Correct Saddle Height

It is important to get the correct saddle height, otherwise you will be more prone to injury. Also your cycling will be less efficient.

When making adjustments to the saddle position it is best to make small adjustments at a time.

When you have found the correct saddle height and you are happy with it, make sure you keep this same saddle height for all bikes. This is especially important if you do a lot of cycling and have different bikes for racing and training.

Rough Guide To Saddle Height.

There should always be a small bend in the knee. When your pedal is at its lowest position, there should be a small bend.(roughly 25 degrees) If your leg is perfectly stretched the saddle is too high.

Most people begin cycling with the saddle height too low. This is often a legacy of childhood cycling and also a feeling that a lower saddle height makes it easier to get on and off the bike.

Formula for saddle Height

Another method of calculating saddle height

  • the distance from the heart of theĀ bottom bracketĀ to the upper part of the saddle) = 0.885 x inner leg length.
  • This method was developed by Claude Genzling during the Tour de France of 1978. He measured saddle heights and the length of cyclists inner legs to arrive at this average formula.
  • I have used this formula myself. It seems to work fine for me. It means whenever I set up a bike, I know the saddle height is going to be roughly 83.5cm


12 Responses to Correct Saddle Height

  1. Gordon December 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I find if you put a pedal at the lowest point and put your heal on the pedal then adjust the seat height till your leg is perfectly straight so when you put your foot in the correct position your should have the correct amount of bend in your knees, this is a better way to make sure all your bikes have the correct height regardless of crank length or pedal height which is often overlooked when attempting to use mathematical equations.

    • tejvan December 22, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      It’s good advice. I start with mathematical formula and did this as a double check.

  2. Lee June 28, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    the 0.885 formula does not work because it doesn’t take crank length into account. I ride 165 for track and 175 for road.

  3. Matty October 30, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    When I was about fourteen I had my saddle too high and it hyperextended my left knee. Afterwards, not knowing what I had done, I went running and tripped when I put my left leg out to catch myself the joint buckled and dislocated itself. It was the most excruciating thing I had ever experienced and took almost two years to recover from. To make the long story short, dont make your saddle height too high!!

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