Seat Angle

I've been playing around a bit with the seat angle on my Rover. So far I have found that having more of a reclined position keeps my backside from slipping forward but I'm not sure yet what is likely to work best. Currently I have the grenade pins in the 5th hole down from the top which is comfortable but seems to require more peddling effort than having them in the 4th hole down. I realize this is going to be one of those things that is highly variable from one person to the next nevertheless, I am curious what position other Rover users have their seats in and why.


  • One hole away from fully reclined. I think I'm aerodynamic. Fully reclined and I would obviously be too fast. :))
  • I'm interested in this thread.  I bought my special needs daughter a Rover 8 internal since she can't balance a traditional bike.      She absolutely loves it but, slips down in the seat.   My inclination ( no pun intended) was to make the seat less reclined.   I might try MH's approach and recline it one hole.

  • jg,

    Recline the seat back a bit and loosen the strap at the bottom rear of the seat. It makes a fine little depression that fits the backside and prevents moving forward as you pedal.

    My question has more to do with the physiognomy of having the seat further reclined. I mentioned it being harder to peddle but that's not quite accurate. It's more like it puts strain on my thigh muscles while also bringing my abdominal muscles into play. I couldn't spin as fast and I had pain in my thigh muscles that I don't normally experience. The next morning my abdominal muscles were sore also.

    My aim is to slowly build myself up to being able to maintain a 60-70rpm cadence for extended periods of time... an hour or two at least. That's the cadence I typically rode at in my upright days but I do have to keep in mind that was 40 years ago.
  • I've been experimenting with the position of my seat.  Right now I have it very upright but found I did slip forward in the seat but I have been able to increase my speed and distance while in this position.  However, I felt my core got more of a workout when the seat was more angled.  Since I need to work on that section of my body, I plan to slant the seat more and see if that affects my speed.

    With the seat angled, I have received comments from walkers near me on how comfortable that bike looks.  I tell them it's still a lot of hard work, even if it looks comfortable!
  • Florida_bound that pretty much confirms my suspicion. Thanks for your input.

    I'm going to recline my seat another hole (maybe two) and gauge my body's response to the change. It's probably going to be a matter of training a different set of muscles. Since most of my rides are going to be quite short for the near future I should be able to tell if the feedback from my body is the result of exercising the muscles differently (gets easier over time) or a warning sign that I'm doing things wrong and need to stop before I do some damage.
  • You may have to adjust your handlebars.  Leaning the seat more moves your hands further back, also.  

    I have the wide handlebars that lean to the back when I move them in.  They end up hitting my hips and I can't turn.  But, if I leave them out over the wheel, I can't reach them.  My boom is out all the way so I am limited on what adjustments I can make.
  • edited March 2016
    @Elrique64 "If your knees hurt, STOP RIGHT AWAY! This is a joint that the damage could be permanent with little indication you actually did something bad other than a bit of pain.  Adjust the seat a bit to get you back on the road, but take extra care.  The knee isn't something to mess around with. If you really hurt it through massing (which is more possible on a trike or recumbent than an upright.) you could be looking at some serious down time or surgery to fix them up right."

    Again with the dire warnings on knee pain and injury you are simply wrong on this! Knee pain is very common in cycling, for a couple reasons, and rarely leads to serious injury or surgery.

    You are correct that any knee pain should be resolved most likely with and adjustment either to the trike or the riders technique. However the idea that an unsuspecting rider could seriously damage a knee with little indication is just silly, stick to the facts.

    Any exercise program will result in occasional pain and discomfort. This is normal! New riders should be aware of the difference between normal discomfort and serious indication that damage is occurring. If your knees hurt after a bike adjustment you are beginning the process of causing injury to the knees. So undo the adjustment. 

    I rode both days this past weekend on a bike one of my sons rode last fall and his seat height is 5mm higher than mine. Midway through the second ride the inside of my right knee started hurting the light went on and I dropped the seat 5mm to my normal height. My knee ached yesterday and is still a bit sore today but I have been through this many times in the last 40 years almost always in the spring and I have never had any long term injury to my knees. 

    Chronic over use injury to the knee joint is always preceded by a progression of warning signs including pain, swelling, fluid build up, and loss of range of motion. Even if a rider is foolish enough to ride until fluid appears rest, adjustment of machine or technique, and slow reentry to the sport almost always resolves the issue without surgery.      
  • I get a bit more butt push with the seat near a upright position but for distance I'm about half reclined.
  • I have looked at the trike model photos on this website.  Almost all models have the seat way to the front.  Is that how everyone has their trike set up?  Does this help to balance your weight over all three wheels? If not, why move the seat so far forward?

    My knees don't bend past 90 degrees these days due to constant swelling in the joints.  Frequent riding has not improved that problem.  I have 150 mm cranks to reduce the amount my knees have to bend. Also, my boom is out as far as it can go.  Honestly, I seldom have knee pain when I ride.  Normally, riding makes my knees feel better.  And, the more often I ride, the better they feel!
  • The dealer had my seat nearly upright when I bought my Rambler.  It soon dawned on me that I wasn't getting power that way.  I started experimenting with setting the seat back a notch and taking a test ride to see how it felt.  I finally ended up with it being in the third notch up from the bottom.  I then had to move the seat forward about 1.5 inches.  

    Later I got the Lasco crankset with 152 mm cranks for better low gear and less strain on my knees.  I've kept it that way ever since.  It feels good and my knees don't hurt.  I still get bugs in my teeth, but that's because I grin a lot. :-)
  • I installed my new Axiom 20 panniers this morning and took the opportunity to recline my seat one more hole. The grenade pins are now in the 4th hole down leaving 3 exposed holes. This looks very much like the positioning that TT shows in their advertising pics. I haven't had the chance to ride yet but did sit to check handlebar position, etc. Leaning back at that angle seems to be comfortable enough but I noticed some tension in my abdominal muscles. That could be a problem for me. I have trained myself to breathe mostly from the diaphragm as a means of dealing with my COPD. I do not have that abdominal tension when I am in a more upright position. I'll have to give it a try to see how it plays out. If that degree of recline interferes with my breathing I will have to go back more upright then install a pad under the front of the seat to eliminate the forward slippage.
  • I leaned the seat one notch then rode this morning.  I now have permanent indentures in the back of my thighs.  My hips are wider than the seat and it usually doesn't bother me but it did today.

    With the seat leaning, the front of the seat frame digs into my legs.  With it more upright, I slide off of it.  I'll just have to deal with the sliding butt!
  • I get the feet falling asleep also.  Today it happened only 3.5 miles into my ride.

    Has anyone bought the wide seat?  Does it solve this problem?
  • What could be a problem for some riders is the relationship of the seat and front crank. On the Rover for example the front edge of the seat is much higher then the front crank as compared to the Zoomer or Sportster where the seat is significantly lower. The Rover seating in some cases could cause a persons legs to press against the front edge of the seat and cause leg issues.

    The Zoomer I ride is extremely comfortable to the point that I seldom get off of it at a ride rest stop. The seat base is fixed, no adjustment, and slightly tilted in the back and has backrest adjustments like most models. I can easly go 20 miles without leaving the seat. There is a Issue with it though and that's due to it being extremely low to the ground and narrower than the other models. Entry and exit could be a significant problem for some riders. Actually each model has limitations/capabilities that need to be examined prior to writing that check.

  • Well, alrighty then....

    Got the Nashbar Soho clipless pedals installed this morning, moved the seat adjustment skewer so the toggle is on the left to correct the lbs' placement, reset the seat position about 3/4" closer to the crank, fixed a flat and....

    Took her for a short ride to the store, Burger King for lunch then home again. Just under 2 miles.

    One thing I can say.... For shure, ja, it vorks! No problem learning to clip in and out and a dramatic improvement in peddling efficiency. I was doing an easy 8.5mph on the way to the store into a headwind without trying to spin into a higher gear. On the way home I was hitting 10.6mph again without really trying to spin and still only in a midrange on the gearing (the little NuVinci man was peddling up a slight incline). No strain on my abdominal muscles and no inhibition of my breathing capability. A little bit of fatigue in my upper thigh muscles but no burn. Some slight fatigue in my calf muscles since with the clipless pedals they actually do some work but no pain, no burn. So as far as the Nashbar Ragster II sandals and Soho pedals are concerned I am a happy camper.

    The seat back adjusted where it is now with the pins in the 4th hole down may be optimum for me. I didn't experience any butt slide on the ride. The front of the seat now contacts the underside of my thighs. That does not pose a problem since I wear cargo shorts and the seat fabric is not touching my skin. I am tempted to try reclining the seat one more hole just to satisfy my curiousity but I'll leave that for another time. For the present I want to get my strength and endurance built up and some good riding miles behind me.
  • I forgot to move my seat back to more vertical so I did it in the middle of my ride.  I still had pain from the end of the seat.  And, my left foot kept sliding off the pedal when my butt slipped.  

    I am going to go to the hardware store and get some of those foam wraps for water pipes. I will place them on the bottom portion of the seat.  It's a very cheap solution.  If it doesn't work, I will have to consider the larger seat.

    I really prefer the seat leaning more.
  • The only part that is uncomfortable is where I connect with the frame.  Pipe wrap is much smaller than a pool noodle.

    I will buy both and see which works better.
  • Have you seen in the accessories section of the site the "seat wedge"? I get the impression it is to help stop you from slipping forward in the seat and might keep your legs from hitting the seat bar...
  • Jamesr, should the noodle go on the sear frame or across the whole seat?

    Today I took another route where I had about 3 miles one way on a straight path with no cross streets.  Going out, the wind was in my face but I still stayed in 8th gear most of the time.  On the way back, the wind was behind me and I made 10 mph on that mile.  Then next one was 9.3 mph.  Too bad my speed was slower getting to that point.  I wanted to try this route because the route for my bike-a-thon Saturday is very similar.  I think I'll do well on that ride!
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