Adjusting your bike to the perfect saddle height is crucial in order to maximize comfort and payoff during your training rides for Kerrville Tri. Incorrect height leads to pain and discomfort during and after your ride. It can also prevent you from improving your performance on the bike. Learn the importance of correct saddle height, and how to adjust your bike to the perfect fit with these easy steps.
What is Saddle Height?
Saddle height is measured by the distance between the center of the pedal axle and the top of the saddle, or your bike seat. This is set by adjusting the seat post to your ideal height to balance your comfort and power on the bike. This height is arguably the single most important adjustment on your bicycle. Incorrect height can contribute to discomfort in the saddle, anterior and posterior knee pains, and ultimately limit how much power you produce.
How To Adjust Your Saddle Height
There are many ways you can approach finding your perfect saddle height. One of the best approaches is to establish it based on the rider’s individual ride characteristics and flexibility. You can follow the “heel to pedal method” before your next ride. This will get you in the ballpark.
- Stand next to your bike and raise the saddle to your hip to get an idea of where to start.
- Get on your bike, and place your heel on the pedal to determine if you will raise or lower your saddle.
- If you are having trouble making contact with your heel to your pedal – the seat is too high.
- If your knee is bent – it is too low.
- Put your bike on the trainer and adjust accordingly.
- Get back on your bike with your heel on the pedal and pedal backward to reach the six o’clock position.
- Your leg should be completely straight, without being overextended to achieve the correct saddle height.
Pro tip: Make very small adjustments during this process, then repeat until you have found the perfect height.
Ready to Ride
Once you find the proper height, use a piece of electrical tape around at the base of the post where it meets the seat clamp as a marker. Take a tape measure and record the measurements, in case you need to make very slight adjustments in the future.
Have a professional look at your bike every few years to achieve maximum comfort. After adjusting your bike to the perfect saddle height, make the first few rides short. Give it time! Your body may need a few sessions to adapt to your new height before you feel yourself improving on your cycling journey. How often do you check your saddle height? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.