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Trev
24-04-2010, 10:40 AM
When I was a kid many years ago and had a push bike you adjusted your seat height so that both feet were firmly on the ground, the reason being so that if you had to stop suddenly or your brakes failed you could put your feet out to stop yourself falling over or use your feet as brakes. Today I see that the correct height for the seat is to have your leg strait out when the peddle is at the bottom, to me this seems unsafe and dangerous as when you are sitting strait up on your bike your toes can barely touch the ground and really insufficient to stop you falling over if you lose your balance etc.
:)

--Wolf--
24-04-2010, 10:55 AM
Yip it's those same people you see trying to balance on their bikes at red lights. Saw a girl the other day doing it, seat way up high, slowly creeping forward while balancing on it (see was standing up at one point), by the time the light turned green she was a good car length out into the intersection because she was creeping forward. And it gets better. When it turned green and the cars starting moving she ending up swinging to the left to get her balance and almost hit the car in the left lane next to her.

But no, lets blame the motorists for all these cyclist accidents. (yes I know there are a lot of good cyclists out there as well)

Metla
24-04-2010, 11:05 AM
Come on, what sort of twat looks for official guidance on how hight to set their seat?

--Wolf--
24-04-2010, 11:07 AM
I would've said it was more common sense.

You would've adjust your car seat so that you can't reach the brake pedal.

Trev
24-04-2010, 12:11 PM
Come on, what sort of twat looks for official guidance on how hight to set their seat?
Here. (http://cyclingauckland.co.nz/tag/how/) Scroll down to bottom of the page.
:)

Metla
24-04-2010, 12:17 PM
Yeah, I realise its out there, They tried to adjust my seat to suit me when I bought my current bike, and informed me all about the "correct" method.

All done in the name of service so I shouldn't really complain but out of me and the staff at the shop only one of us was going to have a say in the seat height.

wmoore
24-04-2010, 12:42 PM
Here. (http://cyclingauckland.co.nz/tag/how/) Scroll down to bottom of the page.
:)

Have a look here Trev.

The experts don't even agree (http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/article/technique-how-to-get-your-seat-height-right-14608).

And with your video I think those two were more bent than the bicycle.:p

johcar
24-04-2010, 12:47 PM
The method described on the Cycling In Auckland site, is the method (more or less - there is often some fine tuning to be done also) for adjusting the seat height on a 'racing' bike - you know, carbon-fibre frame, skinny tyres, 27 gears.

Trev, the method you used as a kid still applies to kids bikes, for exactly the reasons you describe (and even more important back then for kids of the male persuasion, since the horizontal bar between the seat and the steering head on those old bikes could potentially inflict some serious long-term damage asnd shorter-term pain).

Riders of the "fancy bikes" these days are (should be?) experienced enough to cope with a higher seat height - designed so that the bike gets the optimum power output from the rider's input.

It is extremely inefficient (and somewhat uncomfortable) to ride a bike with a seat height that is too low for your leg length for any length of time.

johcar
24-04-2010, 12:51 PM
In the end, it all boils down to comfort for the purpose for which you are riding. There is no single correct method.

Terry Porritt
24-04-2010, 12:53 PM
Someone will eventually come along with a design for independently adjusting distance of saddle to pedals, and saddle to ground, like a variable diameter wheel :banana The problem is having just the one setting to do two functions.

I used to adjust saddle height so that I could touch the ground with my toes of both feet. Feet flat on the ground was far too low a setting, probably ok for little kids frightened of falling off

gary67
24-04-2010, 12:54 PM
And I can add to Johcar's statement it is also very inefficient when you see people riding with the seat too high, they are easily spotted as when they are peddling you can see their hips rotating up and down. I can reach the ground on tiptoe on my road bike, on my mountain bike the saddle is a bit lower due to the totally different riding style. You have to remember not all of our legs are the same length. Two people the same height can have different leg/body lengths

Metla
24-04-2010, 01:02 PM
I used to adjust saddle height so that I could touch the ground with my toes of both feet. Feet flat on the ground was far too low a setting, probably ok for little kids frightened of falling off

Generally I have one foot flat on the ground, and one foot on teh pedal when I stop, never two feet touching the ground.

I adjust the seat purely for comfort when riding.

user
24-04-2010, 03:26 PM
For most people riding around town it is not important the seat is at the right height for the most efficient muscle action. If you are looking to do longer rides, then the correct height becomes more important. Too low, and your muscles are not working to their full potential and it is difficult to use maximum power. In one fun race at work around a 2km block, we were on 'green bikes' which had the seats too low. I have never had muscle cramps so bad as occurred in the last few hundred metres.

At the other end of the scale, too high a seat will cause you to overextend and rock your hips, again an inefficient pedalling action.

I have never adjusted my seat height so I can reach the ground comfortably. Touching the ground with my toes is fine. If I need to stop any longer, I can get out of the saddle.

John H
24-04-2010, 04:24 PM
And I can add to Johcar's statement it is also very inefficient when you see people riding with the seat too high, they are easily spotted as when they are peddling you can see their hips rotating up and down. I can reach the ground on tiptoe on my road bike, on my mountain bike the saddle is a bit lower due to the totally different riding style. You have to remember not all of our legs are the same length. Two people the same height can have different leg/body lengths

As you say, I too have completely different seat heights for my road bike and my mountain bike for that reason - set similarly to yours by the sound of it.

The way I was taught was this (in simple language that is) - with a road bike, you should have your leg slightly bent when you are at the bottom of the stroke, not straight. Like you, I reach the road with tip toe when stopped. My leg is quite a bit more bent at the bottom of the stroke on the mountain bike.

From my own experience, I find that if I have the seat height too high, I end up with back pain (amongst other things), and the wrong height can blow your knees. I also find that the right seat height is conducive to preventing numb dork syndrome on a skinny seat road bike...

gary67
24-04-2010, 05:46 PM
My road bike was a custom build back in the 90's (hand built frame) it's still damn light and I have never changed the seat height since it was originally set up

John H
24-04-2010, 05:48 PM
Lovely. I haven't changed my seat height either, but I have changed my own - I have osteopenia, so have lost quite a bit of height myself instead.

Legs aren't any shorter but I find it hard to reach the bars nowadays so have bought a different stem with a riser! Either that or sell the bike and get a smaller frame to fit my smaller ditto.

gary67
24-04-2010, 05:53 PM
Hmm just remembered I had it built with a Campag chorus groupset as well, and riding it today it still performs as well as ever, it was built for criterium racing as my home town in England had a closed to traffic criterium circuit and a weekly race series. The bike handles like a dream really responsive and very lively on the back end if you leave the saddle too soon coming out of a corner

zqwerty
24-04-2010, 09:35 PM
You adjust the bike seat so that at the lowest point that the pedal travels your heel is about an inch (2.5 cm) below your big toe, with the ball of your foot centred on the pedal.

bonzo29
25-04-2010, 12:36 PM
You adjust the bike seat so that at the lowest point that the pedal travels your heel is about an inch (2.5 cm) below your big toe, with the ball of your foot centred on the pedal.



Note you mention the ball of the foot which is the correct method, a lot of of people in NZ seem to use their instep which is definitely wrong

johcar
25-04-2010, 02:20 PM
As noted above, there is no single correct method that covers all situations.

The method is determined by the type of riding intended to be done.