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Start adjusting fit by placing the bicycle on a level surface and checking that the seat is level (photo). A good way to check is to place a carpenter's level on top of the seat. If you don't have this tool, place a yardstick on top of the seat and compare the edge of the yardstick to a horizontal sight line, which you know to be level such as a windowsill or the top of a building. While adjusting, ensure that the seat is centered on its rails over the seatpost, too.

Notes

  • A level seat supports your full body weight, offers optimum pedaling efficiency and makes it easier to move around on the seat when necessary. (It's logical to think that tilting the seat down will ease pressure on sensitive areas. But, when you do this, it causes you to slide forward when riding, which puts extra pressure on your arms, hands and knees, which can lead to injury.)
  • Most riders do fine with level seats. If you experience discomfort, tip the seat slightly (no more than 3 degrees) up or down.
  • If the seat won't move after loosening the bolt(s), the parts are probably stuck. Tapping the seat with the heel of your hand should free the parts.