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  1. #1
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    Seat Post question

    General question but relatively hard to look up, so decided to post. When riding, I have found that some slightly wider seats give me additional lever point when I try to get a lot of power in. I push with hamstring against wide part of seat on each side and feel extra watts. Is there a technique that validates that or am I just making it up? Also any seat that helps in that without trade-offs. I am heavy rider and work hard on hills, so might affect the experience.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsoeph View Post
    I push with hamstring against wide part of seat on each side and feel extra watts. Is there a technique that validates that or am I just making it up?
    Measurement of watts would validate what you felt.

    Also any seat that helps in that without trade-offs. I am heavy rider and work hard on hills, so might affect the experience.
    Seat help would be in comfort aspect. Better bike fit and training would help in performance aspect.

  3. #3
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    I always learned while riding (30+ years ago, mind you) that if you shift back on your saddle, you'll have more 'torque' to ride up hills in a larger gear, albeit at a lower cadence. Perhaps a similar effect to having a longer crankarm, although I'm sure I'm over-simplifying things and someone will undoubtedly correct me. Could the wider saddle be enabling you to shift back a bit? I do tend to scoot back on my saddle sometimes on steeper climbs. As bvber said, a PM would give you the ultimate answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    Measurement of watts would validate what you felt.


    Seat help would be in comfort aspect. Better bike fit and training would help in performance aspect.
    Add to that saddle set back.

    If forward, the hamstrings easily come into play. They're in a better position to assist scrolling through the bottom of the stroke. That's why you see racers "on the rivet," working off the nose of the saddle in sprints, and why track bikes have steep seat tube angles. Developing high watts at fast cadences comes naturally when rider is "on top of the crank."

    If saddle is set way back, the quads have more room to push down, which is great for low cadence climbing as Ogre points out. But the hamstrings have more stretch to overcome unweighting the upstroke and moving the leg over the top ready to deliver power on the downstroke.

    I wouldn't change the saddle if you're getting the support you want. If it cuts into your legs, move forward on it.
    Last edited by Fredrico; 05-06-2018 at 07:00 PM.

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    Not sure I understand exactly what you mean but you can also generate more power by standing (most likely). But road cycling is 99% about stamina and 1% about doing what you need to do for short term power needs.

    If you're generating more watts you're spending more watts you won't have later. If this works for you on an 'as needed' basis that's great. But if pushing against the saddle feels like it's giving you more power I wouldn't jump to the conclusion you've discovered a revolutionary pedaling style that's sustainable and makes sense as a way to ride.

  6. #6
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    So.....what exactly do watts feel like? I've experienced volts before, and it's not pleasant!
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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    See if you can find video footage of Bernard Hinault climbing a grand col. He was a master of the technique of sliding back in the saddle and pushing a big gear on a tough climb.

    I used to emulate that, but then my knees didn't like it. Come to think of it... he had some knee problems during his career, didn't he?
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    So.....what exactly do watts feel like? I've experienced volts before, and it's not pleasant!
    if you've felt volts, then you've felt watts. said one smartalec to another smartalec
    Faith is pretending to know things you don't know

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    So.....what exactly do watts feel like? I've experienced volts before, and it's not pleasant!
    I wouldn't mind watts.
    Name:  naomi-watts.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    I wouldn't mind watts.
    Name:  naomi-watts.jpg
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    bvber!

    No fair.

    Forum foul! You're in the penalty box as now I can't remember what I was going to write

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BelgianHammer View Post
    bvber!

    No fair.

    Forum foul! You're in the penalty box as now I can't remember what I was going to write
    Nothin' like a good distraction.
    Too old to ride plastic

  12. #12
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    even at age 49, i'll take some of that naomi.
    Yossarian: don't worry. nothing's going to happen to you that won't happen to the rest of us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCSaltchucker View Post
    if you've felt volts, then you've felt watts. said one smartalec to another smartalec

    If I remember my circuitry class (as well as physics), W=V*A, so technically, if you feel a volt, it's actually a watt over an amp...
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsoeph View Post
    General question but relatively hard to look up, so decided to post. When riding, I have found that some slightly wider seats give me additional lever point when I try to get a lot of power in. I push with hamstring against wide part of seat on each side and feel extra watts. Is there a technique that validates that or am I just making it up? Also any seat that helps in that without trade-offs. I am heavy rider and work hard on hills, so might affect the experience.
    I know what you mean somewhat when you say you push with the wide part of the seat [saddle] when climbing. I've experienced that too, but I don't know if you're feeling "more watts" or just experiencing more thoughtful pedal strokes while climbing...lower cadence, the mental game of climbing, etc... The voices in my head get louder when I'm focused on a harder climb.

    By all sorts of conventional wisdom (and bike fitters) my saddle has probably always been a bit too far forward. Has it hurt my power output? Who knows. I came along too late to care about or afford/have a use for power meters.

    The one and only thing I do know for certain after 20+ years of riding as an adult is that there seems to be a direct correlation (for me, at least) between comfort and perceived power. Stated differently, after fit sessions in my younger, crit-focused years, fitters of all stripes always wanted to put me in a position that was notably different than what I was accustomed to. Out of respect for the craft, I gave their recommendations a chance, but always drifted back to what worked - for me. Frame after frame, year after year, my position has been pretty consistent when I do it "my way". I'm fast enough, but more importantly...comfortable.

    Being uncomfortable just plain sucks. I don't, and have never made a dime riding a bike. I do what works. That's what I recommend to just about anybody these days. If it feels good to you, and your buddies aren't riding you off their wheel on a regular basis, do it...Naomi Watts notwithstanding...

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    If I remember my circuitry class (as well as physics), W=V*A, so technically, if you feel a volt, it's actually a watt over an amp...
    And considering the human body has a fairly high internal resistance of around 100kOhms or more, you become the voltage divider. And given a high enough current, a very stiff voltage divider.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsoeph View Post
    General question but relatively hard to look up, so decided to post. When riding, I have found that some slightly wider seats give me additional lever point when I try to get a lot of power in. I push with hamstring against wide part of seat on each side and feel extra watts. Is there a technique that validates that or am I just making it up? Also any seat that helps in that without trade-offs. I am heavy rider and work hard on hills, so might affect the experience.
    I know what you are talking about, but I have only pedaled like this for a short while when out of steam and trying to grind out the last bit of a long climb. I found I was trying to find any other muscle groups to use that weren't as exhausted.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    And considering the human body has a fairly high internal resistance of around 100kOhms or more, you become the voltage divider. And given a high enough current, a very stiff voltage divider.
    I remember an electrician once told me the 1st law of electricity:
    "It's not the voltage that'll kill you, it's the current".
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I remember an electrician once told me the 1st law of electricity:
    "It's not the voltage that'll kill you, it's the current".
    "It's the volts that jolts, but the mills that kills."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    I remember an electrician once told me the 1st law of electricity:
    "It's not the voltage that'll kill you, it's the current".
    This is true, but misleading. You can't have current without potential.

    I believe it is accepted that 5mA flowing through the human body can kill an adult, less if you have a heart condition. In the US, grid voltage is 120Vac. Divide that by 100kOhms and that would be 1.2mA going through your brain and your heart. Unlikely to kill a healthy adult, but you would still get a nasty rap.

    The way I explain it to non-electrical people is to think of it in terms of water pressure vs. flow. You can't have flow without pressure.

    And now that we've totally derailed this thread................
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    The way I explain it to non-electrical people is to think of it in terms of water pressure vs. flow. You can't have flow without pressure.
    Then what is voltage equivalent in plumbing term?

    And now that we've totally derailed this thread................
    Yup, we sure did, a thread titled Seat Post question with question about saddle and pedaling technique.

    Didn't Gordon Gekko (in movie Wall Street) say something like it's derailed because it's derailable?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    Then what is voltage equivalent in plumbing term?
    Voltage would be like water pressure.
    Current (amps) would be like water flow.
    Power (watts) would be like both.

    You need both water pressure and flow to get water, right?
    Well, you need both voltage and current to get power.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    And now that we've totally derailed this thread................
    It can be fixed...

    Seat Post question-rerail.jpg
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    It can be fixed...
    No it can't.......
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Seat Post question-train-wreck.jpg  
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  24. #24
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    No it can't.......
    Oh yeah, it can. They make tools for that, and they ain't a pair of needle nose pliers and a pipe wrench.
    Too old to ride plastic

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