Questions on saddle setback and reach

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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2024 4:13 am

by Streetfield

I am not a veteran cyclist, but as I am training more and getting better, I start to focus on bike geometry and bike fit.
Regarding saddle setback, I see many bikes coming with seatpost with sort of offset, including mine with 15mm.
But I feel more comfortable and efficient to recurit my leg muscles when moving the saddle as forward as it is allowed.
1. So does it mean I will need a zero offset seatpost instead?
2. If seatpost is changed to zero offset, should reach be shortened or stay the same?

As of reach, I current run a 100mm stem and bar with 100mm reach, and have tried the combo of 120mm stem and bar with 80mm reach.
The reason why I use the former one is the position in the drop feels more right, because the end of the drop is 20mm shorter.
Meanwhile, when I lean my elbow on the bar for aero position, the total reach (frame reach + 200mm) feels perfect.
3. I didn't see much discussion, but what do you think of different combos of stem length and bar reach.

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Location: Czech Republic

by hannawald

You can push your saddle max forward within the saddle rail marks. When max out and you still need more forward position you need zero offset seatpost.
Zero offset seatpost just enables you to go more forward. It depends on the actual saddle position if you will sit more forward or not. If so you will see yourself whether you will need to enlarge your reach. If your current position is fine tuned then probably yes. Many people here push their saddle forward, use short cranks to open their hip angle and use longer and lower position. It will make you more aero but very probably not more comfortable, you will need to be fit and light to maintain it for long hours in the saddle.
Many riders prefer longer stems and normal reach bars (around 80mm) because you have more knee clearance this way. But it is purely personal. Some people rave about Trek long reach handlebars because they like how their hands are supported when being in low aero position with elbows 90 degrees. There is no one size fits all formula.

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by Nickldn

Streetfield wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2024 11:10 am
But I feel more comfortable and efficient to recurit my leg muscles when moving the saddle as forward as it is allowed.
In my view this is a common perception, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's true.

Often by moving your saddle forward and cleats back what you actually do is reduce the power phase of your pedal stroke. So in fact your legs need to output the same amount of energy in a shorter duration.

It feels really good doing this, you feel like you're stronger and more powerful, but in fact you're not making an improvement to your riding performance.

I have Garmin PM pedals which measure these variables and have tracked my power phase as I moved my saddle forward over a 6m period. I have now moved my saddle back again on my new SL8, not regretting it.
Giant Propel Advanced SL Red Etap 11s Easton EC90 wheels CeramicSpeed BB Zipp SL70 bars 6.5kg

S-Works SL8 Dune White SRAM Red AXS Craft CS5060 wheels Roval Rapide bars 6.6kg

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