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Will my legs adjust to saddle one inch below recommended height?

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Will my legs adjust to saddle one inch below recommended height?

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Old 06-03-18, 12:59 PM
  #26  
phughes
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Really? That's twice you're reply has been insulting.

If the OP had posted this exact same topic about his handling issues without suggesting solving them with a lower saddle, would we even be discussing his saddle height?
Nope.
Look, my point is, the OP posted about his seat height. He is uncomfortable with it where the formula put him. Now, as I said before, there is nothing inherently wrong with the formula, but it doesn't apply equally to everyone. The approach used by Steve Hogg, the one I used to fix the issues I had after experts measured me and put my seat too high, causing me serious issues, works because it takes the individual's personal flexibility and fitness level into account. The result will very likely be close to what a formula will give you, but not always, sometimes it will be lower, and sometimes it will be higher, sometimes it will be spot on what the 1.09 formula gives you.

In my case, it is pretty close, but unfortunately many fitters measure PBH by jamming a edge into you as hard as they can, making the measurement too high if you have more soft parts than the average person, thus making your seat height too high, as in my case. In my case, they put my seat height a good inch above what it is now, but if I measure my inseam a little more gently, allowing for the soft parts, something many don't do, I get a seat height pretty close to what the Hogg method gave me. However, two different, well respected fitters put me about an inch higher. They were wrong, for my body.

So, as I was saying, there is nothing wrong with the formula, but it is an average, and if you tried the formula, and it didn't work for you, then a different approach may be in order, hence my suggestion to use Steve Hogg's method. So I am not discounting your formulas, I am saying, as I have said before, it doesn't work for everyone, and is an average starting point at best. Once you arrive at a beginning height, you need to see how it works for you and adjust accordingly, and the Hogg method does that, and does it well.

I just do not like religious adherence to a formulaic method of fit, when all the numbers are based on averages, and does not take into account the individual being fitted. Once you arrive at starting numbers, you really need to see how they work for that person. Have a good day.
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Old 06-03-18, 01:10 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Look, my point is, the OP posted about his seat height. He is uncomfortable with it where the formula put him. Now, as I said before, there is nothing inherently wrong with the formula, but it doesn't apply equally to everyone. The approach used by Steve Hogg, the one I used to fix the issues I had after experts measured me and put my seat too high, causing me serious issues, works because it takes the individual's personal flexibility and fitness level into account. The result will very likely be close to what a formula will give you, but not always, sometimes it will be lower, and sometimes it will be higher, sometimes it will be spot on what the 1.09 formula gives you.

In my case, it is pretty close, but unfortunately many fitters measure PBH by jamming a edge into you as hard as they can, making the measurement too high if you have more soft parts than the average person, thus making your seat height too high, as in my case. In my case, they put my seat height a good inch above what it is now, but if I measure my inseam a little more gently, allowing for the soft parts, something many don't do, I get a seat height pretty close to what the Hogg method gave me. However, two different, well respected fitters put me about an inch higher. They were wrong, for my body.

So, as I was saying, there is nothing wrong with the formula, but it is an average, and if you tried the formula, and it didn't work for you, then a different approach may be in order, hence my suggestion to use Steve Hogg's method. So I am not discounting your formulas, I am saying, as I have said before, it doesn't work for everyone, and is an average starting point at best. Once you arrive at a beginning height, you need to see how it works for you and adjust accordingly, and the Hogg method does that, and does it well.

I just do not like religious adherence to a formulaic method of fit, when all the numbers are based on averages, and does not take into account the individual being fitted. Once you arrive at starting numbers, you really need to see how they work for that person. Have a good day.
I don't disagree with you about any of that.

The main issue here is that there isn't any reason to regard the OP's saddle height to be the issue, even if he has proposed it as the solution to his handling woes. It would be too bad if he ended up riding a bike that is both difficult to ride AND hard on his knees because of the advice he gets in this thread, rather than finding out the real reason why cornering is a problem.
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Old 06-03-18, 01:14 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I don't disagree with you about any of that.

The main issue here is that there isn't any reason to regard the OP's saddle height to be the issue, even if he has proposed it as the solution to his handling woes. It would be too bad if he ended up riding a bike that is both difficult to ride AND hard on his knees because of the advice he gets in this thread, rather than finding out the real reason why cornering is a problem.
No, the point is to get his seat height at the correct height for his body, since he dropped it by an inch, so that it can be eliminated as a cause of the issue, or confirmed, thereby fixing his problem. Nothing can be determined if the seat height is not correct for him, and since that it the change that made him feel unstable, then it is only reasonable to start there, by getting the seat heigh correct.
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Old 06-03-18, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
No, the point is to get his seat height at the correct height for his body, since he dropped it by an inch, so that it can be eliminated as a cause of the issue, or confirmed, thereby fixing his problem. Nothing can be determined if the seat height is not correct for him, and since that it the change that made him feel unstable, then it is only reasonable to start there, by getting the seat heigh correct.
I guess I don't see his leg extension as the main issue since he's complaining about things like having to use a taller stem. The OP reads primarily like he doesn't like being up in the air and doesn't like how his bike looks because of it, therefore wants 'permission' to drop his seat so he can get closer to the ground and use a normal looking stem.


I think it is possible that your poor experience with saddle height has led to you regard any request to lower the saddle as coming from someone who has been screwed over by a height formula, when this looks like someone who is having a very different problem than leg extension. It may well be leg extension, but the rest of the OP makes me think there is something more involved going on.
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Old 06-03-18, 01:39 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I guess I don't see his leg extension as the main issue since he's complaining about things like having to use a taller stem. The OP reads primarily like he doesn't like being up in the air and doesn't like how his bike looks because of it, therefore wants 'permission' to drop his seat so he can get closer to the ground and use a normal looking stem.


I think it is possible that your poor experience with saddle height has led to you regard any request to lower the saddle as coming from someone who has been screwed over by a height formula, when this looks like someone who is having a very different problem than leg extension. It may well be leg extension, but the rest of the OP makes me think there is something more involved going on.
No, my response is based on what the OP stated, he set his seat height one inch lower than the "ideal" height because he felt unstable. That is what changed, the swaddle was set one inch above the height of another bike he has, one that feel comfortable for him. So my suggestion is based on that, and that alone. He needs to get his seat height straightened out before moving on to something else. You nver change two things at the same time when you are troubleshooting, you will not know what worked, and you may change one thing that actually would fix the issue, but the other makes out worse, so you have not helped the situation.

Now, once again, since the formula resulted in a height that caused him issues, it makes sense to use a different method to come up with a height that works, and once again, it may put him back to a place where he has issues with the handling, but at least his seat height will be confirmed as correct for his body, then you can move on to something else, but until you fix the seat height, you are shooting in the dark, and since the upward change in seat height brought on the problem, and since lowering it helped, then the answer may be seat height. I believe the correct seat height is probably between where he is now, and where he started, but I don't know. He can figure that out by using the hill test Hogg describes, it's quite easy, and it works. For me, my seat ended up dropping by about an inch from where fitters kept putting me.

So, get back to a correct seat height, one that is correct for hsi body, and not simply determined by a formula, which may be correct in his case, and may not be correct, then you can see if he simply needs to get used to the way a new bike feels, or how the higher seat height feels, or there may be another issue.

I'm a troubleshooter, and I don't go into an issue with preconceived notions, but I do use the experiences I have, and those of others in solving a problem.
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Old 06-03-18, 01:45 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
No, my response is based on what the OP stated, he set his seat height one inch lower than the "ideal" height because he felt unstable. That is what changed, the swaddle was set one inch above the height of another bike he has, one that feel comfortable for him. So my suggestion is based on that, and that alone. He needs to get his seat height straightened out before moving on to something else. You nver change two things at the same time when you are troubleshooting, you will not know what worked, and you may change one thing that actually would fix the issue, but the other makes out worse, so you have not helped the situation.

Now, once again, since the formula resulted in a height that caused him issues, it makes sense to use a different method to come up with a height that works, and once again, it may put him back to a place where he has issues with the handling, but at least his seat height will be confirmed as correct for his body, then you can move on to something else, but until you fix the seat height, you are shooting in the dark, and since the upward change in seat height brought on the problem, and since lowering it helped, then the answer may be seat height. I believe the correct seat height is probably between where he is now, and where he started, but I don't know. He can figure that out by using the hill test Hogg describes, it's quite easy, and it works. For me, my seat ended up dropping by about an inch from where fitters kept putting me.

So, get back to a correct seat height, one that is correct for hsi body, and not simply determined by a formula, which may be correct in his case, and may not be correct, then you can see if he simply needs to get used to the way a new bike feels, or how the higher seat height feels, or there may be another issue.

I'm a troubleshooter, and I don't go into an issue with preconceived notions, but I do use the experiences I have, and those of others in solving a problem.
I'd be more inclined to look at it your way if the OP's issues involved his knees, saddle pressure, lower back, hips rocking or other things normally associated with having your seat too high. Everyone should be on the optimal seat height - whatever that may be. I just hope the OP understands that there is likely something else going on since cornering and saddle height are normally totally unconnected.
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Old 06-03-18, 01:59 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I'd be more inclined to look at it your way if the OP's issues involved his knees, saddle pressure, lower back, hips rocking or other things normally associated with having your seat too high. Everyone should be on the optimal seat height - whatever that may be. I just hope the OP understands that there is likely something else going on since cornering and saddle height are normally totally unconnected.
It doesn't really matter what we think about the OP's perception. What matters is what he did, and what seemed to help, and in this case, he changed his seat height. Also, if you are not Sable on the bike, handling will suffer, and seat height plays a role in how stable you are on a bike.

The hill test will help confirm his seat height, then he can decide if his issue is resolved. Putting his seat height back to the place the formula puts him, whether or not it was done accurately or not, won't help, that will simply put him back to a point of instability. Using a real world test, while on the bike will help get his seat height where it should be for his body, and if that is right, and the for/aft position is right, he will be stable on the bike. If there is a handling problem after that, he has already ruled out seat position. All that being said, I suspect the OP has already hit upon the problem, but may have gone a bit far, then again, he may have hit it perfectly.
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Old 06-03-18, 05:07 PM
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Are people really setting their saddle height by formula alone and just leaving it there? I don't use a tape measure to determine where my saddle will be. I go by feel, which is the way my knees prefer it.
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Old 06-03-18, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Are people really setting their saddle height by formula alone and just leaving it there? I don't use a tape measure to determine where my saddle will be. I go by feel, which is the way my knees prefer it.
Since the knee angles that will work are +/- 10°, I imagine many people find their "formula" saddle height feels fine and they just use it. Changing your ankle angle a few degrees can adjust your nominal saddle height by an inch.

The thing is, people have to be fairly sensitive to actually be able to tune a saddle height down to small increments.
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Old 06-03-18, 06:25 PM
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Then I wish I was insensitive. A 1/8" adjustment one way or the other can make a huge difference in my comfort-- saddle angle is equally tough to pin down. And when switching between 3 bikes of differing geometries, getting all three to ride similarly, saddle-wise, is tricky.
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Old 06-05-18, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Are people really setting their saddle height by formula alone and just leaving it there? I don't use a tape measure to determine where my saddle will be. I go by feel, which is the way my knees prefer it.
Sensible.
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Old 06-05-18, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Then I wish I was insensitive. A 1/8" adjustment one way or the other can make a huge difference in my comfort-- saddle angle is equally tough to pin down. And when switching between 3 bikes of differing geometries, getting all three to ride similarly, saddle-wise, is tricky.
Exactly. A small adjustment can, and does, make a big difference.
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Old 06-05-18, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Exactly. A small adjustment can, and does, make a big difference.
You should ask a friend to either raise, leave alone or lower your saddle by 3mm without telling you, then see if you can definitively feel it.

I have shorts that vary by 3mm in padding thickness.
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Old 06-05-18, 08:38 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
You should ask a friend to either raise, leave alone or lower your saddle by 3mm without telling you, then see if you can definitively feel it.

I have shorts that vary by 3mm in padding thickness.
Okay, sorry, I forgot. You are right, your answer is right, anyone else who has any other idea is wrong. Oh, but when I change shoes with a slightly thinner sole, I lower my seat if I am going to ride a long distance. You don't because you are clipped in. I know you are, because that is best.
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Old 06-05-18, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
You should ask a friend to either raise, leave alone or lower your saddle by 3mm without telling you, then see if you can definitively feel it.

I have shorts that vary by 3mm in padding thickness.
Of course, once again, I didn't mention a number, I simply agreed that a small adjustment can make a big difference. You came up with a number, because you seem ti like to argue.
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Old 06-05-18, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Okay, sorry, I forgot. You are right, your answer is right, anyone else who has any other idea is wrong. Oh, but when I change shoes with a slightly thinner sole, I lower my seat if I am going to ride a long distance. You don't because you are clipped in. I know you are, because that is best.
I guess I'm happy that you've switched from the outright insults to the this super sensitive stuff. You are probably too thin skinned to have a conversation about emotional topics like bicycles.


You have made me sorry that I attempted conversation with you. I assumed you were an adult, but you're just someone with incredibly poor interpersonal skills.

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Old 06-05-18, 09:15 PM
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In typical bike forums fashion, this is a molehill that has been turned into a mountain.

The basic idea is that you should have almost full leg extension, knee slightly bent, at the lowest crank position.

If your hips are rocking, the saddle is too high.

Play around a bit, 1 cm up or down, this should be easily noticeable for most people.

Long rides (4 hours +) will confirm what feels right or wrong.

The OP should ride a bunch of different bikes, and perhaps this is the wrong bike for the task at hand.
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Old 06-06-18, 10:59 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by SHBR View Post
In typical bike forums fashion, this is a molehill that has been turned into a mountain.

The basic idea is that you should have almost full leg extension, knee slightly bent, at the lowest crank position.

If your hips are rocking, the saddle is too high.

Play around a bit, 1 cm up or down, this should be easily noticeable for most people.

Long rides (4 hours +) will confirm what feels right or wrong.

The OP should ride a bunch of different bikes, and perhaps this is the wrong bike for the task at hand.
Yes
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Old 06-06-18, 11:27 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
I guess I'm happy that you've switched from the outright insults to the this super sensitive stuff. You are probably too thin skinned to have a conversation about emotional topics like bicycles.


You have made me sorry that I attempted conversation with you. I assumed you were an adult, but you're just someone with incredibly poor interpersonal skills.
No, I am just astounded at your inability to comprehend what someone writes, and your strict adherence to hard in fast rules of fit. What is frustrating is the way you come back with an argument to something I did not say. I truly do not care how you set up your bike, or anyone else's, but everyone I know in bicycling over the past 40 some years, make adjustments based on feel, after the initial setup, the initial setup done using measurements and formula, or other rule of thumb techniques. The initial setup is just that, initial setup. Sometimes after a fit, it feels great, sometimes not though, and that is where tweaking comes into play, and that usually is done by feel, or by a good fitter, who knows how to evaluate fit by watching the rider, and judge fit by watching the person on a trainer.

What started this, is someone who lowered his seat by an inch, because they felt unstable with it as set using the formula. I suggested using Steve Hogg's techniques for setting saddle height, which if you do not know, would have involved the OP raising the seat height in increments until they felt they could not pedal smoothly throughout the stroke. Once they have found that point, they would then lower it 3mm past the last point they could actually pedal smoothly, in other words, lower it 6mm from the point where they could not pedal smoothly.

Now, that means, they would have most likely raised their seat height.

Being stable on the bike is important, and seat position, fore and aft, and height plays a role in that. Minor changes make a difference in that. An inch makes a big difference. I have personally seen many people set an inch higher than they should be, by professional fitters, sometimes it is too high because of physical issues with the bicyclist that makes the standard fit guides not work for them, and sometimes it is because the fitter simply didn't do well, maybe they just had a bad day. No one is perfect, and mistakes can be made.

Now, once the seat height is right, along with the forward/aft, then if there is still a stability issue, you can then look at that, and find a cause, because you have eliminated the seat position from being the problem. And you are right in that regard, there may be other issues, then again, there may not be.

My point of contention is simply that putting the seat height back where it was, using the formula, is exactly where it was, where it was a problem, and that won't help. All that will do is put the OP back where they were, and the issue will remain. There may be a reason the formula doesn't work for them, and that is where adjustments come in based on real world riding. It isn't difficult.

IN this thread, you are the only one advocating using the formula and nothing else. Everyone else advocates slight tweaking based on feel, after first setting up the bike, even if a formula is used. So that's the only issue, and I take none of this personally. You do have a lot of knowledge, and that is great, but a strict adherence to rules, disregarding how the individual feels, and not listening to what their problem is, is not the way a good fitter solves fit issues.
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Old 06-06-18, 11:43 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
No, I am just astounded at your inability to comprehend what someone writes, and your strict adherence to hard in fast rules of fit. What is frustrating is the way you come back with an argument to something I did not say. I truly do not care how you set up your bike, or anyone else's, but everyone I know in bicycling over the past 40 some years, make adjustments based on feel, after the initial setup, the initial setup done using measurements and formula, or other rule of thumb techniques. The initial setup is just that, initial setup. Sometimes after a fit, it feels great, sometimes not though, and that is where tweaking comes into play, and that usually is done by feel, or by a good fitter, who knows how to evaluate fit by watching the rider, and judge fit by watching the person on a trainer.

What started this, is someone who lowered his seat by an inch, because they felt unstable with it as set using the formula. I suggested using Steve Hogg's techniques for setting saddle height, which if you do not know, would have involved the OP raising the seat height in increments until they felt they could not pedal smoothly throughout the stroke. Once they have found that point, they would then lower it 3mm past the last point they could actually pedal smoothly, in other words, lower it 6mm from the point where they could not pedal smoothly.

Now, that means, they would have most likely raised their seat height.

Being stable on the bike is important, and seat position, fore and aft, and height plays a role in that. Minor changes make a difference in that. An inch makes a big difference. I have personally seen many people set an inch higher than they should be, by professional fitters, sometimes it is too high because of physical issues with the bicyclist that makes the standard fit guides not work for them, and sometimes it is because the fitter simply didn't do well, maybe they just had a bad day. No one is perfect, and mistakes can be made.

Now, once the seat height is right, along with the forward/aft, then if there is still a stability issue, you can then look at that, and find a cause, because you have eliminated the seat position from being the problem. And you are right in that regard, there may be other issues, then again, there may not be.

My point of contention is simply that putting the seat height back where it was, using the formula, is exactly where it was, where it was a problem, and that won't help. All that will do is put the OP back where they were, and the issue will remain. There may be a reason the formula doesn't work for them, and that is where adjustments come in based on real world riding. It isn't difficult.

IN this thread, you are the only one advocating using the formula and nothing else. Everyone else advocates slight tweaking based on feel, after first setting up the bike, even if a formula is used. So that's the only issue, and I take none of this personally. You do have a lot of knowledge, and that is great, but a strict adherence to rules, disregarding how the individual feels, and not listening to what their problem is, is not the way a good fitter solves fit issues.
All of this indicates that you were not aware of the other thread posts you were referencing in your earlier responses and a lack of understanding of my posts - which never suggested a strict adherence to any formula, but a rejection of a putting the saddle too low for proper knee extension.


A relative misunderstanding would have been fine if you were able to discuss such things without getting angry and using insults. Which you are not.
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Old 06-06-18, 12:15 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
All of this indicates that you were not aware of the other thread posts you were referencing in your earlier responses and a lack of understanding of my posts - which never suggested a strict adherence to any formula, but a rejection of a putting the saddle too low for proper knee extension.


A relative misunderstanding would have been fine if you were able to discuss such things without getting angry and using insults. Which you are not.
And a complete disregard for using another approach to setting seat height on your part. So yeah, misunderstanding. As I said, you have a lot of knowledge, and it is appreciated here on many threads regarding bicycle mechanics and the like. You say you simply you simply rejected setting the seat too low, and I get that, I reject that too. However, you also rejected the idea that a bicyclist could judge how a change affected their fit. The thing is, in this case, we really do not know that the seat height is too low. It most likely is, but not by an inch, then again, maybe it is. What we do know, by listening to what the OP actually said, was that with it where the formula puts his seat height, he was unstable on the bike. He became more stable with the seat lower, so most likely, that was a factor. Having the OP evaluate seat height by raising it in increments and evaluating the result, would get them where they need to be for their body.
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Old 06-12-18, 05:30 PM
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I'm confused by jambon's statement that his heel barely touches the pedal with a seat height of 82 cm. I wonder if his hips rock at that height. I also wonder if his measurements are correct, if he recently made changes to his bike.... I got unstable on my bike because I changed saddles and forgot to adjust the height until I noticed my instability.
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Old 06-16-18, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
Nope, simply pointing out the fact that the six o'clock position isn't really the point at which your leg is extended the most. And once again, there is nothing wrong with measuring, which that is, but a formula, based on a measurement, doesn't take a a person's individual fitness, flexibility, into account, or whether they drop their toe or not, in fact, the majority of people I see who have their seat height by formula, tend to point their toe at the bottom of the stroke, out of necessity, because their seat is too high.

Anyway, I've said what I'm going to say. There is no, one size fits all formula, and in my opinion, after being into bikes for over 40 years, and watching the changes, that the advent of the anatomical seat, came about as seat heights raised, along with injuries, and discomfort.
I agree totally with what you are saying here.

I have a tweak that, at least now, I need because of my pedaling. I'm just returning to cycling after several years out of it, and it's like I have to learn to spin all over again. I start by using the PBH method, and then ride with it. But I always end up with foot fatigue due to excessive pedal pressure at bottom of stroke, as if I'm trying to drive my foot past the pedal surface. So I use the heel technique to raise the saddle incrementally to where I just barely lose contact when the heel is at bottom. While this is developing, I also do the fore-aft adjustment to nail down my usual KOPS minus about 2 cm position. My longest rides these days are about 90 minutes, and my experience is that a saddle position that works for 90 minutes might not work for an all-day ride.

For the OP, I think your feeling of power and ease in propelling the bike means that your upper saddle position is something to keep. The handling needs to addressed. You said you have a very short torso, and I wonder if this is balanced with long arms? The stability of a bike can be affected by height versus wheelbase, with consideration of head tube angle and the offset of the fork. I wonder if you should see a fitter with this concern in mind?
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Old 06-16-18, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
I'm confused by jambon's statement that his heel barely touches the pedal with a seat height of 82 cm. I wonder if his hips rock at that height. I also wonder if his measurements are correct, if he recently made changes to his bike.... I got unstable on my bike because I changed saddles and forgot to adjust the height until I noticed my instability.
If you set your saddle height with the common 109% or .883 methods, your saddle height will be about 9% higher than using the heel method, and you won't be able to reach the pedal with your heel from the saddle.
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Old 06-16-18, 09:29 PM
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I can't reach the pedal with my heel unless I rock my hips to do so. But I also have size US14 feet, so it's not a stretch to imagine my cleat resting 1/2" lower than my heel.
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