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How to adjust your saddle

Ritte Ace review
Cyclist magazine
26 Feb 2021

Learn how to adjust your bike saddle for the perfect angle and fix creaks

Whether you want to adjust your saddle position backwards or forwards, or disassemble your seatpost head because you suspect it as the source of squeaking, we’ll show you how.

Seatposts come in single or twin bolt varieties, depending on how many bolts hold the head together. Regardless of style, they all work in pretty much the same way, by sandwiching the saddle rails and allowing adjustment of the angle at which the saddle sits.

Of course, it’s possible that you’re here because you want to know how to get your saddle to the right height. The place to find out how to do that is over here with our guide on how to calculate your correct saddle height.

How to adjust your bicycle saddle

1. Get loose

The bolts you want are normally on the underside of the seatpost. You’ll need to turn them clockwise as viewed from above the saddle.

For designs with two bolts, slacken them off evenly, turning each a little at a time. Single-bolt designs usually require a 6mm Allen key while a 5mm Allen key is more common for twin-bolt set-ups.

2. Take it apart

With the bolts removed the clamp head will come free. Spray from the road can make the whole assembly gritty, so give all the parts a wipe down with a rag and some degreaser.

Check the inside of the post cradle for wear and look for excessive crimping or other damage to the saddle rails.

3. Clean the bolts

The bolts and specially shaped nuts that hold the saddle clamp together can get grimy, so give them the same treatment as the clamp parts.

Clean with solvent, check for wear and then give them a dab of light oil, grease or anti-seize assembly lube before replacing.

4. Shunt the rails

Assemble the saddle in the clamp head and place both parts onto the top of the post. Return the bolts to their former positions and tighten them by hand – but not too tight.

With the bolt (or bolts) still loose, you should be able to shunt the saddle rails forwards or backwards in the cradle to the required position.

5. Set the angle

Unless you’ve been convinced otherwise, it’s best to keep your saddle flat rather than tilted up or down. With single-bolt designs, just loosen the bolt and rock the cradle.

With twin-bolt designs, tightening the back bolt will tilt the saddle upwards, tightening the front one, will tilt it downwards. You'll need to balance the two before doing them both up quite tightly.

6. Stop it seizing

Next, remove the seatpost for cleaning – this will reduce the chance of it seizing in place. Give both the seatpost and the inside of the frame a quick clean, and if you’re using aluminium parts, a light coat of anti-seize.

For carbon seatposts, either leave it ungreased or use carbon assembly paste. 

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