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Optimum saddle height for spinning?

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Optimum saddle height for spinning?

Old 03-04-07, 07:37 PM
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draxine
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Optimum saddle height for spinning?

Do you guys (and girls) find that the saddle has to a certain height for you to spin properly?

After moving my saddle up and forward to be more aerodynamic for a century this weekend, I found that my hamstrings were threatening to cramp toward the end of the ride. I've never felt that before when cycling, so was wondering if i'd set my saddle up too high, or weather I'm just not used to using that muscle so much for the upstroke motion?
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Old 03-04-07, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by draxine
Do you guys (and girls) find that the saddle has to a certain height for you to spin properly?

After moving my saddle up and forward to be more aerodynamic for a century this weekend, I found that my hamstrings were threatening to cramp toward the end of the ride. I've never felt that before when cycling, so was wondering if i'd set my saddle up too high, or weather I'm just not used to using that muscle so much for the upstroke motion?
Why are you trying to engage your hamstrings that much? Why an upstroke?

You realize you are in fact losing power that way, right? Spinning is a nice concept, but don't think for a moment that LA, or anyone for that matter, is really pulling UP much, if at all, at 100-105rpms. Not efficient. There is a reason that most pro's have a cadence of 90-95.

The only real motion you should be doing with the leg that is not pushing is moving it to decrease resistance to the leg applying downward force. Not really pulling upwards.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:45 PM
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Also, why are you changing your position for a century? You should do what you've trained, not some new untested strategy.
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Old 03-04-07, 07:46 PM
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I'm kinda new to road cycling (this weekend was only my second century), and most of my previous riding was just a 22 mile commute on my mtb, so I haven't really got the hang on spinning yet.

So what you're saying is that most of the power is applied by pushing down, but the opposite leg just "spins" back round quickly for the next down push without exerting power on the up pull?
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Old 03-04-07, 08:55 PM
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to answer your question simply:
do a google search on "trochantic length"....saddle height is generally assumed to be somewhere between 96%-100% of your trochantic length. I've got mine right at 97% and it helps me spin alot more, 100% and I feel as though my cadence is suffered by my power climbs.

lower seat=easier spinning, less power
high seat=rocking hips, pain

just find the right median
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Old 03-04-07, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by draxine
I'm kinda new to road cycling (this weekend was only my second century), and most of my previous riding was just a 22 mile commute on my mtb, so I haven't really got the hang on spinning yet.

So what you're saying is that most of the power is applied by pushing down, but the opposite leg just "spins" back round quickly for the next down push without exerting power on the up pull?
There have been studies done with professional and high ranking amateur cyclists that analyzed their pedal stroke. Not only are Pro's powerful, but they are also HIGHLY efficient in their pedal strokes. It was found that almost all of the energy expended, and force produced, was from the downward motion of the pedal. Their hamstrings and hipflexors simply served to lift the mass of their non-driving leg as to get it out of the way.

The only times I ever really consciously engage my hamstrings is during long, constant efforts, to briefly give my quads a break. LT intervals and the like. Also, when I climb short, steep hills, or start accelerating during a sprint.
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