Finding correct saddle height

I am trying to perfect my saddle height on my Giant TCR road bike and while I think I have it in the correct ballpark, after watching several YouTube videos I am slightly confused about the correct methodology for an exact fit. I just want to clarify some assumptions used in the straight leg / heel method.

Starting with measuring my in-seam, I use the hardback book and marking on a wall with a pencil then measuring from the floor to the mark method. I do this in bare feet, but should I be in my padded cycling shorts doing this, just underwear or wearing nothing? As the result is usually at least 5mm different.

Now once I have got within the ballpark using the Le Mond method, I then use the straight leg with the crank lined up with the seat tube method to fine tune it to the nearest couple of mm. Should I be doing this with my cycling shorts and cycle shoes on? Just for info I have Dura-Ace R9100 pedals and S-Works 7 shoes and I am wearing all my kit when doing this. Am I aiming for a complete lock-out of the leg in this position without any lowering of the hip and should the heel of my shoe just be scraping the top of the pedal? I note that there is a small rubber block on the heel of the shoe - does this method account for this? Lastly, does contact need to be made with the pedal with your foot exactly horizontal with no fore-aft tilt?

Thank you very much for your help.

Comments

  • webboo
    webboo Posts: 6,087
    Heels on pedals, pedal backwards without hips rocking is a good a baseline to start with. Then adjust in small increments either up or down depending on how it feels.
  • ibr17xvii
    ibr17xvii Posts: 1,065
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2rA2mSZ3LTE

    This has some good pointers in it.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    There isn't any method on the planet which will establish your 'precise' saddle height. The best you can hope for is an approximation, which you can then adjust and fine-tune while you are riding...
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Don't sweat it too much. Ankle angle and where you're sitting on the seat will all change things.

  • DeVlaeminck
    DeVlaeminck Posts: 8,887
    Yep, as above the fine details are largely personal preference - but definitely do it with cycling shoes on - even shorts will make a few mm difference but shoes a significant one.
    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • hdow
    hdow Posts: 184
    Have tried the inseam ratios method and found they were worse than useless in my case.

    Have a look at
    https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/02/seat-height-how-hard-can-it-be/
    A bit involved but it works well for those I know who have tried
  • Depend on if your toe down heel downwhen pedaling, you could be higher or lower
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,868
    hdow said:

    Have tried the inseam ratios method and found they were worse than useless in my case.

    Have a look at
    https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/02/seat-height-how-hard-can-it-be/

    ^^^this

    also the follow-on article https://www.stevehoggbikefitting.com/bikefit/2011/05/seat-set-back-for-road-bikes/
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • First.Aspect
    First.Aspect Posts: 15,984

    There isn't any method on the planet which will establish your 'precise' saddle height. The best you can hope for is an approximation, which you can then adjust and fine-tune while you are riding...

    My god, we agree.

    Your "perfect" saddle height will start to manifest when you are knackered.

    For example, if too high, when you are knackered your heels will drop and your back will rock and you'll get lower back pain. Or you will over extend your knees and get pain behind them.

    If too low you'll start to get discomfort on the top of your knees, or be fighting the urge to push further back on the saddle and get chafed to duggery.

    Etcetera.

    Ride with a set of Allan keys for a while and ditch the spreadsheet.
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,974
    edited August 2020
    Apparently 25-35 degree bend between hip socket, just below patella and ankle when pedal is at bottom dead centre works for many.

    Spinning the pedals backwards for a few seconds should help put your ankle in its normal position.

    I started having knee trouble last summer after switching to 3-bolt clipless pedals, ~30 degrees works for me, less bend will give me discomfort the next day or so.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo