Getting the saddle height right when bicycle riding is not always as easy as thought. Riding with a too-high or too-low saddle can put immense pressure on knees and hips, making it both uncomfortable and unsafe to continue to cycle over long periods of time.
The Basics: What is Saddle Height?
When it comes to saddle height, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, your saddle should be high enough that you can pedal without rocking your hips.
Second, your knees should be at a 25-35 degree angle when pedalling.
Third, when sitting in the saddle, your heels should be level with or slightly below your pedals.
Now that you know the basics of saddle height, it’s time to get out there and start riding!
How to set the saddle height on your bike
Your saddle height is one of the most important measurements on your bike, and it’s important to get it right. Here’s a step-by-step guide to setting the saddle height on your bike:
- Measure your inseam. This is the distance from your crotch to the ground, and you’ll need it to determine the proper saddle height.
- Place the bike upside down on a level surface. You can use a table or countertop, or you can prop up the bike with a few books.
- Adjust the saddle height so that it’s level with the top tube of the frame. If you’re not sure how high to set it, start with the saddle at its lowest setting and work your way up until it’s comfortable for you.
- Once you’ve found the perfect saddle height, tighten all of the bolts securely so that the saddle doesn’t move during your ride.
Adjustments that affect the saddle height
If your bike has a quick release on the seatpost, it’s easy to adjust the saddle height. If not, you might need an allen key. Once you have the right tool, simply loosen the bolt at the top of the seatpost, raise or lower the seat to the desired height, and then tighten the bolt back up.
However, there are a few things that can affect your saddle height, even after you’ve adjusted it. If you swap out your pedals for a different type, that can change how high your saddle needs to be. The same is true if you switch to a different kind of saddle. And if you start riding with clipless pedals, you might need to lower your saddle a bit so that you can reach them easily when stopping.
Putting It All Together: Assessing Your Saddle Height
Once you have your tools and know-how ready, it’s time to get to work assessing your saddle height. You’ll want to do this while wearing your riding shoes and with your pedals in the position they’ll be in when you’re riding. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Stand next to your bike with the pedals in the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions.
- Place a book or other object horizontally across your thigh so that it makes contact at approximately where your hip joint is.
- Adjust the height of your saddle so that the top of it is level with the book or object.
- Sit on your saddle and pedalling slowly, check to see if your knees are slightly bent when the pedals are in the 6 o’clock position – if they are, your saddle height is good! If not, make further adjustments until they are.
Now that you know how to correctly assess your saddle height, give it a try yourself and see how much more comfortable (and efficient) riding can be!
If you’ve ever wondered whether your saddle height is actually correct, or if you’re just making do with whatever feels comfortable, then this guide is for you. By following the simple steps outlined here, you can make sure that your saddle height is optimised for your riding position and style. Doing so will not only improve your comfort on the bike but can also help to prevent injuries in the long run. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start measuring!