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What does sliding forward on a saddle mean?

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View Poll Results: What does sliding forward on your saddle mean?
Saddle tilted nose down too much
54.55%
Saddle is too far forward
9.09%
Saddle is too far back
18.18%
Handlebars too close
0
0%
Something else
33.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

What does sliding forward on a saddle mean?

Old 09-18-19, 12:44 PM
  #1  
ericcc65
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What does sliding forward on a saddle mean?

I have a Brooks B17 Imperial that I'm enjoying now after some neatsfoot oil treatments. However, I notice that I keep sliding forward on my saddle and having to push myself back. When I think of it I actually don't know what this means, I see a few possibilities:
  • My saddle is tilted down.
    • That's not the case with me, my saddle is actually too far up, to prevent the slipping, and it's almost to the point where it's hurting with the nose up that much.
  • My saddle is too far back.
    • If the saddle is too far back then perhaps I naturally slip into a more forward position, but that's not the comfort spot on the saddle so I push myself back regularly.
  • My saddle is too far forward.
    • I'm normally in the comfort spot for the saddle but that spot is too far forward, so I push myself back to adjust, but eventually I slide into the more comfortable saddle position of being too far forward.
  • My handlebars are too close.
    • Maybe this makes me feel too scrunched and want to push myself back.
  • Something else?
I did get an expensive fit once, but it was on a different bike with a different saddle and before many knee injuries.
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Old 09-18-19, 01:13 PM
  #2  
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Assuming your saddle height is correct and if you haven't already, check your position relative to KOPS (knee over pedal spindle). There are many videos out there about how to do this. KOPS is hardly a perfect "golden rule", but it will at least help you put some context around your fore/aft position.
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Old 09-18-19, 04:18 PM
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mcours2006
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Brooks B17 you have to tilt the nose slightly up. Experiment with how much tilt until it feels comfortable.
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Old 09-18-19, 04:27 PM
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Sy Reene
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I'd throw out that it means you need more flexibility, in that while your saddle may be in the exactly best position, after a while your body isn't able to handle the tuck you're in and you're naturally moving forward so that you're more upright and less uncomfortable in the tucked position that the saddle is in. A potential raise of the handlebars or moved closer to the saddle could solve as well.
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Old 09-18-19, 04:41 PM
  #5  
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I think the saddle is too far forward, but not for exactly the reason you mention. It often happens with a Brooks because of the short rails that the saddle sits forward of the pedals, so that with every rotation you’re pushing yourself forward a bit. Tilting the nose up could solve that problem but could create other problems. The best solution is probably a post with a little setback.
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Old 09-18-19, 05:03 PM
  #6  
sumgy
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I would start with saddle tilt, saddle fore aft and saddle height.
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Old 09-18-19, 07:15 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by ericcc65 View Post
I have a Brooks B17 Imperial that I'm enjoying now after some neatsfoot oil treatments. However, I notice that I keep sliding forward on my saddle and having to push myself back. When I think of it I actually don't know what this means, I see a few possibilities:
  • My saddle is tilted down.
    • That's not the case with me, my saddle is actually too far up, to prevent the slipping, and it's almost to the point where it's hurting with the nose up that much.
You can have a saddle that's tilting both down and up too much at the same time.

A downward slope on the tail causes you to slide forwards.

An upward slope on the nose causes discomfort.

A saddle that's too convex for you can have both problems.

You might need a saddle that's flatter front to back.
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Old 09-18-19, 07:22 PM
  #8  
ericcc65
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
You can have a saddle that's tilting both down and up too much at the same time.

A downward slope on the tail causes you to slide forwards.

An upward slope on the nose causes discomfort.

A saddle that's too convex for you can have both problems.

You might need a saddle that's flatter front to back.
That's a really great point. Come to think of it, the saddle that's worked best for me in the past was an Arione clone. Sigh, more money to spend on saddles again.
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Old 09-18-19, 10:10 PM
  #9  
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Is the saddle too slippery?
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Old 09-18-19, 10:22 PM
  #10  
ericcc65
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Is the saddle too slippery?
Also a great point. Being a Brooks leather saddle, that's been treated, it is rather slippery. Is there anything that could be done about that if it is the problem?
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Old 09-19-19, 01:56 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
You can have a saddle that's tilting both down and up too much at the same time.

A downward slope on the tail causes you to slide forwards.

An upward slope on the nose causes discomfort.

A saddle that's too convex for you can have both problems.

You might need a saddle that's flatter front to back.
You just described an SMP.
When set up properly they are incredibly comfortable.
But a LOT of people set them up completely wrong.
The should be set up so that you basically sit IN the SMP's curve.
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Old 09-19-19, 02:22 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by ericcc65 View Post
Also a great point. Being a Brooks leather saddle, that's been treated, it is rather slippery. Is there anything that could be done about that if it is the problem?
My opinion of Brooks saddle's is to throw them away.
Their rails are very short and many riders (including me) cannot get these saddles in the correct position, even with a setback seatpost.
I see lots of riders try to work around this by tilting the nose of these saddles up.

As I said earlier I would look at your saddle setback, your saddle height, and tilt.
Setback and height go together.
But basically you are looking for a position where you are pedaling smooth circles and where you are not using your quads or hamstrings any more than each other.
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Old 09-19-19, 03:08 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by ericcc65 View Post
I have a Brooks B17 Imperial that I'm enjoying now after some neatsfoot oil treatments. However, I notice that I keep sliding forward on my saddle and having to push myself back. When I think of it I actually don't know what this means
Originally Posted by ericcc65 View Post
Also a great point. Being a Brooks leather saddle, that's been treated, it is rather slippery. Is there anything that could be done about that if it is the problem?
It means you got a Brooks saddle and need to tilt the nose of the saddle up. You also need to ride it a while.



Lots of people who ride long distances use Brooks saddles ... and ride them with the nose tipped up. See ...
https://www.bikeforums.net/long-dist...bicycle-s.html

Last edited by Machka; 09-19-19 at 03:14 AM.
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Old 09-19-19, 07:32 AM
  #14  
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Leave it out in the rain.
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Old 09-19-19, 08:00 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by ericcc65 View Post
I have a Brooks B17 Imperial that I'm enjoying now after some neatsfoot oil treatments. However, I notice that I keep sliding forward on my saddle and having to push myself back. When I think of it I actually don't know what this means, I see a few possibilities:
During time trials on tv I've seen some of the pro cyclists having to push themselves backward on their saddles after about every 10 pedal strokes and was wondering if it could be caused by the pedalling action, with the skin in contact with the saddle being drawn slightly forward on each upstroke.
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Old 09-19-19, 09:28 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
You can have a saddle that's tilting both down and up too much at the same time.

A downward slope on the tail causes you to slide forwards.

An upward slope on the nose causes discomfort.

A saddle that's too convex for you can have both problems.

You might need a saddle that's flatter front to back.
In that case, tighten the bolt. Tension the leather.
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Old 09-19-19, 10:08 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Brooks B17 you have to tilt the nose slightly up. Experiment with how much tilt until it feels comfortable.
The uptilt that will comfortably let you sit in the right place is just a little bit below the uptilt that focuses too much pressure on the front of my undercarriage. You might need to make fine adjustments to the up-down, as well. Abrasion is for me usually caused by the saddle being too high, so my hips rock as my legs each stretch down once each cycle. When you get the uptilt correct, it's worth a try to reduce the height by just a few (2) millimeters to reduce pressure on the sitbones and surrounding areas.

You might also be pulled forward by having your bars too far forward as your saddle is moved back bit by bit. You should be able to feel in balance on the saddle, holding your hands on the bars without pushing down to hold your torso up. This stability is the result of good fore aft balance combined with good core strength. Your arms should be stuck out forward, but not stretched uncomfortably far.

Last edited by Road Fan; 09-19-19 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 09-20-19, 08:54 AM
  #18  
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In that case, tighten the bolt. Tension the leather.
Great idea, thanks! I think I actually removed the laces, because they didn't work with the seatpost. But I can probably lace it around the seat rail clamp area.

Last edited by ericcc65; 09-20-19 at 08:57 AM. Reason: Insert quoted quote
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Old 09-20-19, 09:22 AM
  #19  
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I have a B17 standard on my heavy bike, and I slip forward too, even with a comfortable nose up angle. I'm noticing that as I improve my pedaling mechanics, I could raise my seatpost 2-3 mm. Basically it seems that I'm slipping forward as I pedal harder, and I think its because I'm unweighting myself on the saddle from the exertion; kind of like a spoke at the bottom of the wheel. I think A little extra height will help me stay in place.

Have you been fitted for the bike? Experienced fitters know a lot of the tricks to ironing out your best fit. Dialing a fit is selecting your most comfortable option from a range of acceptable answers. The bike fitter should also share your fit measurements with you when they're done.

The short rails impair my fore/aft balance. I have the saddle slammed all the way back, and I could still use another 2-3 mm. No hands on the bike is...iffy. I should swap the saddle and see what happens..

Last edited by Unca_Sam; 09-20-19 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 09-20-19, 09:54 AM
  #20  
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Just a couple of general observations.

1. Just about every photo of a Brooks saddle on a bike that gets ridden has the saddle tilted up. It's been mentioned a couple of times already, but I want to emphasize that "why" doesn't matter as much on that score as the fact that it's a standard setup.

2. All of us, when we go harder, tend to slide forward on the saddle. If that's part of the issue, it's not really an issue.

Personally I'll be all over the saddle during the course of a ride, and not worrying about it has been my optimal solution. It depends on everything else - how I'm positioning my back and arms, how hard I'm going, fatigue, what I'm wearing - so why try to force myself to plant my rear to an arbitrary saddle position? It makes more sense to me to get the saddle where I mostly like it, then ride on it however I feel like at the time with no concern that the saddle is configured incorrectly or that I am.
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Old 09-20-19, 10:05 AM
  #21  
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Saddle too wide, causing sliding forward to less comfortable or efficient position?
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Old 09-20-19, 03:09 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by ericcc65 View Post
Great idea, thanks! I think I actually removed the laces, because they didn't work with the seatpost. But I can probably lace it around the seat rail clamp area.
Be VERY CAREFUL with that nose nut/bolt tightening of the saddle. many saddles have been completely ruined by over-tightening the nose bolt/nut.

I'd try relacing the saddle if if had been laced before. I have a WRIGHTS leather saddle that I lace and some of the lacing crosses in front of the saddle clamp and some crosses behind it. I also make sure to use FLAT laces so that there is nothing very proud of the saddle to rub agaist whilst riding. The saddle at the top is the one I laced.



Cheers
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Old 09-20-19, 07:40 PM
  #23  
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Hah! I just ran into this issue today. Riding my bike to work this morning, I suddenly realized my saddle nose was too low; I kept pushing myself back and the extra weight was causing pain and numbness in my hands. Stopped at an LBS during my lunch break (my multitool wasn't up to the task) and borrowed an Allen wrench; boom, problem solved!

I hope your issue is as easily resolved.
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Old 09-23-19, 10:44 PM
  #24  
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When I first got my Brooks B17 saddle it was like a block of wood. Like the OP I always found myself migrating to the front -- even when adjusting the tilt up. After 6 months and several applications of the Brooks "proofide" treatment, on both sides of the saddle, I was ready to give up on it. It was still like sitting on mahogany and I was still moving forward. I had read a post somewhere about some presumed knucklehead who softened his Brooks by beating it with a ball peen hammer. With nothing to lose because the saddle was becoming worthless to me, I attacked. Stopping short of the ball peen hammer, I did proceed to wail on it with a rubber tip mallet after another 48 hour proofide soak... and the leather started to flex at last! Another application of the proofide and another beating and I was ready to giver it another try. It was an immediate improvement. I was now sitting IN the saddle, rather than on it as the leather started to shape to my butt bones in the proper location on the saddle and the nose tilted slightly higher than a normal seat. It further improved with time and now I can't imagine sitting on anything else on my main bike (a streeted up cyclocross). The seat on my mountain bike is... ok ... but I could never put away hours like I can on the broken-in Brooks.

Anyway, maybe it is the dry Southern California climate that prevented the Brooks from breaking in "naturally", or maybe I got a mahogany special, but the hammer worked for me. If you are ready to give up on the seat anyway, attack!
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Old 09-24-19, 05:09 AM
  #25  
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I voted "other". When I slide forward on the saddle, it means that I'm on a long climb.
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