To prevent injury and have more power in your ride, get your bike seat, or saddle, in the optimum position.
Step 1: Set test height Stand next to your bike. Set the seat to a height just below your hip. This is a good height to start making adjustments.
Step 2: Get help Have a friend stand in front of the bike and hold the handlebars. Get on the seat and spin one of the pedals its bottommost position. With your foot on the pedal, there should be a very slight bend in your knee.
Step 3: Adjust Get off the bike and adjust the seat either up or down based on the test. Use an Allen wrench to loosen the bolt located on the seat post clamp. When you're done moving the seat, securely tighten the bolt.
TIP: After adjusting the seat, make sure the seat front is aligned with the stem to ensure it's facing straight forward.
Step 4: Retest Remount the bike and retest the new seat height. Put your heel on a pedal and spin back. You should be able to complete a pedal stroke without your hips rocking. If they do, the saddle it too high. Readjust it to correct.
TIP: Many people get used to riding with the seat too low, which makes pedaling harder. Raising the seat will make your bike feel faster and lighter.
Step 5: Adjust saddle angle Place a level on the high points of the front and rear of the saddle to ensure it's perfectly level.
Step 6: Go on several test rides Be sensitive to pressure points from your saddle on your next few rides. If it digs into any unwanted areas, make small incremental adjustments to the saddle angle.
Step 7: Mark the spot Mark your perfect seat height by applying red nail polish to the seat post just above the seat post clamp. If you change the height for different terrain, you'll always know where your original position was.
FACT: The first Tour de France was held on July 1, 1903, with 60 riders. Only 21 of them finished the nearly 2,500-kilometer cross-country odyssey.