With the good weather upon us there will be many people out and about on a bicycle, making this a great opportunity to run through some of the basic points to setting up your bicycle correctly.
Bike setup or ergonomics is extremely important, because of the repetitive nature of cycling if your bike setup is only a few millimetres out here or there it can lead to pain anywhere from your feet and ankles all the way up to your neck, impaired performance, generalised discomfort and diminished enjoyment.
The most important first step is making sure your bike frame is the right size for you. If you are buying a new bike any reputable bike store will make sure they match your body shape and size to the correct frame and geometry.
Adjustment 1. Bike Seat height
Using a tape measure, measure the inside seam length whilst standing with no shoes on. This figure is then multiplied by .88. For example, an inside seam length of 67 cm x .88 = 58.96cm. Therefore, the height of the seat measured from the centre of the crank to the top of the seat will be 58.96 or 59cm.
Adjustment 2. Bike Seat tilt
Ideally the seat should sit flat/horizontal as increased downward slope causes riders to slip off the seat.
Adjustment 3. Bike Seat fore/aft position
This is how far forward or back the seat sits. Sitting on the bike with pedals in a neutral position (horizontal or parallel to each other), a plum bolt is dropped from just behind the little bump on the leg just below the kneecap (this bump is called the tibial tuberosity) and should land in line with or behind the pedal axis. If you don’t have a plum bolt you can use a retractable measuring tape.
Adjustment 4. Pedal/Cleat position
For those riders who wear cleat shoes this is very important but is also specific to the individual. As a rule of thumb, the base of your big toe should sit directly over the pedal axis.