it 1/2 cm...
    I would suggest tilting the saddle only after you have moved it forward, perhaps 1/16 inch at a time up to a total of perhaps 1/2 inch. If that doesn't help, try lowering it only by perhaps 1/8 inch at a time. But be mindful of your knees! Any new or increased knee pain is a sign that you should not be lowering the saddle.

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    Just been out and checked the saddles on the bikes- 3 different types- Road- MTB and Tandem. All the saddles are level with the ground But this doesn't quite make sense. The Boreas has the saddle 3.5" above the bars- and the Giant is only 1" above the bars. The angle should be slightly different to keep the same angle realative to the body but it Ain't. Then the MTB where the bars are 2" above the saddle and still a flat saddle. Then the Tandem where I sit both on the front and the back. Both saddles level but differing bar heights again.

    I think you have to experiment to find that sweet spot on the angle. And when you find it-Don't mess around with it again.
    Last edited by stapfam; 10-11-07 at 01:31 PM.
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    If there is someone who truly understands the dynamics of bike saddles, they are deserving of a small fortune. I've never met anyone like this, but there are a few concepts that are accepted as worthy of consideration:

    • too low - causes patellar tendonitis - pain on front of knees
    • too high - causes pain on back of knees
    • Your "sit bones" should support your weight on the saddle
    • If your sit bones don't support your weight, it will be your "soft tissue" that does (ouch!)
    • You tend to engage your soft tissue when you lean forward (or if saddle is tilted up)
    • Tilting saddle down too much may cause you to slide forward and put more weight on your hands
    • a "squishy" saddle feels good for short distances but ultimately engages your soft tissue
    • getting the best fit can take a lot of tweaking, sometimes millimeters make a big difference


    Let us know when you figure it out

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    Before making major changes, let me ask. How long have you been riding and for how long a period of time or each session. You may have to just "develop your chops" so to speak. I would gradually increase the duration of time in the saddle, mix up the riding position (stand periodically, slide forward to spin faster, sit back to press harder). There are many variants, but generally a perfectly level saddle is what works for most people (yes, there are quite a few exceptions, and you may be one of them), but you claimed that after lowering the saddle nose, you began sliding forward, suggeting to me that the nose is too low.

    You can always test your saddle for fit by measuring your sit bones. Sit, in your cycling shorts, on a hard, flat surface, like a stoop or hard, flat chair. reach back and feel where your sit bones impact the sitting surface and mark it with a pencil or something. Mesure the distance between the two sit bones and match that against the sweet spot on your saddle. If you are considering a new saddle, look for one that closely matches your sit bones. I tried that and was suprised that a flat, narrow saddle best suited me. I found that a thicker saddle tended to give a little bit of thigh rub, which I found unpleasant after a while.

    So throw out the myth about wider, and cushier being better. You want to simply match saddle with sit bones.

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    Thanks, I'll try to measure. I've been riding for a couple of weeks. I don't know how long I ride, but I'm just getting up to a couple of miles at a time.

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    This is the 19th response and no one has suggested getting a Brooks yet??

    This may be a new record.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AuntieM View Post
    Thanks, I'll try to measure. I've been riding for a couple of weeks. I don't know how long I ride, but I'm just getting up to a couple of miles at a time.
    It took me a while to find a comfy spot with my saddle on the new bike. There's a thread somewhere around here about that. I don't know if I finally found a comfy seat position or if my sit bones/area finally got used to the saddle.

    What I found is that it took 300-400 miles for me to come to terms with the stock Bontrager saddle on my Trek. In frustration, early on I swapped it out for a Terry Fly but didn't like the Fly at all, so I went back to the stock saddle. Now, I'm very comfy with the stock saddle for rides in the 40-50-60 mile range.

    For me, a 2.5* nose up tilt works along with moving the saddle about an inch backward from the most forward saddle position. This is a personal thing and YMMV.

    It can be frustrating, but it may just be that you need to toughen up your sit area and/or work a lot with saddle positioning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
    This is the 19th response and no one has suggested getting a Brooks yet??
    No, the Brooks suggestion comes after the first 17 recumbant sermons...

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