Pubic Bone Height & How To Measure Your PBH
*For older models, including MUSA Atlantis' and Homers, please reference the 2017 sizing table here.
There are many ways to determine your correct saddle height. Six are here, and the last one is our way, which we'll explain immediately after:
1. Trial and error
2. Ask somebody smart if it looks right
3. Go by feel
4. The LeMond formula (roughly PBH x .883)
5, The Fit Kit Way, the Size Cycle Way
6. Our Way
Our way jives within a few millimeters of the LeMond way, but requires simpler math. While it can't account for big leg length discrepancies or severe physiological problems, like hamstrings that refuse to relax, for 99 percent of everybody else, it's just fine. In fact, you can't beat it.
Three tools you need:
1. A metal metric measuring tape.
2. Two paint stirring sticks (ideal) or a thin hardcover book about or exactly the same thinness as a hardcover Curious George.
3. A friend, or a person who can pretend to be your friend for 20 seconds or so.
How to measure your Pubic Bone Height (PBH)
a. Stand in bare feet on a hard floor.
b. Put your feet 10 inches apart.
c. Hook the edge of a metal metric tape over a thin edge -- two rulers, or a thin hardcover book.
d. Pull the tape up hard against your pubic bone. We tell folks, "Try to lift yourself off the ground
e. Have a friend take reading as you do this.
Do this twice, thrice, or a hundred times. As long as the tape is straight and the person reading the number knows how to read a tape, you should record the highest of all the readings you get. Why not the average? Because you'll never pull past the bone, so you can't get a reading that's too high.
It's really good to know your PBH, because from it you can determine saddle height (SH). Here's the formula: PBH - 10 to 10.5cm = SH*
*from center of the crank, following the seat tube, to the top of the saddle.
NOTE: if you're among the folks who are more comfortable with multiplication than you are with subtraction, here's a formula the formula you've been looking for your whole life long: PBH x 0.883= SH. That will be within 4mm of it, and that's good enough.
Are there ever any exceptions to the formula?
Not really, no. Sometimes mountain bike riders and cyclo-cross racers prefer a slightly lower saddle--maybe PBH minus 11.5, but it may be more out of habit. BMXers often ride PBH minus 20 or so, but that's another world.
Now and then a tiny-footed person will do better using a SH that's 11.8cm less than their PBH.
And, if you ride 180mm cranks, you might factor that into it, too, and go with PBH minus 11 or 11.5.
If you pedal in elevator shoes, you'll need the saddle higher, so a PBH minus 8 might be better.
For the rest of us wearing shoes with normal thickness soles, PBH minus 10 to 11 is a good saddle height.