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How To Find the Correct Height for Your Saddle

As a cyclist, finding the correct height for your saddle is key. Setting it too high or too low can result in knee and back pain, or even injury. Use these easy steps to calculate the height that's right for you.

1. Consult A Bike Pro
There are several ways to calculate your ideal personalized saddle height. Cyclists have argued about these methods and their merits for years. The safest bet to finding the saddle height right for you is to go to your local cycle shop and consult with a professional. They can run a series of tests to help you adjust and get comfortable.



2. Get On An Indoor Trainer Stand
If you're looking to get started on your own, it's best to have an indoor trainer stand for your bike. In addition to being able to exercise and practice despite the weather outside, the trainer stand helps with making adjustments to your bike fit.

First, make sure the bike is level on the stand. Next, get in the saddle and place your heel on the pedal and rotate the pedal to a roughly six o'clock position. The crank arm supporting the pedal your heel is resting on should be in line with the seat tube. If your heel cannot reach the pedal anymore, lower the seat. If there is a bend in your knee, raise the saddle higher. When your knee is straight, you have roughly the correct saddle height.



3. Measure Your Inseam
Another saddle height technique is the "LeMond Method", which involves measuring your inseam and was popularized by American Tour de France legend Greg LeMond.

First, stand flat-footed and barefoot on the floor. Place a flat, sturdy object - such ruler or spirit level or hardcover book - in between your legs. Push it snug against your crotch (this should feel like sitting on a saddle). Then have a friend measure from the flat object against your crotch to the floor in millimeters. This is your inseam measurement. Multiply this number by 0.883. For example if your inseam is 800mm, find your saddle height by calculating 800 X .883. Your saddle height in this case would be 706.4mm.

Adjust your saddle so that it measures as close to 706.4mm as possible, from the top of the saddle to the center of the bottom bracket (where the pedal's crank arm sits).



4. Adjust As You Go
It is important to remember: as a cyclist, you should always listen to your body and adjust as you go. The heel and LeMond method are imperfect, as every rider has different body proportions. You'll want to adjust relying on your body's intuitive need for comfort. While pedaling, if you find yourself uncomfortable in the saddle or rocking your hips too much, you'll need to adjust accordingly.

Follow these simple steps and remember that this process is different for everybody. So keep riding, keep adjusting and you'll find your personal sweet spot in no time.
 
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