It is important to set up your E-MTB the right way in order to avoid injuries and enjoy your riding experience. Here are some simple rules of thumb to set up your E-MTB.
There are several methods you can follow to accurately determine and set your saddle height:
The heel-to-pedal method
This is the most common method. While sitting on your bike (you may need to lean against a wall, or hold onto a table or chair), place one heel on the pedal and spin backward to reach the 6 o’clock position. Your knee should be straight. If your knee is bent, raise your saddle height (in small incremental adjustments). If your heel loses contact with the pedal, lower the saddle.
The 109% method
This method relies on a formula based on extensive studies that claims the ideal saddle height for most people is equal to 109 percent of the inseam. The inseam is measured by the distance from your crotch to the ground. To calculate this, stand against a wall with a thick book between your legs. Mark the top of the book on the wall and calculate the distance to the ground. 109 percent of this distance is your saddle height, measured from the pedal axle, to the top of the saddle. This method was originally formulated for road bikes, so consider it a starting point or an approximation. You can fine tune your own saddle height for maximum comfort.
Distance between saddle point and handlebars (length of stem):
In addition to saddle height, it is also important to determine the distance between the saddle and the handlebar. One way to determine this is by placing your elbow against the tip of your saddle nose and bending your forearm and hand toward your handlebar. Your fingers should just touch the handlebar, along next to the stem. Remember, this is just an approximate method. The length of the stem factors into your riding position on your E-MTB. A longer stem will have you more stretched out, and may be better for XC applications. A shorter stem gives a more compact and shorter body position, which may be better for more aggressive trail riding.
Handlebar height is very personal and really depends on your riding style and comfort. For a good starting point on determining the right height for you, stand on the floor next to the front wheel. The handlebars should be right around hip level. Again, the exact height really depends on your riding style and comfort, so you’ll want to make incremental adjustments to find what works best for you. Some riders like a saddle height that is even with their handlebar, others position the bars well below their saddle height. Dropper seatposts are also a factor, offering the ability to adjust saddle height while you are riding, depending on the terrain.
While you are experimenting to find the perfect settings for your bike and your style of riding, it’s always best to visit an authorized Giant retailer so they can help you set up your E-MTB for optimal comfort and performance.