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Saddle points down

Old 11-05-20, 10:09 AM
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Saddle points down

I can think of three reasons to have a saddle pointing down.

1. You unknowingly raised your saddle too high and need to point it down to effectively lower it. This is the most common reason. You may still be overextending your leg, and since the nose is not supporting your weight on your pubic bone, you might be putting excess weight on the handlebars, causing fatigue to your hands and shoulders.

2. Your handlebar is much lower than your saddle. This might be comfortable and efficient for you. It has become fashionable on road bikes lately but mostly for young and energetic riders.

3. You have unusual anatomy. Perhaps your pubic bone is lower that others' in relation to your sit bones. There are some people who have tried all the various methods of fitting their bikes, starting with the standard ways, and they find that this works for them. You might not experience excess load on your hands and shoulders.

Forgive me for grabbing images from bikeforums. The white bike might fit into the second category but if the owner asked me for advice, I would first check their saddle height.



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Old 11-05-20, 10:29 AM
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I couldn't ride with the saddle pointing down that way - one keeps sliding down forward and the arms have to counter that.
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Old 11-05-20, 10:46 AM
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I blame it on the you can make a small bike bigger logic. I’m not a French fit is the only fit kinda guy but if you need a mountain bike seat post on you traditional geometry road bike you need a bigger bike
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Old 11-05-20, 10:51 AM
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So what you are saying is that pointing down is relative statement based on the three given scenarios.
For the second case, if the HB were at the same level as the saddle, it would be pointed up.
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Old 11-05-20, 10:56 AM
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Wrong saddle. Or-
Low hours on the bike- way back I got sick and was off the bike for almost 6 months. When I resumed riding, my previously comfortable saddle was anything but comfy.
30 minutes was all I could tolerate.
In general, when I see a saddle so set up and I meet up at a stoplight with a rider having a saddle so mis-set, I ask about their lower back. They all complain of discomfort and then ask "how'd you know?"
As they are riding they are constantly attempting to overcome the slide they are on.
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Old 11-05-20, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by SJX426 View Post
So what you are saying is that pointing down is relative statement based on the three given scenarios.
For the second case, if the HB were at the same level as the saddle, it would be pointed up.
That depends. I prefer Brooks saddles, and many have observed that most Brooks saddles are pointed up a bit, and that's the case for me. You usually see Italian style saddles* dead level, at least on bikes with experienced riders. And this is with the handlebar somewhat lower or higher than the saddle.

*Italian style saddles: my term for a plastic shell with a cover glued or stapled on, usually with padding between the shell and cover.
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Old 11-05-20, 11:05 AM
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I used to ride pointed slightly down and yes, I ride smaller frames than what would be French fit for me. As I've gotten older, slower and less agile, my saddles have leveled.

I see more bikes pictured with saddles pointed upward than I do downward.
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Old 11-05-20, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by plonz View Post
I used to ride pointed slightly down and yes, I ride smaller frames than what would be French fit for me. As I've gotten older, slower and less agile, my saddles have leveled.

I see more bikes pictured with saddles pointed upward than I do downward.
One might argue that an up-pointing saddle is the sign of an experienced cyclist. There are exceptions, as noted above.
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Old 11-05-20, 11:59 AM
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I never have understood the saddles that point down. I like to be pulling on the bars when I ride, not pushing. Who are these people who are pushing on the bars, and why are they doing this? I just don't get it, never have.
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Old 11-05-20, 12:35 PM
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Hmm, so where is this one pointing?
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Old 11-05-20, 12:44 PM
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I see many bikes with aero-bars have nose-down saddles. My assumption was that resting ones forearms on the bars required a bit of crotch relief. Personally, I like a level or slightly nose-up position. Each saddle is a bit different.
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Old 11-05-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Hmm, so where is this one pointing?
I’ve never been comfy on an SMP but lots of folks like them, the weight bearing part of the saddle is flat though
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Old 11-05-20, 01:05 PM
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One, two, and three are all very good points, and the red Atala is a valid example of any of these three. Granted, I have a hard time understanding why someone would choose a given pair of drop bars if they can't tilt it so it's both comfortable in the drops and the bullhorn position, but that's another story.

However, that white fixie has "doesn't know how to size self to bike, more interested in aping funny bike stance" written all over it. That saddle angle looks as if it'll cause more medical issues than anything else. Plus, let's not forget the "brakeless fixie that's not legal for the track" cliché, which means whoever rides this thing will be using the tops, even though their bar grips are fashionably in denial of that fact. It's a silly build that cannot possibly be comfortable for extended periods of time.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
That depends. I prefer Brooks saddles, and many have observed that most Brooks saddles are pointed up a bit, and that's the case for me.
For North Road and other upright riding applications, yes. But not so on the Pro and Swift - at least as designed though. These were designed to be more or less to be level (which makes sense, given the rider is now leaned forward against the bars), while the seating area is cupped to fit the sit bones, rather than the flat area of the B.72/66/67.

Granted, these are by no means hard and fast rules - one might want to nose up a Pro to combat slippage, personal fit, or medical reasons. I'm not sure the same applies for nose down on an upright bar Brooks though - the nose-up angle is significant enough that leveling it out would bring the rear a lot higher up than with most road saddles.




Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Hmm, so where is this one pointing?
To the marketing department? For the most part, the actual points of contact between the body and the saddle aren't anywhere near the turndown on that saddle nose.

Looks like a great way to chafe the inner leg if you knee in.

-Kurt
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Old 11-05-20, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
One might argue that an up-pointing saddle is the sign of an experienced cyclist. There are exceptions, as noted above.
I cannot connect the dots on this. .

Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I never have understood the saddles that point down. I like to be pulling on the bars when I ride, not pushing. Who are these people who are pushing on the bars, and why are they doing this? I just don't get it, never have.
When I was in better cycling shape, a slight downward angle put me in a more aggressive, aero position. I wasn't pushing on the bars. just resting on them almost like a time trial setup. Use to lead packs for a lot of miles this way.
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Old 11-05-20, 01:24 PM
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-----

...hmmmmm have long wondered as the the saddle's possible utility as a dowsing rod

...then there are the "droop snooters" which seem to be made that way...




-----
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Old 11-05-20, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I never have understood the saddles that point down. I like to be pulling on the bars when I ride, not pushing. Who are these people who are pushing on the bars, and why are they doing this? I just don't get it, never have.
I come forward quite a lot going hard and in one of my climbing positions. (I "ride the rivet" a lot except I refuse to sit on hard steel - hence no Brooks seats for me!) A seat that isn't tipped down a bit leaves me with issues. (Bars are several inches below my seat and my stems and top tubes long.) I have real weight on my hands until I start going harder. I'm a skinny, long limbed fellow. Not having my back close to flat on long upwinds gets really old. I also rotate my pelvis down so a lot of pressure on soft stuff. Opens up my abdomen for good diaphragm breathing and keeps my lower back from finishing rides in pain. (My bod likes to be on a position not all that different from a good feline stretch.)

I consider the exact amount of downward tip critical and run 2-bolt seatposts on 4 of my 5 bikes. (5th is my workhorse city fix gear. Old Trek with a -22 degree 175mm stem. Post is a scratched up Campy Chorus 1-bolt. No detents and getting the tip right was easy. 10 years later, every time I get on that bike it is so right on perfect! Oh. that seat too is pointed down a bit.)

Ben
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Old 11-05-20, 01:29 PM
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Most of the Brooks Pro and B17 saddles I see have their noses up a bit. That's how mine always is. Maybe my pubic bone is high? Hmm, this reminds me that I made a phony blog about this in 2013. Maybe I'm obsessed with crotches.
@cudak888, what is illegal about that white bike for track use? The handlebars look legal.
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Old 11-05-20, 01:30 PM
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@79pmooney, you have special dispensation as a highly experienced rider.
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Old 11-05-20, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Most of the Brooks Pro and B17 saddles I see have their noses up a bit. That's how mine always is. Maybe my pubic bone is high? Hmm, this reminds me that I made a phony blog about this in 2013. Maybe I'm obsessed with crotches.
I tend to go no more than 1 to 3 degrees nose up on the Pros, depending on how they've broken in. The B17's are somewhat of a wildcard. They can be set either way and broken in for either purpose, really. The sprung B.66 (a.k.a. the B.66/67 Champion these days) is a perfect testament to that.

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@cudak888, what is illegal about that white bike for track use? The handlebars look legal.
The pedals and flip-flop straps.

-Kurt
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Old 11-05-20, 01:37 PM
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  1. Your bike doesn't fit
  2. Your bike doesn't fit
  3. Your bike doesn't fit
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Old 11-05-20, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
One, two, and three are all very good points, and the red Atala is a valid example of any of these three. Granted, I have a hard time understanding why someone would choose a given pair of drop bars if they can't tilt it so it's both comfortable in the drops and the bullhorn position, but that's another story.

However, that white fixie has "doesn't know how to size self to bike, more interested in aping funny bike stance" written all over it. That saddle angle looks as if it'll cause more medical issues than anything else. Plus, let's not forget the "brakeless fixie that's not legal for the track" cliché, which means whoever rides this thing will be using the tops, even though their bar grips are fashionably in denial of that fact. It's a silly build that cannot possibly be comfortable for extended periods of time.



For North Road and other upright riding applications, yes. But not so on the Pro and Swift - at least as designed though. These were designed to be more or less to be level (which makes sense, given the rider is now leaned forward against the bars), while the seating area is cupped to fit the sit bones, rather than the flat area of the B.72/66/67.

Granted, these are by no means hard and fast rules - one might want to nose up a Pro to combat slippage, personal fit, or medical reasons. I'm not sure the same applies for nose down on an upright bar Brooks though - the nose-up angle is significant enough that leveling it out would bring the rear a lot higher up than with most road saddles.






To the marketing department? For the most part, the actual points of contact between the body and the saddle aren't anywhere near the turndown on that saddle nose.

Looks like a great way to chafe the inner leg if you knee in.

-Kurt
I’m built and about as smart as a monkey 6’2” with a 31” PBH and I was an Infantryman yet my Brooks professional is nose up



Junk orientation is unique I suppose but I’ve never had a Brooks that was comfortable any other way than nose up whether it be my Colnago, Serotta, or this Bruce Gordon
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Old 11-05-20, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by nlerner View Post
Hmm, so where is this one pointing?
That particular one is angled down. For an SMP saddle, you place a level on it from nose to tail, and go from there. With the saddle level, there's a slight valley that you sit in. That's actually a fairly extreme down-angle for an SMP. Most are setup with the nose 2-3mm lower than the tail.
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Old 11-05-20, 02:04 PM
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Saddle angle is always funny to me.

I ride what is a flat saddle(at least I think it is). Tilting forward means I slide forward and why would I want that? Tilting back means pressure where it shouldnt be and why would I want that?

My BIL rides with saddles tilting down and I still shake my head when I see his bikes(multiple times a week for decades) because it makes no sense to me.
And I see obviously talented cyclists with the nose down a few degrees, so what do I know?

I used to have a couple of B17 saddles and accept that those need to be nose up a bit for the hammock effect as thats where you are supposed to be positioned. Ok fine. I see a lot of B17(or similar) saddles on here that are pointed so far up, I am confident in saying multiple posters have (un)intentionally checked their prostate on a ride.


But just like handlebar angle and brake lever angle- to each their own. Those two things, along with saddle, scream 'poorly set up bike' to me, but if its what the user needs to make the bike comfortable, then so be it.
Comfort = use and that is whats most important.
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Old 11-05-20, 03:19 PM
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Professional riders can get away with saddle pointing down. They produce way more power on a given ride than we humans. Pros barely sit on the saddles, most of their weight is supported by their feet. Plus they are also more fit, ride more, younger, etc....They also have different priorities than us. Most modern races are relatively short up to 5 hours. Pros have more issues with foot pain than butt or hand pain. Tilted down saddle with straight seat post will let you have a more aggressive position allowing you to produce more power for a given time. It also creates other problems though...

Pros in the past had their saddles level and has set back seat posts for more comfort since the races were longer.
Novice rides have the saddles tiled down because their sit bones are not accustomed to riding yet. The longer the ride is the more problems tilted down saddles will cause. Riders will slide forward towards the handlebars, will lock elbows to prevent sliding causing neck pain, shoulder pain and handlebar palsy.

Personally I think for longer rides saddle has to be level with the setback seat post with less weight on the rider hands, elbows bent, otherwise pain will set in eventually

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Old 11-05-20, 04:23 PM
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I have read recent article in Road Bike Action about modern assumptions about saddle design and saddle tilt. The stubby saddle trend which started more with triathaletes has now found quite a few proponents among regular road riders as well. Same with (slight) downward tilt. Road Bike Review talked about the saddle to bar drop and acted like a slight downward slope can in some instances be more comfortable when seeking to maintain the most aero position and when one rides the drops more.

The white fixie (photo # 2) reminds me of the type of photos you see when looking for used bikes on Craig's list. It looks like the person who set that seatpost and saddle up had no clue at all about what they were doing

I have developed a painful nodule in my perineum that causes me to rotate my pelvis all kinds of ways to relieve the discomfort while riding my favorite saddle - a Selle Italia Turbomatic Team Carbon. I have always kept the saddle flat. This practice always worked in the past but I’m beginning to realize that my 58 year old body might need a very slight downward tilt with more ab work and longer pulls in the drops along with standing climbing intervals just to keep all the pressure points decompressed.

Last edited by masi61; 11-05-20 at 04:55 PM.
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