How to properly adjust your saddle on a bike

Correct bike seat height

The first step is to find the optimal position of the saddle in the vertical plane. The height is chosen depending on the height of the person and the riding style. Before the procedure, you need to consider safety aspects:

  • the seatpost does not protrude beyond the critical mark, otherwise the saddle may pop out during movement;
  • the seat must be firmly fixed at the selected height so that it does not shift down during the ride;
  • you must not install the saddle backwards to the front. the narrow side must necessarily look at the handlebars.

The adjustment itself is carried out according to the following general scheme:

  • The pipe into which the seat is inserted has a clamp, eccentric or clamping nut. They need to be slightly loosened.
  • While holding the seat, deepen or raise the seatpost higher.
  • Tighten the mount. Press down on the saddle with your hand to perform the first check for firm hold. If everything is in order, you can climb on the bike and jump a little, imitating movement on an uneven surface. the seat should not go down.

The correct seat height on a bicycle is determined by several methods:

  • mathematical calculation;
  • adjustment for a slightly bent leg;

properly, adjust, your, saddle, bike

The first method does not require much effort, but it is not 100% accurate. It can be applied for the first adjustment, followed by adjustment with the two remaining methods. The bottom line is as follows:

  • Measure the distance from the foot to the crotch.
  • Multiply the resulting value by 1.09.
  • The final figure indicates the distance from the pedal in the lowest position to the top of the seat.

The second option for determining the height is the most common and reliable:

  • Climb a bike with a support nearby.
  • Put your foot on the pedal and roll it to the bottom position.
  • In this position, the leg should be barely bent at the knee. If it does not reach the pedal, the height decreases; if it is too bent, it increases.

The third option, heel adjustment, involves a similar sequence of actions. The only difference is that you need to navigate by a fully extended leg:

  • Scroll the pedal to the bottom point and put your heel on it (the toe hangs down).
  • Adjust the height of the seat so that the leg is completely straight in this position. Accordingly, with the normal position of the foot on the pedal, the leg will be slightly bent.

Tilt angle adjustment

Continuing to figure out how to properly adjust the bike for yourself, you should pay attention to the seat tilt. In most cases, the user is quite comfortable when it is strictly parallel to the ground. If the saddle is tilted towards the handlebars, the load on the arms and hands increases, the back humps, and the butt slides forward. Leaning back leads to rapid leg fatigue and poor bike control.

However, sometimes you need to slightly change the position angle. For example, on difficult terrain with a lot of obstacles, the arms will bounce even with a good shock absorber. To reduce the load, you can tilt the seat back slightly. To better handle the wind when you need to tilt the body, tilt the saddle wisely. It is recommended to make angle changes within 10 °.

Detailed instructions: how to properly adjust the bike seat

A comfortable fit while riding a two-wheeled vehicle allows you to avoid premature fatigue, numbness of the hands, damage to the knee joints. A modern bike is customizable for the owner according to various parameters, which provides maximum comfort for any user. In the current article, we will consider how to properly adjust the seat on a bicycle for height, tilt and seating depth.

The importance of tuning

There are three parameters for seat adjustment on a bicycle:

  • height above the pedals;
  • horizontal tilt;
  • offset relative to the steering wheel (closer, further).
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Important! The main and most important is the height adjustment. If the saddle is too low, it leads to excessive bending of the legs, in turn, the muscles quickly fatigue, and the pedaling efficiency is low. In addition, the knee joint performs amplitude cyclical oscillations that are not characteristic of the body. If the rider pedals in a low position, it can be compared to constantly walking on bent legs.

A correctly adjusted seat position eliminates any negative effects of cycling on the body. The person will not get tired quickly, the legs will work normally, and in the event of an unexpected stop, it will be possible to quickly reach the ground. To ensure a proper fit, the setting must be combined with the height and tilt of the bike’s handlebars.

The horizontal tilt determines the level of stress on the arms and lower back. The standard position is parallel to the ground, however some cyclists need to tilt the seat 3-5mm to feel more comfortable in a two-wheeler.

Good to know! The offset of the saddle determines its distance from the handlebars. It all depends on the length of the arms: if it’s hard to reach the steering wheel, the seat moves closer and vice versa. On long trips, the parameter can be periodically adjusted based on the travel conditions.

In addition to the adjustments mentioned above, you need to take care of the comfort of the fifth point even at the stage of buying a bike. The optimum seat width is different for men and women. You can calculate the parameter by the ischial tubercles. To do this, you need to sit in the sand and measure the distance between the two deepest points.

With an indicator of 10 cm, a saddle with a width of 13-14 cm should be selected. If the distance between the grooves is 12 cm, then the seat should also be 3-4 cm wider. The universal saddle is 14-14.5 cm wide. it can be used by all riders without exception. However, maximum convenience is achieved by personal selection.

Offset (depth) setting

Moving the saddle closer to or further from the handlebars is done to compensate for the varying arm lengths of cyclists Correct centering improves the handling of the two-wheeler, and the rider has a better sense of lean.

Note! For adjustment, loosen the screw located under the seat pad. To check the correct position, rotate the pedal to the lowest point and look at the knee, it should be on the same mowing line with the pedal axis.

The recommendations presented in the material will help you understand how to properly install a saddle on a bicycle for a comfortable ride without harm to health. It is important to consider the width of the seat when buying. Subsequently, the height, tilt and depth of the saddle position are adjusted.

Saddle Longitudinal Offset Adjustment

Most saddles can be adjusted forward / backward to find the optimal position of the cyclist relative to the handlebars.

Sit on your bike and check your knee position. It should be located strictly vertically with the pedal axis. At this point, the foot should be on the pedal at the lowest point. If the knee protrudes noticeably forward, readjust.

This type of setting is only done after adjusting the height.

If you are adjusting the saddle longitudinal offset yourself, make sure the clamp secures the saddle rails straight without touching the kinks. Check that the clamp bolts are tightened to the recommended torque.

How to properly adjust saddle and handlebar heights?

The saddle setting determines the fit, handling and ride efficiency. Let’s take a look at how to properly adjust the saddle for a comfortable fit.

Steering wheel adjustment

A comfortable ride is influenced by the stem length: with a short stem, the landing is more vertical (for recreational riding), with a long one. more horizontal (for sport riding).

Forward bicycles are equipped with a threadless or threaded steering column. Some bike models have an adjustable stem.

Threadless steering column

The height of the steering wheel is changed by installing special adjusting rings under the stem or on the steering column tube. This adjustment must be carried out by qualified personnel.

Saddle height

To check the height of the saddle, sit on it, place one heel on the pedal and crank the crank arm until the pedal is in its lowest position.

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The saddle is properly seated if your heel is touching the pedal in the down position while sitting on it. If the heel does not reach the pedal, or, conversely, the leg is not fully extended, then the saddle height must be adjusted.

Bike Tech Tip: How to Set Your Saddle Height

To change the height of the saddle, loosen the bolt or eccentric clamping the seat post in the frame and move the post up or down.

Saddle tilt adjustment

Most people prefer a horizontal saddle position, but some people like to have the front up or down.

Saddles have a variety of attachment mechanisms, with different tilt angles. Self-adjusting the angle of inclination is carried out using the corresponding screws on the seatpost mount. Single or double bolt design possible.

In the case of a single-bolt fastener, adjustment is made by loosening the screw and then tightening it.

In the second case, it is necessary to simultaneously tighten one bolt evenly and loosen the other.

How to properly adjust your saddle on a bike

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How To: Set Your Saddle Height

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Methods for Determining the Correct Saddle Height on a Bicycle

Setting the correct seat height would seem to be such a fundamental part of preparing your bike before riding. what you can guess there is a better method for this for a long time. But you are wrong.

All experts agree only that if the height of the saddle of a bicycle is set incorrectly, the consequences can be catastrophic. Setting the saddle too low can reduce cyclist fatigue time by as much as 12 percent, new research shows.

Consequently, cyclists in a limited time at their disposal can really travel less, reducing their opportunities, it would seem, for an elementary problem that can be solved.

This is an interesting theory, but even knowing this fact, many cyclists do nothing. Read on to find out exactly how to set the correct saddle height for your bike.

Despite this commonly used method, there is practically no scientific evidence to support this option, moreover, it often leads to setting the bike saddle height too low.

Professor Will Palever of Mississippi Women’s University has written several papers comparing methods for finding the best seat height and says: “The main problem is that this method does not account for individual differences in the length of the cyclist’s thigh, shin and foot.”.

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A more reliable method was developed by Hamley Thomas in 1967. They experimented with different saddle heights and found that the ideal height was achieved when the saddle was located 109% of the distance between the crotch and the cyclist’s foot (as shown) when measuring the length from the pedal axis to the top of the saddle.

To calculate this size, stand facing a wall and place a thick book between your legs as if it were a saddle. Stand straight with your heels on the floor. mark the line along the top edge of the book while touching the wall.

The distance from the floor to the height of the mark corresponds to your measurement between the crotch and the feet.

It is best to measure several times and calculate the average of all results. This procedure will reduce the measurement error.

This method is extremely popular and is recommended by many trainers. However, a recent study by Professor Pelever showed that it was inferior to the Holmes method (see below) in terms of driving economy.

It is a popular variation of the 109% method and was first used by three-time Tour de France winner Greg Lemond.

Using the inner crotch to feet as a guide, you need to calculate 88.3% of this value to get your bike to that distance from the center of the carriage axis to the top of the saddle.

Interestingly, what Professor Pelever proved. that this often results in different seat heights from the 109% method and, although this method is suitable for many people, it may not be ideal for people with long bones of the thigh.

This saddle height adjustment method was originally developed to reduce excessive cycling injuries and takes a very different approach from the first three methods.

It uses a device called a goniometer to measure the angle of the knee joint at the bottom of the pedal travel.

Holmes recommends using an angle of 25 to 35 degrees, and closer to 25 degrees for those cyclists. who have problems with the patella (tendonitis).

All of this may sound a little confusing from a technical point of view. If you find it difficult to make such a measurement, then it is probably better to go with one of the two methods for measuring the distance from the crotch to the feet according to method 2 or 3. But if you wish, you can pick up a goniometer from medical equipment suppliers, the cost of the device will be about 30 Euro.

Research by Professor Pelever has shown that adjusting the saddle height on a bicycle. based on the knee at a 25-degree angle, outperforms all other methods (including the 35-degree angle). “Using a goniometer and 25 degrees is undoubtedly the best method I would recommend to cyclists,” he says.

Don’t rely on feelings of comfort. “If you feel like the saddle is set at a lower height than optimal, you may feel uncomfortable in the beginning,” says Pelever. “However, when your body adapts (usually after two to three weeks), the new position will not only feel comfortable, but it will improve your performance in the long term.”.

Of course, if you still feel uncomfortable after a few weeks, then you need to make changes. It is best to use the 25 degree angle from the knee as a starting point.

Have someone look from behind to make sure your hips are not swinging back and forth across the saddle due to over-extension at the bottom of the stroke.

If so, the angle may need to be adjusted upward for better comfort.

“When I set the height of the saddle for someone on a bicycle, the angle from the knee. is typically somewhere between 25 and 30 degrees, but much closer to 25 in most cases, ”says Pelever.

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