What is the Height of a Bicycle Saddle

The height of the bike saddle is what it should be. Cycling tips: how to find the right saddle height? | CRONUS. French bicycles

Based on an article by BikeRadar expert Nick Morgan.

Setting the correct saddle height seems to be such a basic element of cycling that professionals should already be choosing the right way to do it. However, this is completely wrong.

At the same time, all experts agree that an incorrectly set saddle height can lead to unpleasant consequences. Recent research has shown that dropping the saddle too low can increase your fatigue by 12%.

This feature can even be used successfully. If you don’t have a lot of time for cycling, then you can lower the saddle just below the usual position and get additional stress on the muscles.

This is an interesting theory. But if we know which height is inappropriate, then we must understand how to adjust the saddle correctly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. And in our today’s publication we will try to figure out what are the approaches to choosing the optimal saddle position.

Despite the widespread use of this method, it has no scientific evidence, and this often leads to the choice of inappropriate saddle height.

Professor Will Pelever of the University of Mississippi wrote in a recent paper comparing different methods for selecting optimal saddle height: “The main problem with the Heel Method is that it does not take into account the individual features of the thigh, tibia and foot length “.

A more scientifically sound method would have been developed by Hamley and Thomas in 1967. They experimented a lot with different saddle positions and concluded that the optimal distance from the pedal axis to the top of the saddle should be 109% of the cyclist’s leg length, measured from groin to heel.

You can easily take measurements at home with a tape measure, or even your usual ruler. However, we recommend repeating the procedure several times in order to be able to get the most accurate result.

This method is very popular and is often recommended by professional trainers who train world-class cyclists. However, Professor Pelever found that it was inferior to the Holmes method (you can read more about it later) in terms of economy of the rider and pedaling efficiency.

3) LeMond method

This is a popular variation of the 109% method, which was developed and popularized by the three-time winner of the Tour de France cycle, Greg LeMond.

The method also uses leg length from groin to heel to determine the optimal saddle height. But at the same time, according to Lemond’s formula, the distance from the center of the carriage (and not the pedal in the lower position) to the top of the saddle should be 88.3% of the rider’s leg length.

Interestingly, according to Pelever’s research, saddle heights using this method are often different from what we get when using the 109% method. And while the Lemond method is suitable for a large number of cyclists, there are those for whom it will not be ideal.

4) Holmes method

It was originally developed to reduce the number of injuries associated with active pedaling in professional athletes. Therefore, the approach underlying it differs markedly from the above.

A device called a goniometer is used to determine the optimum saddle height. It helps to determine the angle formed in the knee joint when one of the pedals is in the down position (see picture above). Hill believes that the optimal range for a cyclist is between 25 and 30 degrees. At the same time, for people suffering from knee tendonitis, it is better to focus on angles closer to 25 degrees.

This method may sound too scientific and most cyclists are likely to work well with the methods described above. But we want to draw your attention to the fact that instead of a specialized goniometer, you can use an inexpensive goniometer, which can be easily purchased without spending a lot of money, but saving yourself from potential knee problems.

Research by Professor Pelever has shown that this method (especially with a knee angle of 25 degrees) is significantly superior to others in terms of the efficiency of the rider in the saddle.

When choosing a saddle height, you should also not completely trust your feelings. This is what Pelever writes about this: “If you have been riding for a long time with the saddle lowered, then the transition to normal height can become very unusual for you at first. However, as soon as your body adjusts (and this will happen in 1-2 weeks), the new position will not only feel comfortable for you, but will also make your riding much more enjoyable and efficient in the long term. “.

If, after several weeks of riding with the new saddle height, you still experience discomfort, then of course you need to continue looking for the optimal position. It is best to start with the Holmes method, make sure you can pedal comfortably while seated (do not “pull” the pedal when it is in its lowest position), adjust the angle of the saddle as needed.

Professor Pelever also noted: “When I was finishing work on the next rider’s seating position, his knee angle when pedaling (with the pedal in the down position) was typically 25 to 30 degrees. But in most cases this figure was much closer to 25 “.

Bike landing. Saddle height

height, bicycle, saddle

The preservation of the knees and ligaments depends on the height of the saddle position, but, most importantly, how long the “fifth point” will withstand. You need to set the saddle position in dynamics using video filming. As a first approximation, you can set the saddle height according to numerous recommendations from the Internet and “before the Internet”. The recommendations are that at the lowest point you need to be able to straighten the knee joint until it “clicks”, touching the pedal with the heel. And during pedaling, when the support on the pedal is not with the heel but with the “pad” of the thumb, it is necessary that the leg should not be straightened in any way. Sometimes the preferred angles of maximum extension of the knee joint are indicated, 143-153 degrees. It is postulated that if the leg is straightened too much, the ligaments may suffer, if, on the contrary, it remains insufficiently straightened, the knees are “killed”. Of course, these are very reasonable recommendations, they are quite sufficient for arrivals for 2-3 hours without stops, and with stops, they are probably generally sufficient for any distance.

Unfortunately, these recommendations are only part of the general picture of biomechanics, and if we consider this part in isolation from others, then with a long pedaling, the consequences can be bad.

I’ll start with the thesis discussed in the previous post that all people are different. over, they differ from each other much more than athletes involved in cycling. Therefore, the desire to adjust the fit for certain angles of flexion of the knee, setting the height of the saddle along the heel, etc. has the same significance as the “average temperature in the hospital”.

The optimal saddle height is directly dependent on the person’s pedaling technique. There is nothing particularly tricky about pedaling technique. But it must be borne in mind that the look at yourself “from the inside” can be very different from how it looks from the outside (I am talking about myself ). Therefore, independent video control is very important. I will describe my feelings when power pedaling in “contacts” at the optimal saddle height for me.

When pedaling (especially uphill), an internal sensation: “heels down.” The most pronounced feeling is “heel down” when the pedal moves down, that is, first the heel comes down, and then the toe presses the pedal “in pursuit”. The shin-heel angle feels the same as in a ski boot. Achilles is slightly stretched, but no more than in a ski boot. The position “tibia forward. load on the Achilles” is static so that the Achilles does not become inflamed (it was like that). That is, you do not need to move the heel “up-down”, but lower the heel when moving down and keep it that way. Keep the heel down to the bottom and a little more to the sensation that the Achilles begins to stretch. Thereafter, the heel-down sensation is transferred to the other leg (which begins to move downward), and that leg turns into a “hook” that pulls the pedal up by the contact clip. In this case, the heel does not rise up, that is, you pull the pedal up “with your toe on yourself”.

In fact (according to the cine picture) the heels do not go down, the foot takes a horizontal position for one frame (1), and then the heel rises up. That is, internal sensations are exactly internal, everything looks different.

In principle, it would be nice if the leg at the knee was a little more straight, but the study of the cinematograms showed that this does not happen. If you put the saddle a little higher, then the leg does not straighten further, but the heel (2) rises (even with the sensation of “heel down”, if it is even higher, then it starts to crawl backwards along the saddle. (These are my legs, “other test participants” the leg is straightened more (3)).

So the videos (only) show how the leg really straightens when pedaling. In a stationary state, of course, I can easily extend my leg completely. You can pedal with the same feeling, but this has nothing to do with reality. In my case, it also affects the fact that the legs are different, the right one unbends better in dynamics, the corresponding difference in the saddle height is 1 cm (as a result, I put it “under the right leg”).

Added in August 2017

In general, as a first approximation, I recommend doing this.

First, roll for about an hour and a half so that the body “settles down”. Then make cinematograms. Set the height of the saddle so that the foot at the bottom of the pedal revolution takes a horizontal position. True, there is one “but”. At the same time, the leg should not be too straight. By the start of the 2016 season, the stretching has improved markedly, so it became possible to lift the saddle higher (while maintaining the horizontal position of the foot). Here is another photo (1), which was above (season 2015).

And here is the landing of the 2016 season:

The colleagues from the forum found that the leg was too straightened and this could lead to unpleasant consequences. To be honest, that’s what happened. In the final series of 100 km races of the season, I stretched some kind of anatomy in the back of the knee. It was only by the end of winter. Therefore, by the beginning of the 2017 season, the saddle dropped slightly.

Thus, the main criterion for the optimal saddle height is that the foot is horizontal in the freeze frame of the lower point of the pedal, and the saddle is set as high as possible. Next, you need to look at the resulting angle in the knee joint. It’s good that it falls into the recommendations given above: 143-153 degrees. If it does not fall “from below”, like the top photo of this inset (138 degrees), then it’s okay, it’s just the stretch. And if the leg turns out to be too extended and goes beyond the recommended range, as in the next photo (161 degrees), then it is better to lower the saddle. You can not immediately, but “listen” to the back of the knees and, if painful sensations like “pulled a little” appear, then immediately after that.

There is one more thing that is visible only to an outside observer. This is the swinging of the hips from side to side. That is, when the leg is extended, the hip goes down. I drove like this for quite a long time, a couple of seasons, and I thought that the discomfort in the “neck of the thigh” joint in the morning after long pedaling is what it should be after spinning. At the same time, I was completely sure that there was no swaying of the hips. Until I saw myself from the side on the brevet from the action camera driving from behind

I will return to the horizontal position of the foot at the bottom point. As I wrote in a note on pedaling in a circle, this is not a mandatory position. There may be a slight tilt “heel up, toe down”, especially if the pedals are not contact. However, when aiming for long distances, I recommend adjusting the saddle so that the foot is horizontal. This brings us to a very important point in the saddle height issue. It’s not just for pedaling. over, for racing, the saddle can be lifted from the optimal position. This will increase the power.

The optimum saddle height allows you to save as much fifth point as possible. Often they try not to talk about this intimate detail in the first place. But after 5 hours of twisting, it is no longer possible to hush up the question

How is the weight of a person on a bicycle distributed in general? The touch is at five points, two on the pedals, two on the handlebars, and a fifth on the saddle. Accordingly, the entire weight falls on 5 points, which literally have a hard time The fifth point on weight distribution is more related to the legs. That is, the harder (in total in a circle) you press on the pedals, the less load on the 5th point. Gradually, the legs get tired, this is reflected in the fact that the average speed drops. Consequently, the load on the 5th point increases. Now we introduce the raised heels at the lowest pedaling point. This is the same as standing on tiptoes. While fresh and vigorous. no question. But eventually your heels will drop. And then what happens to the already tired fifth point? And sharply. The most unpleasant thing is that the 5th point is arranged so patiently that the consequences can be noticed too late, after the ride. And plans for the next races may be severely disrupted

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Bike landing. Back tilt and handlebar height

With the correct height of the saddle, the back itself will take the optimal angular position, and the hands will “find” the desired height of the handlebar. The main thing is not to interfere with this.

However, back angle is the next most important seating parameter after saddle height. Unfortunately, the height of the handlebars can distort the natural back tilt, so the back tilt should be tried independently. On the Internet, it is believed that the more the back is tilted, the more athletic the fit. Accordingly, it is generally accepted that the inclination of the back depends on the type of bike, the further the bike is from the big sport, the more straight you need to keep your back.

Unfortunately, this is not at all consistent with either my experience or just common sense. The angle of inclination of the back is determined by the structure of the body, physical form, self-preservation instincts and is generally not associated with the presence of a bicycle

I think it is not harmful to cover the issue from the very beginning. Where did the vertical landing come from, as recommended in the left figure for “commuters”? Most likely this is a memory of riding a tricycle as a child. And about sitting at a desk, a case that was analyzed in the introductory note as not natural for humans. Besides the fact that this position of the back is not comfortable, it is also harmful. After all, a person sits not in a soft chair, but on a hard saddle and, most importantly, does not sit at rest, but drives along the road. When the back is upright, all the bumps in the road that have passed through the suspension lead to compression of the back. The back begins to ache, you should see a doctor, the doctor does not recommend riding a bike (a real case in life, as a result, a carbon hardtail has been in the garage for three years). The problem goes deeper. Walking upright is generally harmful to the back. When walking or running, the legs somehow absorb the load. But when riding a bike, there should be no vertical back! The back must be tilted.

Bicycle seat posts

Seatpost. The tube that supports the bike seat. It merges the saddle and frame into a single system and allows these two parts to interact.

Why do I need a seatpost?

The main function of the seatpost is to adjust the seat height. Also, with the help of special locks, the pipe adjusts the angle of inclination of the seat. These parameters determine the correctness and convenience of a person’s landing on the bike, obtaining the maximum efficiency from the efforts of the cyclist.

What material should the seat tube be made of? Roughly 90% of bicycle seat posts are now made of aluminum. This metal is very light, but has enough strength to withstand significant loads. Seat tubes for bicycles of very cheap series, for example, “Ukraine”, are made of steel. These pins are very stiff and strong, but much heavier than aluminum ones.

Bicycles used for sporting events have carbon seat tubes. Such parts are lighter than aluminum ones and can reduce the weight of the bike by 100-200 grams. At the same time, carbon pipes are as strong as aluminum ones. This is why athletes love them.

The most expensive and prestigious bike models are fitted with scandium seatposts. They are even lighter than carbon ones, but have a very high cost.

The seatpost should be at least 30cm long. Most modern bikes use 30-40cm tubing. Some economy bikes have very short seatposts (up to 15cm). This feature does not allow you to push the tube higher and maintain the correct fit on the bike.

It’s easy to check the seatpost length when buying a bike. You just need to open the eccentric (wing), which is located at the base of the pipe, and slightly pull the tube up. If this part is short, it will slip out easily, if it is long, it will stretch slowly and require effort.

What should be the diameter of the seat tube?

There are 3 main diameters of bicycle seat tubes:

The 25mm diameter was used in Soviet bicycles. Now bikes with this pin width are not produced, but frames with it are actively used. Diameters of 27.2 and 31.6 mm are used on all modern bicycles, regardless of class and purpose.

What types of locks are installed on the seatpost?

There are 3 types of seatpost locks:

  • Single bolt. These devices roughly adjust saddle tilt.
  • Double-bolted. These mechanisms allow you to fine-tune the seat position.
  • Original. Some manufacturers use very sophisticated patented locks on their premium bikes. The high cost of pins with them is not always justified when using a bicycle.

Depending on the position in relation to the seatpost tube, locks are of the following types:

  • Backward offset is the most common type.
  • No bias. Devices of this type provide a slightly forward fit.

What accessories are available for the seat tubes? Shock absorber

Until the early 21st century, a seatpost was simply a hollow tube with a saddle clip at one end. But since the early 2000s, shock absorber pins began to gain popularity. Such devices significantly alleviate the load and shock of the saddle on the gluteal muscles when riding on rough terrain or on dirt roads.

All seatpost cushioning mechanisms are divided into 2 types:

  • telescopic,
  • lever.

Pipes equipped with devices of the first type are relatively cheap, but have a short service life, especially if the bike is used by a person weighing more than 90 kg.

The pins, equipped with mechanisms of the second type, cost several times more, but provide maximum reduction in the load on the gluteal muscles.

Telescopic device

Also, bicycles that are designed for off-road riding (double suspension) sometimes have telescopic seat posts. They consist of two pipes. The upper one is drawn into the lower one. This feature allows the saddle to be extended as much as possible when driving on the highway and its height to be reduced when walking off-road.

Height adjuster

The final choice of a seatpost depends only on the preferences and financial capabilities of the bike owner. For walking around the city, a simple pipe with a single-bolt offset lock will suffice. Only for extreme off-road racing you need complex seat tubes equipped with various “gadgets”.

How to properly adjust the bike seat?

The bicycle is a very popular transport today. Many people choose it not only for sports, but also as a means of transportation. This is not surprising, because it is cycling that contributes to excellent muscle training and improved well-being. In this article, we will talk about how to properly adjust the bicycle seat so that riding on it is as comfortable as possible and brings only benefits, and not harm to the body.

Why adjust the seat?

A bicycle is a simple mechanism that everyone is familiar with. But very often, people who ride this type of transport professionally or just out of necessity, do not even think about the fact that before saddling their “iron horse”, it must be carefully prepared for the trip. One of the main preparation steps is the correct positioning of the seat. This is necessary to:

  • the bike ride was comfortable;
  • all muscle groups worked correctly;
  • the load on the body was evenly distributed;
  • it was easy to manage transport;
  • benefited the body.

The first thing to do after buying a bike and before starting to use it is to “fit it for yourself”, taking into account all the structural features and body parameters of the person who will ride it. You should know that for each model of such transport there is its own adjustment option. For example, on a mountain two-wheeled transport, it is different from that which is characteristic of an amateur, ordinary type of mechanism. There are certain rules that are required for all bike modifications. Should be adjusted:

  • seat height relative to pedal level;
  • the seat angle is determined by its offset.

Further in the article, we will talk in detail about each of the rules and how to correctly perform the process itself.

Height adjustment

This parameter is one of the most important, from which you need to start the adjustment. You can determine the height of the seat yourself, for this you need to take into account the growth of the rider and the peculiarities of the terrain on which the trip will be carried out. Before starting the setup, you must understand the following rules to ensure a safe trip.

  • Each mechanism has a maximum height mark. So, the level of the seatpost should be within acceptable limits.
  • Having decided on the optimal level of height, the “seat” must be well positioned and fixed at the selected level.
  • The front of the saddle must be level.

The adjustment itself is quite simple and consists of the following steps:

  • the first step is to loosen the tightening nut;
  • further, the pin is slowly pulled out (pressed in), while you need to hold the saddle;
  • then the mount is tightened;
  • at the last stage of adjustment, check whether the seat is firmly fixed.

It is imperative to position the seat correctly. Methods that have been specially developed for this type of adjustment will help determine the level of the seat on a bicycle.

  • Numerical calculation. When calculating the required height, you need a tape measure or centimeter. Using a measuring tool, you need to determine the distance from the sole to the groin on your body. The resulting value must be multiplied by a constant factor of 1.09. For example, if the length of your legs is 60 centimeters, then after multiplying it turns out that the seat should be at a height of 65.4 centimeters from the floor.
  • Almost straight leg method. This method was developed so that it can be used to determine the bend of the leg. It has been experimentally found that the correct position is when the limb on the lower pedal is straight.
  • Heel method. This method suggests adhering to the following sequence of actions:
  • you need to place the “iron horse” so that it is motionless;
  • sit on the saddle and fix the heel on the pedal. at this moment it should be at the bottom;
  • adjustment and fixation should be done with the leg completely straight.

You can also use an option for which you need a special goniometer device. This method is popularly called the “Hill Method”. It makes it possible to reduce the likelihood of injury while traveling. With a goniometer, you can measure the angle of the knee joint. Ideal for an adult if the angle is 25º. 30º. But if you have problems with the knee joint, before using this method, you must definitely consult with a specialist.

Angle setting

Experts and professional cyclists state that the saddle should be mounted horizontally and directed towards traffic. Tilting the saddle is not recommended. The angle of inclination depends on how the load will be distributed on different muscle groups. In the event that the front of the saddle is strongly raised up, the pressure on the soft tissues will increase, and this is fraught with negative consequences and diseases.

With a strong forward tilt of the saddle, you will constantly slide, and the ride itself will not bring pleasure, but only discomfort.

Horizontal position

With this type of adjustment, the length of the arms must be taken into account. This setting allows you to:

  • establish the correct centering;
  • ensure good speed while driving;
  • make transport management easy and convenient.

The process is performed in the following sequence:

  • loosen the screw that secures and secures the pin and seat;
  • move the seat;
  • fix the fastening elements;
  • sit on the saddle and pay attention to the position of the knees, their level should be vertical in relation to the pedal axis (to check, use the position of the leg at the lowest point, the knee should not protrude much forward).

Horizontal adjustment is only possible after the seat has been correctly installed. After completing all the above steps, taking into account the physiological characteristics of the body structure, you can be sure that the load while driving will fall on all muscles in the same volume. At the same time, arms and legs will not get tired quickly.

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For information on how to properly adjust the saddle on a bicycle, see the following video.

Bike landing. Saddle height

The preservation of the knees and ligaments depends on the height of the saddle position, but, most importantly, how long the “fifth point” will withstand. You need to set the saddle position in dynamics using video filming. As a first approximation, you can set the saddle height according to numerous recommendations from the Internet and “before the Internet”. The recommendations are that at the lowest point you need to be able to straighten the knee joint until it “clicks”, touching the pedal with the heel. And during pedaling, when the support on the pedal is not with the heel but with the “pad” of the thumb, it is necessary that the leg should not be straightened in any way. Sometimes the preferred angles of maximum extension of the knee joint are indicated, 143-153 degrees. It is postulated that if the leg is straightened too much, the ligaments may suffer, if, on the contrary, it remains insufficiently straightened, the knees are “killed”. Of course, these are very reasonable recommendations, they are quite sufficient for arrivals for 2-3 hours without stops, and with stops, they are probably generally sufficient for any distance.

Unfortunately, these recommendations are only part of the general picture of biomechanics, and if we consider this part in isolation from others, then with a long pedaling, the consequences can be bad.

I’ll start with the thesis discussed in the previous post that all people are different. over, they differ from each other much more than athletes involved in cycling. Therefore, the desire to adjust the fit for certain angles of flexion of the knee, setting the height of the saddle along the heel, etc. has the same significance as the “average temperature in the hospital”.

The optimal saddle height is directly dependent on the person’s pedaling technique. There is nothing particularly tricky about pedaling technique. But it must be borne in mind that the look at yourself “from the inside” can be very different from how it looks from the outside (I am talking about myself ). Therefore, independent video control is very important. I will describe my feelings when power pedaling in “contacts” at the optimal saddle height for me.

When pedaling (especially uphill), an internal sensation: “heels down.” The most pronounced feeling is “heel down” when the pedal moves down, that is, first the heel comes down, and then the toe presses the pedal “in pursuit”. The shin-heel angle feels the same as in a ski boot. Achilles is slightly stretched, but no more than in a ski boot. The position “tibia forward. load on the Achilles” is static so that the Achilles does not become inflamed (it was like that). That is, you do not need to move the heel “up-down”, but lower the heel when moving down and keep it that way. Keep the heel down to the bottom and a little more to the sensation that the Achilles begins to stretch. Thereafter, the heel-down sensation is transferred to the other leg (which begins to move downward), and that leg turns into a “hook” that pulls the pedal up by the contact clip. In this case, the heel does not rise up, that is, you pull the pedal up “with your toe on yourself”.

In fact (according to the cine picture) the heels do not go down, the foot takes a horizontal position for one frame (1), and then the heel rises up. That is, internal sensations are exactly internal, everything looks different.

In principle, it would be nice if the leg at the knee was a little more straight, but the study of the cinematograms showed that this does not happen. If you put the saddle a little higher, then the leg does not straighten further, but the heel (2) rises (even with the sensation of “heel down”, if it is even higher, then it starts to crawl backwards along the saddle. (These are my legs, “other test participants” the leg is straightened more (3)).

So the videos (only) show how the leg really straightens when pedaling. In a stationary state, of course, I can easily extend my leg completely. You can pedal with the same feeling, but this has nothing to do with reality. In my case, it also affects the fact that the legs are different, the right one unbends better in dynamics, the corresponding difference in the saddle height is 1 cm (as a result, I put it “under the right leg”).

Added in August 2017

In general, as a first approximation, I recommend doing this.

First, roll for about an hour and a half so that the body “settles down”. Then make cinematograms. Set the height of the saddle so that the foot at the bottom of the pedal revolution takes a horizontal position. True, there is one “but”. At the same time, the leg should not be too straight. By the start of the 2016 season, the stretching has improved markedly, so it became possible to lift the saddle higher (while maintaining the horizontal position of the foot). Here is another photo (1), which was above (season 2015).

And here is the landing of the 2016 season:

The colleagues from the forum found that the leg was too straightened and this could lead to unpleasant consequences. To be honest, that’s what happened. In the final series of 100 km races of the season, I stretched some kind of anatomy in the back of the knee. It was only by the end of winter. Therefore, by the beginning of the 2017 season, the saddle dropped slightly.

Thus, the main criterion for the optimal saddle height is that the foot is horizontal in the freeze frame of the lower point of the pedal, and the saddle is set as high as possible. Next, you need to look at the resulting angle in the knee joint. It’s good that it falls into the recommendations given above: 143-153 degrees. If it does not fall “from below”, like the top photo of this inset (138 degrees), then it’s okay, it’s just the stretch. And if the leg turns out to be too extended and goes beyond the recommended range, as in the next photo (161 degrees), then it is better to lower the saddle. You can not immediately, but “listen” to the back of the knees and, if painful sensations like “pulled a little” appear, then immediately after that.

There is one more thing that is visible only to an outside observer. This is the swinging of the hips from side to side. That is, when the leg is extended, the hip goes down. I drove like this for quite a long time, a couple of seasons, and I thought that the discomfort in the “neck of the thigh” joint in the morning after long pedaling is what it should be after spinning. At the same time, I was completely sure that there was no swaying of the hips. Until I saw myself from the side on the brevet from the action camera driving from behind In general, wiggling the hips in recreational skating should be avoided. This is also an indicator of too high saddle height.

I will return to the horizontal position of the foot at the bottom point. As I wrote in a note on pedaling in a circle, this is not a mandatory position. There may be a slight tilt “heel up, toe down”, especially if the pedals are not contact. However, when aiming for long distances, I recommend adjusting the saddle so that the foot is horizontal. This brings us to a very important point in the saddle height issue. It’s not just for pedaling. over, for racing, the saddle can be lifted from the optimal position. This will increase the power.

The optimum saddle height allows you to save as much fifth point as possible. Often they try not to talk about this intimate detail in the first place. But after 5 hours of twisting, it is no longer possible to hush up the question

How is the weight of a person on a bicycle distributed in general? The touch is at five points, two on the pedals, two on the handlebars, and a fifth on the saddle. Accordingly, the entire weight falls on 5 points, which literally have a hard time The fifth point on weight distribution is more related to the legs. That is, the harder (in total in a circle) you press on the pedals, the less load on the 5th point. Gradually, the legs get tired, this is reflected in the fact that the average speed drops. Consequently, the load on the 5th point increases. Now we introduce the raised heels at the lowest pedaling point. This is the same as standing on tiptoes. While fresh and vigorous. no question. But eventually your heels will drop. And then what happens to the already tired fifth point? And sharply. The most unpleasant thing is that the 5th point is arranged so patiently that the consequences can be noticed too late, after the ride. And plans for the next races may be severely disrupted

Vadim Nikitin

Correct fit on the bike is the key to a comfortable ride!

So, you have purchased a bike. We are sincerely glad and congratulations! This is a really necessary and useful acquisition. Now all that remains is to configure it correctly for a comfortable ride.

Setting up your bike for proper fit involves manipulating the saddle and handlebars. Saddle adjustments include adjusting the saddle height, tilt, and offset, and you can adjust the handlebar by adjusting the stem length and angle, stem lift, and handlebar width and shape.

The fit will depend on which bike you have purchased: walking, racing or touring. Each type has different bike settings, takes into account the peculiarities of the ride and provides the most appropriate body position to minimize the load on the back and legs.

A walking seating position on a bicycle implies an almost flat, perpendicular to the ground, back due to the lowered saddle and raised handlebars. With this fit, there is no particular stress on the muscles of the arms, legs and back, and the head is in a comfortable position for contemplating the surroundings and landscapes. But this position carries certain inconveniences that experienced cyclists know about, and beginners will only have to get to know them. This landing is not designed for long distances. In addition, trips over bumps and pits will negatively affect the spine.

A racing position means supporting the bulk of the body with the arms due to the raised saddle and lower handlebars. As a rule, the saddle is 5-10 cm higher than the handlebars. This position is typical for road bikes and requires some physical preparation and flexibility of the back. At the same time, the position of the legs and the load on the muscles are so balanced that they contribute to a long and fast ride.

Touring bike seating effectively combines the benefits of walking and racing seating. In this case, the back angle is approximately 45 ° with respect to the ground. The bicycle seat is located, as a rule, at the level of the handlebars or slightly below it. During a tourist landing, part of the cyclist’s weight is distributed to the arms, but most of it falls on the “fifth point”. For tourism, the landing should not be too low, since in this case, during a long ride, the neck and lower back will ache, and you will not be able to look around and enjoy the views at all. But too high a seating position is also not suitable, because in this case, the leg muscles will quickly get tired.

The saddle is an important factor for a proper fit on any ride and on any bike. A properly selected bicycle seat is a guarantee of a comfortable and, most importantly, a long ride. It often happens that a saddle that was sold with a bike is not comfortable. It’s easy enough to find out: after driving 25-30 km, you will feel obvious discomfort.

As you know, due to the difference in anatomy, women need a saddle slightly wider than men. The most common saddle width, according to experts, suitable for most people, is 14.3 cm. In any case, absolutely all saddles are uncomfortable. This comes from a lack of practice to such loads. The discomfort should go away on its own after a week of training. If this does not happen, then pay attention to the saddle itself.

Saddle adjustment includes high-low, front-back, and up-down tilt. Setting the saddle too low can lead to problems with the knee joint, the most complex joint in the human body.

Correct saddle height implies a near-flat foot on the pedal in the lowest position, with the cyclist sitting on the saddle, holding the handlebars, and the foot on the pedal with the heel.

The saddle should be mounted almost parallel to the ground, but this is a fairly individual setting.

Adjusting the saddle back and forth according to the rules directly depends on the position of the knee over the axis of the pedal at the same height of the pedals. But, for example, athletes often use this setting to shift the center of gravity.

Even with completely correct bike settings, much of the correct fit is still up to the rider. When riding, special attention should be paid to the position of the head. It should not be too tilted, and to relax the neck muscles periodically turn your head left and right. When riding a bicycle, it is necessary to exclude unnecessary movements, because they waste a lot of energy, and therefore adjust the bicycle so as not to leave the saddle forward or backward, and also not to ride it left and right. To relieve tension in your back and legs, periodically shift up and out of the saddle.

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Hand position is also an important aspect in long-term riding. For better aerodynamics and a proper fit, keep your elbows bent along your body. And before hitting bumps in the road, try to relax them for better shock absorption.

You can always find out these and other rules for boarding and adjusting the bike at our bike rental and repair points.

And remember, the correct riding position is the key to a comfortable ride and pleasure from a walk.

Correct fit on the bike

UPD: We choose the correct size here.

Correct fit while cycling. this, oddly enough, is one of the key points for successful skiing, worthy of reasoning and controversy. Let’s try to reflect on this topic.

Initially, the cyclist needs to choose the right frame size for his height and build; professional advice of consultants can help him in this.

So, the initial component is selected, now it is important for us to choose the following parameters correctly:

  • saddle height;
  • saddle position;
  • selection or correction of the stem length.

To start, of course, is the height and position of the saddle. Here we will look at some of the most common saddle height adjustment algorithms (the first of them will be for advanced, and the last one is the most accessible for most):

1) “Heel method”

This method involves setting the heel on the installed cranks at 6 o’clock (the bottom of the crank is directed perpendicular to the ground) so that the knee is fully extended, while the pelvis remains in an even position and does not tilt towards the pedal, the body should not reach behind the leg. This is the easiest or easiest method, but not the only correct one, since it does not take into account the individual characteristics of the body structure of each cyclist.

2) “Holmes method”

This method can be called a professional approach, which was created by professionals for professionals in order to reduce knee injuries in athletes. The main idea of ​​this method. This is the measurement of the knee angle at the bottom of the pedal travel using a special tool. goniometer. Medical equipment, as we know, is not cheap at all, and if you are not a professional athlete, then there is no point in purchasing it. Although, if there is a desire to take the choice of landing seriously, then you can visit a special diagnostic sports center, where such equipment is used constantly.

This method is based on studies showing the optimum knee bend angle of 25-35 degrees. over, an angle of 25 degrees is preferable for people who have problems with knee joints. for example, suffering from knee pain due to tendon inflammation.

3) “Method 109%”

It was developed by Hamley & Thomas in 1967. Experiments were conducted with different saddle heights and found that the ideal fit was achieved when the saddle was positioned 109% of the distance between the crotch and the cyclist’s feet (as shown in the figure below) when measuring the length from the pedal axis to the top of the saddle. To do the counting at home, stand with your face close to the wall and place a thick book between your legs (spine up, simulating a saddle). At the moment, it is important that the book is pressed against the crotch as much as possible, because when riding a bicycle, you press the saddle with your crotch with all your weight. Stand straight with your heels on the floor and mark a line along the top of the book, touching the wall. Take measurements several times for the most accurate result.

This method is extremely popular and is recommended by many trainers. However, a recent study by Professor Pelever found it inferior to the Holmes method in terms of driving economy.

4) “Lemond Method”

The method, developed by Tour de France winner Greg Lemond, is widely referred to as a variation on the previous method: it also uses leg length, measured from groin to heel, to determine the optimal saddle height. But at the same time, according to Lemond’s formula, the distance from the center of the carriage (and not the pedal in the lower position) to the top of the saddle should be 88.3% of the cyclist’s leg length. Interestingly, according to Pelever’s research, saddle heights using this method are often different from what we get when using the 109% method. And while the Lemond method is suitable for a large number of cyclists, there are those for whom it will not be ideal.

Its essence is simple. the distance from the top of the seat to the crank pin should be 83.3% of the 109% method.

5) The method is simple-universal.

Sitting on a bicycle, leaning against a wall or tree. Your leg should be slightly bent at the lowest pedal position. Usually 99% of cyclists are satisfied with this. Beginners may complain that this way the saddle will be too high, however, we note that in this case, the fit is as ergonomic as possible and damage to the knees will be minimal.

For skiing short distances or even walking. you can lower the saddle a little. This will make it easier for you to get off and on your bike.

So, to summarize:

At least 4 of the most common methods are available at home for any cyclist. you can try and print the average.

Methods by methods, but still, why is it so important to choose the right saddle height? The answer is simple: when pedaling while sitting in the saddle, the correct saddle height on one side increases the pedaling efficiency, and on the other hand helps keep the cyclist’s joints healthy.

This is why it is important to measure responsibly. spending time once on finding the right height, you can minimize discomfort in the knees, as well as reduce the risk of various injuries. Nobody canceled the individual characteristics of the organism. therefore, it is normal practice to adjust the results obtained by plus or minus. By the way, there are special notches on the seat posts that indicate the minimum required level of immersion of the post in the seat tube. observe it, otherwise the pin may burst or damage the frame.

What else can you pay attention to in landing?

Saddle tilt and selection.

Well, well, we figured out the saddle height. now you need to select its position on the pin. In this case, it is customary to take the horizontal position of the saddle as the starting point. The subtlety is whether the saddle is right for you. The parameters of the saddle are selected individually, based on the biological characteristics of the cyclist’s body. Much depends on its width. from pelvic health to comfort on a long trip. In particular, do not forget that for each direction of cycling, the angle of inclination of the saddle needs its own. for prevailing lifts, you can lower the saddle nose slightly, while vice versa for descents. to lift. These parameters are very individual, therefore, for simple skiing, it is worth choosing a horizontal position as the starting point. Trying to adjust the geometry of the bike to fit yourself is after a long ride, when you begin to understand what exactly you need.

Bicycle geometry.

An important parameter in the geometry of a bicycle is the distance from the saddle to the handlebars. The main indicators for this are the length of the upper frame tube, the angle of the seatpost and head tubes (these are the parameters that we choose together when buying a bicycle or frame). However, if you have not ridden before or do not know the geometry of your past bike, then your only choice is to trust a renowned manufacturer with universal geometry.

Takeaway.

It is worth mentioning that this distance (from saddle to handlebar) can be easily changed by changing the stem length. so, for extreme disciplines, stems from 30 to 50 millimeters are used, while for X-Country, stems from 60 to 120 millimeters can be easily applied.

Saddle.

Usually, when buying a bike in the standard factory configuration, the buyer receives balanced parameters of the bike, however, even in the stock configuration he has his own stock in size: the saddle moves on frames (so-called “rails”) within 1-2 centimeters from the central position. This way we can easily shorten the fit, thereby relieve the lower back.

Under / over stem spacer rings.

The same result (unloading the lower back) will result in the rearrangement of the spacer rings on the fork rod under the stem (the landing is shortened), and installing the rings above it will lead to the opposite: the landing will become more stretched. the lower back will be loaded, but there will be comfort and freedom of movement. this is especially true for the descent disciplines.

Steering wheel.

The geometry and height of the handlebars have a significant effect on weight distribution. Raised handlebars relieve the hands but make the steering less sharp and reduce the stability of the bike. In general, the steering wheel, although it looks simple, combines several geometric parameters that need to be selected only when buying a new steering wheel. it is better to do it with some experience of self-riding and bike tuning.

Wrists, grip and brake levers.

With regards to ride comfort. misaligned bikes are often seen. people ride bikes, holding the wheel with twisted wrists. For some, they look back and down, for others, the opposite. curved forward. Both of these positions are abnormal. The correct position of the hands on the handlebars is as follows: the elbows should be directed to the sides and slightly bent, forming an angle of about 135 °. The bones of the forearm should form a straight line with the metacarpals of the index and middle fingers. The index and middle fingers themselves do not wrap around the grips, but rest on the brake levers. this will reduce stress on your wrist and make riding safe and comfortable. By the way, the same applies to the position of the brake levers. they should not be inclined too horizontally or vertically. this impairs the perception of the brake levers and leads to the application of unnecessary braking forces.

General and possible errors:

The key to riding in the saddle is your personal experience and riding experience.: It often happens that with approximate calculated settings, the cyclist gets numb arms or legs at the exit. This clearly indicates a problem with the bike setup.

For example, numb hands indicate a shift in the cyclist’s weight closer to the handlebars. the arms are overloaded and bear most of the cyclist’s weight. In this case, installing spacer rings under the stem, shifting the saddle back, replacing the handlebars with a model with a rise above the standard can help. By doing this you will move the center of gravity closer to the rear wheel.

Leg numbness is also a common problem. there may be a problem in choosing a saddle: too narrow a saddle model can squeeze the vessels, thereby restricting blood flow to the limbs. Also, pain in the knees during long-term driving clearly indicates an insufficient amount of water consumed during the trip (with active pedaling, salts come out of the joint and this harms the knee), or about an insufficiently raised saddle.

Many will disagree that a high saddle is good: “I do not ride for long, and it is uncomfortable for me to get off a high saddle”. here I would like to remind you that pain in the knee joints is very unpleasant. Always remember that while tuning your bike you are saving your health. you should not tune the bike only for convenience. it is important to rely on the benefits for the body.

All of the above tips and tricks are general guidelines and of course only lead to basic bike setup. You can only choose the perfect fit after a few test drives to find the fit that’s right for you. And most importantly. do not be afraid to experiment: in small steps, changing one parameter (and not several at the same time), you will eventually find the optimal fit for yourself.!

12 years in mountain biking, tried all types of bicycles and their harnesses. from regular XC models to heavy downhill bikes. A true fan of his hobby. Able to select a comfortable steering wheel height within 1.5 months.