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Touching the ground from the saddle?

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Touching the ground from the saddle?

Old 08-23-18, 09:44 PM
  #51  
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That dude basically said that if you can't touch the ground while in the saddle, your saddle is too high. I cannot touch the ground when seated. But I've had an unchanged saddle height on one bike for about 7,000 miles, and 4,000 miles on the other-- and they have the same distance from BB to spindle. So my saddle height is clearly not too high. I suppose frame geometry plays some small part. Inseam too. But I have no other frame or reference other than my own saddle height. Which works.
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Old 08-23-18, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
That dude basically said that if you can't touch the ground while in the saddle, your saddle is too high. I cannot touch the ground when seated. But I've had an unchanged saddle height on one bike for about 7,000 miles, and 4,000 miles on the other-- and they have the same distance from BB to spindle. So my saddle height is clearly not too high. I suppose frame geometry plays some small part. Inseam too. But I have no other frame or reference other than my own saddle height. Which works.
Thats what mystifies me. Im 63, my cycling inseam is 36. My saddle is at the height that with my 172.5 crank aligned fully down, my heel touches it and my leg is nearly locked out, however with a slight lean I can easily touch the ground.

Before I read this thread Id have said no way, but after trying it, it wasnt even hard for me.

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Old 08-23-18, 10:16 PM
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I would have to lean to such a degree as to be nearly falling over. As I mentioned earlier, I can sit straight up in the saddle (hands off bars) unclip a foot, point my toes straight down, and have about an inch of daylight between the tip of my shoe and the ground.

To make stable contact, I'd have to be really leaning. More like narrowly stopping myself from falling over, really. I don't know if I could even get moving again. It's a whole lot easier to just get out of the saddle. Or use a curb.
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Old 08-23-18, 10:35 PM
  #54  
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I tried & I can touch the ground without leaning,
but I never do it in practice.
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Old 08-23-18, 10:44 PM
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I'm remembering when I did it today.
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Old 08-24-18, 05:11 AM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
That dude basically said that if you can't touch the ground while in the saddle, your saddle is too high. I cannot touch the ground when seated. But I've had an unchanged saddle height on one bike for about 7,000 miles, and 4,000 miles on the other-- and they have the same distance from BB to spindle. So my saddle height is clearly not too high. I suppose frame geometry plays some small part. Inseam too. But I have no other frame or reference other than my own saddle height. Which works.
I'm curious, how does your saddle height look on the "heel test"? Obviously there is a wide range of saddle height that works.

I am noticing that the GCN guys use more of a heel down pedaling style whereas I have much more ankle extension. That could be the difference right there.
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Old 08-24-18, 09:19 AM
  #57  
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I think I actually probably have to dip my hip to get my heel all the way flat on the pedal. I definitely don't drop my heels when pedaling. Then again, size 14 shoes, so the cleat is probably 9" from the heel. A couple of years wearing shoes with too-flexible soles, and resulting in constant hotfoot battles led me to develop a very "soft-footed" pedal-in-circles style, so I don't think I'm even pushing the pedals through the bottom of the stroke. My feet seem level when I'm pedaling, but I can only see them top-down so I dunno. I set the saddle height strictly off how my knees are doing. Lower saddle results in a range of knee discomfort, usually just above and to the inside of the kneecap, localized on the vastus medialis.

I know for an absolute fact I cannot board either of my bikes the way Matt Stephens does in the GCN video. His saddle sits (what appears to be) about 2" lower than the top of his hips. Mine is a good inch above the top of my hips.
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Old 08-24-18, 09:39 AM
  #58  
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I don't know if I can touch the ground while in the saddle without leaning the bike. What I do know is that I will think about this the next time I stop and probably fall over.
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Old 08-24-18, 10:15 AM
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I don't think the ability to touch the ground really means all that much in terms of whether you were fit correctly. Even if two people are fitted with the exact same leg extension angle, how easy it is to reach the ground is going to vary with different bb heights (a combination of bb drop, and tire size) and this can vary a lot between bikes.
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Old 08-26-18, 08:51 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I don't think the ability to touch the ground really means all that much in terms of whether you were fit correctly.
This
... how easy it is to reach the ground is going to vary with different bb heights (a combination of bb drop, and tire size) and this can vary a lot between bikes.
And this.
There is a company that purposely pays attention to wheel/tire diameter and bb drop (His name cannot be mentioned on the 41) and a bike with a low bb is great for commuting in city traffic where you can put a foot down flat while still seated.
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Old 08-27-18, 08:57 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
I don't think the ability to touch the ground really means all that much in terms of whether you were fit correctly.
I agree, and until recently I would have said that if one CAN touch the ground that there is likely a problem with the fit. But, obviously that's not quite true so it's an interesting variation in fit. My curiosity is more directed at what other parameters in the realm of a sporty fit cause this variation. At this point, I'm coming to it being a factor of how much ankle one uses in the pedal stroke. I noticed the GCN presenters seem to have a fairly flat foot through the bottom of their pedal stroke. For me, going from a flat foot to moderate ankling is worth 2-3" of difference in how far my ankle is above the ground. That's huge and would directly impact saddle height as well as the riders ability to reach their foot out to the ground.

[/quote] Even if two people are fitted with the exact same leg extension angle, how easy it is to reach the ground is going to vary with different bb heights (a combination of bb drop, and tire size) and this can vary a lot between bikes.[/QUOTE]

In typical modern road bikes, there is about a 5mm range for BB drop, roughly 67-72mm from what I see. 700x23 is still the dominant tire, but even if we go to a 700x28 tire, that only adds another 5mm (I'll ignore that the 28's probably have lower pressure and thus a bit more "droop" than 23's) so we're talking 10mm of variation from the bike that isn't related to the fit, or about 3/8". Doing some trig, that would equate to about 1.8* of difference in lean angle or 1.4" change in how far out your support foot would fall. I agree that a lower BB would help, but ankle extension I mentioned above gives far more variation.

So, I've been playing around with this and finding that ankle extension seems to provide the largest variation as a flatter foot at the bottom of the stroke will drop the saddle significantly with the same knee extension. Saddle setback also has an impact as a further rearward saddle will put the saddle closer to the ground with the same leg extension. Obviously, other parameters drive these settings, but it's interesting to see the variations in fit philosophy/choices that can drive this.
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Old 08-27-18, 09:58 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
I don't know if I can touch the ground while in the saddle without leaning the bike. What I do know is that I will think about this the next time I stop and probably fall over.
I checked this weekend. I definitely can't touch the ground while in the saddle on my CAAD12. I can touch the ground while in the saddle on my Electra Cruiser 1 beach cruiser. They have Flat Foot Technology.
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Old 08-27-18, 10:39 AM
  #63  
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During some bike maintenance yesterday, I remembered to give this a try. Even in my socks, I can touch with just a smidge of lean. With my cycling shoes on, I could certainly touch, but a) shoes are slippery and it'd increase my chances of falling and looking like a dumbass b) I still don't see the benefit.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:37 AM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
b) I still don't see the benefit.
I'm trying to start a trend so that I can ride away like a superstar while everyone else is falling over

I'm guessing you don't have a lot of ankle extension in your pedal stroke?
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Old 08-27-18, 11:52 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
I'm trying to start a trend so that I can ride away like a superstar while everyone else is falling over

I'm guessing you don't have a lot of ankle extension in your pedal stroke?
A lot? No. I'm pretty much straight leg, heel on the pedal kind of setup.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:53 AM
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Focus on height of Saddle to Pedals, not to Ground

I've always adjusted the saddle height (and if necessary, the fore-aft position of the rails clamp on the seat post) so that when the pedals are in the 9-3 o'clock position (horizontal to ground), my forward knee patella is directly over the spindle of the forward pedal. You can eyeball this, or be more accurate with a plumb line. A piece of string or shoelace with a small weight (looping thru a nut or trying to a small bolt) will do. That is the most efficient pedaling position for most people.

I don't worry about whether I can touch the ground with one foot. I usually can, but it depends on the bike style and frame size, as well as your inseam length. My guess is that for most women, it would be harder to do. If you do a lot of shorter trips that have frequent stop signs, then you can lower the saddle for safety and comfort, but that it doing to tire your legs out more quickly.
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Old 08-27-18, 01:20 PM
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I have been setting my saddle height according to a way that I watched on a GCN video and it works great for me. That is just barely being able to peddle with my heels on the peddle at 6 o'clock. I can reach one tip toe on the ground when I come to a stop. Never tried both. HMMMM.
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Old 08-27-18, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeSimone View Post
I've always adjusted the saddle height (and if necessary, the fore-aft position of the rails clamp on the seat post) so that when the pedals are in the 9-3 o'clock position (horizontal to ground), my forward knee patella is directly over the spindle of the forward pedal. You can eyeball this, or be more accurate with a plumb line. A piece of string or shoelace with a small weight (looping thru a nut or trying to a small bolt) will do. That is the most efficient pedaling position for most people.

I don't worry about whether I can touch the ground with one foot. I usually can, but it depends on the bike style and frame size, as well as your inseam length. My guess is that for most women, it would be harder to do. If you do a lot of shorter trips that have frequent stop signs, then you can lower the saddle for safety and comfort, but that it doing to tire your legs out more quickly.
I have found this works well with my above post.
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Old 08-27-18, 06:52 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
During some bike maintenance yesterday, I remembered to give this a try. Even in my socks, I can touch with just a smidge of lean. With my cycling shoes on, I could certainly touch, but a) shoes are slippery and it'd increase my chances of falling and looking like a dumbass b) I still don't see the benefit.
You probably have road shoes. I have MTB shoes with SPD cleats, so no problem sticking to the ground when I have my toes on the ground and still sitting on the saddle.
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Old 08-27-18, 08:39 PM
  #70  
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I've always set my saddle so that with my heel on the pedal in the down position, and my hips level, my knee is straight. With the ball of my foot on the pedal, my knee is slightly bent. I always come off the saddle to put my foot on the ground. That saddle height makes my pedaling stroke so much more smooth and effective.
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Old 08-27-18, 09:37 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
I've always set up my bikes so that with my foot at the bottom of the pedal stroke, there is a "slight bend" in my knee. My knees are comfortable and saddle height is always close to various fit calculators so I don't think I'm far off where I should be. This has always resulted in a fit where I cannot touch the ground from the saddle. Stopping requires moving my butt off the saddle to put a foot down.

Yet, lately when watching GCN on YouTube, I notice that their commentators will frequently have their toe on the ground at a stop while in the saddle and the bike is relatively upright. I'm especially jealous because they just ride away from this position... When I try this, my bike needs to be leaned over at nearly 45 degrees and I've got no way to ride away from there. Since these commentors are experienced and often ex-pro cyclists, I don't think their position is set too low. Do they just ride bikes with a very low bottom bracket? What's the deal, or what am I doing wrong?
me only touch the grounds with my 1foot thumb assisted by its pointing finger.
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Old 08-27-18, 11:57 PM
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Pedal forward bikes

I have arthritic knees. To be comfy riding and be able to walk I have to have only a slight bend to the knee. I could not touch the ground at all on my Specialized. Caused a few crashes, in one I broke my rib- person in front on hill slowed fast and I went off road in mud-darn handle bar got the rib.
Luckily my friend who owns a bike shop 101 bikes and guitars-great guy-got in a couple kinds of pedal forward bikes. I was set to order an Electra with flat foot technology when he got in a day 6 bike. I rode it once and was in LOVE. It is unconventional looking but most people just say cool bike.The seat is big and very cushy, I wish my bed was like that. And I can now put my feet flat on the floor while seated. I haven't crashed since. And its been over a year. It is a really well made bike too. But quite heavy, so I am not fast uphill, but I fly down hill. I guess officially its a semi recumbent. I will say it is NOT good for off street use. No shock absorption at all and its longer than a normal bike. But its perfect for my use.
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Old 08-28-18, 09:06 AM
  #73  
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This has to do with bottom bracket height and seat angle. If you're riding a cyclocross or gravel grinder type bike with larger tires, your bottom bracket and thus seat are likely higher. Conversely if you're riding an older road bike, particularly like a touring bike with smaller tires, you stand a better chance to touch comfortably. Seat angle also affects this. Slacker seat angles will allow your saddle to be lower while still having the same extension. You just have to swing your leg a bit further back. Smaller bikes often have steeper set tube angles, so this lessens the ability to touch.
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Old 08-30-18, 05:06 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Rock71 View Post
I have been setting my saddle height according to a way that I watched on a GCN video and it works great for me. That is just barely being able to peddle with my heels on the peddle at 6 o'clock. I can reach one tip toe on the ground when I come to a stop. Never tried both. HMMMM.
Ok, I remembered this post last night when coming to a stop. So, I can touchy on my tippy toes one foot as I come to a stop but definitely not both feet, and I'm actually thinking about raising my seat a smidge.
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Old 08-30-18, 08:53 AM
  #75  
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Get a dropper post.
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