How To Set Up Your Spin Bike?

Indoor Cycling: The Breakdown on Bike Set-Up

First welcome!  If you are new to indoor cycling I am super excited that you have found it to my blog!  I have lots of resources for a new rider so please leave me a comment below on how it goes and if you need any other advise or tips!  There are many type of spin bikes but all are designed to fit all shapes and sizes. It is important that before you get on your bike you get setup correctly as this is the the foundation of an effective and safe class. You will probably be least 40 minutes in the saddle during a class, so if you start with the position all wrong this will effect your range of movement, range of performance and eventually may even cause pain!  I have based most of the tips below from this post on the net called “How to Fit a Road Bike.”  It really good but might be a bit over kill for a newbie in a spin studio so I hope my notes below suffice.  But I do encourage you to have a look if you want some more meat!

First: The Importance Of Bike Fit:

Have you ever tried to go for a run in shoes that are not the right size?  If so you will know that blisters and a very short uncomfortable run are the end result.  So I think you can really agree with me on the fact that it is very important to have a bike setup that fits all you wonderful curves and shapes.  While you might still be able do the the class with an improper fit, if it’s not comfortable, efficient or enjoyable, over time can lead to injury or just giving up.

The spin bike allows you to adjust seat height, handlebar height and the forward back position of the seat. It is very important you adjust all three of these positions to create the prefect ride. With the correct bike set up you will get the full benefits of the spinning program and minimize the risk of injury. If you are new to Spin classes, be sure to arrive to class at least 15 minutes early to discuss bike safety and setup with your instructor. This is really important!  The instruction below are a great quick start but make sure you get some feedback.  You will get bonus points because you will have made an introduction to the instructor and he or she can now help you have a great ride.  On the other extreme if you encounter an instructor who does not and cannot help you then really think twice about that class.

Seat height

Quick Startup Tip: Start by standing next to your bike. The seat should be at about hip level. Now, get on the bike and pedal one foot forward to the bottom of the stroke. Your leg should be fully extended with a slight bend in the knee.

The purpose of this adjustment is to put you in a position on the bike where your leg is lengthened as much as possible when the pedal is at the bottom of it rotation nearest the floor but still with a slight bend at the knee.  You never want to hyper extend your knee as this might result in injury.  By standing  on the floor to one side of the bike next to the saddle and looking forward towards the handlebars you will be easily able to locate the top of your pelvis with your fingers for your hip bone  Adjust the saddle up or down until it is approximately level with your hip bone – hop on the bike and put your feet in the cages.  Do a few rotations and at the bottom of the rotation when your foot is nearest the floor see how straight your leg is and make sure to have a small bend.

Seat position

Put your hands on the handlebars and pedal forward until your feet are even. Your elbows should be slightly bent, shoulders relaxed and your front knee should be over the center of the pedal. If not, move the seat forward or back until you find the right spot.  You will know this when your feat are in the 3 and 9 o’clock positions and your knee is direct above the balls of your feet if you were to drop a line straight down.

Handlebar height

When you start, position the handlebars slightly higher than the seat. As you become more experienced, lowering them and leaning forward will engage more of your core. But in the beginning keep it a little higher

  • Setting up your indoor bike correctly is very important before you start your exercise routines. If you are comfortable with your bike, it is more likely that you will have an enjoyable experience.

  • Alex Montoya