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  1. #1
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    New to XC riding. Seatpost help!

    I normally ride a Stumpjumper FSR on chunkier trails but I recently got a carbon XC bike. I will ride mainly on flowy XC trails but will occasionally take it on "gnarlier" stuff too. Question is, how do you all set your seat post so you can descend without OTBing too much but set it high enough for good pedaling efficiency. Seems like a quick release would void the warranty of the frame. Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Technique. Learning to get behind the seat. I run the saddle on my mountain bike just as high as on my MTB as on my road bike and have no problem even on some infamously steep rocky sections at my local trail that have broken more than a few bones (including my wife's arm).

    Alternatively, sounds like you might be a good candidate for a dropper post.

  3. #3
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    I have one on my AM bike, seems like overkill for a light racing bike, but maybe? Is that common at all?

  4. #4
    Rod
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    Like ryguy, I have just learned to downhill on my set seat height. I have it about a half an inch or less than my road bike. I lowered my road bike recently so they're about the same now. I just get my weight back and go man. It's that simple. I've went over literal cliffs on my anthem doing this that a friend had trouble walking down. You'll get the hang of it.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  5. #5
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    Its only a matter of time before dropper posts are used for XC. They are getting lighter every year.

    We probably wont need them racing on trails, but World Cup racers will be using them in no time to tackle the man made techy features of the race faster and safer.

    Brian Lopes already raced in the XCE series of the world cup with one. Oh yeah, he won too.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  6. #6
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    Learn to get way back behind the saddle on the steep descents! Your belly will almost be touching the saddle when this is done correctly.

    This is how it has been done successfully for two+ decades.

    When done correctly, it becomes nearly impossible to go OTB. Yeh, your tire my wash out, but that is better than OTB any day!

    Find some short outdoor staircases (not too steep) to practice on. Just keep doing it and try getting back...way back. Your butt will hang back over the seat and be above the rear tire when done correctly also.

    You will realize why the fast guys don't wear baggies now (if you have not already). They can hang up on the saddle and cause serious problems when you try to get back up and over the saddle when your descent is over.....not good!

    I recommend setting your current seat height at the level it needs to be so that you do not cause undo stress on legs/hips/knees that will lead to injury and less power to the pedals. Bike fit is bike fit. There is a correct "fit" for you and stick with that. Get a dropper seatpost if you must...
    Last edited by rydbyk; 04-06-2013 at 06:57 AM.

  7. #7
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    I have been trying the "get behind the seat" method. I moved my seat forward a tad on the seat post so I could have more room. So far working pretty good. Not as easy as my AM bike with dropper, but the joys of riding a light bike make up for it.

  8. #8
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    I have been trying the "get behind the seat" method. I moved my seat forward a tad on the seat post so I could have more room. So far working pretty good. Not as easy as my AM bike with dropper, but the joys of riding a light bike make up for it.
    Be careful adjusting your seat forward and backward. It could end up causing you some knee pain.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  9. #9
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    You'd be surprised at how far you can get back behind the seat on an XC bike with the seatpost set at a height optimum for racing. This is from the World Champs in Canberra.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New to XC riding. Seatpost help!-canberra2x.jpg  

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  10. #10
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    Nice pic. It amazes me sometimes how technical the "tame" XC trails can get at the pro level.

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    I would say its all about feel and trial and error for getting your post at good all around height. Move your post in very small increments when fining tuning your seat height on the trail. Once your seat height is set you shouldnt have to mess with it only on long fire roads or super steep gnar descents.

  12. #12
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    Butt behind saddle on steep descents is generally good. Just remember that if you fully extend your arms to get there, you are "at the end of your rope" as Simon Lawton would say.

    If, while in this position, you hit an endo-able bump, your arms will not be able to act as shock absorbers, and you're locked in. You're sure to OTB. So keep that in mind before going all the way back. Sometimes it's best to keep an aggressive stance, nut up, and drop in.

  13. #13
    Rod
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpynerd View Post
    I would say its all about feel and trial and error for getting your post at good all around height. Move your post in very small increments when fining tuning your seat height on the trail. Once your seat height is set you shouldnt have to mess with it only on long fire roads or super steep gnar descents.
    I don't even mess with mine at all. I set it and forget it.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  14. #14
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    It definitely can be done....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New to XC riding. Seatpost help!-off31jpg.jpg  

    New to XC riding. Seatpost help!-dalby4.jpg  

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  15. #15
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    I have shorter legs and longer arms, so it will be a bit more difficult for me but I have been getting the feel for it. I took my XC bike on the trails I normally ride my full squish on and was surprised by how steep I could get. Never OTB'd, at least not yet. Another fear of mine is getting the ol' twig and berries caught between the tire and frame while in this position. I shudder just thinking about it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    I have shorter legs and longer arms, so it will be a bit more difficult for me
    If you have shorter legs and longer arms it would be easier for you. The shorter legs means your seat is lower and your longer arms give you the farther reach....

  17. #17
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    @ Stumpynerd, when I ride Vedauwoo I rarely adjust my seatpost since the trails up there are more XC-oriented and far less technical than Gowdy. Gowdy has technical sections/drop ins and rock gardens on almost every trail. I got a dropper post for my Stumpy and love it for that, but not adjusting a seatpost and living with it can be good for your skillset overall I suppose.

  18. #18
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    Yeah gnar, I just keep my post at an all around height and just leave it there 98% of the time. I dont even adjust my post for death crotch or gowdy. Im just weird like that.

  19. #19
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    It takes a while to figure out the right height, but you'll get there.

    Usually - only to have a bike fit and have it all changed again
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpynerd View Post
    Yeah gnar, I just keep my post at an all around height and just leave it there 98% of the time. I dont even adjust my post for death crotch or gowdy. Im just weird like that.
    I never adjust either. For some reason I don't really feel like Gowdy is anything more than XC trails most of the time, LOL. I went down all the granite drops on Middle Kingdom with my sky high XC seat and survived. And I'm a wimpy girl!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I never adjust either. For some reason I don't really feel like Gowdy is anything more than XC trails most of the time, LOL. I went down all the granite drops on Middle Kingdom with my sky high XC seat and survived. And I'm a wimpy girl!
    I love my Dropper for more technical stuff. Not totally necessary, but it helps for drops and chunky sections where you might go OTB. Lowering your center of gravity without maxing out your arms while behind your seat post is nice. I got a new carbon hardtail, Heidi. I have only been able to take it out twice because of the weather but I am just learning to live with a carbon bike that has a seat that cannot be adjusted =). It will be my Vedauwoo rig when those trails are ready.

  22. #22
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    I have ape arms so I dont have to scoot too far back for steep stuff. Maybe that's why I havent felt an need for a dropper post.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpynerd View Post
    I have ape arms so I dont have to scoot too far back for steep stuff. Maybe that's why I havent felt an need for a dropper post.

    It's just another tool in my tool box. When I go down death crotch I usually drop my seat a couple inches with my quick release (on my old bike), but my hard tail doesn't have a quick release. I will survive! I took it to Gowdy and cleared the same rock gardens I clear on my stumpy. A dropper is just nice for on the fly adjustments, especially on really steep stuff. It's just something that isn't necessary but nice to have (especially on real technical trails), kind of like hydro brakes, air suspension, or any other bike tech that that the old timers did without. I am just upset its snowing again. darnit.

  24. #24
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    Dam snow.

  25. #25
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    I guess it's just what a person is use to doing. I'm use to always having a high seat so I don't really think about dropping my seat because that would be weird.

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