Seat positioning.

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
My rides are getting longer and more frequent and I'm now starting to come to terms with all the little characteristics of my Focus Mares CX, and I'd like some input on saddle position. I've done a little research and nothing has been conclusive so far so please forgive me if this is blaringly obvious!

So I've started to find that I'm having to "push" myself back a couple of cm to be in the right position on the saddle, where my sit bones are to avoid the numb gentleman issue. Now the obvious thing to suggest would be to move the saddle forward to compensate but I feel like I have a really good balance in relation to the BB at the moment and I don't really want to mess with that unless I absolutely have too. Would changing the angle of the saddle help? Is it time for a new saddle? Would a couple of mm fore/aft adjustment throw the entire feel?

Any and all input appreciated, as always!
 

RebornBumbler

Senior Member
Location
Barnstaple
First, make sure the saddle isn't tilting forwards - it should be practically flat.

If that's the bike in your profile pic, it looks like a pretty aggressive position (seat-bar drop) - especially on a CX.
That's going to tend to pull you forwards and add to the numbness.
I'd suggest raising the bars a little (if you can - I can't really see from the picture).
You could also try a shorter stem, but if the frame is on the small side for you that's probably not going to help.

There are plenty of 'bike fit' related sites which can assist you with setting yourself up better (check several) - the main thing is to make any adjustments in small steps.
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
First, make sure the saddle isn't tilting forwards - it should be practically flat.

If that's the bike in your profile pic, it looks like a pretty aggressive position (seat-bar drop) - especially on a CX.
That's going to tend to pull you forwards and add to the numbness.
I'd suggest raising the bars a little (if you can - I can't really see from the picture).
You could also try a shorter stem, but if the frame is on the small side for you that's probably not going to help.

There are plenty of 'bike fit' related sites which can assist you with setting yourself up better (check several) - the main thing is to make any adjustments in small steps.
Thanks for your input! I find the reach on both the hoods and the drops really comfortable around my neck and back after a couple of adjustments and ive only had the numb issue once - after my first 20 miler (im still new to this cycling business, by all accounts!)

The seat is flat as far as I can see, but I might see if I can angle it back a degree or two.

Its curious because once I've pushed back onto the right part of the saddle I feel pretty well and locked in, its just when I brake too hard or dismount and dont think about it I find myself sitting on the skinny part! Perhaps its entirely normal and im fretting over nothing!
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
The sit bones should be on the wide part of the saddle. Perhaps have a look at saddles with a 'wave' rather than a flat top.Another consideration is the CX geometry that may suit you for short rides but not longer ones. Typically a 56cms frame on a racing bike will have a top tube of 56 - 57 cms but on a CX it is more likely to be 55 ish. Perhaps a slightly longer stem will work?
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
The sit bones should be on the wide part of the saddle. Perhaps have a look at saddles with a 'wave' rather than a flat top.Another consideration is the CX geometry that may suit you for short rides but not longer ones. Typically a 56cms frame on a racing bike will have a top tube of 56 - 57 cms but on a CX it is more likely to be 55 ish. Perhaps a slightly longer stem will work?
The seat is just the seat that came with the bike, so there is every chance its simply not suited to my hinds.

It's interesting that you've suggested a longer stem rather than a shorter one as @RebornBumbler did. I'm trying to work out my cores pivot position now!
 

ayceejay

Guru
Location
Rural Quebec
One thing that happens over a period of newcomer cycling especially if combined with stretching is a change in position due to changes in flexibility and muscles, so adjustments are ongoing for a while.
Most manufacturers keep their price down by compromising on the saddle so a change here might be the first step but see if you can try before you buy otherwise you will have a cupboard full of saddles and stems.
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
One thing that happens over a period of newcomer cycling especially if combined with stretching is a change in position due to changes in flexibility and muscles, so adjustments are ongoing for a while.
Most manufacturers keep their price down by compromising on the saddle so a change here might be the first step but see if you can try before you buy otherwise you will have a cupboard full of saddles and stems.
I've got a little work bonus coming in at the end of the month and my LBS is an authorised Selle Italia "ID" centre. Perhaps its worth spending a bit to get one that I know will fit...
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
Why not just push the saddle back a bit nad see, you can always put it back if it uncomfortable.
Honestly? I cant see an awful lot of room for manouver and im scared I wont be able to get it back!
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
Honestly? I cant see an awful lot of room for manouver and im scared I wont be able to get it back!
mark the seat rail where your current set up is as a reference so you can get it back, spirit level to check tilt .
I have the saddle rail marked on all my bikes and measurement to ctr of bars, saddle height and set back to BB all written down.
"Fit " is not an exact science as there are different versions of fit even using the same system , take a look at
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/Store/catalog/fitCalculatorBike.jsp
last time i used it i got 3 different fit ranges dependant on on how i wanted to ride and what felt comfy .
 
OP
mythste

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
mark the seat rail where your current set up is as a reference so you can get it back, spirit level to check tilt .
I have the saddle rail marked on all my bikes and measurement to ctr of bars, saddle height and set back to BB all written down.
"Fit " is not an exact science as there are different versions of fit even using the same system , take a look at
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/Store/catalog/fitCalculatorBike.jsp
last time i used it i got 3 different fit ranges dependant on on how i wanted to ride and what felt comfy .
Thanks for your help on this. I moved it about 7mm forward this morning before embarking on a 30mile run (10 miles longer than I've managed before!) and my general regions were much happier.
Thanks for the advice :smile:
 
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