how to adjust your bike

How To Fit Your Bicycle

Sep 26, What's the point of riding if you always need an ice pack afterward? Learn how to adjust your bike to the perfect comfort level in this instructional video f. Aug 26, You can make minor adjustments by swapping your stem, but this is one measurement to know before buying a bike. Make sure that the front Author: Molly Hurford.

Last Updated: February 14, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Ikaika Cox. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has 11 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewedtimes. Having your bike seat adjusted to the right height is essential for a comfortable ride, efficient pedaling, and avoiding injury.

Adjyst, adjusting your seat is easy on almost all bikes, and you can make simple adjustments to get everything just right. To adjust your biike seat's height, look for a quick-release lever at the base of biks seat, pry it open, and adjust it higher or gike as needed. For bolted seats, use an Allen key or wrench to loosen the bolt and then adjust the height up or down. If you need to adjust the seat forward or backward, loosen the bolt underneath, then move the seat into the desired position and tighten the bolt.

To change the angle, loosen the bolts on the side, admust, then tighten the afjust firmly in place again. To learn more from our Bike Mechanic co-author, like the correct positioning for your bike seat, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Random Article. Home Random Courses Terms of Use.

We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Cookie Settings. How to Adjust Your Bike Seat. Explore this Article methods. Tips and Warnings. Things You'll Need. Related Articles. Article Summary. Method 1 of Know that a seat at the correct height leads to comfortable, even pedal strokes. You know your seat is at the avjust height if you can keep your hips stable on the bike instead of rocking them back and forth to reach the bottom of the pedal stroke.

When your foot is at the how to find friends on words with friends point while pedaling, you want your knee to be slightly bent, not locked out completely straight or curved.

Your knee should be bent roughly 25 degrees. This feels similar to standing upright in an athletic positionjust a slight bend is enough. Measure your pubic bone height. Get some adhesive tape, a metal measuring tape, and 2 paint sticks adjusf rulers. Trap the end of the measuring tape between the paint sticks and tape them together.

Plant your bare feet flat on the floor, 10 inches 25 cm apart. Insert the paint sticks between your legs perpendicular to adjuxt hips and pull them straight up until you hit your pubic bone. Hold addjust sticks firmly in place, with one hand in front of your crotch and the other behind your rear.

Have a friend pull uow measuring tape down to the floor and measure the distance from your pubic bone to the floor. It may be helpful to mark off the 10 inches 25 cm on the floor so that you can position your feet and the tape correctly. Measure at least times to make sure you get an accurate reading. If you took the measurement ohw inches, convert it to centimeters. You can then calculate your saddle height by subtracting 10 to For example, if your PBH is 84 centimetres 33 inyour saddle height would be The saddle height measurement is from the bottom bracket where the cranks attach to the frame of your bike to the top of the saddle.

Learn how your seat post adjusts. Seat posts are loosened and adjusted at the junction where the seat post meets the bike frame. A quick-release lever at the base of the seat post can be pried opened and adjusted by hand. If there is a small bracket with a screw in it, you have a bolted seat post: use an Allen key or adjustable wrench to loosen the bolt just enough to move the seat post.

Adjust the seat height hike your measured length. Gently slide the seat post up or down to reach your ideal measurement. It can help to nick the post at the right height, so you can find this adjustment again if the seat slips or someone borrows the bike. Tighten the seat firmly. Either press the quick-release lever back down to its locked position, or re-tighten the bolts with your Allen key or adjustable wrench until there is adkust movement.

You do not need to get it so tight that you hoa undo it later. Basic hand tightness will be enough for many bikes. If you're not sure how much to tighten the seat, check your owner's manual or the manufacturer's website for torque specifications. This is especially important if your bike has a bik fiber seatpost or frame.

Check your measurement on a test ride. Head out into the driveway and go for a slow test ride. Make sure you can easily reach the pedals and get onto the bike, and your knees are not locked. Try standing while adjustt pedal to make sure you can comfortably get out of the saddle.

Make sure that the seat is facing straight ahead or your riding position will be awkward and uncomfortable. Place the ball of ajdust foot on the pedal when you ride. There should now be a slight bend 25 degrees in your knee when the pedal is at its lowest hwo. This is your optimal seat height. If you have clip pedals or cages, make sure you use them on your test ridethey will affect your ride.

Everyone has a different body typeyour pubic bone height measurement should be used as a starting point. You should then adjust the bike to fit you comfortably. Troubleshoot any issues by moving the seat slightly up or down. If you have knee pain, the biggest cause is usually your adiust height. Depending on where the pain is, you likely have different bkie. However, if the pain does not go away with seat adjustments, you should see a doctor. If the pain is on the back of your knee, the seat is too high.

If the pain is on the front of your knee, the seat is too low. If you slide your hips to each side with your pedal strokes, your seat is too high. Method 2 of Know that the angle and forward position of a bike seat ibke affect your riding comfort. The height of your seat isn't the only thing that matters.

Seats can be slid forward and backward and angled up or down to get rid of how to change last name on passport spots and make a more comfortable ride.

Your foot should be flat. Hiw a straight line coming down from the front of your knee to the ground. This line should intersect through the middle of your pedal. In other words, your knee should tl right over your pedal when in the position. On the back of the seat, pointing down at the back wheel, is a small bolt that controls the seat placement.

It connects to a bracket that clamps onto small metal tubes that hold the seat in place. Loosen this bolt by turning it counter-clockwise to lower the pressure on the clamps that keep the seat in place. Make sure what do children learn through play seat is far enough forward for a comfortable ride.

You should be able to comfortably reach your handlebars, and your knee should be over the pedal when your foot is at in the pedal rotation. A good test is to try standing as you ride.

If your seat is in the right position, you should be able to stand up easily without pulling or pushing on the handlebars. If you experience any of the following problems, slide the seat forward or back while the bolt is still loose: Trouble standing or reaching for aduust bars and finger numbness ot mean the seat is too far back.

Shoulder pain and trouble feeling comfortable going down hills can mean your seat is too far forward. Make sure that your seat angle is level with the floor. Use a how to adjust your bike level to make sure the seat is flatthis evenly howw your weight for more comfortable what percentage of teenage pregnancies end in abortions. That said, if you experience how to make carrot and date cake in your crotch you can adjust the seat a little, though no more than 3 degrees in either direction.

Bile should typically tilt the seat slightly down for more comfort. Men should typically tilt the aduust slightly up for more comfort. Loosen the bolts on the side of the seat to change the seat angle. This bolt, usually on the right of the seat, allows you to easily change the angle of the seat and then tighten it in place again.

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1 day ago If you've maxed out any of your bike's available adjustment and want to continue tinkering with your bike fit, then there various aftermarket upgrades available in . Jun 15, To adjust your bike seat's height, look for a quick-release lever at the base of the seat, pry it open, and adjust it higher or lower as needed. For bolted seats, use an Allen key or wrench to loosen the bolt and then adjust the height up or down. If you need to adjust the seat forward or backward, loosen the bolt underneath, then move the seat 77%(47). Oct 13, While youre on the bike, put your hands on the front of the handlebars, and turn the pedals until both knees are bent and your feet are an equal distance from the ground.

No matter if you're brand new to cycling or a dedicated athlete training for a national championship, your bike fit is important. Riding a bike in the right size with your position perfected will likely be the difference between comfort and unwanted pain. Bikes can be a pretty expensive investment, so you'll want to get the correct size right from the start.

One of the most comprehensive ways to achieve this is to get a bike fit from a professional, but in this bike fit guide, we'll look at all the key areas to consider when choosing the correct size bike. However, if you've already bought a bike and since found it to be ill-fitting, you're not necessarily without hope. Bikes are inherently adjustable, so we'll also walk you through the free adjustments available on a bike, and the components you can replace to fine-tune your bike's fit.

We've already covered bike sizing in-depth with our article, what size bike do I need , but here are the key takeaways.

If you're brand new to cycling and starting from scratch with regards to your bike fit, most bike manufacturers will have a size guide that will associate your height with an appropriate bike size. However, just like how you might be a size 9 in Nike shoes and size 9. This is an essential first step to putting you in the right ballpark. However, these guides rarely take into account the discrepancies between leg and torso length, so two people of the same height might not necessarily fit on the same size bike.

For this reason, bike manufacturers also create a geometry chart for their bikes, explaining the in-depth measurements and angles of each frame size. The problem here is that, to many, these geometry charts are a confusing jumble of meaningless numbers. There's no single chart to explain the perfect bike size for your specific body's dimensions in all brands, but we can help demystify the basic bike geometry measurements to help you understand what they mean, and how they affect your bike fit.

What's more, if you're replacing a bike, you can compare these geometry measurements to your current bike to find the one that most closely matches. These two measurements quantify the vertical and horizontal distances between the bottom bracket and the top of the head tube, respectively. As explained in the image above, if you were to draw an imaginary line vertically from the centre of the bottom bracket, then another line horizontally from the top of the head tube, these lines will eventually meet.

Measuring the length of each imaginary line will give you the stack and reach - luckily you don't need to actually do this, as bike manufacturers have done it for you. No matter the bike size quoted by a manufacturer, the stack and reach numbers are a constant and comparable way to measure bikes across different brands.

So if your current Trek bike has a stack of mm, that's what you need to look for on your new bike. Bikes are typically sized in one of two ways.

S, M, L etc like t-shirts, or in a numerical figure in centimetres. This figure is usually a measurement of the top tube length, however, with the angled top tubes of bikes nowadays, top tube length is no longer a sure-fire way to compare bike sizing, and so 'effective top tube' was created. As per the image above, this is what the length of the top tube would be, were it parallel to the ground. It gives another good clue to the bike's reach, while taking into account the angle of the seat tube.

The other thing to consider, especially for the longer-legged among us, is the maximum saddle height available. If you're short in the torso, opting for a bike size based on reach alone might leave you maxing out the permissible amount of seatpost. Many bike brands will quote the maximum seat height, so compare this to your inseam - or ideally your current bike's seat height.

Even once you've bought the correct size bike, there will be adjustments you need to make in order to get the correct bike fit. Here's a rundown of all the adjustments available on a typical bike. One of the most obvious adjustments on a bike is the saddle height, and it's imperative that you get it right to avoid pain. Our guide on how to set your saddle height has the lowdown on getting it right. A lesser used adjustment at the saddle is its position on the rails and its angle. These rails usually offer around 5cm of fore and aft movement, allowing you to position yourself more directly over the pedals, or further back as required.

A major consideration for road cyclists is to get the correct position of the knee relative to the pedal spindle in order to generate power throughout the stroke. With your foot on the pedal and the crank at the three o'clock position, hang a plumb line from the back of the kneecap it should pass through the kneecap and pedal spindle. The saddle tilt is more a personal preference around comfort. Start by using a spirit level to get it parallel to the ground, and make finite adjustments from there as comfort dictates.

If riding clipped in, then your cleat position is another source of available adjustment. Depending on your brand of cleats and model of cycling shoes, the amount of adjustment will vary, but there will always be some degree of fore and aft, as well as left and right. Search for the bony protrusions on either side of each foot - these are your first and fifth metatarsals - and mark them on your shoes.

Place the centre of the cleat through these two markings. Your aim is to get the spindle positioned beneath the ball of your foot. As for left and right, The aim here is to find a position that allows your knees to track perfectly vertically, and you are adjusting so that your pedalling position matches your stance width - the distance between your hips.

If you max out the adjustment here and want to go wider, it is possible to get pedals with wider spindles. On a new bike, there will typically be spacers fitted beneath the stem.

You can interchange the position of these spacers with the stem, offering a degree of vertical adjustment at the cockpit, in turn, raising or lowering the position of your handlebars.

If you're new to cycling, you can play around with this to find one that's comfortable. You shouldn't be putting too much weight through your hands, and the ideal position will have a soft bend - around 10 degrees - at your elbows. If you feel lower back pain after riding, it could be that your handlebars are too low, so try moving it up.

Conversely, if the pain is in your upper back, try moving them down. If you're comparing an old bike with a new one, you can use the stack measurements, work out the difference and offset it with the correct number of spacers.

For road and gravel bikes - and to a lesser degree, mountain bikes - tilting the handlebar and the hoods will also affect their position. With road bikes, hoods should ideally be positioned so that the hand position is level with the ground, however, a few mm in either direction can aid comfort. Some will even tilt them inwards at an angle to adjust the effective width of the bars, however, we'd advise swapping out the bars for a narrower option.

If you've maxed out any of your bike's available adjustment and want to continue tinkering with your bike fit, then there various aftermarket upgrades available in different sizes, lengths and angles. Upgrading your bike doesn't always have to be about making it lighter or more fancy in order to go faster, many upgrades will simply improve the comfort of your bike, and a bike that's more comfortable will undoubtedly mean you can go faster or further, but most importantly, it'll probably be more fun to ride.

One of the first things people consider when tailoring their own bike fit is the stem length. In order to fine-tune the reach of your bike, changing the stem length is a straight forward solution. Typically available in five or 10mm increments - depending on the brand - stems range from around 30mm long in mountain biking to mm at the extremes of road cycling. Stems are also angled, usually anywhere between 0 and minus 17 degrees though higher angles do exist.

Most can be ridden 'flipped', meaning they can be positioned at a positive angle, which will effectively move the position of the handlebar up. On road and gravel bikes, handlebars come with multiple dimensions for measurement, and thus, multiple areas of consideration when choosing the right size. Width is the most obvious, but reach, drop, back sweep and flare also play a part. Road handlebars are typically available in 2cm increments from 36cm up to 44cm.

Gravel pushes this to around 50cm, and mountain bikes further still. For road cyclists, the best way to choose the ideal bar width is to measure the distance between your shoulder joints and find bars of a similar width. Reach is an important consideration when changing to a different model of handlebar, because they can differ by upwards of 1cm, meaning you may need to accompany your bar swap with a new stem to account for the difference.

Drop, flare and backsweep are of secondary importance to bike fit, but are still worth considering when buying. The difference between an ill-fitting saddle and a comfortable one can be like night and day.

A badly fitting saddle will undoubtedly cause discomfort in the immediate area, but it will likely also create a chain reaction of compensation as your body looks to stabilise itself in other ways. A saddle is typically measured by its width and is measured in millimetres. In order to choose the correct width, you'll need to know the distance between your sit bones - the two bones in your bum that will support your weight whilst sitting on a saddle.

Many bike shops will have a tool to help you measure this, which usually consists of a dense memory foam pad or an electronic pressure sensor. After sitting on the pad, the area of maximum indent will show the position of your sit bones, and with this, you can measure the distance between the two.

To replicate this at home, you can use a piece of corrugated cardboard. There are a lot of reasons for changing crank length. Some focus on the difference in leverage that comes as a result, but it can be a solution to many bike fit concerns. By shortening the crank length, your feet will track through a smaller circle when pedalling.

This means the bend in the knee and hips is reduced at the top of the pedal stroke, and the extension of the knee is reduced at the bottom of the stroke. It means you can more easily achieve the 'knee over pedal spindle' requirement, and therefore push your saddle further back, which in turn will open the knee angle further. However, be aware when changing your crank length to adjust the saddle height by the same difference.

No matter how perfect you think your bike fit is, or how small the changes you make are, if it's not right, the chances are your body will find a way to tell you, so if you're suffering any acute pain as a result of cycling, it's likely because something isn't right with your bike fit. Continue testing, learning and adjusting your position until you get it right, and be aware that over time, your body will change and your perfect position will change with it.

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