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  1. #1
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    Saddle too high after lowering bars?

    I lowered my handlebars yesterday 2 spacers to give it a try. Should've just tried one but the person who fitted me to the bike originally told me I could be at this handlebar height when I first bought the bike. But decided to keep the 5 spacers in the meantime to get adjusted to the smaller more aggressive frame. I've been slowly lowering it and was down to 2 left and just decided to go all the way and remove all spacers and leave only a big 30mm spacer.

    I went out for a short ride to give it a go and immediately noticed that I was rocking my bike a bit more. I felt like my legs were extending a lot more than they were before and had to focus to not rock the bike. Did a very short ride at a higher effort and when I focused on not tilting the bike, I could do it but it's something I had to focus on and not just naturally do. Other than that I didn't feel any discomfort for now but we'll see how it goes later. Just felt a lot more aggressive than before. Is this something I have to get used to? Or maybe I'm not ready for that position? Or maybe I'm too fat for this sport?

  2. #2
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    The drop to the bars is more than you're comfortable with. Whether you'll adapt to it, or should adapt to it, is the question.

    Your seat height should be set on the proper leg extension. Don't change your seat height to decrease the drop to the bars.
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  3. #3
    I got 99 problems.... thump55's Avatar
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    I don't want to get all technical and stuff, but you could try lowering your saddle a bit and see how it feels.


    Sincerely,

    Captain Obvious

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    Lowering your bars moves them further away from you. What you may be feeling is the bars being 1-2mm farther away. I don't think it would affect leg extension unless you're sliding farther back on the seat to compensate. You could try moving your seat forward a bit. You could also try lowering the seat as long as it doesn't result in any knee pain.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
    You could try moving your seat forward a bit.
    Agreed. Your saddle height shoudl stay the same, move the saddle forward a couple of MM.

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    Actually, if you lowered you bars, you should be moving your saddle up a tiny bit and forward slightly to maintain a similar position and hip angle.

  7. #7
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    Saddle height and set back should be determined by leg length, irrespective of bar position.

    Bar position should be determined by upper body and arm length as well as individual flexibility.

    OP, it sounds like you lowered the bar beyond your range of normal motion. Move the bar back up. Do not move the saddle to adjust to your bar.

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    Or you could try tilting the nose of the saddle down a tiny amount. Or raise the bars back where they were and accept that as normal. Fit the bike to your body, don't fit your body to some mythical "perfect" pro position.

  9. #9
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    When you lowered your bars you effectively moved them further away from your saddle. It may not be a lot but technically you'll want to decrease stem length appropriately if you want to keep the same reach.

    By dropping the bars that much you may be exceeding your comfort level in terms of flexibility/core-strength. As you ride more and develop more cycling specific muscles you'll be able to support a larger saddle/bar height difference.

    Also you may be trying to sit on your sit bones when you should be leaning forward on the sides of your pelvic bones. You don't sit on the tips of the pelvis as much as the saddle nestles along the upside-down V section of the pelvic bones. This allows you to tilt your pelvis forward, giving your back a straighter line to the bars.

    If you are tilting more forward it may benefit you to slide the saddle forward. Although contrary to that "don't touch your saddle" it sort of follows the saddle rule thing. You should strive to keep the pedal-saddle height constant while moving the saddle forward. Usually you need to move the saddle up a touch, 1-2 mm. Sliding the saddle forward encourages that forward tilt, hence the position is used on TT bikes. It's also used in regular situations - Jens Voigt is the most popular forward-saddle pro rider I can think of. Alexi Grewal also had such a position. Davis Phinney used such a position also until he regularly did events much longer than 100-150km.

    I actually find a lower bar position to be much more comfortable than an "in-between" one. I have a pretty bad back (MRI, disc problems, sometimes get laid up due to back pain). It was worse when I went to a compact bar in the early spring 2013 (net effect was to raise the drops about 1.5 cm). A short time ago I went to a "deep drop compact" (FSA Energy) to regain that lost drop, primarily for sprinting reasons. My back happened to get much better right after that - for many months I was putting my pants on one leg at a time, standing virtually upright while leaning against the wall. Now I'm putting them on normally again.

    In terms of drops comfort I will "resort" to primarily using my drops after 2-3 hours of riding. It's the most comfortable position at that point, and in the 6th hour of a 6 hour ride I may spend all but a couple minutes on the drops.

    Obviously there's a lot of stuff that affects each other. The primary thing is to leave the saddle height alone unless it was fit to you so that you sit on your sit bones. Fit should start at the bottom bracket, go up to the saddle, then out to the bars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    The drop to the bars is more than you're comfortable with. Whether you'll adapt to it, or should adapt to it, is the question.

    Your seat height should be set on the proper leg extension. Don't change your seat height to decrease the drop to the bars.
    Merlin, is that exactly right? I mean, as you rotate your torso forward, you may rotate your pelvis too acting like a cam and raising the hip/femur connection point. Wouldn't (or should I say couldn't) that make a longer stretch to the pedals? Effectively your saddle would be "higher" even though it didn't move at all.

  11. #11
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    I'm going to try and move the saddle foward a bit and see how it goes. As a side note, I also recently changed my stem from 100 to 120. This was a very welcomed switch as I felt immediately more comfortable. I noticed someone had mentioned switching to a smaller stem, but I don't want to do that. What I was curious about was that I felt like the saddle was higher, even though it wasn't. And I don't want to move it because I was fitted to that saddle height and have been comfortable with it. Like I said, the fitter told me I could be at my current bar height about 2 months ago, I just didn't want to do such a drastic change at the time. I'm going to keep riding a bit more and see if I get used to it or if any pain starts to come. Then I'll start applying your suggestions and changing things and see how that goes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member halfspeed's Avatar
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    Oh #ffs , if it hurts when you do that, don't do that.
    Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.

  13. #13
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    Your seat height should be set on the proper leg extension. Don't change your seat height to decrease the drop to the bars.
    +1

    Step 1 ... get the saddle height and fore/aft right. Then you can mess around with handlebars.

  14. #14
    Senior Member roadwarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    The drop to the bars is more than you're comfortable with. Whether you'll adapt to it, or should adapt to it, is the question.

    Your seat height should be set on the proper leg extension. Don't change your seat height to decrease the drop to the bars.
    And this should have been the end of this thread. This is all you need to know.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvall91 View Post
    I'm going to try and move the saddle foward a bit and see how it goes.
    OP, if you slide the saddle forward, you also need to raise the saddle - CDR noted this in his post - to make sure you maintain the proper leg extension. As previously stated, your saddle position is determined by your leg length. You can slide the saddle forward or backward as you want, but you need to adjust the saddle height at the same time.

    For example, I recently moved my saddle back a bit to better engage my glutes. To do that, I also lowered the saddle 2mm to assure I was maintaining the proper leg extension.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Avispa's Avatar
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    I recognize this really well. Hope you don't get lost in all changes. This same behaviour (+ genital area pain) led me to a purchase of a new frame.

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