Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my Scott Addict SL about a year ago and was fitted at the time. When the bike left the shop, the stem was on top of the spacer stack - three spacers. Over the past year, I've moved the stem down one spacer at a time... Now, no spacers. I'm comfortable in this lower position. So, I'll likely keep the stem where it is. (although I can't bring myself to lop off the excess steer tube)

Q: Has this change in position made a significant impact on my fit - should I make any adjustments to the seat?

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,658 Posts
Assuming your seat was set up correctly to begin with: No

Stem position is for reach and drop. Seat position of to get your legs over the pedals in the way they should be. Two separate things.
In the case where lowering the stem forces you forward on the seat.....that means you need a shorter stem or your bike doesn't fit you anymore. But if you seat yourself the same way as before (again, assuming you were right on to begin with) you're good to go with the seat as is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
No, dropping the bars does not effect the position of your seat. Your seat should be set by leg length and position behind the BB. Dropping the bars will lengthen your reach but to fix that you would get a shorter stem. If you are comfortable I would not worry about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Not to hijack, but I've been debating going ahead and dropping and/or flipping the stem on my Roubaix for a bit now but have held off due to fear of screwing up what is overall a pretty comfy fit that I paid a decent chunk of change for. My main problem is that I feel a bit too upright and I wind up hunching my shoulders. Probably my stem is too short for the current height and angle of the setup. Aside from being more aerodynamic I also feel a bit stronger in my pedal strokes when I am really focused on getting low with a larger bend in my elbows and my forearms pretty much parallel to the ground, but I run into an issue with my arms getting sore just above the elbows if I maintain this posture for extended periods of time.

Makes sense that saddle height and front/back position wouldn't need to be changed w/ this move, but it seems to me like the angle might need to be nosed down to avoid massive junk crushage when in the drops or on the aero bars. Would this have a tendency to push me off of my sitbones?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Bars level with the saddle would solve those problems.
Rather than lowering the bars, put on a longer stem.
There is no data supporting that bars being lower is better.
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
OldZaskar said:
I got my Scott Addict SL about a year ago and was fitted at the time. When the bike left the shop, the stem was on top of the spacer stack - three spacers. Over the past year, I've moved the stem down one spacer at a time... Now, no spacers. I'm comfortable in this lower position. So, I'll likely keep the stem where it is. (although I can't bring myself to lop off the excess steer tube)

Q: Has this change in position made a significant impact on my fit - should I make any adjustments to the seat?

Thanks.
If you're comfortable with the bars lowered the answer is no, no need for any saddle adjustments.

For sake of discussion (and to indirectly answer Sid's question), if there were to be any adjustments needed, initially it would be in the way of tipping the saddle nose down slightly, because the more aggressive position changes a riders pelvic angle slightly. Changing saddle angle would help keep weight supported by the sit bones. And because as saddle to bar drop increases the rider moves down and forward, if the change were large enough, there might be a need to move the saddle back slightly to compensate for increased frontal weight. Adjust back far enough and a shorter stem might be necessary, but that would take a fairly large change (or the rider was at the limit of their reach requirements prior to making the changes).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Tipping a saddle forward causes another problem and goes away from supporting the sit bones and puts it more on soft tissue. Unless you're talking about a Brooks, flat saddles should be level front to back. The exceptions are those that are saddled front to rear, i.e. Aliante, then the back should be level.

You can change the "aero" shape of the rider without necessarily changing the pelvic angle and in fact you shouldn't change the pelvic angle, not unless we're talking TT.
There is no data supporting a rider being lower as more efficient. It reaches a point (rider dependent) where there is ill effect. Keeping arms and legs in is more effective aerodynamically speaking.

Lastly, moving the seat back and shortening the stem is signs of an ill-fitting bike, not too mention it will become poor handling.

OP mentions there are no issues with the saddle position and only that he like the lower bar position. Stop there.
The saddle position can be changed, but only when it has something to do with that part of the body, i.e. hammies are tight-lower the saddle.
Never mess with the saddle position to effect change in the front end.

Too many people riding too small of bikes with too much bar drop.
I just never got comfortable on a bike like that. It took me riding a bike almost 4 cm bigger with level bars that I was able to ride longer, faster and more comfortable.
Hey, even a lot of manufacturers are going to the higher head tubed bikes...
I'm just sayin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
798 Posts
I agree. The trend went way too far towards low head tubes, steep head tube angles, lots of exposed seat post, and criterium handling. 90% of bike riders don't need any of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,409 Posts
Lowering the bars has the effect of rolling the hips forward and making your effective knee angle more obtuse. If the bars were dropped any significant amount, I would consider lowering the seat a few mm's.

Have you had any hamstring/calf/lower back discomfort?
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
Trouble said:
Tipping a saddle forward causes another problem and goes away from supporting the sit bones and puts it more on soft tissue. Unless you're talking about a Brooks, flat saddles should be level front to back. The exceptions are those that are saddled front to rear, i.e. Aliante, then the back should be level.

You can change the "aero" shape of the rider without necessarily changing the pelvic angle and in fact you shouldn't change the pelvic angle, not unless we're talking TT.
There is no data supporting a rider being lower as more efficient. It reaches a point (rider dependent) where there is ill effect. Keeping arms and legs in is more effective aerodynamically speaking.

Lastly, moving the seat back and shortening the stem is signs of an ill-fitting bike, not too mention it will become poor handling.

OP mentions there are no issues with the saddle position and only that he like the lower bar position. Stop there.
The saddle position can be changed, but only when it has something to do with that part of the body, i.e. hammies are tight-lower the saddle.
Never mess with the saddle position to effect change in the front end.

Too many people riding too small of bikes with too much bar drop.
I just never got comfortable on a bike like that. It took me riding a bike almost 4 cm bigger with level bars that I was able to ride longer, faster and more comfortable.
Hey, even a lot of manufacturers are going to the higher head tubed bikes...
I'm just sayin.
Except for the bolded statement, I don't disagree with most of what you're offering, but you're applying my suggestions to the situation the OP described, and that's not how they were intended. In his case, since there are no ill effect relating to fit, he should make no adjustments.

My comments/ suggestions after that related to a situation where a rider dropped the bars enough to start feeling pressure ahead of the sit bones, due to a change in pelvic angle (and yes, with enough of a change, angle does change some). In this case, dropping the tip slightly (a keyword) will relieve that pressure point, and continuing to drop the bars may necessitate moving the saddle slightly back to compensate for the rider moving forward (again, slightly) as he did so.

Go a step further (with saddle to bar drop), and a shorter stem may be required. And to clarify, I'm not promoting more (drop) is better, simply offering what changes in fit may occur as the rider makes larger adjustments.

I agree that making fore/ aft saddle adjustments to compensate for reach is clearly wrong, but there are valid reasons for changing stem length, with a substantial drop in bar height possibly being one.

EDIT: Regarding your bolded statement. If a rider is experiencing hand discomfort/ numbness, one possible cause is excessive frontal weight. In this case, a slight aft saddle adjustment can shift the riders weight rearward enough to relieve the discomfort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,346 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
This is great guys - thanks! The seat is still comfortable. I do find that I'm often sliding forward a bit - particularly on climbs. I've attributed this to being a mountain biker. Because the mtb climbs can be so steep, shifting the weight forward on the seat actually just keeps one's weight in the neutral position; also, keeps weight on the front to keep it from unweighting/airing on very steep stuff. I'm pretty sure I was doing that before dropping the stem... it's just an old habit.

I'm beginning to think it may be time to do a bit of a refit - 7,000 miles later, I've probably established my position on the bike.
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
OldZaskar said:
This is great guy - thanks! The seat is still comfortable. I do find that I'm often sliding forward a bit - particularly on climbs. I've attributed this to being a mountain biker. Because the mtb climbs can be so steep, shifting the weight forward on the seat actually just keeps one's weight in the neutral position; also, keeps weight on the front to keep it from unweighting/airing on very steep stuff. I'm pretty sure I was doing that before dropping the stem... it's just an old habit.

I'm beginning to think it may be time to do a bit of a refit - 7,000 miles later, I've probably established my position on the bike.
It could be argued that you've already begun your refit with the bar drop, so you might be right about that. :)

On the topic of sliding forward, if you aren't experiencing any hand discomfort, you're probably fine with making no adjustments, but one thing to check is that your saddle is level. If not, consider leveling it. I don't think you dropped the bars enough that doing so would be an issue, but you could always return it to the original position if it were.

My other post mentions moving the saddle aft (only 2-3mm's), with the effect of moving rider weight rearward slightly. To clarify, I'm not professing you do this if you haven't experienced hand discomfort, it's simply a FYI for future use should the need arise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
PJ352 said:
Except for the bolded statement, I don't disagree with most of what you're offering, but you're applying my suggestions to the situation the OP described, and that's not how they were intended. In his case, since there are no ill effect relating to fit, he should make no adjustments.

My comments/ suggestions after that related to a situation where a rider dropped the bars enough to start feeling pressure ahead of the sit bones, due to a change in pelvic angle (and yes, with enough of a change, angle does change some). In this case, dropping the tip slightly (a keyword) will relieve that pressure point, and continuing to drop the bars may necessitate moving the saddle slightly back to compensate for the rider moving forward (again, slightly) as he did so.

Go a step further (with saddle to bar drop), and a shorter stem may be required. And to clarify, I'm not promoting more (drop) is better, simply offering what changes in fit may occur as the rider makes larger adjustments.

I agree that making fore/ aft saddle adjustments to compensate for reach is clearly wrong, but there are valid reasons for changing stem length, with a substantial drop in bar height possibly being one.

EDIT: Regarding your bolded statement. If a rider is experiencing hand discomfort/ numbness, one possible cause is excessive frontal weight. In this case, a slight aft saddle adjustment can shift the riders weight rearward enough to relieve the discomfort.

These forums are full of anecdotal remedies, that's all they are. Take a couple of different stem lengths, an allen wrench with you and go through all the possible fits. "You never know what is enough
until you know what is too much."

Lowering the bars is not the only way to roll the hips forward. Moving the bars farther away accomplish the same effect WITHOUT the strain on the neck. Just as bringing the bars closer raises the riders upper body.

Dropping the bars AND moving the saddle back should never happen together. You are collapsing the pelvic angle and causing a host of collateral issues.

There is NO advantage to dropping the bars. Bar drop (I'm talking in excess of 2-3 cm is a result of riders (mostly racers) using smaller framed bikes for weight reasons and (posers) to look cool.
Functionally, when the seat height is right and the bars are even or a couple cm, MOST riders are more comfortable, able to ride longer and perform better.

Hand discomfort (or what you refer to as too much weight) and numbness are too different maladies and should be resolved accordingly.

I stand by my recommendation that saddles should be level except as I noted.

To the OP, you say you find that you're sliding forward, especially on climbs. There's a reason why.

This is my anecdotal remedy...
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
Trouble said:
These forums are full of anecdotal remedies, that's all they are. Take a couple of different stem lengths, an allen wrench with you and go through all the possible fits. "You never know what is enough
until you know what is too much."

Lowering the bars is not the only way to roll the hips forward. Moving the bars farther away accomplish the same effect WITHOUT the strain on the neck. Just as bringing the bars closer raises the riders upper body.

Dropping the bars AND moving the saddle back should never happen together. You are collapsing the pelvic angle and causing a host of collateral issues.

There is NO advantage to dropping the bars. Bar drop (I'm talking in excess of 2-3 cm is a result of riders (mostly racers) using smaller framed bikes for weight reasons and (posers) to look cool.
Functionally, when the seat height is right and the bars are even or a couple cm, MOST riders are more comfortable, able to ride longer and perform better.

Hand discomfort (or what you refer to as too much weight) and numbness are too different maladies and should be resolved accordingly.

I stand by my recommendation that saddles should be level except as I noted.

To the OP, you say you find that you're sliding forward, especially on climbs. There's a reason why.

This is my anecdotal remedy...
FWIW (and again) I agree with much of what you say, and also subscribe to the 'moderate drop' philosophy. No offense meant to the OP, because we don't know where in his 'range' he's now positioned, but I find that if I bend my arms at the elbows I've essentially duplicated that more aggressive/ lower position.When riding conditions change, I can revert back to the more comfortable position.

Regarding the bolded statement, what I said was one possible cause... was excessive frontal weight and IME (yes, anecdotal) tilting the saddle tip up slightly and/ or moving it back 2-3mm's is, many times, an effective remedy.

To the OP: Another thought on the tendancy to slide forward may be that you're tightening your grip on the bars (along with keeping your upper torso tight) and pullling yourself towards the front. Seems a more likely reason than fit, but I still think the saddle position should be checked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
Try cycling specific weight training

SidNitzerglobin said:
...getting sore just above the elbows if I maintain this posture for extended periods of time...QUOTE]

I do push-ups and shoulder shrugs all year 'round, and general weight training October thru April.

The shrugs are good for your neck and upper back, and the push-ups keep your Triceps strong. Do the push-ups on an off-the-bike day or rainy day.

You need to ride past the point of discomfort in order for your whole body to get stronger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
407 Posts
I recently flipped my 6 degree stem from the up position to the down position. It helped me achieve a better aero position and improved my average speed on my normal club ride. Because the hands were now about an inch lower I had to lower the saddle about 2-3mm and angle the nose down slightly. I do notice my hands going numb faster during rides due to the additional weight on the handlebars from the new position. I'm working on strengthening my core to take the weight off the hands.
 

·
Hucken The Fard Up !
Joined
·
3,983 Posts
Trouble said:
Bars level with the saddle would solve those problems.
Rather than lowering the bars, put on a longer stem.
There is no data supporting that bars being lower is better.
Aerodynamics doesn't ring a bell ?
 

·
Cycling induced anoesis
Joined
·
13,006 Posts
Mtn2RoadConvert said:
I recently flipped my 6 degree stem from the up position to the down position. It helped me achieve a better aero position and improved my average speed on my normal club ride. Because the hands were now about an inch lower I had to lower the saddle about 2-3mm and angle the nose down slightly. I do notice my hands going numb faster during rides due to the additional weight on the handlebars from the new position. I'm working on strengthening my core to take the weight off the hands.
Strengthening the core is a fine plan, but unless you started feeling pressure ahead of the sit bones, I would keep the saddle level. I also see no correlation between a riders saddle height and bar drop, so unless you're experiencing knee pain, your saddle height shouldn't change.

As I mentioned earlier, IME aft saddle adjustment will also result in moving the riders weight rearward slightly (less weight on the arms/ hands). A 2-3mm adjustment may be all that's needed.

Just guestimating on your set up, flipping a 6* stem extends reach by about 7mm's and drops the bars 2cm.s. That's a fairly large change, so depending on your fitness/ flexibility, you may be at your limit on reach and/ or drop. I'd keep any adjustments small and get some saddle time in before making more, but along with those mentioned above, consider a 1cm shorter stem - if the hand discomfort continues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,557 Posts
PJ352 said:
I also see no correlation between a riders saddle height and bar drop, so unless you're experiencing knee pain, your saddle height shouldn't change.
This is said too gently. The seat height is determined by how long your legs are and no other factor. Period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
PJ352 said:
FWIW (and again) I agree with much of what you say, and also subscribe to the 'moderate drop' philosophy. No offense meant to the OP, because we don't know where in his 'range' he's now positioned, but I find that if I bend my arms at the elbows I've essentially duplicated that more aggressive/ lower position.When riding conditions change, I can revert back to the more comfortable position.

Regarding the bolded statement, what I said was one possible cause... was excessive frontal weight and IME (yes, anecdotal) tilting the saddle tip up slightly and/ or moving it back 2-3mm's is, many times, an effective remedy.

To the OP: Another thought on the tendancy to slide forward may be that you're tightening your grip on the bars (along with keeping your upper torso tight) and pullling yourself towards the front. Seems a more likely reason than fit, but I still think the saddle position should be checked.
If and when I want to get lower (uh...more aero? :) I just bend at the hips (which results in more bend in the elbow) and get into the drops. It engages the larger muscles and does reduce frontal drag. BUT, as you have mentioned, I can return the the more comfortable upright position on the hoods.
I also use this position for fast cornering on road, mtb and motocross. It plants the front tire and avoids front end washouts.

You're also on the right thought about sliding forward. When it happens under hard load, it's a good indication that you not stable on the bike and your fit is jacked up and you're not balanced.

I couldn't agree with you more about aft saddle position. 3-5 mm shift back can make a huge difference in comfort.
Raising your saddle also relieves pressure from the hands, can increase power output and reduce leg fatigue.
Saddle height is more than just the length of your legs. You have to take into account, hamstring flexibility and foot length to name a few.
It's sooo easy to set saddle height and fore/aft I just don't get why people pay money to people who just measure static angles.
My bike position often changes (usually within a cm) throughout the year.


Salsa_Lover said:
Aerodynamics doesn't ring a bell ?
Why not ride with one of those TT helmets, solid rear wheels, 22 tires, aerobars, shoe covers, skin suit...now there's an aerodynamic bell ringing.
Keeping knees and elbows in is much more effective...ding, ding, then simply dropping the bars and more comfortable for most...there reaches a point of negative return and a whole host of issues the biggest being unable to take deep breaths (higher HR).

I digress and I apologize for having just gone off on a couple of rants. My bad.....sorry.

What was the OP?
Oh yeah, leave the stem alone, don't cut the steerer and I doubt it has made a "significant" impact on your fit and no, don't mess with your saddle just because you lowered your bars.
Why didn't I just post that in the beginning...???
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top