It is known that, while climbing, one should apply consistent and maximum weight to their saddle, in order to have precious rear tire traction.

The other day I was going down a dirt road, and the road irregularities and scattered stones, bounced the rear wheel maybe up to 15-20cm in the air. My concerns are two:

  • loss of rear traction, while the wheel is in air
  • the saddle hitting me from behind, and throwing me over the handlebhars.

Should I attempt to apply some pressure on the saddle? In what way?

For example, I imagine that I can close my tights, thus clamping the seat and having some control over it.

  • Are you sure it was 15-20, or did it just feel like 15-20?
    – mattnz
    Dec 16, 2013 at 20:55
  • Yep. 15-20 is pretty sketchy.
    – cherouvim
    Dec 17, 2013 at 4:54
  • How could I measure such a thing? I was 15-20 cm above the saddle, and sometimes it hit me, seeming without me lowering my ass.
    – Vorac
    Dec 17, 2013 at 8:44
  • 3
    Obviously you should attach some calipers or one of those steel rulers to your saddle. Be sure to record the results as you're barrelling down the mountain and update the question. This kind of sloppy vagueness makes it very difficult to answer! ;-) Dec 17, 2013 at 9:50
  • Dropper post!!! Dec 19, 2013 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


No. If you sit on the saddle then you become connected with the bike. That means that the next hit from the ground will be transmitted as is on you and you'll most probably go flying in an uncontrolled manner, usually nose heavy, and you don't want that.

Apart from getting rest or pedaling, the only case where you touch the saddle is with your inner thigh (one, not both of them) in some offcamber cornering scenarios. But I think this is irrelevant to your question.

General rule for descending on rough terrain is:

  • heels down, applying max pressure on pedals (that's for flat pedals)
  • body in attack position
  • hands relaxed, ready to act as suspension
  • knees relaxed, ready to act as suspension
  • stay low
  • look ahead, not down to your front wheel
  • You didn't say why (not to control the saddle somehow, not sitting on it, of course).
    – Vorac
    Dec 18, 2013 at 8:55
  • To be fair, you didn't ask why. :-) Give cherouvim the points it's a great answer. Dec 18, 2013 at 9:36
  • What is the question? I'm confused.
    – cherouvim
    Dec 18, 2013 at 11:33
  • You discuss 2 situations: sitting on the saddle and standing up. What about all the situations in between? Why not control the saddle somewhat?
    – Vorac
    Dec 19, 2013 at 13:34
  • Touching the saddle while descending is probably only applicable in certain scenarios such as high speed offcamber turning like the one at 14:22 in pinkbike.com/video/339728 but I don't think that this is something that applies to us (hobby mtb riders).
    – cherouvim
    Dec 19, 2013 at 16:34

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