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How To Set Your Saddle Height

  • Improve your Cycling Experience
How To Set Your Saddle Height

An important part of setting up your bicycle for a comfortable and efficient ride is adjusting the saddle height. Additionally, making sure you have the right saddle height goes a long way in preventing injuries and avoidable aches and pains, thus ensuring an enjoyable time on the saddle.

STEP 1- START OFF WITH AN ESTIMATE HEIGHT

The first step in setting your saddle height is to find an estimated base height to start things off. Ideally, when it comes to saddle height, it is recommended to start off with the saddle at the height of your hip bone. To do this, loosen the seat clamp with an Allen key (or the quick release lever, if your bicycle has one) and raise your saddle to the height of your hip bone, roughly. You can stand by the side of the bicycle to know when to stop and tighten the seat clamp. However, make sure the saddle is straight before you tighten the seat clamp.

How To Set Your Saddle Height-1
How To Set Your Saddle Height-2

STEP 2 - FIND YOUR CENTER/ BALANCE WHILE ON THE SADDLE

This next step will help you with making sure that you are comfortable while on the saddle. To do this have a friend hold the bike/ place the bike in a trainer/ get on the saddle and hold onto a table, while you sit on the saddle. Next, ensure sure the bike can stand on its own with you on it and your feet on the pedals.

STEP 3 - IDENTIFY OPTIMAL POSITION FOR PEDAL STROKE

Next, ensure that your pedal stroke is comfortable, efficient and pain free. To do this, sit on your bicycle and pedal backwards to reach a “6 o’clock position” in relation to the chainstay. Place your heel on the pedal - your leg should be straight and your knee should be fully locked.

How To Set Your Saddle Height-3
How To Set Your Saddle Height-4

STEP 4 - TWEAKS AND ADJUSTMENTS

If the saddle is too high, your heel will not have proper contact with the pedal even when fully stretched out - you will need to decrease the height of the saddle, in such a case.

If the saddle is too low, your leg will be bent at the knee and not fully locked, you will have to increase the height of your saddle in this case.

Remember to make sure that your knee is locked when your leg is fully stretched out - like in Step 3.

STEP 5 - THE PERFECT HEIGHT

Once you’ve completed Step 3 and 4 and your knees are fully locked with your heels on the pedal, go back to your normal riding position. Your knees should bend at an angle of about 30°, at each downstroke of the pedal. Reaching the optimal height may take some trial and error, with loads of small adjustments made along the way. However, to ensure that you have the best on-saddle experience this is something you do not want to skip.

How To Set Your Saddle Height-5
Conclusion

While adjusting the saddle to the perfect height is an important task for comfort and performance, it could be time taking. To save time in the future, once you’ve achieved the perfect saddle height and tested it out, mark the position on your seat post using tape or a strip of paint so that you do not have to repeat the whole process every time.

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