A Beginner’s Guide on Setting the Right Saddle Height on a Bike

After a bike ride, have you ever felt uncomfortable? Perhaps, some pain in the knee? Or maybe, you find it difficult to get the power out of the bike that you’ve spent so much on to build? 

If any of this is a common occurrence to you, then the problem isn’t you, but it could have something to do with your saddle's height! The reason many people get something that seems so basic is wrong is that setting the correct saddle height does take a little time. For this reason, don’t worry too much about it; you’ll eventually find your sweet spot. 

But first, what are the clear signs that you don't have the right saddle height for your bike? 

The most common indication that your saddle height is incorrect is when you experience knee pain. When this happens, it's likely because the saddle height is too low, which will make an individual experience pain at the front of the knee. On the other hand, a saddle height that is too high may create pain behind the knee or in the hamstrings due to overextension. 

Another sign is when the saddle rocks as you pedal that is easily noticeable for a bystander or other riders. When this happens, you will put more effort into your movement, which will cause pain as you pedal. 

How To Set The Right Saddle Height

Now, it’s time to get rid of that pain, and set your saddle height right. How do you do this? 

  • Take your shoes off, stand with your feet, and place your hips wide apart. 
  • Place a spirit level between your legs. 
  • Mark where the top of the spirit level sites.
  • Take note of the distance from the floor to the dot. 
  • Multiply distance by 0.9 to give you 90%. 

However, take note that this may not give you the correct measurements still because there are plenty of factors that affect this, such as muscle tension. To someone with tight muscles, the saddle height may still not be the best fit. 

When you still can’t get the right saddle height through calculations, then you might want to try out the heel on the pedal method. 

The heel on the pedal method works like this: 

  • Place your heel on the pedal.
  • Pedal backwards until you reach the six o’clock position. Your knee should be completely straight here. If it’s still bent, you need to increase the height. On the other hand, if your heel loses contact with the pedal, you need to lower the saddle. 

In the case that you still can’t get it right (trust us, this happens), that’s when you will need the help of a professional bike fitter to help you out. 


Finding your sweet spot on your bike will understandably take some time, but it’s crucial you take the time to set the saddle height right because it can change the whole riding experience for you. There are several methods that will allow you to set the right saddle height, but know that not all of them will work because some rides still can’t set their saddle height. In cases like this, there needs to be a mixture of several formulae, or you can seek the help of a professional bike fitter to help you out. Of course, it also pays to invest in quality and comfortable bike seats!

If you are looking for a high-quality bicycle saddle in the UK, you can get it here at Cushbike. We also offer a wide selection of other products, such as bicycle headlights. Visit our store today to place your order!

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