Should my saddle be level?

Saddle Positioning 101- Tilt

There’s a lot of shop lore when it comes to positioning a saddle, especially regarding the amount of saddle tilt, which is a term used to describe how level (or not) your bike seat is.

What we have found to be the easiest and functionally best way to set up your saddle with regards to tilt is what is described as “The Sit-Up Test“:

  • Start with your bike balanced in a doorway (or on a stationary trainer), so you can have both feet on the pedals.
  • While seated on your saddle with hands on bars, crank arms level, simply sit up straight, as if you were to ride with no hands on your handlebars.
  • In this seated position: take note if you feel as though you are sliding forward (most common), or backwards.
  • If you slide forwards, tilt your saddle nose up; if sliding backwards, tilt saddle nose down
  • Adjust saddle tilt little by little until you feel completely level, without the sensation of sliding/ rocking forwards or backwards on the saddle.

    Why is this method better than simply using a bubble level?

    All saddles will tend to break-down in different places, as determined by our unique anatomy, weight, and riding style, as well as the saddle material, shape, etc. Try it out!

    Assessment of your saddle tilt is just one aspect of a full bike fit evaluation offered at Pedal PT. Call us today to find out more!

– Kevin Schmidt, MSPT, CMP, Bike PT, owner/PT at Pedal PT in Portland, Oregon