Some time ago, I read a tip about riding position that said you should use a carpenter’s level to make sure the saddle is in the right position.
A few days before Christmas, I remembered the tip, and spent a little time in the garage doing just that. It turned out the saddle was tilted up a few degrees, more than I had expected. Maybe that’s why I’d been feeling sore down there after a longish ride.
The saddle looks level in this picture from September, but it turns out that it wasn’t. I think the sloping top tube throws off the eye, making the saddle seem flat, when it’s really tilted up. Even though it’s tilted, it will still look flat when compared to the top tube.
I assume the saddle was level when I bought the bike. I had them switch out the original white saddle for a black one, and I hope they leveled it. After a few months of riding, I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts tilting one way or the other. Maybe that’s why the suggestion is to check its level once every month. Getting the saddle level again didn’t take long, although every time I thought I got it right, the pressure from the Allen nut would raise it. After several tries, I got it the way I wanted it.
I’ve now had several rides with the new saddle position. I hardly notice it, which I guess is the goal. Today, I did 19 miles of hills in strong wind. I wore some older shorts with rather thin padding. No problems with my bottom, but it’s time to start including more hills in my workouts again!
Anyway, if you’re not as comfortable aboard the bike as you think you should be, a few minutes with a level should help out.
I’m always surprised how just a few degree adjustment in saddle angle can change my whole riding position.
You might notice the more tipped forward it is, the more weight you place on your hands. Numb hands are an indicator of a tipped forward saddle.
BT / EVOMO says
you just cant really trust a local bike shop sometimes. I just picked up a new cannondale road bike and they had not even adjusted the derailleurs properly… they were rubbing and not shifting correctly. I was like really!
In the picture on your “my bikes” page, it actually looks like the saddle may have been angled down a tiny bit, assuming your garage door is level.
Charles Cushman says
If you want to see super precise saddle leveling check out the movie “A Sunday in Hell” (1976 Paris-Roubaix) as Eddy Merckx checks his bike, at one point he even borrows a wrench from a competing team car.
I like my seat down a couple degrees. Keeps the pressure off the important parts.
I’ve been following this blog for a while via RSS and never saw the “my bikes” section of the blog. This post is the first picture I see of your bike which is the exact same bike I have (except I have the white saddle). Super cool… I moved back to CA in 2008 and the road-biking bug bit me, I bought my Allez in July.
Thanks for noticing, Nico. I’m on the road now, but when I get home next week I’ll update the picture. I really like the Allez, too.