How to Accurately Measure Saddle Position – Part II – Fore/Aft

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To follow up on how to consistently reproduce your saddle position time after time, I would be remiss if I did not address fore/aft position.  Saddle position, much like your handlebar position, is measured in two planes.  The X (horizontal) and Y (vertical).  Both these measures are taken from one central landmark on the bike, your bottom bracket.

Here are two way to accurately measure your fore/aft (X, horizontal) position and make documenting and reproducing your saddle position reliable and consistent.

A weighted line is a simple and reliable method to measure the fore/aft position.  Ideally you will have your bike level on a stationary trainer.  You could also lean it against a wall in the most vertical way possible but this introduces a few variables.  Your line should be long enough to drop past the chainstays and bottom bracket.

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Take a ruler or tape measure and align it with the center of your bottom bracket.  Let the weighted line settle to a consistent point.  Perform a few repetitions to ensure the line is settling consistently in the same spot.

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There is your fore/aft position! 9.1 cm is the example used in this post.

You are all set to get your saddle dialed in after any maintenance, changes in seatpost, and to replicate your position on a similar style bike with the same saddle.

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How to Accurately Measure and Reproduce Your Bike Saddle Position Time After Time – Part I – Saddle Height

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I am frequently asked when performing bike fits how to measure the saddle height and reproduce the saddle position if the seat post is moved or taken off.  Here is a reliable way to reproduce bike saddle height or match saddle height bike to bike for a similar style bike (i.e.-road bike to road bike or cyclocross to cyclocross bike) with the same saddle.  If two saddles are different, the seat heights may not directly transfer.  Your pelvis will interact differently with each saddle brand and shape and may require some minor adjustments to your previously established position.

A few easy steps will have you confidently positioning your saddle time after time.

1.  Find the point on your saddle that is 80 mm wide and place a piece of painter’s tape there with the back edge of the tape at the point where the saddle is 80 mm wide.


3.  Measure from the center of the bottom bracket to the back edge of the painters tape.  The non drive side is preferable but the measurement can be done on either side.  Just be consistent with the side you pick.  Some modern cranks do not have a nice central crank bolt to measure from on the drive side.

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4.  You will want your saddle height to hit the back edge of the painters tape.  For this example the target number is 74 cm.

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So fear not the dreaded move of your seat post and be confident in your technique to find and reproduce your established saddle position.  Once you have your saddle height dialed, you can always wrap a piece of electrical tape just above the seat collar for an easy reminder of saddle height.

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