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Bike Fit
Bike Fit: Set Your Saddle Height
Boost comfort and power by dialing in the perfect seat position
ByJoe Lindsey
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STEP 1 Set cleats
Slip on your shoes, run masking tape along the instep, and mark it at the widest point of your foot. "Align the middle of the cleat with that line, or up to 2 centimeters behind it", says fitter Paraic McGlynn of Faster, a shop in Scottsdale, Arizona.
STEP 2 Assume a natural cycling position
Warm up for 15 minutes, then extend your right leg as if it were the little hand of a clock pointing to 5:30 (use a trainer or balance against a wall). Most riders' heels rise while pedaling. Lift yours 2 centimeters above the pedal when your leg is extended.
STEP 3 Measure knee angle
Raise or lower your saddle. Have a friend measure your knee bend, aiming for 25 to 35 degrees (see illustration). That's the sweet spot for producing maximum power.
STEP 4 Set fore/aft position
With cranks level, lower a plumb bob (tie a 30-inch piece of string to a rock if you don't have one) from the front of your kneecap to where the pedal spindle connects to the crank arm. If the line falls in front of or behind the spindle, slide your seat forward or back, then recheck.
STEP 5 Save
Measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the seat top. Then drop the plumb bob from your saddle tip and measure from the string to the center of the bottom bracket. Record both numbers and mark the correct position on your seatpost and saddle rails.

Illustrations: Charlie Layton

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Like me. I'm 6'2", but I have short legs for someone my height and a long torso. celana
Sigh. Only one female out of eight sample riders? C'mon, Bicycling, give us some comparisons we women who ride can use. I'd love to see how the pro women's saddle heights stack up to my own "legs too short, body too long for WSD" build. Given that 5'4" is the height of the average American woman, I'm disappointed to see that 5'4" the bottom of your chart. Your chart is skewed toward male riders in more ways than one.
Great tips, I'll try it soon. thanks a lot from
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Is there an alternate way to measure saddle fore/aft placement? My kneecaps stick out more than average. Also, a graph of saddle height vs. hip joint height would be more helpful, since people of the same height may have different leg, torso and head/neck lengths.
Like me. I'm 6'2", but I have short legs for someone my height and a long torso.
In step 3 what position is your foot at? 35degrees measured on the extension of the hip/knee vs knee/angle line?