How to make your bike fit YOU

    A well set up bike means adjusting the measurements specific to your body dimensions. If not properly set up, you could be riding in comfort or in pain. Worst of all you could be damaging your knees, back and legs, doing more harm than good. No amount of bike shorts padding or an expensive cycling kit can protect your behind from a poorly adjusted bike saddle. If you are a professional cyclist, It is in actuality, an exact science and it involves specifically measuring your dimensions to exact specifications. For the casual biker though who is just starting, here is the closest we can get you to where you would want to be. There are three places in a bike that this hinges on. Take a look below as to how you can do these adjustments on your own.

 Saddle Height

    Put your bike in a static trainer stand. Get your pedals in the 6 o’clock position and note that there should be a slight bend on your knees. This is the sweet spot. Make the adjustment too high and you cause discomfort to your pelvis. If it is too low on the other hand, you lose power in your efforts to pedal and will hurt your knee in the process. It is a very good idea if you could have someone film you while sitting in the static trainer stand so you will have an idea of what your natural foot pedal position is like. Practice between putting the force of your pedal between your toe or your heel to find out what works for you.


     The layback is how far the position of the seat is relative to the handlebar. So a good layback is either to the forward position or to the backward position of the saddle. Ideally, there should also be a bend when you put your knee parallel to the body of your bike. Your knee should be slightly ahead of the pedal and you should be good to go.


       Some argue that you can adjust this by taking care of the layback alone. That is actually not the case. You will be able to adjust your reach by adjusting the stem of your handlebars until you achieve a 45-degree angle between your back relative to the saddle. Aside from that, your shoulders should be at a 90-degree angle to your back while holding the handlebars. Approximate these angles until you reach the most comfortable position and you will be good to go.

       Now, these can never be fully tested while you are in the stationary trainer filming yourself now, would it? Go out and ride and make the tweaks as you go along and you will have an enjoyable, pain-free ride.

Adaline Jackob

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