How to lower bike seats?
Cycling is a great way to get around town and, for some people, a part of their daily commute. But riding a bike can be uncomfortable, especially when you are commuting long distances. Riding long distances on your bike can be tough on your back and saddle, but you don’t have to accept that pain when you ride your bike.
How to lower bike seats?
There are a few things you can do to lower your bike seat and make riding more comfortable. You can adjust the saddle height, change out your bike’s seat post, or buy a low-profile saddle. Keep reading: best bmx bikes
Adjust the saddle height
First, take off your pedals and clip in the brakes. Then use a spirit level to measure from the ground to where it meets your hips (a line drawn along this imaginary vertical plane will give you the correct saddle height.) Don’t try to lower your seat by eye – this will make for bad results. Then, screw the stem in or out 1/4 inch increments until your hips and back no longer feel any strain after extended riding times (enough time at a comfortable pace).
To lower the saddle angle, many riders will choose to swap out with a low-profile seat such that their thighs don’t exceed 90 degrees. The easiest way to do this would be by purchasing or building your own seat post. This can also make for better power transfer through the bike and less chance of removing your patella during an intense sprint down the red hot pavement.
Unlike most bicycles, mountain bikes have front shocks which are coupled with the seat post and are not adjustable, so it is best to find the right saddle height by “eyeballing” your position.
A few other things you can try if lowering your bike’s seat no longer help include:
- Buying a wider or lower-profile bicycle.
- Getting new feet/pedals that move around less than more clunky ones, and most importantly.
- Changing out of old work clothes into something more comfortable.
- Bike fitters are also valuable resources to find the right saddle height.
Change your seat-post height
To change out your bike’s seat post (for example, moving from a 26″ to 29 in wheel), start by removing it completely, then reinstall the new one with ~25% less chainring or spacer on the front end. Now measure from ground level where pad meets wheel down through the center of hub/axle and top of seat post with a ruler to the inside of your knee. This should be ~93mm or so (26 in old and new).
If the difference is more than 50 mm, you will most likely need to buy a new frame; however, after about 30 mm, there’s enough room if you slowly and carefully lower it. I could see how some riders might find it tolerable, but others would have better luck sticking with their current height. My personal preference is to keep the seat at or slightly below where I can just begin to bend my leg over without it coming off. Most folks around me ride similar bikes and have a similar riding style, so everyone rides basically at their own level – which suits me fine but may not suit you, especially in the morning when we first wake up.”
The front-to-back adjustment is self-explanatory. After choosing a new frame size, it may be beneficial to adjust the bars, so you’re not further out in your saddle height than other riders that are hanging on for dear life and/or pushing a bit extra on the pavement. In some cases, the rider’s height may cause them to lose their top-tube at the front, which limits how far back they can be on a longer frame.
Things to consider while lowering bike seat
-Measure from ground level to the inside of your knee.
-If there is a significant difference between old and new seat measurements, you may need to purchase a new frame.
-Measure saddle height from ground level.
-If the saddle high is different from the previous bicycle, purchase a new frame (you may want to check seat clamps if it’s an adjustment).
-If there is a significant difference between old and new saddle height, you may need to purchase a new seat post.
-Adjust saddle position. Tighten any Allen wrench bolts that hold down your saddle onto the seat post to adjust rider height and/or tilt of riding posture (more specifically, crank arm angle).
Time required dealing with things like replacing clamps or adjusting the combination of parameters will vary from person to person. It’s up to you whether you want a bike that is easier for freshmen college students to ride or a bike that will have some kind of character. If you are willing to accept possible consequences for improper Seat post height in the future, your new frame should work well with a potentially shifting body type.
What are the advantages of lowering bike seats?
-Less effort on the crank while pedaling, saving muscles & stamina
-Well above average seat position (for efficiency)
-Increased comfort during long rides by reducing strain over bones and muscles. **Note that this will also reduce the range of motion in thighs, thus lowering your biking reach despite potentially longer frame size for even more efficient riding
-“Seat height adjustability” could help improve cyclist’s form depending upon how much weight is carried forward from the body compared to the impact of the pelvis on the seat
-Reduced chances for lower back pain because saddle at waist level is better cycling posture; will reduce strain over bones and muscles. It will also benefit any localized pain from the pelvic bone impacting frame onto the upper torso or arches/lower back (“buckling” with long rides)
Many benefits are gained mentally, physically & emotionally from improving efficiency versus heavier bikes based upon relative bicycle weight when engaged in the intense activity (ride longer…become faster… become fitter). Ideally, for triathletes, bicycle weight at the beginning of training week should be higher than end but with seat post height used to compensate based upon efforts & intensity.
How to lower bike seats. The following tips can help you adjust your bike seat so that it is more comfortable for you and more stable for your bike. It’s also a good idea to make sure the seat is the right height, as this will allow you to have a better view of what’s going on around you. If you have any questions about how to lower bike seats, please feel free to ask us in the comments below!
Keep Reading: Tips for choosing the best pedals for mountain biking
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