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Great article and podcast AJ!
I've been obsessed with the topic of STA and effective STA for a number of years now and have gone deep into the rabbit hole of secondary research including white papers, forum comments, articles, YouTube videos, as well as conducting primary research on the topic to gauge personal preferences.
You're bang on in that most published studies and references are based on road cycling. Ultimately my research brought me to the conclusion, and personal opinion, that there is too much emphasis placed on the latter portion of "STA" acronym and not enough on focus on the comfort, performance, and efficiency gains from the "Seat" in that equation. No doubt STA is important but I feel it's just part of the issue. And as hard as it is to find MTB related papers on STA, it's harder still to find anything related to the effects of saddle angle on MTB. Likely the best paper on the subject specifically related to MTB was published in 2011 entitled "[Adjusted saddle position counteracts the modified muscle activation patterns during uphill cycling](https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51230236_Adjusted_saddle_position_counteracts_the_modified_muscle_activation_patterns_during_uphill_cycling "Adjusted saddle position counteracts the modified muscle activation patterns during uphill cycling")."
No doubt the topic of STA is polarizing with many viewpoints and as many counterpoints. Ultimately, however, the main meta-issue we as rider's are trying to address is optimal positioning on a bike and in this case MTB. But that topic requires even more thought when you ask the question of what is the optimal riding position for:
1. climbing uphill vs
2. bombing downhill vs
3. riding undulating terrain
Disclaimer: I'm the inventor of the [SwitchGrade](https://www.aenomalyconstructs.com/ "SwitchGrade") which is a bolt-on saddle angle control mechanism that retrofits onto your existing seatpost. Basically it lets riders change the angle of their saddles while riding, separated by 10 degrees.
Sorry for the plug but just hoping to shed light on what we truly feel is a less talked about subject and one that we believe can be transformative.
Commenters above pointed out that taller riders are most in need in steeper seat angles because of the how their CoM moves rearward and behind the rear axle. What the SwitchGrade does is complements your dropper post by preventing the dreaded backside slide and providing a solid push point to generate power and a steady, controlled cadence.
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