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Seat Height - From CX Bike to MTB(3 posts)

Seat Height - From CX Bike to MTBDavidK
Feb 17, 2003 6:54 AM
I have a pretty good handle on where I like my CX seat height but I would like some input on how others have figured out their MTB seat height. I will use the bike for XC and short track racing as well as for just having fun. I will use the same shoes and pedals as on my CX bike.

(My CX height is basically the same as my road bike. However, the increased height of the shoe and pedal effectively lowers my CX seat a tiny bit compared to my road bike (I think.))

Thanks. David K.
re: Seat Height - From CX Bike to MTBTWD
Feb 17, 2003 11:15 AM
I'd suggest using the same saddle height and relative fore-aft saddle position as you run on your road and CX bikes as a starting piont. If you want to alter it, do it in small increments.

I run the same saddle height on all of my bikes (road, MTB, CX, Tandem, SS MTB). Since I'm always riding different bikes, I try to get my saddle height and fore-aft position as close as possible on all of them. I tend to notice it a lot if my saddle height is off by much on one bike vs. another.

I've heard people argue that lowering their position a little helps them in technical sections on the MTB, but I think that depends a lot on your riding style and terrain.

You have to drop your saddle a lot (a couple of inches) before you notice a big benefit on long/steep/technical descents where you need to get really far off the back of the bike. You usually won't find anything of that sort on the typical XC or short track course.

In most MTB racing(and for a lot trail riding for that matter) I find having an efficient pedaling postion helps you go much faster through technical sections by helping you power through rocky/rooty sections and carry your momentum better. I think you loose pedaling efficiency faster than you gain improved handling as you lower your saddle height.

The only time I see lowering your saddle height as a real benefit, is if you ride trails that are incredibly rocky/rooty. If you're on a hardtail, you need to be a little lighter on your saddle so you don't take so much of a beating. On the roughest pedaling sections, your're not quite seated but not standing either. I can see having your saddle maybe 0.5 to 1 cm lower might make this a little easier.

Some people will run their fore-aft saddle position further back on the mountain bike to gain power for climbing. I think that's a little more personal to your individual riding style though (spinner vs. gear masher). You do have to adjust your saddle height a little if you change your fore aft position. I can't remember the rule of thumb on that one though.
re: Seat Height - From CX Bike to MTBjrm
Feb 17, 2003 3:23 PM
make the same general measurement ie: inseam (in shoes) x .883 equaling the lenght from the center of the crank to the top of the seat (@ center). Then make incremental changes for hip rotation and comfort.What really helps me is using the same model saddle on both bikes...