You bet they do when you are talking about seat height! All of the veterans know this but I found out the hard way and want to share with the less experienced. I rode Turkey Saturday and didn't feel like I had the zip I should; then when JB and I went out to ride Skinny and Brown Wave on Sunday I passed on Brown Wave because I just wasn't "feeling" it. Yesterday I set out to ride Bartram from Washington Rd to West Dam and 2 miles in the muscles on the inside of my knees were burning and I was obviously struggling a bit just like I had the day before. I took note of my leg extension and thought it was short, so hopped off and re-adjusted my seat to get the proper extension. I moved it up < 1", but no more knee burn and I felt great for the rest of the ride. After the fact I remembered I had let the seat down a skosh when fiddling with trying to get it on a carrier with another bike. Somebody could have emptied my wallet betting on how much difference that little bit made. (another reason to get fitted by a pro and learning "why" when getting into this sport)
I've had a fitting done and the improvement afterwards is huge! We moved my cleats back in the shoes, moved the saddle up about 1cm and back a lot. So far back I had to get a setback seatpost, and it barely has enough setback. The bars stayed where they were. They were at the limit of how low they could go for my flexibility and reach. I thought I may need to move them up just a bit, but after a few big rides with no lower back discomfort I left them where they are.
The difference is night and day. Not only am I more comfortable for longer distances now, but I can put down a whole lot more power as well.
The Thomson seat post barely has enough setback to get my saddle where it's supposed to be.
Last Edit: Sept 8, 2010 6:34:40 GMT -5 by dgaddis1
I've never had, nor felt the need of, a full-on fitting, but one thing I'm real particular about is saddle height. I use the .883 of my cycling inseam method, which comes to 76.3 cm from the center of my BB spindle to the top of the saddle, measured directly along the seat tube. I notice a 1 cm variation up or down from that sweet spot almost immediately. Having the saddle a full inch low would drive me nuts in about 10 seconds.