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Saddle setback and cleat position

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Saddle setback and cleat position

Old 11-22-15, 06:10 PM
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Saddle setback and cleat position

Hi,

I have been riding my boardman road sport (claris drivechain) quite a while. It is 57.5 inch frame size the largest of it.

I have been analyzing setback effect on my power:



(1). I use the saddle above. My original setback way full back. This way I noticed my arms were very relaxed. However whilst riding I thought this wasn't my full power and hence point 2.

(2). I moved setback from max to 0 units if you can see the picture effectively moving the saddle forward by say 10 units. I noticed this opened up my hip angle but I didn't see significant power gain. And mind you like this I have hard time turning 50x11. I raised my saddle to compensate for setback but again I didn't see any real gain in terms of power. I have thought about this whilst riding today and for some reason I couldn't maintain the same speed that I did in point 1, and this seems strange because I thought opening hip angle will allow me to put more power on the big gear.

Now I am confused to either move "further" saddle forward or revert to my original position (as in point 1). My other concern was hitting of legs when using point 1 setup when I wanted to get aero.

I read stevehoggs website which stated that setback shouldn't be extremely back otherwise I will not be able to produce more power so according to him hence point 2. It also stated that cleats should be maximum back for endurance riders which raises another query whether engagement of calves might be necessary and to do that I might need to move cleat forward as it is rearward at the moment to get more power of course.

Personally I am 6 foot 2 inches and don't know if it helps. But in the end all I am trying to do is get maximal effort for the pedal stroke.

Back story: I have used to time trial on road bike using point 1 setup. And also used point 1 setup for club runs. I am thinking whether my experiment has failed by changing setback to get more power.
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Last edited by d4devilx; 12-04-15 at 02:38 PM. Reason: Linking clearly to latest post
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Old 11-22-15, 09:01 PM
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How are you measuring power?

The idea of a further forward saddle for TT is that when your back is horizontal you almost have to or you can't breathe.

I run my saddles on all my road bikes all the way back with setback seatposts, but that's just me. YMMV. I also like my arms relaxed for long distance work, plus more extension is more aero and more comfortable for me.

There is no one perfect saddle position. For road bikes, it's a compromise between climbing and aero. For TT bikes, no need to compromise. TT bikes have a more vertical seatpost and the saddle all the way forward, though the UCI limits saddle position w/r to bottom bracket.

Using your road bike for TT, you might want to move the saddle forward, though since I don't train with it that way, I don't do that myself. Your short term power will be no better, but your long term TT power might be because of better breathing.

Many long distance cyclists move their cleats back. However IME cleat under ball of foot gives the most power. I have no trouble riding long distance with the forward cleat placement, though others do. I normally ride with relaxed calves, pedaling with my shoe heel cups., never toe down. That's probably a reason that the forward cleat placement doesn't tire me. But when I want extra power on a short climb, I can ankle very strongly and get noticeably more power from the pedal stroke.
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Old 11-23-15, 01:46 PM
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A good place to start is to place the nose of the saddle one inch (25mm) behind the vertical line formed by the crank spindle.

Don't move your saddle back or forward to adjust your reach. To adjust your reach, change your stem. Saddle fore-aft position is for your legs, not your arms.
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Old 12-01-15, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
A good place to start is to place the nose of the saddle one inch (25mm) behind the vertical line formed by the crank spindle.

Don't move your saddle back or forward to adjust your reach. To adjust your reach, change your stem. Saddle fore-aft position is for your legs, not your arms.
Different opinions - I think it's for your balance on the bike - for me a sign of good balance is relaxed arms, low weight on the hands, and easy ability to raise up off the saddle. After that, adjust the reach with stem or bar reach adjustments.
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Old 12-01-15, 11:24 AM
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femur length influences set back and the desire to put more or less weight on your hands..

but I was never into racing, needed more power, rather than downshifting, I get out of the saddle.
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Old 12-01-15, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Road Fan
Different opinions - I think it's for your balance on the bike - for me a sign of good balance is relaxed arms, low weight on the hands, and easy ability to raise up off the saddle. After that, adjust the reach with stem or bar reach adjustments.
I have to agree with noglider here. I see the BB-seat relationship as near sacred. Once I have that right, I can then rotate that relationship around the BB, to either seat back, a little lower and the seat more level or seat forward, up and a little more nose down. I have a CAD drafting program, so I just rotate the seat (and handlebars and levers) in the drawing. Many of my bikes I prefer more forward with real weight on my hands. A true blessing if I have to go 20 miles upwind, especially on the fix gears.

If I am starting from scratch, I put the bars where I can reach them, get the seat to the best first guess I can make and ride with all the seat adjust wrenches. Dial that in. Then I mess with dialing in the bars. Now, once I have the seat and bars dialed in, I can move the bars and rotate the seat position accordingly to change my aerodynamics and weight balance. But I have a lot of work I need to do first. (My theory on HB position ties in here also, but that is another thread.)

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Old 12-01-15, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by d4devilx
It is 57.5 inch frame size the largest of it.
That's a pretty big bike.
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Old 12-04-15, 02:28 PM
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Lightbulb

Sorry the measurement is in "cm" @trailangel

It turns out I had "over-trained" and thus had to "de-load" myself for a week (no riding). Turns out my new position is much aero and stronger i.e. saddle tip is almost near BB not extremely far back as in position (1) and further than (2).

Setback is now more reduced: from maximum, the setback is now 5 units. And this setback is neither (1 which is 0 units) or (2 which is max).

It seems silly of me that I just needed some recovery and adaption to new position which took a week.

Cheers for all the help.

Note: (1) and (2) refer to original post.


See image below for measurement reference:


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Old 12-04-15, 08:09 PM
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^That looks like a nice saddle.
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