How To Adjust Bike Seat – Bike Tips (Updated 2021)

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Cycling is one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities, but that is only true when you ride on a suitable bicycle. If you ride a too low or too high bike for you, it can cause injuries over some time.

In that case, if you do not want to change your bike, you should make some adjustments to enhance the comfort and performance of your bike.

Setting the saddle is the simplest way to do that. In this article, I will show you how to adjust bike seat. Let’s get started!

The Impact of Bike Seat On The Riding Experience

The Impact of Bike Seat On The Riding Experience
The Impact of Bike Seat On The Riding Experience

Besides bike pedals and bike handlebars, the bike seat is one of the three contact points between your body and the bicycle. Since you have to spend almost all your riding time on the bike seat, it will affect your exercise seriously. Saddle height is one of the most important factors.

The bike seat position will decide how comfortable your rides are. If you are sitting on a too high or too low bike saddle, it might be harder to ride your bikes. Moreover, if you do not adjust this wrong position, your riding experience will become genuinely uncomfortable.

Moreover, if your saddle height is not suitable for your body, it will affect your performance.

Especially when you ride a road bike as a racer, a right, comfy bike seat is essential. You could not ride at the speed you want if you do not have the correct posture and a sitting position that does not tire your leg muscles.

You can quickly look for a bike seat at a local bike shop. A local bike shop will come up with details of bike seats, including the saddle height. Then you can quickly get a correct saddle height.

Possible Injuries Due To Incorrect Bike Seat’s Position

Possible Injuries Due To Incorrect Bike Seat's Position
Possible Injuries Due To Incorrect Bike Seat’s Position

The wrong position of the bike seat not only impacts your riding experience but could also cause many injuries after a long period of riding.

Knee pain

Cycling knee pain is one of the most common pests that the incorrect bike saddle’s position could cause.

It would help if you did not sit on a saddle that is higher than your inseam. This position could put considerable pressure on your knee, especially kneecaps. As a result, this pressure will cause pain in your knee.

In case you have a low bicycle seat position, you might have to experience pain at the front of your knees.

Note that when you are riding, your knee should be slightly blend and your pedal stroke is straight.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain
Lower back pain

Another common injury that many riders have to suffer is lower back pain. Even though there might be numerous reasons causing this problem, one of the most significant factors is a too high saddle position.

When you sit on a bike with a high seat, you have to keep your back low to grasp the handlebars and start your ride.

This posture not only puts your lower back under great force but also could lead to neck fatigue as you have to raise your neck to observe for a long time.

Necessary Tools for Bike Seat Adjustment

Necessary Tools for Bike Seat Adjustment
Necessary Tools for Bike Seat Adjustment

Even though adjusting a bike saddle is quite an easy and quick process, you still need some bike tools to complete this process.

The first thing you have to use for your bike seat adjustment is a set of Allen keys with different sizes and lengths. This tool is very beneficial for loosening and tightening the bolts.

Also, you could not adjust your bicycle seat without Allen wrench. I will recommend you go to a torque wrench to change the bike saddle’s height.

This process might need a hex wrench or box wrench sometimes.

How To Adjust Your Bike Seat Height

How To Adjust Your Bike Seat Height
How To Adjust Your Bike Seat Height

As I mentioned, a correct saddle height helps you feel more comfortable when riding and prevents possible injuries. To change the wrong saddle height to the correct one, I highly recommend following the adjustment guide below.

Step 1: Knowing what is the right

Knowing what is the right
Knowing what is the right

Many people often misunderstand the correct height of the bicycle saddle. Thus, before you adjust the saddle height, you need to know how to determine it.

When one side of your bike pedal is at 6 o’clock, if your knee is completely straight or too bent that makes you uncomfortable, it is time to change the saddle’s height.

The right saddle height will help your knee slightly bent, about 25 degrees. This posture will make you stable and relaxed when riding.

Step 2: measuring the pubic bone

measuring the pubic bone
measuring the pubic bone

To measure the pubic bone, you will need tape. Firstly, you have to put your feet entirely on the ground. Then, using this tape to calculate the distance from the floor to your pubic bone.

You should measure at least 2 or 3 times to get the most accurate result. After that, you could find out the correct bike saddle height by subtracting the length of your pubic bone by 10 or 10.5 inches.

The best way to make the correct measurement is to have a friend to help you. As such, the result will be more objective.

Generally speaking, for an accurate measurement, you should really pay attention.

Step 3: Using the heel method

Using the heel method
Using the heel method

If you feel that measuring your pubic bone is quite tricky, you could try the heel method. In other words, you could choose one of these two methods.

Unlike lemond method, to start, you have to put your feet on the bike pedals in a suitable way. You should put 1/3 of your feet on the front and 2/3 of them on the pedals’ rear.

Then, you will need a phone or a camera to snap some videos. You could also download some specific applications to analyze your movements. After that, you need to cycle as usual.

Finally, review your recordings and determine the position of your knee. As I said above, if your knees are bent from 25 degrees to 30 degrees when the pedals are at a 6 o’clock position, this bike seat has an ideal height.

In case there is tension at the front of your knees, you have to raise your bicycle saddle’s height.

If your hip is unstable during cycling or you get some lower back pain, you have to lower your bike seat.

Step 4: Adjusting the Seatpost

Adjusting the Seatpost
Adjusting the Seatpost

After calculating the right bike saddle height, the next step that you have to do is adjusting the Seatpost (full extension).

You could remove and adjust the Seatpost by hand. However, it might be more effortless if you have a suitable Allen key.

You have to loosen it at the connect-point between the bicycle frame and Seatpost.

A suitable seat post will positively impact efficient pedaling, making you muscle groups are well-built. It is also very important in mountain biking.

Step 5: Adjusting the bike seat height depending on your measurement

Adjusting the bike seat height depending on your measurement
Adjusting the bike seat height depending on your measurement

The following step that you have to make is adjusting the bike saddle height. After loosening the Seatpost, you could quickly lower or raise the Seatpost to reach a suitable position.

Step 6: tightening the bike seat

Tightening the bike seat
Tightening the bike seat

Don’t forget to fix the Seatpost after completing the adjustment. To do that, you could use an Allen key or a wrench to tighten the bolts.

You should not over-tighten if you do not want the subsequent adjustments to be more complex and time-consuming. Tighten until you feel the bike seat is stable and not swayed.

Step 7: checking the adjusted seat height

Checking the adjusted seat height
Checking the adjusted seat height

Checking your bike seat is the final step in adjusting your bike seat height. You should review the seat height after changing to see if it fits your body.

Take a slow ride and feel the parts of your body. If you are comfortable and do not feel any stretch in your knees, this saddle is ready to serve your next adventures.

For more information, you can check out this video about Tips For Getting Your Saddle Position Right:

Watch video: How To Set Your Road Bike's Saddle Height - Tips For Getting Your Saddle Position Right

How To Adjust Your Bike Seat Placement

How To Adjust Your Bike Seat Placement
How To Adjust Your Bike Seat Placement

Along with bike seat height, saddle placement could affect your riding experience directly. Thus, you should adjust your bike seat placement to have the best comfort on the road and avoid hurting.

A correct bike saddle placement will offer riders a confident and robust riding posture. Also, riders could put an amount of pressure on the bike pedals as they want, making good movement for pedal stroke, crank arm, bike frame, seat tube, and bottom bracket. The bottom bracket is important for biking performance.

An ideal saddle angle is flat from the front to the rear of the bike seat. However, each rider will have a specific posture, so determining the most suitable bike seat placement is truly important.

Several steps will help you adjust saddle position in the fastest way.

Step 1: Understanding the impact of the saddle’s forward position and angle

Understanding the impact of the saddle's forward position and angle
Understanding the impact of the saddle’s forward position and angle

You could not only adjust the height of your bike saddle, but you could also modify its posture. For example, you can raise the forward saddle or backward saddle’s size to make our cycling experience more comfortable.

Also, this adjustment could help you prevent some pains and remove some sore spots as well.

To know the most suitable saddle’s fore/aft position, you have to stop your bike pedals at the 3 o’clock position.

If your knee down your ankle forms a straight line perpendicular to the ground, you do not need to change your bike saddle position.

Step 2: Loosening the bolts under your bike seat

Loosening the bolts under your bike seat
Loosening the bolts under your bike seat

To adjust the forward and backward seat position, you have to loosen the bolt that fixes the saddle placement by turning it anticlockwise.

Step 3: Making sure that your bike seat angle is flat

Making sure that your bike seat angle is flat
Making sure that your bike seat angle is flat

Many people will not notice that, but your seat angle will significantly affect the ride. A stable and balanced seat angle will help you distribute weight better and avoid muscle fatigue when cycling for a long time.

Female riders should tilt down the saddle (low saddle tilt) for more comfort, while male riders typically need to tilt up the bike seat (saddle tilt).

Step 4: Loosening the side bolts of the bike seat

Loosening the side bolts of the bike seat
Loosening the side bolts of the bike seat

This step is necessary if you want to change the seat angle. In general, you could find this bolt on the right of the saddle.

However, it would be best to change the seat angle slightly since a significant change could negatively affect your riding posture.

For more information, you can check out this video about How To Properly Set Saddle:

Watch video: How To Properly Set Saddle Position - Common Mistakes & Different Seat Posts.

Bike Seat Height Chart

Bike Seat Height Chart
Bike Seat Height Chart

Even though there are many ways to saddle height measurement, measuring your inseam length is one of the most compelling and straightforward ways (seat forward).

You could use the following formula for both road bikes and mountain bikes to determine bike saddle height. Firstly, measure your inseam length. Then, multiply this number by 1.08.

To get the right bike seat height in the fastest and easiest way, you could consider the following bike saddle height chart.

Notice that the term “saddle height” refers to the distance between your bicycle seat’s top to the center of the bottom bracket axle.

Inseam LengthBike Seat Height
InchCmInchCm
26.0 – 27.566.0 – 70.023.0 – 24.358.3 – 61.7
28.0 – 29.571.1 – 74.924.7 – 26.062.8 – 66.2
30.0 – 31.576.2 – 80.026.5 – 27.867.3 – 70.6
32.0 – 33.581.3 – 85.128.3 – 29.671.8 – 75.1
34.0 – 35.586.4 – 90.230.0 – 31.376.3 – 79.6
36.0 – 37.591.4 – 95.331.8 – 33.180.7 – 84.1
38.0 – 39.596.5 – 100.333.6 – 34.985.2 – 88.6
40.0 – 41.5101.6 – 105.435.3 – 36.689.7 – 93.1
42.0 – 43.5106.7 – 110.537.1 – 38.494.2 – 97.6

Overall, it is important to set saddle height for a bike fit. After purchasing bikes from bike shops, make sure your bike has an appropriate saddle position (test ride is needed). The test ride should be long enough to see whether you have 100% comfort or not.

FAQs

Does adjusting the bike seat take a long time?

In general, you need to spend a little time, about 10-20 minutes, adjusting your bike seat since this process is quite effortless and straightforward. However, if you don’t have suitable and essential tools for your bike seat adjustment, it might take a longer time.

Does a wrench make the adjusting process quicker?

Yes, it does. A wrench, especially an Allen wrench, is a perfect tool for bike saddle adjustment. It will help you remove and install the seat in minutes. Besides, it would help if you also had other bike tools to make your adjusting process quicker.

How can I know when my bike seat is comfortable?

When you sit on the bike seat, if your feet could comfortably contact bike pedals, this is the right height of your bike seat. By contrast, if your feet are on the ground totally when you sit on your bike, you have to increase the bike seat height.

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About Jim Felt

Jim Felt, a man with a genuine love of speed. A man who designed his very first triathlon frame for Johnny O’Mara – the star of Motorcross at “The O-Show” – then got big successes in 1990. In 1994, Felt incorporated with Answer Products to launch his brand, starting a 7-year relationship until 2000. In 2001, Jim Felt relaunched the Feltracing brand in conjunction with Michael Müllmann and Bill Duehring. Our product lines were then expanded into a full line of commuter bikes, cruisers, MTBs, MBX, even road and tri bikes. The total number of models were up to 140 distributed in 27 countries.