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Seating position

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Seating position

Old 01-15-24, 05:43 PM
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Seating position

I am fairly new to biking, and as such, I have not quite developed certain preferences on how I should sit, I also don’t know the proper technique to sit. All I do know is that I am 6’6” and often bikes seem awkward. Most commonly what is awkward is the seat position whether it is above or behind the pedals. Should I go for a position that allows my legs to stretch further, which is slightly back or should I stick with a more Above the pedal approach?
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Old 01-16-24, 08:53 AM
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What type bike? Do you expect to ride at moderate to high levels of exertion to build up your performance or will most of your riding just be for leisurely rides of a hour or less?

The longer your rides and the harder effort you put into those rides, the more important your saddle position is. I'd recommend that at first you set the saddle fore/aft position to a neutral position with the seat post clamp. And have it somewhat level. Set your saddle height to allow you to have a straight leg when your heel is on the pedal at the furthest position away from where you sit on the saddle. If you don't have a trainer to put the bike in, then get next to a wall and lean your shoulder on it while checking whether your leg gets reasonably straight. Hold the brakes or block the wheels might be a good idea. Also, you don't want to force your leg straight, you just want is a normal straight.

After you have ridden awhile and start to find something to complain about, then we can go from there figuring out the next move.

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Old 01-16-24, 06:23 PM
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I use a Scott speedster 550 XL. I prefer to bike to advance fitness instead of leisure. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 01-16-24, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by The6_6biker
Should I go for a position that allows my legs to stretch further, which is slightly back or should I stick with a more Above the pedal approach?
The short and honest answer is that none of us has a clue what "position you should go for". Relying on an internet forum for advice about your fit is generally a bad idea. There is simply too much info about you and your bike that we don't know. If you intend to ride on a regular basis I highly recommend you get a bike fit.
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Old 01-16-24, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
The short and honest answer is that none of us has a clue what "position you should go for". Relying on an internet forum for advice about your fit is generally a bad idea. There is simply too much info about you and your bike that we don't know. If you intend to ride on a regular basis I highly recommend you get a bike fit.
Yep. And as a relatively new rider, be aware that the optimum position for you is going to change as you ride more. The low aero position that looks completely unobtainable now may become second nature in a season or two.

Also, every fitter has his/her biases and approaches. Plus we sometimes don't fit in the box that our outward body appearance suggests. Be aware of all of this. And - practice observing your body. If a fitter's advice seems just plain wrong, consider another. But keep an open mind. To go fast requires getting your body to get used to doing things that aren't natural to many of us at the outset.

This is a journey. Take it with eyes open. There will be bumps. I recommend hanging with and riding with good riders, perhaps ex-racers. They may well see things out on the road that can be huge improvements for you. (I bought the last year's race bike in the basement of the shop I worked my second year of racing because the mechanic recommended it to me. That bike fit! Second ride I took 2 minutes off my training route riding easy!)

Good luck! And don't forget to enjoy this!
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Old 01-18-24, 08:16 PM
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Good advise above.
Fitting for position and posture is very personal.
If you are someone who can absorb info from reading, there are many good sources of info on the web, to help. Which are better than others? That's a hard decider which also depends greatly on your physiology....
I recommend, whatever you do to improve your riding position and posture, is to make 'changes' in small increments with some reasonable adjustment time to each change.
You're already riding quite a bit? If so, the body does become accustomed to how it's asked function currently, large scale changes could cause great discomfort and even injury.
WHat's a large scale change? in particular for saddle position setting, a change of 1 cm is quite large, I prefer and recommend changes in height or saddle fore/aft (where the seatpost clamps to the rails). of 3-4 mm at a time, and then ride for at least 5 of your regular ride routes before making another incremental change.
All done with the intent to reach a certain setting point, down the road...
Also, recommend making one change at a time, so you can evaluate the effect of just that change.
If someone (or a fitter) is wanting to make a wholesale/large change, resist and ask how best to proceed with incremental changes to meet that new position.
Give your body a chance to adapt to changes and then evaluate.
Ride On
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Old 01-25-24, 09:13 PM
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I would strongly suggest you try a traditional seat position if you don't have any reason not to. Look up the techniques that go with the following terms:

1. Find your "cycling inseam".
2. Multiple that by .883. This will be the saddle height measured from the center of the cranks to a point about 2" from the back of the saddle top. There are diagrams online.
3. Put the saddle level or slightly nose low (1 degree or so).
4. With the bike on a level floor, use a string and a floor length mirror to get your saddle fore/aft position using the KOPS method. Consider this a forward limit - it's okay to have the saddle further back, but further forward will cause problems.

If you aren't experienced riding, everything is going to feel weird at first. So give that a try. Keep in mind that reach to the bars is not something you fix with saddle position - if you are stretching too much, raise the bars or get a shorter stem.

Put a few hundred miles on, then decide if you need to change something. I did the above when I was 17 and still have the same position 35 years later.
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Old 01-26-24, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact
I would strongly suggest you try a traditional seat position if you don't have any reason not to. Look up the techniques that go with the following terms:
Kontact give you some decent metrics to start with. Here's some of the rationale behind it.

Sitting far forward is good for generating power on the downstroke, but it's exhausting for the upper body and putting all your effort into the downstroke is not healthy for your knees, muscles, and blood vessels. Sitting essentially behind the crank axis (bottom bracket) is more efficient for upper body balance and pedaling "round." Pedaling round means applying pressure to the pedals according to their circular movement with your feet and ankles, as opposed to "driving piles" or "pushing pistons." Your legs are not connecting rods.

Sitting too high discourages pedaling round. If you have to rock your hips or point your toes to reach the pedals at the bottom of the stroke, you're too high. If you're bouncing in the saddle as you pedal faster, you're too high.

Learn to pedal faster to go faster, rather than depending on larger gears. It's healthier for your cardiovascular system and legs and it will eventually enable you to ride faster and farther. There are numerous articles and videos on positioning, cadence, and pedaling technique. Most of them are to some degree helpful.

I'm telling you this so you can avoid the mistakes I made as a beginner over 50 years ago.
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Old 01-31-24, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by The6_6biker
I use a Scott speedster 550 XL. I prefer to bike to advance fitness instead of leisure. Thanks for the advice.
With the fitting idea you’ve been given by Irider, the difference between fitness cycling and, well the other kind will be how far, you go, how fast you go, and hard you push the pedals. The fit, either self done or done by an expert, will mainly affect how much you can do before discomfort sets in. That trial and error will give you experience to evaluate your situation and your next steps.

I also like what Kontact suggests. I think through those same conventions when I have a fitting problem on one of my bikes.

Last edited by Road Fan; 02-01-24 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 02-12-24, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
The short and honest answer is that none of us has a clue what "position you should go for". Relying on an internet forum for advice about your fit is generally a bad idea. There is simply too much info about you and your bike that we don't know. If you intend to ride on a regular basis I highly recommend you get a bike fit.
I agree. You have to figure this out yourself. You may consider buying stuffed trousers to protect your crotch if you happen to have pain but that is just a suggestion for a particular case
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Old 02-21-24, 07:41 PM
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I agree that seeking fit advice on forums is near useless, as everyone is different and we can't see what is going on.

However, one piece of advice I encourage you to adopt is to MEASURE your setup and keep notes. Things to measure before and after each change are 1) Seat hieght from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat, measured along the seattube, 2) The saddle nose to the center of your stem (for setting fore-aft saddle position), 3) The height of your hand grips to the floor (in case you tinker with changing the height). 4) saddle tilt angle, you can use an app on your cell phone for this, and measure using a flat board on top of the saddle.

As mentioned, changes of 1cm are large. I prefer to do 5mm changes each time, unless I know things are way out of whack.

Oh, and run from any saddle position mention that mentions 'KOPS' - It has no scientific/physiological basis.
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Old 02-22-24, 11:44 AM
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I’m of the belief that most people should view a non-recumbent bike as being far more like a horse or skateboard than like a bar stool with wheels. The saddle is mostly there for steering/stabilizing and you should step off the bike and find a bench when you feel the need to sit.

You should be free to constantly swish the saddle around beneath you for all kinds of maneuvering as a priority for safety and for fun, and secondarily for having your spine decoupled from the punching & vibrating bike frame. I’ll only set the saddle high & forward enough that the nose is at the highest part of my Bottom Dead Center leg’s thigh when winds are prescribed to be bad enough that I know I’ll be down in an aero tuck just to go over a jogger’s speed and I’ll be stuck like that for over 30 minutes. Most days it’s ~2” down & an inch back from commonly prescribed road bike fitting standards to just be out of the way for flowing the bike through debris/pothole loaded paths & roads and especially for doing city traffic hard braking where I have to get my hips way behind the saddle, but still high enough that I can brace against the sides without a ton of friction on my thighs.

stand on the pedals with your core engaged holding your hips back, back straight, and shoulders forward & loose like you’re on skis or a surfboard. If you’re not racing anyone, stick it in “inefficient” high gears so you can Step-N-Wait-Step-N-Wait at a leisurely walking to jogging pace when you’re not coasting.

when accelerating from the sitting position you’ll be pushing forward on the driving pedal like you’re in an office chair scooting in reverse- a typically undeveloped muscle set for most people. With your hips floating between the stem and saddle, you’ll be simply setting >90% of your mass on the driving pedal and using closer to the same set muscles you’d use just walking up some ~350mm stairs. They’re there ready to be used.

Only touch your soft bits to the saddle top to read the road/trail surface. Don’t conspire with gravity to squeeze your sitbones down through your soft bits to try to connect your spine to the vibrating bike (aka sit) for more than two minutes for every ten minutes of surfer/skier/cowboy pose riding you do.

Be loose. Let the bike shake & rattle beneath you while your lower back & glutes act like a spring to float & throw your torso through the landscape. Use the sides of the saddle a little for power through headwinds or loose ground and for steering. Use the bars for power or braking when needed, but try to keep your touch light there as well most of the time; keep your arms loose.

Work those pedals. Press them with the balls of your feet on the spindles on rough ground, stomp on the spindles with your heels when the ground is smooth enough for it.
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