Get your Saddle Position Right at BottomBracket
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Get the Right Saddle Position...

The correct saddle position is important when cycling.

The correct saddle height lets you use your muscles most efficiently.

The wrong saddle position can result in knee injury and other problems.

Follow this Step by Step Guide to Getting It Right
Then ride for a while and see how it feels.
Re-adjust as neccessary.

There is also a Mathematical Method

Saddle Height

  • Lean the bike against something solid e.g. a wall
  • Put on the shoes you wear for cycling
  • Set the pedal at its lowest position
  • Adjust the saddle so that with your heel on the pedal, your leg is nearly straight
  • This is your approximate saddle height
  • Tighten the Bolt

  • With the ball of your foot on the pedal, your leg should be slightly bent.
    Any further adjustments should be small ones i.e - 5mm at a time.

    With the correct saddle position there should be no rocking of the hips (rocking means that the saddle is too high.

    Forward or Back
    Having your saddle too far back or too far forward can also cause knee pain...

  • Set the cranks horizontal (in line with the floor...)
  • Sit on the bike - get your botty comfortable
  • Put your front foot in the pedalling position - ball of the foot over the pedal axle
  • Adjust the saddle until the bottom of your kneecap is also positioned directly above the pedal axle

  • You can use a plumb-line held to the front of your kneecap to help you judge.

    Saddle Tilt
    The saddle should be level for most cyclists.
    Some cyclists prefer a slightly "nose-down" or "nose-up" position.

  • Too far nose-down can tip you forwards putting extra weight on your hands and wrists.
  • Too far nose-up puts pressure on nerves and soft tissues "Downstairs" - Not Good!

    I have used the above method for years to set my own and other peoples saddle positions.
    If you read enough books about it, you will find some slight differences in method.
    Some are listed here so that you can make your own mind up!

    JB Wadley, Cycling, Macmillan, 1975
    Recommends setting saddle height using method above but without shoes.
    R Ballantine, Richard's New Bicycle Book, Pan Books, 1990
    Recommends method as above. He also says that inside leg measurement X 1.09 will give the correct saddle height.
    L Woodland, The CTC Book of Cycle Touring, Crowood Press, 1995
    No shoes on to set height. Front/back position set with top of kneecap directly above the pedal axle.

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