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Saddle tilt - Up, Down, or Flat?

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Saddle tilt - Up, Down, or Flat?

Old 11-09-15, 12:14 PM
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Saddle tilt - Up, Down, or Flat?

Don't know if this has been threaded before. I've noticed that the more you ride on leather saddles, the more likely you'll tilt them up.

'83 Lotus Classique with Ideale 92 tilted up


'73 Raleigh Comp with Brooks B17 Imperial tilted up even more


2010 VO Rando with B17 nearly flat - currently using this as my commuter with Soma C-lines.


'96 Bike Friday with Selle San Marcos Regal almost flat, slight tilt up.
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Old 11-09-15, 12:24 PM
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Almost all mine have leather saddles. All have a very slight upward tilt. Downward inevitably leads to certain, very specific and unwelcome discomfort.
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Old 11-09-15, 12:38 PM
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Slightly up or flat for me, depending on the shape/design of the saddle. I cant imagine it pointing down...that would cause me to always slide forward and use leg muscles to keep my body up and back while also pedaling. Doesn't seem fun or necessary.
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Old 11-09-15, 12:39 PM
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Most of my saddles are flat, but I've always tilted leather saddles up.
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Old 11-09-15, 12:45 PM
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Depends on the saddle for me. Stiffer saddles I ride flat while saddles with a little give to them I'll point down a touch. I feel like they level out when I sit my large self on them.
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Old 11-09-15, 12:47 PM
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I usually level the saddle, then tilt it up the smallest amount I can. Then after riding I adjust as needed. Leather saddles almost always end up with the nose up a bit. Other saddles are usually more or less level.
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Old 11-09-15, 12:55 PM
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The section of the saddle I sit on is level. When I have it adjusted to the proper position I find the nose ever so slightly up.

My leathers are always this way. Also keeps me from sliding forward. Turbo, avocet, Regals et all pretty much the same though a bit less of a tilt.
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Old 11-09-15, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
I usually level the saddle, then tilt it up the smallest amount I can.
i do this, only backwards. Level, then one notch nose down.

A professional fitter would probably tell me that my bikes are all too big and too long for me, and I'm riding too stretched out; which I might care about if I was racing or something. I tend to sit way back on broadest part of the saddle, too.

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Old 11-09-15, 01:45 PM
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yes. If I don't tilt my leather saddles up a bit, I slide off of them. Padded saddles tend to remain flat.
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Old 11-09-15, 02:02 PM
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.
...I try my best to stay on the level, but it rarely works out that way.
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Old 11-09-15, 02:08 PM
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Slightly up. I know DD measures each one! I don't know that I have found the right angle yet. Every time I think it is at the right spot, a few rides or weeks later I think I need to change it!
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Old 11-09-15, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
The section of the saddle I sit on is level. When I have it adjusted to the proper position I find the nose ever so slightly up.

This!

If you need to tilt the saddle way up, that is an indication to me that you have it positioned too far forward.
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Old 11-09-15, 02:16 PM
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It's perhaps worth pointing out that these small adjustments we like to make are made much easier with micro-adjust seat posts like the Campy Record. The later Super Record seat post will defeat all attempts and very small adjustments, at least in my experience.
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Old 11-09-15, 02:31 PM
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Like others, flat for saddles like Concor or Flite, slightly up for Brooks. What I aim for is as low in the nose as possible without feeling like I'm starting to slide. It's really handy to have some rollers nearby for tweaking this sort of thing.

What I really don't understand is the nose-down tendency the past few years among the fixie crowd. It looks miserably uncomfortable. Is there some purported logic to that, or is it just a fad that for some reason caught on?
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Old 11-09-15, 02:44 PM
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Some of us with very short inseams will always have our seats forward and hence my Brooks saddles are always pointed up. The devil is in the details for each persons personal geometry.
I prefer 0 setback micro adjusting posts. These are comfy for me, honest. This is where my power is, or was.



Originally Posted by davester View Post
This!

If you need to tilt the saddle way up, that is an indication to me that you have it positioned too far forward.
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Old 11-09-15, 02:46 PM
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I think the very rigid cantle plate under the tail of leather saddles do hav a tendency to push riders forward, thus the need for most to tilt the nose up slightly.....
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Old 11-09-15, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post
Like others, flat for saddles like Concor or Flite, slightly up for Brooks. What I aim for is as low in the nose as possible without feeling like I'm starting to slide. It's really handy to have some rollers nearby for tweaking this sort of thing.

What I really don't understand is the nose-down tendency the past few years among the fixie crowd. It looks miserably uncomfortable. Is there some purported logic to that, or is it just a fad that for some reason caught on?
I ride all my seats a little nose down. None are traditional leather. (I find I spend too much time on the rivets of leather seats. Not fun.) For my fix gears I take my position and rotate it forward so the seat comes up, forward and tips down more and the bars go down. This simply is a better compromise for going upwind when I have no shift lever to make things easier.

Ben
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Old 11-09-15, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by due ruote View Post

What I really don't understand is the nose-down tendency the past few years among the fixie crowd. It looks miserably uncomfortable. Is there some purported logic to that, or is it just a fad that for some reason caught on?


...for when you need to be aero, but also need some space for your nuts.
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Old 11-09-15, 05:01 PM
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If my saddle is level with the bars, then my Brooks is very slightly nose up.

If my saddle is 3" above my bars, then . . . I dunno, because that makes it a go-fast bike and Brooks are too heavy for those. I use other saddles, which are always horizontal.
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Old 11-09-15, 05:27 PM
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Most of my saddles are tilted slightly up, but a few of them are level. Downward tilt keep me pushing back to stay put.
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Old 11-09-15, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
I think the very rigid cantle plate under the tail of leather saddles do hav a tendency to push riders forward, thus the need for most to tilt the nose up slightly.....
You may have point there. The softer the leather, the bigger the tilt needed. As it happens, I changed the saddle on my AD last week from a nicely worn Brooks Pro to a very hard plastic San Marco. The results, angle-wise:

Brooks:



San Marco:

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Old 11-09-15, 06:00 PM
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Flat.

Down tilt numbs my hands.

Up tilt numbs my junk.
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Old 11-09-15, 06:26 PM
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Depends on my riding position. More upright equals more level. Drop bar bikes warrent very slight nose down.
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Old 11-09-15, 06:33 PM
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I do at least 5 new builds/refurbs per year, bikes that I will either keep or will flip after a minimum of 1200 miles or so.

I start every fitting setup with an open mind, particularly as I am often evaluating a new saddle that I am unfamiliar with, so measurements off the saddle cannot be such precise indications of how a saddle should be positioned.

In general though, I start with a 30" saddle height from the bb center to the saddle top center, and then position the saddle so that the front half of the saddle top is level. Saddles with some up-kick at the rear half help me to achieve extra leg extension when pedaling more forcefully while seated, so the up-kick lets me avoid sliding over the rear edge of the saddle top.
I'll raise the saddle if I tend to push off the back when using full leg extension while seated, since added leg extension spares my knees from stress, letting me pedal harder when needed.

I'm careful to avoid having the saddle too far away from the bars, so I may move it forward or rearward to allow a very comfortable reach to the drops with the bars already having been positioned for an optimal amount of forward lean while attacking hills while off of the saddle. Thus, the positioning of the bars comes first as the highest priority, with the saddle then moved as needed for total comfort.

With the bars at 2-3/4" below saddle height, and given my bodily proportions, the result is always about like these. Tilt ends up adjusted as high in front as allowable, but before any added pressure is felt while riding for extended periods in the drops.
I don't ride on the hoods much, only for steeper climbs and when needing a bit more neck-swiveling ability to look around me, as when in town.

I've been taking a variety of measurements of each build, after getting the bikes dialed in over hundreds of miles. Different handlebar and saddle shapes can confound attempts to standardize accurately, and something like the amount of grip of the saddle top can bias my preferences for saddle position a bit. Nothing, but nothing worse than a slippery saddle!

The intensity (force) of pedaling largely determines the optimal amount of forward lean needed for fore-aft balance over the bb, so the fore-aft position of the saddle needs to suit the pedaling force (which is always limiting the tendency to fall forward). I set my bikes up for mixed, brisk riding, as almost all of my rides involve getting into it. Even errand runs in street clothes for me are somewhat like mini time-trials, though I must keep my legs happy with at least some warm-up time.

I make setup deviations/mistakes all the time, but these show how I prefer that it end up. Note that I did have to slightly lower the nose of the Super Course's saddle after the photo was taken on Sunday, as I won't tolerate "nose" pressure while riding in the drops. Moving the saddle forward seems to better allow my arms and legs to support my mass, as this puts my saddle and bars a little closer together instead of stretching my reach (which also tends to increase saddle nose pressure).





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Old 11-09-15, 06:44 PM
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Regal/Cambium-flat
Ideale/Brooks- a little tilt up, some more than others
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