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  1. #1
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    Dropped Seat- How do you pedal?

    The other day, I dropped my seat to aid in decents and it ws great. The big problem that I have is pedalling. It burned my legs out so fast. So my question is how do you guys pedal with them slammed. Is it by just raising the seat agian when needed to climb, do you guys just stand up when pedalling, or do you guys just have extremley strong legs? How do you do it, please enlighten me. Thanks

  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    All of the above.
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  3. #3
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    simple

    I never drop my seat.

    I haven't dropped my seat in two years, and it hasn't affected me adversely. Takes some getting used to, but you can do it. Now, I can see where you might want to drop your seat if you were riding purely on a hyper technical downhill and not pedalling much at all. For 99% of trail riding, it's not necessary.

  4. #4
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    Depends on how low you have your seat... I ride with my seat low, it's lower than my stem height, but it's not all the way down into the frame. I have maybe 4 inches of seatpost sticking out of the frame.

    It's definitely harder if your riding with clipless pedals than flats. But like anything new I got used to it. I really like having the seat down all the time due to my ability to throw the bike around and pump the terrain, it's very hard when you have a seat right up there. Climbing is no problem unless you want to break some speed records. Edit - for long steep climbs I will sit and spin, and out of the saddle for shorter climbs or mix up the two when necessary.

  5. #5
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    Gravitydropper?

    These look like a good idea:

    http://www.gravitydropper.com/

    Can't say how well it works as I've never tried one. The folks using them seem to love them though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd and fiends
    Depends on how low you have your seat... I ride with my seat low, it's lower than my stem height, but it's not all the way down into the frame. I have maybe 4 inches of seatpost sticking out of the frame.

    It's definitely harder if your riding with clipless pedals than flats...
    What? Explain, please.

    I find it easier to pedal with power with clipless pedals no matter what the saddle height or whether seated or standing
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  7. #7
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    I have a Spec Stumpy so it can't go all the way down due to its interupted(sp?) seat post so I think its about the same hieght as yours. And I also do ride with flats.

    The GD is a good idea, but its just too expensive. The maverick speedball is $200-220 and I imagine the GD isn't too far off.

  8. #8
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    depends
    I drop my seat an inch for tight & twisty trails, pedaling is fairly normal but harder on the knees, I only drop my seat more than that for rough downhills not much pedaling required
    I have a gravity dropper seat post so it takes no time to raise or lower

  9. #9
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    For shiggy - I first started riding with my seat down when I still used clipless pedals. Due to where the cleat is positioned on your shoe (further up the foot towards the toes, not under your arch) I found it felt strange. With flats I can position my foot whereever I want to when climbing, fooling around, etc. It's not limited to the one spot. I find I have more freedom with flats than clips. I definitely not saying that flats are the best, they just work for me.

  10. #10
    JMH
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    Strange but True (IMO)

    Shig-

    Sounds crazy, but I found this to be true as well... When my seat is really low I find myself moving my feet forward on the pedals (mid-foot maybe) to open up my knee angle at the top of the pedal stroke a bit. It's not much, but it definitely feels more comfy.

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    What? Explain, please.

    I find it easier to pedal with power with clipless pedals no matter what the saddle height or whether seated or standing

  11. #11
    Ride on
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    No perfect solution

    There is no perfect saddle position. Lowering your saddle makes it easier to keep your weight low and shift around while descending or riding on stunts. Conversely raising your saddle height makes it easier to pedal. I have ridden with buddies that prefer to adjust their saddle height before every major descent or climb, and those that prefer to find a compromise that allows for decent pedalling position without compromising downhill performance too much. Both styles have their advantages. Pick the one that works best for you.

  12. #12
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd and fiends
    For shiggy - I first started riding with my seat down when I still used clipless pedals. Due to where the cleat is positioned on your shoe (further up the foot towards the toes, not under your arch) I found it felt strange. With flats I can position my foot whereever I want to when climbing, fooling around, etc. It's not limited to the one spot. I find I have more freedom with flats than clips. I definitely not saying that flats are the best, they just work for me.
    Whatever works for you.

    I find it very awkward to pedal/ride with the pedal under my arches.
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  13. #13
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    I stopped dropping a year ago, and now run a weight weenie fixed clamp. I can still go down the same steep descents without dropping.

  14. #14
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    I too never drop my seat. I can go down pretty steep stuff by just shifting behind my saddle. The main problem would be absorbing impacts from drops without hurting yourself. I don't get real big air though.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


    Shorthills Cycling Club

  15. #15
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    JMH summed it up better...

    Thanks for all the interest in my bike riding techniques though! Its been a pleasure. Did I ever say this is the only way to do something??? No, I was just trying to explain something that I had discovered when riding with clips and flats with a low seat. For the most power I prefer to use my heels...

  16. #16
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    Gravity Dropper will give you the best of both worlds.
    Perhaps expensive, but worth its weight in gold (or does it already cost more than that? :-) )

  17. #17
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boyd and fiends
    JMH summed it up better...

    Thanks for all the interest in my bike riding techniques though! Its been a pleasure. Did I ever say this is the only way to do something??? No, I was just trying to explain something that I had discovered when riding with clips and flats with a low seat. For the most power I prefer to use my heels...
    And did I ever say you were doing it wrong?
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  18. #18
    Team Chilidog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tald
    Gravity Dropper will give you the best of both worlds.
    Perhaps expensive, but worth its weight in gold (or does it already cost more than that? :-) )
    Bah, not until they have a setback version for me..
    MTB4Her.com: mountain bike site for women, by women

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    And did I ever say you were doing it wrong?
    classic shiggy
    That should be my new signature " ... and did I ever say you were doing it wrong?"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    I too never drop my seat. I can go down pretty steep stuff by just shifting behind my saddle. The main problem would be absorbing impacts from drops without hurting yourself. I don't get real big air though.
    I used to do that, but you end up in a terrible position on the bike, with the seat stuffed into your stomach. Get a gravity dropper, it's loads better on steep descents. Actually it's loads better on any descents since you can corner much faster too.
    [SIZE="2"]Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine[/SIZE]

  21. #21
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    when dropping my seat i like it to be at knee level when the cranks are parallel to the ground so i can lean on it with my knees or control the bike a bit with them in really rough stuff. usually i will just ride my seat about an inch below full-leg extension, but the again, it totally depends on the trail. an alternative to gravity dropper is the maverick speedball. pricey and my friend just blew his up after a couple months. gravity dropper looks pretty cool with the remote if you dont mind have your bars cluttered.

  22. #22
    Just another FOC'er
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Shig-

    Sounds crazy, but I found this to be true as well... When my seat is really low I find myself moving my feet forward on the pedals (mid-foot maybe) to open up my knee angle at the top of the pedal stroke a bit. It's not much, but it definitely feels more comfy.
    Yup, this works for me too. I also ride rough DH, and drops with my foot forward to take the impacts off my ankles.

    I drop my seat for every down to maximize the fun factor

  23. #23
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    Practice, practice, practice. The more time you spend with your seat down, the more the muscles in your legs will get used to riding that way. I ride 75% of the time with my seat in a "downhill" position and my legs don't burn out like they used to when I first started doing it. For quick bursts, I go out of the saddle and for short climbs I sit and spin. On long climbs (greater than 200 feet vertical) I will raise the seat but otherwise it's not worth screwing around with it. Most of the riding I do is short technical climbs followed by short descents so this style works well for the local terrain.

    I agree that it is easier to ride a low seat with flats than with clipless.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tald
    Gravity Dropper will give you the best of both worlds.
    Perhaps expensive, but worth its weight in gold (or does it already cost more than that? :-) )
    Works for me. I just got one but it was great riding at Keystone last week on the green runs with my wife and some friends. Uphills were no effort; just raise the saddle and spin, then drop back down for the descents.

    Glenn D.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristian
    Practice, practice, practice. The more time you spend with your seat down, the more the muscles in your legs will get used to riding that way. I ride 75% of the time with my seat in a "downhill" position and my legs don't burn out like they used to when I first started doing it.
    I agree, I drop my seat before every extended DH section...works great here in CO considering most trails are long ups with long downs. Do you have to lower your seat? No, but lowering your seat for descents puts you in the best position for riding DH (look at any DH racer's stance), just like raising your seat puts you in the best position for riding uphill. Once you get used to raising and lowering, it becomes second nature.

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