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  1. #1
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    Seat height calculators and my new Brooks saddle.

    In trying to sort out my new brooks saddle and it's digging into my sack, I've started looking at seat height. Figuring a lower seat would put me more upright and take pressure off the front.
    I've tried entering my 36.5" (927mm) inseam on various on line calculators including Zinn's and they all come up at 1010-1014mm. I currently have my seat at 43" or 1092mm as measured from the center of the pedal shaft to a straightedge on the top of the seat. Sure there is some space taken up by the pedal and shoe, but it's not that much. It is a MTB but I mainly ride it on pavement, so I'm using the road bike fit guide.
    Do I really have the seat that much too high?
    What am I missing or doing wrong?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Is it possible to have someone take a pic of you while on the bike?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Tilt angle and fore/aft position are important, too. Brooks saddles are famously sensitive regarding tilt.

  4. #4
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Adjust the saddle to be horizontal.

    Adjust the seat post high enough that, when seated on the saddle, with your heels on the pedals, your leg is fully straight when the pedal is farthest from the saddle, but not so much that you have to tilt or rock your hips to touch heel to pedal. This will give your leg a slight bend when the ball of your foot is on the pedal.

    Saddle height is a little bit individual. Some people pedal with their toes pointed down, some with their heels down, some spin fast, some push slow, some sit on the nose of the saddle, some sit on the rear. So a precise formula of X times inseam, or the heels on pedals test, are just starting points.

    After the saddle height is roughly set, if the saddle is uncomfortable, try tilting the nose just very slightly up. Brooks are often more comfortable with just a bit of nose high angle. I think it helps position your pelvis back on the wide rear of the saddle.

    Also, a Brooks may sag under your weight just a bit. I find that when using a Brooks, I want a saddle height just a bit taller than with other saddles.
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  5. #5
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I have advice that conflicts with jyl's, so try both approaches and see which works for you. Whoever wins buys the other a beer.

    Tilt the nose slightly up. Lower the saddle 1 cm below where you normally have it.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    A method recommended by Greg Lemond is to multiply your inseam by .883. If you then add the length of the crank arms to that you will have the distance fron the top of the pedal to the top of the seat, plus or minus cleat thickness. This method will be be very close for most cyclists. By this method that distance for you should be 988 mm. So as aka Tom Reingold suggested, lower your saddle to about that measurment.

  7. #7
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    A method recommended by Greg Lemond is to multiply your inseam by .883. If you then add the length of the crank arms to that you will have the distance fron the top of the pedal to the top of the seat, plus or minus cleat thickness. This method will be be very close for most cyclists. By this method that distance for you should be 988 mm. So as aka Tom Reingold suggested, lower your saddle to about that measurment.
    Interesting. That method gives me a pedal surface to saddle top distance within 1/2" of what I actually ride with. Which is pretty close, for a formula, I think.

    Tom, I'll buy you a beer either way.
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  8. #8
    Junior Member equinoxranch's Avatar
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    The aforementioned referenced .883 - (as well, .885) Guimard ("LeMond") calibration, while not absolute, is still the best baseline calibration based on classic physiology set up...... Inseam times .883 - or .885 equating out to a baseline that measures from center of bottom bracket to center of saddle height running parallel to seat tube. Once you employ this formula you are typically within a mm or two or more to realizing the most efficient saddle height to that of the center of the bottom bracket. Your choice of crank arm length should typically fall right in line with final adjustment but only a few millimeters as per your preference of final adjustment. You'll arrive at what is most suitable for you and you will again find that the .883/.885 percentage of inseam is your best formula.

    I more than fully agree with NOGLIDER's thankful remark of having a slight (2 to 3 degree) saddle pitch up (based on a straight line as "level" running the entire length of the saddle and tilting the saddle accordingly)....., never tilted down which is the new age (read: dumb) thing.

  9. #9
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    OK. I've gone and measured again. Why is there such a big difference in what you're all recommending and what I actually have my seat height set at? Am I holding my feet pointed down and incorrectly? A size 15 at a big angle could account for several inches. My center of BB to top of seat is currently at 35", have 175mm cranks.

    I shouldnt have have mentioned the Brooks, it really is a secondary issue to my question. I've been messing around, trying to get comfortable on my bike since it took it up seriously a few months ago.
    Thanks.

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