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Saddle Positions(13 posts)

Saddle PositionsGMS
Aug 22, 2002 7:31 PM
If you wanted your saddle to be terribly uncomfortable, what adjustments would you make to its position? In other words, what are the worst things you can do to make a good saddle make you go numb?

Set it too high, too far back, tilted too far back or forward? What are the most common ways to position it wrong to make an otherwise good saddle feel uncomfortable?

Conversely, are there any general rules as to what positions make a saddle more comfortable? Is too low generally more comfortable than too high?

I have a saddle that feels comfortable when I ride, but when I get off my bike I realize I'm numb, so I've been moving it every which way to try to stop the problem. I'm considering a new saddle but I want to eliminate the possibility that the current saddle is fine, but poorly positioned.

Any suggestions? Thank you.
re: Saddle PositionsCat 4 boy
Aug 23, 2002 12:38 AM
IMHO the WORST way to ride is with a too high saddle, which tilts up at the front.

Doesn't take long for your tackle to go totally numb ;)

Try a firm flat saddle like the Flite SLR, unless you've got a wide bum! (Sorry, butt).
re: Saddle PositionsGMS
Aug 23, 2002 4:46 AM
I was thinking of trying a Koobi Xenon. It's firm, I think it will do what I want it to do, and it's one of the only places that you can get a refund if you don't like it (there was one other place, I think, but I forget). So that's probably a good place for me to start. I could easily spend 500 dollars trying out and throwing away saddles, from the looks of it.
re: Saddle Positionspa rider
Aug 23, 2002 2:35 AM
Any position of the saddle set real high makes you go numb. I bought the andy pruitt book for bicyclist health. Mainly for knee problems and other injuries I get from riding on road and offroad.

He says you should have your saddle level, forward and aft set by plumming your knee over your pedels axle. I keep mine seat a hair pointed up (or you can say the bubble on the level a little forward). This seems to work for me. Being that I rode hard for 13 years I keep my seat back more than needed on the pedal axle (for knee problems so that I use my glutes or butt muscles more).

I notice that the new saddles (flite trans am) with the holes bow in the middle alot when the get worn bad. Don't matter how much you try to adjust the seat you need to buy a new one. I get six months to a year out of mine. That's not bad because I use to break two to three saddles a year mtb. That's the price you pay for not having a whole seat I guess.

re: Saddle PositionsGMS
Aug 23, 2002 4:53 AM
I've been trying to start with Knee Over Pedal Spindle as a base, but it appears I'm nowhere close to it. I should try measuring more accurately, but I seem well behind the axel even with the seat all the way forward. I think part of the problem may be that the distance between my knee and the bottom of my foot is relatively long (as opposed to my femur being long, which would help the knee be forward more).

So, I thought the seat may have been too high (the higher I am, the straighter my leg is, so my knee is farther back) so I lowered it some, but I'm not sure how much power I'm losing.

Can your seat be too high even if your hips aren't rocking?

The problem with troubleshooting this is that a lot of positions feel pretty comfortable for me, it's only after I ride for 10 miles and get off my bike that I realize, "oh... blood flow... returning." So it is hard for me to evaluate any adjustment I make without riding with it a lot.
general guidelinestarwheel
Aug 23, 2002 7:09 AM
Tilting the front of the saddle downward shifts weight forward, which can cause problems with hand numbness.
Tilting the front of the saddle up too far can cause numb nuts, but a very slight upward is a good way to distribute weight toward the back if you have problems with numb hands.
Positioning your saddle too low can make it difficult to climb and cause knee problems.
Positioning your saddle too high can be downright uncomfortable and could probably cause knee problems and numb nuts.
Moving your saddle forward is better if you like to spin fast or at a high cadence.
Moving your saddle rearward is supposed to be better for climbing and is often preferred by mashers (those who pedal at low cadences).

For a good starting point, the "neutral" position is supposedly with the saddle perfectly level (checked with a bubble level), and with the fore/aft position on rails adjusted so the knob just below your knee cap is perpendicular with the pedal axle (often referred to as knee-over-pedal or KOPs). Easiest way to check KOPs is using a plumb bob and some help from a friend.

Good luck.
may I add a lot of riders forget that standing frequently...Djudd
Aug 23, 2002 7:55 AM
for short periods is a good way to relieve pressure on "vital" areas.

good luck
may I add a lot of riders forget that standing frequently...GMS
Aug 23, 2002 7:58 AM
Yeah, it's usually during one of those standing periods that I realize I'm numb, because circulation starts returning. But to get back to normal it takes a lot longer than a little break.

A suggestion here: find the widest saddle you are...Djudd
Aug 23, 2002 8:12 AM
comfortable with, offering support to your "tailbone". If needed work your way down (in saddle width). Use the fit suggestions above. Raise and lower your saddle by small degrees. Then on long rides stand very frequently in short bursts. I've been riding a long time and one thing I don't fool with is numbness in the "junk" area.
if you go impotent it'll be your own fault, get a good seatishmael
Aug 23, 2002 8:29 AM
I think lots of people have your problem. Sometimes they'll buy a new seat advertised as more comfortable or better for their problem (cut out center) and they convince themselves it's good enough but they still suffer. There are a lot of comfortable seats out there that can solve your problem and are light. I went through 9 seats before I found the wtb podium. All the wtb seats with the comfort zone work for me. I never go numb.
Last year's threadcoonass
Aug 23, 2002 4:07 PM
recommended adjusting the saddle so that it is not in alignment with the top-tube, but about 5° (~1/2" to 5/8") off-center OPPOSITE to where your 'equipment' resides. (i.e., if residence is to the left, aim saddle to right side of top-tube.....this gives you more room and certainly helped won't notice any difference in the saddle, but you will get an occasional "Hey, did you know that your saddle is out of alignment?"
Last year's threadGMS
Aug 23, 2002 7:03 PM
Yeah, some people say that helps, and I think it does a bit. I don't know why, though, because the problem seems to be more at the base of the area, which is in the same place regardless of what side you dress.

In any event, thanks.
I don't know whycoonass
Aug 23, 2002 11:15 PM
either; maybe in addition to the pressure applied downward to the nerve, there must be some minute relief gained if the frontal 'equipment' is allowed more room to settle because that nerve runs forward.....I'm sure our forum chums w/medical backgrounds can disprove this physically; however it DOES work for all my saddles are not in alignment.....I do have a rare, occasional 'numbness', but it's only because I neglected to adjust (position) everything prior to cliping in. (FWIW: all my saddles are Brook's Swift)