Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Riding with a friend yesterday and he told me it looks like my legs are maybe too streached out. I don't seem to have any knee pain, but I always get cramps after a few hrs on the saddle on my inner thigh groin area.

I started thinking that maybe this is the cause? I spend so much time, money, and effort on trainig, eating, and quipment.....but forget the simple things like saddle height (such an idiot).

What effect does improper seat height do to your riding (too high up)?
 

·
waterproof*
Joined
·
41,608 Posts
it can contribute to cramps like you describe (I've done it myself)
it can also contribute to lower back soreness, aka "tweak your back"

try lowering your saddle maybe a millimeter or two and give yourself a few rides to adapt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
Creakyknees said:
try lowering your saddle maybe a millimeter or two and give yourself a few rides to adapt.
Pay special attention to this. You will notice the tiniest change, so just a smidge at a time. I went through a similar problem a while back and slightly lowering my saddle did indeed eliminate strain in my inner thighs. Finding the right height will also make you a more efficient rider and you may actually notice that your strokes gain a bit of power.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
11,979 Posts
Yup! I'd experiment with height a little. Find an accurate method of marking the seat post & lower it a centimeter. A millimeter or two is almost too small to even see. If you don't have a metric rule try about 1/4 inch. Ride it there for a couple of days/rides & see how it feels. Not good? Try another 1/4 inch, etc. And if you don't have a metric rule you should get one right away. I have 2, one is a cloth one centimeter wide & the other is like a carpenter's rule that cost me $3 - 4.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,057 Posts
From what I've read, if your seat is up to the extreme you can experience pain behind your knees. From what I've experienced, if your seat is low to the extreme you can experience pain in the front of your knees - this last one I've learned first hand from deciding to train for a week on a mountain bike that had a ridiculously low seat.

Ideally (or so I've heard) you're supposed to raise the seat as high as you can before your hips are forced to tilt at the bottom ends of each pedal stroke. Start raising it and each time you try a new height try to keep your hips motionless - if you get to a height where you need to tilt them, or you feel like your legs are stretching to get to the bottom, you've gone too far and the theoretical optimum seat height is just below that.

Now, from personal experience I find trying to keep my seat as high as possible without stretching to actually slow me down (can't pedal in a circle nearly as well) and also cause saddle sores more easily. So what I do is start lowering the saddle a little bit more until I feel comfortable and can pedal in a circle fluidly - which is about a centimeter lower than the theoretical optimum I've read about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I have found the same thing as cableguy, I ride mine a bit lower than "optimal" I used to get saddle sore but since lowering just a bit it is much better.
Rusty
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
605 Posts
If my saddle is just a little too high, just millimeters, it goes from comfy to not so good. I get cramping on the back of my thighs and I just can't seem to get situated on the saddle. Drop it a few mills to where it should be and everything's just peachy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,100 Posts
Something as simple as lowering your seat may help. However, keep in mind that there is a lot of interplay between seat height, seat position (fore/aft), handlebar position, cleat position, and stroke mechanics. $200 or so to a good fitter could be worth its weight in gold.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,077 Posts
My professional fitter used a big protractor-like device to measure a 30% degree angle between my femer and tibia when setting the seat height. With that, he got it perfect the first try.

I've found that erring on the upside causes great pain in my upper leg in the ITB area (especially on the 2nd day after the ride). On the other hand, erring on the downside causes moderate knee pain on the next day but it requires more deviation from the preferred height. I.E., it is better to err on the low side.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top