Changing seat height mid-season?

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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

I wasn't sure whether post it here or in 'training' section, but here it goes: I've either grown since last year (which would be very suprising since I'm in my 30s) or carbon fibre has a way of compressing - thing is, I feel my seat is a bit too low. I've been riding this setup since forever, definitely 10+ years now. I've pushed the saddle forward 3-4mm this season as I found out it works better on flats/rolling roads, but that's barely it. yet I find my knees feel weirdly too much bent and although I feel like I'm flying this year I assume given my love for high cadence (both on flats and climbing) a bit more leg stretch could be welcome?

so, long question short, does it make sense to make adjustments mid-year, when "everything but" seems to work just great?

I'm tempted to try it out, but on the other hand I remember my first years on bike as I was constantly playing with seat position, which only made me frustrated... thoughts?
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Calnago
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by Calnago

You’ve moved the seat forward. If that’s all you did it will for sure feel, and effectively be, lower. With a change in fore/aft position, you generally should be making a slight corresponding change to the height as well. Keep in mind you are essentially pivoting your position around the bottom bracket. If you want to maintain the same bend in the knee etc that’s taken you years to fine tune, then follow the “arc” of circle (or maybe an ellipse, but certainly not a level straight line) created from your old saddle height around the BB. Hope that makes sense.
It is rare these days that I wouldn’t make a simultaneous change to the “height” of the saddle if I was moving it fore/aft. I put “height” in quotes because you’re not really changing the distance to the BB as much as you’re just repositioning yourself around an arc, the center being the BB. If you do increase the saddle height you may find you want to move it a bit forward yet again to compensate and bring you more “over” the BB. It’s very much an individual trial and error kind of process till you get it “just right”. If you’ve had a “professional fit”, that’s just a starting point in my opinion. The fine tuning really needs to come from the individual actually riding the bike.

Oh, and to the question of does it make sense to change things mid year... why not, if you feel better for it. I wouldn’t be changing a bunch of stuff the night before an important event, but nothing wrong with experimenting outside of that window a bit.
Last edited by Calnago on Wed May 30, 2018 1:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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RyanH
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by RyanH

I ended up going up in saddle height a decent amount over the last 6 months. What I noticed was that how much you pedal heel down or up greatly influences saddle height and this can change. I had always pedaled heel down. I've raised my saddle now so that it's slightly heel up, which is given me probably close to 2cm more saddle height.

I think making changes are fine, just time it around an easy couple days so you can make sure you're adjusting fine. I injured my ITB by making cleat adjustments and then doing two very hard rides immediately after.
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themidge
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by themidge

Got for it. I've had to change my saddle height every few months recently because (unlike you) I keep growing :D.
As Ryan aluded to, heel position has a lot to with saddle height as well as knee bend. I bend one ankle less than the other when I'me pedalling, so in effect, I have one leg shorter than the other and have to find the perfect spot between the two. Not very relevant I know, but it involves a lot of small adjustments. So far I've found that you can easily get sore knees (for me anyway) if the saddle position is wrong and you do a hard ride, but if you get it right hard rides aren't an issue. Still be careful though!
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mattr
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by mattr

I had to change mine when i started with regular massages. Went up about 1cm.

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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

thanks! I found out today I do tend to pedal more with ankles up, which means (at least that's how I understand it) that I'm a bit stronger, esp. riding uphill. I did some small bumps today which always made me "push" hard and today I found I could just roll through them, ankles up, not moving my butt to the rear end of the seat... knees still feel bent a bit but I guess I'll wait for some group ride to hear what all the old fellas have to say (they always claimed my seat's to high, wonder what perils of wisdom await for me now :lol: ) I don't know whether it's pizza diet or perhaps me going pro in my mind - I stay on my big ring (yes, the proper 53t big ring) like almost entire time, getting as low as big-big for the climbs I've never dreamt of getting through alive on the biggie before :thumbup:
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Shrike
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by Shrike

My saddle feels right when chilling with arms straight on the tops. When on the nose and TT'ing it the saddle feels low. Like some of you guys above, I'm toe down when pedalling. Too many aggressive sessions back to back and I can feel my ITB teasing a return over my knee.

Waiting on new round chainring arriving before dealing with the saddle height again (on QXL and Q rings atm but they need to go)

nathanong87
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by nathanong87

i moved my saddle up 10mm this year. you can do anything! But yea, if you moved your saddle forward, the effective height will be 'lower'

wingguy
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by wingguy

nathanong87 wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:15 pm
i moved my saddle up 10mm this year. you can do anything!
10mm? Nice :wink: Was there a wider change in your riding style that prompted it, or had you simply been using the same setup for ages and decided to experiment, or some issues cropped up?

Professional curiosity :P

by Weenie


nathanong87
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by nathanong87

wingguy wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:46 pm
nathanong87 wrote:
Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:15 pm
i moved my saddle up 10mm this year. you can do anything!
10mm? Nice :wink: Was there a wider change in your riding style that prompted it, or had you simply been using the same setup for ages and decided to experiment, or some issues cropped up?

Professional curiosity :P
i had been riding at previous height for probably 4 years ~40000 miles. I swapped frames about two years ago and decided to experiment after reviewing photos of me riding where i didn’t look as “good” on the bike as the prior frame. I went higher and more forward to maintain the same saddle setback but overall with the right saddle i’m liking how i look on this new setup. No loss of power either from what i gather in doing intervals!

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