If you’re like me, leveling a saddle isn’t rocket science. You pull out a 4′ level, place it on the saddle and level the thing. Not much hoopla in that.
I found out recently that this isn’t necessarily right though.
There are three general types of road bike saddles.
To mild contour:
The flat saddles are simple. Slap a level on it and ride. Maybe drop the nose one degree if that suits you. The contoured saddles, I have two identical Specialized Romin saddles (one on the Trek, the other on the Venge), and for the longest time, that’s how I leveled my saddle – with a 4′ level. That’s entirely wrong. Here’s the correct way to level a contoured saddle:
You level the nose with a smaller level.
This is mine and it is wrong:
You can see the rise if you zoom in a little bit…
I just changed my Trek’s saddle yesterday and what I thought was a comfortable saddle the day before, became butter:
In the end, ahem, the trick is setting a saddle up so it doesn’t slide you off the front of the nose but doesn’t hinder you from reaching the drops… and believe me, nose that contoured saddle up and you’re going to want to sit a little more upright than you probably have to. I did.
Just goes to show, you learn something new every day. Well I do if I want to, that is.
UPDATE: I found that perfectly leveling the section of the saddle as shown was just a little too much. I couldn’t help but feeling I was being pushed too far forward on the saddle. I raised the nose one or two and that was much more comfortable. My setup is aggressive but not that aggressive.