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Question about seat position...(10 posts)

Question about seat position...Spinchick
Aug 16, 2001 1:31 PM
I've been noticing that I push myself back in my saddle pretty regularly. Not just during climbs but every 4 - 5 miles I slide my butt further back in the saddle. Is this a sign that I need to move my seat back a bit?
Your ideal position on the saddle...Cima Coppi
Aug 16, 2001 1:41 PM
Should allow the front of your knee to be plumb above your pedal axle when the crank arm is horzontal to the ground and facing the front of the bike. If this is not the case, slide it on the rails and adjust it accordingly with a helper. If this is already the case, you may need to change your saddle angle to keep you from moving forward on the saddle.

not it's notHank
Aug 16, 2001 6:02 PM
no such thing as a "correct" placement. Check out the KB take on it KOPS

I've got mine well behind the "correct" placement--same place it's been for fifteen years.

I tend to agree with the Rivendell people on this:

"We're less adamant about the knee position relative to the pedal, but mention our preference here only to get you thinking. We like it behind the center of the pedal, because that way, the downstroke helps you maintain a rearward position on the saddle. If it's directly above it, you tend to scooch forward more."
re: Question about seat position...DINOSAUR
Aug 16, 2001 1:52 PM
Not really, I use my entire saddle depending on what I am doing.
If you move your seat back you will screw up your KNOP (knee over pedal position). Dial in your position with your preferred KNOP first. You might need to RAISE your seat a couple of mm, as when you raise your seat you are also pushing it aft. Think of your saddle as a balance beam, most of your weight should be on your pedals, your saddle should be positioned to support you. IMHO it took me about three years to find that magic spot, a lot of it is finding the perfect saddle. If you make a change with your position stick with it for a couple of weeks or so, if you make drastic changed you can end up getting injured (been there, done that).....
possibly even the reverseET
Aug 16, 2001 1:56 PM
You may be subconsciously sliding back to get on the fat of the saddle because of the discomfort from resting on a too narrow forward part. Try adjusting your saddle forward before a longer ride and see how it goes. Try adjusting back to test your theory.

Another possibility is that the saddle is not right for you, and you're moving back because you can't get comfortable.

Yet another common possibility is that your reach to the bars is too short, necessitating a longer stem or (gulp!) another bike.

Let us know how it goes.
re: Question about seat position...mackgoo
Aug 16, 2001 1:57 PM
Actually, the plumb line/ pedal is a good general all around set up. I've seen some articles that talk about going as far as if I remember correctly, 2cm behind the spindle. As you go behind the spindle you are going to a more power type of style and using different muscle groups. So maybe your seat isn't far enough back or your a more power type of pedaler. It wouldn't hurt to move the seat to find out.
Aug 16, 2001 2:33 PM
I've read some articles on this too and since I'm a masher and my effective TT length was a little short, I decided to edge my seat back a smidge. This gave me another 1cm of reach and I'm overall happier with it the way it feels. Just make small changes. No more than 1cm at a time. I believe that .5 cm increments is what's recommended...but who has that kinda patience? :)
How's the tilt?Spoke Wrench
Aug 16, 2001 2:34 PM
If the nose of your saddle tilts down a little bit, you'll slide down toward the front just like you described.
How's the tilt?Jon Billheimer
Aug 16, 2001 2:53 PM
I agree with all the above seasoned advice, but just to confuse you more, here's some more info. on relative knee-over-pedal position. A general biomechanical rule is that if your lower leg(measured from the ground to your lateral tibio-femoral juncture-the bony protuberance on the outside of the knee just behind the kneecap) is longer than your upper leg (measured from tib-fem joint to the pivot point at your hip joint)you will benefit from a more forward KOP position. If the lengths are the same you're best in a neutral position--as described in one of the above posts. And if your upper leg is longer than your lower leg you're a natural gear masher and will want a KOP behind the pedal spindle. For further reference, see the fit chart at I hope this helps and does not further confuse the issue. BTW, heed Dino's sage advice. Getting the right position is like finding the perfect mate. It may take awhile, but it's well worth the effort!
Thanks for the suggestions...Spinchick
Aug 16, 2001 3:39 PM
I plan to try a few minor adjustments and see how they feel. The tilt seems comfortable enough. I was feeling like it was more of a forward reach problem than anything, though I'm still not positive. I don't have a female-specific bike and I don't think my arms are longer than the average woman. I do tend to be a bit of a masher though. Anyway, lot's of things to look into and try...thanks again. I'll keep you posted - maybe it will help others with a similar problem.