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seat position while decending(3 posts)

seat position while decendingeflayer
Mar 13, 2001 6:06 PM
I'm still trying to determine bike fit. When on the tops of my bars, all feels perfect. However, when going down hills, with hands on brakes, I need to sort of lengthen out, slide back with part of my butt off the back of the saddle in order to feel in control. Is it typical to have your butt sort of off the saddle on steep decents?
Or do I need a larger frame?
I do that ...Humma Hah
Mar 13, 2001 6:40 PM
... but not so much because I feel a loss of control.

Going downhill DOES shift your center of gravity slightly forward (your body's CG is in your torso, and is far more important than the bike's CG, so when you tip downhill, CG shifts forward). On mountainbikes going down 100% grades, the sliding back trick is vital (you may hang your butt just over the rear wheel). On roadbikes, on maybe an 8% grade, a little slipping back may feel better, but the effect is not as obvious.

But for me, the big reason is to give a little "suspension" in case I encounter something rough that comes up too fast to avoid. When coasting down a steep hill, I try to get my arse a bit off the seat and back, and, instead of sitting, grab the seat between my muscular thighs (oh, stop laughing). That keeps the bike from wobbling but allows it to respond to bumps without slamming the seat into my nether regions. On my particular odd ride, this also gets my back more nearly level and so reduces drag.
Technique is OKStarliner
Mar 13, 2001 10:20 PM
It's good technique to slide your buns back off the seat when descending. One thing it does is to better balance the load between front and back wheels. If you ever have to use your rear brake, having more weight over back wheel means better brake control (less chance of skidding it).