How To Set Up Your Bike

posted March 24, 2016

So you’re excited for your first ride but you’re nervous about setting up. Don’t trip! We’ve got your back. Our instructors and front desk superstars are more than happy to help you get started, but over time you’ll want to know how to adjust the bike so it’s perfect for you.


Setting up properly is the number-one most important thing you can do to make your ride both injury-free and more enjoyable. Here’s where to begin:


1. Start your setup from the back to the front and from the bottom up.


Adjust the saddle BEFORE you adjust the handlebars.


2. Hips don’t lie.


The saddle should be about hip height. Adjust the height by moving it up or down until your saddle is parallel to your hipbone. If you don’t know where your hipbone is, lift your knee up to hip height to see where the seat should line up.


3. Move your saddle forward or backward.


Next step is to adjust the distance of your seat from the handlebars. You want your knees over the ball of your foot and not past your toes. Start with the saddle in a neutral position. Then get your body into riding position (hips back, neutral back) and bring one pedal directly in front of the other so that the cranks of the bike are even with each other. Whichever foot is in front, check it to see where your knee falls. If your knee goes too far forward over the toes, slide the seat back. If the knee is at 90-degree angle and falls over or behind the ankle, slide forward.


4. Adjust the bars.


The perfect handlebar height can be somewhat subjective so find what feels best for your body. You’ll want your spine to remain neutral, neither arched nor rounded, with a slight bend at your elbows while your hands are resting on the handlebars. If you have back issues, it’s recommended that the handlebars be up a little higher.


5. Pop, lock and drop it.


Double check that each knob is screwed firmly into place and everything is secure.


6. Clip in and go!


To clip into the pedals, first sit on your bike with one foot on the ground. Then use your free foot to spin one pedal to a position near the ground. Line up the cleats of your shoe with the pedal and step on the pedals until the cleats snap into place.


That was easy right? Plus, it only takes a couple of minutes. Now you’re all set to crush your next ride at Cycle House.