My butt keeps bouncing on the saddle?

Discussion in 'Road Bikes' started by FloresJoe, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. FloresJoe

    FloresJoe New Member

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    Anytime I go above 20 mph, I notice my butt will bounce on and off of the saddle vertically. There isn't much movement, maybe about a millimeter. The tires aren't bouncing, it's only my body. I checked to see if it was because of the gear I was using, maybe it was too hard to push and I was pushing my body up when pedaling, but I found even at the easiest gear my butt was still coming off the saddle. Usually when i'm doing this i'm in an aero type position on the lower handlebars. Could it be because of my position? Or the tires and i'm just not noticing?

    (This only happens while pedaling, not coasting)


    Thanks in advance.
    -Joe


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  2. rynoman03

    rynoman03 Well-Known Member Tavern Member

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    I found this advice by googling.

    "If you're bouncing it means you're pushing down on the pedals when you shouldn't be. Pulling back at the bottom of the pedal stroke instead of pushing down will fix most bouncing. It just takes a little practice, usually at a higher cadence, not lower."
     

  3. froze

    froze Banned

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    Rynoman is correct, so look at his advice, if that's not the issue than do you by chance know your cadence? Sometimes too high of a cadence will cause the bouncing. You should be around 85 rpm average, if you're trying to do 110 or so that's way too high. Keep in mind that everyone will bounce at a different RPM, yours might be bouncing at say 75 while anything below that stops the bounce.

    However I think, I said I think, your saddle might be too high, if the above stuff is not your problem then check you saddle height. Your knees should not be straight when the pedal/crankarm is all the way down, it should have about a 10 degree bend, so if your leg is fully extended on the downstroke then lower your seat an inch and see what happens.
     
  4. rola643

    rola643 Two skinny Js Staff Member Admin Staff Mod Team Tavern Member

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    In my experience bouncing comes form to high of a cadence. As frooze pointed out saddle height can also contribute to the bounce. If its to low and rally working.. You will bounce :)

    I use an exercise I like to call 85/105. I saw someone here using it. Spin 85 cadence for one minute then 105 for a minute. I have a flat stretch I use and try and get in 8 sets. I do this in one gear. It helps with several things.

    Good luck!
     
  5. DaFlake

    DaFlake Well-Known Member Tavern Member

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    All good advice here...

    My initial question was "what is your cadence when you are bouncing". Saddle height might be wrong as well.
     
  6. John_V

    John_V Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    While I was going to reply with the same message that everyone else has posted, I did notice this part of your post that no one commented on. If you find that your cadence isn't the problem, while checking your saddle height, make sure to check that the nose isn't tilting downward (unless designed to) because sliding forward on the saddle will also cause that at faster cadences.
     
  7. FloresJoe

    FloresJoe New Member

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    The saddle height is correct, but it might be my cadence. I do not have a cadence sensor so I cant tell you for sure what it is. I am, however, sure that my cadence is at least above 75-80. If my cadence is this high, is it just better to switch to the higher gear? The gear is comfortable though except for the bouncing part, but would it just be more beneficial to change gears?


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  8. croppy

    croppy Member

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    when my but starts bouncing I switch to a higher gear and that seems to help. it feels like it comes from to high of a cadence, going up a gear or will usually bring my cadence back to normal and it is all smooth from there
     
  9. TruElvis

    TruElvis Two "Slow" Spoke Tavern Member

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    Yup, my butt would start bouncing when I am over 110 rpm. As soon as I shift to a harder gear, no more bouncing.
     
  10. wild

    wild Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man

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    110 rpm :eek: I would be looking for a stretcher :rolleyes:
     
  11. John_V

    John_V Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    Let's make that two stretchers. :eek: I'll be right there next to you.
     
  12. FloresJoe

    FloresJoe New Member

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    Thanks guys, even though the bouncing gear felt a little better, I guess I should start pushing harder gears.


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  13. TruElvis

    TruElvis Two "Slow" Spoke Tavern Member

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    What can I say, I am a spinner not a masher :).

    Below is a screenshot of my HIIT done on my indoor trainer during the winter. I think it was a workout called Revolver. As you can see, during the intervals, I regularly go over 100 rpm and the last interval was at 115 rpm. This workout is called Revolver because you feel like pulling out a gun and shoot yourself during this exercise.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. wild

    wild Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man

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    Plow horse here :D
     
  15. John_V

    John_V Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    I used to be a big time masher but then started doing more spinning as I did more intervals and sprints. I now use a combination of spinning and mashing and that works much better. I find that the combination of using both also keeps the legs happy, even on my last day of my six day riding sets and on rides of 100K or more.

    Speaking of cadence, I was watching yesterday's stage today and was noticing that the riders in the front of the peloton didn't seem to be cranking out the rpm's. I waited for them to show the peloton from the front, when they weren't climbing, and counted the cadence of some of the riders. They only averaged between 88 and 92 rpm. That's not the high cadence I was expecting from them.


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  16. fpl1

    fpl1 Well-Known Member Tavern Member

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    John

    I try to vary my cadence too between mashing and spinning. I am suddenly getting some real improvement in keeping up with better riders. Someone on two spoke posted about burning through your twitch muscles vs normal. Essentially it's like a match and you have so much fuel reserves to burn between spinning and mashing. You will need both so try and level out how you use those reserves. Can't recall who posted but it has definitely helped me to improve.


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  17. John_V

    John_V Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    Through my personal experience, my opinion is, that like everything else in cycling, that cadence is subject to each individual person. I've read all the literature in the cycling rags and the postings on the forums about keeping the cadence between 80 and 90 and some even suggest 90-100 or more. I've always questioned this after looking at the sources from which they came.

    Most of these articles are geared toward the much younger cyclist between 20 and 40 that are more into the speed and racing part of the sport. Most of the training rides they mention are also shorter rides in comparison to what I do on a daily basis. I have no problem with getting my cadence between 80 and 90 rpm but at almost 68 years of age, it is very difficult for me to keep it there for any period of time and not let it tire me out. I've ridden with people, much younger than me, who insist on keeping those high cadences for every ride they do. Even on short, twenty to thirty mile rides, I watch them wear themselves out long before the ride ends. Young or old, I can't imagine keeping a 90-100 rpm pace for really long rides like a metric or full century.

    What I have learned to do is to start off in a fairly easy gear and spin to a certain speed and then drop to a smaller cog and mash to the speed I want to be at. I'll keep mashing at that lower rpm until the pedaling effort becomes comfortable. I'll continue until my legs are just starting to feel a strain and at that point, I'll downshift one or two gears and increase the cadence to maintain the speed and rest the legs. When the legs feel rested enough, I'll go back to the gear combination I was in before. I'll continue this until the end of the ride. This works well for me but it may not work at all for others so it's not anything that is concrete evidence or a scientific fact. Again, I think each individual uses what works best for them, whether it be high cadence, mashing or a combination of both.

    Lately, I have been paying more attention to this and keeping a mental track of what I'm doing on my rides. On a normal ride (riding on the loop at the MUP), I usually cruise around 18-20 mph and keep a cadence of 74-82 rpm with a heart rate of 132-138 and a respiration rate of 12-14 bpm. When I go through the adjoining park, the speed slows down to around 13-15 mph but I change gears to try and maintain a cadence of more than 70. It's on my sprints and intervals, or when I'm in a paceline, that I get into the mid to upper 80's cadence but very seldom over 92 rpm. Yesterday, I did a 22 mile ride with my wife and averaged 10.5 mph with an average cadence of 52 rpm (using a 34/13 gear combination) and was very comfortable at that cadence for the entire ride.
     
  18. KMG5656

    KMG5656 New Member

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    John V
    What gear are you running in for an 18 to 20 mph at 74 to 82 cadence?
    I run a 50- 34 front with an 11-23? back. On my exercise rides I have been sinning at 95 plus and when cardio is stressed I will up shift one or two gears harder and mash till I recover then return to spinning. I Have increased the miles that I am able to spin before recovery and my mph has increased rather rapidly. I am not sure if this is a good routine but it seems to have improved my cardio. It seems as tho cadence and training is a mystical thing. Hard to get any solid info on the subject. I have tried this approach and it is working for me.
    Any thoughts? Any one?
     
  19. John_V

    John_V Moderator Staff Member Mod Team Tavern Member

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    If it's working for you, stick with it! No point in changing something that works. I also run a compact crankset but I have an 11-28 cassette. I normally ride in the 50/17 combo and shift between it and the 15T and 19T cogs. One thing that I might add is that I also run on a Hawk Racing bottom bracket which might make a big difference. The difference between it and the Shimano Ultegra BB that I had is very noticeable in the effort used when mashing or spinning. There is much less effort in pedaling with the Hawk than there was with the Shimano.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014