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Yet another correct saddle height question ...(5 posts)

Yet another correct saddle height question ...HouseMoney
Sep 2, 2003 9:44 AM
I'm getting a new saddle soon which will probably require me to adjust the seatpost. This past weekend I figured I'd take some current measurements & I was surprised at what I came up with. I know most of the "accepted formulas" (.883, .885, etc. x inseam) are only a starting point, but here's what I found:

inseam in socks = 34.125"
saddle height from bb to saddle along seat tube = 31" (.908 x inseam)
crank length = 175mm
shoe size = 45 (Sidi w/ Look 206 pedals)

Through much trial & error, my mountain bike's sweet spot is between 30.125 - 30¼", which would put me right at inseam x .885. I figured my road saddle would be a little higher, but not ~ ¾" higher!

I'm a relatively new road rider, doing mostly solos & group rides, i.e. recreational stuff. To this point I haven't done any really long road rides to the point where my knees would start barking (usually betw/ 25-40 miles). I plan to do a Citizen's crit this weekend & may get into entry-level racing next year. My bike is a 58cm Cannondale CAAD5.

From a lot of what I've read, including cyfacusa's website (a popular resource here, it seems), my saddle "should" be lowered. Should I look to experiment & gradually lower my saddle or just keep it at its current height? Thanks for any/all input.
If it's not broken, I'm not sure that I would fix it. Thebill
Sep 2, 2003 9:52 AM
conventional wisdom is that a longer leg extension gives you a little more power. Shorter is supposed to encourage spin. But, you know, you can get used to just about anything.
I would say that, if you are riding painlessly, if you don't find either that you are moving forward onto the nose of the saddle (if you are, the extension is too great and you should lower the saddle) or back (vice versa), leave it alone. At most, make a small adjustment and see how you feel (make small adjustments regardless). You may find that a slightly lower saddle will help your spin (you'll also feel it a little more in your hamstrings). Remember that moving the saddle fore and aft also changes your leg extension even if you haven't moved the seatpost.
re-do with some pedal spindle measurements...Spunout
Sep 2, 2003 10:30 AM
the thickness of the Look cleat/platform explains some of the difference. Does your MTB have the same length cranks?
re-do with some pedal spindle measurements...HouseMoney
Sep 2, 2003 11:07 AM
Yes, my mtb cranks are also 175. bill (above) made a good observation. Now that I think about it, I do seem to position myself on the mid-front of the saddle. I think this is a contributing factor to my saddle discomfort (the rock-hard OEM Nitrox [selle italia?] may be another). Whenever I try to slide back on the saddle, after a few pedal strokes I end up forward again. I'm going to try & lower my saddle (gradually) so that my sit bones are on the section of saddle where they belong & see how that feels.
You're in the right rangeKerry Irons
Sep 2, 2003 5:35 PM
A common rule of thumb is total height (pedal to saddle) is 109% of your true inseam. You're only slightly over that, and the extra thickness of Look pedals could explain the difference. While you could go higher or lower for personal preference, your measurements are not far off.