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  1. #1
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    Percentage of time in the saddle?

    Since I'm a newbie, just curious... On the road bike out on the pavement I spend 99% of the time sitting on the saddle, but I've noticed that on the trails on my hardtail, I'm hardly ever sitting on the saddle. Am I doing it wrong?

  2. #2
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    Also a beginner here, but it sounds like you're doing it right. I'm lazy* and sit a lot even off road; I get told to sit less.


    * How lazy? My favorite sports are swimming (done lying down) and biking (done sitting).

  3. #3
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    in mountain biking you need to be able to move the bike around under you a lot and your legs are part of the suspension system. when your sitting its impossible to do both well

  4. #4
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    When you are climbing you should be sitting to conserve energy. The saddle is also a great place to rest in some smooth section on the descend. The rest of the time I'm usually off the saddle, hovering just above it even on my FS.

  5. #5
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    Depends on the trail, but I'm out of the saddle any time things aren't smooth. Some trails that's most of the time. As Mimi said, hovering is better when possible as it doesn't take as much energy. For instance, if there's a 1 inch root in the trail I'll lift my butt 1 inch off the saddle. Bike kicks up 1 inch exactly and I sit back down. I reserve the attack position for the more technical stuff or long sections of uneven trail.

    You may find it's hard on your legs to be out of the saddle so much, especially if you continue to pedal as you should through some sections. But that goes away over time and your full suspension buddies will be jealous of your powerful legs.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It depends some on your riding discipline. I'd just as soon not spend a six hour XC ride out of the saddle. But I really have much less ability to move the bike around or allow it to move over rough terrain if I sit, and that means that my lower back gets pounded on. Which is no fun, and more tiring than standing would have been. I try to have a fluid relationship between sitting and standing. So I'll pop up for a couple pedal rotations to negotiate an obstacle and then sit back down, or get out of the saddle briefly to ride up a roller without slowing, then sit back down. I'd say I spend the majority of a ride seated. Don't ask me to quantify it more precisely, though. One of the things I look for in a bike fit is that the saddle is where my body thinks it should be when I'm sitting back down from standing.
    Last edited by AndrwSwitch; 10-10-2011 at 08:01 PM.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    As a noob myself ... I find myself seated quite a bit of the time. It just seems more natural to do (of course not on downhills or on rough terrain). The BMX biker in me wants to stand as much as I can; but whenever I do, I find myself sitting back down shortly after. It just seems more efficient to be seated. Perhaps it's because my gearing is usually: small ring/bigger cog ... as opposed to a larger ring/smaller cog ... so pedaling while standing isn't as productive as simply pedaling seated. I will usually only stand if I need a quick burst of power to get through a section, especially on a hill ... or if I'm in coast mode.

  8. #8
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    From what my trail-mates say and from reading, I don't think one is supposed to be out of the saddle ALL the time... just far more often than road cycling.

  9. #9
    Just Ride
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    I sit to climb or to rest on smooth flat sections. On the downhill, smooth or rough I'm always off the saddle.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  10. #10
    Class Clown
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    it depends, alot of it is preference and how you ride. I sit alot but stand for downhill or when I want some extra power, and for technical stuff.

  11. #11
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    I'm up and down so much that I couldn't begin to quantify it. I ride FS, but I tend to get up in the techy spots, sit down on climbs, stand on downhills, etc etc. How much time is done in various positions? not a clue

  12. #12
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    I think FS guys sit more on climbs, because really hammering standing up just compresses the shock more (could be wrong, never had a FS). On my rigid SS I have noticed that I am standing up more or less the whole time except for when recovering in the flats. On my HT I used to sit a lot more, and just pop it into granny gear.

    I remember seeing somewhere on here, might have been in a signature or something, but it said "its a saddle, not a butt rest". That seems to apply.

    Oh and one more thing that you probably know since you have come from a different discipline of biking, but proper saddle height helps a lot for seated pedaling. I tend to have my saddle a bit lower just so I don't have to adjust it for downhills, but if its a long extended climb, having the saddle at the right height makes a huge difference.

  13. #13
    The perfessor
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    Depends on the trails and the bike.......on my FSR 26er, I spend the majority of the time in the saddle - downhills are the only time I'm standing.........on the SS rigid 29er, I stand quite a bit, far more than the FSR...........
    Rigid 29er Ti SS / 29er SC Tallboy AL

  14. #14
    Knowledge over Swag
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    Saddle question. Had my saddle changed out to a Serfas RX Comp saddle while in for its 1 month checkup. It seems a lot like I sit more upright now. Is it possible the seat is too far forward on the post? I dont want to start messing with it. Only 1 short ride on it so far so maybe its just a feeling on the new saddle.

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    If the saddle's too far forward, I find myself sliding back too far on the saddle to be comfortable, and resetting myself further back as I start to stand up. Usually it doesn't have a big effect on how upright I sit - my hands and effort level have more to do with that.

    You're sitting more upright because you're dogging it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
    Knowledge over Swag
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    I think it needs to be an inch or two farther back. I got long arms and legs.

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    So do it. You don't need the permission of anyone on this board.

    At worst, it doesn't work and you learned something.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  18. #18
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    Do you guys wear padded shorts ?
    I just got a Trak Cobia and it comes with a Bontrager Evoke 1. It does not have the best cushion. So I've been thinking about getting a saddle with more cushion.
    To be honest I rather have a saddle with more cushion then wearing padded shorts.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlesrg View Post
    Do you guys wear padded shorts ?
    I just got a Trak Cobia and it comes with a Bontrager Evoke 1. It does not have the best cushion. So I've been thinking about getting a saddle with more cushion.
    To be honest I rather have a saddle with more cushion then wearing padded shorts.
    You're generally better off with a chamois insert and a good fitting saddle.

    As far as the OP's question, I'm usually seated, but it is terrain dependent.

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