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Could be faster
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from personal experience and also from what i've read, the starting point is to position the crank parallel to the seatpost (so that your legs will be parallel to the seatpost). with your cycling shoes on, place your heel on the rear spindle of the bottom pedal. the heel should be just touching. if there's a knee bend, then the saddle can go higher.

once the saddle height has been adjusted, you will then need to make fore/aft adjustment because changing the saddle height will inherently change the fore/aft position of the saddle.

hope this helps.

boon
 

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Put the seat down!
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My understanding is slightly different, or at least the way I first set my seat height was done this way per the instructions that came with my bike...

shoes off, sitting on bike in the riding position (helps if you have someone hold the bike up for you or use a trainer), place the heal of your foot on the pedal at it's lowest point of rotation. Your leg should be completely extended when in this position.

As you ride you will make some minor adjustments to get it dialed in, so this should just be your starting point.
 

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Unfortunately the advice you recied is not correct as you should do what the folks said as far as pedal posistion but you should have your cycling shoes on(unless you are riding barefoot) and have a slight bend in your legs. Otherwise your legs will be over extended. With this initial posistion establishedit is better to err on the side of a lower saddle height than higher. I believe most trainers would agree with me--just look at the riding posistions of the pros. I learned this years ago from and old Belgium ex pro and been told the same by many others.
 

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Heel on pedals is a very rough estimate because it does not consider your foot angle, foot length, cleat position, pedal stack height, etc.

A much better technique is to actually clip in and pedal normally. Stop at the bottom of your pedal stroke (maximum extension) and have a friend measure the angle between your upper leg and lower leg (from the rotation point in your hip to your knee to your ankle). The angle should be between 150 and 155 degrees. Adjust your saddle height to make then angle bigger or smaller.
 

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In all honesty bro.....

Best way is to just go riding, with an allen wrench and adjust the thing over a few miles' ride. Preferably a bike only spot that you can stop often on....Your lower back, legs and ass will tell you way more than a ruler how the seat should feel.
 

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jason_haza said:
Best way is to just go riding, with an allen wrench and adjust the thing over a few miles' ride. Preferably a bike only spot that you can stop often on....Your lower back, legs and ass will tell you way more than a ruler how the seat should feel.
I used the seat-of-your-pants method for years. It is OK for recreational riding, but you can still make a lot of improvements. I did a fitting with a university cycling team coach. He used lots of rulers and protractors and levels and studied my cycling motion on a trainer and on the road. He moved my saddle up and forward by several MM and also adjusted my cleats and handlebar height. The new riding position is even more comfortable, and also more powerful.
 

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Could be faster
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jg150 said:
My understanding is slightly different, or at least the way I first set my seat height was done this way per the instructions that came with my bike...

shoes off, sitting on bike in the riding position (helps if you have someone hold the bike up for you or use a trainer), place the heal of your foot on the pedal at it's lowest point of rotation. Your leg should be completely extended when in this position.

As you ride you will make some minor adjustments to get it dialed in, so this should just be your starting point.
Here's what the specialized user manual says: "The saddle is at the correct height for you when, while seated on the saddle and with the crank arms parallel to the seat tube, you can just reach the 'down' pedal with one heel." This was also the method my LBS used. The geometry of the sitting position on the bike is such that if the above instruction is followed, there will inevitable be a slight bend in the knee when the pedal is at its lowest position (6 o'clock).

as i have in my previous post, it's only a starting point. fine tuning might be required.

boon
 

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I go with the "wing it" method that "just feels right". Have the saddle height just low enough not to rock. Forward judged by stress on quads & knees. Of course the stem is a factor too to get reach right. It's a simple triangle w/ minute variables you adjust to your own preference. As for efficiency, a wind tunnel & an expensive watt meter helps.
 
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