Aha! Saddle Position Breakthrough

All this time I’ve been riding around with a poorly positioned saddle. How could I not have realized it?

New Saddle Position

New Saddle Position

On Sunday I brought Oma to the Dutch Bike Chicago doctor for a regular check-up and to have her studded tires swapped (a task I could not figure out due to the enclosed chain case). He was super helpful with everything, fixing a spring that keeps my handlebars from swinging around while parked and treating my Brooks saddle. He noticed from the saddle’s breaking-in pattern that I was riding too far forward and offered to adjust the tilt. Of course! Once he mentioned it, I realized that I often have to scoot myself back while riding, but it never occurred to me to investigate. I thought maybe that was simply how the saddle was supposed to be, nevermind my instincts. As you can see in the picture, the saddle is now titled up slightly, making the back part level with the ground.

Huge improvement! On the way home I realized how bad it was before when I kept pushing on the handlebars to scoot myself back, only to realize that I did not need to scoot back. Why didn’t I address the problem before someone in the know brought it up? I don’t need to be a bike expert to know what my body is feeling. This super comfy saddle is a lesson learned.

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13 thoughts on “Aha! Saddle Position Breakthrough

  1. Katie says:

    I had the same problem — though not with a lovely Brooks saddle — and ended up just buying a new bike to remedy it! Well, really I just used the seat-scooting issue as an excuse to buy a new bike ;)

  2. anna says:

    Yeah, there’s this saddle thing. You only realize after riding a long distance (more than 100km/day) whether it’s adjusted properly. Your ass will tell you ;-).

  3. A good saddle, in the right position makes a big difference. I have one from Terry that I just love. Terry is a women oriented seat company, but they do have men’s saddles too. Last year, I was riding my new Gary Fisher a lot and was just assuming that a sore bum was part of the price. Then it broke, so I took the Terry seat from my older bike and the sore butt went away.

    I have also had issues with a bad angle on a saddle an have seen how it affects my riding style. I had one seat post that where the groves that hold the seat were worn down in my ideal seat angle, and for awhile I was riding it at a bad angle. It was actually dangerous, because I didn’t feel stable on the seat.

  4. tsalyards says:

    I’m surprised Stephan let you leave the store the first time with your saddle improperly positioned :) It really does make a huge difference. It just doesn’t “look right” compared with the seats of sport-oriented biked.

  5. dadabean says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t tighten the top a bit, looks like it’s starting to cave.

  6. dottie says:

    He did tighten it a bit. Should I tighten it more? I don’t want to mess it up.

  7. antbikemike says:

    I ride with my saddle tilted back too. Makes all the difference and keeps the weight off my hands too.

  8. Elisa M says:

    thank you for this post. This morning on my ride I tried to pay attention to how I was riding…and I found that i was scooting back a lot also! Am going to have my bike guy help me adjust it tonight. I think this will help with the scooting and other…women specific problems…

  9. dadabean says:

    If he tightened it, that’s good enough.

  10. Trisha says:

    I noticed some bikes in his shop with saddles tilted like that and did wonder…this morning I thought about whether I was scooting back on my bike and think I am also. Will have to see about adjusting that!

  11. Sigrid says:

    I think I will find this information very useful in the days to come…Thank you for sharing.

  12. Doohickie says:

    For some reason, a Brooks saddle always wants to be tipped back a bit. When I got my 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist last year, I thought it was wrong and set the nose down. A little internet surfing taught me how wrong I was. I tipped the nose back up and the bike feels much more natural now.

  13. Lindyspice says:

    I realize it’s about two years later, but for the bicycle noobs like me, I just want to add that when I tipped my saddle back for a more upright posture, I also raised my handlebars at the stem by a bit. Soooooo much more comfortable now! :D

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