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Fitting Your Bike Are you confused about how you should fit a bike to your particular body dimensions? Have you been reading, found the terms Merxx or French Fit, and don’t know what you need? Every style of riding is different- in how you fit the bike to you, and the sizing of the bike itself. It’s more than just measuring your height, reach and inseam. With the help of Bike Fitting, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your frame size, style of riding, and your particular dimensions. Here ya’ go…..the location for everything fit related.

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Old 11-09-13, 12:20 AM   #1
jyl
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Saddle Height For Mashing Vs Spinning?

Does the optimal saddle height depend on whether you are mashing or spinning?

Define mashing as pedaling with higher force in a higher gear and lower cadence. For example, you are climbing a 4-5% grade in 53 x 17 at around 60 rpm. When I do this, I find that I tend to slide back on my saddle to get more leg extension and I'm also actively pushing and pulling.

Define spinning as pedaling with lower force in a lower gear and higher cadence. For example, you are climbing that same grade but have shifted to 39 x 21 at around 100 rpm. When I do this , I'm usually forward on the nose of the saddle.

This makes me wonder if mashing rewards a higher saddle and spinning a lower saddle?
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Old 11-09-13, 09:12 AM   #2
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I would think the opposite. As you pedal with more force -- especially uphill -- the tendency is to drop your heel . . . which, effectively straightens out your leg. So you may be losing power. To check, you should do some uphill repeats. Start with the seat 1 cm lower than you have it now. Go up a short hill, and repeat several times with the seat 5 mm higher each time. Keep an eye on your speed. When you start going up slower, and/or you feel a jerkiness in your pedal stroke, the seat is too high. But, if you are sliding back on climbs, the seat may be a bit too low (or far forward.).
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Old 11-09-13, 03:56 PM   #3
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I find higher force is harder on the tendons in front of my knee. To mitigate this, I raise the saddle. For me, I'm not sure any style is aided by a low saddle.
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Old 11-10-13, 01:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Does the optimal saddle height depend on whether you are mashing or spinning?
I think of it this way.

I believe that "spinning" is my core high-performance peddling strategy. So my saddle position must be optimized to spin.

Mashing is a specialized method that I use for hills, rough roads, recovery, etc. It can comfortably be done from the base saddle position. Certain advantages arise from standing (leverage rider weight) and sliding back or dropping heel (engage posterior chain).

I've skirted your core question, but hope there's something useful here.
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Old 11-12-13, 03:32 PM   #5
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BMX sprinting is Mashing , saddle is then superfluous.
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Old 11-12-13, 03:38 PM   #6
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I set my spin bike to the very same setup as my road bike. So to me it makes no difference. The mechanics is the same on both
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Old 11-12-13, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyl View Post
Does the optimal saddle height depend on whether you are mashing or spinning?

I find that I tend to slide back on my saddle to get more leg extension

When I do this , I'm usually forward on the nose of the saddle.
It's normal to move as you describe on the saddle as terrain and wind conditions change. Hence the term "on the rivet" from when saddles had leather tops w/ a rivet on the nose and one was making a substantial effort, likewise sliding back on hills.

A properly set saddle height allows both because one uses both techniques on road rides, lots of well documented fitting systems out there to calc your ballpark/home fit. Special event positioning like time trialing or hill climbs can favor F/R bias and a plethora of other adaptations that make little sense for general road riding. Find an experienced fitter in your area and a good coach.

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