How to Install a Bike Seat

Is your bike seat or bike saddle no longer giving you comfort? Is your bike ride becoming bumpy whenever you’re hitting bumps and cracks?  Do you think it’s time to put a stop to uneasy rides and learn how to install a bike seat?  

It’s so simple to install a bike saddle because the makers want to make it trouble-free for bikers.  All you need are a number of tools, a bit of your time, and comprehension.  Sounds easy, huh?    

Table of Contents

Things Needed in Installing a Bike Seat

In installing a bike seat, you don’t need a lot of things.  You only need the following:

  • Hex wrench to secure the seat rails, metal ring and seat post clamp
  • A new comfortable bike seat/bike saddle 
  • Paper towels or clean cloth
  • Plump bob
  • Leveler
  • Bike lube
  • Tape measure, ruler or stick

Step-by-Step Guide in Installing a Bike Seat

STEP 1: Remove the old saddle

Using a hex wrench, unfasten the bolt that’s securing the metal clamp to the bike seat post.  Turning the bolt 2 to 3 times will release the bike saddle.  There is no need to completely remove the bolt, just enough to release the bike seat from the clamp.  

NOTE: If you find 2 bolts, make sure to unscrew them at the same time to avoid having loose thread.  

STEP 2: Take out the old bicycle saddle

Underneath the saddle are thin metal rails that are just in between the lower and the upper clamp jaws.  Simply raise the upper clamp jaw to release the saddle rail, then pull out the old bike seat.  

However, if you have the type of clamp that has 2 bolts, you might find it challenging to unfasten the jaws.  The trick is to remove one bolt completely.  

STEP 3: Clean the seat clamp

The seat clamp may have accumulated some dirt, grime, dust and grit over the passage of time.  So, it would be a good idea to clean it up first before installing your new saddle.  A dirty seat post clamp can be the cause of a squeaking sound, which is annoying while on a bike ride.  

Get paper towels or clean cloth to tidy out the surfaces.  Make sure not to leave traces of dirt on the clamp jaws.  

STEP 4: Make ready your new saddle

Get hold of your new comfortable bike seat and grease the bolts as well as the rails.  Using a paper towel, apply the bike lube around the threading.  

You also need to grease the holes.  How?  Just insert the lubricated bolts into the clamp holes.  

I suggest you use the Park Tool PolyLube 1000 to lubricate your new saddle since it is moisture-resistant and has high-shear strength.  This is really effective in preventing your bicycle from making a squeaky sound.  

STEP 5: Position the new bike seat

Position your new saddle rail onto the channels of the lower clamp jaw.  Make sure that the front part of the bike saddle is directed towards the handlebar and is perfectly aligned with the bike frame.  

Now, position the upper clamp jaw on top of the rails and align the holes.  

STEP 6: Fasten the bolts

Once you’ve aligned the holes, start inserting the bolt on the holes and secure it using a  hex wrench or an allen wrench.  If the bike saddle has 2 bolts, see to it that you secure them in an even way to avoid wrecking the threads.  Tighten the bolts until you’re sure that the bike seat is totally secured.  

STEP 7: Set the saddle height

After you’ve done installing the new saddle seat, you now need to adjust your seat post.  The saddle height or the seat height depends on how tall you are.  There is actually a computation in determining the saddle height.  

  • First, take the measurement of the length of the inseam of your pants.  
  • Hold a stick or a ruler and place it in between your legs while standing against a wall.
  • Place the ruler just before your groin and determine your level of comfort with the ruler or stick  in your groin.
  • Using a pencil or any writing material, mark the point on the wall.
  • Measure the length from the bottom of the floor to the marked point.
  • Now, multiply it by 0.887.  The answer would be your saddle height.  

STEP 8: Get the height of the seat post

Using a tape measure, start measuring from the middle of the sprocket, which is the toothed disc connecting the bicycle pedals.  Then, extend it up to the top of the saddle and tape it to keep it in place, or just let someone assist you.    

STEP 9: Loosen the bolt of the seat post

To loosen the bolt of the seat post, use a hex or an allen wrench, then turn it clockwise.  This shall allow the seat post to come loose and let you make the necessary adjustment.

STEP 10: Secure the seat post

Now, adjust the seat post based on the measurement that you got.  Then, tighten the bolt so the seat post won’t slide down.

STEP 11: Secure the position of the bike seat

Twist the bike seat to and fro until it’s parallel to the floor.  Find the right angle so it would be easier and more comfortable for you to pedal around.  To make sure that your seat post is properly aligned, use a leveler.  

Now, try sitting on the bike saddle and give the pedals a push.  Hold a plumb bob and place it at the back of the kneecap.  

Check whether the string is aligned with the center of the sprocket.  Move the bike seat back and forth until you’re comfortable with its position.  Once you’ve achieved the right position, fasten the clamp bolt.  

Installing a Bike Seat Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most ideal bike seat for women?

A wide bike saddle is usually what’s recommended for women because it has a comfort design.  It is well-cushioned making every bike ride pleasant and comfy.

What is the most ideal bike seat for men?

A bike seat with a gel seat cover is perfect for men since it is able to relieve pain and prostate pressure while biking.  This is not included in a bike seat, it is purchased separately as it is just an accessory.      

How are bike saddles for men different from the bike saddles for women?

As we all know, men and women don’t have similar hip structures, and this is why bike saddles are designed to complement such dissimilarities.  Bike saddles for women are shorter and wider as compared to the bike saddles for men, which are narrower and longer.  However, both saddles have holes at the center to help relieve prostate and pelvic pressures.  

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By Paul P.

Paul Panha is an avid cyclist and sports performance enthusiast. Regularly on the road testing (and buying) new bikes. Paul is a co-owner of GetBike.fit and is the head resident author here.