So I wondered why XC racers looked so "tall" on a bike…

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  • So I wondered why XC racers looked so "tall" on a bike…
  • Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    ..and then I replicated my road BB to saddle height. Blimey, really? I guess it makes sense, doesn’t it?

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    actually one of the big advantages of a dropper post, I’ve found you can run a proper saddle height when you want to without feeling perched when it gets technical/you roll off a kerb.

    I don’t think it’s news that all cyclists, in whatever discipline, have their saddles at the most efficient height for pedalling.

    That is, apart from MTBers when they’re pointing downhill. This is why dropper posts are such a good idea, in my opinion.

    Edit – beaten to it ๐Ÿ™‚

    bob_summers
    Member

    I’ve seen the elite guys clear stuff I couldn’t with the seat dropped, and they have ISPs and don’t even appear to get off the back of the saddle.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I’ve seen the elite guys clear stuff I couldn’t with the seat dropped

    damned annoying, isn’t it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I raised mine about an inch. Oddly I feel fine with them in their original position and by accident they were all the same.

    ‘Cept I now need a 420mm on my HT.

    JCL
    Member

    Actually most top XC racers run a lower seat height than their road height. I think 2cm is common but some run more. Look at Kulharvy, he has like a 30 degree bend in his leg. Nobody can ride tech with a road seat height.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I run mine slightly lower on the MTB.

    timb34
    Member

    I also run my ht saddle height about 2cm lower than the road bike.

    This is not because i’m a top xc racer. it’s because i’m too lazy to stop and drop the saddle all the time!

    Hob Nob
    Member

    I’ve seen the elite guys clear stuff I couldn’t with the seat dropped, and they have ISPs and don’t even appear to get off the back of the saddle.

    This must very much be the exception. I’ve raced XC this winter, and in general, the standard of riding has been dire (including the Expert category).

    Don’t get me wrong, they are supremely fit, and the pace they can motor along the easier bits it’s pretty impressive, but on some decent tech, it was wobbler central. Maybe I see it from the other end of the spectrum.

    If I could get properly fit, I’d be lethal in an XC race

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Dunno where you’ve been XC racing over winter, but generally the top top guys (ie pros) really are rather handy!

    And Expert means nothing, I’m an expert, and I’m shit.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    hob wrote:

    I’ve seen the elite guys clear stuff I couldn’t with the seat dropped, and they have ISPs and don’t even appear to get off the back of the saddle

    .
    This must very much be the exception. I’ve raced XC this winter, and in general, the standard of riding has been dire (including the Expert category).[/quote]You count yourself in the elite then?

    Premier Icon S_J
    Subscriber

    The bike fit I had done recommended 10mm more saddle height for an MTB than a road bike for me.

    crikey
    Member

    If I could get properly fit, I’d be lethal in an XC race

    Yes, yes you would…

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    You count yourself in the elite then?

    I’d suggest he counts himself a Demi god from the tone of the post!

    tpbiker
    Member

    I run same distance for both road and mtb, which is pretty high. Fine on 95% or stuff I ride the xc bike on, but on particularly steep stuff and drops its to high.

    Anyone else race XC with a dropper and if not why not? Surely the half pound penalty is more than made up for by having the seat at the right point all the time?

    Hob Nob
    Member

    Gorrick? What’s the standard like at that?

    I (wrongly) made the assumption that Expert would be fairly comparable to Elite, as it tends to be in DH when at regionals.

    I certainly didn’t expect to be bitch braking behind them on the tech, even if they tore me a new one everywhere else ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Gorrick? What’s the standard like at that?

    Isaac Pucci (who won expert) and Ben Thomas are both bloody good. Can’t specifically speak for the rest of them. No qualifying criteria though, anyone can race expert at a Gorrick, and I may a great mobile chicane.

    And when you say “this winter”, you mean “once, yesterday”?

    DT78
    Member

    Tried my seatpost at road height last race ended up getting smacked in the nackers so much over the 4 hours I dropped it back down to normal (which is about 2 cm lower). I have been thinking about fitting a dropper, I think the advantage would outweigh the weight on my scale.

    And my experience is that the top guys really are quite handy at everything though they are mostly a blur when I see them go past me!

    At my fitness level I tend to be far quicker through the singletrack than my counterparts and get frustrated as I can’t pass them, but then can’t overtake on the fireroads and get dropped only to catch them next twisty bit.

    Kind of changed my mindset on singletrack in a race now, its there for recovery for me, try to keep as smooth and fast as possible no silly accelerations ‘burning my matches’ (if you’ve read TTCC you know what I mean…) and then really push it on the fireroads. Seems to have really improved my results. Less fun and more pain though.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I’ve never actually measured the difference! Tend to think with FS it changes anyway. Interested to see with a hardtail, but I envisage 1-2cm lower.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Saddle same height on both here, never dropped for an xc race either.

    AWESOME.

    Hob Nob
    Member

    They were bloody quick overall, not denying it.

    Interesting anyone can race expert, it is different from DH then, as you have to be pretty much top of your respective age category to be invited in.

    It’s been an experience anyway. Highlighted a serious difference in perceived levels of fitness for me.

    JCL
    Member

    I hear what Hob Nob is saying though. The general level of fitness in expert in the UK is far higher than the technical ability.

    The XC races in BC are probably no faster on the climbs but right through to mid pack in any cat people slay the descents.

    TiRed
    Member

    Mine is the same 74cm measured on both road and mtb.Never dropped it. That includes Forest of Dean DH mincing I am of course a bike handling God ๐Ÿ˜‰ . I also ride a very narrow saddle and practice getting back behind it.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Interesting anyone can race expert, it is different from DH then, as you have to be pretty much top of your respective age category to be invited in.

    At Gorricks you don’t, they’re not BC sanctioned, so it’s just all comers. At Southern XCs and NPSs and what not you have to have a licence for expert or elite, which you have to earn. But you don’t have to be good at descending to do that, particularly in expert. Not that many elites are crap descenders because it’s much harder to get in, you need serious fitness to compensate to get to the top of expert.

    However… the statement wasn’t about mid pack experts, it was about the top guys, who are very good descenders! Look on Strava at most of the Surrey Hills descents, you’ll find a number of XC racers near the top of all the leaderboards.

    And we digress! I’m intrigued about the respective saddle height now, but don’t have a built up MTB to check!

    bikerbruce
    Member

    I’ll be honest I’ve had some decent MTB races in my time,though never making elite as of yet I’ve certainly been at the front end of expert on some of the more testy tracks (Dalby,kirroughtree etc) and I have to say I would’nt say it was my technical ability slowing me down…even with my seat right up!

    IanMunro
    Member

    The “tall” thing is an optical illusion. It’s caused by them not being fat.

    You also need to bear in mind that tech descents feel very different when rested and fresh compared to when you have been riding at 95% MHR for an hour.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Is that even physiologically possible?

    DT78
    Member

    http://www.strava.com/activities/41288319

    okay – around 93% MHR for 90mins… fitter now….

    cynic-al, stop being a pedant.

    Premier Icon Stiggy
    Subscriber

    You also need to bear in mind that tech descents feel very different when rested and fresh compared to when you have been riding at 95% MHR for an hour.

    Good point

    cynic-al
    Member

    RD, stop talking guff.

    Premier Icon Stiggy
    Subscriber

    He’s right in as much as your skills turn to mush when you’ve been giving it some beans for a couple of hours….

    brennanpj
    Member

    This must very much be the exception. I’ve raced XC this winter, and in general, the standard of riding has been dire (including the Expert category).
    Don’t get me wrong, they are supremely fit, and the pace they can motor along the easier bits it’s pretty impressive, but on some decent tech, it was wobbler central. Maybe I see it from the other end of the spectrum.
    If I could get properly fit, I’d be lethal in an XC race

    Hob nob , you must be the nuts! Eight out of eleven in the expert race on Sunday were elite, one I think junior and one or two expert. If you even stayed with them to the first single track you’re doing well. You should get yourself entered in the British series. I think you have a shot at the title!

    thomthumb
    Member

    Few crashes but some pretty tech stuff in here.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VRMr1G8o9A[/video]

    c_klein87
    Member

    2cm lower!!! more like 4mm! would feel like riding through porridge down that low, it pains me to see how people can ride with their knees knocking round their ears

    chris-noble-mtb.blogspot.co.uk/

    Hob Nob
    Member

    Hob nob , you must be the nuts! Eight out of eleven in the expert race on Sunday were elite, one I think junior and one or two expert. If you even stayed with them to the first single track you’re doing well. You should get yourself entered in the British series. I think you have a shot at the title!

    If you’re going to try to be funny, you should really try harder ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh, and maybe learn to read properly. I’ve repeatedly, quite clearly said they arn’t even in the same game when it comes to average speeds. The pace they motored past me on the fire roads was shocking. However, rightly or wrongly, I expected that to carry on in the fun bits.

    Try a bit harder next time Mr Troll.

    brennanpj
    Member

    Ah, you said you were “bitch braking ” behind them, I assume , meaning they were holding you up!
    So you weren’t even in the expert race then. So can you comment on there technical ability, when you can’t ride with them!

    grum
    Member

    If I could get properly fit and really good technically, I’d be lethal in an XC race. ๐Ÿ™‚

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