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Touching the ground from the saddle?

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Touching the ground from the saddle?

Old 08-20-18, 08:36 AM
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Caliper
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Touching the ground from the saddle?

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?
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Old 08-20-18, 08:43 AM
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I've never seen anyone who has to unseat just to put a foot down. When the pedal is at the 6 'o'clock it should only be about 4-5 inches above the ground. Anyone should be able to straighten their leg and tilt their foot down that amount. But if someone can't even put their foot down while tilting the bike to the side slightly than I don't know, that's bizarre.
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Old 08-20-18, 10:46 AM
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I cannot touch the ground from the saddle. I have to tiptoe to touch the ground. I have to be off the saddle to plant both feet on the ground.
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Old 08-20-18, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I've never seen anyone who has to unseat just to put a foot down. When the pedal is at the 6 'o'clock it should only be about 4-5 inches above the ground. Anyone should be able to straighten their leg and tilt their foot down that amount. But if someone can't even put their foot down while tilting the bike to the side slightly than I don't know, that's bizarre.
You've never seen anyone under 5'7" or so ride a road bike? I'd say 95% of women who line up for a road race or crit can't reach the ground from the saddle
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Old 08-20-18, 11:36 AM
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Might just be we shorter people? With both feet on the ground, I have 1/2" clearance over the bar – there's no way to reach the ground while being seated. To stop, I stand on my right peddle and slowly lean the bike for my left foot to touch the ground. To mount the bike, I have to tilt it over quite a bit for my leg to swing clear the seat. I do have short legs, with a 27-1/2" inseam.
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Old 08-20-18, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
You've never seen anyone under 5'7" or so ride a road bike?
What does that matter? Do they run their saddles as high as taller people?
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Old 08-20-18, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
What does that matter? Do they run their saddles as high as taller people?
BB height doesn't differ much between frame sizes, but it should be obvious that foot size and crank length and subsequently relative saddle height is taller.
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Old 08-20-18, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
BB height doesn't differ much between frame sizes, but it should be obvious that foot size and crank length and subsequently relative saddle height is taller.
I still don't see how people cannot put one set of toes down without getting off the saddle. Sorry, I just don't understand it. If I tilt my bike over I can almost get my foot completely flat on the ground.
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Old 08-20-18, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazyass View Post
I still don't see how people cannot put one set of toes down without getting off the saddle. Sorry, I just don't understand it. If I tilt my bike over I can almost get my foot completely flat on the ground.
I mean do you ever ride with women? I can do it but plenty of my friends can't without an absurd amount of angulation. Some someone 5'0-3" its hard to even get a bike with a levelish top tube they can stand over
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Old 08-20-18, 12:08 PM
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What is there to be jealous about? Being in the saddle while stopped is uncomfortable. It also doesn't give you much of an advantage when things get moving again, since you still have the problem of clipping back in.

If you just want to accelerate faster from a stop, switch to M324 pedals. Their shape lets you be pretty careless about quickly putting your foot down, and if you land on the platform side, just pedal to speed before clipping in.
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Old 08-20-18, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
I mean do you ever ride with women? I can do it but plenty of my friends can't without an absurd amount of angulation. Some someone 5'0-3" its hard to even get a bike with a levelish top tube they can stand over
Yes I've ridden with women. Don't recall any who had to get off the saddle to put the toe of one foot on the ground but I can't say it's something I've ever paid attention to. The difference between 165mm and 172.5mm cranks is less than 1/4 inch. I just don't see how anyone can't straighten their leg and point their toes down and not be able to get an extra 4-5 inches of extension, especially tilting the bike over. Obviously there seems to be people who can't. I just think it's odd.
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Old 08-20-18, 12:19 PM
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You are doing nothing wrong. I have never been able to touch the ground with toes while on saddle.

Ride more, worry less.
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Old 08-20-18, 01:00 PM
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Regarding height, I'm 6'1" with a 36" cycling inseam, so no shortage of length. But, obviously my saddle height accounts for my legs... Maybe it depends on the angle of ones ankle and how that impacts the saddle height? I might be able to take some pics tomorrow.

Obviously, I can bike just fine, I'm just trying to understand with the difference is because it kinda surprised me when I saw people doing that on video. That and look cool like a GCN presenter of course.
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Old 08-20-18, 01:36 PM
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My toes barely touch, and I mean barely......no way I can balance from the saddle.
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Old 08-20-18, 01:37 PM
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I could possibly do it if I were stopped on the shoulder and the road had an extreme crown. Otherwise, no. Just scoot forward of the saddle and put your foot flat on the ground.
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Old 08-20-18, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I could possibly do it if I were stopped on the shoulder and the road had an extreme crown. Otherwise, no. Just scoot forward of the saddle and put your foot flat on the ground.
+1

Left foot at 10 or 11, and right toes touch, while still seated on the saddle
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Old 08-20-18, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
Regarding height, I'm 6'1" with a 36" cycling inseam, so no shortage of length. But, obviously my saddle height accounts for my legs... Maybe it depends on the angle of ones ankle and how that impacts the saddle height? I might be able to take some pics tomorrow.

Obviously, I can bike just fine, I'm just trying to understand with the difference is because it kinda surprised me when I saw people doing that on video. That and look cool like a GCN presenter of course.
What, this isn't a cool look?
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Old 08-20-18, 01:56 PM
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I can sit straight up while moving, unclip one foot, point my toes straight down, and there will be at least an inch of daylight between my tip of my shoe and the ground.

If I were to try to stop and put a foot down without getting out of the saddle, I'd reckon an 80% chance of just falling over.

Easier to just move forward of the saddle. Much easier to take advantage of a curb.
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Old 08-20-18, 02:13 PM
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Bottom line is OP is doing nothing wrong.

And please don't ask about toe overlap, you are not doing anything wrong with that either.
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Old 08-20-18, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post
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.
...What's the deal, or what am I doing wrong?
​​​​​​Being able to put your foot down while seated isn't a design goal for road bikes. Getting off the seat is the standard way of stopping.

Some people might manage it. A lower bottom bracket might help but you don't want the bb too low either.


​​​​​Some bikes (such as certain "city" bikes) are designed to be able to put your foot down. These bikes move the crank forward.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-20-18 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 08-20-18, 06:53 PM
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I'd switch it around and figure that for most people, if they're able to put their foot on the ground from the saddle with the bike vertical their fit is very, very wrong. Regardless of their height.
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Old 08-20-18, 07:52 PM
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Doesn't it depend on crank arm length?
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Old 08-20-18, 09:01 PM
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It helps to have freakishly long toes.
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Old 08-20-18, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by f4rrest View Post
It helps to have freakishly long toes.
Or a pair of these with clips -------

http://www.clownshoes.net/
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Old 08-21-18, 01:22 AM
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I can sit on the saddle and dab a toe down to prop myself up without an extreme angle. But I try to avoid doing this on the road bike -- with old style Look delta exposed cleats it's too slippery. If I get careless on an inclined parking lot ramp, slippery patch at an intersection, a bit of gravel... boom.
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