6 Mistakes You’re Making Setting Up Your Spin Bike

“It’s like riding a bike” – well … sorta! That spin bike may be intimidating for first-timers, but it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help YOU feel comfortable while safely pushing your physical limits and it all starts with proper bike set-up. If you haven’t had your checked in awhile, here are 6 things to consider before your next ride:

1) Your seat is too low
When your bike seat is too low it puts unnecessary stress on your knees. Often resulting in leg cramps, excessive quad strain, and knee pain. To fix this, stand beside your bike and lift your leg up so the quad is parallel to the ground, then set your seat height to the same level. Clip in and ensure there is a slight bend in your knee at full leg extension.

2) Your seat is too far forward
This will result in your knee travelling past your toe in your pedal stroke, which means a lot of anterior stress on the knees. It can also bring you too close to the handlebars causing your body to be hunched over resulting in back pain. To fix this, when clipped-in have one foot forward and one foot back parallel to the ground, then look to see if the tip of your knee on your forward foot is over the clip of your pedal. Move your saddle forward or backward until it is.

3) Your handlebars are too low
Riders often neglect the handlebar height, but it’s a crucial component in achieving proper ride posture. We recommend elevating the handlebars to the height of your seat. If too low, your back may be hunched and hip-flexors shortened causing back and hip pain.

4) Your handlebars are too far away
Reeeeach! When your handlebars are too far away it causes you to reach, which protracts your shoulder blades and causes strain in your upper back and shoulders. This also brings your body’s centre of gravity forward and displaces the load toward the knees causing pain and discomfort. Ideally, your handlebars are positioned so your back and arms are at 45-degree angles. We like to use the terms “neutral spine” and “soft elbows” to cue this posture.

5) Your back is rounded
When your pelvis is not positioned properly, your back may become rounded while riding. A rounded back can cause extreme pain and discomfort. To fix, push your bum deep in the saddle and tilt your pelvis forward until you achieve a (straight) neutral spine.

6) Your shoulders are elevated
Contrary to popular belief, your shoulders aren’t earrings! Keep your chest proud, depress your shoulders away from your ears, and put your “shoulder blades in your back pockets.” This will help to avoid neck pain.