Q on seat height

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Q on seat height

Postby puffdaddy » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:58 pm

I am always surprised at how many "in my humble opinion" world class cyclist run their seats so low ? I find I can get better cadence with the seat a little lower but burn the quads up very quickly ? I have my seat similar to to following two links,
EG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9c_5Pkimb64
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kgpkZfj ... re=related

Check out this link and the bend in the leg of the lead rider at the 6 o'clock position,Does a lower seat help bring the glutes into the equation as I never get glute fatigue at all :|
http://blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/T ... olr_02.jpg
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by BNA » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:25 pm

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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Ant. » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:25 pm

I was actually thinking about this today as I was on a recovery ride as I saw way too many hips bouncing around everywhere wondering why the hell is every bike rider in this city riding with a saddle that's miles too high?

Low is pro :D
Toe down, full leg extension, hips rocking about sort position is for commuters :)

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Go with what feels good... set and forget.
If sore lower back, lower it a bit. If sore below and/or under kneecap, raise it a bit.
Personally I go with heel on pedal method (google it if you like)

As far as "efficiency" goes, for average height person, there's about a 4cm acceptable range of heights, and too high is worse than too low (according to one A Coggan)
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Pax » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:43 pm

Ant. wrote:I
Toe down, full leg extension, hips rocking about sort position is for commuters :)


Ummmmmmm NUP...many commuters doing 200 - 300k per week (at good average speeds) on this forum...good seat position is serious business at that distance 8) :roll:
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Ant. » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:17 pm

Pax wrote:
Ant. wrote:I
Toe down, full leg extension, hips rocking about sort position is for commuters :)


Ummmmmmm NUP...many commuters doing 200 - 300k per week (at good average speeds) on this forum...good seat position is serious business at that distance 8) :roll:

Err no kidding :shock: T'was said in jest, hence the smiley 8)
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Chuck » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:31 pm

Ant. wrote:Go with what feels good... set and forget.
If sore lower back, lower it a bit. If sore below and/or under kneecap, raise it a bit.


I get some soreness in my left hamstring, was thinking of raising my seat slightly ??
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby puffdaddy » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:18 pm

Ant. wrote:I was actually thinking about this today as I was on a recovery ride as I saw way too many hips bouncing around everywhere wondering why the hell is every bike rider in this city riding with a saddle that's miles too high?

Low is pro :D
Toe down, full leg extension, hips rocking about sort position is for commuters :)

Image



Go with what feels good... set and forget.
If sore lower back, lower it a bit. If sore below and/or under kneecap, raise it a bit.
Personally I go with heel on pedal method (google it if you like)

As far as "efficiency" goes, for average height person, there's about a 4cm acceptable range of heights, and too high is worse than too low (according to one A Coggan)

Ant
I am down on peek power unless I have my seat set up like that in the links ^^ ,,I have no "hip rocking" and have set up several friends on their bikes ,All have improved in performance,I make sure they have no rocking at all,"100 + rpm on the drops"HOWEVER some of the fastest guys I race against have very low seats,,,Q how is lower more efficient ?
My helmet cam steady climb behind one of the faster riders,He has his seat low in my opinion but he is quick,Most cyclist I talk to either say thats how it was set up or simply I don't know :o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2iJsWsOXAY
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Nobody » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:19 pm

Ant. wrote:As far as "efficiency" goes, for average height person, there's about a 4cm acceptable range of heights, and too high is worse than too low (according to one A Coggan)
This may be to do with the variance in toe pointing.


As a general comment, below is a good general guide.
http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/techni ... ight-14608

According to the above my saddle height is still 2cm too high, but I can't seem to bear lowing it any further at this stage. Maybe I'll try more in the future.
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Pax » Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:23 pm

Ant. wrote:Err no kidding :shock: T'was said in jest, hence the smiley 8)


:lol: I know...I just couldn't resist biting...hence the 8)

:P
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Nobody » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:13 pm

I found it interesting that LA's saddle height is about 2cm higher than mine (LeMond method), even taking into account the ratio of the different heights. And I thought mine was too high...

Bike Radar wrote:Critical measurements

* Rider's height: 1.77m (5' 10")
* Rider's weight: 73kg (161lb) (unconfirmed)
* Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 758mm
* Saddle setback (ask mechanic): 70mm
* Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 575mm
* Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 80mm
* Head tube length: 160mm
* Top tube length: 573mm (horizontal)



http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/p ... ries-25622
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby puffdaddy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:15 am

Interesting,A cycle friend of mine told me that he read that Lance/co made a seat height adjustment and it has improved his climbing,he did not know weather it was up or down,,It appears up,normally this gives you better power at lower rpm,Would be interested to know his crank length,also"""setback has decreased to 70mm."" this may indicate he might be running slightly longer cranks,that would explain both,When setting up bikes I measure from the pedal spindle"6 o'clock"to the seat and that caters for any difference in cranks,interesting,,my 10 cents ;)
Mike
:ps ,,just read he is using 175 mm cranks,,Will watch his climbing cadence with interest :wink:
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Ant. » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:02 am

Chuck wrote:
Ant. wrote:Go with what feels good... set and forget.
If sore lower back, lower it a bit. If sore below and/or under kneecap, raise it a bit.


I get some soreness in my left hamstring, was thinking of raising my seat slightly ??

I hope you're not asking me :shock: I have no idea. I'm no bike fitter :)
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Ant. » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:13 am

puffdaddy wrote:Ant
I am down on peek power unless I have my seat set up like that in the links ^^ ,,I have no "hip rocking" and have set up several friends on their bikes ,All have improved in performance,I make sure they have no rocking at all,"100 + rpm on the drops"HOWEVER some of the fastest guys I race against have very low seats,,,Q how is lower more efficient ?
My helmet cam steady climb behind one of the faster riders,He has his seat low in my opinion but he is quick,Most cyclist I talk to either say thats how it was set up or simply I don't know :o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2iJsWsOXAY
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Mike, how do you know you're down on power with a lower saddle?
I'm not saying lower is more efficient. I'm saying, outside the range of optimal saddle heights, higher is less efficient than lower.
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Ant. » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:14 am

Nobody wrote:I found it interesting that LA's saddle height is about 2cm higher than mine (LeMond method), even taking into account the ratio of the different heights. And I thought mine was too high...

Bike Radar wrote:Critical measurements

* Rider's height: 1.77m (5' 10")
* Rider's weight: 73kg (161lb) (unconfirmed)
* Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 758mm
* Saddle setback (ask mechanic): 70mm
* Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 575mm
* Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 80mm
* Head tube length: 160mm
* Top tube length: 573mm (horizontal)



http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/p ... ries-25622

He may have long legs for his height?
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby puffdaddy » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:04 am

Ant. wrote:
puffdaddy wrote:Ant
I am down on peek power unless I have my seat set up like that in the links ^^ ,,I have no "hip rocking" and have set up several friends on their bikes ,All have improved in performance,I make sure they have no rocking at all,"100 + rpm on the drops"HOWEVER some of the fastest guys I race against have very low seats,,,Q how is lower more efficient ?
My helmet cam steady climb behind one of the faster riders,He has his seat low in my opinion but he is quick,Most cyclist I talk to either say thats how it was set up or simply I don't know :o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2iJsWsOXAY
Mike
Mike

Mike, how do you know you're down on power with a lower saddle?
I'm not saying lower is more efficient. I'm saying, outside the range of optimal saddle heights, higher is less efficient than lower.

Ant
I tested several times on the spin trainer,,speed,h/rate,etc,5 mm makes a hell of a difference doing 90 sec intervals,But this may be very different on a long ride,I am training for the K 4 ,,400 km "Corromandal loop twice" The ultimate challenge for me,So training now is purely endurance based and very few short interval training,I dropped the seat a few mm and noticed on yesterdays 100 km ride that spinning was easier ,Now to try and find a seat that is comfortable,,Not sure where to post that Q,this forum ok ?"training"?,Not sure if any seat is good for 14 or so hours lol
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Chuck » Thu Apr 08, 2010 3:37 pm

Ant. wrote:
Chuck wrote:
Ant. wrote:Go with what feels good... set and forget.
If sore lower back, lower it a bit. If sore below and/or under kneecap, raise it a bit.


I get some soreness in my left hamstring, was thinking of raising my seat slightly ??

I hope you're not asking me :shock: I have no idea.


Well I kinda was :oops:

Ant. wrote:I'm no bike fitter :)


You sounded like you knew what you were on about and your info was FREE :mrgreen:
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby puffdaddy » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:18 am

Ant. wrote:I was actually thinking about this today as I was on a recovery ride as I saw way too many hips bouncing around everywhere wondering why the hell is every bike rider in this city riding with a saddle that's miles too high?

Low is pro :D
Toe down, full leg extension, hips rocking about sort position is for commuters :)

Image



Go with what feels good... set and forget.
If sore lower back, lower it a bit. If sore below and/or under kneecap, raise it a bit.
Personally I go with heel on pedal method (google it if you like)

As far as "efficiency" goes, for average height person, there's about a 4cm acceptable range of heights, and too high is worse than too low (according to one A Coggan)

Ant,,Your"low is pro" gig appears to be helping with comfort both seat and lower back,I will see how efficient this weekend on my longest ride,,No problem with knees and have lowered the seat approx 5 mm forward a couple,
Mike ;)
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Ant. » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:44 am

puffdaddy wrote:
Ant. wrote:
puffdaddy wrote:Ant
I am down on peek power unless I have my seat set up like that in the links ^^ ,,I have no "hip rocking" and have set up several friends on their bikes ,All have improved in performance,I make sure they have no rocking at all,"100 + rpm on the drops"HOWEVER some of the fastest guys I race against have very low seats,,,Q how is lower more efficient ?
My helmet cam steady climb behind one of the faster riders,He has his seat low in my opinion but he is quick,Most cyclist I talk to either say thats how it was set up or simply I don't know :o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2iJsWsOXAY
Mike
Mike

Mike, how do you know you're down on power with a lower saddle?
I'm not saying lower is more efficient. I'm saying, outside the range of optimal saddle heights, higher is less efficient than lower.

Ant
I tested several times on the spin trainer,,speed,h/rate,etc,5 mm makes a hell of a difference doing 90 sec intervals,But this may be very different on a long ride,I am training for the K 4 ,,400 km "Corromandal loop twice" The ultimate challenge for me,So training now is purely endurance based and very few short interval training,I dropped the seat a few mm and noticed on yesterdays 100 km ride that spinning was easier ,Now to try and find a seat that is comfortable,,Not sure where to post that Q,this forum ok ?"training"?,Not sure if any seat is good for 14 or so hours lol
Mike

Not sure heart rate / indoor spin trainer / speed / 90sec intervals are of much value testing wise, to be honest Mike.

puffdaddy wrote:Ant,,Your"low is pro" gig appears to be helping with comfort both seat and lower back,I will see how efficient this weekend on my longest ride,,No problem with knees and have lowered the seat approx 5 mm forward a couple,
Mike ;)

Good to hear! Let me know how it goes.
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Ant. » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:48 am

Chuck wrote:
Ant. wrote:
Chuck wrote:
I get some soreness in my left hamstring, was thinking of raising my seat slightly ??

I hope you're not asking me :shock: I have no idea.


Well I kinda was :oops:

Ant. wrote:I'm no bike fitter :)


You sounded like you knew what you were on about and your info was FREE :mrgreen:

:lol: I have no idea :D asymmetrical soreness.... no idea. Maybe your legs have a ~1cm length discrepancy (like mine do).
(i'd generally say sore hamstrings = they stretch too much = saddle to high.... we're less flexible on some days than we are on others, so if you're having a "geriatric" day :shock: a lower saddle wouldn't stretch your fibres as much... well if you try and touch your palms to the floor on your inflexible days, you'll have SORE hamstrings the next day :lol:

disclaimer: i still don't know and don't pretend too :mrgreen:
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby puffdaddy » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:49 pm

An update on my seat height results,,Lowering it has definitely improved comfort over longer distances 100 km plus"both seat and lower back",,4 hr ride today felt ok,even after several hundred kms it still feels a little low,Torque feels down but efficiency feels improved,higher and easier cadence,What was surprising is although I felt slower the speeds on the flats of 37-40 kph was a pleasant surprise and is consistence with the previous setup ,the only down side is some tweaking below the knees,normally an indication of the seat being a little low,I feel I will adapt to it and am going to stay with the new seat height etc,"Basically heel on the pedal ,,6 o'clock position"
Mike,,
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby anth73 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:44 pm

Isn't it heel on pedal at the lowest portion of the stroke, which is in line with your seat tube????

Another technique you can try is to put your bike on a traininer and pedal to get your normal sitting position. Then put your pedal in line with the seat tube at the bottom of the stroke and allow you leg to straighten and relax without dropping your hip. Your heel and the ball of your foot should now be level. If not then adjust your seat height accordingly.
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Ant. » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 pm

puffdaddy wrote:An update on my seat height results,,Lowering it has definitely improved comfort over longer distances 100 km plus"both seat and lower back",,4 hr ride today felt ok,even after several hundred kms it still feels a little low,Torque feels down but efficiency feels improved,higher and easier cadence,What was surprising is although I felt slower the speeds on the flats of 37-40 kph was a pleasant surprise and is consistence with the previous setup ,the only down side is some tweaking below the knees,normally an indication of the seat being a little low,I feel I will adapt to it and am going to stay with the new seat height etc,"Basically heel on the pedal ,,6 o'clock position"
Mike,,

Good to hear 8)

How much have you lowered it by, and brought it forwards? (roadie geometry, 3mm forwards is about equivalent 1mm down)?
My experience is kind of in line with yours! Lowered saddle, felt quite weak, however, power was exactly the same. Lower is more aero too. I got dumped 17mm in one go (true story :shock: ) and had transitional woes (fatigued lower quads, bit sore below/behind kneecap), but that went away before too long. From personal experience, I wouldn't advocate moving any more than 3mm at a time, and waiting a week before adjusting more.

(Pure speculation follows):
I actually think that pros ride lower because they put in a lot of time/intensity on the bike, and like I said previously, some days we're more flexible than others, so errr'ing on the side of low puts you in the clear even on those inflexible "i'm feeling sore" days. Less of a problem if you're more of a social rider who doesn't put in loads of training to stress your muscles, or if you're in a position to just take a couple days off if you're feeling twinges and soreness, but if you had a 3 week training camp on the other hand....... I think you get what I'm getting at.
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby puffdaddy » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:26 pm

Ant,
Cheers for the help on seat height after lowering it a few mm I have had less chafing improved cadence,better performance overall,now training on the bike everyday,,Monday is a spin recovery ride,,17 hrs a week working up to 20-22 training for the K4 ,I have aero bars fitted and it has been a hell challenge getting dialed in properly with road bike geometry but have it close,,"not too different to your pic" ,the downside is on steep climbs my knees just touch the pads,I am very short in the torso and longer in the legs,,
cheers,
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby Parrott » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:28 pm

Nobody wrote:I found it interesting that LA's saddle height is about 2cm higher than mine (LeMond method), even taking into account the ratio of the different heights. And I thought mine was too high...

Bike Radar wrote:Critical measurements

* Rider's height: 1.77m (5' 10")
* Rider's weight: 73kg (161lb) (unconfirmed)
* Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 758mm
* Saddle setback (ask mechanic): 70mm
* Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 575mm
* Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 80mm
* Head tube length: 160mm
* Top tube length: 573mm (horizontal)



http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/p ... ries-25622


Longer top tube than I thought he would have at that height, I was expecting more like 55 cm or so :?
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Re: Q on seat height

Postby puffdaddy » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:42 pm

Yes very confusing,,I have my lower back problem sorted I am now able to bend at the naval properly when on the aero bars" and therefore sitting properly on my sit bones " ,More comfort and the seat is back up a few mm to where it was ,,Getting good power down,I think height is very individual and the formulas out there will only confuse us more ,,I cannot any two that produce the same result ;)
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