The only pain that you should feel when riding your bike is the pain after pushing yourself hard but a feeling of discomfort should not prevent you to do your best performance. Following all these adjustments can help you get moving and enjoy the rest of your ride.
In setting up your bike saddle height, you need to find the correct and most ideal height. Many other position are done to get the best fit that strikes the balance between comfort and power. Learn more and try which method will best fits you.
The most common way is the heel method or heel-to-pedal. It involves sitting on the saddle, while holding on a stable chair or table or just by leaning against a wall or ask for somebody to hold the bike for an added support.
- Place your heel on the pedal and pedal backwards reaching 6 o’clock position.
- Make sure that your knee is completely straight, if the knee is still flexed or bent, you might need to increase the saddle height
- Adjust a bit of increments one at a time
- If you feel that your heel can no longer reach the pedal, then it’s time to lower your saddle.
Popularized by Greg LeMond in the early 80’s, this method uses flat object such as meter ruler or spirit level placing in between your legs while applying a bit of pressure to the groin. In performing this, the shoes should be removed and ask for somebody to help in getting your “inseam” measurement, from your crotch to the floor. Once you get the result from the measurement, you have to multiply it by 0.883, the answer to this will be your proper saddle height.
Here’s an example:
Inseam measurement = 27 inches’ x 0.883 = 23.84
Your saddle height will be 23.84 inches
However, this method doesn’t always seem appropriate for all, and other factors should be taken into consideration such as longer legs than torso and poor flexibility of the rider itself.
Another method to consider is the crank length. This is also very important because it opens up the opportunity for people to change the length of the crank without worrying about the outcome. Crank length can be used as a parameter to affect other factors of bike fit such as a shorter crank length at which can significantly open up the hip. Another thing to consider is that crank length should reflect your saddle height, especially when switching bikes and setting the saddle height. Most people that are having a low saddle height (usually on smaller bikes) need to use a shorter crank length.
However, some may experience discomfort after they bought an assembled bike from a shop due to inappropriate saddle height and usually the cause would be the arm length crank that is already installed and people tend not to change it. You have to be aware if the crank length is not measured accordingly for a biker, they intend to extend their knee just to compensate pedaling and this could lead to a much lesser comfort while riding.