Saddle Drop

Need advice:

How do you tell apart whether saddle drop is too much (aero position) or too little (upright)?

Do you mean saddle to bar drop?

I think you will know based on the feedback from your back, shoulders, arms and hands and hip flexors.

I find I have about a 4 inch saddle to bar drop and I have my saddle rammed pretty far forward. It’s probably not a position I would want to be in for weeks on end, but I find it to be good for up to 5 hr rides. I spend my other time on my mtb in a considerably different position.

I definitely find my power output is much better on the road bike, due to the aggressive position.

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The only way to be sure is to have a bike fit. You can even have even two fits for the same bike, depending on the geometry of the bike and your preferred ‘ride type’ for each.

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I did not develop any major ailments as yet. Frankly, bike fitting will come with its own set of problems. I stick to meddling minor adjustments and learn about my body comfort.

Saddle-to-bar drop and reach have been tricky.

How will our muscle groups react to large saddle-to-bar drop? From what i read so far, i should look out for my shoulders, hip flexor, arms and lower back. Should I expect a tight hamstring due to more aero position?

I slammed my indoor trainer bike.
My left hip is getting wee bit strained after Half Monty so put a 5mm spacer below the stem and see how the left hip flexor goes. My back feel flat and better though. Previously, there was 20 mm spacer below the stem and I felt a small arch at the top-mid section of my back.

A good bike fit may go a long way to help avoid (serious) problems.

If you have a fit for a TT position, it will be completely different form your normal position, even if you would also occasionally use aero bars with that.

TT’s are typically not much longer than an hour and they are meant to hurt. There is no comfort in riding one and it takes time to get used to the position and the completely different use of your muscle groups.

Likewise, a triathlon, let alone an IM, will require another fit. And your indoor bike is yet another story, as your position will be extremely static.

Best option is a bike for each bike and/or each type of ride, but that is not an option for most. So, you start meddling and it will eventually cause trouble, if you do not adjust your bike settings to match.

I’m lucky enough to have a bike for mountaineering (my trips to the high mountains), one for TT’s and a dedicated trainer bike. All three are different and I had a bike fit for each.

I’m not saying a bike fit is the ultimate answer, but it can save you from a world of hurt, other than what you’re here for…


I need a bike fit, but c****-19 has put a damper on that. Either my saddle hurts or my hands hurt, and if I try to get into a more aggressive position I’m too stretched out which causes arm and breathing and back problems, unless I use my clip on aero bars (which I can only use for a short time because… how do you keep your clip-on aero bars from rotating around your handlebars?). My saddle is forward. I bought a shorter stem. But, I think the real problem is my bike frame. I have a nice ti road bike I was gifted by my dad when he was unable to ride anymore. He’s slightly taller than 6’1" while I’m just under 5’11" and our body’s aren’t proportionally the same. He has a shorter torso and longer arms, etc. So, I think a bike fit will only help me so much and what I really need is a smaller frame. But, that’s not going to help me with the bike I have, now. And I don’t have the money or the desire to buy a second bike - I can only afford to slowly tinker with my current bike. Maybe after co$%#@id I can get a TT bike when i can do triathlons again, but that’s still a long way off. So, in the meantime, I just keep tinkering with minor adjustments and biding my time.

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The bike fit debate goes on and on, and I’m only on this thread because I finally went and had one. I resisted for ages and ages mainly because of the cost, plus was happy to make minuscule changes and use what I’ve learnt online. However now doing serious training on the suf, I wanted to get everything as it should be remembering that everybody is different and comfort is key. I was lucky to get a very experienced fitter who really did do the whole kit and caboodle. As it turned out I was pretty close considering I have long legs and short torso. The main takeaway though was the revelation of one leg considerably shorter than the other and the fitting of a shim. Fitter then went the extra mile with the cleats making sure pedal stroke was spot on. The difference in holding cadence and power targets is night and day and worth the price alone. There is a saying that the bike fit is only as good as the fitter, this may be true and I may have got lucky but glad I finally bit the bullet. Fitter also paid me loads of compliments and congratulated me on being so close with the fit. To conclude, in my opinion to train and ride seriously but more important, efficiently and comfortably, a bike fit is the way to go.


This is spot on and exactly what I have experienced. I know they don’t come cheap, but it will for sure give you new insights and probably those tiny adjustments you need.

Any experienced rider can come close to what is or feels right, but you will never be able to do the kind of precise analysis a bike fitter will.

Once again, it’s not the answer to everything. Sometimes you’ll need a doctor to fix things first, or it cannot be fixed at all. And for some people, that fine tuning really doesn’t matter and that is fine too.


i did my bike fit and resolved all my previous problems. the science behind bike-fitting is solid. i’m not doubting the bike-fitting science. the fact is i learnt and still learning a great deal from bike-fitting gurus and my body. And what i am saying i am the only one who really knows what my body is telling. i don’t make huge adjustments. just minor ones from what is already a very comfy position.

i’m meddling saddle-to-bar drop to a more aero from the comfy position and hope to catch the sweet spot in-between.

I’m tempted to drop one spacer too…

When considering saddle to bar drop I simply pay attention to how bent my arms are and how much I’m flexing at the hips. The drop is too big if my arms are locked out, hips fully flexed and Im having to arch over to reach the bars. I consider it spot on when my arms are slightly bent, back is straight and hip flex comfortable. But I’m more Gran Fondo than aero TT for sure! I’m also coming from a long mtb background, so I’m not in the stem slamming brigade and have maybe only a couple of cm drop. If I want more aero I just bend my arms a bit more and actually ride in the drops :grinning:

Edit: just measured my drop at about 40 mm. Pretty conservative by race standards, but I’m not super flexible and I’m set up for 6+ hours in the saddle.