The seat height is an essential factor of a bio-mechanically correct sitting position on the bicycle the correct seat height (so the distance of the saddle to the crank or the pedal) is a key factor for a bio-mechanically correct sitting position on the bicycle. A not optimal seat height can result in health problems or limit the performance. Inappropriate loads can lead to health problems in the long term. Especially the knee joints are particularly sensitive to a bio-mechanically awkward position. Irritation of the tendons and ligaments, meniscus damage and increased wear of the cartilage (osteoarthritis) are frequently at cyclists, who spend time on the bike course.
Cartilage structures (also the Menisci are made of cartilage) have no nerve cells. Thus no claim in the form of pain can forward the central nervous system are. About cartilage damage noticeable, usually until then in the form of pain when considerable damage available are. These include tears of the meniscus in the joint floating cartilage particles, which can lead to inflammation, or significant cartilage damage (cartilage bald), where the underlying sensitive bone skin is irritated. Significant performance losses are another consequence if the working muscles due cannot work due to a bad seat height in its optimal sphere. With a low seat height, consumed significantly more oxygen-generating propulsion leg and gluteal muscles, tired faster and can not fully unfold their potential power. In addition increases the stress to the joints of of knee (tendons, ligaments, cartilage), since the joint partner of the knee on the whole train of the crank in a larger bending angle each other and thus especially the Menisci are heavily loaded (which in turn can lead to health problems). The saddle height is too high, it comes to alternative movements (the foot is overstretched, the basin slips sideways on the seat back and forth).
These movements must be realized by additional muscle work, consume what additional oxygen – in performance sport an important argument. Also increases the risk of convulsions in the overstrained muscles (especially in the calf and thigh muscles). This can cause especially in the triathlon additional impaired of the performance of running after the cycling. A calf muscle is overused by a large seat height on the bike can fulfill their important function, to dampen the impact of the foot and no longer realize a big stride from the dynamic and powerful imprint, backwards. How do you find the correct seat height? The body feeling is unfortunately not a reliable measure, here in particular the habituation to a sitting position (whether bio-mechanically correct or not) plays a major role. Various rules of thumb as the LeMond formula promised relief, but does not include critical individual factors. However, rules of thumb are an important Clue, for adjusting the seat height. In scientific research the method has proven itself most likely, to barely touch the pedal with the heel of the infected out leg. But this method also leads only in half of the cases to a proper seat height. The safest option is the bicycle seat position, taking into account individual parameters in the bio-mechanical analysis. There is hardly a professional road bicycle racer, which verify his race seat position not by professional bio mechanics. Also exist special tests, with the seat position and seat height with respect to the potential of the force or of the oxygen consumption of the muscles can be analyzed. These procedures but only in science have practical significance. Marten Knoch scientific management synergy ProTraining