In this post I’m going to talk you through how to set your bike saddle height. There are many schools of thought out there on how to do this. This guide is not about discussing the merits of the various different options available to you, nor is it for going into detail about saddle angle or fore-aft as I will cover these in separate posts.
Having tried the various methods, I’ve found that I’ve had the best results and comfort using this ‘free online calculator’. This is obviously not the perfect solution. Paying for a professional bike fit is by far the best way to get your bike set up for your body. They will take into account flexibility, feet size, crank length and all manner of other potential variables. However, for the majority of us amateur cyclists, we are looking for a quick way to get going, and in my opinion this is the best method out there.
The Online Tool I Use
The best Saddle Height Calculator I have found on the web is over at ebicycles.com. The site is run by Brandon Kelly, who lives over in New Jersey. He has a ton of great resources on his site, with the Bicycle Saddle Height Calculator being one of my favourite. Having tried a number of methods to get the right saddle height, I find Brandon’s calculator to be by far the best, and there are options for all different types of bike.
What You Need
In order to get the saddle height correct there are a few of things you will need:
- A long spirit level on which you can easily see the gauge from the top
- A Tape Measure
Before You Start
Flatten Your Saddle: Use your spirit level to get your saddle completely flat. This is the best place to start from when first setting up the bike.
Know Your Measurements: You will need two measurements for the calculator, your height and your leg length. The height part should be easy, but the leg length takes a little more work.
In order to find the leg length needed for the calculator I would suggest the following:
1) Find a wall you don’t mind marking
2) Take off your shoes
3) Hold the spirit level between your legs at the very top of your thighs.
4) Ensure the spirit level is flat (hence the need to see the gauge from the top!)
5) Mark on the wall where the spirit level touches
6) Measure the distance between the floor and the mark and note it down
Setting Your Bike Saddle Height
Head over to ebicycles.com armed with your measurements.
Choose your bike type, and on the following page put in the numbers you’ve jotted down.
When you hit the ‘calculate’ button you will be taken to a page that shows your custom saddle height requirements.
Voila! These measurements are the most accurate I have found, and work really well for me on every bike I have ever tried.