Find a Club

MCF member clubs welcome new members of all levels. Here are just a few.

University of MN Cycling Team

Contact:  Ken Hum
Website:  umct.org

 
SilverCycling
Contact:  Steven B. Knowlton
Website:  SilverCycling
 
Flat City Cycling Club
Contact:  Matt Anderson
Website:  www.flatcity.org
 

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Saddle Height

Saddle height is the distance from the top of the saddle to the pedal axle when the pedal is at the farthest point from the saddle and that crank arm is parallel to the seat tube Most beginning cyclists set their seats too low, causing fatigue and knee stress. There are many methods for estimating the optimal saddle height. Two common methods rely on inseam length as the key measurement. They are easy to perform without help from someone else and give a starting point for saddle height.

The 109% method

This method was developed by Hamley & Thomas in a 1967 paper. They experimented with different saddle heights and found that the ideal was achieved when the saddle was positioned at 109% of your inseam length when measuring from the pedal axle to the top of the seat height.  Your inseam measurement is basically the length from your crotch to the floor. To calculate this, face a wall and put a thick-ish book between your legs as if it were a saddle. Ensuring that you are standing straight with your heels on the floor, mark a line along the top of the book edge touching the wall.  The distance from the floor to the height of the mark is your inseam measurement. It’s best to measure it several times and take an average. 

The LeMond method

This variation on the 109% method was pioneered by the three time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond. Also using inseam length as a guide, this formula calculates 88.3% of your inseam length and uses it to measure the distance from the center of the bottom bracket to the top of the seat height. This often produces a different seat height from the 109% method and although it seems to work for many people, it may not be ideal for someone with particularly long femur bones.

Experts and experienced cyclists debate the effectiveness of the various measurement techniques. It's important that you monitor your performance and comfort on the bike and adjust your saddle as necessary. Once you find the setting that works, mark your seat post with a Sharpie so you can quickly find your setting if you need to remove your seat post for travel or other reasons.



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