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E-Bike Seat Height

Old 06-30-20, 11:52 AM
  #1  
MikeR
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E-Bike Seat Height

I've been watching e-bike riders on YouTube. I noticed that the riders have their seat much lower than I would set it for my road bike. I was taught to try for 'almost full leg extension' at the bottom of the pedal stoke. I find that is more comfortable and a stronger stroke with a lower chance of leg discomfort. Why do e-bike riders seem to sit lower? Are the bikes unable to raise the set post up enough or do the riders not feel the need for the 'almost full leg extension'?
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Old 06-30-20, 12:21 PM
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It could be you are seeing Class 2 electric bikes with pedal assist and throttle option. Kinda like having a moped or scooter where you don't need to have optimum full leg extension while you pedal as you are using the throttle to power you along. However, I could be wrong....
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Old 06-30-20, 02:18 PM
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I think there are a lot of people who just do not know how to set the proper seat height. I see it on non-electrics all the time as well. However, it is possible more newbies are on electrics, especially since Covid has spurred bike sales, and they just simply don't know better. The motor means they probably won't suffer any ill consequences in terms of power or physical condition. Maybe someone will eventually clue them in. Same thing with helmets -- so many newbies now riding around with helmets not even close to their frontal lobes.
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Old 07-02-20, 07:40 PM
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No excuse for poor fit, an e-assist bike should be ridden like a bike, otherwise it’s not
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Old 07-03-20, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Archwhorides View Post
No excuse for poor fit, an e-assist bike should be ridden like a bike, otherwise it’s not
Like I said, I see tons of folks on regular bikes with seat heights set all wrong. If you don't know, you just ride that way. Same with helmets.
If you buy your bike from a decent shop, you'll get the info you need to ride properly, but many folks ride either big box store bikes or used bikes and they get zero fit info. I stopped at a red light one day and the woman on a bike next to me was sweating like crazy so I asked if
she was okay - turns out she not only had her seat way too low but she didn't know how to use her gears so she was working much too hard.
I adjusted the seat for her and gave her a quick lesson on gears and she was just astounded how much easier it was to ride her bike (a Schwinn...probably from Target). Those big box stores are sending people out with future injuries.
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Old 07-03-20, 10:19 AM
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I have known a lot of people who "Know" that the only way to set the seat hight is to make sure that the rider can flat foot with both feet while sitting on the seat. While I do not accept the stereotype that bikes are solely chosen by new riders who have no idea what they are doing, and the severely infirm, if you leave this subforum, you will see that is a popular attitude among those whose sense of self is built upon their manly feats o' cycling.

Those videos frequently are intended to pander, or sell, to the first group. They frequently show a, clearly new, rider making a loop of a small parking lot and returning with a big smile exclaiming something like, "wow! have (never ridden a bicycle/have not ridden a bicycle in X years) and this is so easy!"

Before claiming that these neophytes are being led down the wrong path by the <evil> ebike profiteers, consider. What has really happened is that they have been ill-served by the bike media. They have been so convinced that riding a bicycle is a great physical feat, replete with suffering and danger. As such, they have sought out, and obtained no useful information about cycling and cycle safety. After all, they know all they need to know about cycle safety, they know it is dangerous!

With that knowledge, they draw on the lessons from the school resource officer who teaches second and third graders how to wobble around in the school gym. Those lessons call for setting the seat as low as it will go.

As another oddity, and a possible source of explanation for the practice. When I lived in China I noticed the transportation bikes there also frequently set the seats very low. However, there the reason is due to the frequently mandated dismounts. It is relevant because there is a tendency to set things up according to the instructions. Many bikes being imported from China are coming in through much more direct channels than have been common in the past. I would not be surprised if many of the "instructions" showing the bike setup reflect th common practice in China.
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Old 07-03-20, 02:07 PM
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My take for me and my wife. She is very sensitive to the bike not being set up for optimum efficiency (otherwise she experiences knee pain) and both her MTB and e-MTB are adjusted "perfectly". Doesn't seem to matter to me, so, while my MTB is set up for efficiency, my e-MTB isn't (seat lowered which helps descending).
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Old 07-03-20, 05:59 PM
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Perhaps they've seen too many trials bikes?
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Old 07-10-20, 11:03 AM
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Yep, it hurts just to watch them.
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Old 07-11-20, 01:51 PM
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Dropper seat post

I recently spent a long dollar on a Biktrix Juggernaut fat tire mid-drive. I'd been a roadie since 1972 and own a fleet of bikes, but in the last 5 years I had hardly ridden, and I'm 68. So the ebike was/is a way to rekindle the flame. Got it, assembled it, set the saddle to pedal height to my usual, and found I'm now too inflexible and out of shape to throw my leg over the way I used to. Leaning this 80 pound beast very much was also dicey.


Solution for me was a $100 externally wired dropper seat post. Hit the trigger just before I stop and I'm flat-footed, and the first revolution of the pedals I'm at full extension again. And after dropping $3500 on this 1000 watt play toy, what's another $100? Works for me!
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Old 07-13-20, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Onegun View Post
I recently spent a long dollar on a Biktrix Juggernaut fat tire mid-drive. I'd been a roadie since 1972 and own a fleet of bikes, but in the last 5 years I had hardly ridden, and I'm 68. So the ebike was/is a way to rekindle the flame. Got it, assembled it, set the saddle to pedal height to my usual, and found I'm now too inflexible and out of shape to throw my leg over the way I used to. Leaning this 80 pound beast very much was also dicey.


Solution for me was a $100 externally wired dropper seat post. Hit the trigger just before I stop and I'm flat-footed, and the first revolution of the pedals I'm at full extension again. And after dropping $3500 on this 1000 watt play toy, what's another $100? Works for me!
Sounds great. I never heard of that.
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Old 07-13-20, 03:00 PM
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I chose my electric because it felt most/very much like my other FS bike, I ride my electric the same way I ride my other bikes, and I set my seat height similarly. I won't stereotype youtube electric-bike riders, and there are probably good youtube examples out there, but youtubing is not a good sampling technique for learning good cycling practice, seat-height-setting or otherwise. Your experience and the understanding you have should guide you. If any bike cannot allow you to optimize your riding effort the way you expect -and understand it should, you should keep shopping.
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Old 07-13-20, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeR View Post
Sounds great. I never heard of that.
Dropper seatposts have been around in the mountain bike realm for a while. I got the Brand-X Ascend because of its price and reviews. I weigh 260, and so far it's worked fine. Think I paid about $120, and that's cheap for dropper posts!
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Old 07-14-20, 10:11 PM
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If you are almost locked out that is bad if you are really bent up that is bad. One should have a a slight bend to the knee. I recommend every cyclist go and get a dynamic bike fit (If COVID-19 ever ends). This whole guessing game is silly get fit and you will be entering a world of comfort.
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Old 07-20-20, 04:03 PM
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Most ebike riders just want something comfortable, not efficient.
I can always pick out a video because they are just flying along at about 50rpm.

I designed my own e-bike, but fit was paramount, and my bike is designed to cruise at 100rpm (I'm a fairly strong biker). You would never know I was on an ebike by watching me go down the road.

Shortcut to seat height (assuming you are riding with the ball of your foot on the pedal):
set the seat high enough so you can slide on/off it easily with the heal of your foot on the pedal. This will give you the knee bend you need when riding with the ball of your foot on the pedal.
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Old 08-03-20, 09:54 PM
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Some of the e-bike have a flat footed set up that allows your feet to be on the ground while sitting on the seat. The feet are forward so you still get some of the extension in the legs.
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Old 08-04-20, 07:53 AM
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While this is an atypical example, RadPower Bikes occasionally break the frame around the seat collar and reportedly this is due to owners extending the seatpost above the max line on the seatpost. Source: https://www.radowners.com/index.php...l?PHPSESSID=19v5s8gkdg9e8p9v25fjj5tup3#msg487
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Old 08-05-20, 12:06 PM
  #18  
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A throttle control (not pedal assist) you just hang on like a motorcycle,

motorize a crank forward bike, with a very slack seat tube angle,
... some the seat tube is well behind the BB, with a long wheelbase .

Offer the touch the ground at a stop, option, but still offer a semi recumbent like leg extension..
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