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ok...fore/aft saddle position one more time....(6 posts)

ok...fore/aft saddle position one more time....MXL02
Oct 10, 2002 9:50 AM
I know we have already beat this topic to death, but again I would like someone to give me some data or research regarding saddle position. I had my saddle back pretty far with my knee 1 cm behind the pedal spindle, but moved it forward 1cm because it was more comfortable. I started a training program last week and had to do a TT for baseline. Afterward my quads were toasted but the rest of my legs felt fine, so I started worrying that maybe I need to get my saddle back to recruit more of my posterior thigh muscles in my pedal stroke. How much of an issue is this really? Some of the articles I have read state that your quads comprise 80% of the power in your pedal stroke no matter what. Does anyone have any evidence (ie power data) to show how saddle position effects leg strength, pedal stroke power, etc.?
re: ok...fore/aft saddle position one more time....flying
Oct 10, 2002 10:10 AM
No evidence just seat of the pants experience.
Where do you tend to be on the seat while riding?
Usually you tend to migrate to a place of strength for you in any given situation. Take notice & see?
Also I never have used the knee over spindle method because it is so easy to change that by small movements on the seat or actual leg flex etc.
Instead once I find a place that is working best for me I will measure the distance from the back of the handlebar to the nose of the saddle. Or even if you drop a plumb line from the nose of the saddle & measure the distance behind or in front of the BB.
Some light reading required, Bontrager's 'KOPS'...Spunout
Oct 10, 2002 11:21 AM

Will confuse you so much that you'll realise that you have absolutely no problem.
I've read and reread this numerous times...still confusesMXL02
Oct 10, 2002 1:18 PM
the hell out of me.
re: ok...fore/aft saddle position one more time....GMS
Oct 10, 2002 12:39 PM
First, if moving your seat forward made you more comfortable, your knee may be in the same place over the pedal spindle, and you are just sitting on a different place on the saddle (and therefore more comfortable).

If that's not the case, my experience is the following. The more forward my seat is, the faster (and weaker) I tend to pedal. Also, a forward saddle utilizes my calf muscles more (anything below the knee burns with exertion). The farther I sit back, the more my upper leg muscles are utilized.

Go with what is most comfortable. You can also move yourself back or forward on the saddle as the situation warrants. This is easier with some saddles than others.
Don't forget that, if you move your saddle forward w/o changingbill
Oct 10, 2002 1:39 PM
the seatpost height, you have effectively lowered your saddle, which changes how you move your muscles, possibly very significantly and may all by itself account for the difference you feel.
What Bontrager is saying is that saddle height is saddle height, and your leg is only so long, so you need to get that right, but, after that, not only is knee over pedal spindle irrelevant to stroke, but knee over BB or whatever is irrelevant. So, all other things being equal, the fore/aft in itself would have NOTHING TO DO with what muscles you are using. What matters is balance -- is your center of gravity in the right place so that, when you are comfortable with the reach to the bars, you have (a) enough weight opposing your pedal stroke, which he doesn't think is a very sensitive dimension (i.e, can vary by a fair distance without ill effects), (b) the proper front/rear weight distribution (45/55, he cites) for proper bike handling and appropriate weight on your hands, which he also doesn't think is a very sensitive dimension as a handling issue, as important as it may be as a comfort issue, and (c) what he thinks is the core issue -- a center of gravity positioned to allow you to stand on your climbs and in a sprint without bumping your knees or struggling to counterweight the bike on a climb.
Basically blows KOPS out of the water as, at best, a vaguely coincidental relationship.