What’s not to like about biking? It’s faster than walking and better for the environment than driving a car. Let’s not forget that it’s also a great workout, which is especially beneficial if you don’t have time to get to the gym.
But if your saddle is too low or your handlebars are too high, you cycling adventures could be derailed. Here are a few ways to adjust your bike for riding comfortably.
Stand over the top tube—the part of the frame between the saddle and the handlebars—with your feet flat on the ground on either side of the bike. There should be about one inch between your groin and the top tube.
Sit on the saddle and push the pedal until it reaches its lowest position. Your knee should only be slightly bent. Otherwise, your legs will get tired quickly while your pedaling. If you’re sitting comfortably on the bike and any part of your feet other than your toes can touch the floor, it means the bike seat is too low.
You might want to check how you feel in your seat too. If you feel that you’re sliding forward or backward too much, an adjustment to the tilt angle of the saddle might be necessary. Make sure the seat distributes your weight in all the right places.
This one is trickier, since handlebar height depends on your body type, personal preferences, and the terrain on which you’re riding. A good rule of thumb is to adjust the handlebars so that the height doesn’t put unnecessary strain on your shoulders, wrists, and back. Remember that the higher the handlebar, the more upright your sitting position will be.
Don’t lift the handlebar beyond the minimum insertion mark. Otherwise, the handlebar stem will only have a couple of inches left inside the frame, and you’ll risk breaking the stem when you ride the bike at moderate or high speed.
Restrospec is Always the Perfect Fit
Although you can estimate your bike size on your own, it’s a good idea to ask for a second opinion from your local bike.