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Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting into downhill biking this year after picking up a 2004 Norco Shore late last season.

Coming from an XC background, I've been used to having the seat up above the handlebars and adjusted level.

I understand why downhillers keep the seat low, but I was wondering if there is a rule of thumb for setting the height and angle of the seat. I've seen everything from just an inch or so below the bars, to having the post slammed right down on the top of the seat tube.

As well, I've seen several bikes that have the nose of the seat pointed way up. Does it all just boil down to individual preference, or is there more to it?

Thanks in advance for your input!
 

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were u

mostly its were it is comforitable for you so it doesn't get in your way when your trying to get way back over your rear tire.

I drop mine as low as it can go but raise it some times for more pedaling efficency.
 

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noMAD man
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You're gonna get a lot...

Pucker Factor said:
I'm getting into downhill biking this year after picking up a 2004 Norco Shore late last season.

Coming from an XC background, I've been used to having the seat up above the handlebars and adjusted level.

I understand why downhillers keep the seat low, but I was wondering if there is a rule of thumb for setting the height and angle of the seat. I've seen everything from just an inch or so below the bars, to having the post slammed right down on the top of the seat tube.

As well, I've seen several bikes that have the nose of the seat pointed way up. Does it all just boil down to individual preference, or is there more to it?

Thanks in advance for your input!
of different opinions and applications for this question. Some riders with big hit style bikes routinely move their saddle height up and down while they're on a ride. Some leave their saddles in a fixed position like I do that is in a compromise position. Some just set their saddles down when their doing specific hucks, drops, or jumps. There's a lot of personal preference and even laziness in how some are set up. There's no rule of thumb, however, for a certain distance below, even, or above the handlebar. It's more to do with your leg length from the saddle to the cranks, and all that goes out the window when you're slamming the post down for stunts and such. Here's a pic of mine, but it's in no way indicative of any rule. The recommendation of one poster here is very true...make sure that where you set it doesn't interfere with you being able to get behind it under those extreme drop-ins
 

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its all about your comfort. a few months ago, i had my seat almost as high as my handlebars because i thought i could do wheelies better like that. now i have mine all the way down and pointed up a bit. i can controll the bike better. and landings are much smoother. i tilt the seat up so when im going downhill, the bike "levels out."
 

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Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your responses.

It does seem to be a preference thing from what I've read so far. On my XC bikes, it's a no brainer....I have the seat at a height that allows good leg extension for efficient pedaling, but still lets me get behind the seat.

The couple of times I've been downhilling, I realized that a lot of the time I was in more of a hovering position over the seat to allow for weight shift, shock absorption, etc, and pedaling efficiency wasn't really an issue.

However, I was thinking that dropping it too low would mean that it would take extra time and effort to go from a seated position to the hovering position with the legs flexed that seemed necessary a lot of the time.

I'm probably over-analyzing the situation, anyway. I'll shut up now. :D

To Wheelman:

I have not actually ridden the Norco on downhill runs yet. I picked it up in November, by which time, the only local downhill area was closed for the season.

I was reasonably impressed by it's pedaling efficiency if you stay seated. Luckily, it's got two rings up front, so that helps immensely on hills. It's a heavy beast at 45 lbs., but it rides nicely for it's weight. (for the sake of perspective, my other bikes are a Trek 8000 hardtail, and a Specialized Enduro Pro)

It came with a huge handlebar, about 28" wide, so tight trails are a bit trickier, but it's still pretty good in technical terrain. I haven't had an opportunity to do any jumps with it yet, but I've read in many places that it's a very well balanced bike in the air.
 

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Beyond the stars
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Yes, um sir, I must inform you that there is

an exact calculation that has been patented to determine the specific height and angle of the seat based on the square root of the hyptnose of your front triangle's area, whereas:

L x W = H(3) x pie
________________
Y/7 + X/4 +/- 1/23 of "how big you go"

therefore if you divide by the square of the qube root of pie "R" squared . . . .

Ah hell, I think it's where you like it . . . but tilted up so you can get "off the back for steep decents" easier . . .
 

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if it's really steep and hairy, i'll lower the seat as much as possible
but if it's just some good freeriding i tend to keep the seat maybe 2-3in from the bottom. slight difference but it helps my pedaling
 

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The reason why some have their seat nose tilted upward is to prevent sliding of the saddle when going downhill.
I also use my thighs and knees to 'push' my seat for better cornering and more control.

Like someone said, for :
XC it's at 4/4
DH-Freeride it's 4/3
very steep and drops its 4/2 or even 4/1.
 
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