Optimal protruding node length of bicycle seats determined using cycling postures and subjective ratings

Appl Ergon. 2014 Jul;45(4):1181-6. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2014.02.006. Epub 2014 Mar 5.


This study examined body posture, subjective discomfort, and stability, requiring the participants to ride a stationary bicycle for 20 min (cadence: 60 rpm; workrate: 120 W), using various combinations of two handle heights and five seat-protruding node lengths (PNLs). The results indicated that bicycle handle height significantly influenced body posture, and that seat PNL caused differences in the riders' subjective discomfort and stability scores. The various PNLs affected only the trunk angle (approximately 6°), but had significantly positive (r = 0.994, p < .005) and negative (r = -0.914, p < .05) correlations with the subjective discomfort rating for perineum and ischial tuberosity, respectively. When the participants were seated at PNL = 0 or 3 cm, cycling using dropped handles was less stable compared with using straight handles; however, the handle height did not affect the cycling stability when the PNL was ≥ 6 cm. The results suggest that a 6-cm PNL is the optimal reference for bicycle seat designs.

Keywords: Posture recording; Protruding node of saddle; Subjective assessment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bicycling* / physiology
  • Bicycling* / standards
  • Equipment Design
  • Ergonomics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Posture / physiology
  • Young Adult