Published on 11/11/2020, Updated on 1/10/2023
Excited to get started with your new cycle bike, but not sure where to start? Embarking on any new fitness journey can be intimidating; but have no fear, with these tips you’ll be in the saddle in no time, enjoying the ride!
Setting up your bike will ensure your ride is comfortable, enjoyable, and most importantly safe. Here are the keys to adjusting your bike, so it’s custom fit to you!
1. Adjusting Your Seat
Adjusting your seat so it’s the right fit will ensure an effective and safe workout. All cycle bike seats have a height adjustment for both up and down, but some cycle bikes have 4-way adjustable seats meaning they move both up and down and forward and back. Check your bike, and make sure you adjust each according to the tips below.
Some seats move forward and back too. To check your positioning, bring your feet so they’re equal distance from the ground, and look down at your front knee, it should be directly above your ankle. If your knee is too far in front or behind the toes it can cause unneeded pressure on the knees, so adjust accordingly.
2. Adjusting Your Handlebars
Always adjust the handlebars to your comfort. Lean forward, place your hands lightly on the handlebars, elbows slightly bent, and shoulders relaxed - how do you feel? Most beginner riders prefer their handlebars a little higher than their seat. If you have trouble with back pain, you’ll likely be more comfortable leaving the handlebars here.
Once you gain some experience and have a few classes under you, try adjusting the handlebars down so that they’re in line with your seat, and engage your core! Again, comfort is king here, so if you’re able to keep good posture with the seat down in line with your handlebars that’s great. If not, having those handlebars a little higher is just fine!
3. Adjusting Your Pedals
If your bike has caged pedals, simply slip your tennis shoe into the toe cage, with the ball of your foot on the center of the pedal. The strap should be adjusted to keep you secure when riding, but not too tight to cut off circulation.
If you have SPD-compatible pedals, simply clip in when wearing cycling shoes with an SPD-compatible cleat. Pop your heel away from your bike, then push down on the center of the pedal with your cleat, while twisting your heel in to “clip in” to your pedals.
SPD Compatible Pedal
Now that your bike is adjusted, you’re ready to ride. Check out our article for How to Use Your Exercise Bike Correctly and Effectively, or hop on and get going! My 20-Minute Beginner Cycle Bike Workout, or 10 Minute HIIT Cycle Bike Interval Workout are great places to get started, or check out our Cycling Workout Collection on the Sunny Health & Fitness YouTube channel for more free workouts!