Correct seat height above handlebars?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by martinlross, May 2, 2003.

  1. martinlross

    martinlross New Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Likes Received:
    How high should my seat be above my handlebars? I am six feet tall with 32 inch inside leg length and bought a standard 22 inch road bike with normal flat top tube (Lemond Nevada).

    When I go out for a ride I feel that I am much much higher than the handlebars and end up staring at the road! The gap between the top of saddle to top of handlebars is 4 inches. I have to say that I am new to the sport.

    When the shop fitted me they spent time on the seat height but I don't recall them measuring me for the bars.

    Any advice gratefully received before I return to the shop.


  2. Vo2

    Vo2 Member

    Aug 11, 2001
    Likes Received:
    The first adjustment should be the seat height. Follow these guidelines, but remember that these are only basic guidelines and are not dead accurate:
    • Don your cycling shoes and sit on your bike as you would when cycling.
    • Rotate the pedals so that they are in a 12 o' clock - 6 o' clock position.
    • Put your heel on the 6 o' clock pedal. Adjust the seat so that your leg is only just bent.
    • Once the seat is adjusted, you'll find that when you clip your shoes in, your leg is slightly bent.
    Thats about the closest you'll come without proper measuring.
    Next, adjust your stem so that it is about 1" below the seat. You may find the position uncomfortable to start off with, but this is only a starting point. Make SMALL adjustments to the stem (up or down) to find the position you are most comfortable with and also gives you the best aero position.
    Still I would suggest you have yourself measured by a pro bike shop. Incorrect seat height can have you end up with knee-ache.
  3. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

    Nov 11, 2002
    Likes Received:
    it does take a little while to get used to the difference in seat to bar heights.

    however, to improve aerodynamics (air drag is the biggest retarding factor in cycling) getting down low is quite important. this will help lower your drag for the majority of people.

    i have a s-works compact frame, and my saddle - height difference is 6 inches, with a very slight negative rise stem. works for me!