The Basic Adjustment
For optimum comfort and pedaling efficiency, position your saddle so that when your crankarms and pedals are parallel to the ground, a plumb line dropped from the bony protrusion just below your forward knee either bisects, or falls 1 to 2 centimeters behind the pedal axle. This setting varies according to personal preference and riding position. For example, if you like to pedal fast (95 rpm plus), place the plumb line directly over the pedal axle. If you pedal more slowly (80 to 90 rpm), you'll probably prefer a rearward position.
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Seat fore-and-aft position is a tricky thing to determine and adjust without help. If you feel you need advice regarding bike fit, please call us or come in soon.
How To Move The Seat
If you'd like adjust your seat position, on most bicycles all that's required is a 6-mm Allen wrench. Use it to loosen (turn counter-clockwise) the bolt beneath the seat that clamps the seat rails in the hardware atop the seat post.Once the bolt is loose, you'll be able to slide the seat on its rails forward and back. Don't loosen the bolt too much or it might fall out allowing the seat and clamping hardware to scatter and forcing you to figure out how to assemble it again (doh!).
Start By Centering The Seat
Sometimes a seat will get stuck in the rails, but if you knock it a bit with the palm of your hand, you should be able to break it loose from the clamp. Usually, it's best to start adjustment with the seat rails centered in the seat clamp. This provides the most support for seats with titanium or hollow rails, too, which can bend if they're not braced properly.
Don't Tip The Seat Too Much
As you move the seat forward and back to tune position, be careful not to change the seat angle. It's best to keep the top of the seat level with the ground or barely tipped up or down to your preference (no more than three degrees). To gauge whether or not the seat is level, rest a carpenter's level (make sure the bike is level before measuring) on the top of the seat. Don't have a level? Put the bike on a surface you know is level and rest a yardstick on top of the seat. Then eyeball the yardstick's edge against a distant building or some other level line on the horizon.
Mind Your Feet, Too
Keep in mind that how you feel pedaling can be affected by how your feet are positioned over the pedals. If you're using the wrong size toe clip or you have your shoe cleats misadjusted, no amount of seat adjustment will make you pedal optimally. Ideally, your shoes, cleats and toe clips will be selected and adjusted so that the balls of your feet rest directly over the pedal axles (centers) when you're riding.
Perfecting Foot Placement
You can usually feel where your foot is over the pedal. If you're not sure, a precise way to check foot positioning is to remove your biking shoes and socks. Take some correction fluid or water-soluble paint and put a dot directly on the ball of one foot. Immediately put on your shoe to transfer the dot to the insole. Repeat with the other foot. You now have marks inside your shoes at the exact positions of the balls of your feet. To check foot position, hold the shoes in your hands and place them in the pedals and sight from above to compare the dot inside the shoe to the pedal axle beneath the shoe. If the dots don't bisect the pedal axles, adjust things so they will.
The Basic Adjustment