How to adjust your mountain bike saddle angle

Improve your seat comfort by adjusting the angle of your saddle

As well as setting the height of your saddle it's a good idea to adjust the angle too. Below are a few tips on setting your seat angle to suit your riding and your bike for a more comfortable seat.

1. Angle for your bike

1. Set the angle for your type of bike: hardtail or full-sus?
1. Set the angle for your type of bike: hardtail or full-sus?

On a hardtail, it’s usually comfiest to have the seat roughly level.

On a full-suspension bike, it can be good to tip the nose down slightly, to compensate for the fact that the rear suspension sags considerably further than the fork when you’re sat in the saddle.

2. Twin-bolt clamp

2. Twin-bolt seatpost systems are the most common
2. Twin-bolt seatpost systems are the most common

If your seatpost has a twin-bolt clamp (skip to step 6 if you have a single-bolt post) and you want to tilt the saddle nose down, use the correct size Allen key (usually 5mm) to loosen the rearmost bolt a few turns (anticlockwise).

A twin-bolt seatpost
A twin-bolt seatpost

*There are various ways of securing a saddle to a seatpost, but this system – where bolts at the front and rear of the seatpost head are tightened to clamp the saddle rails in place – is the most common, due to its versatility and robustness.

To tilt the nose up, loosen the front bolt.

3. Set the fore/aft position

3. Set the fore/aft position
3. Set the fore/aft position

While the bolts are loose, think about adjusting the fore-aft position of the saddle.

Sliding it forwards will give your bike a steeper effective seat tube angle, making it feel more eager on the climbs.

Moving it back will make the cockpit feel roomier on flat terrain.

4. Adjust and tighten

4. Adjust and tighten
4. Adjust and tighten

If you loosened the rear bolt in step 2, tighten the front one (clockwise), and vice versa.

To drop the nose down further, loosen the rear bolt some more (anticlockwise) and then re-tighten the front one (clockwise).

Do the opposite to lift the nose higher.

5. Check the torque

5. Check the torque based on the maufacturer's recommendations
5. Check the torque based on the maufacturer's recommendations

Once you’re happy with the saddle angle and fore-aft position, tighten each bolt alternately until both are done up tight.

If possible, look up the seatpost manufacturer’s recommended torque settings for these bolts, and tighten to their specifications.

6. Single-bolt post

6. Single-bolt post
6. Single-bolt post

On a single-bolt post, use the correct size Allen key to loosen the clamp bolt (anticlockwise) until the mechanism moves freely.

Adjust the angle of the saddle, and the fore-aft position too if necessary, and then re-tighten the bolt (clockwise) to the correct torque.

7. Check the position

7. Go for a ride to check the position
7. Go for a ride to check the position

Go for a ride. If the saddle is too high at the front, you may find it a strain to hold yourself forwards on climbs.

Too high at the back, and it may dig into your behind or put strain on your wrists (because you’re having to push back on the bar to maintain your position on the saddle).

Seb Stott

Technical Writer, UK
Seb is a geeky technical writer for BikeRadar, as well as MBUK and What Mountain Bike magazines. Seb's background in experimental physics allows him to pick apart what's really going on with mountain bike components. Years of racing downhill, cross-country and enduro have honed a fast and aggressive riding style, so he can really put gear to the test on the trails, too.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep!
  • Current Bikes: Focus Sam 3.0, Kona Process 111, Specialized Enduro 29 Elite
  • Dream Bike: Mondraker Crafty with Boost 29" wheels, a 160mm fork and offset bushings for maximum slackness.
  • Beer of Choice: Buckfast ('Bucky' for short)
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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