How To: Adjusting Your Bike
Author: Samantha Lund | Posted In: Move | May 2020
While the majority of us are looking for new ways to stay healthy outside of the gym, many have turned to cycling. Indoor bike manufacturer, Peloton recently reported a 66 percent increase in sales during this self-isolation period. With the weather getting nicer, there are increased sales for outdoor bikes as well, leaving many new riders on the roads and in their living rooms looking to break a sweat.
Cycling is great for your heart, endurance and joints, but when you’re looking to take your first ride, there’s always one thing that’s intimidating: Fitting your bike.
Adjusting your bike before a ride is important – it allows you to stay comfortable and reduces your chance of injury. Not only that, but having proper body placement during a cycling workout can aid in muscle growth and proper technique.
When you’re standing next to your bike, adjust the seat to be even with your hip bone. If you’re having a hard time finding the right height, lift your leg that’s closer to the seat and bend your knee to a 90-degree angle and adjust the seat to meet the part where your hip bends.
Remember, you’re adjusting your seat so your legs properly reach the pedals, not the other way around. While seated and riding, the ball of your foot should align with the center of the pedal and you should have enough room to fully rotate the pedals with your toes pointed straight instead of having to point them down at the bottom of your motion.
The easiest way to adjust your seat-to-handlebar positioning is to put your elbow on the edge of your seat and make sure the tips of your fingers can reach the resistance knob in front of you.
Handlebars are tricky, some experienced riders like them high and some like them low. The trick of the trade is usually to start with them an inch or two higher than your seat and find your comfort level from there once you’re seated on the bike. Be sure to always leave a small bend in your elbows. For people with back or hip problems, it’s recommended to adjust the height to accommodate your comfort level.