Saddle positioning is important to get right. You do not want to be uncomfortable when cycling, especially if you are sat in that saddle for many hours you need to be comfortable.
Having the correct saddle position also helps reduce muscle fatigue and helps avoid injury, this is because if you are stretching your legs too much, having to compensate one leg for the other or dipping your hip too much you will tire faster than you would usually.
So here are some top tips on how to get your saddle positioned correctly:
• Saddle Tilt- Unless a professional bike fit or experience tells you otherwise, the saddle should be level with the ground. A spirit level can help. Lay it on top of the saddle and change it until level. Then only change from this position if it gets uncomfortable or a fitter tells you it need to be changed. Start small and build up, 2mm or so, test and then change if needed. Our bodies adapt to the smallest of changes, so may need to ride for a few miles to see what feels comfortable for you.
• Saddle Lateral Positioning- Setting the lateral position is much easier to do than people realise. All you must do is sit on your saddle in your normal riding position, set the pedals to 3 and 9 o’clock. You will need someone else to help. Get the second person to use a plumb line or spirit level and measure from the little bump just under your knee down to the 3 o’clock pedal axle. A good fit will be when the bump is between 1cm behind and level with the pedal axle. Tweak and test as you see fit.
• Seat Height- As there are many different types of saddles there are different ways to measure the best saddle height. Depending on the type of saddle you have depends on the best method for you. With most saddles the trial-and-error method is best and the easiest. The Greg Lemond method is also a good method to use. Measure your inside leg while wearing your bib shorts and set the seat height at 88.3% of that measured from the saddle to the centre of the bottom bracket.