INTO THE RIDE #9
MICRO SEAT ADJUSTMENTS
By Randy Schlitter
With the advent of the Rad-Loc seat clamp, my riding took on a whole new aspect. I have discovered the joy of not only quick seat removal but the comfort of making micro seat adjustments.
It all started when I noticed the previous day’s seat position would be too far away or too close. I had suspected since the human body is made of soft tissue and bones, all connected with permeable material, that after a day walking, sitting, and standing, we end up a little compressed by the end of the day.
Bound and determined to confirm this effect, I ventured out early one morning, locking the seat setting and marking it. Late that night I again rode. I was expecting to need to move my seat forward a bit. As the ride progressed, I was convincing myself I was shorter, I made a small adjustment just for grins, and believed it to be a better fit.
The next morning I hopped back on the bike, and began riding. I had left the seat forward from last night’s ride. My body immediately asked for more room. I felt just slightly compacted against the crank, and with being a little stiff, moving the seat back a pinch sure felt better.
At this point I could have concluded this is all in line with the human body being like a sponge, yet I was still having a hard time believing I would be able to sense a change. Actual change to my height couldn’t be more than a few 100ths of an inch. Could one really be that sensitive to this settling effect?
I started to factor in all other factors that may have something to do with me, the bike and all connected that could affect day-to-day size. Noting all matter does expand and contract with the fluctuation of heat. But how much of a change is really noticed? Of course that will remain objective, since some of us can sleep on boulders, and other feel the slightest pea under the mattress. I did like the prospect that I was becoming incredibly sensitive to my ever-changing size.
After several more days of paying close attention to my seat position, I concluded that indeed I did not remain the same size from one ride to the next. The actual measure of the change is not as important as the impact on the mind. It was almost as if you thought you were taller you were, and vise versa. I was at the point of wishing the experiment never started. Still I kept riding, trying to pay less attention to seat position and more on over all comfort.
Eventually I concluded I could ignore the subtle request this aging body made for a little adjustment and just ride. Never having made a habit of “micro” adjusting the seat before meant I could live with a general seat position and be happy. But the in the end the real fun factor was I could make a micro adjustment and make things suddenly fresh. I think after all was considered, that this was the most advantageous factor. I simply liked a little change in seat position because it made my legs stretch a little different and they rebounded with more energy.
So in the end it may not matter that we change in size. The ability to easily micro adjust the seat turns out to be an asset, for the simple fact it keeps the rider fresh.
To confirm my suspicions, I called a local doctor. She revealed, as muscles stretch and relax the body is constantly changing in dimensions. It is a combination of gravity, fluid dynamics, and muscle expansion and contraction that results in our bodies having a slight problem with remaining the exact size. I asked how much do we actually change from day to day, and the response is there is no data on the exact measure of the change.
For the curious the amount a movement throughout these micro adjustments was from .1 to .2 inches. Any doctors out there who have measured this effect feel free to contact me, just curious to what the actual measurements may be.
Ride long and prosper – Randy Schlitter