The height of your bike seat can affect the way you ride, and it’s an easy adjustment that most cyclists choose to make over time. Seat height is often adjustable on many types of bicycles.
You may need a special bicycle tool called a seatpost clamp to adjust the seat height on some bicycles. Using one of these tools will help you lower or raise your bicycle seat in no time at all, and get you back out there riding again right away.
Here are six ways to determine if your bicycle seat needs adjusting:
· Your butt hurts during and after riding, especially after longer rides (30 minutes or more). This indicates that there isn’t enough padding between your body and bike seat; this padding is also called a seat “syndrome” or “saddle sore.”
· You feel like you are sitting too close to the crossbar. This indicates that your seat is too high, and it’s causing your body weight to shift backward while riding.
· An ankle injury prevents you from being able to put full weight on one pedal when straddling the bike. If you have this problem, lower the seat until there’s enough room for bent knees when pedaling.
· Your knee goes numb during long rides. This points to another problem with saddle height that causes you to sit off-center in relationship to the pedal axle—it may indicate that the nose of the seat is pointing up too high, so lower the seat until your knees are level when pedaling.
· You frequently feel like you’re sitting too low or too far forward. This means that the nose of the seat is pointing down and that you need to raise it slightly so your body builds up more pressure on the upper part of your sit bones (the “Ischial Tuberosity” located near the base of your spine).
· Your hips rock from side to side while riding, which also points to a problem with saddle height; this happens if you don’t have enough upper-body strength to keep yourself centered over the bike’s centerline. If this describes your situation, try raising the seat slightly until you notice an improvement in stability while biking.
How to Lower or Raise a Bike Seat
Tools needed: 15mm open-end wrench, adjustable open-end wrench (adjustable crescent wrench), pliers.
1) Remove seat from bike:
2) Place the adjustable wrench around the seat post. Adjust to fit snugly over your existing seat post/frame tube or whatever has a 15mm nut on it.
The adjustable wrench is used here because not all frames are shaped in such a way that makes getting an open-ended wrench around it easy.
If you don’t have this tool available, however, make sure you get the appropriate size of open-ended or box-end wrench for your own use.
Make sure it fits well against the seat post you start turning anything!
3) Place the 15mm wrench into one of the slots on the adjustable wrench. If you are having trouble keeping the tool in place, clamp your adjustable wrench onto your seat post with a pair of pliers to hold it steady.
4) Turn the adjustable wrench counter-clockwise until it is no longer touching or intersecting with your seat post/frame tube/nut. At this point, turn the 15mm wrench 1 quarter turn clockwise to tighten and lower your bicycle seat (Remember: righty tighty lefty loosey).
5) Remove adjustable wrench.
6) Re-attach the seat to the bike frame (don’t forget the quick-release latch that attaches your seat to the frame).
7) Sit on the bicycle and adjust the height of the seat, then tighten to the desired height with a 15mm wrench.
If you find yourself repeatedly lowering and raising your bicycle seat, especially if you do it on a regular basis, invest in an adjustable wrench and use that instead of the 15mm wrench. This way you can adjust your seat height quickly and efficiently without having to remove the seat every time.