Article by E-Mountainbike Magazine, by Catherine Smith & Lotte Kraus
Getting your bike set up so you get the best from it and that you have years of comfortable riding is fundamental to enjoying your cycling. We talked to the expert bike fitters at gebioMized to find out how to get your seat height dialled.
With the massive support from the E-MTB motor, many of us forget to think about our own input. Getting your saddle height spot on is a free way to get more out of your bike and the outcomes are so extraordinarily beneficial that it’s just crazy to think that we might have been getting it wrong for so long.
With the introduction to the market of the most brilliant of all devices, the dropper seat post, a lot of people have forgotten about seat height adjustments. When the height of your seat is adjustable and the push of a button, is it really important? YES IT IS! On climbs and flats when you need the power, that’s when you need your seat in the right place.
1. Saddle Discomfort – the one That you’ll Notice Right Away
Too high and it’s going to hurt, you’re going to wiggle about on your saddle trying to compensate. Lab research at gebioMized has shown that a reduction of 5mm in the seat height can reduce the maximum pressure on the saddle by 15-20%.
2. Knee Problems – the Long Lasting one
Sitting too low or too high can strain the knee, especially in the patella (knee cap) area, the stresses and strains caused by the action of pushing the pedals is increased and focused on the knee joint.
3. Lower Back Pain – the one That Makes you Groan Like Your Grandad
An incorrect saddle height makes left-right movements of the hip more likely, leading to straining the spinal discs in the lumbar region.
4. Hamstrings – the one That Will Have you Waddling Like a Duck.
Especially if you have short hamstrings, a high saddle can cause muscular tension and even cramps.
At the optimal saddle height the tension on that all important Gluteus maximus provides 20-30% of your force on the down stroke – if your seatpost is a few millimeters out on set-up, the muscle firing patterns and tensioning are all thrown out of kilter and you lose power.
I Think the Message is Becoming clear – so how do we get This Sorted?
The best, be all and end all way of getting your saddle at the right height is to see a professional bike fitter who’ll use a dynamic knee joint measurement to align you – but, that’s probably not what you wanted to hear. We take you through some easy ways to determine if you saddle is optimised. READ MORE...
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