Correct Saddle Position
Cycling is not very efficient when looking to maximize the use of the leg muscles. Only during part of the pedal rotation can the hip and knee joint deliver force while stretching. Despite that, one can still achieve the highest efficiency during pedal rotation. To achieve this, however, the contracting and stretching of the muscles have to be within certain limits. A muscle creates force by contracting, and therefore can be compared to a pull spring. When the ends of the spring are close to each other, little to no force is created. When pulling the ends further from each other, the force increases. When the spring or muscle is overstretched, then the force will be lost. In order to maintain a smooth and supple pedal pace, the saddle needs to be adjusted so that the knee is not fully stretched or extended. Not only do the leg muscles function inefficiently and insufficiently when the saddle is positioned too high, also the pelvis will rock from side to side, which transfers to movement in the spinal column. Eventually, this can cause back problems. The saddle cannot be positioned too low, so that the knee bends still too much at the bottom of the pedal stroke. In this position, the quadriceps cannot develop enough force, as the muscle is being overstretched. The advised saddle height by CycleFit is not only for optimum force, but also prevents the muscles from being overstressed. From several tests, it has been shown that the incorrect saddle height will lead to an increased use of oxygen compared to a CycleFit set optimal height. This means that more energy is being used for the same effort. When riding with an incorrect saddle height, one is already starting from behind from the start.