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I am on the great saddle hunt of 2008 and have been struggling a bit with maintaining my position through the changes. Here are a couple photos to see if you think I am going about it the proper way. I would use the plumb bob and knee/pedal relationship but I am doing this alone and don't have anyone to help with that....

As you can see in the photos - I have been lining up the new saddle (the prolink in this case) with the old Arione using the widest part of the saddle as the basis for the alignment. Once this happens - I measure the difference in the length of the noses and set the position based on the length to the center of the handlebars....

Is this the best way?

Thanks,

Zach

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you need to use the same kind of post on both saddles. the Arione is on a setback and the prolink is on a straight post, they won't wind up in the same place on the rails. Did you measure the distance to the top of the saddle and distance from the bars? that's the starting point.
 

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naranjito
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The seatpost setback will not make a difference, unless it doesn't let you set the saddle in the same position as before. Assuming both seatposts let you put the saddle in the same position, the only difference will be where the clamp is on the rails.

As for setting the arione against another saddle, when I bought my first arione, I think I set the widest part of the saddle against the widest part of the old saddle, as you have done. The nose of the arione is slightly longer than other saddles, so you can't just measure from the tip of the saddle to the bars or use a plumb line from the tip and expect to have the same position.

I would set the widest part of the new saddle to the same place as the widest part of the old one, making sure the height of the saddle is the same (you might need to raise or lower the seatpost, as not all saddles have the same height from the rails to the top). Then it's a case of trial and error - do a few short rides and see how you feel. Try sitting comfortably on the saddle and see if you feel further forward or backwards from your usual position. Then try sitting in the same position relative to the pedals, and maybe you'll feel that you're too far forward on the saddle, in which case you could move it forward to compensate slightly.
 

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If you want to set the saddle in the same position then the scientific way to do it would by using a kops measurement with your old Arione then duplicate with the new prolink.

A difference in the Arione and Prolink is not only in the length (about 1cm in the nose and 2cm in the rear) are the rails. Compare where the rails are set on the two saddles.

To get the same position using a non-setback seatpost you would have to push the Prolink back on it's rails. The last S.I. saddle I purchased had a warning on it's instruction guide not to exceed the index marks on the rails.

Of course, if you have been riding for awhile you can probably guesstimate where to set the new saddle by eyeballing it, ride and adjust. This horrifying method actually works, you would be surprises what you can do by the ballpark method.

Fred Matheny did a review of the Arione once and said that he set his Arione about 1 cm further ahead of his previous saddle.


You can get as anal about this as you want, but your body will let you know if it's not set right. I usually have to mess with the height a little with new saddles.
 

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Larry Lackapants
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I agree - kops is the best way to determine a position - because there's no way you can estimate where exactly on the old saddle you sat and where on the new saddle.
the "Widest part" method is good in case you sit on the widest part, or if the saddles have similar shape. (i.e. they get narrower towards the tip, in the "same way")

Eyeballing + trial and error will do the job but you'll waste some time with this.
Good luck
brblue
 

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naranjito
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The problem with using a KOPS measurement for duplicating the saddle position is that until you actually ride the bike with the new saddle you won't know if you're sitting on it most comfortably. Some saddles seem comfortable when you just sit on them on a stationary bike, but when actually riding you may find that you're more comfortable further forward or behind on the saddle.
Personally, once I've set things up to be more or less in the right place, I prefer to gradually fine tune them over several rides. Numbers are all very well for dupilcating a position with the same equipment, but once you change something like a saddle for another model, it's very hard to duplicate exactly the position using only numbers and measurements. How you feel on the bike is more important than what the numbers tell you.
 

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Qstick333 said:
.... I would use the plumb bob and knee/pedal relationship but I am doing this alone and don't have anyone to help with that....
You can do the KOPS measurement by yourself. I have an actual plumb bob (with a pointed tip), but I really think you could do the same thing with something like a heavy nail, bolt or nut tied to a string.

Get on your bike in a stable position. I use a trainer, but in the past have just leaned against a wall. If you lean against the wall, lock the brakes either with the barrel adjusters or by rubber banding the levers. This will keep the bike more stable and keep it in the same positon when you get off later (see below).

If you can, get yourself properly placed on the saddle, either through memory of how it should feel, or by pedaling (back pedaling if not on a trainer) for a while and adjust yourself on the seat.

Put your crank arm in the correct/horizontal position. Take the string of your plumb bob and hold it against the tibeal head (bony part just below knee cap). Carefully lower the weight down to the floor, and when it touches, gently allow it to settle on to the floor with the point remaining right where it hit when suspended. This is easier if you have a carpet or piece of carpet in that place.

Carefully get off your bike. If it's on a trainer, you don't have to worry about it moving. If you're just leaning against a wall, make sure the bike doesn't roll forward or backward. Having the brakes locked will make this easier.

Now, put the pedal back into the exact same position it was - crank arm horizontal. Measure straight up from the point of the plumb bob where it is lying on the floor to the pedal. This needs to be a perfectly vertical line, just as it was when you dropped the line down from your knee. Use either another plumb bob or a level (which has a bubble for vertical measurement). You will then be able to see exactly where your knee was in relation to the pedal spindle.

This really isn't as complicated as it might sound - it's easy to do, and easy to re-do. Really, all you need to do at this point is get reasonably close (say 1/2 cm) to where you were before because regardless of how accurate you are, some tweaking will be required because it's a new saddle.

By the way - before you remove the old saddle, mark a vertical line from the nose of the old saddle to the top tube (I put a piece of tape on the tube to mark). Also, mark (with tape) the exact height, and note with a level the angle (i.e. dead level, "1/2 bubble" tilt up or down, etc.) That way, you can always put the old saddle on in exactly the same position if you need to go back to it for any reason.
 
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