Sometimes, while riding the bicycle for the camping trip, we tend to forget some very important aspects. One of them is choosing the right bike camping gears and setting a perfect bike saddle position adjustment for the safe and comfortable riding.
The rider who must be on the bike for hours each day, often over bumpy roads, will have to assume a pretty efficient position.
Moreover, they will hardly want to fight any unnecessary air resistance. He or she may not be interested in speed, but nobody wants to have to work extra hard.
Bike Saddle Position – Adjusting Saddle Height Properly
You’ll want the bike set up so that you can sit up and look around without losing control. Also, bikepackers frequently have occasion to ride on very rough or loose surfaces, such as gravel or dirt, which make special demands.
1. Stable Weight Distribution is Important
Remember, most of all, the first of the above points. The loaded bike requires absolutely solid control and stable weight distribution. Especially, its important in the mountains and on wet or loose surfaces.
In fact, owing to the added weights we have to hang on our long-suffering machines. So, this has to be considered the primary requirement for setting up the bike.
We may have to make sacrifices in comfort and efficiency, but never instability or control.
The possible consequences of a loss of control are just too great. Saddle height is the basic adjustment; on this will depend all others.
2. Right Height of the Saddle
Many formulae and tables and diagrams have been published, and many studies are done. But still, right saddle height may seem a little complex to some. Most such studies have been done with the racer in mind, but others sometimes adopt these ideas.
Usually, a racer will want a slightly higher saddle than the camper; most racers tend to extend the foot a bit more at the bottom of the stroke.
This isn’t a fixed rule, and in any case, the basic starting point won’t be too different. According to the book Backcountry bikepacking,
“the saddle should be set so that the distance from the pedal spindle at its lowest point to the top of the saddle equals 109% of the rider’s inseam measurement (crotch to floor).”
I think this is a bit too high as a starting point for a non-racer; 104% may put you in the ballpark. A rough rule used by many: The rider should be able to sit on the saddle and just barely put his heel on the pedal at its lowest point, with his leg fully extended.
3. Adjusting the saddle height
With this as a starting point, finer adjustments are made according to trial and error and general experience.
You have to make all adjustments very gradually, just a fraction of an inch at a time unless something is obviously totally wrong. A sudden huge change in saddle height can hurt your knees, even though it results in a correct” position.
4. Shoes and saddle should match
It should be pointed out that this adjustment will definitely be affected by the shoes you wear. There will be a considerable difference involved between cleated racing shoes and Batas or joggers.
So, if you switch, be prepared to readjust your saddle and everything else. This is one reason why, if at all possible, your shoes should be purchased when you get your bike.
5. Saddle height for men and women
Saddle angle ought to be pretty straightforward, but isn’t for some. Basically, the top of the saddle should be level. Some women like the saddle nose a bit lower than this, but I suspect this means they need a saddle designed for women.
A few men do better with the saddle nose raised a degree or two. If you’ve been used to doing your riding mostly in the racer’s full-dropped crouch, when you go over to bikepacking you’ll probably find that your saddle nose needs to come up a trifle to compensate for the more upright position.
Even more, than with saddle height, this adjustment is a very fine one, and a micro-adjusting seat post is needed if there is any real problem. Basically, the saddle ought to be horizontal, and any variation from this should be extremely minute. A carpenter’s level should be used to get it right.
6. Some personal choices may occur as well…
One occasionally sees riders who have the saddle tilted severely nose up or nose down. Such people invariably defend this aberration vigorously as being a great improvement. Or at least, they say, “It works for me!” or “I’ve been riding this way for years!”
This merely proves that human bodies and bicycles are capable of withstanding incredible amounts of abuse.
If the saddle nose is much below neutral, your weight is forced forward onto your shoulders, arms, and hands.
This will lose balance and create problems, causing numb fingers, poor control, and improper weight distribution. If the saddle is tipped too far back, you’re in for lower back pains as well as a loss of balance.
7. Accessories for bike saddle position adjustment
A handy accessory is a Campagnolo quick-release seat post bolt, which enables you to make adjustments rapidly without chewing up your paint or stripping the threads.
Ride around and think about it, and you’ll see what I mean. So, with the right accessories, you will be able to adjust the saddle in proper height. In times of bicycling, you need to take the necessary items and accessories to fit the saddle.
8. Saddle height consideration for knees
If you find that your pelvis rocks from side to side as you pedal and you have to actually “reach” for the pedals at the bottom of the stroke. Now, your saddle is much too high; besides knee pains, you’ll get saddle sores in short order.
If your knees and ankles feel sore and tight and your muscles sort of cramped as you pedal, as if your leg wants to straighten out a bit more and can’t, your saddle may be too low.
9. Moving forward and backward
The saddle can also be moved forward and backward. Generally, a vertical line from the nose of the saddle will fall about 2 inches behind the center of the crank axle; use a small weight on a string to check this.
This measurement will vary a bit according to the size and angles of the frame, the rider’s build, and the use for which the bike is intended. Racers often set the saddle forward, while dirt-road riders may want it farther back.
Sliding the saddle backward or forwards obviously has a major effect on the bike’s weight-distribution pattern. So, use a bathroom scale (or two, if you can borrow an extra) and check this. Remember, the bare-bike formula is 55% of total weight on the back wheel and 45% in front.
10. Saddle adjustment for non-racing
For no racing setups, this should be regarded as a maximum forward distribution-that is, if there is any deviation, it should definitely be in the direction of more weight over the back wheel.
In this, you’re going to load a bunch of equipment back there. So, you don’t want to start out with a bike that is excessively tail heavy. So try to keep pretty close to this proportion.
Looking at the bluest sky, I forget all my stresses. Going through the green I try to breathe, more than I do in my reality. So, that’s why I love camping.
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