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Old 01-15-09, 02:43 PM   #1
Artmo
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It may seem silly, but

I've been riding for over 50 years with my saddle at the wrong height! I was taught in my youth that the way to measure the height was to sit on the saddle and adjust the height so that the balls of both feet touched the ground. In fact several years ago at not-so-LBS fitting, the height was measured in much the same way. A few days ago I tried the 109% of inseam method and boy does it make a difference to power to the pedals!! I had to raise each saddle by about 4cm. I've now applied this to all my bikes and the tandem and reckon I'm going 1-2mph faster for the same effort as before. With the tandem, I had to lower the saddle a cm or so from the 109%, as I still can't master mounting by pushing off and then climbing onto the saddle. Just thought this might be of interest. See

http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/art...ht-right-14608

for more info.
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Old 01-15-09, 03:18 PM   #2
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It does seem silly that in 50 years you wouldn't have had a coach, or a fellow rider, or a friend who was a bike rider . . . you know . . . Someone; point that out.

If I see something like that out on a ride I'll usually check with the rider to see if he needs an allen wrench to tighten up his seatpost clamp, or whatever. 50 years is a long time, so I'd think someone would have said something like, "Hey, Artmo, buddy, that seatpost is way too low!"

Guess not.

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Old 01-15-09, 03:38 PM   #3
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I've never had any knee problems, could always stay with the group, am usually one of the strongest riders for my age(68) and I don't think the seat looked really low to an observer. But now I'm even stronger
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Old 01-15-09, 03:40 PM   #4
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All my bikes have the same distance from pedal to saddle rail--including the tandem. But those tandems are a beast unto themselves. I'm lucky in that I ride with accomplished solo riders so we utilise the same method on the tandem as we do on the solos. Both riders clip in one one pedal- other foot on the ground and the bike canted over. Then it is 1-2-3-mount. Works every time. Other tandem pairings have the stoker clipped in on both pedals waiting for the pilot to mount and with the bike upright. No way can I mount the thing with the bike upright.

But that saddle height- as you have found out- is critical for cycling efficiency. I once did a ride on the Tandem with the saddle 1 cm too low and That took a lot of energy out of me. And another point- with the saddle at the correct height-I cannot touch the ground with my feet-The legs are about 2" too short.
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Old 01-15-09, 03:48 PM   #5
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I have never heard of either of those methods of determining saddle height. I have always gone by getting a small amount of bend in my knee and by adjusting down if I notice any side to side rocking as I pedal.
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Old 01-15-09, 03:51 PM   #6
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Interesting. I wonder how my seat measures up?
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Old 01-15-09, 05:24 PM   #7
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4cm is a lot - that would be about a foot in real measurement, right?
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Old 01-15-09, 06:38 PM   #8
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hmmmm not quite

Quote:
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
4cm is a lot - that would be about a foot in real measurement, right?
go here to see how much 4cm is.
http://www.vendian.org/mncharity/dir3/paper_rulers/
1 inch = 2.54 cm = 25.4 mm sooo... 4 cm is 40 mm or about 1.5 inches.
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Old 01-15-09, 06:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
4cm is a lot - that would be about a foot in real measurement, right?
About 1.5in in old money.
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Old 01-15-09, 06:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
All my bikes have the same distance from pedal to saddle rail--including the tandem. But those tandems are a beast unto themselves. I'm lucky in that I ride with accomplished solo riders so we utilise the same method on the tandem as we do on the solos. Both riders clip in one one pedal- other foot on the ground and the bike canted over. Then it is 1-2-3-mount. Works every time. Other tandem pairings have the stoker clipped in on both pedals waiting for the pilot to mount and with the bike upright. No way can I mount the thing with the bike upright.

But that saddle height- as you have found out- is critical for cycling efficiency. I once did a ride on the Tandem with the saddle 1 cm too low and That took a lot of energy out of me. And another point- with the saddle at the correct height-I cannot touch the ground with my feet-The legs are about 2" too short.

Hi Stapfam - I've cycled thousands of miles with my saddle height lower and not had discomfort apart from some numbness and I don't know why I haven't tried the 109% previously. I suppose I like to be able to touch the ground with both feet without having to get off! That's especially so with the tandem. I note on a thread on the tandem forum that only one person (apart from me) starts by sitting on the saddle and moving off once the stoker is clipped in. I see friends of ours starting like you, but I'm buggered if we can do it. Anyway, we don't fall off. Now I have to play with the fore and aft saddle positioning. Once I've finished all the adjustments I should be good for Alp d'Huez or Ventoux!!
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Old 01-15-09, 08:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revelstone View Post
go here to see how much 4cm is.
http://www.vendian.org/mncharity/dir3/paper_rulers/
1 inch = 2.54 cm = 25.4 mm sooo... 4 cm is 40 mm or about 1.5 inches.
don't try to confuse me with facts!!
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Old 01-16-09, 03:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artmo View Post
I've been riding for over 50 years with my saddle at the wrong height!
Chalk it up as a "learning disability"...
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