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Sitting Position and Saddle Adjustment in Road Cycling

Updated: Feb 21

After emphasizing the importance of correctly adjusting the cleats in bike fitting in our last blog post, we now turn our attention to the second step: the optimal position and adjustment of the saddle.

The right saddle position plays a crucial role in power transmission and comfort while road cycling. However, before the saddle can be adjusted, it is essential to take the time to find the perfect saddle.

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Find the Right Saddle

To find a comfortable and fitting saddle, the distance between the sit bones can be measured as part of a bike fitting. This simple step helps in selecting a saddle that precisely matches your anatomical profile. An electronic measurement of sit bone distance using Vélobsessive's specialized device provides accurate results.

Saddles come in numerous shapes and designs. The decision between a saddle with or without a cutout (relief channel) should align with individual preferences and anatomical considerations. Longer saddles offer a bit more freedom of movement, while shorter saddles are suitable for a more aggressive riding position. The choice should always match your riding style and anatomy. For women with different anatomical requirements, specially designed women's saddles provide optimal pressure distribution and comfort. Various saddle shapes can be tried out in the Vélobsessive bike fitting.


Adjusting the Riding Position

1. Saddle Setback

Correct adjustment of the saddle setback enables efficient power transfer to the pedals and considers the optimal position of the sit bones and the alignment of the knee to the pedal axis. The knee should be directly above or slightly in front of the pedal axis when the pedal is in a 90° position. For triathlon and time trial bikes, the knee position can be up to 7 cm in front of the pedal axis. This adjustment can be measured with a simple plumb line or a laser.

2. Height

Correct saddle height is crucial for efficiency and avoiding discomfort. Incorrect height adjustment can lead to knee or back problems. The ideal height is calculated based on leg length. This adjustment should be verified by measuring the hip angle and knee flexion angle. The knee flexion angle for road bikes should be in the range of approximately 132-142° (at a 180° pedal position).

3. Tilt Angle

The tilt angle of the saddle affects pressure on the perineum. A wrong angle can lead to numbness or seat discomfort. Experiment with different tilt angles to find the one that is optimal for you.


Overall, the individual customization of the saddle and saddle position is crucial for comfort and performance on the road bike. A thorough analysis of your needs and consultation with professionals can help enhance the riding experience while preventing injuries. Invest time in adjustment to get the most out of your road cycling.



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