Low seat height with larger frame, bad idea?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Low seat height with larger frame, bad idea?

    I purchased a really nice hardrock sport 29er. I love the way the bike looks and rides.

    I am 5’7” and have the seat set at about 3” above the seat post. I can flat foot the bike and the reach to the handle bars feel good.

    Main question is:
    Does having a taller frame with the seat real low affect the handling and performance characteristics?

    I have been noticing on the road that everyone’s seat post is usually set at about 6” or so above the bike seat post.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Low seat height with larger frame, bad idea?-c862b361-aecd-46e3-b7ba-8d7bff5e35e2.jpeg  


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    Whatever it takes.

  3. #3
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    what size is the frame? if the saddle is set close to where it ought to be and it's that low, the frame is probably too big. it will feel fine at first, but the handling will go to hell when the trail gets technical at all because your body weight balance will be off.

    what do you mean when you say you can "flat foot" on the bike? if you can flat-foot while sitting on the saddle, it is too low. look up a basic video anywhere on the topic "how to set saddle height on a bicycle." aside from some beach cruisers and recumbent bicycles, no bicycles with a saddle at proper pedaling height will allow you to get much more than your toes on the ground from a seated position. dirt jumpers, BMX, park bikes don't count because you rarely sit and pedal those for long.

    if you don't believe me, ride ten miles like that. either your knees will start hurting from the imbalanced use of leg muscles, or your lower back will start to hurt from standing too much of the time. if you're unbelievably fit and standing all the time for ten+ miles of pedaling don't hurt your back, you should seriously consider a career as a professional athlete.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockHoppin View Post
    I am 5’7” and have the seat set at about 3” above the seat post. I can flat foot the bike and the reach to the handle bars feel good.



    If you can "flat foot" the bike the seat probably should be about 6" higher.
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  5. #5
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    I am the same hight and I can ride a large frame and do alright, but when things get technical I am much more comfortable on a medium, it is just much more balanced for my size. My first 3 bikes where larges and I put a lot of miles in them, now I have two mediums. You can make it work, but eventually it could hold you back from my experience.

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    Low seat height with larger frame, bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    if you don't believe me, ride ten miles like that. either your knees will start hurting from the imbalanced use of leg muscles, or your lower back will start to hurt from standing too much of the time. if you're unbelievably fit and standing all the time for ten+ miles of pedaling don't hurt your back, you should seriously consider a career as a professional athlete.
    I wouldn’t say a pro athlete but a seasoned fit racer. I ride with my dropper down the entire loops for more of a challenge when riding with slower riders.

    But as Mack_turtle says, if your seat is too low you will experience more pain than necessary in your quads just above the knees.

    When I am standing straddling the frame, the saddle nose hits me about two fingers above my underwear wasteband. It took years to gradually get to that height. When I first started riding I ran it far too low as well. Each season of racing I have tested new positions. The higher and more forward position has been excellent for power/climbing and limiting cramps in Marathon races.

    There is probably no way a large is the right size for you. If anything you can run a S/M.


    A hard rock sport is the most entry level bike, so I would have no heartburn selling it and getting a bike in your size. The market is really good for bikes like that right now so if you can find a bike you like first, you could easily sell yours.

    Maybe spend a little more and get yourself a better used bike in Medium. Trek Stache, giant Fathom, etc etc.

    If you are staying with this frame, you may need to side the saddle and get it slammed forward so your knees have the right alignment when the pedals are flat. As you raise the seat post, you must move your saddle forward to get it back in the same position over the pedals. I prefer my knee cap slightly in front of the pedal spindal for the least amount of pain and most power. YMMV. You will need someone helping you with this looking at alignment while you are in the saddle with the crank arms horizontal. You can make a plumbing with string and something heavy.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/hyperca...l-spindle/amp/

    You may also end up running a shorter stem to bring the bars in for a better fit. Usually you can find stems used locally.

    I’m 5’8 3/4 and have a 6’2” wingspan. I’m too stretched out on large frames, I can’t imagine how awkward it is for you. But you probably don’t know how it should feel at this point.


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  7. #7
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    Some riders set their seat low because they start riding the bike from that flat foot position.
    And they stop the bike and get off the same way.
    If you practice and master a more dynamic mounting procedure you can put your seat up higher.


  8. #8
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    What size is the frame?
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  9. #9
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    I guess as long as you can get the saddle into a comfortable pedaling position it shouldn't be a problem. An issue you may encounter that the fame is too long...as in having to slide the saddle all the way forward and you still can't comfortably reach the handlebar.

    Keep in mind that the bike needs to fit you...not you trying to fit the bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    what size is the frame? if the saddle is set close to where it ought to be and it's that low, the frame is probably too big. it will feel fine at first, but the handling will go to hell when the trail gets technical at all because your body weight balance will be off.

    what do you mean when you say you can "flat foot" on the bike? if you can flat-foot while sitting on the saddle, it is too low. look up a basic video anywhere on the topic "how to set saddle height on a bicycle." aside from some beach cruisers and recumbent bicycles, no bicycles with a saddle at proper pedaling height will allow you to get much more than your toes on the ground from a seated position. dirt jumpers, BMX, park bikes don't count because you rarely sit and pedal those for long.

    if you don't believe me, ride ten miles like that. either your knees will start hurting from the imbalanced use of leg muscles, or your lower back will start to hurt from standing too much of the time. if you're unbelievably fit and standing all the time for ten+ miles of pedaling don't hurt your back, you should seriously consider a career as a professional athlete.
    The only thing I can add is that on many of the bikes I've owned I can't even get a toe on the ground without leaning to one side, but they were all the right size for me.
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  11. #11
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    If you have proper leg extension, for pedalling, w/ the post 3" above the clamp i'd imagine other aspects of the geometry are off as well.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockHoppin View Post
    I purchased a really nice hardrock sport 29er. I love the way the bike looks and rides.

    I am 5’7” and have the seat set at about 3” above the seat post. I can flat foot the bike and the reach to the handle bars feel good.

    Main question is:
    Does having a taller frame with the seat real low affect the handling and performance characteristics?

    I have been noticing on the road that everyone’s seat post is usually set at about 6” or so above the bike seat post.
    This is not a proper setup. "Flat footing" on the bike is zero consideration for riding. You set the saddle height for riding, not for standing on the ground. Some people will use a low saddle when they are standing and hammering the pedals, but that's to get the saddle out of the way and give them more range of motion. They're not sitting on it and pedaling for any length of time that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    The only thing I can add is that on many of the bikes I've owned I can't even get a toe on the ground without leaning to one side, but they were all the right size for me.
    Absolutely this post. I'm going to venture a guess that OP has a medium frame and just has the wrong idea about how high the saddle should be. That saddle needs to be a lot higher.

  13. #13
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    Your saddle height should not be impacted by the size of the bike.
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  14. #14
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    I all the posting a guess we should have posted something to help you get the saddle at the right height.

    Plenty of videos out there, here's one:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ouc9gKki60
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  15. #15
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    In addition to the saddle height likely needed adjustment upward, it also looks like it's tipped way too far forward. Set it around level for a start.
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  16. #16
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    To beat a dead horse somewhat, fitting anyone on a bike starts with the right size frame. If you start too big there are things you can do to make it better ,same thing if too small .But those are band aids ,start with the right size frame. Set the saddle to get the right leg extension , saddle forward or backward to get knees over the peddles, stem /bars to get the right reach ,comfort. Adjust as needed.

  17. #17
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    is this another one of those threads where someone logs in once, asks a good question, gets dozens of thoughtful responses, and OP never comes back to comment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    is this another one of those threads where someone logs in once, asks a good question, gets dozens of thoughtful responses, and OP never comes back to comment?
    Maybe they're to embarrassed to return after finding out they have the right size bike but their saddle height is way to low. Or they think we're a bunch of idiots and went elseware for advice.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    is this another one of those threads where someone logs in once, asks a good question, gets dozens of thoughtful responses, and OP never comes back to comment?
    It’s the same Russian bots that start all of the Tire threads.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    It’s the same Russian bots that start all of the Tire threads.


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    Do the bots post pics?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by grubetown View Post
    Do the bots post pics?
    Yep, telltale sign is that it is 90 degrees out of alignment. One day they'll get us tho, one day.

  22. #22
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    Low seat height with larger frame, bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by grubetown View Post
    Do the bots post pics?
    Yes, but they are all non-driveside with misaligned tire logos.




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