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Thread: Seat Heighth??

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    Junior Member Choob's Avatar
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    Seat Heighth??

    I was wondering how high the seat should be on my mtb???? I noticed a lot of people have it above their handlebars while mine is about even with the handlebars? Whats the reason for the extra heighth?

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    Senior Citizen DiRt DeViL's Avatar
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    Measure your inseam in CMs (like you did to determine the bike size) and multiply by .883. That should give you a base measurement for seat height.

    This link has great info on bike fitting: http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/
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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Mine is about three inches above my handlebars on my hardtail. It is about two inches above my handlebars on my full suspension. The primary difference is that I have a riser bar on the full suspension and a flat bar on my hardtail.

    As far as determining seat height the formula DiRt DeViL gave you is a good starting point. I believe you are supposed to take the result and measure from the center of your bottom bracket. Once you get it close you will still have to play around with the height though.

    Oh yeah, these numbers are pretty much only good for xc and road riding. Downhill, street, dirt jumping and freeriding generally always keep the seats very low to have better control of the bike in the sketchy stuff.
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    Senior Citizen DiRt DeViL's Avatar
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    Forgot one important thing, thanks Lowcel for reminding me.

    After you determine the measurement go the the bike and measure from the center of the bb to the top of the saddle. That should be your starting point, any fit on the bike will ultimatelly be decided by how you feel it vs what the "experts" say.

    Also started with a "leveled" saddle and adjust as needed, we usually point the nose a bit upward.
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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I do the same, nose is always pointed slightly up. Otherwise I feel like I have to push against the handlebars all the time to avoid slipping off the front of the saddle. When the saddle is leaned back a little it seems to keep me in the proper position (set bones on the wide part of the saddle) unless I am on a steep climb which I will slide up on the saddle.
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    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL
    Measure your inseam in CMs (like you did to determine the bike size) and multiply by .883. That should give you a base measurement for seat height.

    This link has great info on bike fitting: http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/
    Or you can use the nonprecise but workable method of sitting on the saddle, rotate the crank around to dead bottom and looking at your leg. It should have a slight bend in it and you shouldn't have to feel like you are "reaching" for the pedal by lowering your hip or that you are having to lock your knee to reach the bottom. Don't drop your ankle below the pedal spindle since we all tend to pedal on our toes.

    As for seat angle, I personally have a saddle that is dead flat when the bike is on level terrain. A saddle nose that is tilted up or, heaven forbid, shot towards the sky like some of the bikes I've seen, tends to numb the ol' wallys and trys to rub me a new orifice. Since I like all of my original equipment and don't feel like I need to add anything, I stay with a flat saddle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Choob
    I was wondering how high the seat should be on my mtb???? I noticed a lot of people have it above their handlebars while mine is about even with the handlebars? Whats the reason for the extra heighth?
    I use the same method as cyccommute. I had never heard of Dirt Devil's method...I may calculate that just to see how close I've been.
    I've always heard that you should have a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of your stroke. The height of my saddle has increased over the years as my legs have gotten stronger. When I first starting riding my pedal stroke consisted of push, push; over time I've gotten a lot stronger at the "back half" of my pedal stroke and raising the saddle seems to really accentuate those muscles.

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    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I use the same method as Cyccomute as well. It works for me, I feel very efficient.
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    mmm... chicken! Funkychicken's Avatar
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    Choob: it's all about comfort & fit of the bike. Fitting instructions in comments above, but seat height affects your comfort + ability to ride etc over different types of riding terrain. seats higher than the handlebars are usually for xc and less technical terrain. the more technical/downhill the terrain, the more you need to shift weight back and then it is generally easier to do that with a lower seat.
    That's a lie.

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    Junior Member Choob's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments everyone (and those who comment after this post). Expect more topics of newbie questions from me.

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    pnj
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    as mentioned, some people run it a tad lower for technical stuff. I usually run mine a good bit lower for single track stuff and if I come to a giant, long, steep hill, I'll crank it up as needed. I tend to stand more then sit when pedaling around, so lower is better. but not too low, of course.


    that's the beuty of a quick release, you can make adjustments when needed.
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    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Hello ALL

    Im a newcomer to MTB and have a Blur 4x with FS. My question is: My inside leg is 80cm (6'0" tall) and mult by .883 = 70.64 cm

    I had previously adjusted my seat and by 'feel' its at 73cm. However, what about when I actually sit on the bike? The crank to seat spacing is going to reduce because of the compression of the shock absorber.

    Sorry to ask such a 'newbie' question but this is my first FS bike and I have it set up like a road bike with the seat high. Should I try lowering a few cm? I mainly ride 'on-road', what about 'off-road'?

    Thanks all.

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    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn
    Hello ALL

    Im a newcomer to MTB and have a Blur 4x with FS. My question is: My inside leg is 80cm (6'0" tall) and mult by .883 = 70.64 cm

    I had previously adjusted my seat and by 'feel' its at 73cm. However, what about when I actually sit on the bike? The crank to seat spacing is going to reduce because of the compression of the shock absorber.

    Sorry to ask such a 'newbie' question but this is my first FS bike and I have it set up like a road bike with the seat high. Should I try lowering a few cm? I mainly ride 'on-road', what about 'off-road'?

    Thanks all.
    Actually on the blur it will stay the same. The rear triangle is what moves. There is never a difference between the seat and the bottom bracket.

    Check out the picture and you will see that the seat tube is solid. The shock only allows the rear triangle to move.

    As for lowering the saddle or not, do what feels good. If your knees aren't hurting then leave it where it is. If you get in some technical riding that you aren't really comfortable with drop your saddle a little. I always ride with my saddle pretty high. In the technical sections I just drop behind the saddle.
    Last edited by LowCel; 07-28-05 at 01:38 PM.
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    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Thank You! You are right.
    Told you I was a newbie...

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    Senior Citizen DiRt DeViL's Avatar
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    Use the formulas as a baseline, the idea is to get you close to where you can have max power while pedaling.

    Try to adjust little by little until you find the best spot.

    On FS it may feel tricky due to the suspension movement but the saddle height is not affected by the suspension at all on modern designs.
    "Life is not like a box of chocolates ...
    it's more like a jar of jalapenos.
    Whatever you do today,
    may burn your ass tomorrow."


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