In the bicycle saddle, the height adjustment is probably the most important that you have to do when setting up your bike. Dall ‘ height of the saddle , and by its possible retraction, depend in fact, the comfort on the bike (and any pain due to its lack, as explained here ), the ability to express strength and power on the pedals and finally the prevention of certain disorders such as back pain.
A good method, half scientific and half empirical, to adjust the height of the saddle, particularly in racing bikes , is to start from the correct biomechanics of pedaling . Numerous scientific studies have in fact now established that there is a very precise position that allows you to express maximum power on the pedals with the lowest energy consumption. Maximum yield with minimum effort: this biomechanically advantageous position is called KOPS, Knee Over Pedal Splinde , and consists in the fact that when the pedal is parallel to the ground in the forward position, the knee is vertically aligned with the foot support point on the pedal, which is the metatarsal. It is the most natural position from the biomechanical point of view: with the more advanced knee the power is emphasized but with greater muscular expenditure; with a more backward knee position you are more comfortable but you also put less power on the pedals.
To correctly adjust the height of the saddle with respect to the cycling position, there are a couple of empirical methods, such as that which involves pedaling backwards by resting the heel on the pedal (and the correct position would be the one that allows you to fully stretch your leg when the pedal is in a vertical downward position) or that used by many people which consists in finding the position of balance on the tips of the feet once seated on the seat : these are precisely empirical, practical but also not recommended methods because they are subject to wide margins of error .
The scientifically most reliable way to correctly adjust the height of the bicycle saddle according to a convenient biomechanical position is to start from the height of the horse, i.e. the distance between the ground and the pubic symphysis , which is the resting point of the bones of the pelvis with saddle. The height of the horse is measured by leaning against a wall with bare feet and spreading the feet by about 10cm by simulating the distance on the pedals and then pressing under the pubis upwards with a pencil before marking the height on the wall. Measured in cm, this is the height of the horse.