Bike seats, or saddles, sometimes need replacing, either because they are worn out or the rider wants a different one. Today we are going to find out how to fit a bike seat.
1. Look at both of the sides of the saddle. If you have a nut on one or both sides under the side of the saddle then you have a universal or traditional saddle clamp.
2. Look underneath the back of the saddle. If you have an Allen key bolt at the back and no other Allen key bolts then you have a standard micro adjust seatpost.
3. Look underneath the saddle. If you have two allen key bolts, one behind the post and one in front, then you have a less common micro adjust seat post than the one described above. For the purpose of clarification we will refer to it as “micro adjust seatpost 2”
There are other versions on the market, but these are the three most common. Once you have identified your saddle clamp, you will be able to follow the instructions below.
How to fit a bike seat with a traditional or universal saddle clamp
Find out what size spanner is needed to fit onto the nut.
If there are nuts on both sides, undo one nut three or four revolutions.
Now you should be able to remove the saddle from the seat post.
Put the saddle on a workbench or table with the clamp facing up and the nose facing away from you.
Undo the loose nut and take it off the centre rod.
Remove the outer plate
and remove the centre rod.
Now you will be able to remove the inner plates and the u shaped part of the clamp.
Look carefully at the u shaped part. Sometimes there is a small lip or tab on the top of it. This is designed to stop the seat post slipping through if the bolts become loose.
When reassembling the saddle make sure this is at the top.
Now take your new saddle and put it on the table or bench with the saddle rails uppermost and the nose of the saddle pointing away from you.
Take the two inner plates and position them on the two rails on the inside.
Take the U shaped clamp. The curved part needs to be towards the front of the saddle and if there is a tab this needs to be away from you.
Now slot it between the inner plates. Because there are serrations on the plates and the U clamp, it will click together.
Now this is in place you can replace the centre rod,
the outer plate
and finally the nut.
Hand tighten the nut and then fit the saddle onto the post.
Once the saddle is in place you will be able to slide it back and forth and tilt it up and down to achieve the desired position. If you are tilting the saddle, you will probably hear a clicking sound. Don’t panic!
This is because the two parts of the clamp that are moving against each other have notches in them and they lock together to hold the saddle in place when the clamp is tightened. When your saddle is in place, you can finally tighten the nut.
Make sure that it doesn’t move when you sit on it and you’re good to go.
How to fit a bike seat with a standard micro-adjust seatpost
Now we are going to take a look at how to fit a bike with a standard micro-adjust seatpost. Here the clamp is part of the seatpost.
Locate the allen key bolt at the back of the seatpost and fit a 6mm allen key. Turn the allen key anticlockwise until the bolt is quite loose but not totally undone.
Now make sure that the saddle is central on the rails, this will help you move the top part of the clamp 90 degrees.
This allows the saddle to be lifted clear of the clamp.
You can now fit the new saddle.
The rails fit into the grooves of the lower clamp and the top part of the clamp can be turned back 90 degrees and retightened.
So the saddle won’t come loose, the two parts of the clamp are notched and interlock when the bolt is tightened.
When the saddle is in the position you have chosen, tighten the allen key bolt. Make sure it is tight.
How to fit a bike seat with micro adjust seatpost 2
This seatpost has 2 bolts to clamp the saddle on the rails. They normally use a 5mm Allen key.
Undo both bolts. Loosen both bolts so that the saddle is really wobbly.
Now you can tip the saddle to the side to release the saddle.
Fit your new saddle into position. It is a good idea to hold the clamp with one hand while you use your other hand to tighten the bolts using an allen key.
As you tighten the front bolt the nose of the saddle will be forced down. If you just tighten the rear bolt the saddle will tilt up. The secret is to tighten each bolt a little at a time until the saddle is at the correct position. Make sure that both bolts are tight, and remember that tightening one bolt will tip the saddle so each bolt must be tightened a little at a time.
Adjusting your saddle now that it has been fitted
Sometimes a small adjustment to the position of your saddle can make a huge difference to your cycling comfort. A saddle can be adjusted in two ways: It can be moved backwards and forwards, and it can be tilted with the front (nose) up or down. You can learn in more detail about the correct height for bike seat in one of our previous articles.
Moving the saddle backwards or forwards alters how long the bike feels. If you feel that you are too stretched out on your bike, moving the saddle forwards results in you not being so stretched. Conversely, moving the saddle towards the back of the bike can make your position on the bike more stretched. These are only small adjustments, and you may need further adjustments to other parts of the bike.
Adjusting the angle of the saddle will alter how you sit on it. Tilting the nose of the saddle down will take some pressure off your junk and mean you are sitting more on your bum. Alter it too much and you can feel that you are sliding forward. Tilting the nose of the saddle up can stop you feel as if you are sliding forward, but if you move it too much, then it can feel as if you are sliding backwards.
How to move the saddle backwards and forwards. You will see that it is clamped in place by the bars under the saddle. These bars are called rails. By undoing the nut or bolt on the clamp a small amount, you will be able to slide the saddle along the rails.
How to tilt the saddle. By undoing the same nut or bolt that you used to slide the saddle back and forth, you will also be able to tilt the saddle.
If it taking a bit of time to get the saddle just right, don’t despair. Keep adjusting and testing. Once it’s done you probably won’t have to adjust it again. You can find out more tips on how to make bike seats more comfortable and the correct height for bike seat and handlebars in one of our previous blog posts.