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Seat fore and aft question

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Seat fore and aft question

Old 01-25-20, 10:31 PM
  #1  
RockiesDad
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Seat fore and aft question

My question is where should I set my seat? For one thing, I am already maxed out with the seat pushed all the way back. I am considering maybe getting another post with a 20mm offset but not sure if I need it or not. So where do you set your seat in reference to your pedals? Right now its set where I can sort of push the pedal forward when pedaling seated and can slide my butt back if I want to push forward even more. But is this the most efficient way to pedal while seated with heels pointing down? Or should the power stroke be more from the top sort of like in the standing position? I know its all personal and everyone is different but just want to know what is the most efficient way to pedal while seated. TIA...
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Old 01-28-20, 08:57 PM
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See Becoming a heel down pedaler means lower saddle height ? and following posts.

The standard method of setting seat fore-and-aft position is, with cranks horizontal, to drop a plumb bob from the bony protrusion just below the knee cap. Adjust the saddle so that the plumb bob hits the centerline of your pedal axle. This is known as KOPS, knee over pedal spindle. This is a good starting point. One can adjust a cm or 2 forward or back to improve balance if desired. From what I've seen, most people need a set-back seat post to achieve KOPS or good balance. One of my bikes needed a 35mm setback.
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Old 01-28-20, 11:02 PM
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It depends on your frame, your saddle rails (Brooks have very little adjustment room), and other factors. Set up at KOPS or try the other method (I think it's Steve Hogg's) where you balance hands-off a few inches above the bars and let your core hold you up, moving forward or back as needed to be able to maintain this position. Keep in mind once you set the fore/aft you might need a stem length adjustment.
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Old 01-29-20, 08:22 AM
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berner
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Most of us are riding for fitness or our satisfaction so the emphasis is on comfort. There are scores of posts from people experiencing discomfort and actual pain so comfort is king. The posts here are right on with individual variations. With a saddle too far forward there will be more weight on the hands and we experience numb hands. It may seem counter intuitive but moving the saddle back in this instance takes weight off the hands by moving our center of gravity aft in relation to the pedals. When weight is less on the hands, there is more on the saddle so a compromise needs be found between those two positions by trial. I initially marked the rails on my saddle with a felt tip pen. Then I could slide the saddle front to back in small increments and get back to a previous position if necessary. I found I needed a seat post with greater setback, 25 mm. You need to know that once you determine the best position, that position is not set in stone because as your fitness increases the best position for the saddle will also change. Consequently, the best position for a saddle is a moving target.

I find when the saddle is in a good position I can pedal with equal effort from stomping on the pedals to pulling back at the bottom of the stroke so that the effort is not totally on the quads as the buttocks and hamstrings are doing some of the work.
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Old 01-29-20, 09:52 AM
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I would set the bike on the trainer and try to pedal with no weight on your hands-just lift your hands slightly above the handlebars and do not hold it. If the saddle is adjusted correctly you will not be sliding forward or backward of the saddle. Usually most cyclists start sliding forward, it means saddle has to be moved back or tilted back.

If your saddle is set up correctly you will not have numb hands on longer rides. If you are maxed out of the saddle rails you may need to get a different seat post with more or less off-set. The line from the knee to the center of the pedal is just a coincidence and not the rule your should go by to set the saddle position or cleats for that mater.
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Old 02-03-20, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
Most of us are riding for fitness or our satisfaction so the emphasis is on comfort. There are scores of posts from people experiencing discomfort and actual pain so comfort is king. The posts here are right on with individual variations. With a saddle too far forward there will be more weight on the hands and we experience numb hands. It may seem counter intuitive but moving the saddle back in this instance takes weight off the hands by moving our center of gravity aft in relation to the pedals. When weight is less on the hands, there is more on the saddle so a compromise needs be found between those two positions by trial. I initially marked the rails on my saddle with a felt tip pen. Then I could slide the saddle front to back in small increments and get back to a previous position if necessary. I found I needed a seat post with greater setback, 25 mm. You need to know that once you determine the best position, that position is not set in stone because as your fitness increases the best position for the saddle will also change. Consequently, the best position for a saddle is a moving target.

I find when the saddle is in a good position I can pedal with equal effort from stomping on the pedals to pulling back at the bottom of the stroke so that the effort is not totally on the quads as the buttocks and hamstrings are doing some of the work.
I think I'm almost at a good balanced point as far as letting my hands off the handle bars. I need a set-back seat post because I feel that I could go least another CM to be perfectly 'hands free' balance. Right now my seat is maxed out slammed to the back of my straight seat post. Good time to upgrade... :-)
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Old 02-03-20, 01:28 PM
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With the saddle far back like many here are advising, I don't like the feeling of "pedaling with the pedals in front of me". I've also read that one gets less power when set up this way. Look at the extreme position on time trial bikes... the riders are on top of the pedals, not behind them.

To me it's mostly a personal preference thing, but I like reading the experience and advice from others on the matter.
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Old 02-03-20, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
With the saddle far back like many here are advising, I don't like the feeling of "pedaling with the pedals in front of me". I've also read that one gets less power when set up this way. Look at the extreme position on time trial bikes... the riders are on top of the pedals, not behind them.

To me it's mostly a personal preference thing, but I like reading the experience and advice from others on the matter.
I think of a bike setup with the saddle farther back with the pedals more in front of me as a fun setup for a slightly smaller frame that also happens to like to be a climber. This particular ergonomic setup is more of what I would think of as a Greg LeMond fit. When I followed his advice in Greg Lemondís Complete Book of Bicycling this is the vibe I got. I like it! Standing to climb on a bike such as this is different than a more typically fitted road bike with a zero setback seatpost on a slightly more proportional frame. On the smaller (sloping top tube) climbing bike, when I am standing to climb out of the saddle - I donít feel so claustrophobic. There is a little bit of top tube real estate for tossing and weaving. I think that should make sense.

The time trial-centric of being more forward by pushing the saddle forward more on the rails and maybe using a different stem is less desirable for general purpose road riding but I can appreciate that it does have itís place for maximizing speed on flats. My old 25Ē frame Puch Marco Polo ends up being ridden this way just to get me to fit on a too big of frame. I learned to become a good spinner while riding many tens of thousands of miles in this configuration.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:09 PM
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I like my saddle fore/aft set with a plumb line on front of knee cap touching the front edge of crank arm when cranks are level. My cleats are set on my shoes so pedal spindle center is between the 1st and 5th metatarsals (it's ok to cheat back edge of spindle more towards the 5th met if you want). Lastly, a strong core helps provides a "floating on the bike" feel.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RockiesDad View Post
I think I'm almost at a good balanced point as far as letting my hands off the handle bars. I need a set-back seat post because I feel that I could go least another CM to be perfectly 'hands free' balance. Right now my seat is maxed out slammed to the back of my straight seat post. Good time to upgrade... :-)
Seatpost clamped to the forward end of the rails is not good. Need more setback on that seatpost. You can measure on the saddle rails to see how much setback you need to be somewhere in the middle of the rails. You don't have to have perfect balance, just good enough that your hands and arms don't get tired.

Clamping near the end of the rails can cause the rail attachment to fail. Very embarrassing and a huge PITA during the ride.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Seatpost clamped to the forward end of the rails is not good. Need more setback on that seatpost. You can measure on the saddle rails to see how much setback you need to be somewhere in the middle of the rails. You don't have to have perfect balance, just good enough that your hands and arms don't get tired.

Clamping near the end of the rails can cause the rail attachment to fail. Very embarrassing and a huge PITA during the ride.
Good advice. I've bent rails due to being at the extreme end of the rails' range.
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