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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been thinking a lot about bike fitting and riding position for climbing vs descending. Seems that some of the common practices are to get the front of the knee directly above the pedal spindle, and the saddle directly under the sits bones when sitting upright on the bike. Both of those tend to be done when the bike is in a flat riding position with shock in firm. Seems like it would make more sense to have the knee over the spindle and saddle in a horizontal position when the bike is on an angle similar to the trail that you typically climb, and the shock in the mode you typically climb in (open for me). Does that make any sense? Has anyone played with that concept? I'm sure the obvious answer is "try it", which I plan to do, but thought I'd see what others have experienced.

I know on my Ripmo the knee is definitely forward of the spindle when the bike is on flat ground unless I slam the seat back just past the recommended seat position on my WTB Volt. I'm 5'11" on a Large so I'm quite sure the frame is good for me. But I bet if the bike was tipped upward on an incline similar to my local trails the knee would be better relative to the spindle, and I'm wondering if I tip the saddle very slightly forward if that wouldn't make more sense so that it's level while climbing?
 

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I have played with moving the saddle around the bottom bracket (slide the saddle forward and raise it, or slide it back and lower it, keeping the same leg extension). If I'm too far forward - more over the bottom bracket - it feels like I am slipping forward off the pedals on obstacles and descents. Climbing seems fine.
If the saddle is far back, I feel pretty good, but it becomes harder to get behind the saddle without a dropper post. So, somewhere between that slipping forward off the pedals and being obstructed from hanging off the back is the sweet spot.
I know I have it right when I can slide fore and aft on the saddle to work different leg muscles and still be on the saddle. So I guess I don't use your concept re: climbing/flat. YMMV

-F
 

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I don't know where my knee is in relation to the spindles on my bikes. I set the saddle up primarily based on climbing position. If the saddle feels perfect on level ground, it will be uncomfortable on the climbs. In regards to fore-aft position, I pretty much run the saddle as forward as possible unless the seated 'reach' gets too short (feel like I'm on top of the bars). It's all a compromise.
 

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I bet there are 20 other threads here that ask the same question in one form or another ( no this isn't a "search function" jab). It comes up often because it is vitally important to be comfortable on the bike. These threads also get a lot of action because everyone here has some experience working out their own fit...it's universal...everyone has something to add. The other thing about these "bike fit" threads is that they never really reach any conclusion because there is no formula...everyone really does have to work it out for themselves.
 

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This is why KOPS is nothing more than a reference point.

If you're going to use it as a reference, be sure to use the EXACT same method each time by having a helper set you up so the saddle is level, shoe sole level with a spirit level, and use the exact same spot on your knee with you plumb bob. Dropping your heels or moving your saddle at all will throw off the comparison.

I am doubtful that a precise duplication of KOPS on two different bikes will always be ideal.
 

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When I got fit for my road bike...the fitter used KOPS...and it worked for me. I use it on my mountain bike too. I've found that if I deviate too far from it...things don't feel as good.
 

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This is why KOPS is nothing more than a reference point.
THIS.

Bike fit is vital for comfort, but also for efficiency.

One goal is to balance the work done by the quads vs the glutes & hamstrings. An individual's characteristics (bone length, flexibility, relative strength of muscle groups) will determine how close KOPS is for him/her.

If you want to get serious about bike fit, google Steve Hogg. He's an Australian who's world renowned. Also, please don't rely on those who only rely on formula's and angles.

Also, some people are really sensitive to fit changes (me :madman:), some are lucky enough to have flexible and adaptable bodies, and it doesn't really matter for them :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well these responses mostly answer my question. Try a little science, try what feels good, settle somewhere in there. I'm going to try to set it up slightly more for climbing and see how it feels, then adjust from there.
 

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Do you sit in the same position on your saddle while climbing? Maybe for mellow climbs, but I have to stand for most climbing and mover around a lot of I stay seated. Everything is a compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Do you sit in the same position on your saddle while climbing? Maybe for mellow climbs, but I have to stand for most climbing and mover around a lot of I stay seated. Everything is a compromise.
I would say most of the time yes. Around here it's lots of extended climbing on steep to pretty steep singletrack up to the top with a few technical features along the way to get up, so I stay in pretty much the same position. When I'm in Arizona climbing south mountain then it's a bit more dynamic, but I feel like lots of my climbing is seated in one position or a bit more forward for a really steep section.
 

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KOPS is good shorthand fitting for road bikes.

Once you've trained with a certain saddle position, a different saddle position will be inferior, until you train for that. There's a pretty broad range of positions that you can adapt to.

That's less true if you're working around an injury, or something. Like, i severed 90% of my sartorius long before i started cycling, and it took about 6 years of gradually pushing my saddle forward before i could tolerate modern geometry. Now it's fine.


We're adaptable, and if you're a dedicated rider you can use that to your advantage. Roadies gotta chase that .3% optimized efficiency- suckers.
 

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I'm another one that moves fore and aft on my saddle to climb/descend and side to side to corner. I don't set the saddle up specifically to climb. It just doesn't seem necessary. I'm not static on the bike. There are uphill sections where I'm off the front of the seat and downs where I'm off the back.
I don't see why it would make a difference whether you are in open mode or locked out when you set up. Seat to pedal distance doesn't vary.
 

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I slam the saddle forward and tilt it down as far as possible for maximum comfort on climbs. My dropper post takes care of the saddle position everywhere else.
 
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