Studies on optimal saddle height have primarily used experienced cyclists and focussed on performance. This study examined the preferred saddle height (SH) in relation to comfort and potential for injury among college-aged female (n = 14) and male (n= 14) occasional cyclists (cycle approximately 1-2 x per month). This population was chosen to ensure they have not been influenced by a previous bicycle configuration. Participants cycled at a moderate pace for 5 minutes with 3 minutes rest randomly at three different SH: a) 27.5° knee flexion when crank was at bottom dead centre, b) 109% of inseam length, and c) preferred SH. Comfort levels were significantly greater at the preferred SH than at the other two heights. Regression with zero intercept was significant (p < 0.001, R2 > 0.999) for both females (107% x inseam length) and males (112% x inseam length). However, in both cases, there was greater knee flexion angles (females = 40.2 ± 12.1°; males = 44.0 ± 6.6°) when the crank was at bottom dead centre than the range (25-30°) suggested in the literature to reduce injuries. Occasional cyclists (approximatelymonth) may not be at a frequency to cause chronic injuries. However, for those planning on increasing the frequency of cycling for commuting, recreational or sports purposes should gradually increase saddle height such that the knee angles are within acceptable ranges.
Wicke, Jason; Postma, Nichole; and Turner, Myles
"PREFERRED SADDLE HEIGHT IN RELATION TO COMFORT AMONG FEMALE AND MALE OCCAIONAL CYCLISTS,"
ISBS Proceedings Archive: Vol. 40:
1, Article 181.
Available at: https://commons.nmu.edu/isbs/vol40/iss1/181