“How do I set the correct saddle height?” It's one of the most common questions I get asked. But just how important is getting your saddle height correct? The chaps at GCN have waded into this debate with a video looking at the importance of saddle height.
The optimum way to measure the difference saddle height makes is to use as much data to test the differences, so GCN use a Wattbike to measure the changes in pedal stroke and power output. They use three different saddle heights to determine if there are any differences. And are there? Well, you'll need to watch the video to find out the answer.
Regardless of the difference a few millimetres makes, it’s understandably important to get your saddle roughly at the right height. There are many bike fitting services across the country that will happily help determine your ideal saddle height. Your local bike shop probably offers this service, and often it’s included in the purchase of a new bike.
You can get your saddle height in the right ballpark without spending any money. Our simple how-to guide talks you through the simple steps required to get a comfortable saddle height. It uses the LeMond formula to get you in the right ballpark. Don’t be afraid to fine-tune your saddle height as you ride, many top pros are famous for constantly adjusting the saddle height based purely on feel.
What you’re trying to avoid in an incorrect saddle heights is over or under extension of the leg. Too high and you’re extending your knee too much and you’ll rock from side to side in the saddle. Too low and you simply won’t achieve full power.
It’s worth measuring the saddle height before you make any changes. With a tape measure, measure from the centre of the bottom bracket to the top of the saddle. Note this measurement so you can go back to it if you make any changes, and so you can replicate onto other bikes.
How high do you have your saddle from the centre of the BB to saddle top? Mine is 755mm.
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David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.
Charles's Law is far more relevant (Boyle's law does not concern temperature effects). No, I'm not fun at parties. See also ideal gas law.
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