Bike Saddle Fitting for the Perfect Height and Position
When it comes to riding your bike, you want to have everything working perfectly. From the gears to the wheels and the seat, you need each component to work in tandem with all other parts of your bike. Therefore, you have the most comfortable ride as possible. One of the most important pieces, however, is the bike saddle fitting.
Regardless of how you ride, it is imperative that you do a bike saddle fitting so you will not risk injury or discomfort. Today I will be talking about how to adjust your saddle, as well as why it is so important to get it right. In addition, this information is particularly useful for women, although you can easily modify it for any rider.
Why Bike Saddle Fitting is Important
So why is a bike saddle fitting so important? The reason is that your position on the seat will determine everything about how you ride, and thus you need to make sure that your saddle is fitted correctly, so you do not injure yourself while on the road in rain.
How Can Height Affect Me?
If your saddle height is too high, then you may be reaching for the pedals too much. For some women, this can also lead to what has known as “rocking” the saddle, which is when you have to shift your butt from side to side just to reach the pedal.
Typically speaking, you want to have your leg extended, but with a slight bend at the knee. If you are locking your leg in a straight position while you pedal, then that could lead to serious injury later on.
Important Note: if you do a lot of racing or competing on your bike, then you want your seat to be a little higher, so you will have more extension to your leg while you ride. If you are a casual rider, then you can have the saddle height a little lower, since you will be leaning back on the seat more.
How Does the Angle Affect My Ride?
An excellent way to measure the angle of your saddle is to place a pole or other long, straight object onto the seat. Ideally, your saddle should be completely horizontal.
Therefore, you should touch both the back and front of the seat at the same time with your measuring stick. If not, then that means your saddle is at either a downward or upward angle, which will require a bike saddle fitting.
For ladies, if you’re seat is angled down, then it will cause problems with your hands, wrists, and upper body. Especially if you have thin wrists as I do, then a downward saddle will force you to put more weight and pressure on your hands while you ride. If you notice soreness in your wrists, it could be time for a bike saddle fitting.
If the front of the saddle is too far up, then that will cause some major discomfort, especially in your sensitive woman areas. Men will also have a hard time riding with the saddle angled up, so make sure that does not happen.
While it should be obvious if the seat is tilted up, you will know if you need to readjust it if you notice pain in your pelvis and lower back. In addition, you may have to bend more to reach the handlebars, which can cause soreness in your shoulders, too.
Steps for Adjusting Saddle Height and Angle
If you need a bike saddle fitting, then here are the steps you should take to adjust both the height and the angle.
Step One: take a hex key and insert it into the slot. Turn counter-clockwise (lefty loosely) to loosen the pole that the saddle is on. If you are struggling with the hex key, it may be the wrong size and could smooth out the hole, which will render it is nonadjustable.
Step Two: Once the pole is loosened, move the seat up or down as needed. A good rule to follow is that the saddle height should be just below your crotch area.
Step Three: When you have got the height just right, tighten it back up and remove the hex key. Make sure that you tighten the fittings as much as possible since you do not want the seat to slip while riding.
Step One: using an Allen wrench, undo the bolt on the underside of the seat clamp.
Step Two: most modern bike saddles have an indexed adjustment bar, so you can click it until you find the right angle. If it does not have notches, then you will need to use a level or something else to make sure it is as straight as possible.
Step Three: once you have ensured that the angle is a flat 180 degrees, tighten the bolt as much as possible. If you want, sit on the saddle and bounce up and down a little to make sure that it is tight.
When it comes to bike saddle fitting, everyone has a personal preference. Whether you are riding competitively or just like to cruise around town, the right saddle height and angle is imperative to having the best ride possible.
Feel free to adjust the seat, as you need it. Perhaps you like it to have a slight tilt forward so you can reach the handlebars better, or you may prefer to have the saddle a little lower so you can relax as you ride. Ultimately, as long as you are comfortable, that is all that matters.