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  1. #1
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    Seat post height

    Ive gotten conflicting advice from several sources. Ive kept my seat height roughly in line with my road bike. High enough to get leg extension with a slight bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I am told that this is too high and keeps me rigid over the bars. My fit has this as my ideal set up. I'm hearing from another shop I need to keep my seat lower to stay loose on the bike, but past experience says this kills my legs in endurance rides. Hope do you guys without dropper posts have your bikes set up?

  2. #2
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    I set up all my bikes like youíve done- for pedaling efficiency. Add a dropper to your bike and itís the best of both options. I recommend trying a dropper if you can.

  3. #3
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    They're both right. If you do a lot of seated pedaling, you are going to want to be closer to (at) road bike height. If you do enough out-of-the-saddle technical stuff, you will want to drop it.

    If the technical stuff comes on you in sections, you can use a QR post clamp to make the adjustment and change it back when you hit a long flat stretch or long spinning climb.

    If its a random mixture of both types of riding, get a dropper post. People are having pretty good experiences with the ~$100 BrandX Ascend dropper from Chain Reaction.

    Other than the QR and dropper, there's no real compromise. You can't get the saddle low enough to throw yourself around without causing pain in seated pedaling. You can fix it at about an inch low and that lets you slide back and forth above your saddle some while standing, which helps, but not enough, and seated pedaling for long stints is still gonna hurt.

  4. #4
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    Trails here are 50/50 technical and straight cardio grind. I will try setting the post down an inch. Maybe a saddle with a shorter nose will help with the on/off action.

  5. #5
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    I have the height on both my MTB's set the same as my road bike. Ant lower will tire my legs out faster.

    I've read that some people will have their MTB saddle a few CM's lower than their road bike. I can't do that.

  6. #6
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    They may not be overthinking it but I feel what they are saying versus what you are doing is more about riding style and technique. That and variables of what trails or surfaces you ride is just another factor we as riders tune in for our own fit and pref's.
    If you were having problems or pain and discomfort or needed something 'fixed', I can see this type of inquiry / input, otherwise just keep pedaling as you like and fit.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  7. #7
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    Talking to "experts" about seat height is an utter waste of time, IMO. You must experiment and find out what works for YOU. I normally set mine just a hair lower than "road bike" height for climbing. Some of the climbing I do is very technical though, and I find that having the height about an inch lower yet allows me a little more flexibility and I can climb features that I could not otherwise have cleaned with the seat higher.

    I rarely do any descending with the seat up, however. Droppers rule.

  8. #8
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    I would try it and see. My HT and FS mountain bikes both have the saddle slightly lower than my road bike but that was just what worked best for me off road on the local trails.

    A very quick guide is if you feel like your are in the bike rather than perched on top of it then you are heading in the right direction. Having the saddle too high normally leads to various strain type injuries as your body tenses up over reaching to the pedals.

  9. #9
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    This is my learning bike. Entry level rock hopper so no dropper posts. Will experiment with the qr.

  10. #10
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    Mine is lower than a road bike would be. Try different heights.

  11. #11
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    People are confusing a lower saddle height with what you'd use a dropper for. The advice the first place is giving you is to lower your saddle a few mm so that you can still pedal effectively while getting bounced around.

    For example, Peter Sagan runs his saddle 15mm lower on his cobbled classic bike. It has nothing to do with descending or body posture, just pedaling efficiency.

  12. #12
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    I don't want to influence your thinking, but if you prefer the correct way of saddle height for seated pedaling efficiency then you should feel free to set it up the correct way and forget the so called experts.

    The correct way and a dropper post are ultra right on!

    Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Don't bother comparing road and mtb saddle heights. It's apples to oranges.

    Saddle height on my road bike is a few mm lower than on my mtb. My road bike is setup in a pretty aggressive position so the saddle needed to be moved forward and lower. I was able to raise it back up little by little as my flexibility improved. Feel like I hit the optimum now and it's 3mm lower than my mtb.

    On my mtb it's setup best for climbing. If I'm about to hit a rock garden I use the dropper to drop the saddle just a touch to get some more space to work with. If I don't I've had my knees lock out from trying to reach because of some poorly timed rock/pedal stroke combinations. Only in the really chunky stuff though.

    Saddle fore and aft will effect your ideal saddle height as well. Just find what works best for each bike.

  14. #14
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    Don't drop it a whole inch, that's way too low if your at a comfortable height now. Drop it a 1/4 inch and see how that feels. That can open up just enough room to let the saddle move more freely when standing. A narrow saddle will also move between your legs easier, not a shorter saddle.

    But the best advice is what everybody already said, leave it a your comfortable pedaling height and get a dropper.

  15. #15
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    I think this is why they invented QR seat post clamps back in the day. Optimum saddle height depends on ride conditions and can change ride-to-ride and during a ride. Way back, before I had a QR clamp, I generally set the saddle ~1 cm lower than road optimum for tootling around on the trails.

    Droppers are really good for big binary changes so I set mine up similar to road bike height at max and generally drop it all the way when I do drop it. Of course most allow smaller changes in height too, though it's a bit tricky to make small precise changes.
    Do the math.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    I set up all my bikes like youíve done- for pedaling efficiency. Add a dropper to your bike and itís the best of both options. I recommend trying a dropper if you can.
    Truth!

    Quote Originally Posted by stykthyn View Post
    This is my learning bike. Entry level rock hopper so no dropper posts. Will experiment with the qr.
    No disrespect intended but you'd never say something like, "I'm going to go without a handlebar because this is an entry level bike." Believe it or not, many of us consider a dropper post nearly as requisite as a handlebar.

    Saddle too high = bad for the back.
    Saddle too low = bad for the knees.
    There is little gray area between too high and too low.

    The dropper post allows us to run our saddles at the ideal height for pedaling. And then the saddle disappears whenever we point the bike downhill. With a dropper, there's no need to slow down for corners. It encourages & rewards Next Level riding. Once the magic of the dropper is discovered and unlocked, it will be used more often than the gear shifter.

    Disclaimer: except in flat terrain.
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    We get old because we quit riding.

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