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Hands Free for Saddle Position Sweet Spot

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Hands Free for Saddle Position Sweet Spot

Old 06-26-19, 09:46 PM
  #1  
FrenchFit 
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Hands Free for Saddle Position Sweet Spot

I am a big fan of functional bike fit, i.e. give me a few wrenches and my arms, hands and legs to use as measures and I think I can set up pretty much any bike to work well for efficient riding in a matter of minutes. Yes, I know this is very old school and frowned upon, but that pretty much describes me!

Seriously, as far as saddle position, height and tilt a reliable final measure for me is balanced and controlled riding hands free. If I can't sit up and steer fairly relaxed hands at side, something is wrong with the set-up. It's a functional sweet spot for saddle position (road bike).

OK, I suspect this will be considered heresy by some on this board -- educate me as to why...
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Last edited by FrenchFit; 06-26-19 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 07-01-19, 08:12 AM
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No argument here.
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Old 07-01-19, 08:24 AM
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I'm the same way with setup, but it usually takes me a couple of long rides to sort things out, and then some minor saddle height and fore/aft, brake hood height and handlebar angle adjustments as needed.

The only thing I might quibble with, is that comfortable no-hands riding might put the saddle nose up a bit, so that when you go into the drops (especially if you have very low bars) you might be uncomfortable with the saddle nose poking you. I myself try to compromise the two, and that usually means less than optimal no-hands riding. Comfort in the drops is king, IMO.

Otherwise, I agree. When I can ride that bike I've been adjusting, comfortably with no hands, that's the true test that the project has successfully come together.
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Old 07-01-19, 09:10 AM
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I fully agree about proper set up for ease of riding. I've had numerous people over the years tell me my bike was the wrong size for me or set up wrong etc. However, I been riding a now vintage chris kvale frame I had made for me back in 1977. Chris and I worked out what would be a proper frame for my riding needs, riding style and body size with the understanding that I would get heavier as I got older. This also included the top components I wanted and were correct for my needs. I know that having the perfect racing bike would not serve riding in NYC or touring, but I needed and wanted a thoroughbred bike with race quality build. So the design mixed tubing types and styles and we adjusted the angles to support a balance between handling, stiffness with good rebound flex. All I can say is a design with correct set up can produce a super strong touring/racer that in my twenty was my daily transport on crappy NYC streets getting from one job site to another. The set up gave me great balance even when I loaded the bike with 50lbs of tools on my blackburn rack. I never cracked of damaged the frame and when unloaded was fast and easy handling bike for me to group ride central park. Simple things like using a brooks pro saddle which was not light helped with balance and comfort (once broken in) versus a skinny race saddle can't be under valued. It's kind of like having custom made suit. It just feels better on your body..the same way a proper set up bike feels riding it.
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Old 07-04-19, 06:17 AM
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It's taken my 600 km's since April to get to the point where I can ride my Toughroad with no hands. But, if I try to pedal to maintain my speed I do slide forward on the seat (Brooks B17) and have to regrip the bars again. Close, but no cigar yet.
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Old 07-06-19, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by zarbog View Post
It's taken my 600 km's since April to get to the point where I can ride my Toughroad with no hands. But, if I try to pedal to maintain my speed I do slide forward on the seat (Brooks B17) and have to regrip the bars again. Close, but no cigar yet.
Probably cause the saddle is too far forward. (The rail placement on Brooks saddles puts it much further forward than most others. You may need a post with a lot of setback.)
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Old 07-14-19, 02:04 PM
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Agree. Most likely saddle forward a bit too much.
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Old 07-14-19, 02:55 PM
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I couldn't agree with you more. I ride while using my hands for other things all the time, sometimes even changing out of my riding jacket as I warm up. If the bike doesn't suit me without hands, I never feel right on it.
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Old 07-14-19, 10:50 PM
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I showed my bicycling buddy that I could ride no-hands whilst bent over. I did that by taking my hands off the flats at the bottom of the bar. I didn't do it for long but he was amazed that I could do it. that bike REALLY fitted me.

Cheers
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Old 07-15-19, 06:18 AM
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No! You must pay bike fit "experts" hundreds of $$$ to get the right fit.
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Old 07-21-19, 09:00 PM
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Miele Man
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
No! You must pay bike fit "experts" hundreds of $$$ to get the right fit.
LOL VBEG

I've often wondered what many of the riders paying big bucks for a bike fi would do if there was no bike fit near them. However, a LOT of fitting back in the days before Bike Fit, was done by trial and error.

Cheers
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Old 09-01-19, 05:21 PM
  #12  
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Hmmm, I dont know. I can ride any bike no handed no matter how ill fit it is. Each bike is just different.

I wouldn't agree proper sizing has any relation to being able to ride the bike no handed.

A better test is to ride 25 miles and see how you feel to check fit / sizing.
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Old 09-02-19, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
I showed my bicycling buddy that I could ride no-hands whilst bent over. I did that by taking my hands off the flats at the bottom of the bar. I didn't do it for long but he was amazed that I could do it. that bike REALLY fitted me.

Cheers
Steve Hogg actually suggests this as an indication of whether your saddle fore-aft is in the ball park.
He suggests riding along in the drops and then take your hands off the bar. If you can stay in that position while riding no handed then you ar in about the right spot.

Scroll down to "point of balance".
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Old 09-02-19, 07:18 AM
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Ohhh, I didn't read that completely correct.

Riding in the drops and then going no handed while still crunched over?

Will have to try that. I still think that is leaning into the stunt category and skill outweighs fit. But will give it a shot and get back to you. I am pretty sure I need to move my saddle back just a tad, and will see how no handed feels before and after.
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Old 09-02-19, 09:47 AM
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yes please do, watching this thread...i have way to much weight on my hands...but i dont see how moving the seat back helps this....then i have even more weight there...i guess i need to move the damn seat fully forward then experiment until i get it right....also after that then adjust foot position on petal...*clipless spd's_

JAG
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Old 09-02-19, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sirjag View Post
yes please do, watching this thread...i have way to much weight on my hands...but i dont see how moving the seat back helps this....then i have even more weight there...i guess i need to move the damn seat fully forward then experiment until i get it right....also after that then adjust foot position on petal...*clipless spd's_

JAG
You should not adjust saddle to bar reach via the saddle.
Saddle position should purely be positioned to get you so that you are pedalling equally with your quads and hamstrings.
If you have too much weight on your hands you may have your bars too close to you.
It seems counter-intuituve, but having a longer stem, may be what you need.
You may also have your saddle too high.
There are a number of things it could be though.
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Old 09-03-19, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
You should not adjust saddle to bar reach via the saddle.
Saddle position should purely be positioned to get you so that you are pedalling equally with your quads and hamstrings.
If you have too much weight on your hands you may have your bars too close to you.
It seems counter-intuituve, but having a longer stem, may be what you need.
You may also have your saddle too high.
There are a number of things it could be though.
No, that isn't what was suggested. What was suggested has nothing to do with reach, it has to do with getting the seat positioned correctly, so it counterbalances your lean forward, just as you do when you kneel down to pick something up. your butt goes out behind you to counterbalance you, so you don't fall forward. It's the same on the bike, if your seat is too far forward, as you lead down to grab the bars, your weight will shift forward, putting too much weight on your hands. With your seat properly placed, you can reach forward and remain very stable on the seat, with minimal weight on your hands. While pedaling with decent intensity, Steve Hogg says just under TT pace, you should be able to take your hands off the bars while on the hoods, or the drops, without feeling like you will fall forward. Personally, I think you can modify the intensity based on how you will ride normally. Since I tour, I want to be stable on the saddle, at an intensity level lower than, "just under TT pace," and with my setup, I am.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/
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Old 09-03-19, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
No, that isn't what was suggested. What was suggested has nothing to do with reach, it has to do with getting the seat positioned correctly, so it counterbalances your lean forward, just as you do when you kneel down to pick something up. your butt goes out behind you to counterbalance you, so you don't fall forward. It's the same on the bike, if your seat is too far forward, as you lead down to grab the bars, your weight will shift forward, putting too much weight on your hands. With your seat properly placed, you can reach forward and remain very stable on the seat, with minimal weight on your hands. While pedaling with decent intensity, Steve Hogg says just under TT pace, you should be able to take your hands off the bars while on the hoods, or the drops, without feeling like you will fall forward. Personally, I think you can modify the intensity based on how you will ride normally. Since I tour, I want to be stable on the saddle, at an intensity level lower than, "just under TT pace," and with my setup, I am.

https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/
You and I are in furious agreement.
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