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  1. #1
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    Seat too high or too low?

    I just picked up an SL2 29er. How high should the seat be? I raised it about an inch after picking it up from the LBS.

    I cannot straddle the seat anymore, I have to hop off and straddle the top tube when I stop. This doesn't bother me, I just want to make sure I don't have it too high or too low and how to tell if I do?

  2. #2
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    Not that I would use that criteria for adjusting saddle height, if you can straddle the saddle and touch your feet on the ground with anything but the very tip of the tips of your shoes, the saddle is just about guaranteed to be too low for effective climbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Not that I would use that criteria for adjusting saddle height, if you can straddle the saddle and touch your feet on the ground with anything but the very tip of the tips of your shoes, the saddle is just about guaranteed to be too low for effective climbing.
    So I probably did ok by raising it, I was just barely on my toes originally. Now I can just barely...barely touch, I have to really lean it sideways.

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    For best climbing the seat should be about as high as you can make it without rocking your hips side to side with the pedal strokes

  6. #6
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    The proper way to adjust your saddle is to make it so when sitting on the saddle if you put your heal on the pedal your leg is straight and you're not stretching to reach it, this way when you put the ball of your foot on it you have the correct knee bend to avoid injury - make sure to wear the shoes you'll be wearing while riding the bike.

    If you 're fairly evenly proportioned arm to leg length, there's a way to get you approximmately there and that's to reach over the bike and put the saddle under your arm pit, then adjust the saddle height so the tip of your middle finger just reaches the center of the BB - this has always worked for me and anyone I've ridden with to get a fairly decent starting point, from there you fine tune up or down.

    As for being able to touch the ground or not, it really all depends on the BB height and your leg length. On most of my bikes I'm fairly similar in that I can barely touch with my tippy toes if on the saddle - they all have relatively the same height BB height.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    I just picked up an SL2 29er. How high should the seat be? I raised it about an inch after picking it up from the LBS.

    I cannot straddle the seat anymore, I have to hop off and straddle the top tube when I stop. This doesn't bother me, I just want to make sure I don't have it too high or too low and how to tell if I do?
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    The proper way to adjust your saddle is to make it so when sitting on the saddle if you put your heal on the pedal your leg is straight and you're not stretching to reach it, this way when you put the ball of your foot on it you have the correct knee bend to avoid injury - make sure to wear the shoes you'll be wearing while riding the bike.

    If you 're fairly evenly proportioned arm to leg length, there's a way to get you approximmately there and that's to reach over the bike and put the saddle under your arm pit, then adjust the saddle height so the tip of your middle finger just reaches the center of the BB - this has always worked for me and anyone I've ridden with to get a fairly decent starting point, from there you fine tune up or down.

    As for being able to touch the ground or not, it really all depends on the BB height and your leg length. On most of my bikes I'm fairly similar in that I can barely touch with my tippy toes if on the saddle - they all have relatively the same height BB height.
    At 6ft 6, I'm not sure a seatpost exist that would allow my leg to actually be straight on the downstroke...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    At 6ft 6, I'm not sure a seatpost exist that would allow my leg to actually be straight on the downstroke...
    Then you might need a bigger frame
    I find if my seat is too low I get knee pain too high lower back pain. YMMV
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    I've lowered my saddle a bit now. Seems like a happy medium. Even watching the XC pros, they are not near full extension. The Pro women seem to extend more though.

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    LyNx and Mitzikatzi are exactly spot on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    Then you might need a bigger frame
    I find if my seat is too low I get knee pain too high lower back pain. YMMV
    Got the biggest frame available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    Got the biggest frame available.
    A 'jumbo" SL2 29er (cannondale?) has a seat tube of 22.5 inches?

    What is your inside leg or inseam?

    I would have thought a 410mm seatpost and a 22.5 inch seat tube would give you enough seat height.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    I just picked up an SL2 29er. How high should the seat be? I raised it about an inch after picking it up from the LBS.

    I cannot straddle the seat anymore, I have to hop off and straddle the top tube when I stop. This doesn't bother me, I just want to make sure I don't have it too high or too low and how to tell if I do?
    If you picked it up from an lbs, they should have properly fitted you to the bike. Take it back to the lbs and have them fit the bike for you. At 6'6 I would bet maybe you need a different stem also?

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    I'd have to concur with Mitz on this. I might only be 6'2.25", but Ihave a 35.25" inseam and on any of my XL frames I have, I still have enough seatpost in the frame that it could be raised another nearly 4". Either the frame is too small or the post isn't a 400mm.

    What was the biggest size? Have to ask because like others have said if you bought it froma good shop they would have fitted you to the bike. My guess is it was the biggets they had in stock and not the biggest made. I'd be looking to put you on a XXL/23" frame at your height, unless you're not evenly proportioned and have super longs legs and short torso, then maybe I'd go XL/21"

    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    At 6ft 6, I'm not sure a seatpost exist that would allow my leg to actually be straight on the downstroke...
    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    Then you might need a bigger frame
    I find if my seat is too low I get knee pain too high lower back pain. YMMV
    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95
    Got the biggest frame available.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    A 'jumbo" SL2 29er (cannondale?) has a seat tube of 22.5 inches?

    What is your inside leg or inseam?

    I would have thought a 410mm seat post and a 22.5 inch seat tube would give you enough seat height.
    Should..... A 410mm thompson gives you about 13 inches of usable seat post plus the 22.5" seat tube gives you 35.5" include the 7" of crank arm and the 2" of saddle (both are rough guesses). So unless you have a longer inseam then 44.5" you should be golden.

    P.S. I ride with 2 people that around 6'8" with legs extended almost to the max and their bikes fit them great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdlals View Post
    If you picked it up from an lbs, they should have properly fitted you to the bike. Take it back to the lbs and have them fit the bike for you. At 6'6 I would bet maybe you need a different stem also?
    They told me to bring it back, I went in right before they closed. They said they want me to bring it back to get all that done but it'll probably be two weeks or so before I can get back down there. Just trying to get it a bit better until them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    I'd have to concur with Mitz on this. I might only be 6'2.25", but Ihave a 35.25" inseam and on any of my XL frames I have, I still have enough seatpost in the frame that it could be raised another nearly 4". Either the frame is too small or the post isn't a 400mm.

    What was the biggest size? Have to ask because like others have said if you bought it froma good shop they would have fitted you to the bike. My guess is it was the biggets they had in stock and not the biggest made. I'd be looking to put you on a XXL/23" frame at your height, unless you're not evenly proportioned and have super longs legs and short torso, then maybe I'd go XL/21"
    NO it was the biggest they made, we special ordered it and the seatpost has a lot of room left to come up, I'm just not sure how far to bring it up.

  19. #19
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    Seat height is kind of a compromise. There are plenty of web articles on raising it to the max height for one's body. What I find is that I like to run a tad lower to accommodate my riding style. I'm more worried about max fun going down the hill than I am in max efficiency climbing up it.

    Someday. Someday, i'll break down and buy a dropper seatpost.

    Edit: It's getting to that correct "tad", that isn't too low so as to cause knee pain, but is low enough to be fun, that's what takes a bit of experimenting.

  20. #20
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    The MAX you should have your saddle height is as I already said, so that when you put your heal on the pedal your leg is straight and you're sitting level on the bike. If you carry it any higher than this you will rocks your hips and be reaching for the pedals and will prob strain something. As J.Gennick said, riding trails sometimes it's better to have it a tad lower than optimal for climbing so that when you get in the tech or on descents you have some "play room" to move about easily, to do this you must first find optimum height and the experiment from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    NO it was the biggest they made, we special ordered it and the seatpost has a lot of room left to come up, I'm just not sure how far to bring it up.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    The MAX you should have your saddle height is as I already said, so that when you put your heal on the pedal your leg is straight and you're sitting level on the bike. If you carry it any higher than this you will rocks your hips and be reaching for the pedals and will prob strain something. As J.Gennick said, riding trails sometimes it's better to have it a tad lower than optimal for climbing so that when you get in the tech or on descents you have some "play room" to move about easily, to do this you must first find optimum height and the experiment from there.
    +1 what LyNx said

    I also gave you a couple of links at 4 that include a few other methods that people use.
    I find the 109% method almost works for me. My saddle height seems to be 108%.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjedoaks View Post
    Even watching the XC pros, they are not near full extension.
    Riders in the tour didn't have full extension either, or at least it didn't look that way on TV.

    I had a bike where the seat post would slip downward. I noticed that I felt like I had more power as it slipped down, but eventually it'd get to where I could tell it was too low and I'd have raise it back up. So I marked the post at the point where I felt like I was riding best, and when I got the slipping problem corrected, I put the saddle height there.
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    I raised it up another 1.5 or 2 inches this morning. Seemed to help a lot just that little bit. I rode another 8ish miles this morning with no pain my knees whatsoever I appreciate the prompt replies and all the suggestions it helped!

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    Just that LITTLE bit huh? Dude, I figure as you ride more you'll become more attuned, but a "little" is like 3-5mm, not 1.5-2" That's how much I lower my saddle for steep stuff Anyways, give it a bit of time and ride the bike a few times and see how it feels, if you feel any pain, then it's either too high or too low, you can tell by where the pain is usually - Back of knee/hamstring and it's generally too high, front of knee and it's generally too low. LOther things can also cause knee or other paint like for/aft position of the saddle on the rails, so keep that in mind to.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    I raised it up another 1.5 or 2 inches this morning. Seemed to help a lot just that little bit. I rode another 8ish miles this morning with no pain my knees whatsoever I appreciate the prompt replies and all the suggestions it helped!
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Just that LITTLE bit huh? Dude, I figure as you ride more you'll become more attuned, but a "little" is like 3-5mm, not 1.5-2" That's how much I lower my saddle for steep stuff Anyways, give it a bit of time and ride the bike a few times and see how it feels, if you feel any pain, then it's either too high or too low, you can tell by where the pain is usually - Back of knee/hamstring and it's generally too high, front of knee and it's generally too low. LOther things can also cause knee or other paint like for/aft position of the saddle on the rails, so keep that in mind to.



    (used without William Nealy's permission from "The Mountain Bike Way of Knowledge")

    Some people pedal toes down. Some people pedal heels level. I do this so that when it gets rough I can generate a little extra seat clearance, but I still can't reach the ground when I stop (learn to track stand!). Try it out for awhile. You'll feel discomfort or a lack of power if you are in the wrong place. It sounds like you're close and just need to develop your pedaling style or technique.

    btw - don't use seat fore/aft to adjust your reach to the bars. That is for adjusting to your (apparently ginormous ) thigh bone. There is much info out there as to the pros and cons of either being "on top of" your pedals or having them more "out front" of you (this is not a big difference in mm or fractions of inches, but it seems to make a big diff. in pedaling). Bigger guys, I think, usu. have them out front a bit because they tend to mash more than spin (if I remember that right). Again, this is small difference in dimension.

    -F

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post



    (used without William Nealy's permission from "The Mountain Bike Way of Knowledge")

    Some people pedal toes down. Some people pedal heels level. I do this so that when it gets rough I can generate a little extra seat clearance, but I still can't reach the ground when I stop (learn to track stand!). Try it out for awhile. You'll feel discomfort or a lack of power if you are in the wrong place. It sounds like you're close and just need to develop your pedaling style or technique.

    btw - don't use seat fore/aft to adjust your reach to the bars. That is for adjusting to your (apparently ginormous ) thigh bone. There is much info out there as to the pros and cons of either being "on top of" your pedals or having them more "out front" of you (this is not a big difference in mm or fractions of inches, but it seems to make a big diff. in pedaling). Bigger guys, I think, usu. have them out front a bit because they tend to mash more than spin (if I remember that right). Again, this is small difference in dimension.

    -F
    :rofl:

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    Seat height is kind of a compromise. There are plenty of web articles on raising it to the max height for one's body. What I find is that I like to run a tad lower to accommodate my riding style. I'm more worried about max fun going down the hill than I am in max efficiency climbing up it.

    Someday. Someday, i'll break down and buy a dropper seatpost.

    Edit: It's getting to that correct "tad", that isn't too low so as to cause knee pain, but is low enough to be fun, that's what takes a bit of experimenting.
    I'm the same way. I rather rip on the downhill then keel over on the uphill sections which are never fun.

    Great tips ITT.
    konahonzo

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Just that LITTLE bit huh? Dude, I figure as you ride more you'll become more attuned, but a "little" is like 3-5mm, not 1.5-2" That's how much I lower my saddle for steep stuff Anyways, give it a bit of time and ride the bike a few times and see how it feels, if you feel any pain, then it's either too high or too low, you can tell by where the pain is usually - Back of knee/hamstring and it's generally too high, front of knee and it's generally too low. LOther things can also cause knee or other paint like for/aft position of the saddle on the rails, so keep that in mind to.
    Sorry, but you are over your limit for emoticons.

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    After reading this thread I feel like I have my sizing all wrong, I am on an xl (21) and I'm 6'1" but I have a 36" inseam. I pedal toes down and I'm almost fully extended at the bottom of my stroke. I thought I had my sizing right but with my long legs I might have it wrong? I feel no discomfort when I ride and I'm not stretching but I cant even touch the tips of my toes to the ground when I'm on the saddle.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by eviltweak View Post
    After reading this thread I feel like I have my sizing all wrong, I am on an xl (21) and I'm 6'1" but I have a 36" inseam. I pedal toes down and I'm almost fully extended at the bottom of my stroke. I thought I had my sizing right but with my long legs I might have it wrong? I feel no discomfort when I ride and I'm not stretching but I cant even touch the tips of my toes to the ground when I'm on the saddle.
    Being able to touch the ground has nothing to do with the proper seat position. the heel over the pedal spindle while seated is a very good starting point.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Some people pedal toes down. Some people pedal heels level. I do this so that when it gets rough I can generate a little extra seat clearance, but I still can't reach the ground when I stop (learn to track stand!). Try it out for awhile. You'll feel discomfort or a lack of power if you are in the wrong place. It sounds like you're close and just need to develop your pedaling style or technique.
    I've been trying to understand how one pedals efficiently with toes pointing down. I was taught way back by serious racers to actively keep my heels down. When cycling clipped in, you can divide the pedal "circle" into four phases. Pulling up with your toes down you have to pull your knee up higher. Going over the top is part of the power stroke and if your heel is down you are using all your leg muscles pushing the pedal forward and not just your quad. pulling the pedal. Pushing down just makes no sense on your toes like a ballerina and not on the flat of your foot. Just try it on a platform pedal and you may slide off the pedal. To push back on the bottom of the circle with your toe down requires the rider to be in front of the bottom bracket.

    The reason for using the heel on the pedal with leg extended as a starting point is because that should be your reach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6SpeedTA95 View Post
    I just picked up an SL2 29er. How high should the seat be? I raised it about an inch after picking it up from the LBS.

    I cannot straddle the seat anymore, I have to hop off and straddle the top tube when I stop. This doesn't bother me, I just want to make sure I don't have it too high or too low and how to tell if I do?
    You should have a slight bend(15 degrees or so) in the knee when your foot on either side of the pedal is at the 6 o'clock position of the pedal stroke. Everyone is different though, but rules need to be followed to get a good basic fit. I suggest going to the LBS. This is a good vid though if you want to try and fit yourself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrZBjOloChg

    When you start riding a lot that is when you'll start making more fine adjustments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGrazing View Post
    You should have a slight bend(15 degrees or so) in the knee when your foot on either side of the pedal is at the 6 o'clock position of the pedal stroke. Everyone is different though, but rules need to be followed to get a good basic fit. I suggest going to the LBS. This is a good vid though if you want to try and fit yourself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrZBjOloChg

    When you start riding a lot that is when you'll start making more fine adjustments.
    Thank you, I'd say i'm probably in the ball park of 15* after my significant adjustment saturday morning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGrazing View Post
    You should have a slight bend(15 degrees or so) in the knee when your foot on either side of the pedal is at the 6 o'clock position of the pedal stroke. Everyone is different though, but rules need to be followed to get a good basic fit. I suggest going to the LBS. This is a good vid though if you want to try and fit yourself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrZBjOloChg

    When you start riding a lot that is when you'll start making more fine adjustments.


    This/\ is not entirely correct, the crank arm should be in line with the seat tube not at the bottom of the stroke. By and large it is just a starting point and the heel on the pedal method accomplishes the same thing without the need for estimating angles. My two cents.

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