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How to measure level for a curved saddle?

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How to measure level for a curved saddle?

Old 03-12-20, 04:41 PM
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BengalCat
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How to measure level for a curved saddle?

How would you measure to make this "curved" saddle level? That's all I'm seeking, not whether or not it should be level.

The saddle is a Bontrager Ajina.

Note: See picture of saddle two posts down.

Last edited by BengalCat; 03-12-20 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 03-12-20, 04:55 PM
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Never thought about it much. Perhaps the mfr's base their idea of intended level for the seat as the rails being parallel to the ground. Don't know.

I just eyeball mine.

Then I ride it, if I don't like what I feel then I adjust. Then repeat the ride. Eventually it feels good.
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Old 03-12-20, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by BengalCat View Post
How would you measure to make this saddle level? That's all I'm seeking, not whether or not it should be level.

The saddle is a Bontrager Ajina.

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Old 03-12-20, 05:19 PM
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I currently ride a Bontrager Montrose and a Specialized Romin Evo prior to that. Both of them are curved saddles and I have always placed the level from nose to tail with about 1 degree nose down.
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Old 03-12-20, 10:40 PM
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I just put a cutting board on top of the saddle (board should be big enough to cover all the saddle) and then level on top of it.
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Old 03-13-20, 11:39 AM
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I first try to make level the area where my butt goes. I try that out. If I have to push back to get my butt where the saddle seems to want it, I tip the nose up a hair, If the nose is uncomfortable to my bits, I tilt it down. Every saddle is different and responds differently to variations in CG location, reach, etc. I don't think there's a perfect recipe.

With my current saddle, profile almost exactly that, I put the level on the nose and slide the rear end of it back and forth until there's about 1/8" of air where the gap is largest. Then I tilt the saddle until the bubble shows level. That's working for my butt at this time..
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Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 03-13-20 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 03-13-20, 09:38 PM
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I get it where it works the best, and then sight along the saddle to the stem & bars to have a point to align to-

the top of the bars in my case. This works pretty well even if the saddle or bar height is changed- aiming at that same point gives a good saddle tilt.
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Old 03-15-20, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Oso Polar View Post
I just put a cutting board on top of the saddle (board should be big enough to cover all the saddle) and then level on top of it.
I do pretty much the same thing, but using a hard cover book.

Best regards
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Old 03-15-20, 08:44 AM
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"Level" is the starting point for adjustments, not the goal.
The goal is to adjust it to fit the rider, not a carpenters tool.
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Old 03-15-20, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I first try to make level the area where my butt goes. I try that out. If I have to push back to get my butt where the saddle seems to want it, I tip the nose up a hair, If the nose is uncomfortable to my bits, I tilt it down. Every saddle is different and responds differently to variations in CG location, reach, etc. I don't think there's a perfect recipe.

With my current saddle, profile almost exactly that, I put the level on the nose and slide the rear end of it back and forth until there's about 1/8" of air where the gap is largest. Then I tilt the saddle until the bubble shows level. That's working for my butt at this time..
Amen. There are a lot of factors--how aggressive is your riding position, how far forward your pelvis is tilted, and the particular shape of your pelvic bones. The goal is to have your pelvis nestled in the curve of the saddle something like this:


(https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ion-smp-seats/)
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Old 03-15-20, 12:01 PM
  #11  
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My Fizik Aliante is slightly nose up. Then the sit bone region near the back is just about level. This nose up position is kind of similar to what Brooks Saddle users do. It probably wouldn't work for all riders, though.

I can do the "balance test" from this useful fitting video (starts at 4:00 mark, but the whole video is good.)
While tempo pedaling, can I slowly lift my hands off the bars, without having to pedal much harder, and not sliding forward, even a little bit.
Not just saddle fore - aft position, but saddle angle affects this.

And the post above mentions bar height relative to saddle height. Yes, it will affect the fit. I have my bars quite high, a little more than an inch below the top of the saddle. That way, I can ride both on the hoods and in the drops comfortably. I use the drops a lot.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-15-20 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 03-15-20, 12:20 PM
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I never go the fascination with level. To me, saddle tip and getting it just right is one of the most important adjustments on the bike. I dial in seat height (referencing to a poin halfway back between nose and tail; a point that will not change much at all playing with tilt). Then I take the wrench for tilt and go riding. (Oh, I consider tilt so important most of my seatposts are 2-bolt posts so I can systematically adjust on the road with no measuring equipment.)

The odds of this dialing in coming to horizontal is very unlikely.

I like horizontal top tubes and close to horizontal stems. (A little down; sorta track-like is just fine. In fact I like.) But seats? Sorry, here my a** rules.

Ben
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Old 03-15-20, 09:48 PM
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Back when I had a saddle which was completely flat, I did make it level and that worked very well, except that saddle was incredibly hard on my butt. Never had pain like that from any other saddle. I rode it for a couple months, it got no better and I gave it away. Don't know if that had anything to do with it being flat or not, but maybe eh?
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Old 03-16-20, 03:33 AM
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I'm a millimeter fit nut.

My measurement point on any saddle is half the length; IE if a saddle is 240mm long (like a Spec Power), my measurement point is @120mm from the front or back. I usually wind up in the the middle so that's my reference point. Currently, I use two different brands of saddles, both are on the short side (one is 240mm L the other is 255mm L). Using this method on two different Merckx Corsa Extras with different saddles, set back is the exact same on both bike. Consequently, the other measurements are identical (using the same stem, bars & levers, the only difference is the saddles).

To start out, I use blue masking tape @ the 50% point on the saddle with the saddle at the approximate height and the nose level. I use calipers on the BB shell to get the total OD, usually 40mm + or -. I cut that number in half to 20mm, convert my 71.9cm saddle height to 719mm, subtract 20mm to arrive at 699mm then convert back to cm and arrive at 69.9cm saddle height. This allows me to use a metal straight edge resting on top of the BB shell as my starting measurement point to the part of the saddle that's @ 50% of total length. Both points are 100% repeatable and not open to guessing whether the starting point is or isn't in the center of the BB spindle. At the top, I use a steel ruler laid across the saddle @ the 50% L mark and measure the saddle height to the underside of it from the top of the BB shell.

Once saddle height & setback are locked in, all other measurements originate @ the 50% L mark, IE saddle to bars, levers, drops etc. I've had some doozy crashes over the years when I was racing; I can feel small differences right away despite what some people say about the adaptability of humans. I'm not saying this is the "right way", I'm just saying it's "my way".
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Old 03-17-20, 07:36 AM
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I always seem to be screwing around with saddles, after it is level I take a measurement from the front tip of the saddle to the top of the top tube,
then it makes it easy to adjust the saddle nose up or down with a tape measure adjusting the bolts up or down
then it seems to take an hour on the bike to see if the settings are ok or not, then readjust a small amount and try again.
seems like a never ending ordeal for me,
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