What’s the Correct Bike Seat Height?
At Charge, our riders all have one thing in common: They want a better way to ride through the hills and valleys of life. Beyond that, however, they’re as unique as they can be.
We make e-bikes for people from all walks of life—from students to teachers, grandparents to professional pickleball players—and they’re certainly not all the same size. That’s why knowing your proper bike seat height is so important to ensure the best, most comfortable rides.
The saddle position affects everything from your pedaling efficiency to your posture and comfort. If it’s not the right height, it can interfere with not only the enjoyment but the safety of your rides. So obviously, you want to get it right.
Here’s what you need to know to make sure you're riding with the correct saddle height and how to adjust it if you’re not.
But first, bike size…
Before you focus on the proper bike seat height, you also want to make sure you choose a bike that’s the right size for you. While some bikes are made to accommodate most riders, others are designed more specifically.
For example, our Comfort and City e-bike comes in two sizes—small for riders between 5’1”-5’9” and large for riders between 5’10”-6’3”. Our rugged mountain e-bike, the Charge XC, also comes in two sizes—small for those 5’0”-5’9” and large for those 5’9”-6’4”.
Of course, those are some pretty wide ranges, so the correct saddle position for each will vary for riders.
Finding the correct bike seat height for you
There are several methods to determine the correct saddle position for maximum pedaling efficiency, comfort and safety. One is the Hamley Method. To start, you need to determine your inseam (the distance from your crotch to the bottom of your leg).Then it’s time to do a bit of math as it recommends that your bike seat height should be 109 percent of your inseam. You can also find bike seat height calculators online that will do the math for you.
A similar method—the LeMond Method—has you multiply your inseam by 0.883 to determine the distance there should be from the top of your saddle to the middle of your bottom bracket.
Another method to find your correct saddle height that requires no math is the heel-toe method. It involves three steps :
- Start by rotating the crank so the pedal with your heel on it is in the down position and the crank arm is parallel to the seat tube.
- When seated on the saddle: If your leg is locked straight at the knee with your foot on the pedal in the down position, the saddle is too high. If your hips must rock for the heel to reach the pedal, the saddle is too high. If your leg is bent at the knee with your heel on the pedal, the saddle is too low.
- Using the torque wrench supplied with your Charge bike or an allen key, loosen the seat clamp so that you can move the seat post up and down inside the seat tube. Change the saddle height so that when seated and with the pedal at the bottom of the crank rotation, your leg is straight.
Locking in the correct saddle position
Once you find the right bike seat height, you want to set it. First, make sure the seat post doesn’t project from the frame beyond its “minimum insertion” or “maximum extension” mark and that the seat nose is in-line with the bike frame.
Then, use the Charge bike torque wrench to re-tighten the seat clamp, fixing the seat post in place. Continue turning the torque wrench until you feel and hear a loud clicking noise indicating that the tightening torque has been reached. A loose saddle clamp or seat post binder can cause damage to the seat post, or can cause you to lose control and fall.
Charge bikes are made to move you, without any limits, and we don’t want something like an incorrect bike seat height that impairs your comfort and efficiency to get in the way of the best rides of your life. If, after reading this, you still have questions about adjusting your saddle correctly, we want to help you answer them.
Step-by-step directions with illustrations to adjust your bike seat height and additional help can be found on the Charge website, and if you need additional help beyond that, our experts are here and ready to answer any questions.
More Power to You: Chantel Hyde
What’s the Correct Bike Seat Height?
Meet Catherine Parenteau: Professional pickleball player and Charge e-bike rider
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