How To Set The Bike Seat Height

Last Updated on August 25, 2020

The comfort of riding a bike largely depends on the adjustment of the seat. Slight discomfort in the ride is the result of the incorrect height of the bike seat. The right saddle height ensures coherent pedaling. The height of the bike seat that makes the rider uncomfortable might cause fatal injuries.

Adjusting the bike seat is simple, but requires following a few technicalities and depends on some measurements. There are also instances where the rider might not feel any uneasiness at all while pedaling but still riding while sitting on a bike seat beneath the optimum level. It doesn’t mean that you are not at risk of long-term injuries.

How To Set The Bike Seat Height

As the methods of adjusting the saddle height are pretty simple, therefore, try to experiment with the seat height and find out to see whether you were sitting on the optimum level or not.

There are a few methods through which the rider can find his optimal seat height. These help to strike a balance between comfort and strength. The moment a rider strikes some balance between the two, he will immediately feel that the method has worked for him and that is his optimal seat height.

When you are sitting on the perfect height, you will be able to pedal with efficiency, power, and comfort. Now, let us discuss the various methods of adjusting the height of a bike seat.


The 109% inseam method, The Heel method, The Holmes method, The Hamley method, The Lemond method, and The Genzling method, these are some easy and effective methods of adjusting the optimal height of a bike seat. Here, we are going to describe and explain them in detail.

1. The 109% Inseam Method

The 109% inseam method is known for providing an accurate result. You do not have to sit on a bike for the measurement. The process is a little different in this case. The step to the measure and adjustment are as follows-

You have to stand against a wall. Then you have to take a thick book and will have to hold it in between your thighs. Remember all this while you are standing straight against the wall. Start pulling the book upwards until you start feeling a bit uneasy. Try to hold the book in between your thighs firmly.

The firmness must continue even when you are pulling it upwards. Now, mark the wall where the top of the book was against it. The mark is the measurement of your inside legs, more precisely inseam. Measure the height from the mark on the wall to the ground where your feet were.

The estimation should be in millimeters. Multiply the result of your inseam by 1.09, and you will get the optimal height of your bike seat.

2. The Holmes Method

Holmes method is known to be the best among them all as it considers how you put your feet on the pedals. Not one foot but both the feet on the pedals while sitting on the saddle.

According to this method, the knee angle has to be between 25 to 35 degrees. It is a bit tricky and not convenient like the other methods. For this, you need an aide to film the process, a turbo trainer to be able to ride the bike, and a set square to measure the angle.

Ride the bike and record it. Watch the recording and pause it when the pedal is at the lowest position. Use a set square to measure the angle.

If it is between 25 to 35 degrees, then your seat height is perfect. If it is lesser than 25 degrees, raise the seat to the level of comfort, and if it is more than 35 than lower it to achieve the perfect height.

3. The Heel Method

The heel method is the most used method instead of it providing the least accurate result. In this method, you first sit on the bike saddle and put one of your foot on a pedal. Put the crank arm in line with the seat tube. The crank arm will point down.

One of your legs will have to be on the ground. You are comfortable sitting on your bike seat with one heel touching the ground and the other one being straight, touching the pedal. By this, you know what your seat height should be as your leg is straight and your knees are not bending or overextending.

4. The LeMond Method

Burt LeMond has also used inseam length to measure the bike seat height. Instead of multiplying the inseam length by 1.09, Burt preferred multiplying it by 0.883.

Another rule which has to be followed in this method is being barefooted while measuring the inseam length. So, to produce the perfect saddle height multiply the inseam length by 0.883 and adjust your seat according to the result you got.

5. Hamley’s Method

In this method, you will have to measure the length of your bikes crank arm. This method follows the similar steps of 109% method. Measure your inseam length and multiply it by 1.09. Subtract the crank arm length from the answer you got through multiplication. The number you get is your ideal saddle height.

6. The Genzling Method

The Genzling Method also depends on the rider’s inseam length and quite close to the LeMond method. Though getting an accurate result applying this method remains debatable, it is a well-used method for getting optimal seat height.

You know how to measure your inside leg’s length very well by now. Multiply your inseam length with 0.885, and the result you get is the adjustment you need to do on your bike seat.

These methods are just theories which are there for experimenting to get the desired result.  If one doesn’t work, there are chances of the least expected one to work.

Achieving the perfect seat height is suitable for comfort and will save from unwanted physical pains and hazards. So, try one of these methods for sure.


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