Steep seatube angles resulting in uncomfortable pedalling

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Steep seatube angles resulting in uncomfortable pedalling
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Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 9:22 Quote
Does anyone else find the new crop of steep seat angles work great fitment wise and having less arch in your lower back but instead making pedalling more of an issue?

I like how I can now run a longer reach bike without hunching over but now it seems impossible to get enough stretch when pedalling due to a more compact position over the bb, obviously I could push the seat back but then that negates the point of the steep seat tube. What I have found is the steeper the seat angle the higher you tend to need your seatpost to get enough leg extension when pedalling, but the troublw is you can only extend it so far to the point where when seated and your feet are off the pedals you can only just about keep your toes on the floor. A solution in theory would be a lower bb height but the trouble is my bike already has a very low bb and I wouldn't want it any lower. At full seatpost extension to the point im tiptoeing on the ground, pedalling feels too compact and my knees and hamstrings feel strained.

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 16:21 Quote
Do you use a dropper post? I can't stay on my seat and comfortably have a foot on the ground with my dropper fully extended.

Hasn't really been a problem for me though

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 16:51 Quote
Saddle height isn't set by if you can touch the ground or not. It's set at your personal optimum height for pedaling while you're riding. If the seat tube it steeper you'll need to make it taller to keep the same distance to the BB. When you need to stop you stand over the top tube or use the dropper.

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 16:56 Quote
I get lower back pain on these newer "longer , lower slacker" bikes, most bikes now get a steeper STA and then they've all added 20mm reach and the long reach is what causes the issues, the only bike i've found that i could pedal all day on easily was any of the previous Trek slash's, slack STA and short reach, meant i could fit more upright. the new 2021 one... by the number nerds im technically "fitted" correctly but suffer lower back issues as the reach grew by over 20mm.

More weight over the back when pedaling but i dont care the slack head angle etc already destroys proper pedaling performance.

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 at 17:12 Quote
Could be you are engaging muscles you dont normally use. This will trigger discomfort. An example is starting a yoga routine can cause brutality. But after time it settles in. I have climbed forever seated and move forward on the ssaddle as soon as technical challenge sets in. Upright posts suit grinding on smooth steep uphill. Or out of the saddle stomping. I'm not sold on super steep seat tubes because my climbs are long, but technical. I see an advantage in converting from quad to hamstring for primary, but if I was in the alps on a long road climb, id be on traditional geo, not time trial stuff. I also see a future in saddles that are longer, to promote moving for and aft. For now my slacker than trend seat tube works fine, and I just move forward for technical or really steep stuff. I also wear nice thick padded shorts. Excessive weight on the hands really puts me off as well. Your not alone in your evaluation.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 1:55 Quote
Is it true this is how people run their droppers, so that they can't touch the floor with their feet at full extension? I like the ability to bail off if I need to. If I was to set it for just ideal pedalling but couldn't touch the floor I'd probably have to go for a 180mm one up v2 as opposed to the 150mm I just bought and I only ride a medium frame.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 2:11 Quote
Danzzz88 wrote:
Is it true this is how people run their droppers, so that they can't touch the floor with their feet at full extension? I like the ability to bail off if I need to. If I was to set it for just ideal pedalling but couldn't touch the floor I'd probably have to go for a 180mm one up v2 as opposed to the 150mm I just bought and I only ride a medium frame.

Your dropper height need to be adjusted so that your leg is almost fully extended, with a slight bend, when pedalling (depending on your preference, you can increase this bend a little bit, but never extend the leg completely).

If you can't reach the ground when you lower the dropper post, this is another issue, meaning indeed that you need a longer dropper.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 2:20 Quote
jurassicrider wrote:
Danzzz88 wrote:
Is it true this is how people run their droppers, so that they can't touch the floor with their feet at full extension? I like the ability to bail off if I need to. If I was to set it for just ideal pedalling but couldn't touch the floor I'd probably have to go for a 180mm one up v2 as opposed to the 150mm I just bought and I only ride a medium frame.

Your dropper height need to be adjusted so that your leg is almost fully extended, with a slight bend, when pedalling (depending on your preference, you can increase this bend a little bit, but never extend the leg completely).

If you can't reach the ground when you lower the dropper post, this is another issue, meaning indeed that you need a longer dropper.

I can reach the ground easy with it lowered but I thought you should be able to reach the ground at full extension too. Say it was a fixed seatpost and not a dropper that is how I would have to have it in order to be able to easily get on and off the bike, so when I bought the dropper I just bought one that matched my fixed seatpost saddle height whilst being able to slam the dropper fully in the frame.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 3:32 Quote
Even before droppers you can't reach the ground in any practical way with the saddle at the correct height. I can't do it on my road bike and couldn't do it on slack mtb seat tubes before we had droppers either. I get off the saddle and stand over the top tube when I'm stopped. Your bike is made for riding. You set it up in the ideal position for riding, not standing.

I used to have back pain when doing long climbs too. It was a weak glute and back problem. I started doing dead lifts, squats, lunges and a few other exercises to work the gluteus medius. Back pain went away and my posture is better on or off the bike now too. Not saying that will be the case for everyone though.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 4:20 Quote
If you set the saddle in the proper position for your leg position, slightly bent at the knee with ball of foot on the pedal, how can you expect to touch the ground? Simply not possible.

I have not been on a steep ST bike, but I can certaily see how it can get too steep.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 4:33 Quote
I could on my sb6 with 72 degree seat tube tbh or roughly in the ballpark anyway, but obviously it created aong reach to the handlebars.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 20:59 Quote
You're not supposed to be able to reach the ground with seat at pedalling height.

I share the OP's concern about super steep seat tube angles on latest bikes, but I haven't ridden any of them in my size yet to have an informed opinion. Geo tables suggest cramped seated positions and depending on stack, possibly more weight in your hands.

That said, numbers on a table is one thing, riding the actual bike is another. Might actually work great in practice.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 22:08 Quote
I'm just here to agree with what's being said.

It's true, a seat at proper height is like getting onto a horse. The more travel your bike has, the worse it is. Not as bad as in the old days of crazy high BBs, but still pretty bad - and it always will be.

It's also true that seat-tube angles will always be a compromise. Traditional seat-tube angles are great for flat terrain, but you'll flip over backwards or have to sit on the tip of your seat on climbs. Steep seat-tube angles are great for climbs and irrelevant on descents, but cramped on flat terrain. A recumbent bike would solve the issue of being too high off the ground, but creates rather a lot of other problems.

For me, on my preferred trails, the advantages of a steep seat-tube angle outweigh the disadvantages. I haven't tested the absolute steepest angles available, so I don't yet know where the limit would be for me.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 23:42 Quote
Well I'm surprised I've been doing it wrong so long, even as a kid I always had my seat not overly high to the point I feel like I'm on a unicycle but hunched over 'perched'. Because I ride a lot of flat terrain and sometimes use my bike to commute to places via road I've always wanted to be in a position where I can st the very lest get a foot on the ground when stopping or to stabilise me in sketchey corners on trails ect, I don't want to say dropper posts enable me to drop the post every time I stop as that really is a bit of a faff given how clumbsey droppers tend to operate and I don't want my saddle so high it's difficult to dismount forwards of the saddle and stand over the frame instead, it always seemed a bit dangerous to me having my saddle too high but maybe now with these steep seatubes I will have to get used to it.

Posted: Nov 26, 2020 at 23:47 Quote
It's not objectively "wrong" to have your seat low, but yeah, you're giving up a lot of efficiency and increasing the risk of certain soft tissue injuries. Possibly reducing the risk of some other injuries, mind you.

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