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is my seat too high?(9 posts)

is my seat too high?franz
Jan 31, 2002 6:31 AM
After riding 30 miles on the new bike both my ankles hurt in the joint back by the achilles tendon. Could my seat be up a shade high? I've been riding for years and never had this happen.
re: is my seat too high?Lone Gunman
Jan 31, 2002 6:46 AM
As a test for height I have found that if you sit on the bike and put your heel on the pedal, your leg should be straight, not hyper extended and possibly a slight bend with the pedals at the 12/6 position. If you have to strain to reach that position you may want to lower the seat until it reaches that spot and try that position, But take a measurement before anything is moved from current position.
According to my LBS who fit me for my new bike...Cima Coppi
Jan 30, 2002 1:30 PM
The proper saddle height is achieved when there is a 30 degree angle from the axis of your lower leg to the axis of your thigh (read femur) measured at your knee joint. This should be measured when you are clipped into your pedals, and the crank arm is in the 6 o'clock position.

To properly measure this, you will need to have a helper measure this angle, and that person needs to help you maintain your foot as level to the ground as possible. A simple protractor and a straight edge can be used to take the measurement.

Good luck

re: is my seat too high?tcr01
Jan 31, 2002 7:46 AM
generally, a sign of the saddle being too high is pain in the front of the knee. the heel test mentioned below is good. i actually leave a little daylight between my heel and pedal at bottom dead center with leg fully extended. having your heel on the pedal at this postion can give you a good ballpark that you should be in.

you should check your fore/aft position and start at a neutral KOP position.
re: is my seat too high?DINOSAUR
Jan 31, 2002 9:28 AM
When I came back to cycling at the ripe age of 56, four years ago, I had aches and pains every place you could imagine but not in the area mentioned.

My experience is that if the saddle is too high I will experience lower back and pain in the back of the knees.

I concur with tcr01, has someone dialed in your KNOP? You should be in a neutral position for starters, then adjust from there. There is a lot of controvesary over KNOP, but you should be at least in a neutral position for basic set-up. It might take a couple of seasons to determine which setting you prefer.

Also what type pedals are you using, clippless with a float I presume? It could be your pedaling style.

It will take a couple of years until you discover that "magic place" on your bike. Your body will be going through a lot of changes as your condition improves. You will become more flexable, I couldn't ride in the position I'm in now when I first started. You have to build up your cycling muscles, even your upper body is important for maintaining a position.

I was taught position by an old road dog. I zeroed in my bike based on averages, then I made little adjustments as I went along based on gut feeling. When you make a change do it in very small 1-2mm increments and try it for a week or so before making another change. Too radical a change can result in an injury (been there, done that)....

Of course the bottom line is that you were properly fitted when you purchased your bike in the first place. A lot of LBS's are lacking in this area...
Could this have...PsyDoc
Jan 31, 2002 7:53 AM
...anything to do with how franz is peddaling?
Jan 31, 2002 8:03 AM
It could be the result of either a toe up or toe down problem. I'm not quite sure. That area can definitely be affected by pedaling technique. I would make sure basic saddle positions are OK before looking at pedaling style.
something else to checksimstress
Jan 31, 2002 9:46 AM
Did you change pedals or shoes along with your new bike? I had similar discomfort when I switched pedals last season. I discovered that the new cleats had been installed too far forward for me. Once I repositioned them under the balls of my feet, my legs and feet stopped complaining. Good luck.
Jan 31, 2002 4:18 PM
Most likely (if you have new pedals) it's the cleat arrangement. If your seat is too high then you would probably feel it in your hamstrings, lowback etc. Also, if you have new pedals your float may be different as well. Just a few other things to consider...