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Old 10-09-12, 10:04 AM   #1
Gordy748
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Noob question #2: how high does a saddle go?

I've seen on this forum some comments about road cyclists raising their saddles too high when venturing onto the track. So to make sure my bum isn't too high up in the air...

My current road saddle height is 733 mm from the bottom bracket center, with 172.5mm cranks. I've got 167.5 cranks on the track bike, but should I keep the saddle height as 733mm from the bottom bracket or increase it by 5mm to compensate for the shorter cranks?
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Old 10-09-12, 10:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Gordy748 View Post
I've seen on this forum some comments about road cyclists raising their saddles too high when venturing onto the track. So to make sure my bum isn't too high up in the air...

My current road saddle height is 733 mm from the bottom bracket center, with 172.5mm cranks. I've got 167.5 cranks on the track bike, but should I keep the saddle height as 733mm from the bottom bracket or increase it by 5mm to compensate for the shorter cranks?
The key measurement is from the top of the saddle to the pedal spindle at its furthest point from the top of the saddle. This is your leg extension.

Here's how I do it:

- Pick a spot in the middle of the saddle. It doesn't have to be any spot in particular, just the same spot on both saddles (on road and track bikes) that is sort of in the middle.
- Arrange the cranks such that the pedal spindle is as far away as possible. This is not directly down a the 6:00 position.
- Measure to the center of the crank's pedal hole. (Or, if the pedals are installed, measure to the edge of the crank's pedal hole. Whatever you do, do the same on both bikes.)
- Note that length as close to the millimeter as possible.
- Set the #2 bike's saddle such that that measurement is the same.


Using this method you don't have to worry about different saddle set-back distances or seat tube angles. Also, use a similar technique to set the handlebar reach. Measure from the spot on the saddle to the deepest part of the grip section of the drops. Some people measure from the saddle nose to the top of the bars, but this isn't good for road vs track setups as the reach of the handlebars may be dramatically different.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 10-09-12, 11:15 AM   #3
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carleton's fairly precise. i am far less so.

i usually measure the leg extension, set that up, but then tweak as necessary. since i ride a track bike different than my road bike I usually wind up making a bunch of adjustments based on feel - fore or aft, up or down.

get on the bike and ride it a bunch, and trust your feeling.
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Old 10-09-12, 10:23 PM   #4
Gordy748
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Got it. Thanks Carleton, when you visit the Pacific Northwest you can collect the beer I now owe you.
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Old 10-09-12, 10:24 PM   #5
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Cheers, Queerpunk. I got a cheap Felt TK2, and compared to the road bike the set up is waaay forward. I'll try some adjusting over winter to see how it's going.

Likewise re the beer.
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