Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Uplifting Advice: Check Your Seat Height

The League of American Bicyclists teach the ABC quickCheck as though it were a religion. And, to be honest, it’s a good routine. It provides a solid basic bike check that can be customized to be used on nearly every bicycle by every rider, preschool age and up.

Something that is never mentioned explicitly in the ABC quickCheck, but which more riders need to do: Check your seat height.

You can have your seat at a perfect height, and a few rides later, it will sink. The only bike I’ve ever owned where regular readjustment hasn’t been an issue is the bike with a carbon fiber seatpost in a carbon fiber frame — probably something about the construction and relative friction of the material versus the friction of aluminum or steel, which are far more common as seatposts and frame materials.

The seat needs to be high enough so that you fully extend your leg when on the pedal downstroke. Not bent, extended. Not locked, but extended. Full extension is easier on your knees and puts more power into the pedalstroke, helping you go farther faster on the same effort. Having the seat properly adjusted helps you handle your bike more effectively, too.

So check that seat and adjust it, because it is good to do so, and it makes me happy when you do so.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

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