First of all, the 3 most important things about your bike saddle are comfort, comfort, and comfort. If you’re not comfortable, something is wrong. Secondly, adjusting your saddle is just one part of a bigger picture called bike fit. You need to make sure you have the right size bike, your handlebars at the right height, and your saddle at the right height.
We covered saddle height last year (https://teamcbc.com/teamcbc-cycling-tip-is-your-saddle-at-the-right-height/). Please review before adjusting your saddle fore or aft.
If you are too far forward, you unload your hamstrings at the bottom of the stroke. This will overload your quads and you will feel the burn (we all know what that feels like). Also, you will place too much weight on your hands which may cause fatigue or even numbness.
If you are too far back, the opposite occurs. You may feel pain in your upper hamstrings and nothing in your quads. Also, you may feel numbness in your toes from trying to reach the pedals. Finally, you will feel yourself stretching to reach the handlebars.
Ideally, you want to be as far forward as you can without putting too much weight on your hands. Bernard Hinault, 5-time TDF winner, once said, “You should still be able to play the piano when riding.” If you have that feeling, you probably have it about right.
The best way to determine what is right for you is trial and error. However, don’t make an adjustment and go on a 50-mile ride. The consequences could be painful. Take a 20-minute ride and see how it feels. Continue to make adjustments until it feels right.
Quote of the week: “Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein
Here is a video that explains these adjustments in more detail: