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The correct definition of his measure was the subject of many studies and theories, some of which have also followed the technical evolution of the bike (see the new geometry of the frames, the development of relationships shorter and higher pedalling frequencies) and apart from the biomechanical studies. It is certain that the proper adjustment can not be resolved and be restricted to a simple mathematical calculation, because several aspects have been taken into account. The type of ride, muscle elasticity and joint mobility, and ending with the analysis of potential diseases are all aspects that affect, in various ways and in ways and with different weight in a proper definition of the height of the saddle. It's clear, then, that this must be sought in the cyclist in an individual way, as highly personal and linked to the "history" physics, physiology and sports of the subject. The purpose of having a correct saddle height is to allow the muscles of the leg to fully display the potential of pushing and pulling on the pedal, that is optimal saddle height should permit effective action and best of all the muscles leg, allowing a swift transition in the top dead centre without an excessive and damaging closure of the knee, a smooth transition, when the crank is horizontal to the ground, so as to avoid excessive pressure on the same knee will cope better and speed the lower dead point, so go up quickly to a new phase of thrust. Be advised that the saddle height determines optimum thrust high in the first phase of pedalling (40-90 degrees) and a dispersion of energy in the second phase. In contrast, a low seat brings optimum thrust in the lower range of pedalling (80-140 degrees). The goal of a proper saddle height is to mediate these opposite and biomechanical analysis of these factors, combined with the physiological cyclist, was born a position of the saddle that is individual, but which falls in the range of values, established by the scientific community, now and in future articles we analyze.

Method of analysis of movement of the pelvis

This system of adjustment of the seat is not very widespread. It requires that you position the sole of the shoe is parallel to the ground, while the crank is on the extension of the seat tube at this point, the correct height of the saddle is one that allows us the maximum extension of the leg without moving the pelvis the saddle. In this position, the extension of the line (hypothetical) passing through the center of the thigh, will fall on the center axis of the pedal. The correct approach, then, expects to make the test even with the other leg and make an average between the two, if any, other measures. In this case, means that there is a different length than the others, so it would be appropriate to undertake a medical examination of deepening. Also in the case of two different sizes, between left and right limb, the orthopaedist will be able to use a foot to be inserted in the leg for limb shorter and then place the saddle according to the height determined by the leg longer.


This system, indeed, little used and known, it is very difficult to put into practice, but has a number of negative aspects. First, it is evident that a certain experience to understand if the pelvis is moving or not, and even the "counter-evidence" of the alignment of the thigh with the center axis of the pedal is not easy to identify correctly. Nothing, however, that an expert is not able to do. One point is that, compared with mathematical methods, the system naturally takes account of joint mobility and muscular agility of the subject. But the ride height which is obtained is generally higher, and all other systems, then scan, is also narrower than the fees biomechanics. Moreover, the adjustment is too influenced by subjective analysis of who should decide to analyze the movement of the pelvis. For this is a system that can be considered only an initial starting point for a subsequent better adjustment of the saddle.

Method of pedalling backwards

This system is widespread and is also very simple to implement. The height of the seat is determined by supporting the heels on the pedals and begin pedalling backwards, while an assistant holds the bike steady. The height of the saddle is the one that allows a complete relaxation of the leg, keeping your pelvis stationary.


These methods of adjusting the saddle, leads to the same height lower than in recent biomechanical concepts and does not allow for optimal performance, as well as to state, potentially, the cyclist to a number of diseases resulting from positioning of the saddle too low. Moreover, it must consider the definition of the same height as the saddle is still rough and difficult to implement with technical shoes and pedals road, where it is difficult to support the heel on the pedal easier to implement the measure with mtb shoes, or walking shoes and pedals traditional. But it seems clear that placing the heel on the pedal with a shoe mtb, leads to a proxy measure because of the sole very high, a problem that can be found with other footwear. Even in this case, moreover, much of the responsibility falls on the observation that will determine the moment when the leg is stretched completely out that there are movements of the pelvis. The good news is that, even in this case, the system naturally takes account of joint mobility and muscular agility of the subject. Like other systems, therefore, it seems that this method is appropriate for a first brief definition of the height of the seat, which will require, of necessity, a subsequent detailed development.

Method of equilibrium

This is the absolute easiest and used by many. The cyclist, resting on the saddle, must remain in balance with the vertical legs and toes extended, resting on the ground.


It's a popular and easy to implement, without the help of assistants. That said, leads to a height of the seat lower than that considered optimal and does not take into account possible problems of minimal mobility. It's a rough, then, because it is based on the perception of balance of the cyclist and takes no account minimum in the pedals and the shoes are used, which lead, depending on the models, important differences in the actual distance of the foot-surface of the saddle.