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road vs. mtb seat height(11 posts)

road vs. mtb seat heightKSC
May 20, 2002 8:52 AM
Since I started riding a road bike (and started actually thinking about bike fit), I realized my mtb seat height is quite a bit lower than my road bike. I'm sure I'm loosing power with the lower seat height on the mtb, but I feel like if I raise it I'll lose the body position I need for steep descents & drops.

Any road & mtb riders out there have an opinion on this? Are your seat-pedal distances the same on both bikes?
shouldn't be the samemr_spin
May 20, 2002 9:01 AM
MTB should be lower mainly so you can get more clearance to deal with obstacles. On a big dropoff, you might need to get your butt almost onto the back wheel. Try that on your road bike!

It's a tradeoff, but a very reasonable one. You probably lose a little power, but so what? If you are racing, everyone else has the same problem. If you aren't racing, who cares?

If you don't have any obstacles to deal with on your MTB, make them the same height. If you don't have any obstacles, what's the point of MTB?
about the samelaffeaux
May 20, 2002 9:29 AM
I've never measured mine to the exact mm, but mine are pretty close (if not the same). Some people do ride with a lower seat while MTBing, but there's no reason for it other than personal choice. When the trail gets technical I generally have my pedals parallel to the ground, giving me plenty of room to get out of or behind the saddle. Ride what's comfortable to you, but you'll probably find climbing to be easier with a higher saddle.
Mine are the same...biknben
May 20, 2002 9:47 AM
Lowering the saddle has some advantages. IMO, I spend more time seated and pedaling than I do standing and going over obstacles. I'll go with the more efficient height. Although, if I was on a FreeRide type bike, riding technical terrain, I probably would lower my saddle.
different.getoffmywheel
May 20, 2002 9:54 AM
The Colorado Cyslist website is a good indicator. Technicly, yeah you lose some power on the mtb but depending on the course, you might rarely find yourself in the large chainring hammering flats so it's a moot point. The saddle clearence is necessary for negotiating singletrack and technical descents.
re: road vs. mtb seat heightcyclopathic
May 20, 2002 10:05 AM
mine are set up the same, with adjustment for pedal/shoe stack height and crank length. If you feel you'd have trouble to get behind try cut out saddles.

Ned Overend reccomends position 1-2cm lower.
Mtb lowerLowend
May 20, 2002 11:10 AM
My mtn bike is about 2inches lower. Makes it easier for going over obsticles and down steep hills.
re: Very Close..jrm
May 20, 2002 11:30 AM
On both bikes i used the inseam x .883 ='s the distance from the CC of the BB to the top of the seat so i can get full leg extension. Then i have made micro adjustments from there. My CX seat is a touch higher
They should most likely be different...greg n
May 20, 2002 1:00 PM
for a couple reasons:

1. A slightly lower saddle height on your mtb will give you the ability to vary your pedaling technique to accommodate various terrain and technical situations, i.e. steep climbs, loose stuff etc.

2. Typically, the crankarm length for your mtb is 2.5-.5 cm longer than your road crank which would bring your saddle height lower by that amount.
I think you meantlaffeaux
May 20, 2002 1:50 PM
MTB cranks are often 2.5 to 5 mm longer.

However there are those of us who use 175mm on both bikes, as well as MTB pedals, and the same shoes on both bikes.
Same height for efficiency and your knees.Leisure
May 21, 2002 1:17 AM
While low seats help you feel more sure of yourself at first going downhill, you'll find over time that the high seat doesn't hurt your ability to descend until your going down incredibly steep stuff. I'm talking about the trails people can't climb. At all. Even hikers are avoiding these trails. So if the low seat helps you for a while, do it. But over time learn to ride with gradually higher seat positions. It's better on your knees and more efficient.
When I first got serious into cycling it was mountainbiking. I toiled for a while until I found what felt comfortable and didn't make my knees sore. Then last year I got my first professional fitting for a roadbike and guess what? The seat height's exactly the same.
Have fun!