Straight seatpost verses setback post on Specialized bikes


I noticed that you always run a straight seat on your Specialized bikes that come stock with setback posts. How does this affect your knee/pedal position and the size of bike that you choose? It seems to me that your knee would be pulled well over the front of the pedal (especially with shorter cranks) and you might choose a larger bike size because the cockpit is 3/4 inch shorter which is about 1 size. Am I wrong?

Thanks for your time,

Rob Linnenberger


Wow man, you have a keen eye.

My current 2016 Fuse and Stumpy 6Fattie have the stock posts, but you’re correct that I’ve used a lot of aftermarket posts in the past.

I’m on a medium because, frankly, I’ve always been on a medium. Using my RideLogic™ bike setup system, which focuses on the relationship between your hands and feet, I can make the bikes fit perfectly with 35mm stems and riser bars upside down. Bikes are getting longer and taller. If I ride a new Enduro (please!), I might try a small.

The ideal RAD improves your power and handling. This is how I set up a bike for shredding. We position the saddle independently from the bars. Learn more about the RideLogic™ bike setup system.

But that has nothing to do with seat position. Over the years I’ve figured out where my seat should be relative to the bottom bracket. Compared to “normative range,” as defined by the fitter I paid $400 to mess up my bike and make my body hurt, my seats are:

• Too low.

• Too far back.

Smart, informed fitters like a 30-degree knee bend at bottom dead center. Mine is closer to 40°.

I’ve tried every seat position over the past 25 years, including a sweet recumbent. Right now, my low/back saddle position takes some stress off my knees and helps me pedal with my hips. Whenever I raise my saddle a few mm, I put it back where it was. I’m pedaling with better power than ever. This works for me.

My saddles are positioned according to height along the seat tube and horizontal distance behind the bottom bracket. Every bike I ride has a Specialized Henge Expert 143mm saddle, so I’m consistent. This is independent of bike size or seat tube angle!

Because saddle rails have a lot of fore-aft adjustment, I’m able to position my saddles wherever I need with any seatpost I have. I honestly don’t worry about seatpost setback.

If you need a pedaling position that your seatpost doesn’t allow, change seatposts! Very long or short femurs (relative to your body) might require this.

I hope this helps. I’m not sure. What do you think?


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3 replies
  1. Rob Linnenberger says:

    I think that your explanation makes perfect sense. I thought that you were possibly switching out set back posts intentionally for straight posts for a fit reason, but I didn’t get a chance to run into you as much this last year because I had to sit out with an injury. This straight post thing was a recollection of mine from the past and was curious about your thoughts. Thanks for the well illustrated run down!

  2. John Kinnee says:

    Lee, what is the reason you choose the Henge Expert over the Henge Comp, for example? Is it just because your Specialized bikes come with the Expert? I understand the Comp has a little more padding which I’m guessing you may not see as a good thing? I’ve been debating between the two.


  3. leelikesbikes says:

    John, this is a great question and worth a full post, but quickly:

    For me the Henge Expert has a perfect compromise of firmness and comfort. When padding is too soft, I feel like I wallow in it. Also, if a saddle is soft it’s easy to get lazy and put a lot of weight on it, which is bad for about 1,000 reasons.

    With the Henge I’m not miserable, but I’m encouraged to keep a light butt.



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