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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
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    All of the above.
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  3. #3
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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
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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
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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
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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.

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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
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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
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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?"

  19. #19
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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.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

  20. #20
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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.

  21. #21
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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

  22. #22
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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.

  23. #23
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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.

  24. #24
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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.

  25. #25
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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? :-) )
    It takes literally like 4 seconds to raise and lower a seat with a QR clamp...

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77
    It takes literally like 4 seconds to raise and lower a seat with a QR clamp...
    It takes literally like 0 seconds to raise and lower a gravity dropper. I hate QR seatclamps too.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

  27. #27
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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? :-) )
    The 4" drop of the GD is ok for most stuff, but when things get really steep that amount of drop just doesn't hack it for me. I need ~7" drop. That may just be a personal preference thing, but I really can't move around with just 4".

    For dirt jumping I like it even more than 7" down if possible. Any kind of jumping where you might miss the pedals and hit the seat with your a$$ though is probably going to snap the GD anyway. From what I've read it doesn't have the strength of a Thompson.

  28. #28
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    my seat is up when i all mountain or cross country ride then when i go out for the purpose of doing some drops or the skate park i lower my seat.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  29. #29
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    $250 for that thing??

    Hi all, I don't post a lot but here's my 2 cents.

    Holy sh!t, I just saw the price on the gravity dropper. $250 can buy you a lot better bike parts than that. What a waste of money, seriously.

    Maybe it's possible to ride downhill with a raised seat, but there is no way to do it well on anything hard or steep. Hit anything bigger than a lunchbox and you'll get bucked off the seat and probably right over the bars. There are simply too many situations where you need to have your ass back over the rear wheel to be balanced. On the other side of the coin, you CAN climb with a low seat, but it is ridiculously inefficient. For me personally, the only good way to climb a heavy bike is seated, post all the way up, spinning as smoothly as possible (and clipped in).

    Like others mentioned, and for all those reasons, I wouldn;t consider buying any AM bike without an uninterrupted seatpost.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    It takes literally like 0 seconds to raise and lower a gravity dropper. I hate QR seatclamps too.
    Wow, 0 seconds?! Telepathic eh?! I guess I hate paying 250 bucks for a substitute of simply opening and closing a small lever...too each his own.

  31. #31
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    GD the best investment into single component I did. (Frame doesn't count, right?)
    You can get it cheaper then 250, but not by much. 4" drop works best for me (5'10") and no shifting backward can substitute balanced position over lowered seat for the lower center of gravity.
    Landing chest on the seat after unlucky drop is not a paradise either.

    On the OP subject, like Shiggy said, all of above: seated for keeping pace on flat, standing or rised seat for the climbs.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77
    Wow, 0 seconds?! Telepathic eh?! I guess I hate paying 250 bucks for a substitute of simply opening and closing a small lever...too each his own.
    Yeah it is telepathic. You see a drop coming, flick a switch and down it goes. Works well where there's loads of short steep drops followed by equally short steep climbs i.e most of the UK riding. May not be so useful if your climbs are very long and then it's all downhill without any serious pedalling. I also find myself using it in situations where I'd never bother to drop my seat in the past, like sections of fast twisty singletrack. Again just flick it down as you ride, bank down low through those turns, flick it up again and pedal. Expensive yes, pretty no, but a lot more useful than most blingy bits you can easily blow $250 on eg. carbon bars, titanium springs, X0 rear mech, etc.

    But I guess you just don't get it.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    Works well where there's loads of short steep drops followed by equally short steep climbs i.e most of the UK riding. May not be so useful if your climbs are very long and then it's all downhill without any serious pedalling.
    This is very true. Our terrain around here involves long climbs and long decents so it's not as if you've got to get off and adjust the seat every minute.

    In the past year there were two situations where I really wished I had a GD. The first was an XCish race that had some decently rocky DH that would have been way more fun to ride with the seat dropped. No getting off to do that during a race though!

    The second was when I was riding around the mesas in the Virgin Utah area. Up, down, up, down, etc. I ended up riding the mesas with my seat dropped a couple inches which was optimal for nothing.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster

    But I guess you just don't get it.
    I like to spend money on things that improve my riding, most of the time like a $5 QR clamp that allows me to extend/contract my seat with a longer range of motion than a $250 gimmick does. So you're right on bro, I don't get it.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob
    Hi all, I don't post a lot but here's my 2 cents.

    $250 can buy you a lot better bike parts than that.
    Name some better parts I haven't already got.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77
    Wow, 0 seconds?! Telepathic eh?! I guess I hate paying 250 bucks for a substitute of simply opening and closing a small lever...too each his own.
    250? i paid *much* less than that for my non-remote versions. works on the fly, super fast and easy, no stopping to mess with the clamp required. makes continuous flowy trail riding very nice. no muss, no fuss. always right back to where you set the thing. and i'll keep on riding while you are stopped to mess with the seat.

    do i need it? no. is it nice? yes. do i prefer it to the QR? yes. enough so that i've got one on both bikes now....

    drop it 1" for flowy stuff, or the full 4" for longer stuff, whenever you want to, no need to stop or mess with a lever, or even really slow down most of the time.

    just consider it one more refinement.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    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.
    I'm one of those riders that can't be bothered moving the seat except for the steepest sections, but then I find I can't control the bike with my thighs/knees because the seats too low... I'd like to try a GD just to get used to that feeling...

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77
    I like to spend money on things that improve my riding, most of the time like a $5 QR clamp that allows me to extend/contract my seat with a longer range of motion than a $250 gimmick does. So you're right on bro, I don't get it.
    yes, because if you run a GD post, you are henceforth forbidden *by law* to keep the QR clamp for super long or steep runs. or heaven forbid, loosen up the allen bolt clamp if you have one of those.

    there are a lot of front range and other trails i used to ride, and never lowered my seat other than for long sections. now, using the GD, i raise and lower it all the time. much nicer overall, and much more fun that way on the downhill sections of trails.

    i thought they were pretty stupid when i first saw them to, then tried one out for a bit. they are a great addition, especially if you ride stuff with flowy ups and downs. yes, we actually have those in colorado.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  39. #39
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    I used to slam my seat down on all decents thinking I needed it completely out of the way. Slowly though I have raised my 'lowered' position to so I can still pedal efficiently on flats and short uphills. As someone already said once your legs get used to this position they won't burn out as fast. And definiatley standing up helps.

    I aslo find pedaling cliped in with my seat down awkward. Its something about repositioning the feet on the pedals with a lowered seat that makes platforms better.

    As for the gravity dropper I think that would be a good investment. On the fly adjustment is the best option, and as i said I don't slam the seat down anymore so maybe 4" would be enogh for most situations. QR is nice if your trails are up and then down but on fast rolling, flowy trails I don't want to get off my bike and raise or lower the seat at every hill. But then again there are a few other parts I could buy for $250 that i "need" on my bike at the moment.
    The Revolution will not be motorized...especially at $5 per gallon.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KONA_in_SB

    As for the gravity dropper I think that would be a good investment. On the fly adjustment is the best option, and as i said I don't slam the seat down anymore so maybe 4" would be enogh for most situations. QR is nice if your trails are up and then down but on fast rolling, flowy trails I don't want to get off my bike and raise or lower the seat at every hill. But then again there are a few other parts I could buy for $250 that i "need" on my bike at the moment.
    A gravity dropper is certainly a "luxury" item and I wouldn't buy one before getting a decent frame, fork or wheelset. But for me it's the next most useful upgrade. I'm fairly tall with long legs, so my optimum pedalling seat height is crap for descending. The GD solves this problem MUCH better than a QR seatpost clamp ever did.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover
    yes, because if you run a GD post, you are henceforth forbidden *by law* to keep the QR clamp for super long or steep runs. or heaven forbid, loosen up the allen bolt clamp if you have one of those.

    there are a lot of front range and other trails i used to ride, and never lowered my seat other than for long sections. now, using the GD, i raise and lower it all the time. much nicer overall, and much more fun that way on the downhill sections of trails.

    i thought they were pretty stupid when i first saw them to, then tried one out for a bit. they are a great addition, especially if you ride stuff with flowy ups and downs. yes, we actually have those in colorado.
    Ahh, I didn't realize that you can adjust it in combination with a seat clamp. Don't get me wrong defenders of the GD, I like the concept of the thing but the price seems ridiculous, how much does the version that you have cost scrub?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77
    Ahh, I didn't realize that you can adjust it in combination with a seat clamp. Don't get me wrong defenders of the GD, I like the concept of the thing but the price seems ridiculous, how much does the version that you have cost scrub?
    The price put me off for a long time, but I don't regret biting the bullet after using it for a year. There's a slightly cheaper version without the remote switch, but it kind of defeats the whole point because you have to stop to use it. Your $5 QR starts looking better at that point! You'd become a very wealthy guy if you could produce one of these at a price close to a regular fixed seatpost, without sacrificing quality. That's were previous attempts at this kind of thing have gone wrong.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    Name some better parts I haven't already got.
    Sorry, I didn't really you were so fabulously outfitted. OK, I'll bite. Here's one:

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...k+Release.aspx

    ROFL. Ahem, sorry about that.

    Assuming I'm supposed to discern all the parts you have from the list of your X5 build under your profile: It looks like a great ride, nice work. I could recommend a few upgrades though. You could upgrade one of those Mavic hubs for under $250. I don't see a headset listed, but you could get a King and have enough left over for a nice dinner. You could get the new XTR crankset for under $300, or the Saint for $175, depending if you consider strength or weight as the better upgrade. Hell, there's a lot of things, and it's your bike to do with whatever you want.

    The humble quick release is a simple, elegant piece of engineering. But some people prefer complex stuff that makes things very slightly easier, and will probably break sooner or later. Myself, I tend to go for the simpler solution whenever possible. I guess I could see the point of this contraption for racing, but besides that I'm going to have to call BS on the whole thing. GD's web site is shite, by the way.

  44. #44
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    [QUOTE=BillyBob]Sorry, I didn't really you were so fabulously outfitted. OK, I'll bite. Here's one:

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...k+Release.aspx

    ROFL. Ahem, sorry about that.

    Assuming I'm supposed to discern all the parts you have from the list of your X5 build under your profile: It looks like a great ride, nice work. I could recommend a few upgrades though. You could upgrade one of those Mavic hubs for under $250. I don't see a headset listed, but you could get a King and have enough left over for a nice dinner. You could get the new XTR crankset for under $300, or the Saint for $175, depending if you consider strength or weight as the better upgrade. Hell, there's a lot of things, and it's your bike to do with whatever you want.



    for me, a GD would help my performance alot more that some exotic headset. i dont get off several times per ride to adjust my headset and dont lose any sleep over having headset that doesnt match the color scheme of my bike.

  45. #45
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    I ran into this exact situation myself about a month ago...or part of it at least. Technically for XC your seat your be at the max extension for the perfect leg extension equation blah blah. Fact is, cornering goes to hell when your all jacked in the air like that. So to solve this I played around a bit......i ended up arriving at putting the top of the seat approximately at the bottom of the handlebar ( on my flat bars), so for you riser bar people it would be right about where the bottom of your grips are.....I gained an amazing ammount of control...and only lost a tiny bit ot pedaling torque...in fact after two rides my legs got used to pedaling in a slightly lower position. If your talking about jacking it way goofy like a downhiller does.....no way no how....they dont climb hills...they get a ride or take a lift.

    So all in all id say seat height should be equal to handlebar height...MAYBE a tiny bit lower...but not too low.
    8 is great

  46. #46
    respect the wildlife
    Reputation: BillyBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by washedup
    i dont get off several times per ride to adjust my headset and dont lose any sleep over having headset that doesnt match the color scheme of my bike.
    This is a robotic seatpost adjuster. Fairly exotic itself.

    I'm not serious about this, just ribbing the people who like these things. It's a crazy little gadget, you'll probably get a few wisecracks if you buy one. I certainly would expect to. And if it works out well for you, who cares, right?

  47. #47
    Takw/agranofsalt
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    Everyone that I've talked to that's actually ridden a Gravity Dropper absolutely raves about them.

    Just my .02

  48. #48
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
    Reputation: scrublover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uktrailmonster
    The price put me off for a long time, but I don't regret biting the bullet after using it for a year. There's a slightly cheaper version without the remote switch, but it kind of defeats the whole point because you have to stop to use it.
    Give Larry at Mtn. High Cyclery a ring. Got mine through him, for very good prices.

    Stop to use it? What? You just reach down and pop the knob on the post. No stopping needed. Some sections of trail I'll slow down a little bit, but you certainly don't need to stop or get off the bike to use it. It really is stupid simple, using the thing.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  49. #49
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
    Reputation: scrublover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jutt77
    Ahh, I didn't realize that you can adjust it in combination with a seat clamp. Don't get me wrong defenders of the GD, I like the concept of the thing but the price seems ridiculous, how much does the version that you have cost scrub?
    I replaced both my QR clamps with allen bolt setups. If you ever have a time you want the seat lower than 4", yep, just loosen the clamp and lower the post like any other post.

    The only time I've done that so far has been while riding the lifts on the bullit clone, up at Keystone and Vail. Otherwise, a 4' drop has worked on both bikes incredibly well.

    No one is saying everyone has to rush right out and buy one, but don't knock them so hard if you haven't tried them.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  50. #50
    never ender
    Reputation: fat_weasel's Avatar
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    Man, this thread really took off.

    Might as well have my say- I rarely raise or lower my seat, but that's because my main bike (Heckler, baby!) descends and climbs well with the seat at a range of heights. A lower seat height takes some strain off my knees on seated climbs, and helps me get behind on descents, so I actually have it both ways. I usually set the post so I have a decent bend in my knee and leave it there. Sometimes if I have a really long climb I'll jack it up all the way, but usually the only reason I mess with it at all is to get my bike in the back of the Volvo.

    On the other hand, on my hardtail I'll slam the seat down all the way for technical descents, and then adjust it to a few different pedaling heights based on terrain.

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