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 Post subject: Measuring saddle setback
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:49 pm
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I was wondering, measuring saddle set back, would it be a better idea to measure it from the part where the sit bones are usually located, or its always from the nose of the saddle, or Im wrong all around, haha


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:35 pm 
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Nose of the saddle to the vertical line running through the center of the BB is the standard measurement, I believe.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:53 pm 
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yep, thats how i been going about it, but all saddles are different???


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:58 pm 
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Location: UK
If you transfer the saddle to another frame or use a similar model you can set it up using the setback figure.

If the saddles completely different, set saddle height and then fore / aft to suit. Then measure the setback for future reference.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:43 pm 
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Typically it's measured from the tip and done only for comparing or setting up bikes with the same saddle. If you're using different saddles you just need to get a fitting on each bike as the measurements won't transfer.

An easy way to measure saddle offset pretty precisely and without a plumb-bob is to place the front wheel of the bike up against a wall and measure from the wall to the tip of the saddle and again from wall to the center of the bb, subtract the 2nd measurement from the first and the result is saddle offset.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:33 pm
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madcow wrote:

An easy way to measure saddle offset pretty precisely and without a plumb-bob is to place the front wheel of the bike up against a wall and measure from the wall to the tip of the saddle and again from wall to the center of the bb, subtract the 2nd measurement from the first and the result is saddle offset.


i like this. thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:24 am 
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I find it easier to use the rear wheel. Then subtract the saddle to wall distance from the BB to wall.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:33 am 
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Location: eNZed
Make sure the floor is level (horizontal), the wall vertical (straight line), you hold the ruler at right angles off the wall, and the front wheel facing straight on both measures. I prefer the back wheel against the wall.

When using plumb bob, find level floor between wheels.

It all sounds elementary :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:02 pm 
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madcow wrote:
Typically it's measured from the tip and done only for comparing or setting up bikes with the same saddle. If you're using different saddles you just need to get a fitting on each bike as the measurements won't transfer.

An easy way to measure saddle offset pretty precisely and without a plumb-bob is to place the front wheel of the bike up against a wall and measure from the wall to the tip of the saddle and again from wall to the center of the bb, subtract the 2nd measurement from the first and the result is saddle offset.


...was just using the plumb bob method yesterday. Duh, this is so much easier. :oops: Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:23 am
Posts: 440
madcow wrote:


An easy way to measure saddle offset pretty precisely and without a plumb-bob is to place the front wheel of the bike up against a wall and measure from the wall to the tip of the saddle and again from wall to the center of the bb, subtract the 2nd measurement from the first and the result is saddle offset.


Great tip!!!

If possible use a level to make sure the wall is perfectly vertical. Some walls (especially on older houses) can be a little off. :beerchug:


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:30 pm 
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Location: UK
The wall to the BB measurement can tricky to get accurately. The bike can be at slight angle so its probably best to take a measurement on both sides an average it as I've found it can be 2-3mm out.

I use a large t-square. As long as the floor under it is flat it gives consistent results.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:00 am 
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Posts: 315
I like the idea above. You can also use a long level at the BB and measure to saddle tip. Then you know you are straight up from the BB for the measurement.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:04 am 
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Location: eNZed
If you have a long level, why not just make (pencil) marks on the level floor whilst holding the level verticle against saddle tip and then through centre of bb. Bingo, measure the distance between the two marks.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:28 am 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
For different saddles you need to choose a measure of a body part compared to bike. Setback will effect knee over pedal spindle.

For different saddles I get the person on the bike with foot at 3 oclock (crank forward/level to ground) and something that relates to the foot level to groung (pedal face/cleat/sole of shoe. Then drop a plumb bob from tibial tuberosity and measure where it relates to the centre of the pedal spindle.

Then put new saddle on, set the correct height, get rider on bike and take this measure again. Adjust setback to get the same measurement of knee over pedal spindle.

Ideally the rider will be in knicks on a trainer and have done a little bit of pedalling to settle into their position.

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