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Old 05-17-06, 11:45 PM   #1
randya
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Seat too high - should I say something to the cyclist?

I regularly pass, or am passed by, literally dozens of cyclists per day in Portland. Roughly 10% of these cyclists have their seats too high, based on my observation that their pelvises are rocking back and forth as they pedal, rather than remaining horizontal and stationary. If they are young and fit, this may not be an immediate problem, but it is inefficient and carries a long-term risk of muscular-skeleton problems down the road. Should I say something to them - "hey, your seat's too high" - or just let it pass?
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Old 05-17-06, 11:49 PM   #2
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Yes.
My story:
I was fitted for a bike. Couple month later I brought it to a bike shop. Apparently they adjusted the seat (no clue why). I didn't notice. On a group ride some one saw me rocking and told me my seat was too high. I was very thankfull.
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Old 05-17-06, 11:58 PM   #3
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Don't randomly give out advice to people you've never met before. It pisses them off.

A group ride is different.
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Old 05-18-06, 01:04 AM   #4
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Being a new rider myself,,, I would welcomely accept any advise given to make for a more enjoyable ride.
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Old 05-18-06, 01:11 AM   #5
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I regularly see riders with the seat too low.

Never say anything.
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Old 05-18-06, 03:40 AM   #6
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I wouldn't say anything. The hip rocking may be a function of poor pedaling technique rather than just seat height.
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Old 05-18-06, 03:57 AM   #7
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Yeah, pedaling form has a lot to do with rocking as well. What you want to pay attention to is which direction that the hips rock at which part of the pedal-stroke.

Too-high seats are evidenced by hips rocking down on the side of the downstroke as the pedals near bottom (reaching for the pedals).

However, people with mashing styles with alternating one-sided strokes tend to rock the hips away from the downstroke side due to all the force being on that side pushing the hips up.

Then there's also some shoulder movements that play an optical illusion on you and gives the impression of hip-rocking.

I've seen people with a 30-degree bend in their knees when their pedal is at the bottom, way, way too low a saddle, yet their hips are still rocking... There's multiple causes for the same effect.
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Old 05-18-06, 05:23 AM   #8
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In similar situations, in a friendly, non-judgmental tone of voice, I will say something like, "Do you mind if I offer a suggestion?" Depending on the response, I speak or go on my way.
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Old 05-18-06, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgiaboy
I regularly see riders with the seat too low.

Never say anything.
You can rock in the saddle when the seats too low, too.
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Old 05-18-06, 01:24 PM   #10
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Are you asking if you should tell 10% of every biker you pass about their seat height? Kudos to you if you don't get bored from that tedium. You'd be like the Johnny Appleseed of seat-height.... traveling the land planting the seed of proper pelvic position in the minds of Portland roadies.
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Old 05-18-06, 02:00 PM   #11
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Think about this for a minute. Some guy you've never seen before comes up to you and offers you unsolicited advice about something. Anything. You have no idea who he is, what his qualifications are, or anything. Would you honestly listen to his advice, or would you dismiss him as a freakin' lunatic?

If somebody I don't know out of the blue mentions something about my bike positioning / skiing form / tennis swing then I'm going to think that they're in serious need of (a) a life and (b) valium.
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Old 05-18-06, 06:39 PM   #12
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Old 05-18-06, 07:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF
Think about this for a minute. Some guy you've never seen before comes up to you and offers you unsolicited advice about something. Anything. You have no idea who he is, what his qualifications are, or anything. Would you honestly listen to his advice, or would you dismiss him as a freakin' lunatic?

If somebody I don't know out of the blue mentions something about my bike positioning / skiing form / tennis swing then I'm going to think that they're in serious need of (a) a life and (b) valium.
On the other hand if they can catch me I'll listen to them. If they are friendly. The rare times I have offered seat advice I have first chatted a bit then asked if they have knee pain or back pain. Always a yes. Then I suggest they check with their lbs. People sometimes accept advice from a pro that is offensive from an amatuer.
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Old 05-18-06, 08:13 PM   #14
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Print out something business-card sized with check boxes and a list of what cyclists do wrong. Mark 'em and and 'em out whenever you feel like kibitzing. Then plan to make a fast get-a-way.
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Old 05-18-06, 08:26 PM   #15
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For something like bike fit, I'll usually leave them be or only mention it to them if I've managed to strike up a friendly conversation over some other subject first. However, I do blatantly point out clear and present dangers such as loose quick-releases.
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Old 05-18-06, 10:01 PM   #16
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Sir, I know we hardly know eachother, and just met, but can we talk seriously for a minute about the angle of your saddle. I am here to impart some wisdom. Feel free to take notes.
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Old 05-18-06, 10:33 PM   #17
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Sir, I know we hardly know eachother, and just met, but can we talk seriously for a minute about the angle of your saddle. I am here to impart some wisdom. Feel free to take notes.
Don't forget to randomly interject the words "flip it" into the conversation.
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Old 05-18-06, 10:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burbankbiker
Are you asking if you should tell 10% of every biker you pass about their seat height? Kudos to you if you don't get bored from that tedium. You'd be like the Johnny Appleseed of seat-height.... traveling the land planting the seed of proper pelvic position in the minds of Portland roadies.

Put it like that, and the answer is "Hell, yes!" I tend to listen to those that pass me, and ignore the others.
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Old 05-19-06, 12:24 AM   #19
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I could really give a ***** actually, I was just posing the question. I have yet to suggest anything to anyone, nor do I really care if someone I don't know has a crappy bike fit or seat adjustment. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those fits and adjustments were 'professional', though, based on the amount of logo'ed lycra the riders were wearing.

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Old 05-19-06, 12:47 AM   #20
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though, based on the amount of logo'ed lycra the riders were wearing.
So true.
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Old 05-19-06, 07:55 AM   #21
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Save your breath. Put it to better use by going faster, harder or longer.
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Old 05-20-06, 06:50 AM   #22
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Old 05-20-06, 09:24 AM   #23
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I was told by a cyclist that my seat was too high. I said , "OK", and ignored him. I'm not stretching or reaching on the downstroke and I couldn't discern any hip rocking or exaggerated shoulder movement on my part. While I don't mind getting advice, having somebody yell at me as he's passing me that my seat's too high isn't how I'd like to receive it.
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Old 05-21-06, 04:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operator
Don't randomly give out advice to people you've never met before. It pisses them off.

A group ride is different.
+1
I used to work with a guy like that; his name was Ron and he was an 'expert' on just about everything. He would piss people off until they realized he was an idiot, then they would laugh at him and HE would be pissed off! He was fired about three years ago but we are still telling 'Ron stories' and laughing about him!

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Old 05-22-06, 06:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randya
I don't know has a crappy bike fit or seat adjustment. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those fits and adjustments were 'professional', though, based on the amount of logo'ed lycra the riders were wearing.

They were roadies? It seems to be the fashion now to have ridiculously high seats among some of the roadie crowd. I wouldn't bother mentioning it to them unless you know them. Otherwise, they will probably just think your a bit nutty.
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