TRIATHLON BIKE FIT guide Part 1: How to Set PROPER SADDLE position


– [Announcer] Oh, hello there trainiacs. Nice little recovery ride today. What I have cooked up for you
now is a multi part series addressing just basic bike fitting setup. We’re gonna go through saddle height. We’re gonna go through fore and aft. We’re gonna go through
setting up your front end and all how to make yourself comfortable so that you can get as
aerodynamics as possible for as long as possible and that is what’s gonna make you as
fast as possible on the bike. (upbeat music) So alright, trainiacs,
I’m going to preface this bike fitting series by saying that I am not a certified bike fitter. If you problems that are very painful, very specific to you,
something that is more intense than just maybe a little
bit of a nagging injury, or just wanting to get
your bike fit in say the right realm of the
fit that you should have, you should definitely go see a certified bike fitter from a bike shop. What we’re gonna talk about here is just general bike fitting
with three touch points. You touch the bike on
your pedals, on your seat, and on the elbow pads and the bars. So we’re going to address
those three points, but when it comes to
getting right dialed in specifically for you,
go see a bike fitter. Also this series is
going to be accompanied by a free download that you can get by going to So if there are images
and things that you want to make sure that we save so that you can kind of put them on your phone and match it up to what you are seeing, all of that is going to
be in that free download, which is at Today in this first video
we are going to start off with the placement of the saddle,
up and down, fore and aft. If you have lower back pain, knee pain, or severe saddle sores odds
are that your saddle height, or forward and backward position are not dialed in properly. The saddle height is probably the easiest of the up and down, forward and backward saddle positions to figure out. In general get the crank
arm to the very bottom of the pedal stroke so that the crank arm is completely vertical
and as a starting point you want the saddle height
set so that at your legs full extension, about as stretched out as you can possible make it your heel is just barely grazing
the top of the pedal. From that point, you’ve got
about one inch of room down and that one inch is about the ballpark that you want to be in. So that top is your top limit, but if you find that you
start having lower back pain, you start having knee pain,
gradually bring it down to a point that feels comfortable. John Cobb, the founder of Cobb saddles who himself is an amazing bike fitter, is probably one of the guys that pioneered it in
the industry, said that as much as that inch lower
is still a really good spot for people that have
aches and pains to be in. So if you’re able to get somebody
looking at you from behind what you want to see is a saddle height that allows your hips to not
rock up and down, side to side. If the saddle height is too
high your gonna have to push and stretch your hips to get to the bottom of the pedal stroke. So you want everything
nice and level in the hips and the shoulders, and
even this I would say there’s probably just a
touch too much rocking side to side for me and I work on just being a little bit more steady. And next when it comes
to saddle selection, there is no best saddle. A lot of people swear
by split nose saddles. A lot of people swear by flat saddles. It’s very, very personal. A lot of triathletes will doe better with a split nose saddle
and that’s because saddles are built for you to
be upright on a road bike. When you end up titling forward, all that pressure that
was on your sit bones ends up rotating onto your pelvis and if you don’t spread that
load across your sit bones and your structure properly, there’s gonna be a lot of
pressure right into your pelvis, and basically your undercarriage. So a split nose saddle might help. A flat saddle might also help. A rounded saddle might help. Some guidelines that you can work with are rounded saddles tend to be for people that have a very rounded lower back. Flat saddles tend to be for people that have a very flat lower back. When you go into a bike
shop to select a saddle, what you want is basically
just like a memory foam pad that you can sit on and
they’ll be able to see where your sit bones line up and the width of those sit
bones will be a guideline for how wide or narrow
your saddle should be, and then beyond that, the
only thing that you can do is just try a whole bunch of
saddles and see what works. And then one big caveat to all of this is that females will have
different requirements for saddles because they are built
different anatomically. There are quite a few saddle manufacturers that are starting to make
female specific saddles, Cobb being one of them and I’ve herd that the structure of their saddles compliments a women’s area much better
than a lot of other saddles, so if you tend to have very tender parts, and you are a female, take
a look at Cobb saddles and the female specific
saddles that are out there. Then finally when it comes
to putting your saddle fore and aft, forward and
backward in the right position, that’s where you start
looking from the side, and you can put a mirror off to the side and you want to be looking at
your leg at full extension. You want it basically as
vertical as you possibly can. What you really don’t want, is
a line that’s going forward, because that line that’s
going forward means that your hip angle is closing, and as triathletes, that’s
gonna put a lot of pressure on our glutes, it’s gonna imbalance the muscle fatigue that so
that when we get off the bike our glutes are gonna be so toast that they’re not gonna
be able to fire properly. They’re gonna cause our
quads to work a lot more, and they’re probably gonna cramp up, so what you’re looking for is basically as vertical a line as possible to get your hips forward
and open up that hip angle. So there you go trainiacs,
that is saddle positioning. In the next video we’re gonna talk about the contact point of the
pedal and how to set up your cycling or triathlon
shoe with the cleat and potentially an insole on the inside. You can check out that
next video right up here. You can check out the full play list for all the bike fitting down here, and as I mentioned, go to for the free download that
will give you some images and more resources that
will help you make this a little bit more easier for you. And if you aren’t already subscribed, hit the subscribe button below. If you are subscribed, treat
yourself to something special.


19 Responses

  1. Filip Černoch

    September 6, 2018 8:36 pm

    Splendid vid, as usuall. Ony one issue – could you please level up the theme song with the rest of the video? Here in Europe we do receive your uploads in the evening, watching it (at least me) in the bed. Sudden change in the volume are waking up the kids:) Thanks!

  2. Marc Svt

    September 6, 2018 9:00 pm

    Great idea and content !
    one thing I didn't quite get is about fore/aft saddle position: which points on the leg do you choose to draw your line (pedal/hip?)

  3. Tristan Maubec

    September 6, 2018 9:18 pm

    Thanks Taren, Really looking forward to these videos… although I don't have pains from cycling, I am often travelling so using different gym bikes. Always annoying to be sure set up new bike right before workout.

  4. Darin Steele

    September 6, 2018 9:24 pm

    Saddle height is very important, I am getting some left knee pain and I think my saddle is too high, before it was A LOT power and was giving me IT band pains.

  5. Charul

    September 7, 2018 6:01 am

    This is my favourite video till date from you…. this is really really important topic that you have shared..thanks and waiting for the next…..

  6. Kuba Gornowicz

    September 7, 2018 7:39 am

    Proper bike fit is so cheap compared to price of a bike or a wheelset, it's the best possible bike upgrade anyone can get, and it should be done right after buying a bike.

  7. The Happy Sporty Vegan

    September 7, 2018 2:14 pm

    Once again really enjoyed the content Taren and will be taking a look at my seat height now 🚴‍♂️👍

  8. DavidRBeach

    September 7, 2018 2:22 pm

    Complete side note here – and something i also noticed from other videos: The Ventum just about disappears when on a trainer…craziness! Such a brilliant design.

  9. Steve Mold

    March 9, 2019 12:18 am

    What about seat/leg position if you're not running afterwards? For a time trial for example. Would you be so far forward?

  10. O W

    April 23, 2019 11:25 pm

    Great video Taren, Im learning a lot, would you be able to go further into detail on the explanation at 6:12. I understand a vertical line over a slanted line but is this judged from the tip of the saddle to the toe or the middle of the saddle to the middle of the foot

  11. djeeee911

    July 30, 2019 5:18 am

    Great man. Thx. Could you please talk about the length of the bike ( distance between saddle and hands) thx


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