Several factors contribute to the comfort experienced by a cyclist while riding. One of the major factors is the height and angle of the seat. Bicycle riders can enhance the quality of their riding by adjusting the saddle to achieve an optimal fit.
A bicycle seat is also referred to as a saddle. Its function is not to support all the weight of a rider, since some of the rider's weight is usually supported by the handlebar. Proper saddle adjustment allows the rider to pedal in the most efficient manner.
When the saddle is at an appropriate height, your legs should be able to fully extend during each revolution of the pedals. If the saddle is too low, your pedaling is cramped because your legs never fully extend. A saddle is too high if your feet are not in constant contact with the rotating pedals.
A saddle is typically supported by a metal tube referred to as a seat post. The lower portion of the seat post is inserted into the bicycle frame, secured by a bolt. Instead of a bolt, your seat post may be secured in the frame by a mechanism designed to provide a quicker release.
Before adjusting the height, loosen the seat post bolt and pull the seat post completely out of the frame. Most seat posts are marked to indicate the minimum amount of the post that must remain inside the frame to ensure safety. A seat post extended too far could possibly pop out during a ride, leading to an accident.
The angle of the saddle is also adjustable. A bolt directly underneath the saddle secures the saddle to the top of the seat post at varying angles. Many bike riders prefer for the front of the saddle to tilt slightly downward. If the front of the saddle is tilted too far downward, you are likely to slide forward when riding.
Some riders replace the saddle originally installed on their bicycle. You may prefer to replace the original saddle with a softer gel seat. Saddles designed to provide protection from nerve compression caused by prolonged riding have gained popularity in recent years.
If you are interested in reducing the overall weight of your bike, seat posts made of carbon are available. If a seat post is replaced, the replacement must the same diameter as the original. Contact a bicycle shop (like Sarasota Cyclery Inc) for more information on saddle adjustments or any other bike repairs.