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Old 11-13-03, 12:20 PM   #1
Portis
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Saddle Front To Baclk. Does it Matter?

Front-back position
Saddles are also adjustable back and forth. Ideally, this adjustment should be made to set the saddle at the correct distance behind the bottom bracket, so that you are pedaling at an efficient angle. The conventional wisdom is that, when the pedal cranks are horizontal, your knee cap should be directly above the pedal spindle. See Keith Bontrager's article on this topic.
It is generally considered a Bad Idea to tinker with saddle position to adjust the reach to the handlebars; it is better to adjust this by replacing the handlebar stem with one with a different reach, or by buying a bicycle with a different length top tube.

The angle and the front-back position are both adjusted by the clamp on the seatpost.
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/saddles.html#frontback
What is the pedal spindle? Do you pay attention to this or do you just mount a new saddle and go riding? I have never fooled with a saddle but I am getting ready to attach the one pictured. I know that preferance will again come into play but it looks like the way Sheldon says is the most efficient.
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Old 11-13-03, 01:10 PM   #2
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I think that article is for road riders that never lift their as$ out of the saddle. the spindle is the center part of your pedal.

I just put my seat on and go ride. if I feel like it's too far back or foward, I adjust it.

That is what I suggest you do. put it on and sit on it, go ride around like you normally would and if it feels strange make adjustments. it's not rocket science but some people want to make it rocket science.
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Old 11-13-03, 01:26 PM   #3
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Listen to Sheldon on this as it could lead to knee problems.

Common sense and rocket science are not the same but in the end you will know why you don't know one. Look, take some basic points of reference from your current saddle position, nose of saddle to end of stem and also floor to top of saddle. That should get you going for now and if it feels odd make small adjustments.

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Last edited by Dude; 11-13-03 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 11-13-03, 02:16 PM   #4
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This article seems to mainly illustrate road bikes. I went out and sat on my bike to test this knee over spindle deal and my MTB does not have either knee directly over the spindle with cranks horizontal.

My knee is a few inches behind in my view. I have noted that this topic is probably not all that important but I think it is interesting to look at. Why not be as efficient as you can? Plus I think Physics must be fairly reliable. I certainly wouldn't board a Boeing 727 if Physics were not important. L L

I'll play with it a little and see what happens.

Last edited by Portis; 11-13-03 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 11-13-03, 02:49 PM   #5
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depends on the type of riding your doing.

alot of mountian bikers that ride cross country are not doing anything different then a road rider. that is, they stay in the saddle the whole time they ride. so fit is important.

myself, I ride with my seat a bit lower and spend alot of time out of the saddle so I can throw my bike around more.
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Old 11-13-03, 02:52 PM   #6
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I gotta go with pnj on this one. With the terrain I ride I couldn't sit for the ride. I sit 50/50 (on a good day) and if the seat is too high it really limits my ability on technical stuff. I don't slam the seat down (as I am too tall) but it is REALLY low..

When jumping I put the seat as low as humanly possible.

It depends on your riding. If you are doing xc/road the seat should be perfect...dh/fr don't worry about it. Stand and suck it up
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Old 11-13-03, 03:53 PM   #7
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pnj and Maelstrom make points I forgot too make.


-Dude
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Old 11-13-03, 04:48 PM   #8
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I see your point. I am just a trail rider that rides smooth flat trails. I want an efficient pedaling position while seated.

I was just thinking there was a difference between road bikes and mountain bikes. Nobody is hunched over on a mountain bike the way you are in the photos I attached above. Maybe that does not matter with regard to seat front/back position.
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Old 11-13-03, 04:55 PM   #9
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The one thing that is more important is seat height. On the road bike you are almost at full leg extention at the bottom of your stroke but on the mtb you have room to stand and also slide off the back if needed.
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Old 11-18-03, 01:25 AM   #10
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When you're adjusting your saddle make sure you don't move it too close to the end of the rails fore or aft or you'll risk breaking your rails.

Or maybe I'm just fat?
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Old 11-18-03, 03:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashing_sux
When you're adjusting your saddle make sure you don't move it too close to the end of the rails fore or aft or you'll risk breaking your rails.

Or maybe I'm just fat?

No, I don't think you are. I tried sliding the seat forward (closer to the bars) on my XC bike. It's not a great seat. Just a stock seat that comes with a Specialized. I tightened it well and just went for a casual ride in the city.

After sometime when I got home I noticed the seat had slid back on the rails to its original position. It was almost as if there's a sweet spot or optimum point on the rails set by the manufacturer. Then again, maybe it's just my el cheapo seat.

As for Sheldon Brown's tips. I think they are general guidelines but not written in stone since everyone's optimum seat position will depend on their individual builds and riding styles.

Last edited by bentrim; 11-18-03 at 03:17 AM.
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