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a saddle that isn't too high
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(This post didn't seem to garner much attention in the thread in which it was originally posted, so I thought I'd repost it here since so many people seem to ride with their saddle too high.)



This is what a saddle set at 96% of greater trochanteric height looks like when one is not pedaling - note that the bottom of the sole of my shoe is almost, but not quite, parallel to the ground. If I raised my saddle to the maximum of the optimal range (i.e., 100% of greater trochanteric height), my foot would be angled down more, but still not nearly to the same degree as seen in most pics posted here.

BTW, also check out the Peaks Coaching Group kit that Hunter sent me (sans the gloves, which I forgot to put on). What you can't see is the really cool graphic that depicts a copy of the book "Training and Racing With a Power Meter" protuding from the center back pocket!
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Hey, where's the mustache? (not to mention the hump back you used to have).

; ^ )

Thanks for the pic. I've always been curious as to what a correct seat height would look like.

-----------------------------Baron Von Speedypants
-----------------------------RunTraining articles here:
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...runtraining;#1612485
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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No but I can see a really cute hat.

You should just get it over with and wear this one:


https://www.miles4matt.run/
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Markus Mucus] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
No but I can see a really cute hat.

:-)

The neat thing about the hat is that it is synthetic, rather than the traditional cotton. It therefore doesn't end up feeling so much like a washcloth on your head when you wear it under your helmet in the rain.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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According to my trusty protractor, and ofcourse guessing at the anatomical landmarks, I get your knee angle at about 149 degrees, which is actually the same measurement I get on photos of myself.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Nice kit - though the CSC socks have to go :)

What trainer is that?
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Dr A,

I like your fit and saddle height. Problem is, that when you set people up like this, they invariably say it feels or is too low!

What are your feelings on the Specialized Boa shoes?


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
According to my trusty protractor, and ofcourse guessing at the anatomical landmarks, I get your knee angle at about 149 degrees

I got 151 deg, but I'm probably better at guessing my own landmarks. :-)

EDIT: I should add that I'm not all that keen on the idea of setting/evaluating saddle height based on knee angle measurements, or at least based on knee angle measurements alone. First, unless the measurements are made when the person's actually pedaling (i.e., from a video), there is a tendency for the rider to "reach" for the downside pedal, thus potentially biasing the measurement. Second, and perhaps more importantly, changes in ankle angle tend to compensate to a larger degree for changes in saddle height than do changes in knee angle, i.e., your knee angle can be fine even if the saddle is too high. Experienced individuals of course know how to deal with such issues, but less experienced individuals may not. OTOH, trochanteric height is fairly easy to measure, and is done with legs extended, i.e., you can't really bias the measurement. What it does not take into account are differences in pedal/cleat/shoe stack height, foot length, flexibility, etc., but when you consider that optimal saddle height actually spans a fairly wide range (e.g., I could raise my saddle almost 4 cm), I don't think such limitations are critical. At the very least, calculating saddle height as a percentage (i.e., 96-100%) of greater trochanteric height provides a useful "working range", against which other approaches (e.g., use of a goniometer) can be compared.
Last edited by: Andrew Coggan: Jan 19, 07 14:07
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [rmur] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:


What trainer is that?

awww ric you know - that's a velodyne...

g


greg
www.wattagetraining.com
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [rmur] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Nice kit - though the CSC socks have to go :)

No way! They were a gift from Gerard and co., who were kind enough to invite me to hang out at the Cervelo tent at US Pro in Philly one year.

In Reply To:
What trainer is that?

You serious? That's a Velodyne, of course.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
Dr A,

I like your fit and saddle height. Problem is, that when you set people up like this, they invariably say it feels or is too low!

Understandable, since they are usually used to something higher.

In Reply To:
What are your feelings on the Specialized Boa shoes?

I've only had them about a month, but based on that I'd say that they are the best shoes that I've ever owned. I'd definitely recommend them to anyone with a narrow or low volume foot.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Great choice for a road bike. It is a shame that Specialized quit making that frame. It was an incredible bargain for a quality steel frame. I am riding the same frame. Love the ride. I find the frame to be plenty stiff, yet comfortable. Frankly, it is stiffer than I expected for a steel bike. Picked mine up on e-bay for 170 bucks (with a new Ultegra crank and bottom bracket installed!).

It's getting hard to find a good quality steel frame on a production bike these days.

Mike
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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How do you measure trochanteric height?
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
...many people seem to ride with their saddle too high.

I actually came across a cyclist with his* saddle too low the other day. First time that's happened in years and I realized how rare it is. Back when Lemond's book was popular, he was imploring people to raise their saddles because most people were too low in the late 80's. I think the message has gone a little too far.

*If you're reading, you know who you are. ;-)
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Superman] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
How do you measure trochanteric height?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gray243.png

You can feel it on the outside of your hip.


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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Looks like you need to hit the weights.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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half-serious :) I didn't realize the Velodyne 'interfaced' with the rear tire .... that being so it must suffer a little from the small drift I see with the CT (versus PT) in ergo mode. I originally thought it was 100% due to the electric generator heating up but can also see the decrease in rolling resistance as the tire heats up being an issue. I thought the Velodyne eliminated that interface.

Then again, I really have only noticed it lately as my L4 intervals are getting to a decent power level compared to last year ;)

What's with the non-aero tubed bike? Must be dedicated to indoors like my FAT tube C'dale CAAD3 circa '98.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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I'm sorry Andrew, but your seat's too high.

Somebody had to say it. It's obligatory when a position pic is posted. ;-)

.

Bob C.

The "science" on any matter can never be settled until every possible variable is taken into account.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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So, should I assume that, in a steep TT/Tri, position, and the whole set up is rotated 8-12 degrees, the feet would also be pointed down by a similar amount?

_________________
Dick

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I know nothing.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [docfuel] [ In reply to ]
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Hi Andrew (and everyone else)

I feel a little stupid - but I do not get ANY of this "measurement of trochanteric height"...

I guess it is the little piece of "bone" you can feel on the outside of your hip - right?

my seat height is right now around 76 cm - but how do I compare that to "trochanteric height" - from the hips to my feet? - doesn't make sense to me...

Sincerely Lars Ejaas
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Andy,

Just tagging on to Lars' post--------

1. Are we measuring in bare feet?

2. To the bottom, middle or top of greater trochanter?

My Googling skills must be at low ebb as I haven't been able to find this method with a quick search. (Aha, the search goes mcu better when using trochater rather than trocanter;))

Thanks for the excellent picture.

Hugh

Genetics load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.
Last edited by: sciguy: Jan 22, 07 4:48
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Andy,

First, I always appreciate and learn from your posts. I always learn something - thanks for your participation here.

Could you please comment on leg extension in the forward aero position. It seems to me that when my pelvis is rolled forward I not only need that compensatory seat height adjustment, but also another cm or so because of and extra "push" I feel. Any thoughts on this? Is there any science behind what I "think" my body wants to naturally do?

Many thanks,

David
* Ironman for Life! (Blog) * IM Everyday Hero Video * Daggett Shuler Law *
Disclaimer: I have personal and professional relationships with many athletes, vendors, and organizations in the triathlon world.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Ashburn] [ In reply to ]
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I can locate the greater trochanter. Are we measuring the distance from the ground to the trochanter while standing? Bottom of the foot while supine?

Thanks.
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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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I also get 151 (subject to POV effects on the geometry)


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Re: a saddle that isn't too high [Andrew Coggan] [ In reply to ]
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Do any bike fitters fit via video in combination with a trainer?

Seems the logical way to do it. Video tape the rider during a race when they do not know they are being video taped(a spouse or friend could do this).

Seems this would improve the fitting system.

On another note does anyone actually sit in the same postion on their saddle for an entire race? Personally I know I sure don't.

In addition sometimes I am ankling to keep the cadence up when a cross breeze gusts or a small rise in the road. Or will push back slightly on the saddle to work different muscles during a TT or come a little forward on the saddle toward the end when blowing up is not such a big consequence etc.
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