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  1. #1
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    Seat tube Angle & pedaling comfort

    I have a 2011 Hardrock Disc 26er and I think the seat tube angle isn't steep enough for me. I'm 5'9 with 32" inseam (thereabouts) and it is a 17.5" frame.

    I dunno it seems like the BB is more forward in relation to my ass, and it just doesn't feel comfortable to pedal a lot on (by this i mean lots of miles). It feels like the pedals are too far forward instead of being more underneath me which seems more efficient for stomping down....and most importantly stressing my knees less. (I've had some knee stress issues).

    Yes i've tried moving the saddle forward and that does seem to help, but then the bike feels too small and doesn't feel as good to handle on the trails. I do have a 100mm stem on it atm too.

    In comparison i have an old Spec' 99 FSR Comp where when i compare the two in photos, the FSR's seat tube angle. The other thing is that it's always felt better to pedal on.

    I also demoed a Carve Expert and that felt good too.

    I'm trying to understand the Hardrock's geo...to be honest i kinda hate it and I'm wondering if anyone else has went through a similar ordeal with pedal position and comfort.

    I know this is kind of a rant thread but damnit i am tired of this bike frustrating me on geo and fit!

    In short, I've rode other bikes and pedaling on them has felt more natural, less stressful and I'm trying to understand why this bike has never felt good to me like others.

  2. #2
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    First thing I would recommend is to get a proper bike fit. Second thing is I would ask where your feet sit in relation to your pedal spindle; you can't properly fit a bike if you don't start from the feet. If you're riding clipless it makes it a lot more straight forward but if you're not then you need to have someone evaluate your riding position with your feet in the proper starting point.

    If you want to compare the two bikes, dig up some geometry tables on your two bikes and find out what the exact differences are between them. It doesn't sound right that you need to slam your saddle forward so I am suspecting that you're comparing apples to oranges and are not quite sure what exactly you're looking to achieve.

    Essentially, the Carve and the Hardrock have the same (effective) seat angle at 73 so there's no difference there. The Carve does have a longer top tube in the same size as a HR, but really they're completely different bikes and it's really difficult to compare them directly with their different wheel sizes and different design intents.

    I'll revert to my initial statement, if you're concerned with something about how the bike fits then get a bike fit done.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    I have a 2011 Hardrock Disc 26er and I think the seat tube angle isn't steep enough for me. I'm 5'9 with 32" inseam (thereabouts) and it is a 17.5" frame.

    I dunno it seems like the BB is more forward in relation to my ass, and it just doesn't feel comfortable to pedal a lot on (by this i mean lots of miles). It feels like the pedals are too far forward instead of being more underneath me which seems more efficient for stomping down....and most importantly stressing my knees less. (I've had some knee stress issues).

    Yes i've tried moving the saddle forward and that does seem to help, but then the bike feels too small and doesn't feel as good to handle on the trails. I do have a 100mm stem on it atm too.

    In comparison i have an old Spec' 99 FSR Comp where when i compare the two in photos, the FSR's seat tube angle. The other thing is that it's always felt better to pedal on.

    I also demoed a Carve Expert and that felt good too.

    I'm trying to understand the Hardrock's geo...to be honest i kinda hate it and I'm wondering if anyone else has went through a similar ordeal with pedal position and comfort.

    I know this is kind of a rant thread but damnit i am tired of this bike frustrating me on geo and fit!

    In short, I've rode other bikes and pedaling on them has felt more natural, less stressful and I'm trying to understand why this bike has never felt good to me like others.
    You have hit on the reason that you need to consider seat tube angle when determining what is the proper sized frame for you. Effective Top Tube does not tell the whole story, because if you need to slide the saddle forwards due to a slacker seat tube angle, it effectively shortens the reach of the bike.

    In you case it seems that you would be better served on the next size up for that particular bike model.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  4. #4
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    I found something similar on my 29er Hard Rock. I'm 6'5", so I figured I would want to have my seat about as far back as I could, but after a few rides like that I discovered that it caused me a lot of discomfort because the pedals were so far ahead of the seat, which put stress on my body at some weird angles..

    In my case just moving the seat forward helped a lot though, and it didn't particularly bother me to make that change, so I'm not sure my experience is all that helpful to you.
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  5. #5
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    That is exactly it, moving the saddle forward made pedaling better but then the bike was too small and felt weird to handle. And yes it felt like it needed a longer top tube after the change.

    So basically the Hardrock's geo is just wrong for me and I'm curious to what their approach was to the geometry. If i set the saddle more towards the rear, it feels great to handle but not great for pedaling. The other thing I noticed is that the FSR's head tube angle is just a little more slack, I felt it right away after a long absence of riding it, and when I had it out on trails I noticed it tracked better on turns.

    Now this is my first MTB so a the time i didn't really know anything about geo and fit. I did sit on a large but i felt too stretched out. I recently test rode a Scott Scale 29er Large and that was definitely too stretched out.

    At the Spec' demo ride, all 3 bikes i rode were mediums. I remember very clearly when I got on the S-works stumpy HT (first bike of the day) how perfect the geo and cockpit fit were. I remember instantly thinking to myself "This feels correct.". The Carve Expert felt the same way, but much heavier. I was really happy with how pedaling felt on them. This really opened my eyes to geo and fit. The Hardrock I have feels a lot different (I rode it the following day).

    I'm looking to upgrade to a 29er in the spring so this is an attempt to get things sorted out so I will know what to look for.

    I had the FSR out today on a 26 mile pavement ride, 10 miles going flat out to beat a personal record and I feel great on that bike. I wouldn't call it perfect, but pretty close.

    I will probably play around with the Hardrock's setup some more to see if i can learn anything.

  6. #6
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    Seat tube angle is not the problem. Your proportions and an off-the-rack bike are not unusual. As mentioned above being fit on the bike is the issue. The second issue is adapting to your new position which will include a new hand position; stem length and bar height. You will fight this.

    That said, I might have put you in the next size up. I'm guessing you might fight this, too.
    I don't rattle.

  7. #7
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    are there any 'cheap' angled/bent seat posts? cheap as in cheaper than the profile fast forward? My frames a touch to big for me and I think moving the seat forward another inch or so would really help.

  8. #8
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    I have long legs and a short back, and my upper body is quite light. As a result I can put the saddle quite a bit more forward than usual without putting too much weight on the front and my arms.

    If the bike feels too small at that point, maybe a larger size is a better fit, as long as standover height doesn't give you trouble.

    But the feeling of the bike being too small could pass. Just ride and see if you get used to it. My current MTB setup is so short that I'm very close to bumping the handlebar with my legs when I stand and lean forward to climb. I like the short setup because it allows me to shift my weight further back when going down steep parts, and the front end is easier to lift when need be.

    You don't need an angled seatpost. An inline post will do, or even a short setback post mounted backwards. In fact I think seat tube angle gets too much attention anyways, because the effective angle depends on the positioning of the saddle.

  9. #9
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    I did get used to the bike feeling smaller. I actually re-adjusted the saddle more forward last weekend (from close to being in the middle) and it feels good. However I think I need to move the bars higher just a little so I am going to look for a stem with a little more rise.

    I just did a comparison ride between my old Hardrock and 2011 HR (one i've been adjusting) and the old one felt like the BB was more forward (with saddle mounted in middle of rails). I didn't like it feeling more forward like that but the cockpit feel was better.

  10. #10
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    I did some interesting measuring of both bikes tonight.

    Stem center bolt to center of seat tube saddle clamp:
    Hardrock: 23 5/8
    FSR: 22 3/8

    Then i used a rough plumb bob to measure the saddle set back (center of saddle clamp) from bottom bracket:
    Hardrock: 9"
    FSR: 7 1/2"

    Stems on both bikes are identical. Bars are same model but FSR's is low rise, HR's is high rise (not much difference). The FSR is a 17" frame and the HR is a 17.5".

    So there is a bit of a difference in geometry there and i guess kinda explains the pedaling and fit.

    I had the FSR out on the trails the other day (rare) and man that bike felt really nice on geo and fit out there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemebean View Post
    I found something similar on my 29er Hard Rock. I'm 6'5", so I figured I would want to have my seat about as far back as I could, but after a few rides like that I discovered that it caused me a lot of discomfort because the pedals were so far ahead of the seat, which put stress on my body at some weird angles..

    In my case just moving the seat forward helped a lot though, and it didn't particularly bother me to make that change, so I'm not sure my experience is all that helpful to you.
    I had a 21" 2010 HR (26er) and went to a 2012 Carve Expert (XXL or 23") 29er, best move I ever made. Seatpost is not 6" in the air and I fit the bike great, I too had the seat moved back on the 21" and now it is more up front. BTW I am 6'4" with a 38" inseam.

    Mark
    2012 XXL Carve Expert

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by millertm View Post
    I had a 21" 2010 HR (26er) and went to a 2012 Carve Expert (XXL or 23") 29er, best move I ever made. Seatpost is not 6" in the air and I fit the bike great, I too had the seat moved back on the 21" and now it is more up front. BTW I am 6'4" with a 38" inseam.

    Mark
    Awesome!

    Yep i demoed a medium Carve Expert and the geo & fit felt just right too!! My saddle is way high as well on the HR. Something about the Hardrock geo is just off imo.

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  13. #13
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    Until you get a better fitting bike you can adjust the fit a bit more with the stem and bars.
    Move the seat to the comfortable spot and add 20mm to your stem length. See if your lbs has a loner to try. Flat bars will move your hand placement forward and an angled stem can make up for the lose of rise or spacers to bring your stem up if your steerer is long enough. Wider bars will also eat up some space. Everything may make it so you can pedal comfortably but your balance point is going to be more aggressive for going downhill. You can adapt after a couple hours.

  14. #14
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    I swapped in a stem yesterday that was 25 degree rise 110mm stem which brought it up and back. The height was comfortable but being in corners in it was kinda weird.

    I put the stock stem back on which is a 15 degree rise, but not sure of reach. This made the bike feel better than the 17 degree 100mm stem, the shorter reach is better overall. I still get some hand pain and the bars are kinda lower than where I like the saddle so I think i am going to try and raise them. I'll look at a 17 degree stem of same length first.

  15. #15
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    I just spent $200+ on my HR - I am not going to buy a new bike. I'm not. Really. Honest.
    2011 Specialized Hard Rock Sport Disc 29
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  16. #16
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    OK i figured out the deal with the HR. The saddle is set too far back for me to get the end of the femur straight above the pedal spindle at 3 o'clock. I've since bought a zero offset post to help get this in order. The default offset was 13mm.

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