How to set the saddle height on your bike?

Setting the saddle height on your sport bike is utterly necessary with every rider. Sitting on a bike seat suitable for the biker helps the cycling comfortable, safe, and efficient in the training process.

Everyone has a different body. Maybe we have the same height but our leg’s height compared with the back and arm appears different. As a result, knowing how to set the saddle height on your bike is essential.


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What tools do you need when setting the saddle height?

There are a few tools needed to change your saddle height to fit your body yourself. You have to prepare a correct size Allen key for your seat post, saddle clamps, and a tape measure. 

Moreover, if you want to make sure you have a relevant post, taking some grease for aluminum or steel posts or carbon grip paste for a carbon post is enough. 

Besides, it is a good idea to have a friend or a mirror to check your position. 

How to set the saddle height on your bike

How to set the saddle height on your bike

#1: Heel – To – Pedal

One of the most popular ways to set the saddle height is the heel – to – pedal method. Although it does not provide all factors affecting the saddle height, such as cleat position and pedaling style, it would help you have the most comfortable seating position. 

Following this method, you place the bike on the turbo trainer or in a doorway and sit on it. After putting your heel on the pedal, cycling backward to reach the six o’clock position. A good seat height helps your knee straight wholly. By contrast, a low saddle forces your knee bent, and a high one makes your heel lose contact with the pedal. In any case, adjust the saddle height in a slight increase or decrease each time. 

#2 LeMond Method

Another effective way to set the saddle height is the LeMond method. It was popularised by Greg LeMond and his coach in the 1980s.

According to the method, after using a flat object such as a meter ruler and placing it between your legs, applying pressure to the groin, in the same fashion to a saddle. 

Then, you measure from the crotch to the floor and remember the result. Multiplying the figure by 0.883, you have your saddle height. 

In this method, you may better ask another person for help to measure while you are on the bike. Otherwise, mark the height of the flat object on the wall and measure it to the floor. 

Besides this way, the 109 percent formula is a similar method, but you multiply the result by 109 percent. Also, you put the crank arm in the sic clock’s position and measure from the top of the saddle to the pedal spindle.

Factors To Consider Before Setting The Saddle Height On Your Bike

#1 Saddle Height

Of course, the first factor you should consider to adjust your bike’s seat is the saddle height. And to correctly determine this, a tape measure is more than enough. 

Firstly, the seat’s length needs to be measured from front to back before you find a midpoint. Marking this spot with a small pen or chalk. 

After that, you use the tape measure to begin at the point marked and measure in a straight line to your bottom bracket center. You can ignore the seat tube angle anyway. 

Also, it is suggested using the side that provides the most accurate measure because measuring from the driver side or non-drive side would have different effects on cranks. 

For the best results, documenting the measurement to the millimeter such as 500mm. 

How to set the saddle height on your bike

#2 Saddle Fore/Aft

Another factor playing an essential role in your saddle height is the saddle fore/ aft, where your saddle sits on the rails. Accurately measuring and adjusting this can lead to pedaling comfort and efficiency. 

Firstly, to determine the saddle fore and aft, you put your bike against the wall, with the wheel in or in a stationary trainer. Whatever your way is, remember that the bike’s perpendicular is vertical to the floor and horizontal to the wall. 

Then, calculate the distance from the wall to the bottom bracket (number 1) and from the wall to the saddle’s tip (number 2). To measure the saddle setback, you deduct number 1 from number 2. 

Overall, the best saddle for/aft position is to have your knee exactly above the pedal spindle when the crank arm is towards the three o’clock position. 

#3 Saddle Tilt

The third factor you should check to set the seat height is the saddle tilt. 

The most effective way to measure this parameter is to measure the overall seat tilt since many seats have contours. 

As recommended, a piece of the board should be put over the seat, and you use a smartphone or inclinometer to find the accurate number. Documenting the measurement to 1/10th of degree or higher. 

#4 Crank Length

The last factor that directly connects to the pedal system is the crank length. Primarily, the crank length depends on the saddle height. The lower the seat height of a small bike, the longer the crank length should be. However, most people do not take this parameter into account when buying their bikes. They even wholly ignore changing cranks when not suitable. 

For example, if you have a low saddle and a pretty long crank at about 175mm, you would have trouble cycling. 

On the other side, crank length does not have an apparent effect on the power output except you change from a 250mm crank down to 120mm. It only makes an impact on your gearing. 

Lastly, to measure the crank length, you use the tape measurement. Besides, documenting the number to the millimeter is suggested.

Final Words 

To conclude, above are some best methods on how to set the saddle height on your bike.  Besides, the article also gives you a few necessary pieces of knowledge to set more correctly. Hopefully, you will have a great bike with the most comfortable and efficient saddle height!

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