Proper Seat Set up for Comfort & Speed

Monday, September 12, 2016

Proper seat set-up is an important task that you should spend some time getting just right, because it'll affect not only your comfort and pedalling technique but also your chances of getting a riding injury.

It's a fairly simple job that only needs a couple of tools, but you'll probably find that you need to fine-tune the position of your seat a few times, until it's comfortable for long or tough rides.

Adjusting Height

This is the most important adjustment you make to your bike saddle.  Position the seat so that when you sit on your bike, feet on pedals, the seat is high enough so you only have a slight bend in your knee at the lowest pedalling stroke.

Loosen the pinch bolt where the seat post goes into the frame to move the seat up or down.  If it's stuck, twist it a bit as you try to shift it and a drop of the old ‘3-in-One' Oil often comes in handy. 

Correct Angle

You can adjust the saddle angle by loosening the angle bolt under the seat. Try to keep the angle of your seat as near to horizontal as possible.  Some guys like to have the front raised a little for a more comfortable fit.

But if it's too high you'll be putting too much pressure on your sensitive zones.  And if the front is facing down too much, you'll feel tension in your wrists, elbows and shoulders as you try to avoid sliding off.

Forward and Backward Positioning

The adjusting screw, for sliding the seat forwards or backwards on rails, is next to the angle screw under the seat. This adjustment affects the level of tension on your shoulders and knees when you're riding.

Scientifically speaking, the most comfortable position for your saddle should be the point that leaves your kneecap directly over the pedal spindle, when the crank's at 3 o'clock position.  But some guys think it's more important to improve their aerodynamics by locating the seat a little further back than that.

Finding the best position for your seat set-up often takes a bit of trial and error and we've all done our share of painful practice rides before finding the best fit!  So, be patient and get your seat set up perfectly for comfort and speed!

Share the article