08/10/2021 - Bike Fit Part 2

chatting bike fit part 2

Saddle Height

This is your saddle position in the highest point (dropper up) for good pedalling. There's a rule of thumb called The Lemond Method where you measure your inseam in millimetres, multiply by 0.883 and this a good start.

As with everything human and bike related, there are variables. I (Cy) had a professional bike fit this year (to try and sort out my decade old rubbish right knee), and my saddle height was brought down from where I had had it for years at 815mm, to 807mm from BB centre to saddle top.

Using the Lemond Method, in bare feet it gives me 799mm. In my cycling shoes it gives me 816mm. All of this is affected by your crank length. I run my saddle at 804mm on my gravel bike, because the cranks are 5mm longer than on my mountain bike, but the pedals are thicker so the foot platform is closer to the saddle. See? Lots of little variables. However, what I would say is that based on my own experience, doing the Lemond calculation for bare feet and then cycling shoes and going somewhere in the middle would be a great place to start.

If you're keen on a pro bike-fit and are in the Sheffield area, I can highly recommend Fit4Physio. Otherwise, ask around your friends and see who has a good reputation in your area.

Women of Steel

Saddle Position

Another outcome of my bike fit was to push my saddle forward to help reduce the torque on my knees. This is something that's becoming easier on modern mountain bikes as seat angles are steeper than they were a few years ago. One thing I didn't do at the same time was change my saddle angle. Because I had quite a rearward saddle position (because I've been riding for years it's where I've come from and what I'm used to) I would have quite an angled down saddle at the nose, so take pressure off and makes things comfortable.

When I moved my saddle forward, I was sat up straighter and my hips were more open. After a few weeks I had a really stiff back, and after chatting to Fit4Physio., and a bit of experimenting I found that it was my saddle angle. I was having to hold myself really stiff through my back which made it sore. I adjusted the angle, tipped the nose up a little and basically rode it better in a couple of rides. There's an element of my being middle aged and therefore stiffer and more sensitive to these things, but it's a lesson we can all learn. If you are having back trouble, try moving your saddle a little for a couple of rides. Move it forward, seeing how it goes. Tip the nose up a little, see how that goes. Don't like it? Tip it down and see how that goes. A little bit of experimenting goes a long way, and in this more than any other thing, EVERYONE is different.

Contact Points

Saddle and grips are key to any cyclist. For the saddle, we have been really impressed with the WTB Fit Right system which helps you identify the correct saddle width based on your wrist measurement. Sounds mad, but it really works. Saddles are also quite counter-intuitive. My wife used to run quite a wide, thick padded comfort saddle, but on longer rides it would actually get less comfortable. We used the Fit Right to find a WTB Speed She saddle. It's still quite deeply padded, but it's much smaller and narrower than her old saddle, and also much more comfortable. At the other end of the scale, just because your female, doesn't mean you necessarily need a women's specific saddle. My youngest daughter is only 13 and quite slim built, and based on the Fit Right measurements would actually suit a medium width men's saddle. At it happened the suggested size was pretty much the same as the Fabric Scoop saddles we stock, and it really suits her. Much more than the WTB Speed She, which was really a bit too wide.


There's a lot of saddle chat on women's cycling groups! It's a much debated topic, and so different for everyone. I find that the WTB Deva saddle works for me and Cotic ambassador Kelly-Jayne likes the WTB Koda saddle. Saddle height was something I found took a little while to get perfect when I first starting out cycling, perhaps a combination of things contributing to this - shiny new Five Tens and trying out different saddles! If you aren't sure about your saddle, see if you can borrow a couple from friends. Some brands and shops even do demo saddles now, so ask around.

Discomfort in saddle height or saddle angle can show up in your lower back or as knee pain, so it's worth spending time to experiment as Cy says, get it right to avoid any injuries.


Stretch! Move!

An often overlooked part of fitting your bike better. Stretching, more flexibility and mobility is the best way to pain-free and more enjoyable riding. Do something. Rich and Paul here at Cotic use one of the Youtube yoga channels. I (Cy) learnt a lot during Strength and Conditioning training over the years, combined with physio mandated specifics. Hannah used to dance so has a lot of experience from that and finds working stretching into your day the best way - waiting for the kettle to boil? Have a quick stretch! Advert break? Stretch! Little and often.

I have always stretched before a ride, but now I do a few minutes morning and evening (see also: stupid stiffening middle aged body). Throw in a few exercises. Do 5 minutes, it doesn't have to be loads before you feel the difference. We cannot recommend it highly enough. It's different for everyone, and it's always worth changing things up to keep it fresh, but the key thing is to do it.

There's quite a lot in this one, but we felt it was all very interconnected, so worth mentioning it all.

Look out for the next bike fit tips!

Women of Steel Facebook group…

Read Part 1 if you missed it…

Contact us with your questions…