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Move saddle back or get longer stem?

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Move saddle back or get longer stem?

Old 03-06-21, 12:48 PM
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jambon
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Move saddle back or get longer stem?

Hi ,

When I ride my bike i often find myself settling far back on the saddle so that I'm not really sitting on the saddle properly but more like on the back edge.

I already have a generous setback seatpost(VO Gran CRU) and saddle(B17) slammed back in the rails.

So it seems that my body naturally tries to make the cockpit longer by pushing back to the edge of the saddle. It feels like I need to make an adjustment here.

So my question , I could go for a longer stem here(current is 90mm) or I could go for a saddle with longer rails for more setback(B17has notoriously short rails).

Why would I do one over the other ? does it matter and is increasing reach a god answer to wanting to sit further back on a saddle than it allows?

Thanks

J
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Old 03-06-21, 01:32 PM
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Road bike?

Partly might depend on where you want the BB underneath you. The further back you move the seat, the more you are making your road bike a cruiser type bike. And the more forward your BB the more upright you'll tend to want with your position.

Longer stem will let you get stretched out more, but if your saddle is already far back in relation to the BB then you might feel scrunched up with your thighs shoving into you. In that case move both the Saddle forward and get an even longer stem. Or move the saddle forward and lower your stem.
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Old 03-06-21, 05:51 PM
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try the cheaper option first - stem.

BUT, there's a possibility that moving back the saddle is the better, more comfortable option based on my experience if you're not having any discomfort on your back and no flexibility issues sitting far back in the saddle.

sitting far back will put more weigh on the saddle though so that having the right saddle choice becomes even more important.

Last edited by cubewheels; 03-06-21 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 03-06-21, 07:09 PM
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For proper fit, the saddle belongs in only one position, not to be moved fore and aft to accommodate a front end or a frame that simply doesn't fit. Set your correct saddle height and saddle setback and then and only then determine what length stem you require.
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Old 03-06-21, 07:29 PM
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Generally speaking, saddle position is determined by balance on the bike, not reach. Reach is the last thing you adjust, and you do it with the stem. When your balance is correct, your hands are light on the bars and in fact can lift them up briefly while pedaling without sliding forward on the saddle.

It is possible that you will need a saddle with longer rails to get a well-balanced position.

After your saddle is correctly positioned, your reach is optimal if your upper arms are square off your torso with hands on the hoods.
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Old 03-06-21, 07:50 PM
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I think the basic fitting procedure is to get your saddle positioned over your bottom bracket first (to a configuration that feels right), and then work on handlebar position that gives you the angle of lean than you want.

For me, a Brooks B17 set all the way back on a VO long (30mm) setback Grand Cru seatpost set all the way back puts me in the ballpark. After that it's just finding the right bars and stem to get my hands in the position I want.

A B17 is a hammock saddle, that means you can't move much fore and aft on it, and the saddle fore-aft position is kind of critical. So you have to figure that out first.

Last edited by tyrion; 03-06-21 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 03-06-21, 08:11 PM
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Yes, the correct balance on the saddle. Get the saddle positioned first.

I like this saddle position method video. The goal is to get the saddle where you don't either slide forward on the saddle or have difficulty lifting your hands off the bars.
The test starts at the 4:00 mark, but the whole video is useful.

This method worked great for me. And with the bars at a good height, I can ride in the drops as just another hand position, not only for extreme headwinds or steep downhills. It's so nice to switch between drops and hoods on longer rides. My bars are considerably higher than his example bike.

(with my somewhat curved back Fizik saddle, I have the nose slightly up from level. The horizontal part of the saddle is now closer to the back, just right for me. That's very common with Brooks saddles too.)

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-06-21 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 03-06-21, 08:55 PM
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One possibility is that your saddle is too LOW. Sliding back could be your body's way of getting the increased leg extension it wants. Try raising it 5 - 10 mm, see what happens.
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Old 03-07-21, 10:42 AM
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When doing the balance test, note that he did say to be doing it at the cadence and resistance level that closely matches your typical riding experience. You won't get it right if you do it while not moving or with way too light a resistance.
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Old 03-07-21, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pakossa View Post
One possibility is that your saddle is too LOW. Sliding back could be your body's way of getting the increased leg extension it wants. Try raising it 5 - 10 mm, see what happens.
It is entirely possible that the opposite is true. I found myself scooting back on my Brooks, when my seat was TOO HIGH. I was not stable on the seat, so I would scoot all the way back to prevent myself from sliding forward, and to relieve pressure on the perineum. I have since dropped the seat slightly, after advice from Steve Hogg's site, as well as others, and now I sit stable on the seat, and do not feel the need to scoot back. What seems obvious, isn't always the case.
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Old 03-10-21, 09:29 AM
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Saddle height and saddle setback are calculable dimensions solely relying on lower body measurements. That's why I am saying that there is one and only one saddle position. After that is set, you can calculate what your upper body position should be on the bicycle. Meaning, is the frame stretched out enough or too much for you and what size stem is required as well as can the bars be set low enough beneath saddle height. So, basically stack and reach.
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Old 03-10-21, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by gkamieneski View Post
Saddle height and saddle setback are calculable dimensions solely relying on lower body measurements. That's why I am saying that there is one and only one saddle position. After that is set, you can calculate what your upper body position should be on the bicycle. Meaning, is the frame stretched out enough or too much for you and what size stem is required as well as can the bars be set low enough beneath saddle height. So, basically stack and reach.
Absolutely not true. Only your mind, using your body as a measuring tool can tell if your fit is correct. And not only that, but your correct fit on the same bike usually changes over time. Stack and reach can tell you if a bike size is approximately correct.
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Old 03-10-21, 01:54 PM
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Yeah, that's why bicycle fitting is such a big business. They know you're going to rely on "using your body as a measuring tool" and that you will be coming back to them.

Last edited by gkamieneski; 03-10-21 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 03-10-21, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by gkamieneski View Post
Yeah, that's why bicycle fitting is such a big business. They know you're going to rely on "using your body as a measuring tool" and that you will be coming back to them.
Improve reading skills. I said "only your mind," not someone else's. If it were as simple as you say, every bike would come with written fit directions and neither this entire forum nor fit calculators would exist. Fortunately (my view of course) we are all different and so are our bikes.
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Old 03-11-21, 10:29 AM
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"Your mind" may trick new cyclists into thinking that a cushy, wide saddle and upright position to the handlebars is the right fit because of the comfort factor. But at least with a road bicycle, that's most likely not the proper, efficient fit.

That's why I emphasize properly fitting the engine, your lower extremities, to the correct saddle position, fore/aft and height, and the correct frame size, then worry if the frame and/or stem and bars are in the right position for your upper body.

I doubt we're expressing opposing views, but I surely hope novices are not reading this thread and coming away thinking that what feels best to them in the showroom is necessarily the right, efficient fit.
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Old 03-11-21, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gkamieneski View Post
Yeah, that's why bicycle fitting is such a big business. They know you're going to rely on "using your body as a measuring tool" and that you will be coming back to them.
Yeah, no. Bike fit is not a set of angles and numbers. If a fitter fits that way, they are no good. A bike fit requires the fitter to watch how the person interacts with the bike dynamically, not statically. In other words, using the body as a measuring tool. Too many fitters leave that part out of the equation, and people end up with seats too high, or too great of reach. Seat height is what is often incorrect by a "well trained," but inexperienced fitter. Even many fitters who have years of experience neglect the individuality of the rider, and instead rely on numbers. Those fitters need to be avoided like the plague, and unfortunately they are all too common. They, unfortunately, can cause serious injury to their clients.
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Old 03-14-21, 08:19 PM
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The saddle needs to be positioned to achieve optimal leverage over the cranks - whatever that may entail. Maybe try playing around with saddle angle and height while you're at it. Then, try a longer stem if anything
.
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Old 03-15-21, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
The saddle needs to be positioned to achieve optimal leverage over the cranks - whatever that may entail. Maybe try playing around with saddle angle and height while you're at it. Then, try a longer stem if anything
.
I'm not really sure why I clicked to view your post, especially after reading it. No, the saddle is not supposed to be positioned to achieve optimal leverage over the cranks. The saddle should be positioned to achieve proper balance on the bike. It should be placed far enough back so that you are not falling over when you take your hands off the bars while pedaling at a moderate load, essentially unweighting the upper body.

Back to ignore... You should really stop trying to dispense bad information. For your own benefit, I would suggest going to https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/ and then reading through his articles. Here is another: https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/
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Old 03-15-21, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I'm not really sure why I clicked to view your post, especially after reading it. No, the saddle is not supposed to be positioned to achieve optimal leverage over the cranks. The saddle should be positioned to achieve proper balance on the bike. It should be placed far enough back so that you are not falling over when you take your hands off the bars while pedaling at a moderate load, essentially unweighting the upper body.

Back to ignore... You should really stop trying to dispense bad information. For your own benefit, I would suggest going to https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...or-road-bikes/ and then reading through his articles. Here is another: https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com...ard-can-it-be/
I got this information from a very knowledgeable member on here. I can't say that either of you are wrong.
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Old 03-15-21, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
I got this information from a very knowledgeable member on here. I can't say that either of you are wrong.
I can.
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Old 03-15-21, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I can.
I bet you can assert many different things. Id be willing to go so far as to wager that you're just like the rest of us when you stand by your opinion as being the most correct.

adjusting the saddle can achieve better (or worse) balance on the bike, and it can also impact how your feet are positioned over the pedals (ie how much leverage you have over the cranks. )
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Old 03-16-21, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Moisture View Post
The saddle needs to be positioned to achieve optimal leverage over the cranks
Literally 9 hours before you posted this nonsense, I told you this, on your thread...

Originally Posted by Aniki
Fore and aft is set to achieve balance over the bottom bracket

Which Part of your Foot do you Pedal with?

Seriously, stop writing, start reading!
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Old 03-16-21, 11:18 AM
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The emphasis on “balance” here is well overblown. And as far as I am concerned the input from the “balance” crowd borders on bullying of those with ancillary views.

Good luck with your “balance” when you’re trying to close a gap, stay up in a rotating pace line, etc. “Balance” is great, once you’ve set your engine correctly over the cranks/pedals, but it’s mainly for unicycles.

I first became involved in this thread when it was being discussed to move the saddle fore and aft to solve a reach problem (caused by incorrect frame or stem size). I am 100% convinced that is not the way to go.
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Old 03-16-21, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by gkamieneski View Post
The emphasis on “balance” here is well overblown. And as far as I am concerned the input from the “balance” crowd borders on bullying of those with ancillary views.

Good luck with your “balance” when you’re trying to close a gap, stay up in a rotating pace line, etc. “Balance” is great, once you’ve set your engine correctly over the cranks/pedals,




Originally Posted by gkamieneski View Post
I first became involved in this thread when it was being discussed to move the saddle fore and aft to solve a reach problem (caused by incorrect frame or stem size). I am 100% convinced that is not the way to go.
Of course moving the saddle to solve a reach problem is the wrong way to go. That is what everyone, except the moist one is saying.
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Old 03-16-21, 03:25 PM
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my $0.02

I would get a couple of cheap stems in different length and a couple of cheap seat posts with different setbacks to try different positions. 5-10 mm makes a huge difference for me as far as comfort is concerned. For me comfort means riding without pain all day. I also have several different length stems to use. When I am in a very good cycling shape a slightly longer stem goes on my bike. Sometimes early in the season when I am out of shape I will put a shorter stem and and is set up higher a little than later in the season.
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