Is Your Saddle too far Forward OR Back? (HOW to Set Saddle Fore-Aft)

Is Your Saddle too far Forward OR Back? (HOW to Set Saddle Fore-Aft)

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In this video bike fitting expert Neill Stanbury provides a detailed over view for setting bike saddle fore-aft / set back position on a road bike. Neill starts off with an explanation on the side effects of the saddle being too far forward, then too far back, before describing a method you ca use to set your saddle for-aft position.

#Saddle #fore #aft


  1. spider0804 on March 18, 2023 at 7:10 am

    The front gear on the bike on the trainer is not circular, is this a leverage thing?

  2. D Kay on March 18, 2023 at 7:11 am

    My neck hurts when I ride. I feel I should position the saddle more foward

  3. Andrija Grgic on March 18, 2023 at 7:11 am

    Git my first gravel bike. My arse hurts like a bitch.

  4. miýwêýihtâkosiw Mahihkan on March 18, 2023 at 7:13 am

    always had just " Rock n rolled" it regarding fit since I had no clue outside of height and saddle. Could never find a bike frame large enough, or a proper sized seat. Used, borrowed, or from places like Zellers, k-mart etc.. Will eventually go and see one of these fellows for a proper fitting.

  5. Tim Gainnes on March 18, 2023 at 7:15 am

    If u are ever in Seattle let me know, I need proper adjustment!

  6. Scott W on March 18, 2023 at 7:17 am

    Excellent video

  7. Blake Robert on March 18, 2023 at 7:18 am

    Way too confusing. Didn’t help.

  8. Manny on March 18, 2023 at 7:19 am

    Watching this after a ride and sore balls lol Thank you guys for the technical information 👍

  9. Hakan Deniz on March 18, 2023 at 7:21 am

    10:41 Well you obviously haven’t been to the Netherlands!

  10. Peter Dobos on March 18, 2023 at 7:21 am

    I love the way this guy explains the biomechanics behind everything. However, when he said that bit about "if the bars are too high or too far forward or backward"…I though "relative to what"? You can’t talk about handlebar setup in absolute terms, just as you can’t talk about seat positions in absolute terms: they’re realtive to each other, as he said with that spider web analogy. The only connection to the bike that is not adjustable (ok, a little bit with cleat positions but it won’t change during your rides) is the foot-pedal connection. The rest of it: saddle, stem, bars are all interconnecteded as per the spider web thing. So my question to Neill would be: starting from scratch, where would you start and in what order do you go?
    I am thinking start with cleat positions, then saddle height, then saddle front-back, then tilt, then move to the front end with bar height and front-back…???
    thanks heaps!

  11. paul jabinet on March 18, 2023 at 7:23 am

    Just what we were looking for in the csmper.

  12. Trent Nicolajsen on March 18, 2023 at 7:23 am

    the Canadian olympic coaches use to set up our cleats on the pedal with the ball of the lower big toe in line with the peddle axel, then they would get us to move the cranks straight up and down, and then use a string weight plum balm and hold it on the side of the knee cap indentation where the hinge of the legs are on the outside of the leg, the string then lines up with the pedal axel. and you move the seat back and forth to line in up. in that position one can see if the upper pedal leg is too high or flat, adjusting height so your upper leg mussel has a strong and comfortable push down without pressure to the knee, then we last would adjust the handle bar stem length, and that was done by putting your elbow agaist the seat nose, and your 3 longest fingers reached the mid bar.

  13. Pannemat on March 18, 2023 at 7:23 am

    I’ve got a simple 3-speed commuter and when I push that one hard, I feel everything hurt EXCEPT my quads.
    I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

  14. JarekMa2 on March 18, 2023 at 7:25 am

    7:40 "Do the balance test when you’re riding 20 minutes effort" ⇒ I understand it in the way that you *don’t have* to ride this test for 20 minutes, it’s just push your pedals for a few minutes but with Watts similar to your FTP. Am I right? Regards!

  15. Melody Newsome on March 18, 2023 at 7:25 am

    I put my saddle where it feels best for power and comfort. Alan key adjust. Alan key adjust. Bingo…plenty of time to get it right…FEEL

  16. Timothy Takemoto on March 18, 2023 at 7:25 am

    It will depend a lot on the style of pedalling that you do. If you do the quad-centric toe down up down style of pedalling, like time-trialists, that it is popular in the pro-peloton these days then you may want to set your seat forward. But if you use the sort of pedalling style used by Eddy Merx, bunched up at the back, ankling, using a more horizontal pedalling style, as if pedalling a pedal go-kart, pushing with heels down then pulling back with toes down, then you need a lot of set back. Both of these cyclists, in this video, are using the modern, toes down, style of riding. "You should ride as far forward as you can so long as you are not loading the hands too much" demonstrates that this fitter is not thinking about the old, ankling, French-style, horizontal style of pedalling.

    Lance Armstrong used lots of rear offset×370.jpg
    except when he was time trialling*X5f7FFMA5OXgVHPIHDs2EA.jpeg

    I have started to use the very rear-offset type since I am old and my butt muscles got weak and butt muscles are important for old men. I used to use forward offset saddles and seat posts and hardly used my butt muscles at all.

  17. acousticreate on March 18, 2023 at 7:26 am

    I am six minutes in, I am noticing have "symptoms" of both seat too forward and back…so must be doing something wrong 😅

  18. Sam k on March 18, 2023 at 7:28 am

    A lot of technicals and technicalities I no longer wanna know!! My saddle is fine its fine!!

  19. ca8050 on March 18, 2023 at 7:29 am

    a 12+ minute video on how to slide a seat back and forth? …how pathetic! if someone is not intelligent enough to align their seat, being on a bike is way too complicated and dangerous for such a simple mind! 🚴‍♂🚴‍♂

  20. steve on March 18, 2023 at 7:30 am

    fab upload.Went to check my used road bike to find the seat was pushed back to the max,I put it in the middle as a starting point,can already reach the bars easier thanks.

  21. Oz Yungerman on March 18, 2023 at 7:30 am

    I have a logical problem with this explanation as its mainly based on balance, while im experiencing lack of power when im sitting too far back.
    The feeling like i dont get the power from my pelvis, but only from the legs.
    When i take my saddle forward a bit, the power from the pelvis is back again.
    Im wondering how can i translate it to some method so i can assist others in the issue of fore/aft saddle position

  22. Drago 0900 on March 18, 2023 at 7:34 am

    Great video. I had it way too far back causing me a lot of frontal knee pain. Moving it forward seems to have solved the issue.

  23. Doctor J on March 18, 2023 at 7:35 am

    This a great video. A lot of these guys confuse this subject by making it over complicated. ITs a "feel" for sure. Your body knows more than you think.

  24. jaselikesbikes on March 18, 2023 at 7:39 am

    I have short legs and a long body so have to put my seat all of the way back as much as it can go.

  25. Dual dan Man on March 18, 2023 at 7:41 am

    I.m 511 with long arms I’m riding a vintage Schwinn world sport, your video was very helpful" thanks much man🤟🚴🤙👍

  26. Nathan Waldron on March 18, 2023 at 7:41 am

    I have a compressed disc, leaning forward is very painful. Trying to find proper settings while keeping a vertical spine position is very difficult.

  27. Dan Boads on March 18, 2023 at 7:41 am

    Thanks again for these fitment videos, really helped in understanding what my legs were trying to tell me. I’m re building a base fitness (casual rider) and passed most aches of as, you just unfit suck it up. Great guide and conversation.

  28. Jeremy Lawrence on March 18, 2023 at 7:42 am

    Fascinating stuff. I like how Neil isn’t dogmatic about how a bike should be fitted and speaks with lots of good caveats, due to our rather varied physiology and proportions.
    Though I was puzzled by sorting seat out *after* everything else. To my mind saddle height and position should be set for comfortable pedalling. Only then bar height, tilt etc variations should be set after the saddle position is dialled in. If bars/hoods etc cannot be fitted correctly, then bike is wrong size to start with.
    I always carefully test ride bikes before buying them and usually the ones I end up with, were comfy from start even without any tweaking, bar my pushing seat back from the usual too forward [for me] position.

  29. Juan Cirino on March 18, 2023 at 7:49 am

    nice stuff, thank you for sharing

  30. Clifford Richard c on March 18, 2023 at 7:50 am

    Saddle too far Forward OR Back how to determint correct

  31. John Dee on March 18, 2023 at 7:50 am

    Good info guys. A question if i may. I currently have a bike seat that I find is perfect for my riding initially. It is just that there isn’t much allowance for the Forward back movement to stop me drifting off the front of the seat after about 100 pedal cycles. Is there any device on the market that allows for more movement of seats that tend to have limited movement adjustment allowances? Otherwise it comes down to frame size and requirement to be replaced i suspect. Not something i can justify.

  32. David Evans on March 18, 2023 at 7:51 am

    Basically, bikes are dicks, They’ll hurt you if it’s not set up right, but will hurt you more in other wats if it is…

  33. Robin on March 18, 2023 at 7:52 am

    Really really good explanation! Thank you

  34. Bacciagalupe on March 18, 2023 at 7:52 am

    : )

  35. Lucas Delgado on March 18, 2023 at 7:53 am

    I’ve set my saddle all the way back and I still feel pain on my neck, strain on my hands and numbness on my toes. Should I get a shorter stem or a seat post with more setback?

  36. Marc M on March 18, 2023 at 7:55 am

    Why why oh why….is there so much roundabout chatter in all these videos, all good content in the end but painfully slow to get there.

  37. Dan Trigoboff on March 18, 2023 at 7:55 am

    I guess I don’t understand how moving the seat forward (road bike) puts more weight on the hands. Doesn’t it make the rider’s position more upright, reduce reaching, and shift weight to the saddle ? I should add that I’m an older rider( 69), with pretty big shoulders and significant upper body weight (about 6”0, 220 lbs), and seldom if ever ride in the drops or any position close to racing.

  38. Aidan Falls on March 18, 2023 at 7:56 am

    Explained from 11mins 40

  39. gary lugg on March 18, 2023 at 7:57 am

    this guy goes out of his way to complicate matters just for the sake of making it complicated . Far better reviews out there that portray this same topic in simple terms ..

  40. Michael E. Douroux on March 18, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Watched a lot of these fit videos featuring experts and I’ve yet to hear one really emphasize good posture. Certainly fit is important, but good fit with bad posture won’t work.

    Start by learning good posture then work fit.

  41. Trent on March 18, 2023 at 7:59 am

    Man every time I search something it’s some little roadies video lmao where are the mountain bikers

  42. Thomas Dumser on March 18, 2023 at 7:59 am

    These vids are EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you!

  43. pg40 on March 18, 2023 at 7:59 am

    The problem I have is, when I set the seat to forward. I’m azz begins to hurt like hell lol

  44. Slawek Szwarc on March 18, 2023 at 7:59 am

    hi Neil, does the balance test still make sense on short front saddles?

  45. Hiker John on March 18, 2023 at 8:04 am

    There’s nothing *natural* about riding a bike so you just have to play with it till it feels as good as you can get it and then get use to it. It’s going to be uncomfortable no mater what until you ride it a while and make little changes if they make it feel better. As soon as you get use to it you will be eyeing a new more expensive bike so you can start over. I would not creep it through the range but go to the extremes and see which is better/worse then go to the middle and see what you feel. Then that’s that problem that no matter what you do it might feel better just to make a change . . . it never ends.
    Not to mention the bike might be too long or short for you. Some people have long upper bodies and short legs and vise versa. You almost need a custom built bike

  46. ish474 on March 18, 2023 at 8:05 am

    ok now add in that I ride flats not clips😂

  47. Big Wave_Dave on March 18, 2023 at 8:05 am

    Great info! I’ve always struggled with saddle position while trying to not load the bars too much and also not go numb from too much pressure despite riding on my pelvic bones – I evenutally transitioned to an ISM split saddle (common for Triathletes) to avoid excess perineal pressure butt it’s not ideal. I’ve tried several trough-style saddles to no avail but seeing this, I will experiment a bit more. Thanks.

  48. nealart on March 18, 2023 at 8:06 am

    Took a while for it all to sink in but I got it dialed in now. Thanks a lot.

  49. Wes Bellairs Jr on March 18, 2023 at 8:06 am

    The steer tube should point at your ear (center of balance). Modern bikes have top tubes 4-5cm too short.
    If your balance point is not in line with the steering point you lean into a turn and the bike continues straight.
    A track bike with a 75 head tube will be much different than a touring bike with a 71 head tube. Try it.

  50. Van Wilder on March 18, 2023 at 8:08 am

    Old logic – if you find yourself creeping fwd all the time it’s too far back, find yourself pushing back all the time… well

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