How To Get Your Bike Saddle Height Right

Skills + Knowledge
July 16, 2018
How To Get Your Bike Saddle Height Right
How To Get Your Bike Saddle Height Right

Getting your bike saddle the right height helps you avoid discomfort when you ride, particularly knee pain. But, the right height means the right height for you. There is no universal correct height for a bike saddle.

Beach cruiser saddles and hybrid bike saddles need to be set at the appropriate height for the individual rider. Adjustment just takes a minute or two, so make sure you have your saddle set at your optimal height before you ride.

Here’s how you adjust your bike saddle so it’s the perfect height for you:

Understand Why Saddle Height is Important

You’ll probably be more motivated to set your saddle to the correct height when you understand why it’s important. With a correctly positioned saddle, you’ll be able to ride longer and push harder. You’ll be more comfortable and you’ll reduce your risk of injury.  

When your bike saddle is set too low, you may suffer from compression injuries. If it’s too high, you could experience over-stretching issues. You really shouldn’t be injuring yourself with a typical ride, unless you fall off of your bike.

Take Note if Your Saddle Height is Wrong

As you take note of your saddle height, keep in mind that you’re looking at the distance between the center of your bike’s bottom bracket and the center of the saddle. You may not know this distance is wrong just by looking at it. But if you experience knee pain when you ride, you’ll know you have an incorrect saddle height.

In particular, pain in the front of the knee indicates a saddle that is too low. Pain at the back of the knee could point to a saddle that’s too high (or hamstring pain as a result of overextending).

Sometimes, an incorrect saddle height leads to a rocking motion while peddling. A friend who’s riding with you might be able to observe this and you may even experience hip pain from the excessive awkward movement.

Set Your Saddle Height Yourself

It’s pretty easy to get your saddle height right yourself. The basic and simplest method is to sit on your bike. Unclip your pedals and put your heel at the center of the pedal axle. Turn the pedal down to the lowest point so that the crank lines up your seat tube.

When in this position, you should be able to have your leg fully extended without the need to drop your hip at all. If your hip drops, your saddle is too high. You need to keep your hips neutral, and only stretch your hamstring and calf.

When you clip back, your foot should be at the correct angle and create the proper right angle at the knee. This is the most popular measurement of appropriate saddle height, but there is more you can do to adjust your saddle to meet your body frame.

Check the Layback

If you want to make sure your saddle height is absolutely correct for you, release a plumb line from your knee (or have a friend do it for you). The back of your kneecap will ideally be lined up with the ball of your foot if your saddle height is right. The ball of your foot needs to be over the pedal axle.

If you’re trying to get the right saddle height for you and you don’t have a comfortable saddle to begin with, start by buying a proper saddle. We have the best hybrid bike saddle and our women’s bike saddle is one of our most popular bike parts. Purchase one of these top saddles, or a comfortable sixthreezero Classic Edition 7 Speed Women's 26" Beach Cruiser Bike or Dreamcycle Woman Single Speed Bike with comfy saddle.

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How To Get Your Bike Saddle Height Right