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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I find myself working my way forward on my saddle during a ride and I have to think about sliding back. I have watched some Youtube videos about set up and will try doing what they say tomorrow but wanted some other opinions on set up.

I know that playing keyboard doctor is going to be tough but thought
I would give it a shot.

First off, is it a matter of my saddle needing to be moved forward? Would it possibly need to move the nose up a lil bit ?
 

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Yeah not easy to diagnose with little info...Working fwd when going easy, medium, hard, climbing, descending, flats, drops, tops, all the above?
 

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What saddle model is it?

Post a photo with something horizontal, about at the saddle height, in the background, a porch, window sill, or mantle for example.

I have my Fizik Aliante tilted up slightly in the front, maybe slightly higher than this photo off the internet:

View attachment 316952

Start with a level saddle and go from there, a little at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I ride a Bontrager Nebula + saddle.

I find I noticed it when at a medium pace and semi flat terrain. 95% of the time I would say I ride on the hoods I don't know if I just don't notice it when on uphills since I am working it.
 

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You know, there's the old cycling phrase "on the rivet" referring to the rivet on the nose of old style saddles. So when going hard, it's common to move forward on the saddle.
If you are scooting forward when just riding along, my guess is your saddle may be tilted down slightly.
 

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I ride a Bontrager Nebula + saddle.

I find I noticed it when at a medium pace and semi flat terrain. 95% of the time I would say I ride on the hoods I don't know if I just don't notice it when on uphills since I am working it.
Well, first I'd check to see if saddle is tilted down, as Merlin says. If the nose isn't the same height as the rear tail, rider can slide forward on the saddle, quite easily in hard efforts, as moving forward also places more upper body weight right up over the crank to counteract the legs pushing hard on the pedals. Also, up over the crank, the legs are in a more vertical position like what they're used to walking upright. The angle of upper body opens up a little. It becomes easier to use the glutes and follow the crank around using more than just the quads, the pushing muscles. Fixed gear trackies ride bikes with 75 degree seat tubes to take advantage of this power. This is what "on the rivet" means.

If the saddle's level and you still always move forward, maybe move the saddle forward a half inch or so on the seat rails. Heck, note where your sit bones are on the saddle after moving forward, and slide the saddle just enough forward so the sit bones are now on the back of the saddle. That will put the hips up over the crank for that performance advantage you seek when climbing, and also closer to the handlebars.

Shortening reach may not be what you want if riding on the hoods is comfortable. Do you get added stress in the shoulders or arms when riding on the hoods?

But before deciding reach, and drop, too, make sure the saddle is level and gravity isn't pulling the upper body forward.
 

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There could be a number of factors causing this. The two that I think are most likely are:

1) Saddle nose tilted too far down as Fredrico said.

2) Saddle is too high. If this is the case, your hips will rock and you will move forward. Your knee should have a 20 degree angle when the pedal is at the furthest point.

These are just possibilities. I would go to a reputable bike shop that you trust and pay them to adjust your fit just right. It is well worth the $$ and will improve your performance and enjoyment of the sport.
 

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I would go to a reputable bike shop that you trust and pay them to adjust your fit just right. It is well worth the $$ and will improve your performance and enjoyment of the sport.
The best advice, IMHO. But if you stay with your plan of tweaking fit yourself I'd look at small, incremental adjustments to saddle tilt (up) - as others suggested. Just be careful not to put pressure on the nether regions.

Also, don't adjust saddle fore/ aft to adjust reach. If after making the tilt adjustment you still slide forward, then consider stem adjustments. Or, seek out a reputable fitter (recommended).
 

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There could be a number of factors causing this. The two that I think are most likely are:

1) Saddle nose tilted too far down as Fredrico said.

2) Saddle is too high. If this is the case, your hips will rock and you will move forward. Your knee should have a 20 degree angle when the pedal is at the furthest point.

These are just possibilities. I would go to a reputable bike shop that you trust and pay them to adjust your fit just right. It is well worth the $$ and will improve your performance and enjoyment of the sport.
Yep, saddle could be too high. Fit program we used at the shop recommended a 30 degree bend in knee at bottom of pedal stroke. Another way to get close is sit on the saddle, dangle the leg straight down, level the foot, and see if you can touch the HEEL of the foot on the pedal. Raise the saddle to the point you can no longer rest the heel on the pedal, then back it down so when leg is straight, heel just touches the pedal.

That'll give you a slightly low positioning compared to H=I x .883, the LeMond formula. H = saddle height measured in a straight line above the seat post; I = inseam from crotch to floor in bare feet.

If you raise the nose, you may have to lower the saddle somewhat to retain the same overall saddle height, so its worth assessing what height is correct.
 

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Whenever I put a new saddle on, I ride around with my 3-way allen key, and stop often to make small adjustments during my ride.
 

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Are you moving forward on harder efforts? Climbs? That may well be normal. I do that, I notice it sometimes, but mostly it's just happening, but I'm on the rivet. Look, I HATE a tilted saddle, either way, up or down, I hate it. Level saddle man... height? Can't help, my knee-O-meter determines that quite accurately. Fore/aft?

A good fit is a wonderful jumping off point (or end point if you are lucky). It's prolly one of the best bike related investments you can make. If it seems absurdly expensive, well, it is...so sell something, like a child maybe or an unnecessary organ. Think like a junkie and cycling gets way more doable, at least in terms of the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Didn't have much time today but did check the seat with a level. It was about half a bubble off. I wasn't able to get a decent ride in to test it out.

As for saddle height, my leg was completely straight when I had my heel on the pedal. So how does that seem?
 

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through observation of folks out on the road and pictures that I've come across on the internet the majority of people who self fit their bikes end up with seats that are way too far back. A good portion of this subset also have their seats tilted forward, either because of the incorrect assumption that one must level their seat rails, or to help move the hips down because their seats are jacked sky high. It's a mess out there. A lot of folks are searching for "comfortable" seats. The thing is, most seats are comfortable if you just have them set them up correctly. Your ass isn't a rare unicorn and there's a very, very good chance you fall within the bell curve.

Assuming somewhat standard geometry, if the back of your seat is above the rear axle you need to move that ish forward. Grab a wrench move it down by 2mm or so and forward by 2mm and go for a ride. Bring the wrench with you and see what feels good. With the seat set right you'll be surprised at how little weight is on your hands.
 

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As for saddle height, my leg was completely straight when I had my heel on the pedal. So how does that seem?
Way too high (ignore my being blunt). You are looking for a 145-155 degree leg extension. Whichever number is right for the sake of argument you are still looking at quite the bend in the knee. Also, there are tons of factors that go into this crude easurement/observation...are you dipping your ankles? are you dropping one hip to compensate? are you tilting your pelvis? and so on and so on... but there's a good chance you could use to lower your seat a bit.

After you lower it and go for a ride - pay attention to your hips - visualize your hips on both sides and see if you are tilting each down even a bit as you pedal around. If you notice them tilting, lower the seat by 2mm and repeat test. You'll likely need more than one pass and more than one bump down.

Also, because your seat tube is on an angle, as you lower the seat it will also move forward. For every 3 you move down it comes forward about 1mm.
 

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It was about half a bubble off.
Half a bubble off doesn't mean much unless you can visualize yourself sitting on the seat and understand which part cradles your arse bones. If the seat itself is flat across the top, you want start with that bad boy dead level and moved forward a bit. BTW, your seat rails also provide a clue, if your seat is either max forward on the rails or maxed back on the rails... it's likely that a proper fit on a bike that fits has you sitting somewhere in between on the rails.

If the seat has a curved top (looking at it from the side) then you want the back fourth of it leveled so that it creates a cradle for your bones where you naturally sit on the seat. For example, https://www.colbypearce.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/IMG_2406.jpg
 

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For what it's worth: I've rented, borrowed or tried all sorts of bikes with all sorts to f'd up fits and the only thing that causes me to slide forward is the saddle tilt. This includes riding a bike with the saddle about 4 cm further back than what 'fits' me. I didn't slide forward.
 

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Way too high (ignore my being blunt). You are looking for a 145-155 degree leg extension.
Correct, when the ball of your foot is over the pedal spindle. The OP's "my leg was completely straight" referred to his leg with his heel on the pedal. Nothing wrong with that.
 

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Correct, when the ball of your foot is over the pedal spindle. The OP's "my leg was completely straight" referred to his leg with his heel on the pedal. Nothing wrong with that.
The problem with this method is that most people will dip the hip on the side being measured (look down, twist torso, etc) and not perform this measurement correctly, as a result they'll ride around unstable hips that reach down.

I would suggest that OP rides around and pays attention to his hip girdle and take note if each side tilts ever so slightly to perform the full stroke. If it does lower 2mm and reassess.
 

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The problem with this method is that most people will dip the hip on the side being measured (look down, twist torso, etc) and not perform this measurement correctly, as a result they'll ride around unstable hips that reach down.

I would suggest that OP rides around and pays attention to his hip girdle and take note if each side tilts ever so slightly to perform the full stroke. If it does lower 2mm and reassess.
That's very true.

The way we got around it at the shop was to get the rider to pedal a few strokes, get comfortable on the saddle, and then freeze his hips, which you point out is problematic much of the time, and let one leg dangle down straight. Then we would see if his heel just touched the pedal cage. This adjustment would be safe against damaging cartilage, but errs on the low side.

The "LeMond formula," Saddle height equals inseam from crotch to floor in bare feet times .883, gives slightly higher readings, but not much. Starting low is easier on the legs, less extensions of the muscles, but once riders get conditioned, they like to raise the saddle to get more extension and thus power out of the stroke. At a certain point the hips start rocking ever so slightly and guys ride like that for years, usually in big gears. Coaches lower the saddles, enabling faster cadences, increasing VO2 max., long term aerobic power, and the ability to perform at high wattages with less wear and tear on the body.

Rider should be able to pedal fast, 95-100 rpm, and still be able to keep the hips stable. Rider feels this stability in the upper body and the arms on the handlebars stabilizing the bike. Yep, pay attention to hip girdle, definitely. Don't want hips to be moving involuntarily around the pedal strokes. It also stresses out the back, shoulders, arms, and will wear you clean out.
 
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