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lowered my saddle, but handlebar too?(5 posts)

lowered my saddle, but handlebar too?mlbd
Mar 7, 2002 4:39 AM
i never properly set the height of my saddle (i.e., i didn't base it on my inseam measurement). i just eye-balled it. after having some knee trouble i decided to measure and found that my saddle was 1.5 inches too high. what's weird is that my hips weren't rocking at that height but my leg was too stretched out at the bottom of my pedal stroke. anyway, i moved it down about an inch. should i lower the handlebar (stem) as well?

by the way, to make sure i have this right, when i measure my saddle height, should i measure along the seat tube or straight up vertically from the BB? Thanks. hopefully my knees will appreciate this.
re: lowered my saddle, but handlebar too?DrD
Mar 7, 2002 4:59 AM
Most of the measurement schemes used to determine saddle height are just guidelines - they will get you in the ballpark, then you make adjustments from there until you are comfortable.

an inch and a half is a huge change - I would bring the saddle down a bit more gradually (esp. if you are riding alot) - maybe a cm or so a week - large changes are going to feel weird, and you may go past the position which is "right" for you (once you get dialed in, you'd be amazed at how much difference only a slight change in saddle height is - it's immediately noticeable!).

I'd worry about the handlebar after you get the saddle position set properly - if they feel too low, raise them, and if they are too high, drop them down a bit.
I used the Greg LeMond method for seat heightPaul
Mar 7, 2002 9:27 AM
Colorado Cyclist has a fit section. If you were off by 1.5 inches, and only lowered it 1 inch, you still have a fit problem. another way to do it, is to sit on your bike, put your cranks at 6 and 12 o'clock, and then rest your heel on the crank that is at the 6 o'clock position. I used both methods, and got the same results. Your leg should be fully extended without having to stretch down, or roll off the saddle to make the extendsion.. You should sit in the saddle like you would normally ride. You might also have a fore/aft problem, this could also bother your knees.

How did you measure your saddle height? From center of crank to top of saddle along the seat tube. I recommend putting a level on your saddle (saddle nose should be level with top tube. Also, make sure bike is level when doing all this.

Stem height is really what is comfortable for you, and how you ride. Some riders will experince neck compression problems if the stem is too low. Bicycling mag. had an article about flex and stretch, and how to select your stem length, and handle bar height.
I agree with the heel to top of seatLone Gunman
Mar 7, 2002 12:45 PM
measurement. It has always worked for me. I take another measurement for fore aft position; I measure 140mm from the rear of the saddle forward, which puts you at about the middle of the saddle (1/2 of 280mm, the length of the ave saddle) and make a mark. From that point I measure what is the sleeve size of my LS dress shirt (32/33 sleeve) to the base of the front of the brake hood. It is imperative that you have your bar and hood positions set at a comfortable position before you do the fore/aft position. I have no idea why this works for me but it does, I feel stretched out enough and I may make micro adjustments later but I now have a set of base numbers to work with. And I like to tilt the saddle nose up slightly above level, keeps my weight off my hands.

I was looking at Rivendell's site and according to the fabled Rivendell writers, the most comfortable riding position (stem rise to seat height speaking) is a 1cm difference between the saddle top and the top of the bars. Hmmm....I did not say racing, "riding".
re: lowered my saddle, but handlebar too?guido
Mar 7, 2002 8:33 PM
Saddle height in the formula, Saddle height=Inseam x .883, is measured from the center of the crank spindle up along the seat tube to the lowest part of the top of the saddle. As suggested, this measurement would be affected by set-back and level.

Heels on pedals is a quick way to get the saddle in the ballpark, and a safe method to ensure the saddle isn't too high, but the .883 formula will give a little higher number, enough to insert a thumb between heel and pedal spindle with leg dangling down from the seat. That's been shown to me by several knowledgeable bikies, including John Cobb, the guy who did wind tunnel tests with LeMond and Armstrong.

You might want to lower the handlebars to come closer to the fit you had with the high saddle. 1 to 2" is less than racers use on their small frames, a compromise between aero and upright. You can sit up on the tops pretty much, but the drops are still low enough to get aero on. If your saddle was over an inch too high, and you can straddle the top tube, your bars were probably pretty low. I bet you're more comfortable now.