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saddle forward/ back positioning(4 posts)

saddle forward/ back positioningtarwheel
Sep 3, 2002 6:42 AM
I'm just curious what others have found when they tinkered with saddle positioning front to back. Over the weekend, I was forced to use a saddle positioned with my knee in front of the pedal axle and it was a strange experience. I found that it was harder to climb in this position and I was definitely using my muscles differently. My calves and thighs are pretty sore this morning, after riding 36 and 52 miles on Sunday and Monday, but my knees feel fine. When I stood to climb, I felt like I was really leaning forward.

I was forced to use this setup because my regular saddle broke last week. My saddle that broke has very long rails with enough adjustability to position my knees over the pedal. However, all of my backup saddles have shorter rails, so I was forced to make do. So I installed my San Marco Regal saddle, which has relatively short rails and positioned my knees about 1.5 cm in front of the pedal axle. I was hoping the Regal would work because it's a beautiful saddle and fits nicely on my other frame. Looks like I'll have to find another saddle with long rails or change seatposts.
Because I have no life, I'm very intrigued by this issue. Therebill
Sep 3, 2002 7:11 AM
is a website by a guy named Peter White (I don't have a link handy) that explains what I think you were experiencing. I also suggest you read Keith Bontrager's essay on the same subject, which is, as I read it, an opinion in basic synch with White's, even though they seem to attack the problem somewhat differently. You can find that link through Sheldon Brown's website (harriscyclery).
What these guys believe, as I read them, is that your position over the pedal spindle as such means squat. What does matter (and is reflected in your knee over pedal position, even if it's not caused by the knee over pedal position), is your center of gravity on the bike -- whether (a) your cockpit is properly sized so that you can move around in it for all the weight-shifting that you need to do as you get out of the saddle for climbs, sprints, whatever and (b) whether you have the proper counterbalance to pulling up on the bars as need be. To have that counterbalance, your butt has to be far enough back.
I've moved my saddle a little bit forward and back, but, to tell you the truth, I haven't noticed too much difference with a cm here or there. A very slight difference in saddle height, however, can matter hugely -- 2 mm I can feel a difference (or thinik that I can, anyway).
Are you sure that the different saddle has resulted in the same saddle height? Different saddles can vary quite a bit in the resulting height.
same saddle heighttarwheel
Sep 3, 2002 7:16 AM
I adjusted my seatpost to maintain the same saddle height.
Sep 3, 2002 9:15 AM
I think that most of us have come to our current position on the bike through much trial and error. I recently spoke with a guy at a bike shop (address below, do a google search to get a web address if necessary) and he basically thought that knee over pedal stuff was bubkus too. He also mentioned center of gravity and how all of that can be influenced by handlebar height too!!!!! For a reference he made note of how many peloton riders actually have their elbows lower than the handlebars in some positions. I know that I'm taking my bike to him next weekend to get a re-fit and to pick his brain but he might not mind speaking to you over the phone to give his take on things.


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