1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Seat height?

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    53

    Seat height?

    I bought a new Jamis Trail X 650 2 days ago and have been enjoying the ride. I know your seat should be at the height where you have a slight bend in your knee when the pedal is at lowest position but does this apply when trail riding and downhill? I feel like the seat should be lower so I can hunker down more or bend at the knees without my butt hitting the seat so early but on the uphill climbs it would be too low? What is the proper seat height for riding offroad when the trail your riding has both uphill and downhill descents?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bigb2000's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    250
    I adjust for the climbs with slight bend in knees. The downhill situation is why dropper posts have become so popular.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    53
    I am reading about those now. Didn't know such a thing existed. Cool!

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,268
    You should have quite a lot of range of motion as it is. Are you putting your pedals at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock?

    I almost never change my saddle height. Pretty much only if something else changes - new bike, different saddle, maybe different shoes.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    You should have quite a lot of range of motion as it is. Are you putting your pedals at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock?

    I almost never change my saddle height. Pretty much only if something else changes - new bike, different saddle, maybe different shoes.
    Yes 9 and 3 but I had my seat at the right height and when I went to bend the knees I felt like the seat was keeping me from getting my rear down as low as I would have liked to. Maybe it is my inexperience.

  6. #6
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
    Reputation: Zachariah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,312
    Since I choose NOT to use a dropper - I find the optimal height is somewhere between max climbing height and the lowest I can tolerate, for getting well behind the saddle on descents. This equates to about 3/4-inch(19mm) below the max setting.....YMMV.
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  7. #7
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,019

    Re: Seat height?

    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    . I know your seat should be at the height where you have a slight bend in your knee when the pedal is at lowest position but does this apply when trail riding and downhill? I?
    No. Not ideally. As you have noticed you have much better control and balance with seat lower when going downhill. In some cases, much lower.

    You have several options. The most common and the easiest option is to just to get a quick release lever on your seapost. When you have a sustained downhill ahead of you you can stop and lower your seat to be more comfortable position. This position will not be ideal for climbing of course as it wears the legs out quickly. This is the reason dog invented the dropper post. I'm not saying you need one I'm just saying that's why It was created.
    Last edited by eatdrinkride; 05-23-2014 at 08:51 AM.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,268

    Re: Seat height?

    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    Yes 9 and 3 but I had my seat at the right height and when I went to bend the knees I felt like the seat was keeping me from getting my rear down as low as I would have liked to. Maybe it is my inexperience.
    Two things:

    First, you can get behind the saddle on descents. I find I rarely do this for sustained periods, but if I'm rolling something really steep or going over a tabletop, I'm often behind the saddle for a moment. And I try to have pretty smooth motion along the bike in that direction.

    Second, a lot of mountain bikers insist on putting their saddles way too high when they're not on a technical descent. Can you reach your pedal at its furthest point in the rotation with your heel? That's how I rough in my saddles. Different shoes have different stack heights, etc., so it's still "season to taste," but none of my bikes is radically different.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    53
    I will play around with my adjustment more. I doubt I can touch with my heel as is right now but I can touch with the ball easily.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: deapee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    58
    I would put my mtb seat height at the spot where it's highest and I can still drop behind my seat when going down hills. No higher than that.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    53
    when I'm going downhill it feels natural to want to drop behind my seat but is that the proper thing to do or should you keep your butt on the seat to hold weight on the rear tire to keep it from lifting?

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jcd46's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    363
    Interesting thread giving what I experienced on my ride yesterday. New Bike, new saddle but going up it felt very uncomfortable - I stopped adjusted the height (it was too low) and it was perfect from there. For downhill I've been doing what deapee/andrw said - just go behind the saddle when needed.
    2013 Cannondale Trail SL 3

    "You will never ride alone"

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LB412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    867
    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    Since I choose NOT to use a dropper - I find the optimal height is somewhere between max climbing height and the lowest I can tolerate, for getting well behind the saddle on descents. This equates to about 3/4-inch(19mm) below the max setting.....YMMV.
    A lower than standard height will cause knee stress and eventually pain for some... I just spent three days off the bike due to a sore left knee. Post slipped about 1/2-3/4" and I didn't stop to adjust because I was only going 4 miles (including a 1/2 mile 750' climb). Lesson learned.

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,268
    Quote Originally Posted by iowamtb View Post
    when I'm going downhill it feels natural to want to drop behind my seat but is that the proper thing to do or should you keep your butt on the seat to hold weight on the rear tire to keep it from lifting?
    Try a descent with your ass planted and decide for yourself.

    I move forward and back over my bike to control my weight distribution. It doesn't really matter if I put my butt on the saddle or not, wherever my center of mass is, there it is. So I choose the option that I find more comfortable and easier to control.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: LB412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    867
    Attack position at all/most times. Weight back is a great way to wash out.

Similar Threads

  1. Seat height
    By solarplex in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-14-2014, 06:35 PM
  2. 29er bar height 3" below seat height?
    By theskyking in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-13-2012, 05:39 PM
  3. Seat Height
    By Doug_H in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 03-07-2012, 04:45 PM
  4. Seat height
    By pattongb in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-10-2011, 12:00 PM
  5. Bar height vs. seat height on Mojo
    By getbusyliving in forum Ibis
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 02-04-2011, 12:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •