We all have been there before. We walk into a room of what appears to be professional regulars, scope out a bike in the back corner, stare at it for a minute, drop the seat, sit on it, hope for the best and pray we don't stick out. It happens. Walking in the door is enough to take most of us outside our comfort zone. But if there is one thing instructors hope for, it is for riders to ask questions. Bike setup plays a huge role in your ride and can help maximize your results while keeping your body in tip top condition. Unsure on where your settings should be...ASK FOR HELP, there is a science behind it, and it can make all the difference. Keep reading for tips on how to best adjust your bike, and if something does not seem right, instructors and staff are there as a resource...use us!
1)First thing is first, set your seat height-
Unscrew the black knob, pull it straight out and drop the saddle to be right in line with your hips.
2)How tall are you?-
There are 3 settings that adjust the saddle closer or further from the handle bars. These are super important for your knees, so be sure to get this one right!
<5'3-push you saddle all the way forward, you will see a '-' in the window.
5'3-5'6- right in the middle! '0' is what you are looking for
5'7<-back it up! Push the saddle back until you see the '+' , then tighten that baby up
These are all about comfort. There is no right or wrong setting for these, it is all about how you feel. Most riders find that when they are up high and closest to you, they are most comfortable.
That is a good place to start. Raise them up until you see 'stop' on the side. Then make sure you can see 1 hole showing on the top. If you are looking for a challenge, or have been coming for a while, you can play around with lowering the handle bars to a different setting. The only thing that changes is you will start to engage your core more-which isn't so bad!
Now, let's check our work.
Take a seat on the saddle, rest one leg on the pedal and push it straight down. The leg should be 90-95% straight. You do not want the knee to lock out, but if you have too big of a bend, it can be too much pressure on your knee...you want to find that happy medium. If everything seems good, you feel comfortable (or as comfortable as you think you can feel), tighten up those black knobs and clip in, you are ready to go! Remember...if you get to this point and you still aren't sure you are right, or you are working with an injury and wondering if adjustments need to be made...flag down the instructor, we will make sure you are where you are supposed to be. If you like the way you feel, take a note of where the settings are so you can recreate it next time you clip in!
So now there is no need to panic, we have provided you with all the basic knowledge you need to make sure your seat is in the best possible position for safety and strength. Even if you have been clipping in for years, your adjustments may need a little adjusting, so pay extra attention to it next time you ride. Like we said, it is going to maximize your results and use your muscles the way they are supposed to be used, while protecting your body and keeping it safe. Bike setup 101-a lesson never too simple to repeat!