How to properly fit a saddle on a bike

A short video about adjusting the bike saddle height:

Tilt angle adjustment

The standard, generally accepted and correct position of the seat in the horizontal plane is parallel to the road. Manufacturers recommend leaving this position and not resorting to slopes unnecessarily. Actually, from the illustration it is clear that the saddle cannot be deflected at a large angle.

In the first case, the load on the arms increases, the cyclist hunches down and can slide forward. Tilting the seat back adds fatigue to the legs and impairs handling by extending the arms.

However, within reasonable limits, the tilt adjustment can be carried out individually. Most often this is required by the specific conditions of mountain biking. On uneven areas, where the arms are bouncing even with a good shock absorber, the load on them can be leveled by tilting the saddle back. When a low seating position is required (overcoming the wind, for example), it makes sense to tilt the seat forward. The recommended tilt range is no more than 10 degrees in each direction.

Fitting and adjusting a bicycle seat

You choose a bike for yourself and, naturally, you want to ride it in comfort. One of the most important elements of a comfortable ride is the seat. Agree, if it is inconvenient to sit on a bike, then what kind of trip can you talk about at all? This is no longer a trip, but a complete mockery of the body.

We will focus on a few points regarding the choice and correct setting of the seat (also called a saddle) that you need to pay attention to when choosing a bike.

It can appear beautiful and convenient in photographs on the Internet or when viewed from the outside. But, most importantly, you need to sit on it. And not just sit down, but sit down and twist the pedals, or even better, drive, carefully listening to your sensations, both in the whole body and in the place where you sit.

Take your time trying on the seat. A minute boarding and a long ride make the same difference as a passionate kiss and a long family life. If you (and your butt) feel comfortable on it, then this is your saddle. If not, you can ignore all the other elements of this bike. it is no longer yours. Well, or right away, look for a new saddle for yourself and change the installed one. However, keep in mind that even a great and expensive saddle, not properly installed, will not create any convenience. Therefore, before you sit on it. adjust the seat correctly.

How to do this we will now and consider.

Seat position adjustment

Setting up the optimal fit of the cyclist begins with the correct alignment of the saddle, and after that they adjust (or select new ones) the stem and the handlebar itself (taking into account its rise, width and bend).

This process involves not only the seat itself, but also the seatpost, and, if necessary, change the connecting rods. The position of the saddle is changed to obtain the correct position for the movement of the legs. The most important thing here is the knees. If set up incorrectly, the load on them will be too strong, which will lead to quick fatigue and pain.

One of the main mistakes beginner cyclists make is trying to set the saddle too low, mistakenly believing that if they fall, they will have time to get to their feet quickly. In this position, they rotate the pedals as if they were constantly squatting. At the same time, not only the legs, but also the knees experience much greater stress than is necessary for normal riding.

Often the cause of quick fatigue and pain in the pelvic and groin area is improper seat height and tilt adjustment.

Saddle displacement back and forth, or what should be the distance between the handlebars and the saddle

It’s great when the bike saddle attachment allows you to move it closer to or further from the handlebars. This is usually done with special screws under the seat.

Often such fasteners are also called rail fasteners. This is due to the fact that the saddle itself can be moved along the guides like on rails with the help of fastening screws.

It is considered correct to adjust the seat so that, with horizontally located cranks, the knee of the front leg is above the pedal axis plus or minus 1-2 centimeters, depending on individual characteristics. There is another guideline: the distance between the toe of the seat and the stem of the handlebars is the distance from the elbow to the tip of the elongated middle finger (plus or minus a couple of centimeters, taking into account the individual characteristics of the cyclist).

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There is a small nuance when driving off-road. If you move the saddle just 2-3 cm back, you can press harder on the pedals.

We’ve covered the basics of adjusting a bicycle saddle.

How to find out the distance between the ischial tubercles?

The first method is shown in the figure to the right. Sit on something soft that holds its shape or in sand and measure the distance between the roughest points.

Or the second way, shown in the picture below:

  • Take a sheet of corrugated cardboard or just a thick, but not very rigid, packing cardboard. You can take a cardboard box and peel off the top even layer from it, so that the top layer with the wave remains.
  • Lay it on a flat, hard surface and sit on it
  • Press your butt tightly against the chair so that dents remain on the cardboard.
  • Circle the dents and find the center in them
  • Measure the distance between the centers. this will be the distance between the sidinal tubercles.

The fifth picture just shows how much you need to add centimeters to the width for which type of ride.

There are also special devices that allow you to quickly and easily measure the distance between the ischial tubercles, both mechanical and electronic.

The principle of operation is the same as described above. The cyclist sits on a special soft cushion of the device. It crumples, and the material of the pillow holds its shape for a while. Using a special ruler, the distance between the maximum indentations remaining from the ischial tubercles is measured.

In electronic it is even easier. The biker sits directly on the measurement area on the device and the desired distance is displayed on the board.

The most versatile saddle width that is comfortable for men and women (especially if a husband and wife use the same bike), according to many experts, is 140-145 mm.

As you can see from the picture above, the width of the saddle, as well as the ratio of the height of the saddle and the handlebar, fundamentally affect the fit of the cyclist and, accordingly, the style of riding from racing to walking.

Check that the seat cover is not slippery, otherwise you will constantly fidget on it during the trip.

How to properly adjust the bike seat?

Before riding, be sure to adjust the saddle of your bike to ensure a comfortable posture while riding.

Why adjust your bike saddle

The bike seat can be adjusted in three directions:

  • height above pedal level;
  • angle of inclination in the horizontal plane;
  • bias.

Let’s consider what the correct adjustment of each parameter gives.

The height determines the position of the legs when driving and the efficiency of pedaling. A low saddle contributes to strong bending of the legs, their rapid fatigue and low pedaling efficiency. Too much height will impair the grip of the shoe and the handling.

The position of the saddle corresponding to the height eliminates all negative consequences, makes it possible to rotate the pedals for a long time without significant fatigue and loss of energy, and allows you to quickly reach the ground with your foot in parking lots and in emergency situations. And when combined with the adjusted handlebar position, the seat height will ensure the rider is properly seated.

The horizontal tilt determines the load on the body parts. The forward position will increase the stress on the arms and move the body towards the handlebars. The tilted seat back will raise the upper body, shifting the force center towards the lower back and abdomen.

On some bicycles, the saddles also adjust horizontally in relation to the center of the seatpost. When choosing the right position, the length of the arms plays an important role. If it’s hard to reach the steering wheel, the seat moves a little forward. With constant hand fatigue, it is worth moving back. On long mountain bike rides, this parameter can be adjusted several times depending on the riding conditions.

How To: Find Proper Bicycle Saddle Height and Setback

Correct tuning rests on three pillars: convenience, efficiency and reduced steering fatigue.

Determining the correct height

Determining the desired height of the saddle of a bicycle is carried out in several ways.

How to properly adjust your bike saddle

How to properly adjust

Adjusting the bike should be done in stages according to all three parameters, it is advisable to start with adjusting the height.

Height setting

Adjustment of the desired height of the bike saddle is carried out step by step:

  • Loosen the seatpost fasteners;
  • Slide the seat out of the pipe;
  • Find the desired height level by lowering or raising the seat point higher;
  • Fix the correct height with fasteners.

How To Find The Right Saddle Height On Your Road Bike

Attention. there is a pointer on the seatpost, above which lifting is prohibited.

Determining the correct offset

Adjusting the offset of the bike saddle gives a more correct and comfortable body position. In modern bikes, the seat has special rails that allow you to change its position in the horizontal plane. Adjustment and fixation of the position is carried out in stages:

  • Determine (by moving the bike saddle) the most comfortable position, taking into account the length of the rider’s arms;
  • Fix this position;
  • Fix the seat.
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Professionals recommend that you check the correct setting of this parameter. With horizontal cranks, the knee should be directly over the pedal axis. If there is distortion, place your foot on the pedal of the bike at the “three o’clock” position and find the correct position.

Possible change options when adjusting the offset:

There is another option for determining the offset. To do this, place the elbow on the front point of the bicycle saddle and pull it towards the handlebars. The distance that should remain from the fingertips to the handlebars is no more than one inch (2.54-2.55 cm).

Measuring method

  • with a measuring tape, measurements are taken from the heel of the foot to the groin;
  • the resulting leg length is multiplied by a constant factor of 1.09;
  • the result shows the correct saddle position for the given bike rider.
properly, saddle, bike

In an example, it looks like this, if the leg length is 80 cm, then the bicycle seat adjustment must be set to a height of 87.2 cm from the pedal in the lower position (80.00 1.09). Professionals warn that this method is less accurate than the previous ones.

The importance of choosing the right bike saddle

For all settings to be effective, you must first select the most suitable and comfortable bike saddle. It is advisable to try as many different seat designs as possible in order to find the most suitable.

There are mandatory indicators that must be followed when making a choice. The widest seating position should match the sitting bones. By measuring the distance between them, and adding 2 cm to the result, you get the size that corresponds to the rider.

Saddles are classified according to the following parameters:

  • Shape and length. depends on the type of cycling. The model is flat and long, with a soft nose, suitable for low seating in time trial triathlon. A saddle with curves in the middle, slightly shorter in length, will fit in an open riding position (for long distance road riding). The shape of the sports riding seat is designed for sportswear (cycling shorts);
  • Material and weight do not make much difference, the main thing is that it is comfortable to sit on the bike. Carbon or titanium seat frames are lighter than steel ones, but they will not add extra speed, but will increase the cost. Wide and soft seats (leather and foam rubber) are used only for walking options, where the back position is straight. Gel models are the intermediate point between the touring bikes and the more sporty bikes. Leather options are used more often for tourist trips and travel;
  • Male and female. by anatomical differences. Inappropriate sitting can constrict the internal arteries of the pelvis in both men and women. Women’s options are slightly wider and shorter than men’s models. The modernized models with a cut-out in the middle that have appeared on the market are suitable for all.

Saddle height

The height of the saddle must be chosen so that the heel of a slightly bent leg can reach the pedal in its lowest position. In this case, the upper surface of the toe can touch the lower surface of the same pedal. This can be clearly seen in the figure.

When the pedal is at its highest point, the thigh of the leg mounted on it should be horizontal or slightly tilted towards the ground.

By the way, please note that the seatpost must not be pulled very high out of the seat tube (above the special mark on the seatpost). It must remain inside the pipe for at least 10-15 centimeters, otherwise the pipe will simply break over time from constant heavy loads on its upper part. If the length of the pin is not enough, buy a longer one or choose a bike with a different frame.

Seat position adjustment

Setting up the optimal fit of the cyclist begins with the correct alignment of the saddle, and after that they adjust (or select new ones) the stem and the handlebar itself (taking into account its rise, width and bend).

This process involves not only the seat itself, but also the seatpost, and, if necessary, change the connecting rods. The position of the saddle is changed to obtain the correct position for the movement of the legs. The most important thing here is the knees. If set up incorrectly, the load on them will be too strong, which will lead to quick fatigue and pain.

One of the main mistakes beginner cyclists make is trying to set the saddle too low, mistakenly believing that if they fall, they will have time to get to their feet quickly. In this position, they rotate the pedals as if they were constantly squatting. At the same time, not only the legs, but also the knees experience much greater stress than is necessary for normal riding.

Often the cause of quick fatigue and pain in the pelvic and groin area is improper seat height and tilt adjustment.

How to properly fit your bike seat

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.

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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. For better wind handling when tilting the body, tilt the saddle wisely. It is recommended to make angle changes within 10 °.

How to properly fit and adjust a saddle on a bicycle

Cycling is designed to tone all muscle groups, lift your spirits and improve your quality of life. An important role is played by the technical condition of all components of the bike and its setting. Individual fit for the cyclist is carried out according to several parameters, in particular, according to the position of the saddle.

The saddle setting determines the fit, handling and ride efficiency. Let’s consider how to properly adjust the saddle so that it is both comfortable and not tired after long trips.

How to properly align your bike saddle

If you have already picked up and bought yourself a saddle, having studied the theory or our article, then it is time to move on to practice, namely, to correctly install the saddle on the bike. There are 3 parameters for which you need to set the saddle.

Seatpost Height

Saddle longitudinal position

I would like to note that the initial installation of the saddle will be only approximate, in any case you will have to learn everything in practice. That is, they set the saddle in a certain way, rode, remembered the sensations, edited the fit.

Seatpost Height

You’ve probably paid attention to other cyclists, or rather how they sit on their bike. Their seatpost is lowered almost to the end, the knees work at a bend of about 90 degrees.

And it’s okay if they are representatives of stunt disciplines, because they need maximum control over the bike and the absence of obstacles in the form of a seatpost and saddle. But if a person just drives in this position, then at best his muscles get tired very quickly, at worst they suffer, and then knee joints begin to hurt.

To avoid this, we attach the saddle to the seatpost parallel to the ground, put the pedal in the lowest position, sit on the bike, put the heel on the pedal.

In this position, the leg at the knee joint should be fully extended. Accordingly, if this is not the case, then you need to raise the seatpost, but do not overdo it. After all, if you lift it too high, then you will shift from side to side on the saddle, in addition to everything, numbness of the fingertips may begin.

When you press the front of your foot on the pedals, the knee should not be fully extended.

Having set the seat in height, we begin to play with the angle of inclination. Too much forward tilt of the tip of the saddle causes great discomfort. the load on the arms is seriously increased, and you will also constantly slide down. Accordingly, when the saddle is pulled back too far, it will press too much on the soft tissues of the perineum, which can lead to numbness. Therefore, the original saddle position must be parallel to the ground.

After riding on the saddle set in this way, remember the sensations and make adjustments to the incline if something does not suit you. For example, the crotch has started to go numb, or you feel decent discomfort. tilt the tip of the saddle literally a couple of millimeters down and try to ride again. There are saddles with a bend in the middle of it. if set up correctly, they can be very comfortable.

Saddle longitudinal position

Many saddles have dots or rulers to help you remember the saddle position.

The saddle positioning technique is an imaginary straight line between the kneecap and the pedal axis. With this technique, we determine the correct longitudinal position of the saddle. To do this, it will be necessary to set the pedals parallel to the ground, put your foot on the “front” pedal, see the position of the knee relative to the pedal axis in the mirror.

You can ask a friend to take a photo and then analyze it.

You can attach a small weight (key, handle, etc.) to the rope, lean it against the kneecap and estimate the position relative to the pedal axis.

Saddle tilt

Ideally, the saddle should be installed strictly horizontally to the ground, plus or minus a few millimeters up and down, so that it is comfortable. The nose, lifted up by more than a few millimeters, will press on the organs of the perineum. When the nose is tilted down. the cyclist will constantly slide forward, resting his hands on the handlebars.

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.