Why do Pros sit so far forward on saddle?

Quick question. My understanding is that it’s best/good to anchor sit bones on the saddle. So why do I see so many WorldTour pros sitting so far forward, almost on the nose of the saddle? Geraint Thomas is a good example. Practically enough room for a team mate to sit behind him…

(If they’re trying to get into a more powerful, TT-like position, why not nudge the saddle position forward?)

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No idea but I’ve wondered why as well.

UCI regulations

I’d have to look it up but I think the front of the saddle must be 50mm behind the centre or the bottom bracket or something similar.

The optimal aero/power position could be slightly in front of this for some riders so they sit forward on the saddle.

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Also possible that you’re mostly watching them when they’re attacking, climbing, etc and that their preferred saddle position when they need to put out high power and/or get aero is not the same as their preferred saddle position when they’re cruising along in the bunch in Z2.

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And it’s not just a little forward. You can see half of their saddle exposed. I tried replicating this and it was impossible. My butt is too big and covers the entire saddle wether I’m riding in the nose or not.

Possible to activate hamstrings much better that is. Short nose saddles kinda support this too.

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You don’t actually sit on the sit bones when you ride a road bike. Measuring and fitting saddles to sit bones is one of those things that sounds great but is kind of bogus. You sit on the ichiopubic ramus

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And notice how much Thomas crashes!

Pros are going for a more aerodynamic position. Forward saddle, shorter reach but deep drop.

There’s been some discussion of Pogacar’s position recently on the Escape Collective performance podcast. (And honestly, I think Thomas has over done it.)

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Perhaps the answer is that WT pros have very small butts.

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It’s a lot easier to tolerate discomfort when your paycheck depends on it.

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You don’t mention when - because I don’t think they always sit so far forward, but when you are going maximum exertion then it’s natural to really move forward on the saddle and I think that is where the phrase “on the rivet” comes from, because all saddle had a rivet on the front tip.

To me it makes sense since my last and only bike fit, where I went a little up in position, but much farther forward and was able to generate more power for longer, with more comfort. As @AJS914 mentioned, this has been discussed on the Escape Collective’s Performance Podcast.

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In addition to the previous comments, three factors that also affect their position (not necessarily the main reason tho):

  • A more forward “center of balance point” due to low upper body weight.

  • UCI saddle setback rules.

  • Limited saddle options, since they have to use a model from a sponsor.

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Yeah. The worse bike fit advise I received was to make sure my sit bones were supporting in the saddle. Wasted a lot of time trying to find the right sitting position based on this idea.

Maybe it works that way for some people but it shouldn’t be a goal.

As above it’s UCI regs. The riders want to be in a further forwards position, because it allows you to have a better/more open hip angle combined with a more aero position (flatter back), but UCI regs require a setback and there’s rules on bars as well.

In triathlons they don’t have the same rules on setback and you generally see the saddle much further forwards.

You can often see them sliding forwards on the TTs and shuffling backwards.

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Also worth noting that in general the more power you’re putting out the less weight is actually on your saddle. A pro on a sustained full-gas climb or TT can hold a saddle position that would be very uncomfortable while coasting because they’re not actually sitting on the saddle. Watch ‘em come over the top of a climb and start to descend, they all shift back into a more “normal” position.

I’d also echo the above re: bike fit. More forward position, a bit more nose-down saddle and shorter cranks are all current trends to open the hip angle and tilt the pelvis forward.

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Part of the sliding forwards “on the rivet” thing is a natural compensation to get into a deeper, less extended position for power. People who switch to shorter cranks find they stop doing that.

Triathletes can sit super far forwards because they live on aero bars and don’t have to worry as much about nerve damage in their hands.

I cant believe no one brought up dylans saddle position

Dylan Johnsons saddle is ridiculous lol. But you know that he can make a 30 minute video explaining why it is how it is.

IMG_2051

Beautiful bike though.

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Maybe they just need this: Features and Benefits – Aenomaly Constructs