Saddle tilt and seat curvature

Okay so I’m almost done with Kris Holm’s book and have read a jillion threads etc by now, but am still not clear on how and why you should tilt a saddle and how much. Or if there are any general guidelines or rules of thumb.

What do you think? And/or what’s your experience in that regard? Road or muni or street, etc?

How: slide your saddle backwards and forwards on the seatpost, before tightening the bolt(s). If you have a KH adjustable seatpost, there is a pretty self explanatory system of two bolts to set it upwards or downwards.

Why: Because it either hurts your balls regularly, in which case you adjust it to point more down. Or it doesn’t feel comfortable on longer rides, in which case you adjust it to somewhere else (generally a bit more upwards), and try if that improves the comfort.

How: in addition to just moving the seat back an forth on a four bolt seat post you can add spacer washers between the seat post and saddle to get a wider range of adjustment.
Why: Because everyone is different, try different setting to see what works. In general the lowest part of the saddle when the uni is vertical in riding the position is where most of the weight will be. Most find that if nothing sets in the way when the saddle nose is raised it will throw the weight back on the wider part of the saddle and put more pressure on the sit bones rather then sensitive parts. If the nose is lowered it will put more weight in the middle narrow part of the saddle. It seems that the flatter the saddle shape, the more the nose can be raised (without interfering with very sensitive body parts) and the more weight can be shifted back to the wider part of the saddle.


Your ass will determine what seat position is best for you.
It may even demand a different seat altogether!

For muni, I’m a Fusion Freeride with the nose up 100% fan.
Started on a Stadium, went to a Freeride, then a Zero, then back to the Freeride.
I’m standing for a good portion of my rides and using handlebars all of the time.

I resisted biking shorts in the beginning but have now seen (and felt) the light. They pad your ass and keep things in place while riding.

Kris’ book is the bible. (or at least mine!)
Keep re-reading as you learn and things make more sense.

A neutral saddle position is good for beginners, I think. Viewed from the side, the front is a little bit higher than the back. Another rider on the forum suggested that beginners hug the saddle with their inner thighs for increased stability. Whatever saddle position helps most in this regard might be beneficial. From my reading on the forum, it seems that riders are more likely to tilt the nose up, rather than down. Whether or not a rider uses bar ends may change the saddle position. After I began using bar ends, I learned to adjust myself subtly on the saddle while riding. If I had to revert to riding with my hands in the air, I don’t think any saddle would be comfortable.

Thanks all.

Sorry for any imprecision in my language. By how I meant like, at what sort of angle do people recommend, if a recommended angle is even a thing. And do folks favor a different angle for, say, road vs. muni? Beginner vs. experienced? Flat seat versus curved seat?

I’ve got a Nimbus Stadium seat, a pretty flat one that got installed, well, pretty flat too. I found it immediately uncomfortable because it’s not padded much and directs my weight onto a narrow and not very tough area. I know that area can toughen up with time, but for right now, I definitely want to find a better way. Or just learn if I’m somehow sitting wrong.

I’ll experiment.

The seats I’ve seen for sale vary dramatically from flat to very curved, so I figured there was more to this business than meets the eye.

Experiment and figure out what works for you. Don’t worry about trying to find “the right way”, since it’s different for everybody anyway.

“Tilting” a curved saddle basically just affects which part of the saddle you end up sitting on, since mostly you are sliding the saddle along an arced U-shaped path, not really tilting it. Imagine yourself sitting on the unicycle, not moving, while somebody else slides the seat back and forth under you.

You end up sitting on the bottom of the U. So sliding the seat forward puts your butt on the wider back part of the saddle; sliding it back puts you on a narrower part. A lot of folks prefer the saddle forward so they can sit on the wider part.

Truly flat saddles, especially the KH ones using a pivotal post (or a KH adjustable post), work a little differently since they aren’t sliding back and forth along an arc. Then you really do adjust the angle the saddle makes under you.