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Weight Distribution Off the Saddle(4 posts)

Weight Distribution Off the SaddleFez
May 22, 2003 9:11 AM
Can someone summarize and generalize where weight distribution should be off the saddle?

1. Flat terrain w/ hands on hoods - how much should your butt be forward of the nose of the saddle?

2. Sprinting w/ hand low on drops -

3. Climbing steep hills -

Someone posted about keeping the weight back so the rear wheel stays weighted, but I was looking at the huge climbs in today's Giro and they appeared a bit forward when they came out of the saddle.
re: Weight Distribution Off the Saddleinnergel
May 22, 2003 10:18 AM
1. Flat terrain - weight centered over bottom bracket with elbows bent

2. Sprinting - weight slightly forward of the bottom bracket, with your upper chest over the head tube and stem

3. Climbing steep hills - hamstrings should be just barely brushing the front of the saddle, elbows bent maybe 45%

Obviously all these can be adjusted based on flexibility, strength, etc. but this is a good start.
My (non- expert) understanding...timfire
May 22, 2003 5:46 PM
1. Why would you be out of the saddle on flat terrain if you weren't sprinting? But I guess in this situation you would want to keep your weight fairly centered over the BB. In this situation you would only be slightly forward of the seat, possibly with the nose of the saddle brushing the back of your legs.

2. With sprinting you have a couple of forces going on. First, you stand up to add force to your downstroke. But in order to get the most out of your downstroke, you must compensate or brace the downward action by pulling up on the handlebars. But pulling up on the handlebars can cause the front wheel to unweight and possible lift off the ground (I've done that before). So you have to move your body (or more specifically your center of gravity) forward of the BB to add weight to the front wheel. But moving too far forward can theorectically cause your back wheel to unweight and possibly slip (never had that happen). So you must find a balance between keeping your front wheel down and keeping the back wheel weighted.

Exactly how far forward will depend upon how hard you sprint/pull on the bars and on the geometry of the bike. Obviously, the harder you sprint the farther forward you will need to move. Also, the slacker your geometry the farther you will need to move. This is because you will need to move more get your weight forward of the BB (I believe).

3. When climbing you want to keep your center of gravity over the BB. But because of the incline of the hill, this forces you to move your weight forward a bit. Thus the amount of movement should depend on the incline of the hill. Now, I've read that with super steep inclines (this is why I've only *read* about it), you can get the problem where you're so far forward that the back wheel becomes unweighted and can slip. Thus sometimes riders are forced to stand with their butts back a a bit to keep the rear wheel weighted.

Again, this is just my non-expert understanding of things and I could be off with certain points.

--TK
#1Fez
May 22, 2003 7:00 PM
A few reasons for getting out of the saddle when not sprinting or not climbing:

a) Change positions, stretch out a bit.
b) Gain a little more speed/momentum without changing gears.
c) Starting out from an intersection or stoplight.