Just how important is saddle setback? Plus how to tell if yours is too far forwards or backwards

A small adjustment here can have big implications on the stresses put through your hands, shoulders and back - as well as the muscles recruited when pedalling

Saddle setback on a bike
(Image credit: Future)

Saddle setback, also known as saddle fore-aft, is the horizontal distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and the front of the saddle. This measurement will be influenced by the length of the saddle, which needs to be considered when comparing setbacks on different bikes if a different saddle is used.

Read on to find out how saddle setback is measured, why it's important to get this bike fit parameter right, and tips on how to set the correct saddle setback.

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Nicole Oh is a physiotherapist and bike fitter, with training in biomechanical assessments, sports injury rehabilitation, acupuncture and clinical pilates.

A competitive cyclist with a background in triathlon, Nicole raced at National level in the UK, also managing and co-founding the Les Filles Racing Team. Having moved to Sydney, she works as a physiotherapist at The Body Mechanic and continues to race competitively.